Chicago - Sep. 19, 2018
Music TV Politics Sports Books People Places & Things
 
Must-See TV
Army Of Darkness
ElRey
5 p.m.
A discount-store employee is time-warped to a medieval castle, where he is the foretold savior who can dispel the evil there. Unfortunately, he screws up and releases an army of skeletons. (tvguide.com)
Weather Derby
Tribune: 51/37
Sun-Times: Ferro/McKinney
Weather Channel: 44/41
Ntl Weather Service: 54/43
BWM*: 82/12
Beachwood Bookmarks
K-Tel Classics
WKRP in Cincinnati
So You've Decided To Be Evil
St. Paul Saints
Nye's Polonaise Room
The Arcata Eye
Roadside USA
This Day In . . .
Onion History
Weird Al History
Baseball History
Beachwood History
History History
Spy Magazine History
#OnThisDate History
Chicago
Indicted!
Under Suspicion
Find Your Towed Car
Cable TV Complaints
Freedom of Information
The Expired Meter
The Mob & Friends
Stolen Bike Registry
O'Hare Music Tracker
Rats
Report Corruption (city)
Report Corruption (state)
Beyond
Scoundrels, State
Scoundrels, Federal
The Odds
Random Flight Tracker
Casting Calls
Cosmic Log
Buy Stamps
Beachwood Blogroll
A Handy List
Beachwood Ethics Statement
How We Roll
Today's Horoscope
Liberties will be taken.
Do We Sudoku?
No, but we do do moose stuff, and that can be anything you want it to be. Except Sudoku.
Losing Lottery Numbers
8, 25, 39
Daily Affirmation
I am open and receptive to new avenues of income. (louisehay.com)
Ellie
Knowing that a person may be unwittingly in danger of an assault imposes a moral duty to warn them.
Now Playing
Psychodrama/Marshall Law
Letters to the Editors
FAQ
About
Tip Line
"The Papers" archive
RSS
Beachwood Link Buttons
Media Kit/Advertising
 

« September 2017 | Main | November 2017 »

October 31, 2017

The [Tuesday] Papers

By Greg BOOzHELL.

#street #streetphotography #halloween #zombie

A post shared by @gboozell on

-

The Secret.

This is the real Secret. #quimbys

A post shared by Quimbys Bookstore (@quimbysbookstore) on

-

Cop Calculus
"The job pays $72,000 per year with full benefits and pension but the Chicago Police Department is having a hard time finding recruits, according to 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney," Loop North News reports.

"Still, more than 14,000 applications have been received since February."

I asked my friend Tracy Siska of the Chicago Justice Project if this meant that Tunney was wrong; I had trouble squaring 14,000 applicants with a hard time finding recruits.

Surprisingly, he said no.

Huge numbers get eliminated at every step of the process. Some number never show up to test. Then a rather significant number does not pass. Then another significant number fails the background check. Then the drug test, then the physical, and then the mental, etc.

Also many applicants who are serious about becoming cop are testing in multiple jurisdictions; suburbs tend to hire faster.

In other words, CPD may have 14,000 applicants, which seems like a huge number, but by the time they get to the end of the process the department is coming up short.

Assignment Desk: Track an applicant class from start to finish!

-

Is Youth Football Past Its Prime?
Hint: Yes.

-

The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Montana of 300, Bob Dylan, Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile, Ludlow, Jen Cloher, 1000 Fuegos, The Main Squeeze, Die Eclectics, Shosha Wolf & The Midnight Howlers, Mukqs, Piss Piss Piss Moan Moan Moan, Insane Clown Posse, Yonder Mountain String Band, Janet Jackson, Tori Amos, Warrant, Jack Russell, Yanni, Lala Lala, Girlpool, My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, The Obleeks, and Screaming Females.

-

BeachBook

Hurricane Maria Has Now Caused The Longest Blackout In U.S. History.

*

When Staying In The Trump Administration Is Worse Than Leaving It.

*

Pilsen Rap.

*

Union Organizing At The Los Angeles Times.

-

TweetWood
A sampling.

*

*

*

*

You don't get to say this after closing 50 schools - mostly in neighborhoods desperately in need of community-building.

-

The Beachwood Tronc Line: Ghoulish.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:59 AM | Permalink

Is Youth Football Past Its Prime?

High school football participation may have peaked.

That's the argument I make in a recent analysis for the international sports governance association Play the Game.

The conclusion is based on data indicating that after decades of continuous growth, high school football participation numbers peaked in 2009 when looking at the total number of players, and in 2013 if you looked at participation as a percentage of eligible boys.

youthfootball.jpgMarco Garcia/AP

The article led to many reactions. I heard from coaches and parents who explained that the national data jibe with their local experiences of declining participation.

The article also prompted some questions. Is the decline real? What does it mean for the future? And how does football compare to participation in other sports?

The decline in football participation is real. I spoke with Chris Boone, assistant director of publications and communications at the National Federation of State High School Associations, about their fantastic data set, which has tracked high school sports participation for almost 50 years. Boone told me that the NFHS data set is the "best instrument there is" on participation, and "98 percent of U.S. high schools" are included in their annual surveys. The NFSH tracks more than 70 sports for each boys and girls. The data look to be the best tool we have to track long-term trends in participation rates in U.S. high school sports.

As I explained, the decline in participation in football is relatively small - a decline of just of 50,000 players over seven years, from a base of 1.14 million in 2009. But, based on the coverage and quality of the data set, it also does appear to be real and not a statistical or methodological quirk.

No one knows how future participation will evolve. The recent inflection point - several decades of steady increases in football participation followed by several years of decline - could signal a long-term change or simply represent a short-term aberration.

What's clear is that there are numerous factors in play that suggest that the short-term trend may continue for a while. Most notably, there is mounting evidence of growing parental concerns over health risks. Changes to the game that enhance player safety, medical research that more precisely identifies the causal pathways leading to long-term health effects and even presidential politics all might play a role in the future popularity of football.

But make no mistake, football remains extremely popular.

To place these trends in a broader context, I've taken a deeper dive into the NFHS database for both boys' and girls' participation in high school sports.

Football is, by an overwhelming margin, the most popular high school sport for boys. Over 400,000 more boys played football than track and field, the second most popular sport.

Whatever the future of football, total participation numbers suggest that it's likely going to be years before football is dethroned as the "king of sports" among boys.

Yet participation rates continue to evolve in these seven boys' sports, and the numbers show that football isn't the only sport that has seen as recent decline; wrestling has, too.

The biggest increases for boys have been in cross country (45 percent), soccer (37 percent) and outdoor track and field (25 percent). The smallest increase since 2000 is in basketball (2 percent), which has seen fairly constant participation rates.

As with boys, the sports seeing the greatest increases in participation for girls are cross country (46 percent) and soccer (43 percent).

The success and popularity of the 1999 Women's World Cup-winning team no doubt played a role in the sport's explosive popularity at the turn of the century. If recent rates are any indication, it won't take long for soccer to surpass volleyball, basketball and even outdoor track and field.

But if sport is a reflection of broader society, these numbers could be a response to the forces of globalization: Around the world, soccer and track have a much high prominence than they have historically had in the U.S. The globalization of international soccer, which includes soccer's growing presence on U.S. television, would suggest that this trend might continue.

Of course, traditional American sports - football, baseball, softball, basketball - still dominate. Their growth has simply slowed since 2000.

But football's recent decline - however slight - suggests that something's at play at the grassroots of America's most popular sport. Data is not destiny, but football lovers across the country should consider this evidence an early warning that all is not well in the sport.

Roger Pielke Jr. is the director of the Sports Governance Center within the Department of Athletics at the University of Colorado. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

-

Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:16 AM | Permalink

October 30, 2017

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Montana of 300 at the Portage Theater on Saturday night.


-

2. Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile at the Empty Bottle on Saturday night.

-

3. Bob Dylan at the new DePaul arena on Friday night.

-

4. Ludlow at Moe's Tavern on Friday night.

-

5. Jen Cloher at Thalia Hall on Friday night.

-

6. 1000 Fuegos at the Concord on Saturday night.

-

7. The Main Squeeze at the Bottom Lounge on Friday night.

-

8. Die Eclectics at Township on Thursday night.

-

9. Shosha Wolf & The Midnight Howlers at the Red Line Tap on Thursday night.

-

10. Mukqs at Have Known on Saturday night.

-

11. Piss Piss Piss Moan Moan Moan at Have Known on Saturday night.

-

12. Insane Clown Posse at the Portage Theater on Sunday night.

-

13. Yonder Mountain String Band at the House of Blues on Saturday night.

-

14. Janet Jackson at the Rosemont arena on Saturday night.

-

15. Tori Amos at the Chicago Theatre on Friday night.

-

16. Warrant at the Arcada in St. Charles on Thursday night.

-

17. Jack Russell at the Arcada in St. Charles on Thursday night.

-

18. Yanni at the Rialto in Joliet on Saturday night.


-

Catching up with . . .

Lala Lala at the Logan Square Auditorium on October 25.

-

Girlpool at the Logan Square Auditorium on October 25.

-

My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult on October 20.

-

The Obleeks at Schubas on October 23.

-

Screaming Females at the Brauerhouse in Lombard on October 1.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:25 PM | Permalink

SportsMonday: Zach Miller's Injury Now Overshadows Bears' Season

I was ready this morning with a column breaking down the reasons the 3-5 Bears still can't quite get this season going heading into the bye week. But the latest reports on Zach Miller's health made it all seem so inconsequential.

Injuries make the NFL a tough watch way too frequently. What happened to Miller as he hauled in a touchdown pass during the Bears' eventual 20-12 loss to the Saints was a fluke, but you knew as it was happening that it was bad.

And then we had the geniuses in the NFL office in New York changing a call that no one in the stadium or the booth (play-by-play man Justin Kutcher and analyst Chris Spielman) thought was even controversial. Essentially everyone who watches that play still thinks it was a touchdown except a guy or two in New York.

So the review occurs (as it does on all scoring plays). And it drags on, and on. And the Superdome scoreboard operators show the replay of the catch and the injury again and again and again. Atrocious.

A fluke injury like the one Miller suffered may be impossible to avoid in a physical sport. But it all could have been handled so much better.

As for the rest of the story well, here it is. The defense played well again. The Bears clearly have something going on on that side of the ball after they gave the team a chance to win in New Orleans, which has only been the home of the best offense in the NFL so far this season.

But the Bears won't go anywhere as long as the offense can't do better than it did on Sunday. And it must be stressed again and again that the big problem on that side of the ball isn't a conservative head coach and it isn't the play-calling of the offensive coordinator.

The big problem is the Bears don't have enough players. And that of course is on the general manager. There have been plenty of calls for the Bears to open up their offense. Open it up and throw to who?

So no scapegoating the coach for gosh sakes. That would be same coach, John Fox, who brought in coordinator Vic Fangio and has worked with him to create the defense that has been so good the last few weeks. If the Bears go on to lose a bunch of games in the second half of the season then I have no problem with everyone getting the boot.

But no way does Fox take the heat alone.

Next up for the Bears by the way are the Packers at home followed by the Lions. Win those two games and you are in the hunt for a playoff spot.

But that seems far away now. First we need to hope for the best for Zach Miller. Then we can worry about how the offense will improve during the second half of the season like the defense has in the first. Not bloody likely I know, but certainly what needs to be the focus going forward.

-

Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:18 PM | Permalink

The [Monday] Papers

Real-time commentary on today's Trump-related indictments can be found @BeachwoodReport.
-

Ha Ha Halloween.

Bicycle wraith. #cyclocross#halloween#costume#chicrosscup#spirit#racing#bikes#cx#camptoncross

A post shared by Matthew Gilson (@matthew.gilson) on

-

Vintage Scary Chicago TV Ads
Including Chiller Theatre, House of Frightenstein and Monster Week.

-

The Teen Brain Trope
It's nonsense.

-

SportsMonday: Zach Miller & The Bears
The NFL can be hard to watch.

-

BeachBook

How Rent-A-Center Torments Customers.

*

Death Wish Coffee Lives Up To Its Name.

*

Looking Back On Communism (And Capitalism).

*

Joyce Maynard Is A Fraud.

*

Harvard Law School's Civic Deficit.

*

The Night Punk Killed Disco At First Avenue.

*

The Worst Music Festival Ever Occurred In Illinois.

*

Epson Is Evil.

-

TweetWood
A sampling.

*

-

The Beachwood Tronc Line: Roast beefs.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:14 PM | Permalink

Why It's Time To Lay The Stereotype Of The 'Teen Brain' To Rest

A deficit in the development of the teenage brain has been blamed for teens' behavior in recent years, but it may be time to lay the stereotype of the wild teenage brain to rest. Brain deficits don't make teens do risky things; lack of experience and a drive to explore the world are the real factors.

As director of research at a public policy center that studies adolescent risk-taking, I study teenage brains and teenage behavior. Recently, my colleagues and I reviewed years of scientific literature about adolescent brain development and risky behavior.

We found that much of the risk behavior attributed to adolescents is not the result of an out-of-control brain. As it turns out, the evidence supports an alternative interpretation: Risky behavior is a normal part of development and reflects a biologically driven need for exploration - a process aimed at acquiring experience and preparing teens for the complex decisions they will need to make as adults.

teenbrain.jpgGeorge Rudy/Shutterstock

Stereotypes Of Adolescence

We often characterize adolescents as impulsive, reckless and emotionally unstable. We used to attribute this behavior to "raging hormones." More recently, it's been popular in some scientific circles to explain adolescent behavior as the result of an imbalance in the development of the brain.

According to this theory, the prefrontal cortex, the center of the brain's cognitive-control system, matures more slowly than the limbic system, which governs desires and appetites including drives for food and sex. This creates an imbalance in the adolescent brain that leads to even more impulsive and risky behavior than seen in children - or so the theory goes.

This idea has gained currency to the point where it's become common to refer to the "teenage brain" as the source of the injuries and other maladies that arise during adolescence.

teentext.jpgElena Ellisseeva/Shutterstock

In my view, the most striking failure of the teen brain hypothesis is its conflating of important differences between different kinds of risky behavior, only a fraction of which support the notion of the impulsive, unbridled adolescent.

Adolescents As Explorers

What clearly peaks in adolescence is an interest in exploration and novelty seeking. Adolescents are by necessity engaged in exploring essential questions about themselves - who they are, what skills they have and who among their peers is worth socializing with.

But these explorations are not necessarily conducted impulsively. Rising levels of dopamine in the brain during adolescence appear to drive an increased attraction to novel and exciting experiences. Yet this "sensation seeking" behavior is also accompanied by increasing levels of cognitive control that peak at the same age as adolescents' drive for exploration. This ability to exert cognitive control peaks well before structural brain maturation, which peaks at about age 25.

Researchers who attribute this exploratory behavior to recklessness are more likely falling prey to stereotypes about adolescents than assessing what actually motivates their behavior.

If adolescents were truly reckless, they should show a tendency toward risk-taking even when the risks of bad outcomes are known. But they don't. In experiments where the probabilities of their risks are known, adolescents take fewer risks than children.

In experiments that mimic the well-known marshmallow test, in which waiting for a bigger reward is a sign of self-control, adolescents are less impulsive than children and only slightly more so than adults. While these forms of decision-making may place adolescents at a somewhat greater risk of adverse outcomes than adults, the change in this form of self control from mid-adolescence to adulthood is rather small and individual differences are great.

teensexplore.jpgPanumas Yanuthai/Shutterstock

There is a specific kind of risk-taking that resembles the imbalance that the brain-development theory points to. It is a form of impulsivity that is insensitive to risk due to acting without thinking. In this form of impulsivity, the excitement of impulsive urges overshadows the potential to learn from bad experience. For example, persons with this form of impulsivity have trouble controlling their use of drugs, something that others learn to do when they have unpleasant experiences after using a drug. Youth with this characteristic often display this tendency early in childhood, and it can become heightened during adolescence. These teens do in fact run a much greater risk of injury and other adverse outcomes.

