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[23 Oct 2011 | No Comment | ]

Mopetown Archer west of Ashland today.I remember Mopetown, it was a tiny neighborhood squeezed between Bridgeport and McKinley Park along Archer Ave. between Ashland and Hoyne and 31st and 33rd Streets.The huge and largely accurate Encyclopedia of Chi…

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[17 Dec 2010 | No Comment | ]

There’s a middle way between George W. Bush Wilsonianism and the ultra libertarian Ron Paul…the guy who wants us to scrub the CIA, repeal the Patriot Act and take the cover off future secret Wiki-Leak as we relax by sucking in the smoke from legalized pot. There’s a middle way, I tell you that I’ve relearned from restudying the views of the first presidential candidate I volunteered for—Sen. Robert A. Taft [1889-1953].

Taft lost for many reasons. 1. He was fat (a problem I hope we can readjust …

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[7 Dec 2010 | No Comment | ]

Some months ago, I was reading the two volume biography of the late Frank O. Lowden, a one time governor of Illinois who had presidential ambitions. One passage concerning Lowden’s early political activities brought a sardonic smile to my face. It described the early efforts of municipal reformers to clean up Chicago politics before the turn of the previous century. A board of election commissioners was created to superintend elections for the City of Chicago. If only those solid citizens could have seen what happened to that august body in …

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[15 Oct 2010 | No Comment | ]

The Debate: Part II.
Comparing the Kirk-Giannoulias debate to Kennedy-Nixon fifty years ago, you have two flawed candidates….what appears to be a serial resume-puffer and a banker who continually loaned to the Outfit. Lynn Sweet of The Sun-Times who is the dutiful stenographer for The Squid judged the encounter a “tie.” But in a filmed introduction to the NBC debate she was evidently struck with a Divine Intervention of the Holy Spirit because she termed the match correctly as a contest between a serial liar and a mob banker. But …

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[14 Oct 2010 | 2 Comments | ]

The Kirk-Giannoulias Debate: Part I.
The Nixon-JFK Comparison.
I looked at a replay of the Kirk-Giannoulias debate on NBC’s “Meet the Press” last night and was struck by the fact that the match-up shows the weaknesses and imperfectability of the human condition when squeezed by the vise of politics as nothing else has.
Nixon. A Success but Still Filled With Grievance.
Comparing it with the 1960 Kennedy-Nixon imbroglio which I have seen (in addition to its initial performance live) four times is fascinating. I am a great believer that experiences, good …

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[7 Oct 2010 | 8 Comments | ]

“In the year 1000, the average infant could expect to live about 24 years. A third died in the first year of life. Hunger and epidemic disease ravaged the survivors. By 1820, life expectation had risen to 36 years in the west, with only marginal improvement elsewhere. After 1820, world development became much more dynamic. By 2003, income per head had risen nearly ten-fold, population six-fold. Per capita income rose by 1.2 per cent a year: 24 times as fast as in 1000-1820. …

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[30 Sep 2010 | One Comment | ]

On October 28, 2010 the champion of freedom who brought Communism to its knees once again visits Illinois. The former President of Poland, Lech Walesa will headline a series of events with “For the Good of Illinois” less than a week before one of Illinois’ most historic elections.

The visit commences with a private breakfast with President Walesa followed by a luncheon open to the public.
October 28, 2010
Breakfast 8am
Luncheon 12pm
University Club of Chicago
76 E Monroe
Chicago, IL
Join leaders of the conservative movement for a discussion of the biggest issues facing the nation …

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[8 Jul 2010 | 4 Comments | ]

It is easy to understand the concept of Federal preemption in a number of contexts: there are no state bankruptcy courts, for example, since bankruptcy is exclusively a federal court matter. In other areas, however, it is less than clear where federal authority is absolute and where a state law can mirror legislation passed by Congress. For decades, Chicago and many of its suburbs ignored the Second Amendment by enacting gun laws that were ultimately stricken by the US Supreme Court as unconstitutional despite numerous favorable rulings which upheld the …

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[4 Jun 2010 | No Comment | ]

Drive them crazy. That’s what Glenn Beck seems to specialize in doing, whether the “them” at issue is fellow radio hosts, fellow tv hosts, or, now, professors at universities. This last group is opening its own front in the war against the television king. An associate professor, Joseph Palermo of California State/Sacramento, took to the Huffington Post to mock the broadcaster as “Glenn Beck, Ph.D.” I personally noticed this since Professor Palermo mentioned me by name, in tandem with author Jonah Goldberg, as an effort to “misinform” the gullible.

The rage …

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[11 May 2010 | 4 Comments | ]

Our friend and colleague, author and historian Richard C. Lindberg has just been recognized for his recent book, The Gambler King of Clark Street: Michael C. McDonald and the Rise of Chicago’s Democratic Machine. The Society of Midland Authors selected the book for its Best Biography award.

In addition, the Illinois State Historical Society presented Lindberg with an Certificate of Excellence presented its 2010 Annual Awards Luncheon on Saturday, April 24, at the Illinois Executive Mansion in Springfield
Three Cheers for Chicago Daily Observer columnist Richard Lindberg!