Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Politics and Hypocrisy: Inconsistent, International, and Subtle, So Get Used to It

I am unsure whether this rant falls into the Murphy's Law or Facts of Life Blog. A concerned neighbor highlighted the above YouTube video. In life, we experience hypocrisy in our families, friends, journalists, politicians, and ourselves. The trash compactor of politics searches for the most outspoken but least consistent hypocrites. I recall former Third Ward Alderman Dorothy Tillman as a bold example, but there are many others.

Society may crown the publicly virtuous and outspoken few. Nearly all of our laureates eventually lose their way in the fog causing the abuse of power and privilege. Most are unable or unwilling to wait for the fog to evaporate, so mistakes are made. Too few will admit to error. Some errors are not fatal to every politicians career; get used to it.

Lessons in life: (1) everyone will eventually become a hypocrite, but not as consistently as others; (2) those in power with privileges often hoard it and become gluttons, fearing other careers; (3) the haves and those who seek economic interdependence support the status quo and democratic options; (4) those who envy the power or productivity of others often criticize those in power until they too become powerful and are themselves, criticized; (5) exaggerations and irresponsible posturing within the body politique nauseate moderates.

The concern of these journalists is, why now? The answer: Congressional ‘posturing’ and ‘tolerance,’ pure and simple. Positioning for a ‘cause delayed’ turns off voters. The above CNN video is an example of Congress spending our money on political partisanship. This is a commercial for the Democratic Party that reasonably offends and serves an exceptionally devoted niche of partisan storm troopers and yes men. Republicans in need of credibility found an easily accessible soapbox at this hearing.

Nevertheless, the ‘alleged’ CNN Clip fails to get the political parties correct! We can talk of the virtues of politics; yet, it is the reality of politics that counts. Congress, Committee, or Politburo; man is an imperfect leader, but so is HAL! [Reference to movie “2001 – A Space Odyssey”]

On the “We” recently scribed in local Rogers Park Political Yahoo! Group Discourse?

We the people "try to form a ‘more perfect’ union." I believe 'perfection' is a pipedream for those with personal agenda's or OCD. One's opinion may prevail more, but in politics, compromise and tolerance is what should carpe diem [seize the day]. Sometimes, people neglect to appreciate peace and reasonable opportunities for prosperity until each evaporates.

Partisanship is not an issue like slavery. Yet, people should reasonably demonstrate and struggle for their cause. Fewer seem to rally for causes and seem more content writing, rather than interacting. Congress postures in an era of arm chair complacency, despair, and frustration; call it laziness. If someone wants to publicize their POV, then more tools are available than ever. However, most of us need to appreciate the most effective routes. We also must learn how to separate the wheat from the chaf and reality from the rasp.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Skunk stuck in Yoplait Container Surprises Neighbors at Chase and Ridge

Yesterday, a skunk with a preference for Yoplait was discovered with head encased in a yogurt cup near Chase and Ridge. According to concerned neighbors, the furry black and white varmint with extremely noxious scent glands was seen running around in circles. It was also viewed doing other odd and contorted jigs for local residents. We are unsure whether the skunk that another neighbor is smoking had any effect on this Pepe Le Pew's propensity to get the munchies.

This dance was an effort to rid itself of the plastic yogurt cannister left by local litterbugs. Fortunately, with additional local attention, the skunk freaked out and managed to make the right move; it suddenly separated from his visual obstruction and head east. This is not the first sighting of a skunk with a taste for Yogurt; one was also spotted doing a similar dance in Hopkinton, MA on the morning of September 17, 2007. [note: use the "find" function in your browser to uncover news of the Hopkinton Skunk Dance].

I understand that a group of garbage loving skunks have now found a habitat near our Veola dumpsters in the alley just east of Ridge behind 7239, but roam the sidewalks, as well. Neighbors strongly suggest that pedestrians approach with caution. Also, discourage neighbors from dropping Popeye's chicken leftovers, McDonalds, other fast food waste, and yogurt cups anywhere other than in local trash cans. Otherwise, you may be bathing in tomato juice for a week, when you meet up with a skunk that does not want to get to know you.

In the last week, we have noticed about two incidents where skunks lifted their tails, so to speak. We are unsure if there are any locals who were the recepients of the exotic perfume, but have no doubt that it won't be difficult to determine.

