Wednesday, October 8, 2008

GOP (Diersen) and Illinoize

I used to read Rich Miller's "second" blog, Illinoize.

However, since March, to do so means wading through the mess that is "GOPUSA Illinois."

That blogger is simply not worth reading, and he takes a lot of room. Most of the prose is pathetic, with a lot of "very sad", a lot of strange statements of "fact", and a lot of paranoia.

Looks like I'm not the only one who is avoiding the blog now.

According to reliable numbers, in October 2007, November 2007, and December, 2007, the blog had about 19,000 visitors a month.

It got better in January and February, 2008 (right before the Illinois primary) with about 24,000 in January and 27,000 in February.

And then came Diersen. March, 2008 was down to 22,000, and it has been on the decline since that time, with each month being well below the October, 2007 numbers.

Monday, August 11, 2008

42nd Ward Real Estate Continues to Sizzle

While the rest of Chicago has seen a relative downturn in the real estate market, the 42nd Ward contines to do very well.
The most recent is example is 211 E. Ontario. The building, containing 172,000 square feet of office space, recently sold for about $36 million.
The building had been purchased in 2006 for $23 million. The owners had invested about $1 million in renovations.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

GOP Blogger Diersen Hates All Sex (Even Between Dogs)

GOP Blogger Dave Diersen is a raving loon. That's readily apparent to anyone reading his "work." His is a grown man who routinely refers to political events as "very sad", believes that Everybody Is Out To Get White America, believes that coverage of political news is "promoting", and believes that all federal employee (other than himself -- he's got a long record of being on the fed payroll) are Democrats who hate America.

In his "column" on July 30, 2008, he hit what may be a new low. It is well known that Diersen hates all sex between humans. Now, it turns out, he even hates sex between dogs.

Diersen is outraged that the Chicago Sun-Times would come out against a proposed ordinance requiring that all pets be spayed/neutered. Since Diersen hates Chicago, it is unclear what he would care about Chicago pets. The answer appears simple: He simply hates all sex, even among dogs.

As I said: A new low.
But on the bright side, I got a good laugh.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Carlos Marmol? An Allstar?

It was bad enough when "The Big Z", also known as "The Fat Guy Who Never Once Tipped the Doormen or Garage Staff, or so I Hear" made the all-star team.
But Carlos "five runs in the 9th, let's show him how wonderful Peoria is in July" Marmol?
Things have gotten out of hand.

Today's Sheep: Emma Mitts (37)

Today's Aldermanic Sheep is Emma Mitts (37).

Mitts is one of the alderman who knows how to follow orders. She does what Mayor Daley tells her to do. She votes as she is told.

One of her votes was to confirm Jody Weis to run the Chicago Police Department. Emma Mitts did what Mayor Daley told her to do, and voted to confirm Weis. She also votes consistenly for Daley's budgets, despite the fact that Daley consistently fails to budget for enough sworn police officers.

But recently, there has been some bad publicity. There were shootings near Taste of Chicago. Over the past few months, crime statistics are moving in the wrong direction.

So what does Emma Mitts do? Does she call her local police commanders to sit down and find out what is happening in 37? No.

It turns out that Emma Mitts, who claims to represent the 37th Ward, does not even know who the commanders are in that ward

How does an alderman not know who the police commanders are? What kind of Daley-ordering-following sheep is too lazy to look into who is running things for the CPD in her ward?

The answer? Emma Mitts is that sort of alderman. She's just following orders. She doesn't have the time to find out what is happening in 37, at least not until Mayor Daley issues the order.

Which is a shame, since the 37th Ward needs an alderman willing to do some work. And an alderman that is willing to stand up for the 37th Ward, and not just follow Daley's orders.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Today's Sheep Update: Isaac Carothers (29)

According to multiple sources, Alderman Isaac Carothers is VERY upset because Police Superintendent Jody Weis has not been "responsive" to Carothers. Apparently, Carothers wants people to blame Supt. Weis for the failings with regard to security on certain evenings during the Taste of Chicago, and for allegedly low morale within the Department.

There may be a simple solution: Weis can let out a "Baaa" in the general direction of Carothers. As one of Daley's sheep, Carothers should get the point.
During the years that Carothers has been in office, he has consistently refused to stand up to Mayor Daley. The result? Chicago does not have enough sworn police officers on the job. Our police department lacks the resources to do the job. But still, Carothers, like a good sheep, lines up and votes with Daley nearly every time.

It is almost funny to see Carothers play his role, acting the part of a man with integrity. His ward desperately needs an alderman with the guts to stand up to Mayor Daley and demand more.

