Friday, August 29, 2008

Glenn Beck: Fuckstick of the Week

We here at the SNC will be doing a new feature every Friday. It's called "Fuckstick of the Week".
The inaugural winner is somehow famous/has a show on CNN despite no one ever hearing of him/gas bag Glenn Beck:

Editor's note: Glenn Beck is on CNN Headline News nightly at 7 and 9 ET and also hosts a conservative national radio talk show.
Glenn Beck has been watching the convention from home and doesn't believe everything he's hearing.

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Here at the Glenn Beck program, the budget isn't exactly that impressive. We're not the federal government, with a limitless American Express card that we never have to pay off. (Oh, take that, Congressional Budget Office!)
So, instead of traveling to Denver, Colorado, and reporting on the Democratic National Convention in a fancy suit like a real show, I get to watch the speeches at my house in my boxers. (Or a ball gag)Sorry for that image. Here are my impressions of some of the noteworthy quotes from the convention so far, which I observed from a safe distance.
Nancy Pelosi: "I am very proud of the Democrats in Congress."
Never mind that no Congress in the past 20 years has passed fewer public laws than this one, according to the Wall Street Journal. How could they? (I thought government was a bad thing. Lesser laws would be good, right?)
They are spending one quarter of their work week debating and passing symbolic measures such as creating National Watermelon Month. (Yeah, first Congress to ever do shit like this)The Journal says no Congress in the past two decades has proposed more symbolic resolutions than this one -- 1,900, for those of you keeping score at home.
Pelosi went on to mention 10 specific accomplishments, which worked out to 0.9 accomplishments per percentage point of congressional approval rating. Ten accomplishments, 9% approval.
Nancy Pelosi: "On the most important policy decision of our time, the war in Iraq, Barack Obama is right and John McCain is wrong -- very, very wrong."
By her definition, do you know who else was very, very wrong? The Democratic vice presidential nominee, Sen. Joe Biden. And the last vice president they nominated, John Edwards. And the guy he ran with, John Kerry. And your headline speaker Tuesday night, Hillary Clinton, among many, many others. (Hypebole at a party convention?! Well, I never...)
Michelle Obama: "That's why I left a job at a law firm for a career in public service, working to empower young people to volunteer in their communities."Michelle Obama's chosen career path led her to make $275,000 per year at a private hospital. Is that really a "public service" job? (Yes. It's a hospital.)
It seems to me that a Republican wouldn't be able to get away with such a generous assessment of their résumé. (The current asshole occupying the Oval Office and his evil henchman, Cheney leap to mind) They would surely be harassed for making a six-figure salary inside the evil health care industry, while millions suffer without insurance. (Yep. And rightfully so..)
But hey, there's nothing wrong with making money, at least to me. And remember, she didn't say she was volunteering. She said she was "working to empower young people to volunteer," which is totally different. (Glenn has a BIG problem with women, a la Rush, his hero in douchbaggery)
Michelle Obama: Barack Obama will achieve his goals "the same way he always has -- by bringing us together and reminding us how much we share and how alike we really are."
How will he do it? He'll talk everyone into it. Yes, that has worked with his nomination, but can he "remind" me into wanting the government to pay for universal everything? (Glenn has never actually listened to anything Obama has said. Ever.)
I don't think so. I must not be hoping hard enough for change.
Michelle Obama: If her husband wins, her children can tell their kids someday that they "decided to stop doubting and to start dreaming."
Sometimes doubting is good. For example, it's good to doubt that other countries' failing policies, such as universal health care, will suddenly work here. (This is Glenn and the Right Wing's use of the Mariotti Thoery where if you just keep saying it it must be true. Universal health care works in every western European country and Canada. You know those countries whose currency is currently turning the dollar into a Mr. Mouth game piece?)
Hillary Clinton: "John McCain doesn't think that 47 million people without health insurance is a crisis."
She must have missed the update that this number dropped by over a million. (Oh, problem solved.)While it's still too high, I doubt she would have missed the news if it had risen.
She also missed, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, that 37 percent of the uninsured live in households making more than $50,000 a year, most of which can afford health insurance. (What's the color of the sky in Glenn's world?)
Twenty percent aren't even citizens of this country. (This is simply and utterly bull shit. It's bull shit. It's a trumped up, out of thin air number that the Insurance industry conjured up.This is nowhere near the actual number. Not...even..close..Again, Mariotti Theory) One in three are eligible for government insurance, but aren't enrolled. So, while our health care is far from perfect, it's much better than Hillary wants you to believe. (Is Hillary the nominee? Did I miss something? Again. Glenn has some issues with the women)
Hillary Clinton: "I will always remember the boy who told me his mom worked for the minimum wage and that her employer had cut her hours."
So, how will raising the minimum wage get that mom more hours? If the business owner found her employment too expensive at the lower wage, won't they be cutting her hours even more now? (Fuck lets pay 'em nuthin'. That would work too.)
By the way, since the minimum wage increase, teenage unemployment is at a 15-year high. I'm sure there's no relation whatsoever. (It's called X-Box)
Joe Biden: "Even today, as oil companies post the biggest profits in history ... John wants to give them another $4 billion in tax breaks."
Here is the justification behind this talking point:
1.) John McCain wants to cut corporate income taxes for all companies.
2.) Oil companies are companies.
That's it.
Democrats believe that you think oil companies are mean, so they single them out, hoping you think McCain has cut a special deal just for them. He hasn't. (But has continually voted against alternative fuels and carbon emission reduction...I'm sure the oil companies didn't have a say in that battle)
I guess it's really hard to drum up anger against your opponent when you say, "John McCain wants to cut taxes for companies that make delicious ice cream sundaes, feed the puppies of toddlers and fix veterans' wheelchairs," but that's just as truthful as what Biden said. (huh?)
Tonight, it's Barack Obama, at a football stadium, in front of what Reuters says looks like a Greek temple. Next week, we'll get to watch the Republicans' attempt at choreographed pageantry.
Am I the only one who can't wait for November fifth? (Is that the day you're canceled?)
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the writer.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

There Certainly Will Be Some Car Doors Slamming In The Streets Of Kensington Tonight!

