Monday, September 21, 2009

Rogers Park Garden Group Sale on Sunday 10am-1pm

For those who remember my false alarm, this Sunday is the day for the RP Garden Group Sale. The place is in front of Charmers and the entire Sidewalk block down Jarvis. There should be more than a few bargains.

We hope that the weather holds up. For those who don't know, some insist that plants grow better if you plant them when its raining/wet out. Now, I appreciate that there are not as many souls who will brave the wet climates for the sake of their plants. However, this is the weekend for the sale.

The RPGG does quite a bit of sprucing up, which includes the Rogers Park Station. There will be more to come if we can contribute and support to this worthy organization. Of course, if you can't come, go to the meetings and check out this Spring/Summer's Garden Meander. Here is a link to some of the photos from the last 2009 Garden Meander and 2008 Garden Sale.

The Skewed Crime Blotter for the Northshore

The actual crime statistics are not reported for the suburbs. For four months, the Chicago Tribune's blue metal box remained damaged at Chase and Ridge. The Headline exposed a 2009 triple murder in Wilmette. This was on March 3, 2009. The suburbanite who had already committed a double murder, now took his own life and that of his wife and kid. Several months later, the Tribune/Redeye seems to deny that these homicides took place. What else have our Chicago Newspapers forgotten to tell us about actual suburban crime rate based upon the census? Must the City folk not hear about North Shore homicides? It certainly reports Chicago statistics to the suburbanites!

Out of respect, we contacted Mr. Swartz. This was the response:

"Thanks for the e-mail. Unfortunately, I just track and write about homicides within Chicago city limits. The Tribune and its suburban editions write about crimes in the 'burbs."

I appreciate the comment, but if you look at the map, Mr. S., the article includes homicides reported in Evanston, Lincolnwood, and Park Ridge. The article just cuts off the inquiry! Objective journalism? Dubious reporting? Does the Redeye attempt to puts its toe in the proverbial suburban homicide pool, get wet, and pretend the statistics don't really matter?

As the Morse Hell hole occasionally belches crime, the burbs bury it with bravado! We don't hear about the large scale drug busts. Sometimes, we hear about the Rezko's. Is the goal to keep suburban real estate values up? Do racial and economic barriers keep crime out? Does the decision to create schools with 99% white students benefit society (e.g. Braeside School, under 1% Black; Highland Park)?

Having lived in the north suburbs, I can assure the Rogers Park public that the smell of reefer still levitates on Glencoe and Highland Park beaches and golf courses from time to time, among other locales. The ability to enforce the laws diminish with the number of officers available.

From time to time, there are fights in the High Schools. Usually, the discipline is limited. The kids don't seem to want anything more than to vent. There were a few large cross High School brawls. Police break it up as is done in Rogers Park. Perhaps, fewer see a need for guns, because the police don't seem to care unless crime is open, obvious, and regular.

Yes, there is less, but in proportion to the population? I would wonder whether we really fare well in Rogers Park. What is our population? What is the suburbs population. Will Wilmette have a higher murder rate than Rogers Park this year? Why not!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The House on Mango St, Those Who Don't, Lethargic Real Estate, and Rogers Park

I get the impression that 'those who don't' want to know any better just don't know Rogers Park. Other than a few malt liquor drinkers and litterpigs, we see little on our Beat. This is not Englewood, but I am sure that Englewood has its 'pleasant pockets.'
I have no doubt that drugs are dealt in RP, but it isn't my job to deal with it. I have no doubt that drugs are dealt down the entire Northshore, but on more discreet terms. It is difficult to label every pop, a gun, when most are fireworks or cap guns. I may groan about minor issues, like inconsideration, because there is really not much to snipe about.

The few aberrations in our densely packed neighborhoods are truimphantly reported by our neighbors 'in over-blog.' Some report crime as if it was some sort of calling to eventually live and witness it in Rogers Park. I don't have time to check the Bearcat scanner; I let someone else live that life. I am sure that most in the suburbs have little time to scan and trumpet the 'Bearcat beat' either, so events are under-reported. Its not like mob action does not occasionally happen in the suburbs.

Its been over eleven consecutive years in Rogers Park and countless others since the early sixties. It is the City; sirens go off, but most are for heart patients en route to St. Francis. Those who triage the tragedies find those easier to spot than the triumphs. Truimphs are not reported to Police. Politicians often, not always, report propaganda. Perhaps, there is solace to blame low real estate sales on minimal crime, rather than the economy or lethargic real estate agents.

How many of us walk by the real estate 'for sale signs' and recognize signals of stupidity? Earth to condo crumudgeon; if you want to sell your condo, then pick up the trash around it! Note to real estate agent, hire a neighborhood kid to pick up the trash on the hour, every hour. Thought to neighbor, if you want to experience new, more thoughtful neighbors, then pick up the trash when you walk your dog! Maybe a change of scenery is good. Find neighbors who care by giving them something to care about.

Those who blame those with fireworks may have to discuss their disgust with Chicago's Finest. It seems like priorities do not include fireworks until someone's eardrum ruptures or a finger gets blown off. Of course, at that point, an arrest must be made, if possible. I've always thought that a 'controlled burn' could prove amusing, provided, adults were actually mature enough to supervise their kids. We may agree to disagree.

What is daily life in your Rogers Park neighborhood? How many of us routinely pass through the Terminal at night? How many of us routinely experience the night air, unabated? How many of us treat those around us with respect, rather than looking at neighbors as if you are their next victim? I thought the expression was Live and Let Live until the Ian Flemming twist!

Of course, back then, we did not see enough color unless it was on tv. And, of course, the suburbs see less to none until you hit North Chicago! Imagine, an African American President and a nation still subtly segregated. The issue is why? How long will this B-S- go on? Is there something that plagues those who treasure immediate pleasure over the Puritan ethic?

Are there fewer opportunities due to a propensity to arrest and convict those with more melanin? What does it take to awaken and respect those who deserve better? How can neighbors subtly encourage parents to treat their kids right and encourage them to do more without pissing them off?

What prevents success from doing more for the neighborhoods? Should success creep North, take a holiday, or can it work from within? Are there some that find a Rogers Park shabby chic existence worth justifying an economic downgrade for other residents? Does picking up a little litter really raise property values? Or does it improve our attitude and outlook?
How many of us remember the old Spike Lee films, when folks move from Black and White to the colorful existence of Central Park, free of all images of trash? Where is the love?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Rogers Park Garden Group will hold its 3rd Annual Garden sale. Last years sale had a silent auction and many contributors. If you have plants to donate, want to join the group, or simply want to meet those with similar interests, then stop by. Unfortunately, the group chose to locate this sale where near it meets at the Prebyterian Church on Greenleaf. Past sales have been in front of Charmers on Jarvis. The Charmers location is a much wiser choice. (maybe next year?)