But it is important to realize that this is characteristic of only a subset of youth with weak ability to control their behavior. Although the rise in injurious and other risky behavior among teens is cause for concern, this represents much more of a rise in the incidence of this behavior than of its prevalence. In other words, while this risky behavior occurs more frequently among teens than children, it is by no means common. The majority of adolescents do not die in car crashes, become victims of homicide or suicide, experience major depression, become addicted to drugs or contract sexually transmitted infections.

Furthermore, the risks of these outcomes among a small segment of adolescents are often evident much earlier, as children, when impulse control problems start to appear.

The Importance Of Wisdom

Considerable research suggests that adolescence and young adulthood is a heightened period of learning that enables a young person to gain the experience needed to cope with life's challenges. This learning, colloquially known as wisdom, continues to grow well into adulthood. The irony is that most late adolescents and young adults are more able to control their behavior than many older adults, resulting in what some have called the wisdom paradox. Older adults must rely on the store of wisdom they have built to cope with life challenges because their cognitive skills begin to decline as early as the third decade of life.

A dispassionate review of existing research suggests that what adolescents lack is not so much the ability to control their behavior, but the wisdom that adults gain through experience. This takes time and, without it, adolescents and young adults who are still exploring will make mistakes. But these are honest mistakes, so to speak, because for most teens, they do not result from a lack of control.

This realization is not so new, but it serves to place the recent neuroscience of brain development in perspective. It is because adolescents are immature in regard to experience that makes them vulnerable to mishaps. And for those with weak cognitive control, the risks are even greater. But we should not let stereotypes of this immaturity color our interpretation of what they are doing. Teenagers are just learning to be adults, and this inevitably involves a certain degree of risk.

Dan Romer is the research director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

-

Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:57 AM | Permalink

Vintage Scary Chicago TV Ads

Including Chiller Theatre, House of Frightenstein and Monster Week.


-

See also: Pete Kastanes' YouTube channel.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:15 AM | Permalink

October 28, 2017

The Weekend Desk Report

Smorgasbord.

A week from today, Chris Ware signs Monograph! #ChrisWare #monograph #quimbys #quimbysbookstorechicago #QuimbysBookstore

A post shared by Quimbys Bookstore (@quimbysbookstore) on

-

When you go to your friend house and get fraked out.......Happy Halloween....

A post shared by FLASH ABC MARS (@flash_abc) on

-

Beachwood Photo Booth: Sad Country
Rainy America.

-

How I Discovered A Wellspring Of Sexual Harassment Complaints
"When I told a handful of friends I was writing this book, they told a few friends. And women started coming out of the shadows. One woman I interviewed sent an e-mail to her scientific colleagues, and geologists, oceanographers and meteorologists from all over the U.S. began e-mailing me and pouring out their experiences over the phone. One woman sent me a bunch of her documents for a Title IX sexual harassment complaint, and I almost openly wept with her over the phone."

-

TrackNotes: Slumlords And Slot Hustlers
"It's been a lousy racing season, and in recent weeks, it's snowballed into an ice boulder of bad news, including sadistic greed, disturbing trends, defection and even death. Prioritize any way you want."

-

The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Courtney Barnett, Kurt Vile, Barb Wire Dolls, The Strumbellas, Julien Baker, Archspire, Svetlanas, The Old Comiskeys, Yelle, The Amazing Heeby Jeebies, and Paul Weller.

-

Beachwood Sports Radio: Theo Maddonizes Cubs
Cubs purge coaches. Plus: Monsters Of The Middling; Raining On Bulls' Parade; Blackhawks Rain On Own Parade; and Schweinsteiger!

-

BeachBook

Hypocrisy, Greed, Joe Ricketts And The DNAinfo-Gothamist Union.

*

How The Washington Post Blew Their Scoop About The Steele Dossier.

*

The Absolute Grossness Of Leon Wieseltier.

*

Adam Lanza Threatened Sandy Hook Killings Years Earlier, Records Show.

*

FEMA Had A Plan For Responding To A Hurricane In Puerto Rico, But They Don't Want You To See It.

*

Puerto Ricans Without Power For Month Can Only Assume This Is The Leading Story Across National News Media.

*

Seven Years Ago I Said That Most News Was Fake.

-

TweetWood
A sampling.

*

*

*

-

The Weekend Desk Tronc Line: Smorgasbord.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:51 AM | Permalink

October 27, 2017

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #173: Theo Maddonizes Cubs

Cubs purge coaches. Plus: Monsters Of The Middling; Raining On Bulls' Parade; Blackhawks Rain On Own Parade; and Schweinsteiger!


-

SHOW NOTES

* 173.

3:07: The Purge.

* Cubs Management On Defensive After 'Group Decision' Coaching Purge.

* How Theo Epstein Sees Chili Davis Making A Difference For Cubs.

* Verducci: Brian Cashman And The Yankees Thought Joe Girardi Was The Right Manager For 2008, Not 2018.

39:36: Monsters Of The Middling.

47:02: Raining On The Bulls' Parade.

51:22: Blackhawks Rain On Own Parade.

54:32: Schweinsteiger!

-

STOPPAGE: 5:20

-

For archives and other shows, see The Beachwood Radio Network.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:33 PM | Permalink

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile at the Rockefeller Chapel on Thursday night.


-

2. Barb Wire Dolls at Cobra Lounge on Wednesday night.

-

3. The Strumbellas at Thalia Hall on Wednesday night.

-

4. Julien Baker at Thalia Hall on Wednesday night.

-

5. Archspire at Cobra Lounge on Sunday night.

-

6. Svetlanas at Cobra Lounge on Wednesday night.

-

Catching up with . . .

The Old Comiskeys at Reggies on October 13.

-

Yelle at the Empty Bottle on October 8.

-

The Amazing Heeby Jeebies at Martyrs' on October 7.

-

Paul Weller at the House of Blues on October 12.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:16 PM | Permalink

Beachwood Photo Booth: Sad Country

Rainy America.

rainyamerica.jpg(ENLARGE FOR PROPER VIEWING)

-

Editor's Note: From Grand Rapids, Michigan, where diehard Chicagoan Helene Smith is temporarily in residence.

-

More Chicago photography from Helene Smith.

-

Helene on Twitter!

-

Meet Helene!

-

Stationery, iPhone cases, hoodies.

-

Listen to Helene talk about Photo Booth; starts at 57:54.

-

Previously:
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Man Grilling
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Yum Yum Donuts
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Father's Day
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vintage Airmaster
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Time
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Shade
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Illinois Slayer
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Fire Escape
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Nugget
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Hollywood, Chicago
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Flag Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Van In Flames.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fluid Power Automation.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Corn Dog.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stop The Killing Car.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Backyard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A to Z Things.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Swedish Diner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Rothschild Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Silos.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Wires.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Orange Garden.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Irving Park Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Pigeons.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: O'Lanagan's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: For Rent.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Pizza & Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mori Milk.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Breakfast.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A Chicago Christmas Postcard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Harold's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Family Fun.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Snow Bike.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Nativity Scene.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Warsaw.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Deluxe Cleaners.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Golden Cue.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Die Another Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sears Key Shop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Jeri's Grill.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Barry's Drugs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Liberty.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Kitchen.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Specials.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Won The Cup.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bartender Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Blue Plane Blues.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Finest Quality.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Family Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Girls Wanted.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skokie Savanna.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Signpost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Man And The Tree.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Street Fleet.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Citgo Story.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fantasy Hair Design.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Garage.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Clark Stop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Pole Position.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Geometry.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Found Love.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fill In The Blank.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vacuums Of The Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Dumpster Still Life.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Wagon Master.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Intersecting West Rogers Park.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Penn-Dutchman Antiques.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cow Patrol.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Backstage Chicago.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skully Bungalow.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Francisco Frankenstein.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Long Cool Heat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Smokers' Mast.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Big Fat Phone.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Happy Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Alley Men.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Show!
* Beachwood Photo Booth: You've Got Mailbox.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Broken Window Theory.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Dali Logan.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Svengoolie.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Horner Park Hot Dogs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cubs Rehab.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: 20th Century Schizoid Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Men On Vans.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Penn-Dutchman Is Done.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Snowy Lincoln.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Waiting Room.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Avondale Chicken.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Winter's End.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Friendly Skies.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Boyhood Buzzer Beater.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: J Date.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: International Window Lady.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Shanghai Inn.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Open For Business.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Andersonville Unplugged.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: 3-Flat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Evanston Turkey.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicagolandia.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Eat At Odge's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Deitch Pharmacy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sud-Z Bubble.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bands Wanted!
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Belmont Tavern.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Superheroic San Luis Freeze.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Evanston Oasis.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lyndale Food & Jewelry.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lincoln Tap.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Book Window.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Alco Dude.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ballin Drugs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Don't Worry, Be Cookie.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Four Trey.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Office.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America From Inside The Golden Nugget In Ravenswood.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cellphone Repair.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Boots 'N' Grill.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sunrise Strip.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: At The Corner Of Glad And Happy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Uptown Autumn Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Diner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mid-Century Modern Halloween.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Autumn Station Wagon.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Betty's & Nick's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ohio House Impact.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: End School Zone.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Portage Park Peek-A-Boo.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: South Side Sundown.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Susie's Drive-Thru.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Ham.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Food & Liquor, Milhouse.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: O'Hare Blue Line Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Schwing!
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ad Deluxe.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Jesus At The Drive-In.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Tanks Of Avondale.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Conveyance Belt.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bonk.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Esquire In The Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Nick's Meat Market.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Keep Havin A Good Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Knock Knock.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Man At Marie's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bonneville.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Logan Bags.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Stairwell.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Blue Velvet.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Court Is In Session.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: DLER ALKY.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Railyards Rush Hour.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stop Killing People.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America, Summer 2016, Part 1.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Greystone Chicago.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: You Are Beautiful.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Auto Part Overlords.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bearground.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America, Summer 2016, Part 2.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skyway Sculpture.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Dome Car.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Hello, St. Joe.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Revolution Books.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Driveway.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Proceed To Checkout.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Summer Ghost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Daily Double.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Are Moving.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America, Summer 2016, Part 3.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sunny Day Tap.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ashland & Pawn.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Party Store.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Donuts.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: AAA Sales.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: House Rule.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Butcher Boy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Endorsement.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Ghost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: I Voted.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Pink(ish) Cadillac.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stuffed With Sadness.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Air.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Economy Heating.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Season's Greetings.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Housemates.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Have Fresh Goat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bartcam.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Gaslight.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Urban Wheat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Embassy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lincoln's Cozy Corner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Glory.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bowling Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Red Lion, Red Hots.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: House Sitting.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A Jukebox Is Not A Democracy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Descending Darkly.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Handicapped Milk Jug Zone.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Gumball Express.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicken Run.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Wyoming, Michigan.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bus Stop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Manzana.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Don't Look Back.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mail Call.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Gas Pump No. 8.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Photo Shoot.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Flotos' Gifts.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Shelf Life.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: S&M Carpets.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Elvis At The Golden Nugget.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Wunder's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Daisies.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Supply Line.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sal's Barber Shop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Classy Oogle Queen.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cloudy Gate.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cherry Pie.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lannings' Crossing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Devilish Dr. Phil.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mural Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Scream.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 6:30 AM | Permalink

How I Discovered A Wellspring Of Sexual Harassment Complaints

Since allegations of former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein's abhorrent treatment of women have come to public light, we once again have an opportunity to talk about sexual harassment. These negative experiences are prevalent, pervasive and problematic for women in the workplace. And such ill treatment not only has a toxic impact on the female recipient, but has reverberating dysfunctional effects for employment settings as well.

The past year we've also seen an increase in prominent women, including Gretchen Carlson and Megyn Kelly, coming forward to publicly speak about their experiences of harassment in the workplace. We've witnessed the fall from grace of big names, including Roger Ailes, Bill O'Reilly and Bill Cosby, and companies, including Uber. Rather than showing isolated incidents, these examples reflect workplace abuses that affect the everyday woman.

In a summary of workplace bullying, using 66 independent samples totaling together nearly 80,000 male and female employees, the effects were extensive and potentially long-lasting and included depression, anxiety and substance misuse. But workplace mistreatment of women is not just a woman problem. It's an institutional and societal one.

As a trauma psychologist and a working woman, I've been deeply impacted by all of this news. But I'd also like to encourage us to broaden the conversation to include incivility, bullying and general harassment of women in the workplace as well as what we can do to prevent the behavior and the results of it.

Using The Trauma Lens To See Effects

Six months ago, I decided I'd use my expertise in trauma psychology to try to write a book for a public audience on incivility, bullying and harassment of women in the workplace. I wanted to tell people about the psychological research on trauma, share in-depth interviews with real-world women, and weave in my own broad clinical and personal experiences in the workplace.

I wanted to take readers on a journey through the world of women's exposure to a range of negative interpersonal experiences on the job, from instances of rude or discourteous acts to physical and sexual assault. I wanted to document the potentially harmful physical and psychological health effects of these experiences, and the impacts on day-to-day functioning as well as career advancement. I thought this might help move the dialogue forward and present tangible solutions to more effective coping with these issues.

When I told a handful of friends I was writing this book, they told a few friends. And women started coming out of the shadows. One woman I interviewed sent an e-mail to her scientific colleagues, and geologists, oceanographers and meteorologists from all over the U.S. began e-mailing me and pouring out their experiences over the phone. One woman sent me a bunch of her documents for a Title IX sexual harassment complaint, and I almost openly wept with her over the phone.

More than 15 years after the event, she was still deeply rattled. She was heartbroken, not for herself, but because she was unable to come forward until now. She sobbed as she expressed her regret in not being able to "save others." Straight from the heart and using a split-second clinical judgment, I told her she was a hero, and that regardless of the outcome of her legal complaint, she took the hardest path with honor, dignity, and tremendous courage.

So far, I've interviewed over 50 women from various socioeconomic backgrounds and races and ethnicities. These include women from white-collar occupations, such as a former Wall Street lawyer, orthopedic and breast cancer surgeons, primary care physicians, pediatricians, university professors, geologists, oceanographers, mechanical engineers and financial analysts as well as women from blue-collar occupations, such as secretaries, housekeepers, construction workers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians.

Quite a number of these women were ethnic or racial minorities, and I'm trying to faithfully show how they often experience a double or triple whammy piece of the misogyny pie.

These women shared their experiences of being condescended to, patronized, badgered, intimidated, not listened to, judged prematurely and harshly, treated rudely or propositioned. I've been documenting how these women struggled to make sense of these events, what they did to cope, and what they wished they had done differently.

Many told me of decreased morale and job satisfaction, of their stomach churning as they prepared to enter their place of employment. Many liked their jobs and didn't want to lose them. They were afraid if they came forward, they might be labeled a troublemaker or fired. And why wouldn't they be afraid when women are routinely disbelieved and commonly blamed? We generally do not complain or report offenses. We receive whatever incivility, bullying or harassment comes along. We ask ourselves: "What are my choices? Do I comply or resist? Do I report or be silent? Do I submit or risk being ostracized, demoted, fired or worse?"

And then too often we tell ourselves, "It is what it is."

More Stories Pouring In

The stories continue to come in. Women I interviewed gave me the names of friends and family members who also had stories and had suffered consequences. One woman contacted her cousin, who had experienced bullying and obstruction in the whitewater rafting industry and since started her own company, teaching women to enjoy and master rafting. Even the medical transcriptionist I hired to turn the audio files from my phone interviews into text contacted me. She said, "I hope it's not inappropriate for me to reach out, but have I got stories for you!"