Sun-Times columinst Jay Mariotti resigns

By Jim Kirk | Tribune staff reporter
9:39 PM CDT, August 26, 2008

Jay Mariotti, the opinionated and polarizing sports columnist (and smart, thoughtful and assholish, except leave out the smart and thoughtful parts) for the Chicago Sun-Times, told the Chicago Tribune he resigned on Tuesday after 17 years with the paper.

Just back from Beijing where he wrote about the Summer Olympics, Mariotti said in a phone interview Tuesday night that he decided to quit after it became clear while in China (uh huh, I'm sure it was a spiritual moment for him) that sports journalism had become "entirely a Web site business. There were not many newspapers there.'' He added that most of the journalists covering the Games were "there writing for Web sites.'' (This is such BULLSHIT!  Every fuckin' newspaper in the country was there.  Jay, you lost the battle that's been brewing at the paper for the last year.  You called out your fellow sportswriters by name for being shills and hacks and found that you no longer had anyone in your corner.  Spin how you want.  Everybody knows the poop.)

Mariotti, whose public battles with fellow staffers, team owners, and rival columnists are legendary, didn't disclose any specific plans except to say he will continue doing his regular stint on ESPN's "Around the Horn.'' (Something to truly hang your hat on.  I see a Woody Paige and Jay Mariotti circus act coming to a town near you.)

He said that he "is talking with a lot of Web sites'' and added that the future of his business "sadly is not in newspapers.'' (He's spent a great portion of his column and in interviews railing against the influence of the web and blogs, talking about loss of  integrity in the field of sports journalism.  Hey, let's join 'em!)  Mariotti said that he sent a resignation letter to Cyrus Freidheim, Sun-Times Media Group Chief Executive and Sun-Times Publisher. When asked via email by the Tribune whether Mariotti had resigned, Sun-Times Editor Michael Cooke responded, "You're kidding?''

Cooke didn't reply to further requests for comment.

"They accepted it,'' Mariotti said of his resignation. "It was my call entirely.'' (I smell something fishy goin' on.  I think there's going to be more to the story and I bet it involves a threatened mutiny headed by Telander.)

In a city with a strong sports journalism tradition, Mariotti is thought of as one of its premier columnists. With a style that relied on being contrarian no matter the topic, readers turned to him as much to disagree with what he had to say than agree. He added to his reputation with the scrapes he got in with the subjects he covered.  (He did have a pretty consistent string on being wrong and spiteful.)

The highly-paid Mariotti quits after just signing a three-year contract extension in June. At that time, Cooke said that Mariotti was a "focal point'' of the Sun-Times sports section, praising his "pull no punches'' approach.  (He's like sports fans from Philadelphia.  "Look at me!  I'm rude!")

Commenting on his 17 years at the paper, Mariotti said he loved every minute of it. But he said that with the troubled times newspapers face, it was time to consider a new future. (Did these troubles just come to the newspaper field in the last three months?  Seems like the ink's barely dry on that three-year contract he signed in June.)

"I'm a competitor and I get the sense this marketplace doesn't compete,'' he said. "Everyone is hanging on for dear life at both papers. I think probably the days of high stakes competition in Chicago are over. (These next two weeks are going to be AWESOME!  All the sordid shit on Mariotti is going to come out.  Boy, all the real dipshits in Chicago sports talk are droppin' like flies lately.  )

"To see what's happened in this business...I don't want to go down with it.'' (Keep pushin' that line, Jay.  Keep pushin' it.  It's what assholes say when they've backed themselves into a corner and have no more cards to play.  Just go to and, after a couple years, fade into oblivion.)

For Jay's interview with John Calloway on June 16 of this year, click here.  Watch him push this shit and watch how disingenuous it all is.  Best of all, watch how much he defends the newspaper business, in particular the Sun-Times, in the first five minutes!!!!!

Mary, Mary, where ya' goin' to?

Showing world why she makes him better
August 26, 2008

BY MARY MITCHELL Sun-Times Columnist

KANSAS CITY -- She has his back. That's the one thing voters should be clear about after Michelle Obama's big night at the (P.T. Barnum's) Democratic convention.

Four years ago, when little-known Barack Obama burst onto the national political scene, Michelle was at his side. (right where a woman's s'posed tuh be, dadgummit...)

She was there to give him the support only a loving wife can give and to provide the comfort that needs no words. (...except for a 30-minute speech)
But on Monday night, Michelle Obama showed the nation that she was also a woman who could make the sacrifices that are often required of a first lady. (Sacrifice?!? What the fuck is she talking about? Sacrificing what? Her nervousness of speaking in front of people?!?)