Too bad the 29th has Isaac Carothers instead.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Wacky Right -- Dishonest Again

Diersen, the GOP blogger over at Illinoize, is known for some zany stuff. He is one of the few allegedly grown males who consistently use the term "sad" and "very sad" to describe matters not involving the death of a close family member. He rarely has his facts straight. He also is a afraid of criticism. His posts do not allow comments.

Today, Diersen once again showed that he is not just wacky, but dishonest. Rather than speaking about Sen. Obama's records, Diersen chose to repeat a lie. According to Diersen, Obama "said that the nation’s chief priority should not be for immigrants to learn English, but for American children to learn Spanish."

That's not true at all, and Diersen knows it. Sen. Obama said the obvious: That although immigrants to the U.S. should speak English, Americans should learn foreign languages. Sen. Obama is right on that issue. If the U.S. wants to compete in the world, Americans need to learn to speak other languages. For what its worth, if the U.S. had more Arabic speakers, we may have been able to prevent 9/11 and we certainly would be doing a far better job in the fight against the outlaw terrorists.

Senator Obama never said that immigrants should not learn English. He never said that Americans learning Spanish was MORE IMPORTANT than immigrants learning English.

When Diersen made those comments, he was dishonest. Since that man who claims the moral highground, that is very very very sad.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Rock Out With Reilly

Brendan Reilly, one of the few Chicago Alderman not in the Mayor's pocket, is holding "Rock Out With Reilly" on July 15, 2008, at House of Blues. That's a great place to hear music, and this is a great way to support one of the few who have shown a willingness to stand up to Daley.

For more details, see here.

SOAR Blueprints 2008

The Streeterville Organization of Active Residents (SOAR) will be presenting

Blueprints 2008

An Evening of

Art & Architecture

Monday, August 4, 2008

Museum of Contemporary Art

Tickets are $100 each

Daley's Transportation Failures

A few weeks ago, after spending over $200 MILLION to put a hole in the ground at State and Washington, Mayor Daley came to the conclusion that truly rapid transit from downtown to O'Hare was not possible. As a result, Daley agreed that the CTA should spend an additional $45.6 million in order to complete that hole.

The fact that Mayor Daley wasted nearly $250 million is not the biggest issue. In fact, it gets worse. According to the March 2008 Atlantic, rail delays in and around Chicago cause $4.0 BILLION in losses. The reason, according to the Atlantic's Bruce Katz describes, is that rail system issues cause freight trains going through Chicago to travel at the speed of zambonis.

Despite Daley's conclusion that truly rapid transit to O'Hare is not possible, persons can get from Shanghai's Pudong Airport to downtown Shanghai in eight minutes, using trains that travel at nearly 300 mph.

Mayor Daley spends millions and says it cannot be done. Mayor Daley has done nothing to speed freight service through the Chicago area, causing the U.S. to lose billions.

And, meanwhile, the Chinese can get from Pudong to downtown Shanghai in eight minutes.

Twenty years of Daley rule, and this is what we get?

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Red Bull Running

As most people who know Skeeter know, Skeeter may be Chicago most avid BMW Sauber fan.

Still, I must give credit where credit is due, and today that credit goes to Mark Webber of Red Bull Racing, for putting his machine on the front row at Silverstone. For Webber to out-qualify the Ferraris was an incredible accomplishment.

In honor of his fine effort, see the brilliant Running of the Red Bulls.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Daley Drops It On the Fourth

The Fourth of July showed once again that Mayor Daley's priorities are not those of his city.
Taxes have gone up, spending has gone up, but we still do not have enough sworn police officers on the job to effectively handle a crowd.
On July 3, 2008, two individuals were shot in the Loop. That follows a pattern of fights and shootings in prior years during the Taste of Chicago. You would think that after twenty years, Mayor Daley would learn that, for the Taste of Chicago and for the July 3 and July 4 fireworks, the City needs police officers on the scene and ready to respond.
Traffic control this year was worse then ever. For reasons that remain unclear, east/west streets, including Grand and Illinois, were allowed to remain open. On both nights following the fireworks, those streets were filled with pedestrians and with cars trying to edge their way through the people. No sworn officers were seen. Instead, the job was left to incompetent traffic control aides who added nothing.
A competent mayor would have seen to it that those streets were closed, that pedestrian and car traffic was coordinated so that the streets did not re-open until the pedestrian flow had slowed, and most importantly, that uniformed, sworn officers were on the job.
Too bad that after twenty years, Mayor Daley still hasn't learned how to make a city work.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

"Fatal Disregard for Political Reality in the Middle East"

Dorothy Wickenden, writing in the June 30, 2008 issue of the New Yorker, used the phrase "fatal disregard for political reality in the Middle East" to describe the actions of the B-Team with regard to the war in Iraq.