Women have few to no places to go to talk about these experiences. And they want reality checks and validation that they are not imagining these experiences. They need to know that they are not being overly sensitive, and that anyone with an ounce of integrity and a warm heart would be equally bothered by what they have gone through.

If now is not the time to have this conversation, I don't know when is. Many women are rising up, whether through the Women's March or other venues, to say, "This is so not OK." And women are recently posting messages on social media with the hashtag #Metoo.

Moving forward

How I wish women could see themselves in the stories of other women, and experience an increase in empathy for themselves and others. I wish I could tell women to trust their instincts and accurately recognize, label and recover from workplace misogyny.

We must put in place workplace policies and procedures to lessen the occurrence of such treatment for women. The organizational or legislative actions taken thus far have been far from sufficient and will take years and a tremendous amount of effort and resources to achieve.

So what can we do today? If we want to address incivility, bullying and harassment of women in the workplace, we must join together to prevent it from happening, call it out when it occurs and create a safe environment in which to heal. Workplace mistreatment of women is not only a great wrong; it makes us sick and is a waste of our valuable individual and collective talent.

Joan Cook is an associate professor of psychiatry at Yale. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

-

Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:27 AM | Permalink

TrackNotes: Slumlords And Slot Hustlers

We're nearing the end of The Big Wait.

Belmont's Jockey Club Gold Cup, like the six horses who unheroically had no chance to catch minor-stakester Diversify from bell to wire, is in the rearview mirror.

This lull before the November 3-4 Breeders' Cup from Del Mar gives you a chance to look around, and you don't always like what you see.

If the tree choppers in pajamas on MLB nines all across the land don't look scary, they certainly look slovenly. Levon Helm did it way cooler long before you guys were even born. Seeing Jake Arrieta clean-shaven is kind of like filing past the box at the dearly departed's wake. I guess that's him, but he sure doesn't look the same.

In the NFL, they don't practice anymore, and it shows. But they can Tony Manero you no matter the score, the beating they might be taking, with no humiliation even when the trophy goes to the couple from Secaucus. A spinoff, Dancing with the NFL Stars, could turn the league into a glorified school for the performing arts. With Mike Glennon choosing a minuet (defined as - perfect - a slow, graceful dance in 3/4 time) for his showcase number.

I really did see a professional basketball player punch another guy in the face, more than once in just a few minutes. It was former NBA hang-arounder Kendall Gill. In a real ring, on a real fight night, for real money. Career, he was 4-0-0, three KOs, but how do you get inside the wingspan of a condor before getting slapped down? You should have seen the frustration on the faces of the fireplugs he fought. A fifth fight of Gill's is mysteriously missing from his BoxRec rap sheet.

Thoroughbred horse racing, as we approach the two-day Breeders' Cup bacchanal, is not immune to such reflection by any means.

It's been a lousy racing season, and in recent weeks, it's snowballed into an ice boulder of bad news, including sadistic greed, disturbing trends, defection and even death. Prioritize any way you want.

Keeneland announced over the summer that it would increase its takeout - skim from the top, really - for all wagers during its October meet. Win, Place and Show takeout was increased by almost 9.4 percent to 17.5 percent and exotic wager (Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta, etc.) take would grow 15.8 percent to 22 percent. Both takeout levels are the maximum allowed by Kentucky law.

The Horseplayers Association of North America, securing the backing of its namesake supporters first, sprang into action and called for a boycott of all wagering on Keeneland during the meet. A month of great racing we all look forward to.

HANA President Jeff Platt told me that the estimated 9.1 percent drop in handle Keeneland experienced in the first 13 days of the 2017 fall meet versus the same period last year, may be nearly neutral in revenue because of overall increases in the industry, but he maintains that Keeneland might actually be suffering greatly from the boycott.

"Belmont now ranks number one in market share among tracks competing for handle dollars this fall," Platt said. "Last year, it was Keeneland."

He also said that an average handle increase of 12 percent by Belmont and Santa Anita this fall, coupled with Keeneland's nine percent skid, amounts to a 20 percent negative position from where Keeneland might have been.

The lower the takeout, the higher ticket you cash, the more you churn through the windows, the more you lose, ad infinitum. "Keeneland is down 20 percent from where my gut tells me they would be had they not had a takeout increase," Platt said.

Horse owner Ken Ramsey, who has built a dynasty with the wonderful runner and tremendous sire Kitten's Joy, lashed out at Keeneland during Billy Koch's LATalkRadio podcast (35:45) shortly after the takeout announcement.

"It's a red herring," Ramsey said. "Keeneland says they're doing this to bolster the purses. They should be bolstering the purses through commissions and auction entry fees - which they just raised again - and by profits from the casino they operate. If we lose the two-dollar bettor, who is the backbone of the industry, because of what Keeneland is doing, why I don't know, the industry is doomed. They're robbing David to pay Goliath."

The why-I-don't-know was answered a month later when Keeneland and Churchill Downs announced a joint venture to build two new race tracks at opposite ends of Kentucky, both hard on the Tennessee border. Both could draw heavily from Nashville, Knoxville and even Chattanooga.

The western track would be in the back yard of Kentucky Downs, which runs the niftiest little hill-and-dale turf meet you'll ever see, with the biggest purses and lowest takeouts of the year. The eastern track is not really far from Keeneland but will never run at the same time, don't you know. America does not need two more tracks, so bet that two or three current tracks will die.

Down on the track, Bloodhorse.com's Steve Haskin wondered out loud why trainers aren't running their horses much any more in prep races, particularly for the Derby, Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup.

His Derby prep synopsis says it all: "Going back to 2008, of the horses who captured the Kentucky Derby off only two preps at 3, Big Brown self-destructed in the Belmont Stakes and never made it past September 13, depriving fans of seeing the much-anticipated showdown with Curlin in the Breeders' Cup Classic. Mine That Bird (2009) never won another race. Super Saver (2010) never won another race, racing only three more times in his career. Animal Kingdom (2011) didn't make it past the Belmont that year. I'll Have Another (2012) never made it past the Preakness. Nyquist (2026) never won another race."

Haskin talks about the copycat syndrome, emulating the success of a certain trainer with a certain horse in a certain race. But if the horses never prep, that's not so uncommon. It robs the horseplayer, thank you very much, of the ability to spot any kind of trends in form for handicapping.

In his two-part series, Haskin doesn't really explain what trainers are thinking, except to speculate that trainers are afraid that if a horse runs a huge prep, he'll bounce in the main event. While we fans and bettors have given up on horses running against each other, now they're hardly running at all.

Forget the old days. What about the just yesterdays of American Pharoah, California Chrome, Curlin, Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, Gio Ponti? In next week's BC preview, you'll be seeing a lot of "hasn't run since . . . "

* * * * *

Arrogate, who Bob Baffert said is "the greatest horse I've ever seen run," will retire after the Breeders' Cup Classic.

After a smashing victory in the 2016 Travers, he beat 'Chrome in the Classic and then added the Pegasus World Cup and Dubai World Cup, all in convincing fashion. But when he enters the gate for this year's Classic, he might have a big question mark on his saddle cloth. See, he bombed in the San Diego and the Pacific Classic, both at Del Mar, the site of this year's Classic. Just sayin'.

Classic Empire has already been retired. Although he did win the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and the Arkansas Derby, you can still wonder all you want. Loaded with pure talent, he developed a foot abscess after the Holy Bull in February, got bounced around in the Derby and gutted to second in the Preakness. A horse once "benched" for refusing to train, he was scratched out of the Belmont with the same foot. We'll never know.

And this bulletin on deadline, Keen Ice is out of the Classic, one race before his planned retirement after "wrenching an ankle." You may hear about this son of Curlin's tremendous upset of American Pharoah in the 2015 Travers, but he just ran up into a meltdown pace. He would have had enough name recognition to get a lowered morning line next week.

* * * * *

Beverly Lewis, of Bob and Beverly Lewis fame, passed away October 20th at 90. Most famously, the Lewises campaigned Silver Charm to wins in the 1997 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. He was edged by less than a length for the Triple Crown by Touch Gold. They completed a personal Triple Crown with Commendable in the 2000 Belmont Stakes, and won the 1999 Derby with famous 31-1 longshot Charismatic.

Less than a month earlier, Penny Chenery, the racing matriarch who brought us Secretariat, also passed away.

On October 18th, six-year-old colt Effinex died near Saratoga Springs, apparently of a ruptured heart artery. He won the Clark Handicap and Suburban Handicap in 2015 and finished second to American Pharoah in that year's Breeders' Cup Classic. I always liked him, but usually at the wrong times. I couldn't cash the same days he did.

Three-year-old Irap, who was running into big expectations, was euthanized October 20th after developing laminitis after an injury in the September 23rd Pennsylvania Derby. He suffered a left front sesamoid (ankle) fracture in finishing second to West Coast and apparently had undergone successful surgery. But the injured area got worse and the son of Tiznow developed laminitis, an extremely serious, often fatal, hoof condition. It killed Barbaro and Secretariat.

At 31-1, he took the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland in April and finished 18th in the Kentucky Derby. He won the Ohio and Indiana Derbies and finished third in the Travers Stakes. We would have had our eye on him through the Breeders' Cup and beyond.

The ebb and flow of life and death in any arena is always natural. But these few above are worth remembering.

* * * * *

It's paradoxical in horse racing to want a dominant superstar frolicking from track to track in race after race. It can make races unbettable. But if no stars are made because none of them run, that's on the humans.

If the breed itself is suffering because owners and breeders can make big profits after a horse's lollipop career on skinny legs, that's on the humans.

If you're a racing slumlord and slots hustler waiting for the nice old guy in 1A to die so you can demolish a true gem in one of the cradles of American racing, meanwhile running unbettable races on a plastic track and jacking up admission and concessions prices to eke out a make-even, that's on the humans.

The senseless, heartless corporations conspire to skim worse than the Spilotro brothers, when it has been proven lower takeout means bigger handle and profits. Gamblers, with money and numbers always on their minds, know the ponies are more a sucker bet than ever. When they drive us to a third or fourth successful wagering boycott, it's on the humans.

Breeders' Cup weekend is the best, not-great two days of the year. I cheer for all the horses, you know that, but I'll really root for those who have campaigned, either seven or eight races this year or a steady race tab coming in.

What was once a strong hunch, hook, play of the day, is now a hoping guess, a maybe, just get a price.

To come into this with such a jaundiced eye, that's on the humans.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:38 AM | Permalink

October 26, 2017

The [Thursday] Papers

Fats Domino and the Birth of Rock 'n' Roll.


*

Here's Cheap Trick's classic cover of "Ain't That A Shame."

-

Wealthy Students Pushing Out Low-Income Students At Top Public Universities
More than half of the country's top public universities replaced low-income students with affluent ones over the past 14 years, according to a new report.

And they demand luxury dorms!

-

Destroying Local News In Two Parts
* Trump FCC Eliminates Local Broadcast Main Studio Requirement In A Handout To Sinclair That Will Harm Local Communities.

* Trump's FCC Chairman Announces Plan To Scrap Media Ownership Limits Standing In Way Of Tribune-Sinclair Mega-Merger.

-

BeachBook

Some folks have been in the muck since day one; I wonder how much press was there.

*

The Tabloid Don.

-

TweetWood
A sampling.

*

*

*

*

*

*

-

The Beachwood Tronc Line: Shitty Media Men.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:16 AM | Permalink

Trump's FCC Chairman Announces Plan To Scrap Media Ownership Limits Standing In Way Of Tribune-Sinclair Mega-Merger

At a House oversight hearing on Wednesday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced plans to obliterate longstanding media ownership rules, including limits on how many stations one company can own in a single market and a longstanding ban on newspapers owning stations in the same market.

Pai's announcement follows the FCC's moves to restore the so-called UHF discount that allows large chains to conceal the reach of their stations and to end requirements that owners of television and radio stations operate studios in or near the communities they're supposed to serve.

Pai has close ties to the Sinclair Broadcast Group, whose proposed $3.9 billion merger with Tribune Media is now being reviewed by government agencies including the Justice Department and the FCC. Should regulators approve the deal, the resulting broadcast giant would control more than 233 local-TV stations reaching 72 percent of the country's population, far in excess of congressional and FCC limits on national and local media ownership.

The FCC limits to Sinclair's potential size are the same rules Pai is now seeking to undo.

Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron made the following statement:

"Ajit Pai's disastrous proposal is tailor-made for Sinclair and other giant broadcast chains that push often slanted or cookie-cutter content over the public airwaves. He's fulfilling a longstanding industry wish list and ignoring how decades of runaway media consolidation have significantly harmed local news and independent voices. The FCC has routinely failed - and been repeatedly scolded by the courts for doing so - to consider how gutting these rules will impact already abysmally low levels of broadcast ownership by women and people of color.

"We need to strengthen local voices and increase viewpoint diversity, not surrender our airwaves to an ever-smaller group of giant conglomerates. Pai is clearly committed to doing the bidding of companies like Sinclair and clearing any obstacles to their voracious expansion. But his attempt will be met with fierce opposition at the Commission and in the courts."

-

Previously:
* Item: Former Trump Aide Joins Sinclair.

* Trump's FCC Chair Continues To Shaft The Public, Offer Major Handouts To Big Media.

* Trump-Friendly Sinclair's Takeover Of Tribune TV Stations Brought To You By Trump's FCC Chairman.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Make The Air Fair.

* 'Maybe The Worst FCC I've Ever Seen.'

* A Pair Of Decades-Old Policies May Change The Way Rural America Gets Local News.

* Tribune's Disastrous Sale To Sinclair.

* Lawmakers Demand Answers About FCC's Favoritism Toward Sinclair.

* Can Anyone Stop Trump's FCC From Approving A Conservative Local News Empire?

* Sinclair's Flippant FCC Ruling.

* FCC Presses Sinclair For Answers On Tribune Merger.

* Trump FCC Eliminates Local Broadcast Main Studio Requirement In A Handout To Sinclair That Will Harm Local Communities.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:58 AM | Permalink

Wealthy Students Pushing Out Low-Income Students At Top Public Universities

More than half of the country's top public universities replaced low-income students with affluent ones over the past 14 years, according to a new report.

The study provides evidence to back up the sense in many communities that climbing into the middle class has become increasingly difficult for low-income families. It may also help explain some of the pervasive anger and feelings of being "left behind" that has shaped American politics since last year's presidential election.

Since the late 1990s, nearly two-thirds of selective public universities reduced the share of traditional-aged students they enrolled from the bottom 40 percent of the income scale. In addition, two-thirds of these universities increased the share of students from the top 20 percent of the income ladder. And half of them did both at the same time, meaning the wealthiest students took seats at the expense of poorer students.

"Public universities were set up to serve the public and to be cheaper alternatives," said Stephen Burd, a senior policy analyst at New America, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, who edited the report, titled Moving On Up? "But more and more they are becoming like the privates, and it's getting worse."

The shift towards enrolling wealthier students is not only occurring at flagship universities and prestigious public research institutions, but also at regional universities that have traditionally provided access to college for a broad range of students, regardless of their socio-economic background. The trend is not concentrated in one area of the country or in urban centers.

Between 1999 and 2013, the share of affluent students at North Dakota State University rose by 17 percentage points, while the share of low-income students fell by 10 points. At the University of Arkansas, wealthier students increased by 15 points while low-income ones dropped by 8 points. And at Iowa State University, affluent students jumped by 10 percentage points while low-income students decreased by 5 points.