Usually, items are eventually discounted, but you may want to arrive early to avoid what has been picked through. The Garden Sale helps support locally sustained gardens at the Metra Station, among other places in the Rogers Park Community. The Group meets at the Presbyterian Church at 1434 W. Greenleaf near Greenview.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

An Ode to Anonymous

There is no chuckle, no abuse, which comes from one who flew the roost. A writer who goes "anonymous," takes the fifth, but spews their rift. They’ll hide behind the orifice of some ill-begotten Thor and piss. They criticize, irrelevantly; that callous bash to wound a knee. They want 'the groan and McEnroe,' but often have just lost control.

They use no pen name for identification, but hope their thread caused aggravation. I regret to inform anonymous that chatter trying to batter doesn't convert to splatter. So when those who anonymously assume, post a verbal boom, act fast, don’t fret, they may simply not get enough, yet.

Well, anonymous, when your testosterone make you so hot, to smoke and blow at someone's lot, then pull a porno, bang the bed, just don’t let loose on someone's spread!

No hard feelings, I hope?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Howard Terminal Parking Lot Empties After Price Gouge

Standard Parking has once, again, outdone itself! It doubled its prices to $4 a day last January. In doing so, it simultaneously did little to solve the complaints. As a result, vendor Standard chased away many except for the abandoned and dilapidating cars. For those who climb the lot's staircase, the space seems like more of an intermittant urinal. Yes, I have repeatedly called and complained! Have you?

For $4 a day, who wants to do a waltz through an area that smells five fates worse than McCormick and Oakton. The unanticipated stench pierces the nostrils and may trigger the gag reflex. Of course, this pigeon palace leaves a few cars with an array of hood ornaments on departure! The elevator becomes the preferred route even if it takes a minute longer. Yet, even that area can also turn into a sudden cesspool with little abatement.

Does Standard Parking's HR Department do due diligence? Do these people really care who they hire? Does maintenance regularly and reasonably sanitize? I feel like the rent-a-rogues would rather play with their cell phones and sleep than monitor and report the piss fiend. For all the cameras confronting each nook and cranny, it seems like security remains too lathargic to care, coordinate, and confront. I find some asleep when I pass the front desk in the evening. Yes, the sleeping spells are sporadic, but it took several knocks on the glass before I woke up one rent-a-rogue during his night shift.

Is the price right? Given the walk, I could use the exercise, but the bus is just a quarter. Who still parks at the Howard Terminal?

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

High and Low Rogers Park Area Affordable Restaurants for Service Only

This list covers all Restaurants that are accessible and affordable. This is not the most appetizing, but the ones that deliver. How many times have you sat and waited for eternity. This list may be a go to list. Disagree? Then comment and I'll investigate with stop watch in hand. I will likely start updating this list, because I am tired of the current state of Chicago Area Wait Staff.

We need to support good wait staff and encourage the poor to improve. Otherwise, the gems for food simply go out of business.

The Good Mid Range with fastest on top:

1. Ruby Tuesday -- (Lincolnwood Town Center) Salad bar quickly quells, food comes soon after. Not the epecurian delights that follow, but efficient when your quacking stomach demands attention.

2. Chilies - Evanston - Its sad, because Chilies does the job based upon service, speed and choices. We prefer other local RP restaurants. We should be able to get served appetizers at Hop Haus sooner than it takes to drive, order and be served at Chilies.

3. Heartland Cafe - Rogers Park - The nachos come out quick and usually satisfy long enough for the entre delay. Perhaps, this has improved.

2. Merle's Barbeque - Evanston - 'Usually' efficient enough. Use and you will be seated upon entry!

3. Lucky Platter - Evanston - On Main. People go for the service and the choices. Good, not great, but efficient eats

4. Chilies - Evanston - Its sad, because it is the pick me up speed of service that is why we go; we prefer other locals. We should be able to get served appetizers at Hop Haus sooner than it takes to drive, order and be served at Chilies.

Honorable Mention - L. Woods (Lincolnwood), Red Lobster (Lincolnwood Town Center) and Dixie Kitchen (Evanston)- the bread comes quick and can quell, but the food just does not come out as efficient on a consistent basis.

The Disappointing (the worst on top)

1. Jamaican Jerk - I have not been back due to the delay in at least four years. I was tempted to walk, but felt compassion for the owner. Good meal; slow as tortoise soup service. I may return for carry out.

2. Bakers Square - Rogers Park - In my humble, many are disappointing. My last trip in February introduced me to Melissa; I found her to be a disaster on 2/28! I hope she improves.

3. Hop Haus - Rogers Park - Good food Service was slow 2 out of 3 trips to date. Love the burgers, hate the wait. Beer usually efficient, but not perfect. Please improve!!! Wake up the wait staff.

4. Leona's -- Rogers Park - Great food Service is slow except for bread and spread, but often the bread runs out and you want to lick the tomato sauce out of the container due to the delay for dinner.

I have not included all the options. Obviously, China Buffet is instant gratification. Also Dengeo's of Skokie is a pick up and sit with no wait staff. Both are efficient options without an inconsistent staff. Bravo is quick, but in a higher price point; my choice over Chilies if not concerned on price.

Overall, is it me or has the quality of wait staff at many places dropped way too many notches in the last few decades? Where do you go when you need an efficient restaurant server? What's their name? Where do we find them?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Rogers Park Armageddonist

About three summers ago, she suddenly disappeared. Perhaps, she lurks and perks, but I'm not there. Whether I was pulling out of the garage, taking out the garbage, or cleaning up, she rode slowly by. She looked like she was in her sixties. Perhaps, she was younger, having replaced her imbibing with another less hedonistic philosophical view.

There was the fire and brimstone theory on rapture folllowed by the accept it or be lost mentality. This bicycle riding armageddonist would drive her rather aging rusted Schwinn bicycle as if she was being followed by the four horseman of the apocalypse.

This rather rambunctious and regular display of pessimistic armageddonist smugness travelled unpredictably through the alley for about three to five years. Sometimes, she might skip a year. She seemed to completely disappear when things seemed to calm down in Rogers Park.

Perhaps, she stopped taking medication. Maybe she just grew out of it or moved to another church.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Disney Magnet Kicks Butt on ISATs. Beats Braeside in Highland Park

I just went to I am ecstatic. The kids at CPS - Disney Magnet on Marine drive nailed the ISATs. They out did the suburbs. Don't believe me, then go to this link. Compare and contrast. There is no need for private schools in Chicago, when CPS has options. Albeit, if your kid cannot get into Disney, then consider selective enrollment.

Also, for those who feel that they must move north; consider Rogers Park, when it makes economic and educational sense. All I can say is the proof is in the pudding. All the rest is commentary. The test scores at this point don't lie.

