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Lockdowns are coming back and blue-state authoritarians keep granting exemptions to their friends but not their struggling subjects. We all know the impact this has economically and on our dignity. But the hypocrisy of politicians and their buds enjoying lavish entertainment together despite their own restrictions opens a new gap: the social and intellectual stimulation of a public square is available to the few, but not to the masses.
I’m not in a situation to blow my savings at The French Laundry—“Maybe one day,” I sigh to myself. But what’s being withheld by not letting us go to The French Laundry or its more-affordable equivalents goes beyond just entertainment. But we don’t wine-and-dine only for the pleasure of it, and certainly not for survival. We often do so because it’s a manifestation of the public square—a place not in the home where ideas are exchanged, motivations are explained, and alliances are formed.
The United States of America is increasingly under assault from an anti-American mob that has gained mainstream prominence across the country. This mob has ravaged major US cities for weeks on end, torn down historical monuments, and murdered innocent citizens.
At a recent Oakland “Black Lives Matter” event, “protestors” chanted “death to America” — an anti-American death threat used by Iranian government officials. These same “protestors” hurled projectiles at police officers, set trucks on fire, and vandalized buildings.
For fun, I recently looked up Lori Lightfoot’s approval rating. The most recent publicly available poll, taken June 21-23, puts it at 78% among likely November voters, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. She got 86% on handling the coronavirus, after pointlessly shutting down Chicago’s lakefront trail and parks, and personally driving through lower-income—disproportionately Black and […]
I just got back from a walk on the Chicago lakefront where I saw a sad scene. A young black man had decided to go swimming, slipped on the slippery sidewalk covered in algae, and hit his head. He made a help signal and people on the shore called 911. Then he disappeared under the […]
Join Jim and Greg in being relieved that the four days of propaganda known as the DNC are finally over. They also discuss Joe Biden’s speech and why he would not be a unifying figure on virtually any policy. And they hammer Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot for barring protests on her block while showing little regard for other neighborhoods.
It appears to have finally penetrated to one Blue mayor the damage being done to the Blue brand and, maybe even, to her constituents. From Charles Love writing in the City Journal:
It started with a false story on social media about police shooting a black “child.” Within minutes, hundreds of young black men and women filled the streets, targeting businesses along the Magnificent Mile, in River North, and in the Central Business District. This was the scene playing out in Chicago on Sunday, August 9th and continued through the early part of Monday morning.
Join Jim and Greg as they lament the Big Ten Conference reportedly cancelling the 2020 college football season and that puts every other conference on the brink as well. They also unload on Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot as rioters vandalize and loot along the city’s Magnificent Mile and attack and injure more than a dozen police officers. And they discuss former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown publicly urging former mistress Kamala Harris to decline the opportunity to be Joe Biden’s running mate.
Good-bye Illinois. Good-bye Chicago. It’s been fun and fairly profitable, but it’s not working anymore. Yes, thirty-one years is a long time and we’ve got a lot of roots here. But honestly, it’s not me, it’s you. You’ve changed. In the 90s and the aughts, this relationship looked promising: You were working on that crime […]
I went for my usual walk on the Chicago lakefront today. Our mayor, Lori Lightfoot, has not yet opened the beaches (the actual ones with sand) on the lakefront, nor has she allowed the public pools in the city parks to be opened. As a result, in the Loop area where I live, families from […]
In 1968, in the wake of the assassination of Martin Luther King, a great many American cities were engulfed by riots. In one such city – Detroit – the mayor, a well-meaning liberal Democrat named Jerome Cavanaugh, made a fateful decision to rein in the police and let the riot burn itself out. To his judgment, the state’s governor – George Romney – deferred, and the riots went on for five full days. “Burn, baby, burn,” they said. And burn it did.
Eighteen years before, Detroit had been the richest city in the United States – with a per capita income exceeding that in every other urban area in the country. By 1968, it was no longer so well situated. But it was prosperous. It was vibrant. The architecture was stunning; the churches, beautiful; the picture palaces, a wonder.
I argued last week before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of Protect Our Parks, which sued the City of Chicago in order to stop the construction of the Obama Presidential Center (OPC) in Jackson Park. The OPC is not a Presidential Library, and it serves no official public function. At this time, it is useful to put the current litigation in its larger context, given the other regulatory obstacles relating to historical preservation and environmental protection that must be overcome to allow the Obama Foundation to build the OPC in Jackson Park.
