Monthly Archives: February 2007

Non-discovery: George Who?

The Discovery Channel’s hot video about Jesus’ tomb (and his wife Mary’s and their kids’) “makes a great story for a TV film. But it’s completely impossible. It’s nonsense,” Professor Amos Kloner of Bar Ilan University, who oversaw the original archeological dig 27 years ago, told the Jerusalem Post.

Galilee people like Jesus didn’t have family tombs in Jerusalem, for one thing.  the names are common and not conclusive, for another:

It would be like finding a tomb with the name “George” on it in the future and people asserting that it must have been the tomb of President George Bush,

Hebrew University archeologist and epigraphist Leah DiSegni told Cybercast News.

Today in Chi Trib: God in politics, etc.

1. John Kass mixes politics and religion — it’s about time — and continues to keep us informed, providing a program by which we tell the players, but that’s another metaphor, is it not?  See Day of reckoning at shrine of St. Richie on this day the Lord has made, on which we celebrate Term Six, on which also we have to wonder who’s next in the Ruling Family.  At least four more years, less than that actually, before we have a glimmer.

Election Day in Chicago still is a political day of obligation, and though Tuesday’s low voter turnout suggests many have fallen into apostasy, even heretics like me know the rituals must be observed.

There you have it.

2. Mention is there of priest who praised the felonious Sorich, who defrauded taxpayers by keeping the fix in place when hiring public servants.  He is Reverend Daniel J. Brandt.  It’s “a Gospel-based Catholic community that truly strives through worship, ministry and service to live, grow and be challenged by the message of Jesus Christ,” which is good to know.  Also good to know is that “Here at Nativity of Our Lord Parish, all are welcome.”

Even federal prosecutors?

3. It was probably Father Brandt who made the Trib with an Oct. 11, 2006, letter to the editor signed Daniel J. Brandt, Chicago, in which he castigated an earlier letter writer for “anti-Catholic bias” for saying church leaders “always” cover up “inappropriate” actions.  “In fact,” he wrote, Catholic clergy commit “far fewer” such acts than their “counterparts in other Christian and non-Christian denominations.”

Pastors in Protestant and other churches have an occurrence more than twice that of Catholic churches. Public school teachers, five times greater. Coaches, seven times greater. Stepfathers, 11 times greater!

He said the writer “should check her facts before writing such a toxic, opinionated letter.”

A commenter cited the April 17, 2002, USA Today and National Review Online for “shocking figures that don’t make it to the news” that back up Brandt’s assertions.

4. Team-building at DePaul U. for b-school students here.  Do silly things together, you can work better together?  In any case, individualists need not apply.  95 of them in the cafeteria!  Collectivism in the work place!  Winsome pix on p. 2 of Metro section.  Can’t find link.

5. Zuckman-Madhani lede is so soft it hurts:

 WASHINGTON — By most measures, congressional Democrats should have the political wind at their backs on the Iraq war. They swept to power last November because of the public’s dissatisfaction with the conflict and poll numbers show a majority of the public wants to bring the troops home.

Patience.  The real lede is in graf 2:

Democrats in the House and Senate are struggling to find the best way to express congressional disapproval of the war and President Bush’s troop buildup. They are wary both of going too far and not going far enough as they try to strike a balance that most Democrats, and perhaps some Republicans, can support.

In other words, they are currently stymied.

Naughty Al

Is this a surprise?  Al Gore’s mansion in Nashville TN

“consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year,”

says Tennessee Center for Policy Research.


Give us a break, Arnold!

“Schwarzenegger preaches bipartisanship,” reports The Hill:

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) said Monday that business in Washington is too often conducted with an eye toward political advantage and not to the benefit of the country.


“Division is what Washington has come to represent,” said Schwarzenegger, who is in D.C. to participate in a meeting of the National Governors Association. “For too long, this town has been about: Divide and conquer. Find an issue that splits our country in half, then crack it just enough so you can come out ahead. ‘I have 51 percent, you have 49 percent; I win, you lose.’

Has he ever heard of Andrew Jackson?

“But something larger gets lost in the process,” Schwarzenegger, speaking at the National Press Club, added. “That is the public’s trust, the public’s respect and the public’s faith in government.”

He means some people win elections, some lose.  Get a life, Arnold!

— A non-paid message from your ChiNewsp blogger, who endorses it, figuring why not? It’s from the heart. —

State of Blago

$70G chauffeur for HR chief of staff, both with records.  Lover’s spat:

‘Make love to me, or you’ll lose your job’

she said, he says.  These are some of Illinois’ finest in federal court.  Carlos the chauffeur says Teyonda the official put it to him while sharing a bed in a crowded hotel “on a two-day state business trip”!

She called him a “boy toy,” he says.  He’s 36, she’s 58.  The state, also known as the Land of Lincoln, tried to get the case pitched but couldn’t. 

Carlos rebuffed her while lying next to her.

When asked why he didn’t move to a sofa in the suite, [he] said, “I was scared.”

As in scaredy-cat, if you ask me.  Anyhow, he was fired soon after the hotel episode in which nothing happened, for leaving a state car in a restricted O’Hare lot while he went on vacation.  Not the first time he used the car for his own purposes, say court records.