Is the Grass Always Greener: Wilmette 4, Rogers Park 0 - Murder Score Board

Well, what can I say. In our dense Chicago Neighborhood, Rogers Park has netted 0 Murders for the first 90 days. [Citation: ClearMAP]. On March 1, 2009, Wilmette, another sparse North Shore pressure cooker for people in search of beating the Joneses scored 4 murders. It was a 'mad dad' combo, but an unfortunate one. Certainly, lower in body count than the Laurie Dann extravaganza. However, Mr. X was as certifiable as the Folks versus People fight down Morse last December. I can't stop reading about Wilmette in the broken Chicago Tribune box at Jarvis and Ridge. Calls to Trib 2, Action on Broken Box 0.

What does this mean? I know that some of us may thrive on fear and frustration. We want perfect surroundings. In the last seven years, two of my clients were murdered; one in Highland Park; the other in Wheeling. One was a permanent resident; the other a U.S. Citizen. The living spouse was originally living in Rogers Park. However, the deceased spouse was murdered by someone from the suburbs. The Wheeling crime remains unsolved; the suburbanite suspect likely 'lawyered up' or fled the country.

I am convinced that our grass is always greener in another neighborhood mentalities tend to be the most outspoken. This is not to say that there is room for improvement. Why not take a closer look at where we live and begin work to improve on it. Volunteer for Glenwood Arts, visit Biz Arts Programs, and see the newly redesigned CTA terminal, which recently re-opened the North entrance. I admit that City living may not be for everyone, but certainly suburban life is not, as well.

Maybe this Gateway between the City and the suburbs is worth the wait! However, there is room for everyone who treats others and themselves with respect. And that's my Opinion.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Freddie Put a Load on Rahm Emmanuel: Revolving Trust?

Obama was once stranger to Chicago until he built trust and was elected to the Illinois State House. Rahm Emmanuel was also a stranger, but had the Daley & Clinton stamp of approval. Blagovich? I dunno . . . Tribune sources tell us that 'the Blagman' allegedly ripped off restaurants as an NU student. A proving ground?

Obama earned the right to run, only to network with what evolved into classic machine politics in Chicago. Should Rahm's decision to serve as a Board Director for Freddie Mac and allegedly suppress financial troubles be an issue? What should the phrase "revolving door" mean? Did Emmanuel have divided loyalties?

We can only wonder whether the other shoe will drop for Rahm Emmanuel; perhaps, others. Does our Mayor have as much respect for his law license as he claims he has for Chicago? I hope so.

Was the $320G payment, err salary, by Freddie Mac to Rahm Emmamuel a de factor advanced payment for his Congressional Election? Are Board of Director appointments of political personas done to appease lawmakers? Why are bills supported that create more of a mess? Was Emmanuel's appointment to the Freddie Mac Board a plume for lobbyists to generate compassion in Congress and prevent indictments?

One can only wonder what the intelligent voter thinks? Or will it be another Rostenkowski primary election moment for dyed in the wool Democrats? Some dubious 'Dubya-like decisions' just won't go away. If so, why put our Nation through an Italianesque political soap opera?

Rahm resign! We need a more virtuous virtuoso. Why is it that politicians seem to sell out to the highest bidder? And what about the repeal of Glass Stiegel? Was that dramatic act simply a political fait au compli' for Wall Street Lobbyists? The Tribune article encouraged this inconsistent digression to North Side politics. Read all about it at

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tolerance from the intolerant. How people insult without knowing

I'm not out to nail phylactories on my neighbor's sideburns. Judaism is a faith as is any other. It is a tree of life for those who cling to it. I respect those who have faith and those who question it. However, I am disappointed with those ignorant enough to show brazen verbal disrespect. The latter should rise above and overcome their ignorance. Otherwise, they act significantly less than saintly toward me.

Many who have faith may choose different paths to reach the same destination. Some of us 'do the right thing' without expecting an afterlife as a reward. That said, the Reform Movement welcomes all those with an interest in learning about Judaism. However, we still respect those who choose to believe in another faith.

Some in Rogers Park struggle openly with their personal demons. In doing so, they 'should' avoid prejudice in the form of rude evangelism. When you tell Jews that we are damned, you express pure and unadulterated anti-semitism! Although the concept may seem foreign to our faith, there are no is no excuse for this vile form of bigotry. Those of us who believe in G*d need not be tormented by those who have forgotten "The Golden Rule." That said, my staff happen to be Muslim. Perhaps I'll eventually hire an athiest, because I judge people by their deeds as individuals.

Bigotry through ignorance comes when a few outspoken pastors within our community forget the the five books of Moses, when they present mass. The moral lessons from the Torah (referred to as 'the old testament' by those who focus their faith on the Gospels). Jews are not damned, we were delivered out of the land of Egypt with an out stretched arm. The Jewish faith does not focus on the afterlife, we focus on the 'here and now.' We want to make life better for all.

-- Post From My iPhone

The Morse Theater Just Like That

I really wanted to see tonight's show, but sometimes you just can't tempt the id within. Your superego has to take control. You just say no to temptation. There will be no Freudian slips tonight.

I think that we all want our moments, but compromises are made. You create trust. You take a rain check when you use up enough 'spontaneity' cards and remain responsible. I head home on the walk down Rogers.

I will have see Doug play on a different day, perhaps, at a different venue, at another moment in time. I will have to settle for his mp3 in the interim. I hope The Morse gives us another chance.
-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Word of Willis: Crass English Co. Raises Bar for Bad Manners; the Donald has More Class; Will Sears go Willis.' Will the Mortgagor Please Stand Up.

Sears is more than a mail order store. Although bought out by K-Fart through the use of financial smoke and mirrors in my opinion, Sears was a Chicago legend. Julius Rosenwald and others built the catalog department store giant. In addition, Rosenwald was one of the most amazing philanthropists in history. Sears is a historic Chicago name, so the tallest building in Chicago was aptly identified. Therefore, I appreciated the message addressed Willis and illustrated in the Tribune "Taste of Chicago" on 3/13/2009. In a nutshell, word Mr. Plumeri, renaming an American icon with a British company's name is obviously beyond nauseating!

This power move goes beyond the renaming of Marshall Field. In Chicago, architectural namesakes are usually honored. The John Hancock is still 'the Hancock.' That insurance company built the Michigan Avenue icon remains its namesake and to this day. The Inland Steel Building is the same. The Steger Building is still aptly named. Wrigley is still Wrigley and Soldier Field is still Soldier field; so it goes. When Chicago names a significant architectural treasure, the Song Remains the Same. Now, Willis Holdings wants to spoil the soup.