In an effort to sort out why and how the changes happened, the report's authors looked at how some of the universities with the biggest shifts in population were spending their financial aid. Were they using their scholarship dollars to attract wealthier students? At some universities, the answer appeared to be yes.

The University of Alabama spent more than $100 million on non-need-based aid in 2014-15, which was the most of any public university that year. That means, in essence, that they used $100 million in university money to reduce tuition for certain students, regardless of their families' ability to pay. Since 1999, the University of Alabama has increased its share of affluent students by 13 percentage points while the share of low-income students dropped by 6 percentage points, to 11 percent of the Class of 2013.

The average annual family income of students at the University of Alabama increased by 50 percent (to nearly $230,000) from the class that entered college in 1999 to the one that graduated in 2013, the report notes.

The University of Wyoming gave 92 percent of its financial aid to non-needy students in 2014-15, according to the report. And the percentage of students from the top 20 percent of the income scale jumped to nearly half of the student body, from less than a third in 1999.

There is an important caveat to the study's conclusions. The researchers used data from the Equality of Opportunity Project's Mobility Report Cards, which does not include nontraditional aged students. This necessarily blunts the findings for colleges that have a significant proportion of these students - they are simply not included.

For example, at Medgar Evers College, 42 percent of the student body is older than 25. The college had a 13 percent reduction in the percent of low-income traditional aged students, but it may have more than balanced that out with its nontraditional student population. In addition, 60 percent of Medgar Evers students have a low enough income to receive a federal Pell grant, which hardly makes it a bastion of privilege.

That being said, the most selective universities tend to enroll fewer older students, so the conclusions are telling for many of them. For example, at North Dakota State and the University of Alabama, only 8 percent of students are older than 25, at the University of Arkansas it's 10 percent and at Iowa State it's 5 percent.

In addition, the changes at some colleges were fairly small. The average increase in the percent of affluent students was about 5 percentage points, and the average decrease in the share of low-income students was also 5 points. And not all of 381 selective public universities included in the study followed this trend. About a quarter of them increased their share of low-income students at the same time that they reduced the share of wealthy ones, including the University of Texas at Austin, Georgia State University and the University of Nevada.

The data was not broken down by race.

Overall, the researchers were troubled by a trend that they don't see slowing.

"There is a big shift going on," said Burd, "and I'm worried if we don't address it now, we're going to be paying for it for a long time in terms of social mobility in this country."

This story was produced byThe Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education. Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:03 AM | Permalink

October 25, 2017

The [Wednesday] Papers

A minor setback. More tomorrow?

-

Architectural digest.

-

TweetWood
A sampling.

*

*

-

Elvis Cobain

-

The Beachwood Tronc Line: Recovery curve.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:03 PM | Permalink

Trump FCC Eliminates Local Broadcast Main Studio Requirement In A Handout To Sinclair That Will Harm Local Communities

The FCC voted on Tuesday to eliminate the "main studio rule," which requires TV and radio broadcasters to maintain studios in or near the communities they serve.

The party line vote was led by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who has close ties to the Sinclair Broadcast Group, one of the rule change's chief beneficiaries.

Sinclair's proposed $3.9 billion merger with Tribune Media is now being reviewed by government agencies including the Justice Department and the FCC. Should regulators approve the merger, the resulting broadcast giant would control more than 233 local TV stations reaching 72 percent of the country's population, far in excess of congressional and FCC limits on national and local media ownership.

Eliminating the main studio rule directly benefits broadcast conglomerates like Sinclair that want to expand their local holdings without maintaining a presence in and engaging directly with the communities they're supposed to serve.

Sinclair routinely requires all of its stations to run right-wing commentaries that are produced in the company's corporate headquarters in Maryland and in its studios in Washington, D.C.

A recent Sinclair "Town Hall" segment featured former Trump White House staffer Sebastian Gorka claiming a national epidemic of what he called "Black African gun crime against Black Africans."

He added that "Black young men are murdering each other by the bushel," doubling down on his unsubstantiated racist rhetoric.

The FCC is enabling the distribution of this kind of hateful content by eliminating requirements, like the main studio rule, that would keep local broadcasters more accountable to the communities they serve.

Pai reportedly met with Sinclair executives on several occasions just prior to becoming Trump's nominee to head the FCC and since assuming leadership of the agency. By May, he proposed his plan to eliminate the main studio rule.

Free Press Policy Analyst Dana Floberg made the following statement:

"With today's vote Chairman Pai has given another massive handout to his friends and political allies at Sinclair. By eliminating this rule, the Commission has blasted open a path for conglomerates like Sinclair to move even more resources - including broadcast facilities and staff - away from underserved communities. The main studio rule was a vital way to preserve broadcast media's local roots and to hold local stations accountable when they fail to serve the people they're licensed to cover.

"This change will hit low-income families, rural populations and people of color the hardest. At a time when broadcast conglomerates like Sinclair are gobbling up new stations and pulling media resources out of marginalized communities, we still need the main studio rule to help connect broadcasters to the local viewers and listeners they're supposed to serve. Taking away this essential protection is a slap in the face to communities who rely on local broadcast for critical news and information that's responsive to their needs."

-

Previously:
* Item: Former Trump Aide Joins Sinclair.

* Trump's FCC Chair Continues To Shaft The Public, Offer Major Handouts To Big Media.

* Trump-Friendly Sinclair's Takeover Of Tribune TV Stations Brought To You By Trump's FCC Chairman.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Make The Air Fair.

* 'Maybe The Worst FCC I've Ever Seen.'

* A Pair Of Decades-Old Policies May Change The Way Rural America Gets Local News.

* Tribune's Disastrous Sale To Sinclair.

* Lawmakers Demand Answers About FCC's Favoritism Toward Sinclair.

* Can Anyone Stop Trump's FCC From Approving A Conservative Local News Empire?

* Sinclair's Flippant FCC Ruling.

* FCC Presses Sinclair For Answers On Tribune Merger.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:01 PM | Permalink

October 24, 2017

The [Tuesday] Papers

I'm almost ready to write again.

In fact, I thought I would today.

But frankly, I just haven't recovered the mental strength yet to take on Bruce Rauner's motorcycle jacket-clad re-election announcement and the media coverage thereof.

Nor what a phony baloney Forrest Claypool is.

Or that completely insane Amazon bid, and how the media has assumed ownership of it as the collective "we" who could want nothing more than to give one of the world's richest companies more than $2 billion in tax breaks and "incentives."

The more profitable a company is, the more public subsidies it gets from government? How could any principled Democrat or Republican be in favor of that? These kinds of packages are huge (but rarely questioned) violations of both liberal and conservative values.

But boy, the bragging rights! Laquan who? Amazon, that's who!

Just keep your eye on who will pay what - and who will benefit. And who will get hurt.

In the meantime, enjoy this new review of Chicago Town's Salted Caramel Dessert Pizza, apparently exclusive to Iceland, as well as new material throughout the site again today as well as our social media samples.


-

InstaShelf

-

13 Days Of Xmas
From Bloodshot Records, naturally.

-

Reminder: What Is News
Sometimes it's what's old.

-

Stop Driving Kids Crazy
Our test-obsessed, achievement culture is beyond misguided.

-

U.S. Soccer Too Rich For Own Good
A weirdly broken system for identifying and nurturing talent.

-

Chicago Electric Fireplace TV Stand
Assembly required.

-

Roundy's Recall
16,320 pounds of chili and soup products.

-

BeachBook

Duty, Honor, And Atrocity: George W. Bush Receives Character Award At West Point.

*

Why Immigrant Workers Became The Backbone Of Wisconsin's Dairy Industry.

*

Opioid Lobbyist Left A Digital Fingerprint On A Campaign By "Patient Advocates."

*

Foodboxes, now.

-

TweetWood
A sampling.

*

-

The Beachwood Tronc Line: 4-for-7.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:42 AM | Permalink

13 Days Of Xmas

We're barely to Halloween, but startlingly the holidays are right around the corner. Featuring unique originals and faithful covers of traditional songs, Bloodshot Records' 13 Days of Xmas collects holiday-themed material from label and non-label acts alike.

13days_lpcover_1500 (2).jpg

One such non-label act James Elkington (The Zincs, Steve Gunn, Richard Thompson, Jeff Tweedy) took on the Watersons' "Christmas Is Now Drawing Near At Hand," premiered over at NPR Music.

The album can be pre-ordered here.

The track list:

1. Murder By Death - "O Holy Night"

2. Barrence Whitfield and the Savages - "Papa Barrence's Christmas"

3. Jon Langford and His Men of Gwent - "Christmas Carol, Christmas Ray"

4. Ruby Boots - "I Slept Through Christmas"

5. Ha Ha Tonka - "The List"

6. James Elkington - "Christmas Is Now Drawing Near at Hand"

7. Dex Romweber Duo - "Dark Christmas"

8. Kelly Hogan - "Blue Snowfall"

9. Devil in a Woodpile - "The Pagans Had It Right"

10. Zach Schmidt - "I'm Drunk Again This Christmas"

11. All Our Exes Live in Texas - "How to Make Gravy"

12. Ron Gallo - "White Christmas"

13. The Yawpers - "Christmas in Oblivion"

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:17 AM | Permalink

Chicago Electric Fireplace TV Stand

Flames can be on without heater.


-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:12 AM | Permalink

The Real News Is "Old"

It's old news that Donald Trump abuses reason, knowledge, decency and dark-skinned people. You can't tear your eyes away. You can already write tomorrow's story: Today the vicious, deranged freak-show star trashed Enemy A, picked a fight with Failed Insider B, invited unconstitutional action C, insulted population D, declared his intent to abrogate Agreement E or make war on Country F, and denied facts G through Z. Fill in the blanks.

If you are paying attention, each one of his assaults on decency, intelligence and knowledge will feel urgent, ridiculous or both. Each day he threatens grave damage to actual human beings and the rest of Planet Earth, and each day he demonstrates his incapacity to do anything but inflict more damage. But some readers and viewers have erected walls to protect themselves from appreciating the damage, while many others think that what he just said is just the sort of thing you'd expect him to say; or isn't as bad as expected; or sounds like what he said last week, and so is, like it or not, normal.

Even some of our best journalists continue to scavenge the rubble of everyday politics looking for signs of normalcy and "presidentialness."

You want to jack up your eyebrows permanently. You will feel tempted to offer, as a prologue or a follow-up to each item of news, You won't believe this. And your task as a journalist is to convey what he just said so that the reader or viewer will believe that he did say what he just said, and will be able to take the measure of it, to know how it was wrong, or incoherent, and why; to know that it was founded on ignorance and falsehood, and in what ways. Making intelligible the everyday nonsense without losing the sense of the ways in which it is nonsense is the tallest of journalistic orders. And to reveal not only what he just said but what he just did, or just let happen, is a task for more journalists than can be found in the entire United States of America.

Whether you are a journalist or a citizen of some other kind, if you lose your capacity to be shocked, you have come untethered from the real shocking world in which meaning is steadily mangled. If you lose your ability to feel disgusted, you have lost your moral purchase. So in order to remain alive to the world, you must hold on to your vulnerability. You must, every day, pause the thought that you've heard this story before. You must feel, every day, the pain and contempt that is the gross domestic and international product of this travesty of government - let alone democratic government.

How can you tear your eyes away without renouncing every value you hold dear? But if you don't tear your eyes away, how do you convey the true magnitude of the menaces unfolding 24 hours a day?

If you are a journalist, it is your duty to disturb - not by exaggerating, not by refusing "balance," but by refusing to cut corners. You must consider a maniac a maniac. You must agree to be unnerved. Failure to be unnerved is a sign of impairment. Failure to disturb is a failure at your job, which is to excavate and sort through the facts in such a way as to help citizens act as they are bound to act - to restore, as best we can, the health of the republic.

Part of journalism's challenge at this insane moment is to overcome one of its cardinal principles. It abhors "old news." So it must struggle to get a grip on the most important news, which surely includes the ugliest, and is always, in a way, "old." This is because the ugliest news is news that continues, that goes on happening, that fans out into more than one trajectory at a time - news that rolls on in cascading sequences that, by prevailing standards, decline in news value. It's the initial event that seizes the headlines - the rest is aftermath, mop-up, "old news." Next will come "breaking news." This just in . . . The assumption, possibly accurate, is that once the event has been catalogued in collective memory, it loses its tensile strength, and we stop paying attention.

This distortion of our collective experience is so ordinary as to escape much notice. But the consequences of the original news, the "story," go on shaping life regardless of who pays attention.

The killer opened fire for a few minutes but the wounded, if they survive, remain wounded, their families and friends suffer their injuries, the trauma goes on. The factories shut down, people take to drugs and drink, and the recently unemployed get worse - less secure, less meaningful - jobs. The poor lose health insurance and then get sick and cannot afford treatment. Homes get seized for nonpayment of impossible loans, neighborhoods crumble, community networks break down. Wildfires burn, and ruins smolder, and the lost are found - or not - but a community expires. The hurricane moves on and the rubble remains, the power is off at the hospital, the medicines run out. The bombs fall, the wedding party was blown up, and the survivors tell stories about what happened and talk about what to do next.

In other words, the important news is not a rivulet flowing through a bounded channel from Point A to Point B. It is more like the sea, endlessly in motion in every direction. The most serious news continues to play out, if less dramatically, less shockingly, than at the desperate moments when the shots first rang out, the fire raged, the factory gate slammed shut, the hurricane first made landfall, the would-be president first opened his mouth about Mexicans. In the nearly 12 months through which we have staggered, day by horrific day, journalists have done well to catch the man making no sense. Yet the challenge remains. How do you tell a story you may think you've already told even as the story continues to unfold in its unruly way?

So as not to let this piece lapse into a chronicle of failure, here are some excerpts from a fine example of journalism that rises to the occasion: Ed Morales' report on Puerto Rico in The Nation:

As Donald Trump's rule-by-disinformation strategy intensifies, three weeks after Hurricane Maria, a reeling Puerto Rico is becoming more of a sideshow for his callous stereotyping and ruthlessness. He is subjecting the island's citizens to layers of anguish, at once revealing the resourcefulness of a sturdy rural culture and the banality of government by public relations. Puerto Ricans, meanwhile, are suffering that all-too-human affliction: the desperate need to connect.

One of the enduring images from Puerto Rico in the wake of Maria is people crowded together near outposts of cable or wireless companies, trying to get a signal so they can communicate. By now most people know that their friends and loved ones have survived; that they may in some cases have water but almost never electricity; that they may need precious medications, or may have stood on line at their local pharmacy for hours to get them; that they may have lost all or part of the roof to their home. Survivors have seen their neighborhoods strewn with the carcasses of dead trees, discarded mattresses and refrigerators; have spent hours trying to get cash out of the few working ATMs in their area or - now a less common complaint - waiting in a gas line.

Sustaining contact on an island littered with fallen power lines and cell-phone towers is difficult, and it contributes to a pervasive feeling of disconnection and chaos. This island is full of people suffering from some form of post-traumatic stress disorder. Imagine finally reaching the remote mountaintop home of a close friend or relative, who sits there with a municipal government-issued packet of crackers, applesauce and bottled water, looking up at you watery-eyed and saying, "I was wondering whether you even wanted to talk to me anymore."

And meanwhile, lest the story of Puerto Rico appear too abstract:

Pence's visit had the unpleasant effect of throwing metro-area traffic into complete chaos, prompting the closure of the Baldorioty Expressway, which is something like Manhattan's FDR Drive. With all surrounding avenues closed, I was forced to drive back toward Old San Juan, which is still without electricity (as opposed to Condado, where billionaire hedge-funder John Paulson has bought the area's most luxurious hotel). Driving south toward Rio Piedras in the hopes of avoiding traffic, I encountered flash floods that made Avenida Muñoz Rivera a one-lane lake. Pushing on to the old Route 3 on the way back east to the rain forest, a feeling of dread overtook me as I realized that night had fallen and thousands of cars were surging along highways with stoplights that didn't work.

