Monthly Archives: August 2009

Look out for trucks and autos

The new Randolph tot lot, Grove to Oak Park Ave., will be a park with an alley running through it.  A “speed table” will slow vehicles down to minimize danger of a tot being run over when he or she runs from one half of the park to the other. 

Gates across the alley appear in one of three plans offered, but these would be very expensive, to judge by comments by park officials.

This is what the park district is planning in its expansion of the lot’s western half to a newly acquired eastern half in land recently ceded to it by the village. 

Plans were explained to 35 or so citizens in a meeting 8/26 at Pleasant Home by John Mac Manus, a consultant on whom the park district has been relying extensively in recent months.

No one at the 8/26 meeting made much of the danger factor, though most comments were from people living close to the lot.

It’s a busy alley, however, serving several large apartment and condo buildings.  In fact, the whole block, Randolph to Washington, has only one single-family residence on the alley’s Oak Park Ave. side. 

Among vehicles who use the alley regularly are autos, garbage trucks, and moving vans, the latter more in some seasons than others, of course.

The three plans currently under discussion are Scheme 1, Scheme 2, and Scheme 3.  A survey monkey will send your comments on to the park district.  It’s not too demanding as those things go, asking what you like or don’t like about each scheme, which you like best, and what else you’d like to say.

I’m going to paste most of this in the latter portion.  You do what you feel like.  There’s no obligation.

Later: I did this, adding words to this effect, that kids amuse themselves when permitted, and this is the goal of any park.


Honduras no, Chavez yes?

Obama admin putting screws to Honduras:

The most recent example of the Obama-style Good Neighbor Policy was the announcement last week that visa services for Hondurans are suspended indefinitely, and that some $135 million in bilateral aid might be cut.

But these are only the public examples of its hardball tactics. Much nastier stuff is going on behind the scenes, practiced by a presidency that once promised the American people greater transparency and a less interventionist foreign policy.

And Hillary’s State Dept. (I think it’s hers) is contributing:

Prominent Hondurans, including leading members of the business community, complain that a State Department official has been pressuring them to push the interim government to accept the return of Mr. Zelaya to power.

When I asked the State Department whether it was employing such dirty tricks a spokeswoman would only say the U.S. has been “encouraging all members of civil society to support the San Jose ‘accord'”—which calls for Mr. Zelaya to be restored to power. Perhaps something was lost in the translation but threats to use U.S. power against a small, poor nation hardly qualify as encouragement,

says Anastasia O’Grady in Wall Street Journal.

It’s sickening.  A U.S. ally, a democracy, is following its constitution — the ousted Zelaya has no case — and in the process erecting a barrier to Chavez of Venezuela.  And we’re giving them grief?


Doesn’t like their coverage

Harry Reid shook hands with the ad director for the Review-Journal of Las Vegas, Bob Brown, before a Chamber of Commerce luncheon last week as part of “a meet-‘n’-greet and a photo.”

[A]s Bob shook hands with our senior U.S. senator in what should have been nothing but a gracious business setting, Reid said: “I hope you go out of business.”

Whoa.  What a time to wish that on anyone.  He’s our head Senate Democrat, isn’t he?  Has risen to the top, you might say.  Yuck.

Was ist eine liberale?

The irreplaceable David Horowitz on why Nixon White House operative Brian Lamb did not succeed in his mission to liberalize PBS, that is, make it live up to the law that created it, to be “fair, objective and balanced”:

[L]iberals are closet totalitarians who can’t stand to have a conservative in the room.

(Notice “liberal” used twice with seemingly opposite meanings.  Trouble is, the term has been hijacked.)

Horowitz, the red-diaper baby who came in out of the cold world of the left and knows where the mind-set skeletons are, cites media and academe:

There is not a single leftwing channel, network or institution — to call them liberal is an offense to language — whether it is MSNBC, CNN, or PBS, Air America, NPR, or Harvard that is capable of fairness or intellectual diversity or has the slightest interest in promoting it.

Among the “hardly any” leftwing intellectuals who support “the practice of intellectual diversity” he (generously) names three — Alan Dershowitz, Stanley Fish and Gerald Graff.

As for the rest of them:

Contemporary liberals are socialists and their instincts are totalitarian — which is expressed in their causes like single payer health care, and their sabotage of the war against Islamic fascists.