You would think that a gentlemen, who live in the nation that made Led Zeppelin would not sink to such depths. This 'Yellow Submarine move' makes for nasty drama that may continue to submerge in Parliament. This dram deserves to take another course on the sweeter side of the Highlands. If Willis can afford the Sears, the question is what sort of ego runs that place? What sorts of loans or crackerbox palace is Willis Holdings? How leveraged is it?

How many times have we seen banks and investors expand a business based more upon smoke and mirrors, then reasonable adherence to GAAP? [General Acceptable Accounting Practices].

Why do we allow companies 'to PacMan up' the competition only to watch banks fail and Congress bail the bastards out? Why do we tolerate monopolies? Fiscal responsibility, anyone? Who really bought the building, any way. Who provided the mortgage? Does the Mortgagor have any clout?

Will Willis belly up and leave his legacy foisted upon Chicago's landscape? Who owned the Sears in the past? How can our nation preserve the namesakes of national landmark architecture? Willis did not build the Sears from the ground up? Should we really care? Or is this a property issue, where egos rule and residents drool? This reminds me of the Simon and Westfield Mall Saga. Do these so called brand names degrade local landmarks like Northbrook Court, Old Orchard, or Lincoln Towncenter?
Is this a ruse to create enough nausea? Is this a plan or intentional design to sell? This is like changing the name of Picadilly Circus to Ben Franklin Plaza. Just say no to ego! We can only hope that the bank that financed isn't Bank of America, Chase or Citibank. Of course, our illustrious legislators stifled the expansion of Illinois banks until FNB of Chicago among other icons simply merged into near oblivion. Crumpets anyone?

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Tale of Two People

I just learned from James about Stu. I knew of Stu, since Stu was like an Otis of sorts. Otis from The Andy Griffith Show. Stu was a guy in his mid to late fourties, who looked like he was well over fifty, but was one who allegedly liked to drink as he waltzed down the sidewalk.
I saw Stu, but the one time that I approached him, he was belligerent. I eventually saw Stu collapse at the corner of Ridge and Chase about eight months ago. An ambulance and police had to lift him up from the pavement. Stu tried to avoid going with the paramedics. Perhaps, it was a pride sort of thing. Stu had a drinking problem; I can only speculate why. I was just told that Stu died two weeks ago, allegedly from cirrhosis of the liver. I cannot confirm the diagnosis. It was told to me, third hand.

I have another acquaintance, who is currently more sociable from the burbs. I don't know that he drinks much. I really don't take issue with his orientation, if different, nor care. Some other long time acquaintances sounded the alarm on that poor guy, as well. I delved. What I found surprised me. Apparently, someone loaned him money. When he momentarily took a sabbatical from Facebook, loose nerves developed. I did some research. In a nutshell, the guy seems nearly unemployable; I hope not. His only hope may be that someone who he knows from the past is willing to trust him. We don't need another Stu.

For those who read the Chicago Red Eye earlier this week, convictions hurt; particularly those that involve fraud. Those with convictions are often un-employable. They are also poor risks to banks. This guy who I went to grammar school with had a record that would make anyone who knew him drop their jaw.

The Cook County Court history seemed extensive and suggested a pattern unless his name is common. First, business and personal debts turned into lawsuits. Then, there was forceable eviction and detainer. Eventually a slew of bounced checks and intentional check writing on bad accounts. The criminal convictions lasted and built a bad track record. Of course, there was jail time, some rehab, but now he is borrowing money from a new group of people he used to know, some who may still respect him. However, he has to break the pattern, not us.

Now, back to RP, I heard that Stu had lived in our neighborhood for about 14 to 16 years. I heard that he was also evicted from an apartment on our block. Perhaps, Stu may have also done time for a few of those acts of desperation, but maybe not. Of course, when he had challenges with work, he just turned inward and could not undo the damage, so his liver was stewed prunes at autopsy.

I am critical of those who drink while walking down the sidewalk. I mean, if they cannot wait until they get home to imbibe malt liquor in private, then they may have gone beyond reviving without the 'twelve step,' among other options in de-tox.

There is good public policy in discouraging people from opening and downing the OE from within the glass bottle. Why does the city ignore our public alcoholics, when they beg for attention? Is public drinking a cry to get negative attention? Why do we pretend that this is acceptable conduct, find amusement, anger at it, or ignore it? How should a community approach public alcoholics? How should we approach those who lost their way? Should we ignore them or approach them with our eyes wide open but with care?

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Eula Biss, The Trek, Vulgarity, Old English, and Scattering Vegetables. Commander Kirk, Spock here. Can we Transfer Some Tribbles? Section 8 Anyone?

NPR was on. A Northwestern scholar, Eula Biss, who has just written her latest tome, No Man's Land, waxed about Rogers Park Bloggers, among other arguably nasty neighbors. I agree and disagree with some generalizations released outside of the publication on WBEZ. The ignorant are not always evil. The European immigrants may be occasionally foolish, but not necessarily vicious or intentionally vile in the classical sense.

Some native Chicagoans respect our African American neighbors. Yet, we all have our moments of ignorance or insensitivity. These fleeting moments are shared by our darker counterparts. Perhaps, some of us are occasionally too sensitive. Some neighbors are significantly nicer and/or more reasonable than others with lighter complexions. Yes, Eula, there is some ignorance and occasional white trash in our midst. Perhaps, everyone has momentary digressions into ignorance. We have stopped the car and I walk the fifteen minute trek to and from work from the Howard Terminal, when I miss the 290. The bike is looking better since bike racks were added by the Terminal.

Not all RP bloggers, among others, are divisive bigots or racists. Yes, the "P" word, as in pioneer, is a bit shortsighted and ignorant. Just because I experience the perpetual pigeon spasms above the fiberglass shelters at the old Terminal in the 1990s. This does not give me special dispensation.
Yet, I have heard worse from the few who are ignorant, yet carry darker complexions and less noble mentailities. Yes, not everyone walks the streets with Cobra or Old English in their hands. However, where are Chicago's Finest? Doing the donuts or sparking up at Starbucks on Howard and Western waiting for the next arrest or mop up job?

Why have an anti-open liquor ordinance, when cops refuse to enforce it let alone comply? Why have an anti-grafitti, anti-dog poop or an anti-litter ordinances, as well? This is not gentrification; just an issue of good manners with under funded red tape rituals. Call it, the faux grae fallacy. There is a reason why the Municipal mavens do not want me waltzing with my Wallbanger, yet it will not arrest me. Police seem content waiting until some alcoholic flattens his nostrils on our pavement. Swagger control? Where is it when we need it?
Black or white, I have seen both varients in need of detox and a well attended twelve step program or rehabilitation.