Again, use caution. For those who are unaware, according to Streets and San, the rats not only appreciate and multiply from the fast food leftovers, but also feast on dog feces, as well. There is a reason for those little dog doo bags, so use them.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Walk West from Terminal Park, Guidelines to Keep Bullets in Gun Shops, Recommendation to Chairman Moore about the Northshore Slumlords

The pundits may call me crazy, but I'm not intimidated, whether I lived at Winchester and Rogers or Ridge and Rogers. I walk home sporadically down Rogers or Touhy from the Howard Street Terminal. I am by no means, alone. After midnight, the only way to get home, other than by using the parking lot is by foot. The 290 does not run. There are cabs on Howard that line up by Paulina, but you need cash. I don't see mobs, but don't doubt their infrequent existence. I don't know how neighborhoods will change without a constant law abiding presence.

What is the point of taking the CTA Train if you can't save a few dollars. Other than the area west of Damen just before the former Pulse Ambulance, the north sidewalk is well lit. I see no reason why others avoid the walk on the well lit south side of the street or even bike home from the Terminal. The new Walgreens and the remodeled RP Fruit Market give you an excuse to avoid the 'boob tube' for thirty to forty minutes.

There is often, not always, an baseball game that starts around 7pm on the diamond in the east corner of the Park. By the time that you reach Ridge Boulevard, the Lamp Post usually has a few smokers eager to 'light a grit' on the southwest corner. Neighbors just south of Potawattomi Rec Center hang out on their porch until about 11pm. I promise that they don't bite, but may chupa the 'cheles,' upon occasion. Near that corner is the shrine to the Virgin of Guadalupe, which was relocated from the fence and sidewalk. A few often sit inside the fence at the home out of respect as the velas burn.

My walk home may include a stop at the RP Fruit Market on Clark and Rogers if I get home by 9pm. If not, then I stop by Dominicks which is open until one. If I want to skip the trudge through the Dominick's Parking lot, then I take the 22 to Clark and Rogers.

After living in the area on and off for nearly fifty years, I have accepted integration, embraced it, and even moved from the north suburbs more than twenty years ago. A few inconsiderate or loud folks talking on their cell phone or each other are not going to intimidate me. Why should they intimidate anyone else. However, being a guy has its advantages. Nevertheless, I see no reason why a few people cannot take a stroll without a hassle. It can be quite serene; I guess some are too afraid of each other to appreciate the moment.

Life on the West End - Suggested Guidelines that Keep the Bullets in the Gun Shops

If you live here, you belong and your neighbors will likely respect you. If you visit, enjoy your stay; don't be intimidated and visit friends in peace. If you waltz around raising your hands, dressing with 'boxers hanging out of your jeans,' doo rag flapping, rapping jive/trash talk, and looking for attention, you probably don't belong. White folks wear doo rags, occasionally even my wife, so it is the complete image not one garment! Start waltzing for the heck of it, with or without the dog, you might learn something or get some exercise.

Perhaps, you are unintentionally disrespect others or never figured out how to co-exist. We can observe, but need not report. We can act as a constant unintimidated presence to witness and encourage those who disrespect our streets to move on. However, that said, simply being a good neighbor and cleaning up your apartment's or home's parkway is a reasonable request.

Those who do and I have seen them more often than not sport Evanston City Stickers on their windshield, loiter on the corner, park in a no parking area, and eventually make it to the local grocery store to pick up a few cans of malt liquor. Yes, the locals go for the singles, but more often than not, those who don't belong trash our block and drive away. Chicago's Finest seem to care little about open alcohol or just don't look for it.

Chances are if you see something, it may be a new neighbor or someone who crossed Howard to get attention or attract bullets. Yet, I don't live in or near the Jonquil Jungle, but even Jonquil and Sheridan has significantly improved from its abandoned gas station past. You cannot get stability without reasonable amounts of single family housing.

Chairman Moore, Will We Encourage Single Family Homes to Challenge High Density Abandoned Apartments?