She took the podium at the Democratic convention (and pony show) alone to speak up for the man she knows better than anyone else.
Given the closeness of this couple, Michelle would have wanted him there in Denver for her speech. (sounds a bit "clingy" for your hero, there, Mary)

She and Barack are a team, a dynamic duo, if you will, (I won't) that is poised to make history.
After all, a woman who has the spunk (read: nag) to tell her husband if he wants to run for president of the U.S., he'll have to stop smoking (and finish everything on his plate), and a woman who makes sure despite the hoopla of a presidential campaign, she and her husband show up for her daughter's soccer games, clearly values family ties. (Clearly. That, or it makes for one hell of a great photo opp)

Still, she went out there, and as Obama has said about his wife in the past, she handled (did what she was told) her business at the convention.

"I've come here tonight as a sister, blessed with a brother (ick..) who is my mentor, my protector and my lifelong friend," Michelle Obama said (whilst washing his feet)
"I come here as a wife who loves my husband and believes he will be an extraordinary president. (I'm sold!) I come here as a mom whose girls are the heart of my heart (Isn't that a Quarterflash song?) and the center of my world," she said.

Unfortunately, because strong women like Michelle have been stereotyped as too this or too that, (...that's some solid writing, there. Thanks for the specifics backing up your point.) she has been the target of attacks that usually are reserved for the presidential candidate.

Most Americans have never seen a black woman like Michelle on this stage before. (uh, hello! Ever hear of Janet Jackson and a little thing called the "Rhythm Nation Tour"? Helloooo?)

They've seen Oprah and Tyra, but Michelle is not an entertainer or talk show host. (Whoa! Baaaack up! What?!? Dumb it down a shade, Doc?)
She's an African-American woman who has managed to live the American dream because she has been willing to work for it.

Frankly, the same people who heap high praise on U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and criticize blacks for failing to honor her to the degree that they think she ought to be honored, are the same people who are quick to criticize Michelle Obama's every move. (yeah, you call them "sellouts")

Indeed, if Michelle was as "mean" as her critics make her out to be, Barack Obama would have been in Denver watching her speech from behind a curtain, if need be, rather than with strangers in a private home. (wh-wh-whbbWAHAH?! What in holy shit does that prove?!)

Like her husband, Michelle Obama has made a commitment to lead (by playing second fiddle)

It would have been a lot easier to sit back and let someone else take the heat. It would have been a lot easier for her to raise her daughters in the comfort of the home (mansion) she and Barack have provided for them.

(Now, let's count the number of times Mary makes it seem like the Obama's live in Mayberry and not in Kenwood....)

It would have been a lot easier to continue with a lifestyle where she could show up at the neighbor's house with her favorite potluck. (1)

It would have been easier to maintain a lifestyle where getting out of the house for the day didn't require makeup (2), a hairstylist (3) and a Secret Service detail. (4)

(mmmm-MMM! Ozzie and Harriet, indeed)

On Monday night she gave America a glimpse of her own journey, with the hope that many Americans will see a little of themselves.

"Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond and you do what you say you are going to do, that you treat people with dignity and respect even if you don't know them and even if you don't agree with them," she said. (stop saying 'you')

Needless to say, today Michelle Obama will be judged by some by the words she spoke. (Quit looking at me, Mary) Others will judge her by the way she looked. (Quit looking at yourself, Mary)

It doesn't really matter.

She's already passed the most important test. (she spoke at a fever-pitched pro-Democrat rally. Indeed, her work is done.)

Monday, August 25, 2008

I Hate Him I Hate Him I Hate Him

"Dating Coach/Bullshit Slinger/Huckster" David Wygant has a new piece up at his website.

Single Mommies
Let’s talk about single mothers. (Let's!)
I was with the guys today (“the guys” are Rey and Rich – Rey the assistant and Rich the intern.) (These are guys we're talking about?) We went to Whole Foods today, (fuck off)and I started flirting with this single mom in line while we were checking out. (You knew she was single how? Brand on forehead? Because Lord knows alot of husbands/fathers don't stay home when their wife goes grocery shopping.) She was very pretty, very sexy, and very nice – and attached to a five-year-old. The five-year-old was great – really cute and amusing, but he needed ALL of his mother’s attention. When we left the market, one of the guys said, “oh wow, that mom was really attracted to you! Why didn’t you ask her out?” (This so didn't happen except in David's mind--what guy talks like that?)
I responded, “well, there really wasn’t the time – her kid was pulling on her arm!” It was really hard to talk to her, and you also have to respect the fact that she is with her child. (Was this before or after the flirting?)But she was definitely vibing me (vibing you?)and I probably would have asked her out if I would have had the opportunity – when her little boy wasn’t pulling on her. (Kind of a long and TO THE POINT explanation. Again, this didn't happen. David is making this up)
I also don’t particularly want to ask her out if she’s not a single mom! I wouldn’t want her kid to go home and say, “daddy, daddy, guess what happened today? Mommy got asked out by this guy in Whole Foods!” (Ya think?)
So I’ve got some advice for all of you single mothers out there: if you are out with your kids and a guy starts talking to you, he is exactly what you want because he already knows that you have children! (A guy hitting on you at the grocery store. Shoot for the stars, ladies. Remember, this guy gets paid to do this.)
So many single mothers have this issue about dating – “how am I going to date? How will I meet someone? Nobody wants me when I have a kid!” But it’s not true! (Yes it is)
If we are flirting with you and we see that you have a kid attached to your arm, we don’t care! (And we're horny--and it's pretty obvious you put out)We don’t care if you are a mom; we want to date you – plain and simple. (or fuck you. Or both. Hey. Win/win)
If you’re a single mom and you’re out with your kids, you have to lie down some clues and hints for the guy you’re flirting with. You have to stop for a second. Obviously, don’t kick the kid out into the street – “hey, mommy will be right back!” – nothing that blunt, but maybe say something like, “yeah, he’s just lacking male attention,” (Ewww..) or “he just gets jealous when his mom talks to another man” – something funny. (That was a joke?)
This will let the guy know that you want to be asked out. We’ll ask you out very quickly once we know that you’re open to it, but you need to say something that permits us to do it. (
We totally understand that you are a mom, we understand that you’re hanging out with your kid; but we don’t want to ask you out if we’re not sure that you are single. (Yeah, slime balls at the grocery store have some scruples)
We don’t want the kid going home and being scarred for life after seeing his mom getting hit on at Whole Foods. ( 5 year olds really know alot about flirting)You never know what could happen – he could end up with pure approach anxiety or turn out to be some seducing ladies man after watching his mom get hit on all of the time. (Smacks hand into forehead)
Lay down some clues for us! Clues are always good. We need them once in a while. And do you know what? If I ever see you without your kid, I will definitely ask you out. But the next time I see you with your kid, give me a clue! (Is he getting paid by the word? You JUST SAID THIS!)
I’m gutsy, and I’ll ask out everybody – but I’m also very respectful of a lot of things. (Obviously)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