Amazingly, the anxious civility that has permeated the island kept us all safe, and I maneuvered the painstaking miles through a torrent of headlights, fading cell signals, flooded roadways and yawning potholes. The landscape had become an unrecognizable blur of fallen trees, twisted highway signs and mangled electrical wires. Landmarks had become distorted and useless, while entire communities that had been previously invisible now emerged, ghostlike. There was no light anywhere, just a full moon that seemed to swallow all of Route 66.

In his sociological classic, Deciding What's News, published in 1979, Herbert J. Gans itemized what he called "enduring news values" - the unwritten, often unthought elements of a story that elevate it to prominence. Disasters loomed large in his accounting. Some disasters are social, some are natural, but all represent violent breaks from what came before. The rupture is, by definition, a sign of the extraordinary. Something has been torn asunder. The event can be pinpointed, assigned a who, a what, a where and a when, if not a why. So later we can speak of "after Vietnam" and "after Charlottesville," with the place-name doubling as the time when a specific, bounded experience "took place."

Gans noted, too, that after a time - usually no more than a few days - the emphasis in the reporting of a disaster shifts from the damage caused to the restoration of order. The restoration of order is not necessarily a happy ending but it's a happier one, an exercise in not only social but mental management. It affords a sense of what we have come to call closure. The streets are drained, the rubble cleaned up, the National Guard withdrawn, the patients moved from the dysfunctional hospital, the surviving victims outfitted with their prostheses. We can move on.

But there are millions who can't move on. Thus Ed Morales' sum-up of the financial situation after Hurricane Maria: " . . . the relief designated for Puerto Rico comes in the form of roughly $5 billion in loans . . . a cruel joke for a territory already drowning in debt."

One rupture of order follows another. Don't expect order to be restored. All systems failed. That is the story. It must be told, and refreshed, and followed, and followed anew.

This post first appeared at BillMoyers.com. Comments welcome.

-

Bonus: How Not To Do It.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:36 AM | Permalink

Until Youth Soccer Is Fixed, U.S. Men's National Team Destined To Fail

David beating Goliath is very exciting - unless you're a fan of Goliath.

The United States has 330 million people and a massive youth soccer system, yet its men's national soccer team just got bushwhacked by a team from Trinidad and Tobago, a country with 1.3 million residents.

How could this happen?

It's not just about cultural norms. (Even if 90 percent of the U.S. population didn't care about soccer, 33 million still would.) It's not just about high school football teams siphoning off potential soccer talent. (There's talent enough to go around when you have all those people.) It's not just about U.S. soccer's leadership and disorganization. (There are ineffective bureaucracies everywhere.) It's not just about the unimaginative style of soccer played by U.S. teams. (Nobody criticizes the German team for its methodical style of play.)

Instead the problem is the American system of identifying and cultivating soccer talent - or, more accurately, not identifying this talent.

For the past six years I have been researching and writing about the commercialized youth sports industry, including a youth soccer system that excludes low-income and nonsuburban families from participating at the same rate as higher-income families.

U.S. kids don't play soccer with bare feet on hardscrabble barrio fields where creativity dominates the action and with few grown-ups in sight.

Instead, too many American kids play soccer in high-tech cleats on manicured suburban fields, where they stand around quietly until an adult (often paid) runs them through repetitive drills - all to prepare for an expensive tournament three states away.

Commercial components permeate every aspect of the youth game. Research presented in my recent book on college and youth sports shows that family income is highly correlated with youth soccer participation. About 25 percent of American families have incomes over $100,000 annually, yet they produce 35 percent of youth soccer players.

Conversely, the 25 percent of families with incomes below $25,000 account for only 13 percent of youth soccer players. Forty percent of youth soccer players will leave the sport between ages 13 and 18.

Many leave for financial reasons. Kids interested in playing soccer must increasingly pay for apparel, equipment, team fees, coaches, trainers, tournament travel and field space. It's not unusual for families to spend over $10,000 per child per year to play organized youth soccer.

The result is a system more attuned to identifying the best payers than the best players.

Those remaining in what I call the pay-to-play soccer system increasingly sign up for high-cost tournaments like the annual Disney Boys' Soccer Showcase, with the idea that it'll increase their chances of being identified by the national team or college recruiters who frequent the expensive tournaments.

What would have become of Cristiano Renaldo or Marta had they grown up in the U.S. pay-to-play system?

Talent isn't being found in overgrown weed patches stuffed between urban row houses and rural farms. Nor is it being found among the 630,000 kids playing in the American Youth Soccer Organization programs, which adhere to the philosophy that youth sports should be fun in and of itself, not an expensive pathway to some "next level."

U.S. international dominance in men's basketball provides a good contrast to soccer. Sure, there's a significant commercial element to youth basketball, most notably reflected in the Amateur Athletic Union circuit.

But this isn't the only place where talent is identified. There's a robust network of recruiters who still go to cramped high school gyms and neighborhood playgrounds teeming with skilled players. Low-income boys are 50 percent more likely to participate in basketball than in soccer, with participation rates identical between blacks and Latinos (despite cultural stereotypes that assume Latinos are more likely to play soccer).

There might be a reason for this: There are low-cost options for playing basketball (and being noticed), unlike in soccer. The U.S. men's national basketball team does not systematically exclude an enormous swath of the population merely because it is poor. A bigger talent pool equals better teams.

Men's soccer will never be able to compete internationally as long as it is enmeshed in a class-restrictive youth sports system. As for the U.S. women's comparative international success in soccer, that's a different dilemma. Many other countries don't fund and cultivate women's soccer players as well as the U.S., which gives the Americans an advantage.

My prediction, though, is that these same economic restrictions will soon kick U.S. women's soccer in the collective shin guards as other countries eventually compensate for the Title IX-based advantages afforded to American girls and women for the past 44 years.

Rick Eckstein is a sociology professor at Villanova. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

-

Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:17 AM | Permalink

Roundy's Recall: 16,320 Pounds Of Chili And Soup Products

Roundy's Supermarkets, Inc., a Kenosha, Wis. establishment, is recalling approximately 16,320 pounds of chili and soup products that may be contaminated with foreign matter, specifically hard plastic, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has announced.

The Ready-to-Eat chili and soup items were produced and packaged on October 3, 2017 with a "Sell by" date of December 2, 2017. The following products are subject to recall:

* 24-lb. boxes containing six 4-lb. bags of "Meat and Bean Soup in Tomato Base" with lot code 354191-2767.

* 24-lb. boxes containing six 4-lb. bags of "Santa Fe Style Turkey and White Chicken Chili with Beans" with lot code 354464-2767.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number "EST. 33997" or "P-33997" inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to retail locations in Illinois and Wisconsin. The products are sold to retail stores to be prepared for sale to consumers in the soup bar area.

The problem was discovered on October 16, 2017, when Roundy's Supermarkets, Inc. was notified by a member of the firm's food safety team that plastic foreign material had been discovered in a bag of Meat and Bean Soup in Tomato Base. FSIS was notified of the incident on October 17, 2017. The firm decided to expand the recall to include all of the soups produced on October 3, 2017.

There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.

Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website.

Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov.

The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day.

USDA RECALL CLASSIFICATIONS

Class I - This is a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.

Class II - This is a health hazard situation where there is a remote probability of adverse health consequences from the use of the product.

Class III - This is a situation where the use of the product will not cause adverse health consequences.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:00 AM | Permalink

Stop Driving Kids Crazy

American society is obsessed with a single route to success.

We tell our children they must get high SAT scores, attend selective colleges, get bachelor's degrees and get high paying jobs to have a successful life. They go through 12 years of incessant testing, test-prep lessons and test mania, as if tests were the key to success.

The nation's education system has become an SAT rat race in which youth are judged on where they fall on the bell curve of test scores.

This message drives kids crazy. Even high-achieving students worry about their rankings and strive to improve them in hopes of college admissions. Since low test scores can hurt a school's reputation and funding, high schools sometimes find ways to exclude low achieving students on test days, presaging future societal exclusion.

In our recent book, Bridging the Gaps, Caitlin Ahearn, Janet Rosenbaum and I find that although academic skills and high test scores are worthwhile goals, the narrow focus on one-dimensional attainments is a mistaken view that ignores many good options and creates unnecessary discouragement for students who feel they cannot meet college test-score requirements.

In reality, highest scores aren't necessary for college access. Despite the obsession with getting into very selective colleges, only 13 percent of colleges are very selective. Most graduating seniors attend the "other 87 percent" of colleges - trade schools, public and private two-year and four-year colleges, large and small colleges, for-profit colleges, and colleges with massive open online courses (MOOCs) and blended learning.

We find that that these other colleges offer practical occupational programs, in which many students discover abilities, interests and motivation they didn't know they had.

Moreover, the focus on bachelor's degrees is too narrow. More students get associate degrees and occupational certificates than get a bachelor's. Although average earnings are higher for graduates holding a bachelor's than for associate degree and occupational certificate holders, these earnings overlap a great deal.

About 25 percent of individuals with one-year occupational certificates earn more than most bachelor's holders, and one-quarter of bachelor's holders earn less than most individuals with occupational certificates. Students with low test scores often succeed with credentials other than a bachelor's degree, and some of them have higher earnings than graduates holding a bachelor's.

College faculty report that occupational programs, and the jobs they lead to, often require solid eighth-grade to 10th-grade academic skills, but not necessarily college-level academic skills. Students must learn professional standards and skills, but often not high academic skills. This path holds many nonmonetary rewards such as autonomy and career relevance that are important sources of fulfillment and are more strongly correlated with job satisfaction than earnings.

Some young adults choose lower-paying jobs in order to get better autonomy, training, or career relevance. We find that high-paying jobs are sometimes dangerous, disagreeable, or dead-end.

In contrast with the SAT rat race, associate degree and occupational certificate holders can get good jobs that are vital to society - airplane mechanics, auto repair mechanics, computer technicians, HVAC services, manufacturing workers, medical aides, and elevator-repair workers.

About half of all jobs in the U.S. are mid-skill jobs like these. Despite the hemorrhaging of jobs to offshoring and automation, many of these occupations cannot be displaced. They must be done in the U.S., but they require specific college programs. Indeed, while we glorify bachelor's degrees, most holders of bachelor's degrees aren't qualified to do these jobs.

Our daily activities, and indeed our lives, depend upon the skills of these workers. Going in for surgery, our anxieties focus on the surgeon, but we quickly realize that our life depends on the technical skills of an entire team, including 20-year-old surgical tech assistants with one-year college certificates from unselective colleges.

These jobs are vital to society and to all of us.

High school seniors want jobs that are satisfying, help others, contribute to society, and provide sufficient earnings to support a family. Youth don't need high SAT scores to attain these goals.

Society sometimes seems blinded by an achievement mania, which distracts attention from what really matters for most people.

In fact, society offers many more good options, which can appeal to more students, and we should make sure that all youth are aware of their many options.

James E. Rosenbaum is professor of sociology, education, and social policy, and research fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University. This story was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:00 AM | Permalink

October 23, 2017

The [Monday] Papers

I've been sick, people.

At first I thought it was the flu.

Then it appeared to be an undetermined virus.

It was even suggested to me that I had meningitis - and indeed, symptoms that I had for weeks prior to "becoming sick" that I didn't recognize as symptoms checked many of those boxes. (I thought my stiff, achy neck was a pillow issue.)

Then the whole thing morphed into strep throat - which is definitely not where it started.

It's been painful and ugly, and while the strep seems to have been taken care of, I have a few residual symptoms of the original illness hanging around, albeit in diminished form.

Mostly, I don't totally have my strength back - my body was wracked with fever among other things - and I'm just starting to get back on my feet. I don't have my total powers of concentration back, that's for sure.

But I'm trying to restore the site this week. So there's fresh content in all our sections today. We'll see how things go the rest of the week, and if I can start writing proper columns again.

Meanwhile, my girlfriend broke up with me out of the blue, I remain dirt poor and bitter, and I'd dearly love to move on - will I ever get to New York City or Los Angeles?

I just can't take much more of Rauner and Rahm and the Bears and blah blah blah ... I mean, can the media express even the slightest bit of skepticism about Amazon? It's like the Olympic bid all over again. Did Foxconn not just happen? So sick of it.

It's all supposed to add up to something. But very little seems to really change. Lessons aren't learned. Knowledge isn't accrued. Experience fails to bring wisdom. People mostly suck.

I'm worn out, folks. But I guess I'm back.

-

Chicagoetry: The War Of The Rainbows
Hurtling down the Eisenhower in a bus I can neither steer nor stop, while being stabbed in the ribs . . .

-

The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Terror Jr., Daniel Johnston, The War On Drugs, Chris Isaak, The Black Dahlia Murder, Conformco, Lil Peep, and Green Jello.

-

SportsMonday: Action Jackson
All about Eddie.

-

Media Sexism And Weinstein
Television commercials are particularly guilty.

-

Illinois' Dirty Thirty-Four
Thirty-four companies headquartered in Illinois maintain at least 824 tax haven subsidiaries holding $130.3 billion in profits offshore.

-

Chicago History Museum Card Catalog Going Digital
"It's hard to say what will become of the analog card catalog now that it's retired. Perhaps it will find a home in the Museum's historic collection."

-

Beachwood Sports Radio: Joe Maddon's Playoff Managing Exceeds The Pleasure Of The Playoffs
Bullpen bullshit. Plus: Bears Media Loves Development Of Quarterback Team Won't Let Throw; Chicago Bulls Shit; Blackhawks Playoffs Not Here Yet; Fire Playoffs Not Here Yet.

-

Chicagoetry: My Bastard Heart
I mean to introduce articles of impeachment.

-

BeachBook
A sampling.

How Video Slots Dupe You.

*

How The Swindlers Of Silicon Valley Avoid Paying Taxes.

-

TweetWood
A sampling.

*

*

*

*

-

The Beachwood Tronc Line: Bloody tracks.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:29 PM | Permalink

SportsMonday: Action Jackson

Eddie Jackson didn't just turn two turnovers into electrifying return touchdowns for the Bears on Sunday, giving them a two-touchdown lead they would not relinquish on their way to a 17-3 victory over the Panthers. The rookie safety tar-heeled Carolina with double-whammies.

Turnovers usually fall into one of two categories: Either a defense grabs a pick or recovers a fumble in its own end of the field, thwarting an opposing scoring opportunity, or it accomplishes the feat in the opposing end, setting up a score.

By becoming the first defensive player in NFL history to record two returns of more than 75 yards for touchdowns in one game, Jackson not only extinguished a scoring opportunity in the Bears' end with his fumble recovery for one kind of turnover, he raced back down the field to score for the other.

And when he deked Cam Newton to the ground on his way to his pick six it was a double double-whammy and it was more than enough points for the Bears as they improved to 3-4 on the season.

-

Eddie Jackson 1.

*

Eddie Jackson 2.

-

Overall, the Bears took playing not to lose to a whole new level. And it worked beautifully. Despite throwing all of seven forward passes and recording just five first downs, the Bears controlled the game throughout the second half.

What a performance by the defense. From the heart of the front line to the deepest part of the secondary, the Bears didn't just defeat the Panthers, they punished them.

The linebackers/defensive ends were great from the first snap until the last. If it wasn't Christian Jones flying downhill to blow up a screen pass for a TFL it was Danny Trevathan excelling against both the run and the pass. If it wasn't Leonard Floyd hurrying Cam Newton virtually all second half long and capping it off by going from providing contain on one side of the pocket to a big tackle all the way over on the other side, it was Pernell McPhee finishing it off with a sack and an awesome hurry.