Teyonda says they had to bunk together because there was no room in that inn for the two of them.  But the couch was there for him, she says.

But Carlos was not alone in personal use of government stuff.  Teyonda once had him pick up her dry cleaning on state time.  She has also used several names for herself over the years, has a conviction, and has several Social Security numbers.  (Look, you can always use another.)  He has her beat in the conviction arena, with three.  We are so lucky to live in this state.

Who will check on the checkers?

George Polk, of Polk Award fame, lied, says WW2 historian Richard Frank.  What’s more, Frank can’t get his story published.  Not good, folks:

Frank’s article casts light not only in the dark corners of George Polk’s career, but also in the dark corners of journalism today.

Tribune Moves Closer To a Corporate Rewrite –

The cavalry has not arrived:
“if this auction ends as many expect, Tribune will have to self-inflict the kinds of harsh changes that normally come from an outside buyer. That will mean even steeper cost cutting and asset sales.” [uh-oh]
“Tribune’s fate is all in the Chicago family. Sam Zell, a Windy City real-estate mogul, and the Chandlers are still circling Tribune, though any chance of either party making a successful offer is unlikely.” [not new]
“one possibility is that the McCormick Tribune Foundation — Tribune’s second-largest shareholder behind the Chandler family — would help buy out part of the Chandlers’ stake in the company.” [ditto]
On the other hand, “It is hard to see how buying up more newspaper stock is good for the McCormick Tribune Foundation. If most shareholders are trying to get out of the newspaper business, why wouldn’t the McCormick Tribune Foundation want the same?” [uh-oh]
Thus Sarah Ellison at Wall St. Jnl.

Marsey lobs no-smoke grenade

OP Trustee Marsey thinks OP is not a developer and does not belong in “complex and constricting” real estate transactions.  He’s clearly a bomb-thrower.  Everyone knows the village is a developer. 
He also wants competitive bidding on projects and wants the village to pony up only small amounts and then only for public infrastructure.  The village can’t afford any more than that and loses its way when it tries, he says.
He knows more about it than I do.  So do others, who disagree with him.  But philosophically, he has it right.
To which opposition-party-candidate Jon Hale responds by email the next day that Marsey’s is a “naive view.”  Suburban-downtown redevelopment won’t happen “without local government playing a key role” that might go beyond Marsey’s “small amounts for public infrastructure,” he says.  Bigger projects sometimes require “combining . . . parcels,” which is where the village comes in. 
Without that, you have “parcel by parcel” development — “new buildings built . . . under existing zoning.  In other words, let the free market reign” as the village stands by and watches construction of “$750,000 townhomes and fast-food joints on Madison St.” 
Consistency with master plans is what his slate promises, ever “justified on an return on investment (ROI) basis.”  Complex as it may be, the board cannot dodge its responsibility to direct economic redevelopment, he says.
More to come on this local-regional-national issue . . .

Soft lede murders story, reader interest, read all about it

Rozek and Warmbir give us a marvelous lede in early-on story played big in today’s Sun-Times, invoking a well-known name:

Karolin Khooshabeh worked hard to bring her stepsister’s family from Iran to Chicago, filling out paperwork and giving them money so they could start a new life.

Hey, anything has to do with the Khooshabeh family, I want to know about.  This is a murder story, however, in West Rogers Park, and a hammer murder at that.  And those two, or their insipid editors, dangle the Khooshabehs before us, here from Iran, which is better known for mullahs and nuclear weapons programs, but what the hey?  When your short-staffed, you go for daylight wherever it appears.

So West Rogers is only second-‘graf stuff, and in any case we have here a leisurely approach to a hammer murder in a white Chicago neighborhood, where it’s not a cheap story.  Pardon the italics, but sometimes I can’t help it.

Third ‘graf has the nub, all we need to know: “three beaten to death in a bizarre triple homicide,” which is a head, actually, right under the dreadful thumb-sucking editors’ eyes.

Otherwise, S-T this morning is full of extreme-nothing stuff.  Mark Brown gives us an easy-going warmed-over Chicago campaign story about an aldermanic challenger — “Alderman’s challenger stumped by the case of the missing mail,” which should read “yet another alderman’s challenger,” etc.

“Curious,” with “an active imagination,” Brown can’t help wondering, etc. about 10,000 pieces lost at the post office.  I’m curious too, and Brown has steady work for people who like his approach, but there are mornings when I would like to be punched a little with a strong notion of absurdity.  I mean I’d like the copy punched up, not myself.  I am punchy enough already.

Not until we go to columns and reviews does S-T manifest even a smidgeon of inspiration on this Sunday.  Ann Coulter is slam-banged in a review of one of her books and two others who slam her [no link to be found] — finally she gets banner treatment, after all these years of also-mention “ick” boxed items about her latest.  George Will has something good about Guiliani as telling us something new about the Republican base.  Opinion journalism not disguised as news story, that’s where it’s at these days.

Slight distinction

“Bush, unlike Clinton [who recovered nicely when Dems lost control of Congress in ‘94], is in the middle of a bloody civil war, which can be ended only by the Iraqis themselves,” says David Broder, who thinks Bush shows signs of also recovering nicely.

But the war can be ended only by Iraqis?  Yes and no.  U.S. strategy says they need help in ending it, in addition to wanting to do so.

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