And Then There's Maudie

Maudie White Hopkins 1914 ~ 2008
Teenage bride of Confederate soldier
She wed four times, but it was her marriage to 'Mr. Cantrell,' a Civil War veteran, that drew publicity
(It's like Elizabeth Tailor with a dark past...)
By Peggy Harris Associated Press
August 20, 2008

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Maudie White Hopkins, who grew up during the Depression in the hardscrabble Ozarks (Come on, Scrabble's hard for just about anybody) and married a Confederate army veteran 67 years her senior, has died. She was 93 (Crap, she kicked before Willard Scott had a chance to throw her face up on a jam jar and make lude, inappropriate comments).
Ms. Hopkins, the mother of three children from a second marriage who loved to make fried peach pies and applesauce cakes (you don't say?! Fried peach pies and applesauce cakes direct from the hardscrablle Ozarks? Well shut MY MOUTH?!), died Sunday at a hospital in Helena-West Helena, said Rodger Hooker of the Roller-Citizens Funeral Home (The Roller-Citizens aren't the toughest team in the Undead Roller Dearby League...but they're pretty stiff competition! Buhdum bum!) .
Other Confederate widows are still living, but they don't want any publicity, Martha Boltz of the United Daughters of the Confederacy said Tuesday (They just want the 'darkies locked up and the south returned to its former glory') . Ms. Hopkins, born Maudie Acklin, grew up in a family of 10 children, did laundry and cleaned house for William Cantrell, a widower and Confederate veteran in Baxter County.

When he offered to leave his land and home to her if she would marry him and care for him in his later years, she said yes. She was 19; he was 86 ("In his LATER years?!! He was 87!! Just how OLD did he plan on getting?!!).
"After Mr. Cantrell died I took a little old mule he had (where you going with this Maudie...) and plowed me a vegetable garden and had plenty of vegetables to eat (whew...). It was hard times; you had to work to eat," she said in 2004. Ms. Hopkins later married Winfred White and started a family. In all, she was married four times (read, 'WHORE').
For decades, she didn't speak about her marriage to Cantrell, fearing people would think less of her (not possible). Four years ago, she came around after a Confederate widow in Alabama died amid claims she was the last widow from that war." I didn't do anything wrong," Ms. Hopkins said in 2004. "I've worked hard my whole life and did what I had to, what I could, to survive ("As God is my witness, I'll not be hungry again!"). I didn't want to talk about it for a while because I didn't want people to gossip about it. I didn't want people to make it out to be worse than it was."
Military records show Cantrell served in Company A, French's Battalion, of the Virginia Infantry. He enlisted in the Confederate army at age 16 in Pikeville, Ky., and was captured the same year and sent to a prison camp in Ohio. He was exchanged for a Union prisoner, and after the war moved to Arkansas to live with relatives. In a 2004 interview, Ms. Hopkins referred to her first husband as "Mr. Cantrell" and described him as "a good, clean, respectable man." (Well, mainly clean. After all, she was the one sponging the bedsores off his undercarriage at age 19...)
She recalled one description he gave of life as a Civil War soldier, how lice infested his sock supports and "ate a trail around his legs." (Wouldn't you like to hear Ken Burns narrate THAT story in his next Civil War documentary..."Dearest Maudie, The boys and I were much uplifted by the tin of fried peach pies and applesauce cakes. Spirits have been low and food even scarcer...the lice have taken to eating rings around my sock supports, and I fear my ankles look extra bulky...)" Baxter County records show they were married in January 1934 by a justice of the peace.
She said Cantrell supported her with his Confederate pension of "$25 every two or three months" (whoa, jackpot...Anna Nichole Smith eat your heart out!) and left her his home when he died in 1937.The pension benefits ended at Cantrell's death, according to records filed with the state Pension Board.

Somalians Are Having The Same Problem, I'm Sure.