As the 2008 Presidential elections draws closer, the same phrase could be used about Sen. McCain. When a United States Senator does not know which countries in the Middle East are predominantly Sunni and which are Shiite, there is a serious disregard for the political reality in the Middle East.

To digress slightly, in the same column, Wickenden provides a quote from Barack Obama from October 2, 2002:

"I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rational and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than the best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of Al Qaeda. I am not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars."

With 50/50 hindsight, it looks like the man who was just a State Senator from my home district in Illinois was able to analyze the situation better than just about anyone else.

And that's why Barack Obama should be elected President of the United States.

Pride Parade and the Creepy Right Wing

IR types are often strange and offensive. One of their regulars, on his own site, has gone beyond strange and offensive to "creepy." Dave Smith, writing at his home site, has provided a list of all companies and politicians who participated in the Pride Parader.

For a guy who claims to be hetero, Smith sure is fascinated with all things gay.

Hey Dave -- Real heterosexuals don't think that seeing gay things will make them change sides. In addition, people who like freedom have the idea that people should say and do what they want. Too bad Dave Smith either doesn't believe in freedom, or is really really fascinated by homosexual behavior.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Case Against Steven Sauerberg, Part 1

Although I admit to being a huge fan of Sen. Durbin, people may want to consider a vote for Steven Sauerberg, since if he's in the Senate, he might stop seeing patients. The following is the start of a list of cases that feature "Steven Sauerberg, M.D." as a defendant. Unless somebody shows me some other doctors by that name in northereastern Illinois, I am going to assume that they involve our friend in the GOP:
Christine Laheta v. Adventist Health Systems, 2006 L 012080. The caption on this one is a bit confusing, since it is labeled "motor vehicle." Given the names of the defendants (all of which are medical providers), it looks like the court clerk mislabeled this case.

Good Early National Numbers

Although it is early, these numbers have to please Democrats. According to, the most up to date numbers show Barack Obama with a 317-221 lead over McCain. The recent polls show Ohio, PA, Virginia, and Indiana all going blue. Realistically, Barack should take three of the four in November. In the Senate, the latest numbers show the Dems taking a 55-45 lead. Mississippi continues to be very close (the Republican holds a small lead). Also, Bruce Lundsford continues to poll well in Kentucky. Ted Stevens in Alaska also has a very close race on his hands. Potentially, the Democrats could end up with 58 seats.

Things Looking Up in the 42nd Ward: Office Vacancy Rate Drops

The 42nd Ward got some good news this week. Crain's is reporting that the downtown office vacancy rate dropped to 10.8%. That's the lowest rate since the third quarter of 2003.
According to Crain's and Chicago Real Estate Daily, the reason might be that two large hotel projects took 650,000 square feet of office space off the market.
From Skeeter's vantage point, things are continuing to look good, despite a slowdown elsewhere. On the residential side, in Streeterville three large condo projects are nearly complete, two more have just been complete, and at least two more are in their early stages. That doesn't include the Spire. On that project, ground has been broken and the sales program is going full bore (including ads in national publications). On the commerical side, a lot more office space is expected to go on line by 2011.
Despite all the stories in the media about crime and taxes and other issues, Chicago and in particular, the 42nd Ward, remains an outstanding place to do business.

Monday, June 30, 2008


Apparently, that is what Illinois "commenter" Diersen believes. He's got a fascinating post talking about the virtues of Wheaton, Illinois, but claims that the town's parade has "suffered" because people are reluctant to move to Wheaton.
And it is all because of the Chicago Tribune.
For those who talk about the death of the daily newspaper: Don't dare mention that to Diersen. According to Diersen, the Chicago Tribune can make or break a town. And it does it because it hates PATRIOTISM!
How long is Rich Miller going to continue allowing that guy to fill space on Illinoize?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

How Do THEY Know What Happens?

There is a very funny post over at Illinois Review. It concerns the "Pride Parade" that took place over the weekend. People at IR are wound up into a tizzy because of events that the IRs have "witnessed" over there.

I used to live in the area (Halsted and Addison) so I've got a pretty good idea of what happens along the parade. A lot of people having fun, and maybe a few are a bit extreme, but I lived in the area for about three years, and yet, 15 years later, I'm still hetero. Nothing I saw changed my mind.

Apparently, the IRs think that if people see what goes on, they might be converted.

I know what goes on because I lived in the area. I'm curious though -- how do the IRs know what goes on? Is there some reason that they are so fascinated by those events?

Mark Foley, Larry Craig, and, I'm sure, a lot of people from IR. They sure do spend a lot of time thinking about that stuff.

