Monthly Archives: August 2006

Being Sneed means you don’t have to ask

This from Tony Peraica’s blog is quite good on Sneed:

In a city full of good newspaper columnists – the kind who actually break news – there’s one gossip-hound who traffics in weeks- and months-old “news.”

# Translation: Columns written by Michael Sneed are full of interesting “information,” if by “information” one understands “unverified gossip and news that was old weeks ago, yet is still delivered in a breathless, ‘Ssshhhh! Listen to what I found out!’ tone, as if it were actually NEWS.” Today’s column by Michael Sneed, for instance, includes reference to a year-old endorsement of Tony Peraica by the late Mayor of Westchester, John Sinde. Sneed suggests “we’ll never know” if Sinde actually endorsed Peraica, because he died in 2005. [Not if we never ask]

# The problem: Sneed, as per usual, hasn’t bothered to do her homework. John Sinde endorsed Tony Peraica for Cook County Board President IN APRIL OF LAST YEAR as Tony Peraica kicked off his campaign for Cook County Board President, long before he passed. Tony Peraica was proud to receive that endorsement, and he was proud of his relationship with Sinde. Tony Peraica even sponsored a County Board resolution in memoriam for Sinde.


Whence taxes?

In a town meeting about taxes,

[Township pseudo-assessor] ElSaffar explained taxes have increased steadily due in large part to a series of successful voter approved tax referendums and residential assessment increases.

There we have it, ladies and gentlemen.  We or someone like us voted up those referendums, for good or bad reasons, depending whom you ask.  This is plain talk from ElSaffar (who is pseudo because he doesn’t assess anything but voters’ ire — worst he’s seen this time around — but explains things).

“It’s partly our own fault. We’ve never seen a referendum in Oak Park that we’ve said no to,” said one taxpayer, a UIC prof, adding ominously, “We need to look very carefully at what we’re voting for.”*

Won’t happen.  Depends how many look carefully.  Some always have, but teachers and parents have won the day every time, including this blogger working might and main for his six kids in public schools.  As long as OP is home to a school population like this, the referendums will pass.  Trust me.

This is not a retirement village, in other words.  This also spells doom for the Perennial Outs in the April village board elections.  Shockingly In last time, they have irritatingly gone against the Expansion Grain.  This time they will lose.  Trust me.
* Or this, from another resident, who went to the Board of Review to appeal her taxes: “The man listened to me very politely then when I was done said ‘You people in Oak Park come crying to us every year. Stop voting yes for every referendum’.”

Concordia what?

Concordia U.-River Forest is no more.  Now it’s Concordia U. ChicagoNew web site too.

Icon slips

This just in from the 300 South OP Ave. block: The U.S. Postal Service did not deliver yesterday.  This I can confidently assume from the totally empty three boxes in our building, west side of OP Ave., a few doors north of Wash Boul.  There’s a # to call, but it does not give you the local p.o., or didn’t a few years ago last time I called, when same thing happened on 600 Ontario block.  S–t happens, I know, and maybe we should mainly be grateful it happens as infrequently as it does in respect to mail delivery.  There, got that off my chest.
3:50, having broken down and called the # (1-800-ASK-USPS), was put on hold AFTER answering the machine four or five times.  3:53, got Eric, who said give them to 5 p.m., call back with info, they will go to supervisor, etc.  Thanked him, that was it for then.
4:30, going outside, there she was, Ms. Mail Carrier.  I said Hi, added there had been no mail yesterday, she said she knew.  Whole tone was, she knew quite well about it, which was all I had to hear.  End of story and complaining.

Voting for Stroger

* At least one voter has decided to punt in November.  She will not vote either way, Stroger or Peraica, for county board presidency, she volunteered to this blogger/writer.  She can’t stand voting for Stroger and so will NOT VOTE.

Enter Edmund Burke: “All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing.” Good men and women, let the bad times roll!

* In a more analytic mode, here’s one man’s view a while back of the overall situation: “One thing Peraica needs to win is strong suburban turnout compared to the city. That’s a tall order since city turnout has been greater than suburban turnout in every major primary and general election for many years.”