Chicago area's first Sonic Drive-In finally opens Tuesday

Would-be patrons' fruitless attempts to pry food and drink from wary workers in training will come to an end Tuesday when the Chicago area's newest fast-food joint finally opens

By Christopher Borrelli | Chicago Tribune reporter

The heart wants what it wants (I want a pony!), and sometimes it wants Chili Cheese Tots and Cherry Limeade, and sometimes the heart is dashed on the concrete dividers of a strip mall parking lot (Oh, this is going to be good.  Got that itch.  I can feel it.).

The other day, three very large men (Awesome.  I think I'm gonna like this Mr. Borelli.) in a very small car rolled up behind the Sonic Drive-In in Aurora. The smell of tar was pungent. In nearby fields little yellow flags from new developments flapped in the wind. The largest of the men, in the passenger seat, with a stomach so vast and gelatinous it rested on the dashboard as if taking a lunch break (Bhahaha!!!), rolled down his window. His right arm hung over the window lip like a dead goose. "You people open yet?" (That's about right.) he asked. Sonic general manager Ray Mejia shook his head. "Tuesday," he said. The man slapped his palm hard against the metal of the car door. "The 19th," Mejia said.

It has been like this for weeks, since Sonic, the first in the Chicago area, Sonic No. 3,456 in the 55-year-old Oklahoma-based carhop chain, began showing signs of life—since its teenage trainees began learning how to roller-skate in the parking lot (How long until some gang of teenagers finds it amusing to blard into these guys just for shits and giggles?  I'll give it a week.) while balancing trays of milkshakes and the pavement was power washed and the new employees began eating lunch on the patio overlooking Kirk Road and strolling out back for smoke breaks or sneaking over to Starbucks (Snuck in a Starbucks reference.  I think I'm being baited.  Cheeky devil.). It opens tomorrow. For weeks, however, the line of cars has not stopped at 2974 Kirk Rd., the potential customers not ceased; they slow, beg for food, ask when, what day, what time—now? "This is craziness," Mejia said, and turned to meet the SUV that replaced the car of large men. "The 19th," he said. (What is this?  Iowa?)

Next car.

"The 19th," he said.

And sighed. "If we didn't have these barricades we wouldn't get anything done," he said, waving over to the dark green Dumpsters blocking the entrances. See, with trial comes innovation. When training began, the cars on Kirk and Butterfield Roads were turning off, assuming Sonic was open; so the employees placed orange cones in the entrances. Brad Zithey, wearing his new black Sonic shirt, put his hands on his hips and recalled the Battle of the Parking Lot as if it were 'Nam: "Man, they just drove over those cones, just straight over those cones, like they weren't there, like they didn't care." So the staff shifted to Dumpsters. (Anybody else think this is getting too awesome for words?  "They're hicks, Rita.")

But people on motorcycles steered around them. Sometimes people climbed from their cars, rolled the Dumpsters to one side, then drove in, only to be told, "Sorry, open the 19th." 

It's here we should tell you, if you're not aware of Sonic, if you've only seen the commercials, if you swear off cheap burgers or eat them every day: Sonic is simply a fast-food restaurant, nothing more—not a fast-food restaurant in the shape of the Virgin Mary, not the spring of eternal youth, not a philosophy or a mega church. (Well.  I couldn't say it better than that.  I don't think anyone could.  Mr. Boretti, you are officially invited over for dinner at my house anytime.)

They sell fries.

Online, however, there are MySpace pages that pledge allegiance to Sonic; on Facebook, there is a page (with 236 members) dedicated to welcoming Sonic to Chicago. "What's interesting here is that Sonic has managed to create this intense demand by withholding their product," said Suresh Ramanathan, an associate professor of marketing at the University of Chicago's business school. "They've been advertising on a national scale for years—in Chicago for years without being here—and it created a plaintive cry: 'Why can't we have Sonic?' Unlike Apple or Harley-Davidson, which have cults, these guys are building one by not being available nationwide. Clever." (Cripes!  What would happen if someone withheld toilets...or showers?  Wait, I don't think that would matter.)

In truth, said Drew Ritger, Sonic's senior vice president of development, they are in 37 states, including elsewhere in Illinois; they plan to open a few more locations near Chicago within the next year, and as many as 40 more near Chicago within the next six years. He said the reason for the fanatical reaction to Sonic stems partly "from a nostalgia." Every corner of the country has a beloved fast-food chain: California has more than most, but In-N-Out Burger (which ran away with the Tribune poll accompanying this article.  3700 votes total for 'What's your favorite fast-food burger?') and Fatburger (set to arrive here next month) have slavish followings. In New England, Dunkin' Donuts is religion. (along with racist Red Sox fans.)

But nostalgia for a place where you've never eaten? "I think all this buildup is because it's not McDonald's," said Andrew Soep of Highland Park, who posted online about Sonic. "It's not ubiquitous. I think it's that thing where the place with the best burgers is always going to be 150 miles away." (On a side note, kinda diggin' Culver's lately.  Hey, maybe a poll!)

What's Your Favorite Fast-Food Burger?

In Aurora, Sonic stands at the corner of one of those vast commercial plains that resemble vast commercial strips nearly everywhere—it could be Arizona, it could be New Hampshire. Beige and brown and drab off-whites dominate (Still lovin' him.  Seriously, good food, good wine.)  A water tower is the highest structure. "The phone has been ringing for weeks about Sonic," said Sherman Jenkins, Aurora's executive director of economic development. "My niece even told me she was taking the day off when it opens." (Oh.  Em.  Gee!) John Meyer, one of the four men who runs the Aurora franchise, said they haven't spent a dime on advertising.

