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Month: September 2023

Disappointment and achievement

“…X formerly known as Twitter.” The morons in the news media keep using that phrase. Twitter became X in April, five months ago. The moronic news people think its readers are illiterate less-ons- lower than morons. Geez, how many times do they believe they have to remind us over and over and again that Twitter is X?

The McCaskey Ken Dolls did not fail to disappoint their mentally handicapped, drooling, slobbering peckerhead fans. They lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 41-10. I cheered Ken Doll’s loss with gusto. The only more humiliating game was the Dolphins beating the Broncos 70-20. The record for most points in a game is 72 points by Washington in 1966.

The McCaskey’s do not care about winning. They only care about making the big bucks and spending as little as possible. The best thing they can do for the Ken Doll fans is to sell the team to people who want to win. The McCaskeys took the Ken Dolls from the Monsters of the Midway to the Sob Sisters of Soldier Field.

The Cubs so far have a wild card slot for the postseason. They will arrive in Atlanta on Sunday night in possession of the third and final National League wild card. FanGraphs’ projections give the Cubs a 55.5% chance of making the playoffs. The Miami Marlins, who are one game back, are at 52.5% Six games separate the Cubs and a return to the postseason… They must rack up wins against two teams already locked into the playoffs. The Cubs made things harder on themselves with a dreadful two-week stretch leading into their final homestand but are still where they want to be.

International soccer star Megan Rapinoe will leave her national team career a winner. The captain of the US Team played her last game here in Chicago at Soldier Field. The US beat South Africa 2-0, capping off a terrific career for Rapinoe. Rapinoe won gold medals with the national team in the 2012 London Olympics, scoring three goals and a team record of four assists. She is the first male or female player to score a goal from a corner. She did it twice.

I do not care about her politics or activism. She is an outstanding athlete and a star soccer player. Playing her last game in Chicago was an honor for our city.

Unlike fake “professional football,” soccer is a real sport. It’s a tough sport. Not one NFL player would last over fifteen minutes on a soccer pitch. Soccer players are athletes. Football players are actors. The only reason they call it professional football is because the actors get paid.

Where is Royko’s Statue*

PHOTO: Chicago Tribune

Today, Mike Royko would have been 91 years old. I reprised this column to celebrate his birthday.

“Find a writer who has something American to say, and nine times out of ten you will find he has some connection with the Gargantuan abattoir by Lake Michigan- he was bred there, or got his start there, or passed through there when he was young and tender.” (Henry L. Mencken/American Mercury 1933)

Mike Royko had something to say, a lot to say. Finding a writer with something American to say is harder and harder these days. Journalists or columnists who know the streets, saloons, alleys, Els, working stiffs, and the real people who make this city great are rare. Finding one who can talk like and appeal to them is even rarer. Oh, there are a few still out there, still barely hanging on. But for how long?

In 1963, the Chicago Daily News gave a gawky, goofy-looking guy his own column. That guy went on to enrage, enlighten, and entertain Chicago for over 30 years. That guy was Mike Royko. There was a petition on to erect a statue of Mike Royko. “Chicago, the greatest city, deserves a statue of Mike Royko, its greatest columnist.”

The Chicago School of Journalism started its slow death on April 29th, 1997, when Mike Royko died. All that is left is to give Chicago journalism the last rites, drive a stake through its heart, and cremate it.

Royko was the best columnist in the country when he was alive. He was the preeminent chronicler of Chicago, its politics, people, and the Chicago Way. Any and every topic was fodder for a Royko column. A former colleague and friend of mine was the subject of one of his columns. (Subscription may be required.) No one did it better at the time.

“Dijareadroyko” was on the lips of many Chicagoans daily. On public trans, in the workplace, on the street, in the diners and bars, and whispered in City Hall. No matter how big or powerful, he could and would sting you. No matter how low or insignificant, he could champion your cause.

Like our mayors, politicians, and bureaucrats, Royko was a guy people loved to hate and hated to love. He could make you laugh, cry, or get angry, sometimes in the same column.