I mean, we have heard of the other notorious letter. I avoid bigotted terms, even if the late yet great Richard Pryor and a few of my less sophisticated neighbors use less than fine language, daily, along with other epithets. The kind that nauseate Rogers Park parents with young children.

If Jews avoid the "K" word, the Irish avoid the "M"word, and Italians avoid the "D" word, then why do more African Americans encourage others to cease using the "N" word and crass language? Why do some, of a variety of differing complexions derive power from cussing loudly on the sidewalk. Do any of us need that kind of attention? Often, the ones that cuss are saying virtually nothing when you remove the vulgarity! Why can't we just shut our mouths when we have nothing good to say?

Some refuse to address and chill the more active vegetation growing within our own community. I make no racial distinctions, here. It would nice if Gale School educators, among others, look for options as well as pastors. Why? Do African American Comedians, among others, get special privileges to be abusive?

I'm just as disgusted at Jackie Mason, among, as well as those few obnoxious neighbors. Frankly, why use words that belittle someone or simply distract others? Are we laughing about ourselves or are others laughing at us?There are amusing ways of discussing our differing ethnic rituals or social experiences without defamation.

Rogers Park will get better, when there is more economic diversity north of the Central Street Border. It will also require some reality on the part of those up north who are too foolish to enjoy Rogers Park. Perhaps, those who are too ignorant finally move in and stay a while.

Can you imagine an economically diverse Deerfield or New Trier High School? Not on Kirk's watch! Any comments, Eula Biss?

Is RP Broken Heart - by Invitation Only? Did you Make the Hellhole Cut? An Epitaph for Public RP News? Too Much Optimism? Is the Morse Still Open?

Today's Challenge is finding Craig's Blog restricted after my two week hiatus. This restriction notice bars my access to Craig's Hellhole. Does it bar yours, as well? Many of us, including Craig, are embarrassed or unreasonably scolded in public in one blog capacity or another. Therefore, some create and use anonymous user name with consistency.

My wife is friends with a famous Chicago area garden blogger. My wife remains anonymous on the other site with the author's consent even if they are good friends. We are just too busy with other amusements and responsibilities to spend as much time on Blogger. Craig is our fearless loss leader.

A few of us try to grasp at privacy, but vent angst. We let some know who we are, who we meet, but we don't see as threats. Perhaps, they forget because they are too busy or we lose touch due to their blogularity. At times, my words deceive my intentions; sometimes, they don't. Occasionally, we are mistaken. That's why I encourage comments, so I can correct and reasonably retract. So much for consistency! I discourage hatred.
Over the last week, I definitely know that I would prefer 'to live' in Rogers Park, then not! It was wonderful when that skyscraper sized meteor missed the Earth by 44,750 miles! The stock market is no where near the tragedy of that potential cataclysm. Internet news suggests that the North Shore no bastion of cleanliness or safety, either. In the last five years, there are as many beggars on Maple Avenue near Evanston's Century Theater as Wabash and Adams. Streetwise, anyone?

When people verbally attack others, not their actions, then bloggers, among others, can get upset. I choose to attack the actions of others. Yet, I have made fun at the expense of a few public figures. I don't want enemies nor think anyone should have them.

I hope that the hypocrisy ends. Unfortunately, I fear that Craig the Brokenhearted has become a statistic. He wanted us to feel the occasional frustrations of living in Rogers Park on Morse by the Redline. Perhaps, he is too frustrated with being personally attacked on the blogoscape. Lines of communication are a good thing. Taking the Broken Heart private is unfortunate, but I can live without it if I must. Those of us in the private set want the privilege of reading Craig's materials in peace and reasonably comment without having to second guess every gesture on the street.

Craig's roving reporter, the equally anonymous Timmy almost seemed mystical as he appeared on BH last December. He was like some sort of Christmas Carol creation fit for the Broken Heart's Glass Menagerie (e.g. Tiny Tim). The neglected Sullivan H.S. student yearning to explode onto the internet. The not so nice news rationalized why Sullivan is a low performing Illinois High School. Those who want to learn will find their place within the CPS system, private schools or simply move out.


Craig, you fascinated me. I read about a local do-gooder who 'allegedly' refused to pick up after his dog. I don't know if the proof was perfect. However, Craig, our nosey but necessary neighbor, was our advocate. He was willing to let us know what he believed, when most of us had no clue. For those who have picked up the dog crap after others, we were amused. I hope that Craig ultimately encouraged the suspect to 'blue bag it' and comply with the ordinance.

Craig also promoted his pet projects, like landscaping the more challenging blocks of Morse, only to find a beer bottle buried near his begonias (correct me, Craig?). His challenge with the less than canine friendly cops. He also exposed some of the weak links at DevCorp and had his Bearcat scanner on perpetual alert for his neighbor's curiosity. We can only hope that DevCorp and Moore shape up, wake up, or get replaced. Many of us wonder whether complacency will continue.

We learned about Craig's famous nephew, who raced his motorcycle around Europe's motocross circuit, among other exotic places, in search of fame and fortune. The double team of Gerhardt and Mannis raked Rogers Park ragged with their guts and glory. I hope that Craig has not left for Kentucky.

I would discourage Craig from ostracizing Rogers Park Residents merely because they prefer a user name to disclosing their personal identity to all. Craig also has the right to re-invent himself with an anonymous blog. Craig has enough evidence to confirm that he lives in Rogers Park. I hope that he'll trust me to keep his identity private, as well.

I believe that Madman Mannis of the Rogers Park Bench disclosed that now lives among cheeseheads of Eastern Wisconsin. I guess that his ears are elsewhere, even if he reads and writes about us online. Perhaps, Mannis has nothing better to do in cow country. There, the cornrows are stuck in the ground, not roving the sidewalk on someone's head. I have even seen a few nordic looking blonds with tattoos wearing them. You don't see that much diversity up north!

Apparently, things are tough in the big city. Instant utopias are unrealistic. You have to work for positive change, where needed. If it doesn't come as quickly or at all, then learn to live, understand and perpetually improve your neighborhood where you can.

Some of us discreetly photograph, when our digital cameras are in the shop. Others, find images to convey our concerns and promote information even if it is less than attractive. Some of us see more positive on our streets than others. Sometimes, we act, not alarm those around us and the results comfort us more.

It seems like cronyism to restrict information. The subject should always have a chance to reasonably comment. In some situations, privacy makes sense. Yet, a blog that aspires to devote itself to dispersing local news should not exclude locals. This is particularly true when it is unlikely to cause danger to the writer. Craig, I don't bite. My four legged, two foot long 'beast' just growls and whines, when other canines pass by. She doesn't bite, either, even if she is nuts.

Well, I never saw myself as one of Craig's public enemies, nor wanted to be one. However, I seem to have been tagged for removal. I guess that I was too optimistic for the Hell hole to bear. Perhaps, too private to pulsate. I hope that I am mistaken.