What About the Parents, Part 1

There was a tragedy this weekend. A three year old boy was crushed to death when a gate fell on him.
The real tragedy though, is that the accident could have been prevented.
The boy and several others were playing on a gate at Cabini Green. While they were climbing on the gate, it collapsed, crushing the child.
The boy's mother was watching. The boy's mother is likely going to sue the City and others. One resident, Willie J.R. Fleming, who is a director of Coalition to Protect Public Housing, is already blaming the CHA and others.
Blame for this accident is clear though. The tragedy occurred because of the boy's mother. She allowed him and others to play on the gate, when any concerned parent would have stepped in and played the role of a parent. Being a parent means that sometimes, we must tell our children not to do things that are dangerous. This boy's mother saw him doing something dangerous, but did nothing.
Parents need to watch their children. If you see your children and four others swinging from a heavy gate, you need to step in and play the role of the parent.
Moreover, this tragedy once again points to problems with DCFS. The organization needs more counselors, and it needs better trained counselors. If we lived in a society that really cared about children, then parents would have parenting skills training easily available.
The accident was a tragedy. It was not the fault of the CHA or the property manager though. It was the fault of the mother. To some extent though, we need to look at what we as a society are doing to put parents in situations where they can learn to be effective parents.

Friday, June 27, 2008

We are Different from China -- Really!

But we wouldn't be if Eunice Conn of Illinois Review had her way. According to Eunice, things would be far better if we could just hire kids to work at a sub-minimum wage.

Eunice is upset because the Department of Labor want to tell HER that she can't use kids a cheap labor. Eunice claims to have high moral motives -- taking the kids off the streets and all. I believe the Chinese and the Indonesians feel the same way. By putting kids in factories, they are keeping them off the street! How great for the kids!

America is civilized. We don't believe that children should work in dangerous condictions and we sure don't think we should pay children low wages and in doing so, take a job from adults. We think that $1 a day for labor is a bad idea, no matter what the market says. We have minimum standards of decency. That's part of the reason that the standard of living in America is far better than the living standards in China or Indonesia, which allow cheap child labor.

And we can keep it that way, as long as we can keep safe from people like Eunice Conn.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Response to the Gun Nuts

In response to a particular gun nut:

Ken in Aurora,

Rich deleted my first response to your attack on me. While I found it humorous, he apparently thought it was too rude. Reasonable minds can differ on that one, but I can’t say the deletion was entirely unreasonable. As such, let me respond in a bit more polite manner:

Ken, I DON’T CARE if you like guns. I DON’T CARE if the Chicago ordinance stays or goes. Although I find people’s love for guns to be a bit ridiculous, it just doesn’t matter. You can own as many guns as you want. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

If you had taken time to read my posts, you would realize that I never took a position on the constitutional issue. The reason is simple: Despite all the talk from both sides as to how clear the issue is, I still don’t have a clue as to the ultimate answer.

I note that the 2nd A states “keep and bear” arms. It says nothing about “own.” A court could have reasonably concluded that “own” was part of a penumbra surrounding keep and bear — that “keep and bear” are meaningless without “own.”

In the alternative, a court could reasonably have found that only members of the militia have a right to “keep and bear” arms owned by the militia. I don’t know the answer, but I can definitively say that the 2A is not clear. It is, no matter anyone says, ambiguous.

When you have an ambiguous constitutional amendment and you use it to toss out a 36 year old law, you are being “activist.”

Being “activist” does not necessarily equate with being wrong, but the alleged conservatives should be up front and say “Sure the court was activist, but we like the result so that’s OK.”

If people had read my comments rather than just my name, they would note that my criticisms of the opinion were based on the fact that the opinion is poorly (and at time offensively — see my notes above as to Scalias uncivil comments about the dissent) written, and that it leaves many questions unanswered. I think judges should be civil and I think opinions should be clear and this opinion is neither.

Not once did I say that the end result was right or wrong since unlike nearly everybody else here, I will freely admit that I don’t have a clue what the 2A means.

For me, had people read my comments, the issue here is the court’s process — how it got to the decision. Was the decision right or wrong? I don’t know and frankly, I don’t really care. I’m not offended by guns. Guns don’t matter. I am, however, offended by poorly drafted court opinions. That matters.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Paranoia Strikes Deep

And it certainly has hit "Diersen", who blogs at Illinoize and at Illinois Review. Today, Diersen claims that his co-workers [Diersen spent much of his life on the government payroll] "to make an anti-American statement. . . started buying foreign nameplate cars as soon as they became widely available."

