Archive for June, 2010


by , posted on Monday, June 28th, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Paul Krugman’s Sunday column about the Depression he believes we are experiencing the early stages of made me think about the state of affairs here in Obama’s home state of Illinois. The whole column is worth a read, but it was this part that caught my attention:

The Obama administration understands the dangers of premature fiscal austerity — but because Republicans and conservative Democrats in Congress won’t authorize additional aid to state governments, that austerity is coming anyway, in the form of budget cuts at the state and local levels.

As states go, I think I can make the case that Illinois is at the forefront in already having achieved “premature fiscal austerity” and the effects on actual individuals, particularly in the area of job loss, are worth looking at, for we are in the unique position of being the bellwether for the nation in this area.



News I Can Use

by , posted on Thursday, June 17th, 2010 at 10:51 pm

I just wanted to send a public thank you out to the Daily Herald, a right-leaning publication that is everywhere in the Chicago Burbs. Yesterday, the Herald published an (unsurprising for them) piece about the BP boycott. It was one of those human-interesty things that seemed designed to make us all rethink who we are really hurting by boycotting BP – “pity the little guy” (or do I mean small guy) type of thing. Along with a description of things these guys are thinking about doing to help with the clean up.

True, DH stopped short of apologizing to the CEO of BP, but they did characterize the ongoing environmental disaster to our south as an incident that “has added to the corporation’s woes” as “President Obama and environmental groups” are being so mean as to pressure them to stop the leak and stuff.

Eh, but the piece soon gets back on track in asking us to consider the woes of the poor franchisees who really own those BP stations. Now I normally consider myself a fan of the small business owner – I’ve known many a Mom and Pop who pour their time, love and soul into their business. But it’s a little harder to feel sorry for these franchise owners, since the story details how many of these things each owns – hint, in no case is the answer “one.”

Anyway the real value of the piece to me was the quote from Bob Juckniess, president of RWJ Management (10 BP stations) who wanted us all to know that we don’t know what we’re doing.



Rumors on the Internet

by , posted on Wednesday, June 9th, 2010 at 6:00 am

Don’t you just hate unsubstantiated rumors on the Internet? I know I do.

But you know what I hate even more? When you’ve been hearing the same unsubstantiated rumor in the real world for months on end from several “insiders” who should know (or should know better), when you are told flat-out by elected officials (not to be quoted, to be sure), that the rumors in question are “an open secret,” when you are even aware of newspaper columnists who have been hinting around the periphery of the story for quite some time and suspect strongly that they can not go on record because none of their sources will, and then you are told that the culmination of the series of rumors is “imminent.”

I’ve come to the conclusion that this is how unsubstantiated rumors on the Internet get started: By people like me who are sick of all the dithering around from individuals who either have the dirt and are so afraid of the powers-that-be that they refuse to go public, or are bound by some journalistic standard, or are just not able to name a source themselves, due to the excellent record of the powers-that-be in question for doing nothing that is strictly illegal, or for that matter written down. Which none of this really is.

Well, screw all that, here’s the rumor.



Found Objects for a Friday Afternoon: Jenny Holzer

by , posted on Friday, June 4th, 2010 at 12:00 pm