Does anyone know if The Morse is still open? Maybe, I'll get that long awaiting dram. Perhaps, Gernhardt has some time to promote the watering hole.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Return of Blagula, Part II. The Bite on Burris

Well, it looks like a vaccuum looms. Roland Burris is now the next politician that Blagula has permanently sucked the integrity from. The bite of Blagula is now less than golden. The only concern is whether the next next nominee proves equally afflicted. Too many have been named or rose too fast to avoid the obvious conflict. Therefore, a quick conclusion; those who donated, sucked, or offered to suck blood for the Blagojevich treasure chest will raise questions. Anyone named by Blagula should be required to run for office at this point. Will Creature Features continue?

Well, now we have have it; the 'Transylvania Twist;' According to the Washington Post:

"Burris repeatedly changed his story about how he was appointed. He is facing calls for his resignation after he admitted trying to raise money for Blagojevich. Burris has said he did nothing improper. He refused to comment after his meeting with Durbin."

I understood that our politicians knew that Burris donated $20,000 to Blagula prior to its decision to bestow the beef to Burris. Now, Durbin and Quinn have done 360s on Burris. This sort of "do as I say, not what I do" 'spastification' by politicians creates a bazaar credibility gap that you can fly a 747 through. What will be next? Perhaps, an election is in order? Is there anyone credible and senior enough among the Dems who lacks Blagula's bite marks?

Is there a conflict of interest that obligates an independent counsel to 'vet' all of Quinn's nominee? Or will a 'might is right mentality' loom large, as usual? Is it good to be dah king? Will the Feds tap Quinn's power line? Should an Attorney General Madigan, who is poised to pounce on the Senate seat be responsible for investigating Burris? In egomaniacs we trust? Stay tuned for another episode of "As the Senate Seat Swerves."

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Quinn the Populist: Noses like Reconstituted Pork and Sheep Dip

How Clintonesque, Governor Quinn! You certainly possess Starr qualities. Why do politicians conveniently ignore facts at the onset? Now, we must rehash the obvious. No, Burris did not have sex with Rod. For those who did not know, Senator Burris, along with many other Democrats helped Blagojevich raise funds. Why? Because, he's dah king, but certainly not the brightest bulb nor are the others, either! Supporting Guv Jailhouse Rock was not something exclusive to Roland Burris. It was part of the public record that Burris donated $20Gs to Governor Sunshine. Now, Quinn and the media defrost the obvious. This was old news.

Now, suddenly, an opportunity arises for the Eskimo to get something 'golden' as our former Governor once put it. Quinn just can't resist getting his thumbs stuck in the plum pie. Horner, he is not. Quinn, don't say, "what a good boy am I!" We are tired of your plays for passion.

Everyone knows that that dramatic and outraged sell the most papers. Whether it's Papa Kass singing Springfield Dreamin' or some other commentator laying down his own track on this muse, one thing is clear, we need someone to represent us. Politics always seems to create sore ducks waiting to plunge. As some Democratic Ducks plunge the party deeper into the ice this winter, a psalm.

May we do away with excessive campaign contributions, campaign dinner overdrive, and ban pronged plastic signs pitched on our parkways. May we allow those to make buttons for candidates as a way to provide the little guy a means to capitalize. May we figure out a way to inform voters before they vote for some American or Irish sounding name. Do we ever hear IVI/IPO discuss the conflicts of interest and pan the detailed or vague positions on issues? May Illinois and all our our states earn an electorate that actually cares about something other than who gave them a free ear of roasted corn, a breakfast banana, or which candidate had the most good hair days.
Quinn the Eskimo needs to go back in his igloo and rethink his bold and cold rhetoric. I regret that the second shoe never seems to drop 'Fast Eddie' enough in Chicago or Illinois. Perhaps, Mr. Fitzgerald can teach us how it is done. Maybe, a few more politicians can stop stashing away their campaign contributions for the next election or an early retirement for that matter. Campaign deform has gotten no where very slowly. The loopholes were simply moved a little to the right or left. Does Quinn the kettle calls the pot black?

Governor knee jerk, again, bows to the tabloid ice cannons. LeBon's mind theory? Well, it did not work for Sly and the Family Stone in Grant Park and it is certainly creating a failing grade for Illinois politics. Is there a politician with a backbone in the House? Too idealistic am I?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Thoughts of a Cold, Mad and Impatient Rogers Park Dog Walker

It is cold this evening. For those stuck with the dirty duty, some inspirational thoughts to think or verbalize to your precious pooch:

1. Purse your a** and let it pass.

2. Pucker Tucker and release that sucker.

3. Free that pee and let it freeze.

4. Flash your a** or get a rash.

Any additional dog evacuation cheers are welcome. Not that I can imagine my niece's cousin getting on the cheerleader pyramid for 'the beast' this evening. Perhaps, maybe the da*n dog will appreciate the pressing need to spend less time imersed in snow flakes and sub-zero wind chill. Slainte.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Know Your Enemies? Why?

The word "enemy" left my mindset decades ago. I don't know who convinced me, but I excised this social tumor from my vocabulary. I may dislike what people occasionally say, do, or how they act. I may be disappointed with myself, at times. Those who oppose my opinion may be temporarily ignorant or I, the same. Perhaps, they are reasonable, yet unwilling to listen. Why consider those who occassionally disturb me, an enemy? We just disagreed or had some disappointing moment. Why not forgive and move on?

At times, it may seem silly to me how other people dress. I may dislike what some may say, do, or think on one topic or another. I may take offense when people forget to pick up after their dog. Someone may callously drop their Dorito Bags on our front lawn. However, why hate a person, when what they do bothers you, not who they are? Manners are fleeting. I hope that my children never despise, envy, or hate others. I choose to have no enemies. Frankly, I can't afford them. Are enemies for the more affluent? Are enemies for the more shortsighted?

There are probably people intent on labeling us. I hope that I never aggravate anyone, even if I agree to disagree on one issue or another. This is bound to happen. There is no one in any of the communities which I consider myself among, who I will ever consider an enemy. These folks may be upset and may demonize us. I may also feel overlooked, at times. However, some of us are more isolated at times than others.

I know that it is natural for all of us to be 'occasionally' envious, even jealous, of the success of others. This is particularly true when we are frustrated, but misdirecting hostility. However, I would rather overcome envy and learn from success stories. Also, share in someone's happiness without appearing like a leach.

There are times where I will be excluded. I will also appear to have bad mannners at some odd moment. Those who wear tinted lenses may criticize yet display the same unknowing flaws. We all leave our manners at the door, at times. I don't hold grudges. The expression "it is like the pot calling the kettle black" sums up the hypocrisy of life. Righteous indignation comes full circle, so I would rather be humble. I would rather make friends out of those who might consider me an enemy. Yet, I accept that regardless of my efforts, this may never happen.