Fascinating, deeply paranoid (buying a car to make an anti-American statement? I'm sure there are less expensive ways), and most likely, completely untrue.

Diersen talks a lot about his Corvette. Does he talk about how much of it was made with parts outside the U.S.? Did Diersen buy his Vette to make an anti-American statement?

Moreover, he misses some obvious points which would counter his claim that his co-workers were out to get America. For instance, foreign car makers responded to the 1970s gas crisis by making fuel efficient cars. American manufacturers were slow to pick up that trend. It seems likely that Diersen's payrolling pals bought those foreign cars because they got 15 miles per gallon more than the American products did.

Finally, Diersen ignores the truth behind why so many of his Vette parts are made outside the U.S. The reason is that because his union-busting pals in the GOP were able to gain control in certain states. They passed laws busting those unions. Companies saw that they could pay lower wages there, so they closed plants paying real wages to Americans, and they shipped those jobs south. What happened next? Those companies saw that by continuing to move south -- across the border -- they could pay even less to the workers. That great move south -- which destroyed jobs for Americans -- started with Diersen's pals in the GOP.

Maybe they did it to make an anti-American statement. Maybe not, but that sure was the result.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sickening Humor at Illinois Review

The people at Illinois Review have often made comments that are deeply offensive. It it was that they do.
Now, however, they have sunk to a new level. For those people, coffins of American servicemen have become a joke.
How completely disgraceful.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Tony Peraica, Drugs, and the Cook County Clerk

I usually don't comment on the indescretions of family members of elected officials. In most cases, the matters are purely personal between the elected official and the family member.

Sometimes, however, the family indescretion becomes relevant and the recent DUI conviction of Tony Peraica's son is one of those times. What makes it relevant is that Tony Peraica (best known as the guy who can't lead a drunken mob in the right direction) likes to talk about all the payrollers and political hacks working for Cook County.

As it turns out, Tony Peraica's own son "somehow" got on the payroll of the Cook County Clerk. Further, it turns out that the son likes drugs. In a pre-sentence evaluation in his DUI case, Tony Peraica's son tested positive for marijuana and cocaine.

Let me confirm: Well AFTER he was caught DUI on the Kennedy Expressway, Tony Peraica's son continued to use drugs.

Although I can't say for sure, I highly doubt the pre-sentence evaluation was done on a weekend or an evening. As a result, it seems fair to assume that it was done during normal work hours when Tony Peraica's son should have been doing County work.

Where is the outrage from Tony Peraica? An employee of the County Clerk uses drugs, and yet we have yet to hear a single word from Tony Peraica.

Apparently, payrollers and political hacks and drug abusers on the payroll are only issues when they are not related to Tony Peraica.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

DCCC to Offer Enhanced Aid to Seals

Congressional Quarterly is reporting that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has identified thirteen races in which Democratic congressional challengers will get "enhanced aid", in the term of fundraising and strategic assistance.
Dan Seals, who is again taking on Mark Kirk, has made the list. Dan is an A quality candidate who ran a great race against Kirk two years ago but didn't have much DCCC assistance. Hopefully the extra help from the DCCC will help Seals in what looks like another good Dem year.
Bill Foster was originally on the list, but no longer qualifies for the program since he is now an incumbent. Expect the DCCC to step up in some form to help him keep the seat.

Friday, March 7, 2008

A New Low at Illinois Review

Every time I read Illinois Review ( I think that they have hit a new low. Many of the posts are odd or paranoid, with allegations that somebody is out to get conservatives.

Today, however, George Kocan hit a low that will not be met for quite some time.

According to George -- backed by science, according to George -- women are unfit to hold leadership positions. He has a strange argument, which shows that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

With arguments like that, does the ILGOP wonder why it loses nearly every election?

For the full post, see the following:

One note, in fairness -- Fran Eaton posted a comment to the post, critical of George. She allows a ton of offensive stuff on that site, but I must give her credit that although she allowed the post in question to appear, it is clear that she did not endorse the views presented.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Cook County Comm. Butler's Priorities: Jerry's Army

Skeeter is "represented" on the Cook County Board by Jerry "Iceman" Butler.
Comm. Butler has certain priorities.
Chief among those priorities is Comm. Butler.
Very low on his list of priorities is poor women.
Yesterday, Comm. Butler put those priorities in stark contrast. On a move to shift $1.1 million from commissioner staff costs to pay for mammograms for poor women, Comm. Butler chose to pay for his own staff.
Butler's move will give each commissioner, on average, $406,000.00 for staff.
His district does not share his views. We think that most of that $406,000 of OUR MONEY should be spent on Cook County residents, and not on building Jerry's Army.
We will remember this vote when it comes time for re-election.