A minivan with three teenage girls pulled up. "I've seen the commercials, and it looks, like (Natch!), so amazing," said Carolyn Foote, 15. She and her friends cut short a trip to the zoo to see if Sonic had opened. It hadn't. But her mother parked the van and the girls walked side by side toward the restaurant. A minute later, breathless, they returned: "He said they can't give us food because it's too early but they can give us like drinks so he's like bringing them over and they gave us like this like Java Chill thing and I am so excited," (Okay, I've now upped the offer.  I'm crackin' out the good stuff, Mr. Borelli.  Get your ass to dinner.) Carolyn said. They drove away, replaced with a middle-age woman named Kris Naga wearing a gray "Titanic Swim Team" T-shirt who launched into a stream of consciousness explanation for why she was here—like Richard Dreyfuss in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," trying to understand why he was having these visions. She jumped in place, then explained:

Her son told her to come but he gave her the wrong address and she's not clairvoyant and he's an air traffic controller and that's a hard job and she first tried Sonic when he was training in Oklahoma and she loves, loves, loves Sonic and do you know if there's a Sonic in the Twin Cities and she used to drive a bus and she can't wait for Sonic to open and she's driving a van now but unfortunately it's not big enough to push over a Dumpster. And then, abruptly, she moved off toward a Sonic employee. (I don't even know Mr. Borelli, but he's now my new best friend.  We're BFFs.  I may start stalking him.)

Laura Demchuk pulled up in a minivan.

"It's not that we're crazy for Sonic," she said as her son craned his neck to see if there was movement from the restaurant. "We're not nuts. There's just nothing around here. This Wal-Mart was a big deal. The Sonic is nice. It's great that it's here, and I can't wait, either. But now it would be nice to have a real restaurant in this part of Aurora. We need an Olive Garden." (Ladies and Gentlemen, THAT is how you close a mother fucking article!  Mr. Borelli, you are a god in my world.  And to get that past the editors of the Chicago Tribune?  You are heretofore my favoritest writer in the history of history.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Clout Nine....

Keeping it in the family

Jones grooms son for Senate seat, but presidency is another matter


Following the lead of political families like the Strogers and Lipinskis (role models, indeed), Illinois Senate President Emil Jones is anointing one of his children to take over for him when he retires in January. (An Illinois politician showing clout and nepotism?? The HELL you say!)

Jones, 72, began the process of handing off his Senate seat to Emil Jones III by filing paperwork Monday with the State Board of Elections to drop himself from the Nov. 4 ballot. Next, Democratic Party leaders in Jones' South Side and south suburban Senate district will choose a replacement. (wonder which way they're leaning? Hm. Puzzler.)

"His preference, yes, would be to see his son serve," said Cindy Davidsmeyer, Jones' spokeswoman. "But it's the committeemen's choice." (suuuuure it is)

That's true. But given Chicago's political history, Emil Jones III's candidacy appears a done deal that's stirring up old questions about politicians who retire near election time and then use their clout to pass on their jobs as family heirlooms. (This just in.....)

"It isn't a good thing for the community," said state Rep. Monique Davis (D-Chicago), who has had a chilly (bitchy) relationship with the elder Jones despite him being her state senator. "Just because it's your son doesn't mean he'll do a good job for the 14th senatorial district. (Whoa! What!?! Back up.....baaack up..) I don't think people have an opportunity to express their choice because this person wasn't in a primary."

Emil Jones III, 31, has kept a low profile. He worked for the state between May 1999 and November 2006, when he briefly left the payroll.

Despite not having a college degree, he was hired in April 2007 as an administrator for Gov. Blagojevich's Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity -- a job that pays $59,436 annually. (Hm...I don't see anything fishy going on there. Move along.) Attempts to reach him Monday were unsuccessful. (No kiddin'?)

A handful of ward and suburban township committeemen are expected (required) to sign off on Jones III's selection sometime before an Aug. 28 state deadline to get on the ballot.

The lone opponent he'd face is perennial (losing) candidate Ray Wardingly, a Chicago Republican who did charity work as a clown. (Oh, you've got to be joking.....This is the best you can do?) With only a nominal (non-existent) chance in the heavily Democratic district, Wardingly condemned the process by which Jones is attempting to keep his Senate seat in the family.

"What is this, Russia? First it was Stroger, then Lipinski. Now we have Emil Jones," Wardingly said. (....playing the 'Ruskie card'.)

But state Rep. Robert Rita (Rudner Rickshaw Rhubarb) (D-Blue Island), a longtime Jones ally and inheritor of a political legacy himself, said he sees nothing wrong with Jones III getting a chance to hold his father's Senate seat.

"Give him a chance to prove himself," Rita said. (Holy Shit! Holy Shit! Holy fucking shit on a cracker times infinity!!!! Kick him out, now. No impeachment proceedings - just a swift kick in the ass with a large boot. Gee, I can't figure out why Rita would see nothing wrong with Jones III getting a hand-me-down, can you?!? Oh. My. God.)

The younger Jones might (will) be a lock to get his father's Senate seat, but the Senate presidency is a different story. Longtime Senate Democrats have begun scrambling for that post, which is elected by the senators themselves, not the public. (Aaahhh...the system works.)