The sacks were a bit of a concern on offense but one thing you realized in the second half was that you almost wanted Mitch Trubisky to take the sack rather than throw it away because the sack kept the clock running.

The Bears even avoided disasters on special teams, although a little luck played into that. Pat O'Donnell launched his best punt of the day over 55 yards in the air early in the second half. He didn't hit his next two efforts nearly as well but Panther return man Christian McCaffery had lined up so deep after the initial kick drove him way back, both those ensuing kicks landed on the ground and rolled further. O'Donnell's third punt of the half benefited from a champion roll that exceeded 20 yards.

Next up is the Saints on Sunday. The Bears didn't just win this game, they appeared to get out of it in relatively good health. They still have a long way to go to be competitive for the division (Minnesota sits atop the NFC North at an impressive 5-2 despite difficulties at quarterback), but we will take simple competitiveness.

I am looking forward to seeing what the Bear defense can do next week against the quarterback, Drew Brees, who has been the hottest signal-caller in the NFL so far this year. Oh, and perhaps Trubisky will give us at least a highlight or two as well.

-

Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:11 AM | Permalink

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Terror Jr. at the Chop Shop on Saturday night.


-

2. Daniel Johnston at the Vic on Friday night.

-

3. The War On Drugs at the Aragon on Thursday night.

-

4. Chris Isaak at the Genesee in Waukegan on Friday night.

-

5. The Black Dahlia Murder at the Forge in Joliet on Friday night.

-

6. Conformco at Bottom Lounge on Friday night.

-

7. Lil Peep at Bottom Lounge on Thursday night.

-

8. Green Jello at Livewire on Friday night.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:34 AM | Permalink

How Media Sexism Demeans Women And Fuels Abuse By Men Like Weinstein

The sexual abuse scandal currently embroiling media mogul Harvey Weinstein has stunned the United States, with Hollywood and the fashion industry declaring that "this way of treating women ends now."

As an Argentinean woman who studies gender in the media, I find it hard to be surprised by Weinstein's misdeeds. Machismo remains deeply ingrained in Latin American society, yes, but even female political leaders in supposedly gender-equal paradises like Holland and Sweden have told me that they are criticized more in the press and held to a higher standard than their male counterparts.

How could they not be? Across the world, the film and TV industry - Weinstein's domain - continues to foist outdated gender roles upon viewers.

demean.jpgAdvertising continues to portray women as charming keepers of the home, making it harder to succeed at work/Andrea44, CC BY-SA

Women's Work

Television commercials are particularly guilty, frequently casting women in subservient domestic roles.

Take this 2015 ad for the Argentine cleaning product Cif, which is still running today. It explains how its concentrated cleaning capsules "made Sleeping Beauty shine."

In it, a princess eager to receive her prince remembers that - gasp - the floors in her castle tower are a total mess. Thanks to Cif's magic scouring fluid, she has time not only to clean but also to get dolled up for the prince - who, in case you were wondering, has no physical challenges preventing him from helping her tidy up.

But why should he, when it's a woman's job to be both housekeeper and pretty princess?

Somewhat paradoxically, advertisements may also cast men as domestic superheroes. Often, characters like Mr. Muscle will mansplain to women about the best product and how to use it - though they don't actually do any cleaning themselves.

We've Come A Little Way, Baby

Various studies on gender stereotypes in commercials indicate that although the advertising industry is slowly changing for the better, marketing continues to target specific products to certain customers based on traditional gender roles.

Women are pitched hygiene and cleaning products, whereas men get ads for banks, credit cards, housing, cars and other significant financial investments.

This year, U.N. Women teamed up with Unilever and other industry leaders like Facebook, Google, Mars and Microsoft to launch the Unstereotype Alliance. The aim of this global campaign is to end stereotypical and sexist portrayals of gender in advertising.

As part of the #Unstereotype campaign, Unilever also undertook research on gender in advertising. It found that only 3 percent of advertising shows women as leaders and just 2 percent conveys them as intelligent. In ads, women come off as interesting people just 1 percent of the time.

Britain Paves A Path

Even before it was forced to reckon with allegations that Harvey Weinstein had also harassed women in London, the United Kingdom was making political progress on the issue of women's portrayal in the media.

In July, the United Kingdom's Advertising Standards Authority announced that the U.K. will soon prohibit commercials that promote gender stereotypes.

"While advertising is only one of many factors that contribute to unequal gender outcomes," its press release stated, "tougher advertising standards can play an important role in tackling inequalities and improving outcomes for individuals, the economy and society as a whole."

As of 2018, the agency says, advertisements in which women are shown as solely responsible for household cleaning or men appear useless around kitchen appliances and unable to handle taking care of their children and dependents will not pass muster in the U.K. Commercials that differentiate between girls' and boys' toys based on gender stereotypes will be banned as well.

Sticky Floors

The U.K.'s move is a heartening public recognition that gender stereotypes in the media both reflect and further the very real inequalities women face at home and at work.

Worldwide, the International Labor Organization reports, women still bear the burden of household chores and caretaking responsibilities, which often either excludes them from pay work or leaves them relegated to ill-paid part-time jobs.

In the U.K., men spend on average 16 hours per week on domestic tasks, while women spend 26. The European Union average is worse, with women dedicating an average of 26 weekly hours to men's nine hours on caretaking and household tasks.

In Argentina, my home country, fully 40 percent of men report doing no household work at all, even if they're unemployed. Among those who do pitch in, it's 24 hours a week on caretaking and domestic chores for men. Argentinean women put in 45 hours.

You can do the math: On average, Argentinean women use up two days of their week and some 100 days annually - nearly one-third of their year - on unpaid household labor.

These inequalities, combined with advertising that reinforces them, generate what's called the "sticky floors" problem. Women - whether would-be investment bankers or, I dare say, aspiring Hollywood stars - don't just face glass ceilings to advancement, they also are also "stuck" to domestic life by endless chores.

The cultural powers that be produce content that represents private spaces as "naturally" imbued with female qualities, gluing women to traditional caregiving roles.

This hampers their professional development and helps keep them at the bottom of the economy pyramid because women must pull off a balancing act between their jobs inside and outside of the domestic sphere. And they must excel at both, all while competing against male colleagues who likely confront no such challenges.

Former U.S. president Barack Obama once pointed out this double standard in homage to his then-competitor Hillary Clinton. She, he reminded an audience in 2008, "was doing everything I was doing, but just like Ginger Rogers, it was backwards in heels."

The sticky floor problem puts women in a position to be exploited by men like Weinstein, who tout their ability to help female aspirants to get unstuck. Until society - and, with it, the media we create - comprehend that neither professional success nor domesticity has a gender, these pernicious powerful dynamics will endure.

Virginia García Beaudoux is a professor of Political Communication and Public Opinion at the University of Buenos Aires. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

-

Comments welcome.

-

1. Yeah, I'm not so sure the issue is advertisements that still posit women as homemakers as much as it is objectification. That's what helps to perpetuate a culture that robs women - and men, really - of their humanity and positions them as merely sexual beings for men to manipulate, diminish and humiliate in order to claim access to their bodies.

Also, my God, media - and that includes the news media, not just the advertising world. Every day our screens are filled with just such objectification. Some call that rape culture. It's definitely misogyny writ large.

Finally, in journalism school at the University of Minnesota, Erving Goffman's Gender Advertisments was on the required reading list. I still have my copy. Was my curriculum really so different as it seems from so many other journalism schools, or did few pay attention and take heed?

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:43 AM | Permalink

Chicago History Museum Card Catalog Going Digital

The Chicago History Museum is making its small manuscript collection, which includes personal accounts of early life in Chicago, discoverable online thanks to a generous Museums for America grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

"Scholars have relied on visiting the Museum's paper card catalog for the better part of a century," said Russell Lewis, executive vice president and chief historian of the Chicago History Museum. "This grant will allow the Museum's entire small manuscript collections to become discoverable online to researchers and scholars around the world."

This grant will fund the Museum's project to convert 6,000 of its small manuscript collections into fully digital catalog records. The collections will be discoverable both in the Museum's public online library system (ARCHIE) and in digital databases including WorldCat and EXPLORE Chicago Collections.

Acquired by the Museum in the early 20th century, the manuscript collections describe aspects of life in the United States from the Colonial era to the Civil War. Manuscripts include personal narratives of The Great Chicago Fire, diaries from Chicago's early settlers, and business and club records from the early 20th century.

The Museum is honored to be one of 132 projects that were selected to receive a grant from a pool of 558 applications.

The Museums for America program supports projects that strengthen the ability of an individual museum to serve its public. The program's three project categories are learning experiences, community anchors and collections stewardship.

"It's hard to say what will become of the analog card catalog now that it's retired," said Lewis. "Perhaps it will find a home in the Museum's historic collection."

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:59 AM | Permalink

Chicagoetry: The War Of The Rainbows

The War of the Rainbows

I miss the war
of the rainbows most
of the recurring dreams I had

when I could sleep.

They would kick-box
across the horizon
like giant pairs of bowl-legs.

I even miss
the nightmares which, I'm certain,
were often fueled by nicotine:

hurtling down the Eisenhower
in a bus I can neither steer
nor stop, while being stabbed in the ribs

with a screwdriver

by an invisible assailant,
feeling it as though
it was actually happening.

What I would give now
for that one to recur!

Age, weight, diet, beer, cigs, coffee, apnea,
aging parents, financial strife, work stress
(including now routine/required bag checks),

impending loss of health insurance.
Nothing out of the ordinary, really.
Except, perhaps, for the homeless guy

who has taken to sleeping
under my back porch. I dread
having to check to see

the crack of his ass

sticking out under the back stairwell
(I note here with interest
that he does seem to be able to sleep).

And I dread, whilst wide awake
in the dead of it,
hearing the back gate below

my bedroom window click
open and shut. Him?
I never check at night.

I dread
the ream of bad habits
I'll have to break

to get back
on a reasonable track.

Sometimes, I read.
And I'm learning to meditate
rather than rue, to

vacate rather than stew.
I'm getting better
at not going online.

I miss, when I could sleep,

communing with loved ones
who've passed on:
high school buddies who died young,

my Dad; rarely
do we discuss their passing
and re-appearance.

I tend to play it cool,
as if nothing happened.

I do not miss
being back in the family home
(I like where I am now,

except for the not-sleeping part) nor
heading back to that home
only to remember

we don't live there anymore.

And I don't miss
being back at college
with one semester to go

having no idea
where any of my classes are.

I do miss
that war.

-

J.J. Tindall is the Beachwood's poet-in-residence. He welcomes your comments. Chicagoetry is an exclusive Beachwood collection-in-progress.

-

More Tindall:

* Chicagoetry: The Book

* Ready To Rock: The Music

* Kindled Tindall: The Novel

* The Viral Video: The Match Game Dance

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:43 AM | Permalink

Most Fortune 500 Companies Used Tax Havens In 2016

In 2016, 73 percent of Fortune 500 companies - including 34 headquartered in Illinois - maintained subsidiaries in offshore tax havens, according to Offshore Shell Games, by Illinois PIRG Education Fund and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

Collectively, multinationals reported booking $2.6 trillion offshore, with just 30 companies accounting for 68 percent of this total, and just four companies accounting for a quarter of the total.

"With Congress looking to pass tax cuts that would cost upwards of $5 trillion, it's all the more unacceptable to leave open these absurd loopholes and gimmicks for the biggest multinational corporations," said Abe Scarr, Illinois PIRG Director. "Tax reform should inject common sense into our tax code, and it shouldn't balloon our deficit. Closing tax haven loopholes would both eliminate some of the most ridiculous tax gaming and it could help pay for the cost of tax cuts."

This report highlights the urgent need to close tax haven loopholes. By stashing profits in offshore tax havens using phony accounting gimmicks, the biggest corporations may be avoiding up to $750 billion in U.S. federal taxes. AbbVie Inc. headquartered in Lake Bluff, holds $29 billion in 40 offshore tax havens including the Netherlands and Cayman Islands.

Key findings of the report include:

  • Most of America's largest corporations maintain subsidiaries in offshore tax havens. At least 366 companies, or 73 percent of the Fortune 500, operate one or more subsidiaries in tax haven countries.
  • Approximately 57 percent of companies with tax haven subsidiaries have set up at least one in Bermuda or the Cayman Islands -- two particularly notorious tax havens. The profits that all American multinationals -- not just Fortune 500 companies --implausibly claimed they earned in these two island nations according to the most recent data totaled 1,884 percent and 1,313 percent of each country's entire yearly economic output, respectively.
  • The 34 companies headquartered in Illinois maintain at least 824 tax haven subsidiaries holding $130.3 billion in profits offshore.
  • The 30 companies with the most money booked offshore for tax purposes collectively hold nearly $1.76 trillion overseas, increased since last year. That is 67 percent of the nearly $2.6 trillion that Fortune 500 companies together report holding offshore.
  • Only 58 Fortune 500 companies disclose what they would expect to pay in U.S. taxes if these profits were not officially booked offshore. In total, these 58 companies would owe $240 billion in additional federal taxes. The average tax rate the 58 companies currently pay to other countries on this income is a mere 6.1 percent, implying that most of it is booked to tax havens.

"Real tax reform would fix the deferral loophole, not reward companies for using the loophole to avoid taxes year after year," said Richard Phillips, a senior policy analyst at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. "Lawmakers shouldn't be discussing how to sweeten the pot and give corporations a huge tax break that amounts to a huge financial reward for engaging in bad corporate behavior."

The report concludes that to end tax haven abuse, Congress and state legislatures should end incentives for companies to shift profits offshore, close the most egregious offshore loopholes, strengthen tax enforcement, increase transparency, and deny corporations a repatriation holiday.

And while much of the reform necessary to stop this offshore tax dodging must happen at the federal level, states can still act to curb some of the worst abuses. By closing these loopholes on the state level, Illinois could save at least $108.3 million annually.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:32 AM | Permalink

October 20, 2017

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #172: Worn Cubs' Panic Exceeds The Pleasure

Bullpen bullshit. Plus: Bears Media Loves Development Of Quarterback Team Won't Let Throw; Chicago Bulls Shit; Blackhawks Playoffs Not Here Yet; Fire Playoffs Not Here Yet.


-

SHOW NOTES

* 172.

2:32: Joe Maddon Is A Terrible Playoff Manager.

* John Lackey and the raggedy-ass bullpen.

* Coffman: "That was Joe Maddon managing out of spite."

* Wade Chapman.

* Willson Chapman.

* Kris Bryant: Tired, Drained, Complacent, 'Maybe Need To Train A Little Harder.'

* Bryant, Rizzo Came Up Small.

29:20: Bears Media Loves Development Of Quarterback Team Won't Let Throw.

* Bears' Defense Aided By Youth Movement In Secondary.

* Jordan Howard's Pending Season-Ending Injury.

* Brett Hundley Betting Props.

* Jay Cutler Voted 'QB You Would Not Want As A Teammate' By NFL Players.

* Gase: Cutler Was Supposed To Look Uninterested On Wildcat Play.

46:40: Chicago Bulls Shit.

* Bobby Portis LOL.

* Unfireable John Paxson Sold Jordan Bell To 'Build Equity' With Immensely Wealthy Owners.

58:08: Blackhawks Playoffs Not Here Yet.

1:03:27: Schweinsteiger!