Royko, like most Chicago artists, was prodigious. Royko wrote a column five days a week for over thirty years. His columns were syndicated in over 600 newspapers. He wrote over 7500 columns. He also wrote a column for Reader’s Digest called “That’s Outrageous.”

Royko started his column with the Daily News. When that paper folded, he went to the Chicago Sun-Times. He eventually landed at the Chicago Tribune, a paper he said he would never work for. He left the Times because someone he thought was odious bought it.

Royko was fearless. He did not care about the powers that be or being “offensive,” whatever that means. Being offended is a personal choice. Others are not responsible for the choices people make. Mike Royko was human, which means he was not perfect. As the Son of the Great Comedian the once said, “Let he who is perfect cast the alley apple*.”

Mike Royko was a son of Chicago. Many thought he was a son of a something else. He was born, raised, and lived his life here until he moved to the leafy suburbs, where city people go to wait to die.

Aside from his political columns, Mike Royko was a champion of the little guy, the oppressed, the victims of the Chicago Way, the blue-collar ethnic working-class, and the poor. He gave people who had no say a voice.

Royko’s good friend Studs Terkel, summed up his legacy:

“He was possessed by a demon. How else to explain the tavern keeper’s kid, in a world he never made, a world compressed into one, cockeyed wonder of a city; of “haves” kicking the bejeepers out of “have-nots”; of Jane Addams and Al Capone; of Florence Scala, a neighborhood heroine, and Richard J. Daley- and of Slats Grobnik, for God’s sake. Royko was the right one in the right city at the right time: to tell us in small tales what this big, crazy world in the last half of the twentieth century was all about. And the devil made him do it.” (The Best of Mike Royko One More Time/University of Chicago Press)

There is a statue of a mere gossip columnist, Irv Kupcinet, and statues of beloved sports announcers, Harry Caray, and Jack Brickhouse. There is no statue for another beloved Chicago columnist, Ann Landers (Eppie Lederer). It is past time for her to have a statue, too.

Royko was a devotee of 16-inch softball, the only softball in Chicago. I still do not know why 12-inch softball is not banned in this city. By the way, who wears gloves to play softball? I guess the powers that be do not want to offend the Wussie community. They might cry, protest, and band together to form an organization- Little Balls Matter, LBM.

Maybe a statue of Royko holding a sixteen-inch softball aloft like Hamlet holding the skull of “Poor Yorick,” would be cool. Royko would appreciate the Shakespearean element. When I shared the petition on Facebook, an acquaintance, the Geriatric Genius, stated the statue should be in front of City Hall, with Royko giving it the finger. It could be put on the ugly concrete flower partition in the middle of the street.

Mike Royko deserves a statue. If not a sculpture, a permanent mural, or mosaic mural would be lovely. Chicago has talented artists who would do justice to the project.

If we can erect a statue of a mere gossip columnist, we should have one for Royko, who contributed so much commentary, laughter, anger, and entertainment to the people of this city. Then, we can talk about a statue of Ann Landers.

*For those who came to Chicago from some place else, calling people by their last names is a long-held and cherished Chicago tradition.

*Alley apple: Any hard thing found in an alley. Bricks, pieces of concrete, chunks of coal, stones, etc. Anything that would break windows, heads, or bones.

The Chicago Ken Dolls lost

Away, Chicago Bears
Make every day a day for treachery
Away, Chicago Bears
Put up a fight with a mite so cowardly
We’ll never forget the way you duped the nation
With your $$$ formation
Away, Chicago Bears
And let ’em know why you’re clowns with no crowns
You’re the shame and misery of our city
Chicago Bears, away!

Fakeball season opened yesterday. The McCaskey Ken Dolls did what they always do, lost against the Greenbay Cheeseheads. The Chicago sports journalists hyped the Ken Dolls all week. They never learn.

I was sitting in a bar to watch the Cubs win. I wound up watching the Bears after the Cub’s game. The knuckle dragging, drooling, mentally, deficient average Ken Dolls fans cheered everything the team did. They even hooted and hollered if a team member drank something.

They wore their Ken Doll regalia with pride, not realizing charlatans and frauds ripped them off. There were a few barely more intelligent fans cheering for the Cheeseheads.