Among those hoping to land the job are Sen. John Cullerton (D-Chicago), Sen. Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills), Sen. Rickey Hendon (great base-stealer, btw) (D-Chicago), Sen. Jeff Schoenberg (D-Evanston), Sen. Donne Trotter (D-Chicago), Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) and Sen. James Clayborne (D-Belleville).

When he retires, Emil Jones Jr. will have served 35 (glorious) years in the General Assembly. Senate president since 2003, Jones (Yoda) mentored Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama (Annakin...the last, greatest, hope for the Republic...) when Obama was an Illinois senator and staunchly has supported Blagojevich (Palpatine) in countless legislative feuds with House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago). (Jar-Jar Binks)

In recent years, Jones has had to defend himself amid questions about whether he's milked government to help people close to him. The Chicago Sun-Times and NBC5 last year, for example, disclosed that a technology firm owned by Jones' stepson, John Sterling, stood to make more than $700,000 as a subcontractor on a government-streamlining contract. (Nothing to see here...Nothing to see...move along, people, you're holding up traffic..)

The Senate president also came under fire earlier this year for taking $120,000 in interest-free personal loans from his campaign fund over the years. Jones currently owes the fund $30,000. (I'm, officially, beside myself with gotta admire that kind of audacity, though. Damn)

But -- providing he stays out of politics -- Jones will have plenty of cash available to repay that debt. Jones had $577,605 in his campaign fund as of June 30, 1998, according to the Illinois Campaign for Political reform. State law allows contributions amassed until that date to be spent on personal items, provided income taxes on the campaign cash are paid. (Sounds completely sound and trustworthy to me. I can't imagine a system like that being corrupted, can you?)

As one of the longest-serving members of the General Assembly, Jones also is positioned for a healthy pension. (No way. I don't buy it) If he does not take any other state positions and retires at the end of his term in January, he would begin drawing a state pension of $81,016 annually. (guess who won't be taking any more state positions?) A year later, he would see that total increase by 48 percent because he would be grandfathered (interesting use of term in this story) in under an otherwise defunct retirement formula that rewarded service beyond 20 years.

The boost for Jones, who has served in the General Assembly 35 years, would take his pension all the way up to $119,903 a year. That's nearly 26 percent more than the $95,313 he is now being paid to wield the Senate gavel. (Earns 1 percent more if he jams it up a citizen's ass. 5 percent more if he hits tailbone...) It's also more than double the median amount that two households in his Senate district earn combined, according to 2000 Census data. (Hey, Illinois voters? Think it might be time to clean house? Just a thought)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Unseen Bigfoot corpse more likely a big fat lie

BEIJING, Aug. 17 -- A hairy corpse crammed in a Georgia freezer is Bigfoot, two men who have been tracking the legendary creature have claimed. (it's ruined the freezer burned pork chops)
Matt Whitton and Rick Dyer said they stumbled across the corpse in the woods of north Georgia, United States, across the country from the remote regions of the northwest where people usually claim to see the man-ape. (Man-ape. Larry the Cable Guy. Same shit)

On Friday, they indignantly (no?) stood by their story at a news conference in Palo Alto, California, during which they offered an e-mail from a scientist as evidence (Good as gold) and also acknowledged they would not mind making a few dollars from the "find".
"Everyone who has talked down to us is going to eat their words," Whitton, an officer on medical leave from the Clayton County Police Department, said. (Take that, Yankee snobs!)

He and Dyer, a former corrections officer, announced the discovery early last month on YouTube videos and their website. Although they did not consider themselves devoted Bigfoot trackers before then, they have since started offering weekend search expeditions in Georgia for $499. (Nothing suspicous about that at..all)

The specimen they bagged, the men said, is one of several apelike creatures they spotted cavorting in the woods. (Cos' we was out lookin' for Negroes)

On Friday, the pair was joined by Tom Biscardi, head of a group called Searching for Bigfoot, (legit)as they faced a skeptical audience (Good God, why?)of several hundred journalists and Bigfoot fans - including one curiosity seeker dressed in a Chewbacca suit. (Clever) Other Bigfoot hunters call Biscardi a huckster looking for media attention. (As opposed to the LEGIT hucksters)

Biscardi fielded most of the questions. (I have a question for the BBQ chef) Among them: Why should anyone accept the men's tale when they weren't willing to display their frozen artifact or pinpoint where they allegedly found it? How come bushwhackers aren't constantly tripping over primate remains if there are as many as 7,000 Bigfoots roaming the United States, as Biscardi claimed? (Because you suck, that's why!)

"I understand where you are coming from, but how many real Bigfoot researchers are out there trekking 140,000 miles a year?" Biscardi said. (A few.)

Biscardi, Whitton and Dyer presented what they called evidence supporting the Bigfoot theory. It was an e-mail from a University of Minnesota scientist, but all it said was that of the three DNA samples sent to him, one was human, one was likely a possum and the third could not be tested because of technical problems. (I just laughed out loud reading that. Seriously.)

At least one other Bigfoot researcher, Idaho State University anthropologist Jeffrey Meldrum, called the trio's claims "not compelling in the least". (Really? With possum DNA in their back pocket?)
He told Scientific American magazine that photographs posted on the website "just look like a costume with some fake guts thrown on top for effect".

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Standards officially Loooooow....