Bring that down to the everyday level and putting it in homely terms, they are fussbudgets who know what is right for you and will make you do it,.



Missing Danny Davis in the morning

Danny Davis was a no-show this morning at 2nd Baptist, Maywood.  His office in DC had told Organizing for America (OFA), the Obama campaign agency turned policy muscle, he’d be there for a town hall.  Not only was that wrong, or turned out wrong, but his office had the address wrong — 36 S. 13th Ave., vs. 436, the correct address.

This misinformation — fishy, I’d call it — sent Yours Truly on a self-conducted auto tour of Maywood, a mostly black ‘burb a few miles west of Oak Park.  This was interesting — I saw a man in his back yard where he had corn growing — but not what I planned.

Two residents were as helpful as they knew how to be when I stopped and asked.  One said to try Melrose Park (to the north); so I took 13th Ave. north — finding 2nd Baptist, in fact, where a cop was in the street directing people away from that location, explaining that inaccurate emails had been sent out.

I verified this with several OFA stalwarts who were as disappointed as I was, in uniform tee shirts and beautiful signs made with help of the OFA site — or if you sign on,  Chatting with them, I suggested that Republicans had sent out the false messages, which they enjoyed.

One asked me to sign a statement of support for Obamacare.  I said I had some issues.  She asked me what.  I said the cost.  She offered this solution: measure the cost by the year and not the decade, and it’s not so scary.  She also opined that the money saved would balance out the cost.  I said I’d have to think about it.

But wait.  The costs we hear about are to the federal government, that is us as taxpayers.  It’s new expenditures.  So that balancing-out idea won’t work for me.  I will have to go with her annual-cost suggestion and forget the ten-year business.  That way, I won’t feel so bad.  We parted friends, that much I know.

Clout on the Potomac

The Chicago and (separately) Illinois situations have a D.C. counterpart:

Mayor Adrian Fenty on Thursday dodged more questions about the education of his sons, growing visibly angry as reporters pressed on how his twin boys gained entry into one of D.C.’s top-performing public schools.

The Obamas didn’t have to stoop that low, choosing to go private, as we know.

Zorn on Roeser after Roeser on The Dick

Eric Zorn takes issue with Tom Roeser, who called U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin “the Dick” (citing as precedent “the Donald” for D. Trump) and complained that Durbin has no townhall meetings about health care/insurance/whatever-the-latest-name and that reporters don’t press him on sensitive issues.

Because, you know, how else could one possibly gauge public sentiment or consider the various sides of the debate other than to participate in a spectacle?

And [Roeser] wants an immediate disquisition from Durbin about the latest developments in the CIA/torture issue.

Oh? It’s not good for D. to meet people in unscripted venues and reporters’ looking for comment from a senator is seeking a disquisition?

Not so, Eric Z.  However unbridled the adjectives, adverbs, metaphors, and flourishes Roeser employs, it’s not that easy to deal with the substance therein contained. 

When does “the Dick” — upper case and definite article take it out of the realm of the out-and-out contumelious — meet with citizens and take their questions?

And why wouldn’t the mediums ask him about the CIA and torture?  Look, he might come up with something good, as when he went off in 2005 about Nazis, Soviets in Gulags, Pol Pot and our Guantanamo guards. 

He did apologize for it, yes, and would rather not have to do that again.  So maybe that’s why he won’t do the free-flowing-exchange thing this time around: he’s afraid he’ll say something off the wall.  But his reason for not doing it is nasty and dismissive of the people who show up:

These folks are there about YouTube. That’s why they’re showing up. They want to get a little clip on YouTube in an effort to disrupt a town meeting and to send the congressman running for his car.

How does The Dick know this, who is on YouTube with that 2005 Senate speech, by the way?  He just knows, that’s all.

