Monthly Archives: October 2013

The Terrible 10: A Century of Economic Folly

I’m going to ask for this book for Christmas.

Atlanta Vendors Fight to Protect Economic Libertys

I read about this years ago in Georgie Anne Geyer’s excellent book about Castro:

Rather like Ahab and the white whale, the city of Atlanta has been obsessed with running street vendors out of business. Back in 2009, Atlanta handed over all street vending to a multi-billion-dollar corporation. With a city-backed monopoly, rent skyrocketed from $250 a year to almost $20,000 a year. Unable to afford these exorbitant rents, 16 vendors lost their jobs.

I mean I read about how Fidel did the same thing. He had to throttle initiative, which was to remain with him.

Nice going, city of Atlanta.

Oh yes, the book is Guerilla Prince, The Untold Story of Fidel Castro, published in 1991. As with many good books, you can buy it now for a song.

CBS: ObamaCare Launched After Failing Hundreds of Tests

They tested and tested and tested, but the thing still wouldn’t work.

“It was unequivocally clear from testing this wasn’t ready,” was the conclusion forwarded to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius… who serenely ignored these desperate warnings and launched anyway. And worse, the head of CMS said the site’s issues “did not show up in testing” during testimony on Tuesday.

Gross incompetents or colossal liars, take your pick.

The black family, source of so many Austin problems

Oak Park Newspapers

More here on Austin issues, from Austin Talks:

African Americans make up a disproportionate percentage of the U.S. prison population, black students drop out of school at alarming rates and are increasingly victims and perpetrators of violence, causing many of us to wonder why.

One reason could be the dissolution of the African-American family.

A good, clear, healthy treatment of the matter. For instance,

I’ve seen even further dissolution as my grandparents pass on. The role of the African-American family is shifting from a joint family base to a more nuclear based unit where individual families essentially are fending for themselves without much network to fall back on.

Not that the writer prescribes this or that. Rather, she talks about the problem, which is step one, of course. And she is writing for Austin Talks, a project of journalism students at Columbia College Chicago.

(I taught there some years…

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“Whatever crushes individuality is despotism . . .

John Stuart Mill said it:

. . . whether it professes to be enforcing the will of God or the injunctions of men.”

Which, modified, not obliterated, by Christian kindness is a pretty good rule, with multiple applications in civic, political, and church life.

Harmon called to remind of town hall about Eisenhower

Had a robo-call last night from Sen. Don Harmon, who’s hosting a town hall meeting tonight at Brooks middle school, 325 S. Kenilworth, about “reconstruction” of the Eisenhower X-way and how it affects Oak Park.

I had already planned to be there. Harmon is wise to push this session on a very hot issue. He works hard at his job and makes a good impression.

The meeting is also a way for him to talk about something besides pension reform, which many say is in crisis mode, but not he. Nor senate president John Cullerton.

In July the Wed. Journal was not convinced:

We’d say that a state regularly facing downgrades on its debt is in crisis. A state that can’t pay its bills to social service providers in a timely way is in crisis. A state that raises income taxes by $6 billion annually and is just barely keeping pace with added pension demands is in crisis. A state controlled on all levels by a single political party that still can’t pass pension reform is in crisis.

Whatever. No robo-call from me, but I am glad to help our senator and urge you to come to Brooks. 7:30.

Happy Halloween


The English Language On Word Order Depends

With lots of good examples. Writer cites Strunk & White.

Celebrate Samhain by Disguising your Child as a Major Household Appliance

This genius-level mother makes an unusual costume.


For several months, my four-year-old insisted she wanted to dress up like a letter for Halloween. Yes, a letter. As in, “This letter states that, due to an overdue library book, you never actually graduated college.” *

This past weekend, Estelle “flipped her mind” and declared that she wanted to dress as a princess instead.  A Princess! Within seconds, big brother and I delivered an onslaught of white lies in order to shield her from the Princess Industrial Complex  (despite the fact that her last name means “King” in Poland, she’s not next in line for the Polish crown).

“You don’t want to be a princess!” Max declared. “Everyone else is going to be a Princess.” I took the deceit a step further: “You know Biscuit, there is a strict limit on the number of Princesses on Halloween, and all those spots are already taken.”

Satisfied with our explantion…

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On Halloween

How to be a Christian on Halloween.

Jenna Pelias

I think I may actually offend many of the church going people I know with this post. I’m not sorry. Just so we’re clear, you know – in advance.

(*Edited to add that when this post was written in 2012, the only people who read it were my church going friends who really know me, and they know that when I say I might offend them, that I’m saying so in a let’s-still-be-friends-even-if-we-disagree, kind of way. I did not expect this blog to blow up the way it did the following year in 2013. I did not intend to offend the church going people everywhere, all the time. Holy smokes. But that seems to be what happened, however unintentional.)

Every Halloween it’s the same silly thing.

People getting annoyed with the gore. The focus on death. The devil. The blood.

And you know, I’m not a huge fan of all…

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