-

STOPPAGE: 4:42

-

For archives and other shows, see The Beachwood Radio Network.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:49 PM | Permalink

October 18, 2017

Chicagoetry: My Bastard Heart

My Bastard Heart

I mean to introduce articles of impeachment
Against my heart

For high crimes and misdemeanors, betrayal,
Corruption, lying, cheating,
Bad faith, emotional infidelity, abandonment,
Psychological cruelty:

Sneaking out to the opening night charity gala for the Chicago Auto Show
With Allison Rosati,
High-fiving Eddie Vedder in a Wrigley Field skybox
During the NLCS,

Sampling edgy new IPA recipes at Revolution with David Eigenberg,

Regaling fellow guests at Book Club at Sugar Rautbord's
With off-color anecdotes of bone-dry wit,
Three martini brunches at Gene & Georgetti's
With highly-placed members of the Cook County Board,

All without my consent, without my knowledge,
Under a brittle guise of commitment and monogamy;
Leaving me at home alone under my Slanket, binge-watching
"Transparent" and "I Love Dick" with dry toast, herbal tea and fresh boxes of Puffs

For the sensitive nose;

I've got wire-taps, camera-phone footage, leakers,
Sworn depositions, deep background, sources close to the administration;

Now I'm readying the noose and hood,
The blindfold and cigarette,
The kindling-based stake, the lethal injection;

It's a disgrace, an outrage, a mockery of the institution, an injustice of the first water;

Fatty, distended, irregular,
And I've been putting up with it
All these years . . .

Time to take care of myself, be here for me,
Rebuild my confidence, independence and pride.
Today is my New Beginning!

And if any of you decide to let the damn thing
Into your life don't say I didn't warn you...

-

J.J. Tindall is the Beachwood's poet-in-residence. He welcomes your comments. Chicagoetry is an exclusive Beachwood collection-in-progress.

-

More Tindall:

* Chicagoetry: The Book

* Ready To Rock: The Music

* Kindled Tindall: The Novel

* The Viral Video: The Match Game Dance

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:07 PM | Permalink

October 16, 2017

SportsMonday: Oblivion

Let's hear it for a win yesterday that gives us reason to watch the Bears for another week. I'm afraid that's just about all there is to celebrate. And the same will be true next week, i.e., beat the Panthers in Chicago on Sunday or say hello to oblivion for another season.

Speaking of oblivion, the Cubs seem headed in that direction, don't they? Without shortstop Corey Seager, the Dodgers' lineup simply isn't that impressive. But the Cubs have been even less so as they've fallen behind 2-0 in the NL Championship Series. The lack of hitting is the primary story. The wacky bullpen decision per game, well, I'm just tired of talking about that stuff. And on we go with football again this week.

The 27-24 overtime Bears victory over the Ravens wasn't well-executed football but it was certainly a roller coaster ride, one that featured bad execution - numerous breakdowns during the crushing punt return touchdown - and bad luck - the kickoff return touchdown.

On the latter, a Bears defender could be seen pulling up to avoid making even slight contact with Ravens' ball-carrier Bobby Rainey when he was on the ground. He had no idea Rainey needed to be touched down because he had just watched Rainey be submarined and hit the deck. The problem was, Rainey was submarined by his own blocker.

And no wonder the Bear defender didn't want to touch him. The emphasis on calling personal fouls around the league makes it extremely difficult for players to play with an extra bit of aggression.

That's probably good for overall health but when you see Bears linebacker Christian Jones called for what could have been a critical late hit near the end of the first half on a play when Jones started to tackle his foe when the guy was clearly still in bounds, well, it is understandable if guys try hard to avoid giving foes the sort of little, slightly late shot that would have resulted in Rainey being called down.

On the bright side, cornerback Kyle Fuller had his best game as a Bear. The Ravens targeted him throughout the game and he answered the challenge upwards of a dozen out of a dozen times. He officially broke up three passes but he made sure receivers weren't going to be making a catch in front of him time after time. Fuller also delivered a couple of big hits during a huge day for the secondary in terms of physical play.

Both Fuller and Adrian Amos were playing in front of friends and family in the town, Baltimore, they have called home. Amos finally made a big play in his third season (!) of playing safety for the Bears. And Bryce Callahan also chipped in a spectacular pick and a great return to set up the Bears' first touchdown. On offense, Jordan Howard is as tough as tough can be. How amazing was that final run of his? He pounded away against a defense that knew he was coming dozens of times and finally broke free to set up the winning field goal.

On the dark side, I'm not buying that Mitch Trubisky showed any significant development during the 27-24 overtime victory over the Ravens. The Bears currently aren't running anything that even begins to resemble the sort of NFL offense that makes the playoffs let alone win there. We won't know anything about Trubisky until the Bears start to open up the scheme at least a little. Then again, can they possibly do so with their remarkably bad receiving corps?

Have Tre McBride or Tanner Gentry gotten open yet, even once? Surely there has not been a Bears game in my lifetime with such a completely overmatched duo of starting wide receivers.

I know Josh Bellamy has had the dropsies in the past but he runs good routes and he has been better at catching the ball this year. The Bears seem like they don't want to use him more at receiver because he is a special teams ace but guys, come on. Bellamy needs to get more of a shot to catch more passes.

Finally of course at least one of the Bears' bright sides has a dark future. As well as Fuller is playing, he will be a free agent at the end of the year. The Bears thought he was slacking last year when he missed the whole season due to what they thought was a minor knee injury but the resulting ill will leaves a fan believing the cornerback will be headed elsewhere next off-season. It would be just perfect if the Bears finally developed a difference-maker in the secondary only to see him sign with someone else.

-

Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:11 PM | Permalink

October 10, 2017

SportsMondayTuesday: Ryan's Hope

Ryan Pace's roster sucks. And Mitch Trubisky isn't ready to win tough NFL games yet after his terrible late interception handed the Vikings a 20-17 victory on a silver platter Monday night.

Wait a minute, why do I have to be so negative? Why don't I just write about the Cubs? OK, OK, I'll go ahead and toss in a Cubs note. But that's it. Yesterday featured the Cubs winning a pressure-packed, high stakes contest (2-1 over the Nationals to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five NLDS). There was no news there - we already knew this group can do that.

On the other hand, while we were confident Trubisky had shown real, live, massive potential in the preseason, we had no clue how he would do against a very good Vikings defense in a real game. So that was my primary focus last night.

Then again . . . my favorite part of the baseball game was when the fans let Joe Maddon have it after he gave Jose Quintana the quick hook. And then the fans were proven right when Quintana's sixth-inning replacement, Pedro Strop, gave up an RBI double to Ryan Zimmerman. I think everyone knows at this point that Maddon is a little out-of-control proud of himself. He needs reminders that he will be held accountable. And nothing delivers that message like 40,000 fans letting rip with a deserved "Booooo!!!" when he makes a questionable move.

Longtime Cubs beat writer Paul Sullivan reported after the game that the fans' reaction to that move by Maddon was the loudest negative response directed at the manager at Wrigley that Sullivan had heard by a considerable margin. Cubs fans can take a well-deserved bow.

And back to the Bears . . . continue to remember that if anything needs to be changed after this season, it is the weak general manager, not the coach. The coach isn't perfect but he has taken two separate teams to the Super Bowl in his career. The overmatched Pace has accomplished nothing. Last night Fox made a couple beautiful calls - springing a delightful fake punt on the Vikings at exactly the right time . . .

. . . and going for two to tie the game early in the fourth quarter with an awesome trick play.

Pace is the genius who didn't re-franchise tag wide receiver Alshon Jeffery despite the Bears' obvious need at the position. Pace is the one who gave Mike Glennon $18 million instead of giving Jeffrey $17 million. In the process, he gave away the Bears' best asset last off-season for absolutely nothing. There is simply no justifying that move. Period.

Pace is the genius who traded four picks to move up one pick to take Trubisky second in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He was so desperate to not draft Deshaun Watson that he made an on-its-face completely ludicrous transaction.

Why was Pace so determined to take Trubisky, just like he was so determined not to take Dak Prescott the year before that he (after having said previously that teams should draft a quarterback every year) drafted once, twice, three times in the fourth round before the Cowboys swooped in? They grabbed the guy, Prescott, who was by far the best rookie quarterback in the league last year and who has continued to play well this year despite the Cowboys' so-far disappointing record.

If Pace was a good general manager, he would have picked up a couple picks as he traded down to 10th or 11th in the first round at this year's draft. Then he would have picked Watson (who was drafted 12th by the trading up Texans) and also found himself with at least five more picks than he ended up with after he was fleeced by a general manager, the 49ers' John Lynch, who was in his first half hour on the job at the draft.

And so we watch a Bears team this year that, again, has no playmakers in the secondary and no difference-making wide receivers. The team lacks quality depth at numerous other positions. Think the squad might be a little better off with all the picks it gave up during Pace's big 2017 draft misadventure?

Watson, by the way, spent this past Sunday throwing five touchdown passes. It was the second consecutive week he was responsible for five touchdowns (he ran one in the week before to go with four touchdown tosses).

Watson, who was only one of the greatest quarterbacks in college football history at Clemson, leading his team to two consecutive national championship games and winning the second in spectacular fashion, did so against the Kansas City Chiefs this past Sunday, only the best team so far in the NFL in 2017.

To all the geniuses who tell me that if Trubisky is good, the trade details won't matter, do us all a favor and zip it. That sort of reasoning is nonsense. When Trubisky leads the Bears to a Super Bowl shortly after Watson has flamed out as a starter, then I'll re-consider my assessment of Pace's brutal malpractice, not before.

-

Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:19 AM | Permalink

October 5, 2017

Certified Angus Beef® Brand Honors Chicago-Area Beef, Retail And Culinary Stars

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Meat companies, distributors, retailers and restaurateurs were recognized by the Certified Angus Beef® brand for their leadership in product quality and marketing at the group's annual conference in Nashville on Sept. 27 - 29. Brand partners, including meat processors, distributors, chefs, retailers and cattle ranchers, gained strategies to nurture their focus on delivering premium beef to consumers.

"Quality and integrity unite their focus on delivering the finest beef," says John Stika, the beef brand's president. "They are stars in their markets for bringing the Certified Angus Beef® brand's ranching heritage and focus on quality and integrity to their customers, and ultimately, consumers."

*

Cermak Fresh Market, Chicago, Ill., received the Retail Small Chain Marketer of the Year award. Cermak excels at serving customers with fun promotions and attention to detail. Training at the Certified Angus Beef® Culinary Center energized the team for a meat manager contest that helped Cermak also receive Top Average Volume Retail Store with more than 10 stores.

#McKinleyPark #Chicago

A post shared by Bernardo (@beingbernardo) on

*

Topco Associates, Elk Grove Village, Ill.: Top Volume Cooperative.

best-practices-in-managing-global-supplier-and-item-risks-13-638.jpg

*

About The Certified Angus Beef® brand
Founded in 1978, the Certified Angus Beef® brand is the original, and the best, brand of Angus beef, which got its start when a group of family ranchers set out to create a brand of beef that delivers superior taste and tenderness.

Today, the Certified Angus Beef® brand remains true to its roots, providing consumers with superior beef through a gate-to-plate network of family ranchers, chefs and retailers worldwide.

Renowned for its exceptional quality, each cut meets 10 exacting standards to make it more selective than USDA Choice and Prime.

For more information, visit CertifiedAngusBeef.com, or look for the brand on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Certified-Angus-Beef-logo_burger_conquest_what_is.jpg

-

See also: Angus TV.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:49 AM | Permalink

Indiana Farmer Complaining About Estate Taxes With Trump Cashed $3.3 Million In Farmer Subsidy Checks

Kip Tom, the Leesburg Indiana farmer who appeared last week with President Trump complaining about the federal estate tax, cashed over $3.3 million in farm subsidy checks, including $2.6 million between 2004 and 2014, the most recent data available.

Kip Tom and Tom Farms is one of the biggest corn and soybean producers in Indiana and the 9th-largest farm subsidy recipient in Indiana.

Arriving at a total for Tom Farms subsidies required examining subsidies to three different ownership entities, as the farm went from individual ownership to an LLC in roughly 1995 and then formed Tom Farms Partners in 2004.

Between 2004 and 2014, Tom Farms Partners received $2,612,561 in subsidies, mostly commodity subsidies. Between 1996 and 2006, Tom Farms LLC cashed $667,732 in farm subsidy checks. In 1995, Kip Tom took in $42,826, but then refunded $17,494 for a net of $25,332. Between 1995 and 2014, this equals over $3,305,625 in government subsidies,

About 41 percent of Indiana farmers do not receive any subsidies, according to the USDA.

The federal estate tax is a levy on the intergenerational transfer of immense wealth. The tax only applies to households with more than $11 million in assets.

In Indiana, where President Trump kicked off his anti-estate tax campaign, fewer than one in 1,000 estates are subject to the estate tax, a grand total of only 70 people, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Republicans have been using farmers and ranchers for decades to justify estate tax repeal. I have written extensively about the history of using farmers as the face of estate tax repeal, instead of the billionaires and multi-millionaires who actually pay the tax, going back to 2000.

SOURCES
From the Environmental Working Group Farm Subsidy Database:

* All three Tom Farms entities combined received $3.3 million in subsidies, which would place them number 9 on this list of biggest subsidy recipients.

* Data on subsidies to Tom Farm Partners, 2004-2014.

* Information about 1996-2005, Tom Farms LLC Direct subsidies.

* Direct 1995 farm subsidy to Kip Tom.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:55 AM | Permalink

The Season In Verse | They Needed A Nurse

They started out cold
David Ross got old
He retired to dance
Clark still has no pants

Schwarber went down
to Iowa town
He came back up
he's still just a pup

Montero was right
about Arrieta's pitch flight
But he was also to blame
though cutting him was lame

Bryzzo came through
Jon Jay too
Russell went down
Baez went to town

Lester got hurt
Lackey stayed curt
Willson kicked dirt
Umps on alert

Quintana came over
from trash to tall clover
same with Avila
Bret Anderson - see ya!

Joe was Joe
thanks Bosio
Theo and Jed
Hendry's Cubs are dead

On to the playoffs
for the third straight year
let's leave Dusty
crying in his beer

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:42 AM | Permalink

October 4, 2017

Substance Abuse Prevention Month - Reaching Teens

October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, which focuses on the role substance abuse prevention plays in promoting safe and healthy communities.

Underage drinking, non-medical use of prescription drugs, and illicit drug use take a devastating toll on our families and in our communities, exacting more than $740 billion annually in costs related to crime, lost work productivity and health care.

"Stopping substance abuse before it begins can increase a person's chances at living a longer, healthier and more productive life," said Karel Homrig, executive director of Prevention First. "An excellent way to stop abuse before it starts is to work with teens. The teenage brain is very 'plastic,' just as it was in early childhood. This means it transforms, grows, and learns more fluidly than the adult brain. The experiences a teen has shapes their life as an adult."

When a teen uses drugs or alcohol, his brain is rewired to continue the unhealthy behavior. Because of the plasticity of the teenage brain, addiction can happen relatively easily.

However, the same plasticity causes teens to respond well to interventions, programs, and services that promote a healthy lifestyle.

Because of this unique development period, it is important and beneficial to provide teenage substance abuse prevention services.

Evidence-based programs and practices are essential tools to reduce substance use and help people lead healthier lives.

According to The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy's 2012 National Drug Control Strategy, each dollar invested in an evidence-based prevention program can reduce costs related to substance use disorders by an average of $18.

There are many evidence-based ways families, communities, and schools can help adolescents be healthier, safer, and head into adulthood stronger and at less risk for addiction:

* Communities can start a dialogue discussing their commitment to the prevention of substance abuse. Starting this conversation is the first step toward change, and putting it into action is where change happens. If a community coalition focused on prevention doesn't already exist, here are some tools to get one started:

-> Prevention First Alcohol Policy Resource Center.