— Rob Olmstead in Daily Herald 06-07-31


“In reality . . . from Adam Smith on (and before that), monopoly was always understood as being created by government. Indeed, The Wealth of Nations was a critique of mercantilism, the system of state-sponsored monopolies, protectionism, and monetary superstition that plagued European economies at the time (1776).” [Italics added]

This is a definition I’ve been looking for, supplied by Thomas di Lorenzo, author of How Capitalism Saved America: The Untold History of Our Country, from the Pilgrims to the Present — 330.122 DIL on the Dewey decimal chart at OP library.

It’s important for OP, which has been practicing mercantilism for some time now, picking and choosing commercial operators, generating arguments about which to pick and choose and inhibiting growth and prosperity even when picking winners, as anyone is bound to do now and then. Consider the hundred monkeys at a hundred typewriters and their (maybe superior, who knows?) version of “Hamlet.”

Some possible sense about Katrina

. . . that takes us beyond the standard blame-Bush, blame-city and/or state officials position:
Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.
Keeping you up-to-date on the latest by Manhattan Institute Scholars August 29, 2006



Katrina’s Real Lesson

Nicole Gelinas,, August 29, 2006
(This originally appeared on, 08-28-06)
Though President Bush declared on Saturday that Hurricane Katrina exposed “deep-seated poverty” in America, the disaster isn’t ultimately a story of poverty or of race, but of the greatest failure of civil engineering in American history. Luckily, while the nation has never been able to solve poverty, it can solve the engineering problem at the heart of southern Louisiana’s potential recovery. . .

And something new about asbestos:

Asbestos double-dipping
Posted by Ted Frank
Must-read coverage of how asbestos plaintiffs “double-dip” into billions of dollars of asbestos bankruptcy trusts run by plaintiffs’ lawyers (like Baron & Budd, the namesake of John Edwards’s money man, Fred Baron) through making boldly inconsistent claims of exposure. (Daniel Fisher, “Double-Dippers”, Forbes, Sep. 4). Courts are cracking down for the first time, though the only people suffering consequences so far are clients, rather than the unethical attorneys-the shareholders who lost their money and the workers who lost their jobs in the fraud are out of luck. . .



L’Affaire Stroger, Part CDXXXVII

The saga marches on, you might say.  Bobbie Steele, veteran county board commissioner named temporary replacement for the incapacitated president, John Stroger, is “uncomfortable,” she said — make it all past tense when reporting this business — with the hiring-freeze hiring of 1,300 employees, as we presume she was uncomfortable with the Stroger patronage chief, whom she bumped laterally.  But not uncomfortable in either case to fire anyone.  It is encouraging, however, that a few weeks in the job has gotten the party grin off her puss in newsp pix.
In addition, she’s knocking John Stroger now: his administration was “insulated.”  But she didn’t fire the patronage man, who is able to sing or hum the old favorite:
I’m bidin’ my time/
“Cause that’s the kinda guy I’m
Actually ’cause Baby Stroger has all that patronage army working the precincts for him.  It’s the confidence that led Ald. Beavers tell reporters when the stricken Stroger was still president, “We can do anything we want.”
Steve Patterson is all over this story in Sun-Times, offering us nothing cute and keeping stories down to 500 or so well chosen words, which is how they all should be written for daily newspapers.

Wal-Mart coverage

Sandra Guy story, Sun-Times 8/28/06 says Wal-Mart is big in ‘burbs, where it’s considered to do great things.  Good Jobs First man in Wash DC, however, wants govt to decide the issue, not believing in The Power of the People, and I’m only half kidding here.  Rather, let them vote — with their pocketbooks — on what’s good for The Community.  Note especially the Forest Park info, where the Wal-Mart on Roosevelt Rd. has contributed to improvements galore by its taxes, which are contributed by The People when they buy things that They Want.  Give the lady (and gentleman) what she wants, as Marshall Field used to say.

He’s baaaack!

The Return of Stroger will be celebrated tonight on Channel 11.  As of 3:16 pm today, he was expected on Chicago Tonight when he and challenger Peraica will “square off.”  Also on hand with be Commissioner Mike Quigley.  That’s 7–8 pm, if you can tear yourself away from Cubs v. Pirates, which is 6–8 on cable 37.

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