Baseball is a sport for people with intelligence. Football is for the Ogs and Groks of the world. It is as legitimate as “professional” wrestling. The only reason it is a professional sport is because the actors get paid to perform.

The general tone in the locker room was disappointment coupled with some version of, ‘It’s only Week 1.’ A little while ago, it was ‘only the preseason.’ If it keeps looking like this, it soon will be, ‘It’s only Week 5. It’s only Week 12. ‘ It’s only January.’ (Sun-Times.)

During an after-game presser, quarterback Justin Fields apologized for the team’s miserable performance. Excuses will keep coming week after week, month after month. Neanderthal fans will suck them up like mother’s milk until the very end. The usual mantra will solemnly be chanted- “Wait till next year.” You gotta love true believers. They provide so much comedic entertainment.

Speaking of the press, can they please stop touting Field’s statistics when the team loses? Statistics do not win games. This love affair with Fields and his stats is getting syrupy. Stats are meaningless if you do not win.

The cheapskate and chiseler McCaskeys continue their quest for new stadium as a new season opens. They are hitting brick walls. Rightfully so. They want someone else to foot most of the bill for the “privilege” of hosting their Ken Dolls. The McCaskeys want to put up as little money as possible. They squeeze a penny so tight they make Old Abe scream.

The skinflint McCaskeys are trying to get tax breaks from their Arlington Heights stunt. Those talks are going nowhere. Other towns are courting them. So far, there is no new stadium in the future. The Brandon administration is trying to keep the Ken Dolls here. There are talks of improving Soldier Field, including adding a dome. Of course the tight wad McCaskeys will demand the taxpayers foot the whole bill for the “privilege” of keeping their miserable team in the city.

There is no reason taxpayers should subsidize the McCaskeys. They should get nothing from us. Not one red cent. If the Ken Dolls want a new stadium or improvements for Soldier Field, they and/or the NFL should put up all the dough. It is time for the city to realise the McCaskeys have no love for this city. They only love the color of all the money they try to keep.

Put up or shut up. Ask not what the city can do for the Ken Dolls. Ask what the Ken Dolls can do for the city.

Give me a break

“The City of Highland Park is partnering with the Alliance for Human Services, Family Focus, Moraine Township, and the Highland Park Community Foundation to host a poverty simulation event to increase residents’ understanding and awareness of what it is like to live in poverty in Lake County. The simulation will be held on Saturday, September 9, 9:00 – 11:30 AM at the Highland Park Country Club (1201 Park Ave. W.)

Participants in this immersive experience will begin to experience what a “month” in poverty feels like. Participants are put into situations in which they do not have enough resources and are forced to make difficult choices that can negatively impact them and their families. The outcome is increased awareness of the need for resources to support those living in poverty to create a more resilient health, human, and education sector in our local area. Participation is free, but registration is required.” (City of Highland Park/Facebook)

This event is being organized/sponsored by the Alliance for Human Services, Family Focus, Moraine Township, Highland Park Community Foundation, and Highland Park.

In the realm of you just cannot make this s**t up. Imagine, if you will, groups of suburbanites wiling away a few pleasant hours in their wealthy suburb pretending to spend a month in poverty. Gee, some may even give up an afternoon of golf at their exclusive clubs to play poor people. They will pretend to make choices with few resources to experience what it is like to live in poverty. Oh, how f**king noble.

Are they going to pretend to live in substandard housing in a food desert? Are they going to pretend what it’s like when there is more month at the end of the money? Will there be screaming hungry children driving them mad? Will they unleash their experienced anger on their loved ones?

I read about and took part in some of these ridiculous games. Games are what they are. They are not educational and are meaningless. Some are fun. Poverty is anything but fun. I worked in impoverished neighborhoods as a police officer. I saw poverty as close-up as you can get on a daily basis. No game or make-believe can replicate living in poverty, especially when you show up wearing your designer clothes, jewelry, and drive up in your expensive car.

Afterwards, they can go to some fancy restaurant or cocktail lounge and discuss their “experience” while sipping fine wine and eating gourmet food. Yeah, they will have an “increased awareness” alright. By the next day, they will go on with their coddled lives as usual.