-> Community Tool Box.

-> Coalitions Work.

* Schools can start a Students Against Destructive Decisions chapter by contacting robyn.block@prevention.org, or consider implementing effective programs that provide substance abuse prevention programs, by visiting the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

* Parents can talk to their kids about the dangers of drugs and underage drinking. This free toolkit from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids can help.

The Partnership also provides a help line (1-855-378-4373) and live chat.

Among Illinois youth, the most commonly abused substance is alcohol. As indicated on the chart, nearly 45% of high school seniors consumed alcohol in the past 30 days. However, the following activities are on the decline from 2012 - 2014:

* underage drinking overall
* binge drinking
* driving after drinking
* several other health and academic consequences of underage drinking

Additionally, use of alcohol in the past year and in the past 30 days is lower among 8th- and 10th-grade youth in 2014 than in 2012, and trends indicate that fewer 10th- and 12th-graders also choose to binge drink (i.e., consume five or more alcoholic drinks in a row).

Prevention is also needed as our nation is faced with the unprecedented consequences of opioid misuse and addiction.

According to SAMHSA's National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2016 an estimated 11.8 million people misused opioids in the previous year, including 11.5 million pain reliever misusers and 948,000 heroin users.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reports that in 2014, more people in Illinois died from an opioid drug overdose (due to heroin and prescription opioid pain relievers) than from homicide or motor vehicle accidents.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Illinois is one of 19 states that saw a statistically significant drug overdose death rate increase (7.6%) from 2014 to 2015.

Provisional data from the Illinois Department of Public Health Illinois Center for Health Statistics indicates deaths from any opioid increased from 1,072 in 2013 to 1,889 in 2016.

Removing unneeded supplies of commonly prescribed opioids such as Vicodin, oxycodone, OxyContin, and Hydrocodone from homes is a vital step to take in preventing abuse of these highly addictive drugs. These drugs are similar to and affect the brain the same way as heroin, especially if they are used for non-medical purposes.

One way to prevent the abuse of the potentially dangerous expired, unused, or unwanted prescription drugs is to participate in National Drug Take Back Day, which is October 28, 2017, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:45 AM | Permalink

October 3, 2017

The Sun-Times Paid Mary Mitchell To Write This Astounding Column About The Las Vegas Shooter

"The man who killed at least 59 people and injured more than 527 in Las Vegas is a terrorist," Mary Mitchell writes for the Sun-Times.

Is he?

I don't think so.

A terrorist is someone who uses violence to create fear in advance of a cause.

So far we don't know what motivated Stephen Paddock to unload a hail of automatic gunfire on hundreds of people attending an open-air concert in Las Vegas. He may have just lost his mind.

Does it matter if we Paddock a terrorist?

Yes. The only way to prevent such horrors is to understand what they are. Preventing terrorism calls for a different response than preventing the result of, say, mental illness.

*

"And he's a terrorist who could operate under the radar because few would suspect a white man to be tangled up with the Islamic State militant group (ISIS)," Mitchell writes.

But the FBI has already declared that they have found no ties between Paddock and ISIS - even if ISIS is claiming him as one of its soldiers.

*

"That could explain why Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, was able to get 16 rifles and hundreds of rounds of ammunition into the Mandalay Hotel, and why he was able to hole up for three days without raising the suspicions of the cleaning staff."

Paddock's white maleness could explain that, but we don't know that it does. Mitchell is presuming the hotel staff was aware of his weapons cache.

*

"Paddock blended in with the Las Vegas crowds. Whereas Omar Mateen - the terrorist responsible for the Pulse Nightclub massacre in which 50 people were killed and 58 were wounded - stood out. Before the massacre, Mateen had been investigated as a threat because of comments he made to co-workers."

Look, I take the point - boy do I take it - that white (and male) privilege extends to mass murderers. But Mateen had made comments to co-workers worthy of investigating. We have no information as yet that Paddock acted in a way that should have touched off suspicion among authorities.

*

"Donald Trump, then the presumptive Republican candidate for the presidency, used the Pulse Nightclub tragedy to reiterate his call for a 'temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States.'

"But what do you say when a well-to-do white man stands in a window and fires at thousands of country music fans like he's shooting ducks in a barrel?"

Easy. You point out that white males by far commit most acts of mass murder on American soil. Then you discuss gun control.

*

"An 'act of pure evil,' Trump said on Monday.

"It also is domestic terrorism."

Wait, what? We don't know that yet.

*

"Eric Paddock is adamant that his brother did not belong to a terrorist or hate group.

"He's just a guy. He lived in Las Vegas. He played at the casinos. There's nothing. That's what's so bizarre," the distraught brother told reporters.

"No trouble with the law. No mental illness. He was a wealthy guy playing video poker . . . on cruises," the brother said, shrugging his shoulders in frustration.

"That would make him the perfect terrorist. After all, who would suspect a guy like that being capable of mass murder."

Wait, what? How does a well-compensated columnist for a major news organization make that kind of leap at just the time when clear thinking is most needed? How does that columnist's editor let a piece so lacking in logic be published? Why not, as editor, ask the columnist for a clearer thesis, perhaps even helping her think through what she wants to say?

*

"But on Monday, the FBI was quick to dismiss ISIS' claim that it was behind the horrific mass shooting.

"'We have determined at this point no connection to an international terrorist organization,' the FBI told the New York Post."

So your whole column has been invalidated!

*

"For now, Stephen Paddock is being described as a 'shooter,' and a 'lone wolf,' as law enforcement officials try to find a motive that could explain why a seemingly 'normal' guy would launch such a deadly attack.

"Whatever the motive, America has been dealt an agonizing blow.

"'If he had killed my kids, I couldn't have been more dumbfounded,' Eric Paddock told reporters.

"'I mean he was not an avid gun guy at all. The fact that he had those kind of weapons . . . he had no military background . . . he's a guy that lives in a house in Mesquite,' Eric Paddock said, as if that excluded his brother from possibly being a terrorist."

As if!

Um, does Mitchell know something the rest of us - including the FBI and Paddock's own brother - don't?

*

"Something changed dramatically because Stephen Paddock didn't suddenly run amuck.

"He was planning this for a long time. These were fully automatic firearms. You can't even buy those in Illinois. I think you can buy them in Nevada, but they are federally licensed," said Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association.

Sure, let's take it from from the ISRA, our state's version of the National Rifle Association.

*

"'They had to be licensed by the FBI. So far there is no evidence of that. He must have gotten these things off the black market,' he said.

"Pearson also pointed out that Paddock could only fire these automatic weapons for a minute.

"'They get too hot and you have to change the barrel on them or the barrel would melt. These guns came from an illicit source, that's my guess,' he said."

Let's just let the rifle guy guess - about something that may not even be relevant except, if you follow logic, in suggesting ways to, um, crack down on guns.

*

"Stephen Paddock may not fit the profile of a terrorist, but he acted like one."

But you told us he was one.

*

"That makes this the scariest mass shooting thus far."

No. What makes this scary - one could argue Newtown was the scariest, given that the victims were almost all children and the setting was a school - is that we may never know what compelled Paddock to kill so many people. It would be much easier to understand if he was a terrorist. That, though, doesn't mean we should make him so before we know it's true.

-

Also:

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:00 AM | Permalink

The [Tuesday] Papers

UPDATE Oct. 18: Getting there.

-

UPDATE Friday the 13th: Still sick. You can follow the travails over on Facebook if you wish. Hope to be back next week.

-

UPDATE Monday: You can read all about it here.

-

UPDATE Saturday: I'm miserable with the flu, haven't been able to update the site in recent days, beyond my intention to take some time off this week anyway.

-

The site will be touch-and-go this week, I need to focus once again on finding ways to make a living. Suggestions, assignments, job offers welcome!

There was no column on Monday, for completists. For today, and possibly the rest of the week, some fresh-ish material:

-

-

Beachwood Sports Radio: It's Not About Trubisky
All narrative roads lead to Ryan Pace. Plus: The President Of The United States Is Pro-Brain Damage; The Best Part Of The Cubs' Week; White Sox Making Believers; Blackhawks Backup Goalie Sitch; Wade Era vs. Glennon Era; Millennials Killing Football; Rick Pitino Was Just The Worst; and Schweinsteiger!

-

SportsMonday: Lester & Co.
Our very own Jim "Coach" Coffman takes a stab at the Cubs' playoff roster and rotation.

-

The Season In Verse | It Could've Been Worse
The first year of The Rebuild
Is now in the past.
But it wasn't so awful
The Sox didn't finish last . . .

-

ADDED 11:40 A.M.: The Sun-Times Paid Mary Mitchell To Write This Astounding Column About The Las Vegas Shooter.

-

BeachBook
A sampling.

Smarties Is Actually A Company!

*

France Cracks Down On Photoshopped Bodies In Ads.

*

MUST-READ: Kate Millett, Sexual Politics & Family.

*

MUST-READ: Production Of A Lifetime: Whitney Houston And Clive Davis.

-

TweetWood
A sampling.

Not in Congress there aren't.

*

*

*

-

The Beachwood Tronc Line: Touch and go.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:26 AM | Permalink

October 2, 2017

SportsMonday: Lester & Co.

Jon Lester has to start Game 1, doesn't he? Followed by Kyle Hendricks in NLDS contest No. 2 and Jose Quintana in the one after that?

The Cubs brain trust will apparently meet Wednesday to hash out the postseason rotation and I suppose there is some uncertainty going into that pow wow. But the answers seem relatively clear. The fact that the Nationals are better against righties, but only slightly better, gives going with two lefties in the first three games the most appeal.

But given Quintana's lack of playoff experience, no way do you move him up past Game 3.

One more thing in favor of this order: going lefty-righty-lefty in the first three games has a fundamental baseball appeal of giving the Nationals very different looks each day.

As for the fourth starting pitcher spot, well, that all depends on Jake Arrieta's balky hamstring. Fortunately for the Cubs, John Lackey is ready to step in if Arrieta can't go. The fact that Lackey pitched an inning of relief of Sunday seemed a clear sign that he will not be inactive when the playoffs kick off on Friday in prime time (6:31) in the District (of Columbia).

The toughest part of starting Lester is the potential mayhem on the bases. Washington speedster Trea Turner is back after a long stint on the disabled list in the middle of the season and the Cubs have to be having flashbacks to a mid-season match-up with the Nationals that went quite poorly thanks in large part to Turner's aggressiveness on the basepaths.

Then again, the starting pitcher in that game who saw Turner steal four bases in late June was Jake Arrieta, and the catcher was the dearly departed (from the Cubs, not the living) Miguel Montero. And of course, that was the 6-1 loss that was followed by Montero popping off about Arrieta not releasing his pitches quickly enough (he made no mention of his own poor pop times - the time it takes a catcher to release a throw - contributing to the problem as well). That was followed by Montero's release.

Anyway, a few starts ago (Sept. 20) against Tampa Bay, Lester had one of his worst outings as a Cub. He was distracted early by baserunners taking liberties and he gave up seven runs in 4.1 innings. It appeared he had not completely recovered from a back injury.

But he was much better in his last two starts, as the Cubs won nine of 11 down a final stretch that featured eight road games with the Brewers and the Cardinals.

Turner could be a significant problem. But he can't steal first base (Yes, I know I am approximately the one millionth sportswriter to write those words. All I can say is, they work). And what Lester has shown time and again is that in clutch situations, he does such a good job keeping guys off the bases that the negative consequences that come with his difficulty throwing to bases are almost moot.

Now, about that roster. It seems clear that the Cubs will use 12 pitchers and 13 position players. The players are Albert Almora, Jr., Alex Avila, Javy Baez, Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras, Ian Happ, Jason Heyward, Jon Jay, Tommy La Stella, Anthony Rizzo, Addison Russell, Kyle Schwarber and Ben Zobrist. Leonys Martin is the odd man out and I supposed they could keep him and drop a pitcher or maybe La Stella (and his .488 on-base percentage as a pinch-hitter? No). Neither of those moves seems even slightly rational.

The pitchers are the aforementioned five starters plus Wade Davis (a righty of course), Brian Duensing (L), Carl Edwards, Jr. (R), Mike Montgomery (L), Hector Rondon (R), Pedro Strop (R) and Justin Wilson (L). I suppose Justin Grimm could sneak in there somehow but again, not bloody likely.

You have to worry about the bullpen, especially with Joe Maddon's tendency to pull starters early even if the bullpen doesn't seem properly equipped to take games the rest of the way.

But why worry at this point? The Cubs won the division title for the second year in a row with a rock-solid 92 victories. They are the first defending World Series champs to even make the postseason the next year in five years. They even finished ahead of the Cardinals again. This is only the second time since the turn of the millennium that the Cards have missed the playoffs twice consecutively.

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2017 playoff Cubs! It is a hell of a roster with great balance and flexibility.

-

Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:18 AM | Permalink

The Season In Verse | It Could Have Been Worse

The first year of The Rebuild
Is now in the past.
But it wasn't so awful
The Sox didn't finish last.

Hahn warned us,
"Have low expectations,
Keep an eye toward Charlotte
For future sensations."

We enjoyed a few highlights
Like Abreu's 33 and a hundred-two.
He also hit .304.
Well, that's not so new.

Avi Garcia lost weight
But remained very sturdy.
Finishing second to Altuve,
The guy hit three-thirty

Carlos became Yolmer.
This Sanchez was much better.
He hits, he fields,
A leadoff man and table-setter.

Our shortstop Anderson,
The errors were too much.
But the past two months,
Tim regained his touch.

We waited patiently
For the arrival of Moncada.
Unfortunately once he got here,
He hit close to nada.

But that's the point.
These things will take time.
The fans all recognize
That Yoan will be fine.

The Sox began the season
Missing Eaton and Sale.
But that was just the beginning
As Hahn continued to deal.

First it was Quintana.
He didn't go far.
Now he pitches for the Cubs.
Will he smoke a victory cigar?

In return the Sox got Jimenez.
This could be a great deal.
The kid's only 20.
We think he's for real.

Hahn kept on dealing.
He showed us some spine.
The fans were in suspense
Until the trade deadline.

Frazier departed
Followed by Melky.
The bullpen was emptied.
We were left with Pelfrey.

But we liked the new faces,
Surprises like Delmonico.
Then came Lopez
Followed by Giolito.

Fulmer stumbled at first
Then suffered a blister.
But when he was healthy,
He added to the mixture.

The prospect Kopech
Looks hungry and lean.
He just might make it
In 2018.

The fans seemed to buy it.
They're content to wait.
An average of 20-thousand
Showed up at The Rate.

Ticket prices remained reasonable
Just what you'd expect.
But once the Sox contend,
It will cost more, I suspect.

Despite all the losses,
Renteria liked his outfit.
One thing about Rickey's boys,
They never said, "Quit."

How long will it take
Before the Sox are a winner?
Stay tuned, Sox fans
We've seen things much dimmer.

Will it be next season
Or the year thereafter?
Be assured when it happens
We're going to enjoy this chapter.

-

Roger's previous season-ending poems:
* Ode To 2014.

* The Season In Verse | Could Hardly Be Worse (2015).

* The Season In Verse | Back Up The Hearse (2016).

-

Former Bill Veeck bar buddy Roger Wallenstein is our White Sox correspondent. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:47 AM | Permalink

MUSIC - Christgau Loves Chicago Neonatologist.
TV - Amazon & The Way Of The World.
POLITICS - Yes On Vouchers For After-School Programs.
SPORTS - The Ex-Cub Factor.

BOOKS - Writers Under Surveillance.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Original Warrior.


Search The Beachwood Reporter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Email:

Follow BeachwoodReport on Twitter



Beachwood Radio!


Ask Me Anything!