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Articles Archive for December 2007

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[17 Dec 2007 | 4 Comments | ]

Fourteen-year-old Patrick was the man of the evening.
Patrick adjusted his tie, and strode confidently through an overflowing crowd at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, and climbed the stage.
As Patrick addressed the audience during a Q & A session last week, his Irish-red hair gleamed under the spotlight, while his image was shown on two large television screens.
The occasion was a fund-raising benefit for LYDIA Home Association, a Christian-based organization named after an early convert to Christianity. LYDIA provides services such as residential treatment for children and adolescents …

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[17 Dec 2007 | No Comment | ]

Catch if you can
Maps: Finding Our Place in the World
Until January 28th 2008
Map-lovers have found Chicago a veritable paradise this winter, with more than 30 institutions taking part in a citywide festival. The Field Museum presents perhaps the most sweeping exhibition, with maps of worlds both real and imaginary (J.R.R. Tolkien supplies a map of Thror), and cartographers ranging from Leonardo da Vinci to satellites. There are many treasures here. See Charles Lindbergh’s flight chart from New York to Paris. Compare a medieval Christian map of the world with a …

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[16 Dec 2007 | No Comment | ]

The Economist’s description of Hugo Chavez sounds very familiar to those who are experiencing Rod Blagojevich in Illinois. Both practice “21st century socialism, i.e. old-fashioned autocracy”. Both face weak political opposition, and a weak dissenting media, prompting Col. Chavez to demand a constitutional change making him president for life.
Here, Governor Blagojevich has done Hugo Chavez one better. Seeing that he does not have the votes for his spending plans, Gov. Blagojevich has jettisoned the constitution, and unilaterally appropriated funds to spend as he sees fit.
If Illinois had the oil revenues …

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[16 Dec 2007 | No Comment | ]

A Downstate hospital has sued the state over its decision earlier this year to strip the institution of its property-tax exemption.
Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana filed suit Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court, asking that the Illinois Department of Revenue and Champaign …

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[15 Dec 2007 | No Comment | ]

Recently, psychologists have begun to describe a growing phenomenon—the
“Christmas Blues”.
Christmas Blues?
Paradoxical but true, in the midst of a season when our streets are filled with colorful decorations and our public places all resounding with jolly songs, many people feel depressed and sad. “None of this joy applies to me,” they silently lament. “There is no Santa Claus who comes down my chimney!” “Every year I get deeper in debt at this time of year.” A datum that we all know, but don’t like to talk …

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[13 Dec 2007 | No Comment | ]

Almost one month ago, I wrote of an ensuing battle at Loyola University Chicago, the city’s Jesuit university. The “Campaign to Stop Killer Coke,” a fringe leftist organization wielding scurrilous accusations of misconduct by Colombian Coca-Cola bottlers, was unable to boot Coca-Cola off the Loyola campus. In a university-wide email sent on Monday afternoon, Loyola students were informed of President Rev. Michael J. Garanzini’s decision to accept his Vending Committee’s recommendation extending Coca-Cola’s contract past its July 2008 expiration.
In addition to extending the Coca-Cola contract, Loyola inked a …

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[13 Dec 2007 | No Comment | ]

Recently I wondered whether Mike Huckabee would turn out to be a Paul Tsongas—win an early primary then fade away—or a Jimmy Carter who came out of nowhere to win it all. Some readers further suggested he was Howard Dean, who flamed out even before winning that early primary (or caucus, as the case may be).
When it comes to the actor/politician Fred Thompson, another model suggests itself—Gen.Wesley Clark in 2004. Those old enough to remember will recall that the general who opposed the war in Iraq looked for all the …

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[13 Dec 2007 | No Comment | ]

Nearly drowned out by the media silence, the Richard Caro case vs. Rod Blagojevich continues in Cook County.
In a phone conversation with Caro, a long precedent of case law involving the judiciary acting to requiring state agencies to act within legislative spending and authoritative boundaries.
Cases have been successfully argued against such state boards as the Illinois Liquor Control Commission, the Nursing Home Licensing Board, the State Board of Education specifically referring to the executive branch of state government working beyond their legislative authority.
Caro also expects some consolidation of the Ron …

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[13 Dec 2007 | No Comment | ]

The biggest obstacle for Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan in her anticipated 2010 quest for the governorship is her father, not the governor.
There’s no doubt that Madigan, in a Democratic primary against beleaguered incumbent Rod Blagojevich, would win. But there’s growing doubt that her father, Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan, will give up his powerful post in order to stifle voter misgivings about the Madigans possibly running the whole state. .
Should Lisa Madigan win, a father/daughter team would occupy two of Illinois’ three most powerful positions. Facing Lisa in a …

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[13 Dec 2007 | 2 Comments | ]

There’s a course missing in the high school curriculum – and it’s one that bears looking into, particularly in light of the changes graduates are facing today – not to mention the crisis the nation now faces due to the lack of such a course being included as mandatory in education.
Years ago, when you graduated from high school you either got a job or you went to college. You earned money, opened a checking account, and only bought what you could afford to buy. If you needed something, …