Chairman Moore, condemn and tear down those apartment building walls! The Jarvis walls just east of Ridge are full of brick waiting for demolition. Some are caked with City Condemnations Stickers. Building violations deserve attention, fines, condemnation, and demolition, not funerals for desperate Hispanic tenants. I recall that the Law Division contains a Department specifically geared to slumlords, condemnation, and demolition. Demolition was done in Pilsen, so why not Rogers Park? Why do we wonder about contributions to the Moore Political War Chest? Consider the sources! Could it be, slumlords and liquor stores?

Why stoop, Chairman Joe? A true progressive rejects and returns those contributions to their source! What influence does Joe actually wield towards those contributors that Craig Gerhardt so fondly harps about? [sarcasm intended] However, alas, I digress and am too utterly distracted by what seems like 'the current party line.' I regret that I fear that many, 'but not all,' members of the local DFA are a bunch of Cheerleaders for the status quo, rather than activists for significant local issues. Certainly, it makes it easier for others to fill the vacuum of dissent that seems non-partisan and often reasonable.

Should residents 'OD' near the front stoop of your Ward Office and local sidewalks without meaningful intervention or a POA, Alderman? Is this stupor an indication that the uneducated in your Ward have alcohol and drug challenges in need of reasonable police and medical attention? Or is it simply not a priority because these folks vote when encouraged? Neighbors should not have to post photos of small Ziploc bags gathered from the parkway on CAPs Websites to get attention for the obvious!

Well, my walks are otherwise undisturbed except for those unconscious concerns, which are often stored in brain tissue until the persperation makes those thoughts do the lambada out of there! When will Joe appreciate that those folks who live in Deerfield are looking forward to the next Blajovevic to influence? Perhaps, he does. What happens when Joe, among others, is sucked in, chewed up, and spit out in an eleven count indictment?

Perhaps, Joe will get out of politics in time. Maybe he will find a job at a large law firm until it implodes from too much political weight. Others have found private practice. Politics is a hypocritical livelihood in that you can only remain popular for so long. The rights to hold office are made that much tougher by the challenge of an incumbent's dependency upon power and privilege. The spotlight gets brighter and the wine turns acetic.

The Intimidated, 'spaced out folks' Up North with the Long Commute through Our Streets.

Well, those Northshore folks are too afraid to live nearer to their jobs. Perhaps, they are too embarrassed! Maybe, they are too bigoted and ignorant to find good Chicago Public schools in which to send their kids. Some suburbanites seem to revel in driving down 25 mph Ridge Boulevard at about 45 mph. Most, including the Freedom Bus, remain unabated by our local officers.

I fear that these peace officers would rather ticket the parked cars of locals on the west side, then cite speeders, ticket stoplight slackers, stifle litterbugs, and show up 'in key' at traffic court. Actions and integration are not curses nor is the freedom of speech! We should learn to interact and present reasonable, yet subtle persuasion to those who simply don't get it or reasonably appreciate our needs.

However, everyone deserves respect even if they let their boxers hang out and little else. We should tolerate and observe the lazy and loitering just long enough to encourage them to continue their stroll outside of our eyesight. When it ceases to be a stroll, it begins to become a trespass in progress. The sidewalk is an easement, not a public space to stop and drink a soda or make a phone call unless you live there. Don't be convinced, otherwise. Yet, I find the sidewalks to usually remain free of distractions.

I regret that some partisans may be encouraging the resurgence of Republican State lawmakers in Illinois, regardless of Democratic control of Federal elections. The concern is whether partisan progressives wake up, clean out their nostrils, and smell the stench. Perhaps, some prefer to be cavalier and feign ignorance about the situation; I think that their boxers are showing, as well.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Heading to the Fox River, but Enough in RP

We just hooked up with the Prairie State Canoists. The group has numerous trips over the year. Sunday's voyage is down the Fox River. One of the challenges is getting the cars to the pick up point. This is made much easier when you canoe in a group. PSC has been around for years. We will likely spend more time in the Wenonah with our 'outward hound.'

It will also give us the chance to explore other areas. It seems that a number of people in the area are members, but they don't blog much. The cost to join is $20, but they encourage guests to join them. However, you must phone or e-mail to confirm if there is room.
Has anyone heard of the Midwest Adventurer Travellers Club of Chicago? FWIW, Sunday is the Celebrate Clark Street Festival (1pm-11pm) and the Lincoln Park Boat Club's Chicago Sprints Regatta.