Decisions are made and commitments, as well. The reason why I try to maintain my 'relative obscurity' is due to the less outspoken in my family; also the desire to maintain relative privacy. In the effort to reach out to old acquaintances and friends, I try to honor my spouse who thinks it important to be discreet. There is a tenuous compromise. There are people who fear others due to their obscurity. In doing so, they may choose to view us as enemies, rather than potential friends or good neighbors.

No one is perfect. I am sure that I occasionally upset others. Public examples of hypocrisy are embarrassing to public figures, but it comes with the salary. Only the most pompous are incapable of accepting and recognizing. I would rather work toward eliminating flaws. Impulse and unconscious actions are often misunderstood.

Hatred is alien and evil to me. The terms "enemy" and "hate" seem like terms for those who are incapable of burying the hatchet any place other than in another person's back. Two wrongs don't make a right. My hatchet is in the ground when I am done with the verbal woodshed and it usually stays there. If I am mistaken, I retract. Why miss out on opportunities due to petty indifferences? I am too busy trying to deal with the priorities in our lives then to consider anyone an enemy.

There will always be those who are unable or just won't care about us, some who are too busy, and others who will and express it. Why close the door unless there is actual danger, not just ignorance, misdirected enmity, or anxiety. Shalom.

Monday, February 09, 2009

For all the Chatter, News from Country Club Hills

Rogers Park is a dense and diverse community. Its newcomers insist on a crime free existance. Its natives recognize that Chicago is getting better, but with a few bumps on the way. Some neighborhoods get bumped harder than others at times. Certainly, the school system re-orients itself. Devoted children and their parents find public school alternatives. Others rush to judgment by leaving or support the parochial, religious and private school systems. Life has its challenges.
People get jobs; people lose jobs. Gangs attract those in need of attention and more devoted communities and parents; Police arrest the thugs who are compelled to get too much attention or fast money, among other things. Life in a densely populated City has its bumps and bruises. It also has its advantages. Most of us find solace, when we improve our neighborhood, rather than dwell on every nook and cranny at every moment.

It is now nearly eleven consecutive years in Rogers Park, but twenty-two years on the North side. I have never lived in a community that had five murders in one weekend. I regret hearing about the five lost lives in Country Club Hills over this weekend. Rogers Park as a community should continue to positively re-direct those prone to randomly questionably provocative or violent outburst. Strangely, I understand that some who comment no longer live here. Good manners are not just the responsibility of politicians. Let's communicate, but try to work with Rogers Park Community Groups to improve the area. Running around with pitchforks and torches ignore challenges and create more chaos. Let's anticipate that if we are unwilling to enjoy what we have, then others may take that joy from us. Carpe diem.

When the warmth sets in, we can walk with those neighbors who want to walk. We can assist with the art festivals, garden walks, and home history tours. We can walk our beaches and bike the paths both north and south. We can elevate to the ball games. We can secure beach front for one reason or another in the early morning. We can enjoy our gardens, jungle gyms, parks, and zoos (yes, Indian Boundary and Lincoln Park).

If you are in Beat 2424, then you have a number of opportunities to leash the dog and head out with Bernard Garbo, among others. Meet your neighbors, act responsibly, take care of your block when others won't. Enjoy your surroundings, discover your options and above all, smile! We haven't had a Country Club Hills experience nor do I expect one. Life could always be better, but it is certainly good.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Bag in the Sidewalk

With the dog comes the walks.  I get a unique vantage point as a dog owner viewing the minority who refuse to use a bag.  The most visible is in the minority and he is one.  All he has to do is ask for a bag.  He seems clueless and does not know or want to know about the dog doo Ordinance.  I am sure that there are others.  However, at about 9:09 pm, I observed a black duffle bag.

The bag was left in the middle of the sidewalk.  I don't see too many people leave bags in the sidewalk.  This is a first for me on our block.  At first, I was puzzled.  I looked for someone to pick it up.  Then my mind began to get a bit concerned, albeit moderately.  

People were passing and ignoring the bag.  A family of four walked right by with little children.  I have seen one domestic disturbance at a different address, but the condominium was the sight of a foreclosure and distressed auction sale.  Who could have left the bag and why?

For those of us with memories of 1996, we don't really want to relive them on our block.  It was lousy enough that someone had a heart attack and died.  No chances were taken.  A call was made.  Within 12 minutes police arrived.  

Police cavalierly picked up the bag and opened.  Contents: blankets.  Investigation closed: lost bag inventoried.  Happy ending except for the owner

Monday, January 05, 2009

To the Man on the Street about the Morse "L" Attack

To Man on the Streets among other frustrated residents:

Most of us don't see much crime in our neighborhoods. We may see someone involved in an arguable drug deal, an open beer bottle, and the perpetual trash. We may see someone flash a gang sign and evoke anger. Perhaps, we experience little else other than never ending dog crap on our grass. We may find that the local apartment building lacks reasonable maintanence or some event happened while we were gone at work. Most of us are non-confrontational. We respect people's space, even if others have yet to learn how to respect our space.

If we approach the belligerent, then we risk misunderstandings. Some are 'hard of hearing' or simply 'want to hardly hear.' Diplomacy is a tender art best left to the experts. Whatever the issue, the Morse Street "L" seems like a textbook example of what not to do at 3:30 a.m. on New Years Eve based upon the blogs! Nevertheless, I sympathesize with the victims. Anyone can become frustrated and vulnerable after work at 3:30 a.m.

Some appear confused about when the crime was committed. A crime must be quickly defined and geographically pinpointed for 911 to get Police to react fast! The Morse "L" event escalated into an aggravated battery; the subjects committed the attack on CTA Property. See 720 ILCS 12-4(b)(9). However, perceived crimes were in progress before the victim ever reached the turnstyle.

It seems, in hindsight, unwise to report the crime until after there was physical confrontation. Perhaps, the victim should have reported the "assault in progress." Unfortunately, a decision was made to confront. The law requires a victim to back away from crimes in progress (assault, mob action, and trespass). Otherwise, a victim can become the offender. Of course, hindsight is always 20/20, but ponder these thoughts.

The victim 'may' have had other options. I am unaware that there was a report of "assault, mob action, and trespass in progress" before the Morse "L" confrontation. A criminal 'assault' is an event that puts the victim in 'reasonable apprehension' of 'receiving a battery. That is, reasonable fear of future bodily harm. Activity of an insulting 'or' provoking nature, such as confinement or restraint is often criminal, as well. See 720 ILCS 5/12-1(a), 5/12-3 and related law. Either crime, among others, are punishable by a maximum of less than one year of imprisonment. 730 ILCS 5/5-8-3.