Oh, those Kennedy Catholics

Here’s an item of Kennedy Catholic history I’d forgotten about, when one of the wives refused to be cast aside:
Some say the final sunset on the Kennedy name within Catholic halls of power was the Vatican’s decision [revealed] in 2007 to overturn the annulment of the first marriage of former U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy, the eldest son of Robert Kennedy. The successful appeal by Joe Kennedy’s ex-wife Sheila Rauch, an Episcopalian, was another blow for the Kennedy image in Catholic circles.
Sheila Rauch Kennedy wrote a book about Joe’s “aggressive pursuit of the annulment” that “helped to end his political career.” 
“When you try to defend your marriage, the army that comes after you is pretty brutal,” Rauch Kennedy said [in June of 2007]. “You’re accused of being a vindictive ex-wife, an alcoholic bigot, an idiot.”
The decision was two years old at the time, but she was just hearing of it, as she heard five years after the fact that her marriage had been annulled. 
The annulment had been granted in secrecy . . . after the couple’s 1991 no-fault civil divorce. Rauch found out about the de-sanctification of their marriage only in 1996, after Kennedy had been wedded to his former Congressional aide, Beth Kelly, for three years.
She and Joe K. had twin sons, ipso facto bastardized in the eyes of the church by the secret annullment.  Joe later went into business with Hugo Chavez, marketing heating oil to poor people at cut rates. 
This fit in with the Kennedy schtick as exemplified by the career of the late Ted, who is praised by the immensely ready-for-quotation James Martin:
“He is a complicated figure,” says Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and the culture editor of the Catholic magazine America. “Catholics on the right are critical because of his stance on abortion. Catholics on the left celebrate his achievements on immigration, fighting poverty and other legislation that is a virtual mirror of the Church’s social teaching.”
The virtual-mirror part is highly debatable, of course.  For one thing, Ted the lionized was a firm believer in Dorothy’s Day (ironic) “holy mother the state” and promoted statism strenuously.  Holy Mother the Church was something else, but it seems you have to be “on the right” to make that an issue.  “Complicated figure,” right.  If that’s not priestly b.s., I never heard it.

Wheeling Jesuit protest

Supporters are invited to speak up for the fired Jesuit president on a new website, “Save! Wheeling Jesuit University”:


It is with great sorrow that we come together today with the departure of our president and dear friend, Fr. Julio Giulietti, S.J. We have all come here to seek the truth, and to know and understand what has happened within the university walls and what has become of the reputation of WJU. In this light, please invite anyone to read the blog and feel free to comment as you wish.

Giulietti was abruptly removed as president earlier this month by his fellow Jesuits acting as the university’s trustees.

Giulietti is shown in a picture with the caption: “Officially still the President of WJU.”

The latest posting is by Charles L. Currie, S.J., who calls Giulietti “a friend and colleague for many years” and tries to pour oil on troubled waters:

No one “wins” in such a situation and the demands of necessary confidentiality prevent folks knowing all the details. I am satisfied that good people on both sides seriously disagreed on what was best for the University and a decision had to be made.

It follows a letter posted yesterday by a supporter who cites “dissent” by Fr. Ed Glynn, S.J., a former WJU trustee, former president of three Jesuit universities, and former superior of the Jesuits’ Maryland Province, who objects to the firing.

The writer, John W. Hwee, of Chestnut Hill, Mass.:

There have been no allegations or evidence of any immoral, unethical, illegal or fiduciary negligent acts by Father Julio. I am appalled and disgusted, but not completely surprised by the underhanded actions of some members of the Board of Directors.

He finds especially “disheartening”

the action of the three Jesuit Trustees [who] fired Father Giulietti without the two-thirds [required] approval [by] the Board of Directors, without the full attendance of the Trustees and while Father Julio was on vacation.

At one point, Giulietti said he would sue the Jesuits.  But there has been no report of a suit.

What doth it profit? That is the question

Trouble is, govt. is not profit-motivated, and what it operates has no independent future. Thus U. of Chi economist Gary Becker:

Supporters of a government-run plan claim that it will be financially self-supporting, and will provide a standard for private plans. To see how this would work out in practice, consider the postal system [italics, coloration mine], a nominally private but basically a very old government-run business. The postal system is also supposed to be self-supporting, but only recently it once again asked Congress for additional [?] subsidies to cover deficits. [It’s subsidized?]

It strains credibility to expect that a large government-run health care option will not run huge deficits. Just as part of the postal deficits are caused by government mandates, such as providing Saturday deliveries at no added cost, so Congress will also impose costly and inefficient mandates on the government health care option, in addition to other inefficiencies of such a government health care organization.

This latter is crucial.  Mandates because what govt. does is wholly service-oriented, which is what makes it appealing to many people.  But do they know what a drain it is and many other services are?  And what happens when the money runs out?

As for the subsidy business, I confess to confusion.  Cutbacks are reported, but not subsidy.  But Becker is a heavyweight in these matters.

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