This is proof there are suckers born every minute. A friend summed this up very well on Facebook.

UNBELIEVABLE! What a bunch of frauds! You’ll all go to this event (So you can feel better about yourselves and PRETEND you experienced poverty) Then you’ll go back to your upper middle-class homes and sit in the backyard sipping Cosmopolitans lamenting how “Those People” live like that every day! THIS IS POSITIVELY OBSCENE AND GROSS.

*Less-on is lower than a moron

Inquiring minds want to know

12th District Police Station

When asked for comment about the child’s death White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Monday expressed condolences to the child’s family. She also criticized Abbott’s actions as dangerous and unlawful… It is unfortunate that [Abbott] continues to do this and it doesn’t just put, sadly, young migrants at risk, but it also puts at risk, the border patrol who are trying to do their job and he gets in the way of that every day, Jean-Pierre said. (Block Club Chicago/Emphasis mine)

It has been one year since migrants were filtrated to Chicago from Texas. As of Friday more than 6600 migrants lodging at city-run shelters, with another 1,576 sleeping in police stations and more than 400 camped at O’Hare. More than 13,500 asylum-seekers have arrived in the past year, often with no money and few belongings.” (Chicago Tribune)

According to the Chicago Tribune, the city is operating 17 shelters. over 200 buses have come from the Texas border since last year. The city’s support systems are being stretched to the breaking point. The tab is running to the hundreds of millions of dollars in city, state, and federal money. Migrants are still sleeping in Chicago Police stations.

At O’Hare Airport, hundreds of migrants are stuck at a shelter that’s overcrowded and unsanitary.

Communities are up in arms over shelters opening in their neighborhoods. Homeless advocates question why the city cannot house our large homeless population. There are allegations of crimes being committed by the migrants or against them.

Inquiring minds want to know:

Why isn’t the Biden administration putting a stop to the filtration bussing if it is “unlawful?”

Why is no one, city, state, or federal authorities going into federal court to get a stay to stop to Abbott’s racist illegal stunt?

Why won’t the feds indict Abbott and his minions, slap on cuffs, haul them off to jail for violations of civil and human rights and interference in federal government operations.?

Why won’t they make Abbott do a perp roll in front of the cameras in his wheelchair?  

Why aren’t Chicago and Illinois suing Texas for the costs to the city of this illegal filtration system?

If the filtration is “illegal,” why not impound the buses when they drop off immigrants and haul them to the auto pound? The same with planes. Impound them and send them to an airport until a judge decides their fate.

Instead of stopping “illegal” activity by a state government official, the Johnson administration is begging for more tens of millions of dollars to assist the immigrants. “Pritzker said during Thursday’s press conference $350 million in total has been spent on efforts to help asylum seekers — $250 million from the state, $100 million from the city and about $38 million of reimbursement from the federal government.” (Block Club Chicago)

Greg Abbott’s racist political stunt is worthy of Hitler and Putin. He should be tarred and feathered in the press, who have been tepid in their response to Abbott’s filtration of immigrants.

We must commend the city and state for welcoming and assisting migrants seeking a better life. Chicago is a welcoming city. But, the mass filtration of migrants makes it nearly impossible to assist them with housing, necessities, and employment.

There should be severe repercussions for Abbott’s inhumanity. The news media editorial boards should be condemning Abbott for his cruel stunt. We should demand federal action to stop Abbott and recover costs from Texas because of his racist stunt.

How many more tens or hundreds of millions of taxpayer money do we have to spend? How many migrants must be housed in substandard conditions in police stations and other temporary shelters? Like Lori Lightfoot, Brandon Johnson is failing the migrants and the residents of Chicago. The Biden administration is failing us. They are doing nothing to stop this cruelty.

If, as Biden’s White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated, what Abbott is doing is “unlawful,” we are owed an explanation as to why Abbot is not under investigation or why the government is not in court stopping his illegal actions. Why is Governor Abbott being treated with kid gloves?

We get nothing but crickets. We are living in a city, state, and nation of cowardly politicians. So much for that slogan, “Home of the Brave.”