A call to 911 for 'mob action, assault or battery in progress' should get immediate attention. Why approach the CTA turnstyle, when someone is committing a crime? Just report it! Unfortunately, the victim is made to appear 'unintimidated' in blog reports. The victim's alleged state of mind seems 'unreasonable' to me in hindsight. In approaching, he put himself and others at risk and escalated the incident. He 'might' have been arrested, as well, but the suspects fled, which is an arguable admission of their guilt. See 720 ILCS 5/12-4(a) and 12-4(b)(9). Perhaps, there were grounds to charge the suspects for a hate crime, if caught, but this is unclear from the blog reports.

Of course, if any suspect is ever arrested and arraigned as a defendant, then the judge or jury makes the final ruling. Locals have a right to pack the courtroom, do research, and provide morale. Residents can send advance information to the appropriate Assistant States Attorney ["ASA"], States Attorney Unit, or news agency. This is particularly helpful, when there is evidence of the accused defendants' propensities to repeatedly commit attacks. There is a place to research a defendant's record, if arraigned. Go to the 10th Floor of the Daley Center, if you want to 'mine data,' but beware, an arrest is not a conviction and neither is an indictment. Also, dragnets can happen. Ultimately, the ASA must prove that a defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and may dismiss a case.

When someone prevents passage through intimidation and looks like they won't let a passenger take the train, then a victim must decide whether it is menacing and thus 'an assault in progress.' Most reasonable people find it innappropriate to physically bar passage to a CTA turnstyle. When faced with an assault, you should report it to 911. An "assault in progress" should evoke immediate action by CPD. The alleged confrontation resulted after there was a 'reasonable apprehension' of receiving physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with an individual. See Battery 720 ILCS 5/12-3(a)(2).

Of course, an Assistant States Attorney will make the final decision on whether to prosecute, as well. That said, a court can impose or revoke conditional discharge, supervision, or a suspended sentence. See 730 ILCS 5/5-6-3. This may depend upon whether the offender was provoked, etc. These are known as mitigating factors. Some mitigating factors may mean zilch to a Court as a matter of discretion. Also, there can be aggravating factors, such as a possible secondary charge of Mob Action (720 ILCS 5/ , among other grounds for arrest. The law requires a victim to avoid confrontation; otherwise, the victim can be deemed an aggressor and be charged for a battery, as well, as a matter of discretion.

My morals on the alleged Morse "L" incident: Two options: (1) carry a cell phone and call a taxi from Glenwood Tap, or (2) Call 911, repeat (if necessary), and wait for Police to arrive and clear the area. Let Police know where you are. Encourage them to provide safe passage onto the red line. There may be other options "man on the street." If we don't use them, we lose them, among other things.

Disclaimer: the above is general information not meant to be legal advice. Every circumstance requires a reasonable reaction based upon experience. For more information, attend your Beat meetings and seek assistance, when provided, from those who professionally teach others to avoid being a victim. Some crimes take two parties. Other crimes are difficult to punish due to demands placed on law enforcement. Don't turn yourself into a victim.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Dog Days of Winter; MacArthur Returns, Crap Abounds.

The lack of posting can come for a number of reasons. I don't like to promote my traveling for a variety of reasons. We cashed in years of frequent flyer miles months ago. As a result, we took the indirect route to LAX via Nola for those who know LA. We arrived to experience the wrath of graffiti in Malibu and Oxnard California, among other CA locales. That was an awakening! No graffiti blasters there!

Man, what an education! Craig should travel down PCH and experience the situation on the ground. I understand that Malibu has its share of drug rehabs, as well. Of course, with a view that incredible, who has time to view the chicken scratch, among other things? I wonder if those in rehab reside at Malibu by day and head south to Venice Beach by breakfast? Of course, there is a Phoenix House right on the Venice Beach strip, as well. The belief is to immerse the rehabilitated right back into the crap that got them into their mess. Yet, life is a bit more optimistic over on Oxnard Boulevard!

Upon return from LAX via O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A, I stepped into mother earth and the debatable German Shepard's crap from the apartment dweller at 7333 North. Yes, I speculate based upon the size and past observations. That dog owner never seems to have a bag with him and moves his dog from squat to squat without a thought. Yes, home sweet home. I must learn to make light of the few folks raging about old news that took place before I left. Well, at least there is one arrest and a second one with an APB. Why dwell on the loss and sit on our hands?

Recent Outbursts - A Rap on Rogers Park's Poor Grammar

What amuses me is the creative license that all of us take, some more than others, to mangle written English. Why contort words and sentences into a condition that suggests ignorance? Why should a writer display raging pride in their poor dicta? When is ignorance considered brilliance? I suppose when it makes a recording artist money. Frankly, All others need not apply unless they need the negative attention!

Of course, I must assume that a few of the pseudonyms posted on blogs like the Broken Heart come from those who post as individuals in good faith. Hopefully, we lack the sort of 'Sybil Dorset' multiple personality type that enjoys messing with the minds of those who respond! Is there a Flora Shreiber in the house? Craig, can I safely assume that Jammo, et. al are not you, Westgard, or Mannis, among others. Are personalities presented in an effort to envision some sort of opposing viewpoint? Revolution for the hell of it?

Why should poor English skills seem acceptable to anyone? I suppose that sort of display attracts negative attention. Also, it encourages unneeded defensive rage. Who wants to hire someone with such poor grammar? Perhaps, there is a niche, but most would rather hire someone who can speak a language, even if it is reasonably fluent Spanish.

Of course, 'rap' or 'slang' has always been in vogue among the radical chic who can cash in on it. Yet, in the last two decades it seems like some kids want to perpetually "dummy down" their grammar. At times, it may appear to some like a psychotic display. I suppose that some must create a cryptic code to share with an 'in crowd,' but the average joe thinks they may be on some other juice!

Again, it is one thing to publish a book or record an album that uses rap to commercially capitalize on a trend. Also, those who are less educated from the Bayou must express themselves in any way possible. However, those who have access to an education should not blatantly ignore the training. There is nothing prejudice or racist about expressing the above. There should be no pride in ignorance.

However, using words like "white" and "black," rather than French (e.g. Spanish, English, etc) or African (e.g. Ethiopian, Filipino, Jamaican, Antiguan, Cuban, Brazilian, Somalian, etc.) seems a bit racially motivated upon either complexion. Life is not that simple. Racists are not limited to those with less melanine. Bigots are of all complexions, purported faiths, and nationalities. However, all of us has a red tongue, so I suppose that we have to stick it out every once in a while.

Death is universal and heaven is an unreasonable substitute.

It is okay to contemplate, we are all capable of making ignorant inferences and statements, but live and let live.