To set the stage, the social case for keeping the OPC out of Jackson Park is powerful. The entire venture envisions a constellation of four separate buildings constructed on a 19.3-acre site located on the northwest side of Jackson Park, close to the Griffin Museum of Science and Industry. The Park was designed in 1871 by the great landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. Consistent with the original plan, it incorporated large bodies of water, including the east and west lagoon, with direct connections to Lake Michigan. The four buildings of the planned OPC include a 235-foot museum tower, a conference center, an athletic center, and a new branch of the Chicago public library, all serviced by a 400-car underground garage.
In order to put this center in place, it will be necessary to, first, close Cornell Drive, a major six-lane north-south road (and a key original element of the Olmsted design) that connects South Chicago and Indiana to the loop, and to, second, limit access to three other roads, including the Midway Plaisance that connects the University of Chicago campus to Lake Shore Drive, the major thoroughfare along Lake Michigan. Shutting down these roads to make way for the OPC will require expanding two other thoroughfares, Lake Shore Drive to the east and Stony Island Avenue on the west. Those two additions will both narrow Jackson Park, as well as ensnarl heavy traffic throughout the area.
Join Jim and Greg as the evidence piles up that the coronavirus likely escaped from a lab in Wuhan and the Chinese lied about it for weeks. They also hammer Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot for vowing to arrest people at parties for getting too close to others. And they groan as Barack Obama and other liberals gripe in an ESPN documentary about Michael Jordan not being a political activist during his career.
The clock is ticking on how long people will continue to tolerate the COVID-19 quarantines. Here in Chicago, wills are weakening, despite the recent extension of the lockdown until the end of May. Many businesses that chose to shutter are now reopening within the restrictive guidelines of the quarantine. Preview Open
We had a Chicago Ricochet Meetup last Sunday at the allegedly world famous Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria. It was deep dish all around. For one reason or another, most of the Wisconsin Ricochetti who were planning on coming had to drop out. So we wound up with @omegapaladin, @katiekoppelman, @catorand, @lidenscheng, my wife and myself. Strangely […]
“This is MAGA Country!” inner-city white supremacists shouted at “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett as they put a noose around his neck and poured bleach on him. It happened in the wee hours of the morning, in the middle of a polar vortex, in the noted GOP stronghold of Chicago. The poor actor (I mean rich celebrity) could only defend himself with half-frozen Subway foot-long.
Everyone with more than three brain cells thought the story was nonsense, especially if they had spent any time in Chicago. Everyone but our betters in the national media and Hollywood, that is, who were duped from the jump. Local journalists doggedly revealed the truth and the story quickly collapsed. Today, Jussie faced the consequences:
A grand jury returned a six-count indictment accusing actor Jussie Smollett of lying to Chicago police when he reported a racist and homophobic attack last year, a special prosecutor announced Tuesday.
How do I spend my Halloween? With Autumn (name changed to protect the guilty), my good friend and all-but-adopted little sister. She is married and an RN, but she likes to joke about being “perpetually 11.” Autumn is what happens when a tomboy stays a tomboy without crazy parents or society interfering. She likes fireworks, amateur bartending (I always get a gin and tonic when there), heavy metal, and talking about politics. Lest you think anything untoward is going on, she is a conservative Catholic married to a conservative Catholic convert with an ample firearms collection. (We were in College Republicans together.) Autumn is affectionate with all her friends, which is awesome, and also loves to dress up for Halloween.
Visiting Autumn’s old place for Halloween is an experience in and of itself. Her parents have a house that is already partway to haunted, and the decorations make the ancient bungalow look positively spooky. Her Mom is a blast and an awesome host, and Autumn is an incredible extrovert and organizer, so the party is always fun, with all kinds of guests. Autumn’s Dad, well, he makes Archie Bunker look like a woke hipster. Getting into politics with him can be either amusing or result in a barrage of invective. The guests are from all over the social/political spectrum – Autumn has maxed-out charisma – so the party would be fun regardless of what we did.
Here in Chicago amid the teachers’ strike, it’s easy to complain about the influence of public sector unions on the city and our daily lives. Hell, I just did so this week (and my thoughts have only calcified). But since I and, I assume, most on this site are true individualists at heart, it’s worth […]