SHOULD WE REALLY EXPECT A POLITICIAN -- OR ANY MAN -- to stay true to his marriage?
August 13, 2008


Between campaigning, fund-raising, kissing babies and filibustering, it's a wonder they find the time -- but they do. Politicians are becoming almost as famous for adultery as they are for corruption.

John Edwards, the latest caught in the act, -- so to speak (hilarious)-- has said that his political status contributed to the situation. He told ABC News that "becoming a national figure" created "a self-focus, an egotism, a narcissism that leads you to believe that you can do whatever you want. You're invincible. And there will be no consequences." (Mr. Edwards, who is this 'you' person you keep referring to? OH! I mean yourself, but, instead of saying 'I' or 'me', it's less of an admission of guilt when you refer to yourself in the third person....well played. I'm convinced.)

Wrongo. (thank you, Mrs. Tuscadero) Bill Clinton could have told him that. Or Gary Condit. Or Eliot Spitzer. Or Kwame Kilpatrick. (Or anybody with a functioning brain...)

Their collective behavior makes one (by 'one, she means any columnist reaching for something to write about) ask: Is it too much to ask for fidelity in marriage?

Evolutionary psychologists say that men are wired to spread their seed, in order to ensure our genetic survival. (kinda takes the whimsy out of it, doesn't it?) Yet the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy concluded that extramarital sex occurs in fewer than 25 percent of committed relationships.

Of course, they only counted the cheaters who admitted it. (ah HA! You've cracked the case, Ms. Wiser)

And no one has yet studied the mating habits of politicians. (OUTRAGE!)

"To many politicians and public figures, a mistress or high-priced call girl is a status symbol," says Ruth Houston, a New York-based infidelity expert. "Being able to afford one is seen as the ultimate mark of success." (What backwards-ass, fucked up parallel universe do you occupy, Ms. 'infidelity expert'? Jesus Christ! Let me slow this down......They.....waaaaaant....a

Houston has pinpointed 829 telltale signs that a man is cheating, grouped into 21 major categories. (time well-spent, indeed)

"Many cheating men enjoy the subterfuge, the lying, the scheming associated with having an affair," she says. "Cheating politicians are no different. Cheating gives them the kind of adrenaline rush they'd get from participating in a high-risk sport." (I don't remember fucking anyone after I ran for a first down. Shall I slow it down again?....they....want....their...dicks...sucked......Any questions?)

So, is expecting faithfulness setting the bar too high in today's marriage?

"I think monogamy should at least be aspirational," says Pepper Schwartz, (You've got to be kidding, right?) the relationships expert for "We have to keep trying."

She is in no way surprised by the Edwards scandal. "Personally, I took one look at him and I thought he was way too cute not to cheat," says Schwartz. (Ladies and gentlemen, I give you your relationship expert. 'Too cute not to cheat'? Absolutely the stupidest thing I may have read this year. And that's saying somethin')

Sexual appetites vary, she notes, and it's easier to be faithful when you have a lower sex drive. (Her expertise is astounding!) "Bill Clinton probably has big appetites in every area of his life," she says. (it keeps getting more astounding)

Cheating isn't about love, says Schwartz. And it doesn't have to be the end of a relationship. "OK, life happens," she says. "Maybe what we do need is a policy of forgiveness." (a 'policy' of forgiveness? Life happens? Where's my gun? Seriously. Time to take out the trash. Get the car warmed up. What a fantastic attitude. I'm sure if you get your heart trampled upon your husband, someday, Pepper, you'll shrug it off with a 'Life happens' attitude. Go fuck yourself.)

The one-strike-and-you're-out policy of past generations doesn't seem to apply today. "I'm sure we don't know the sex life of every senator, or we'd have a new headline every day," says Schwartz. (I almost can't keep writing about shit, Sherlock?)

Bonnie Eaker Weil is the author of Adultery, the Forgivable Sin, and she estimates infidelity rates to be at about 70 percent of men, and somewhere between 50-62 percent of women. But of the couples who come to her for therapy to deal with the problem, 98 percent stay together.

"We need to start treating this as a disease," she says. (oh, Jesus. Not this shit again. A disease? Again.....slowing it down.....they waaaaant to have their dicks's not a goddamned disease you fucking moron.) She finds that men cheat when they are under stress, or dealing with a loss. Edwards' political career would certainly be high-stress, and he's dealt with the loss of a son, his wife's cancer and long periods of time away from home. (time to fuck a skank, I say!)
The rest of us are dealing with a bad economy, high gasoline prices, terrorist fears and other uncertainties that make us vulnerable. (I know when I pay $4/gal. of gas, I wanna hit some whore tang!)

"Adultery is really a wakeup call," says Weil. "It's a cry for help, a dysfunctional attempt to stabilize the relationship you're in." ("Honey, I fucked that tranny in the back alley because I was trying to stabilize our marriage. I need your help!")

She says that cheating is a way to self-medicate. "Thrill seeking creates dopamine, which makes you feel loved and happy," she says. "It's like taking a drink -- except that it can hurt someone else." (and a drink doesn't make you cum.....unless you have a really good blender, maybe)

Weil thinks fewer people would cheat if they could get that feeling at home, and she has plenty of ideas about keeping things fresh with your spouse.

"You have to do the unexpected, create the forbidden fruit and thrill-seeking by having an affair with your own husband," she says. "I'm talking about making out in a car, taking the humdrum out of life." (Oh, this is such a 'chick' idea.....Ladies, let me just set you straight - a husband having an affair will never EVER consider his wife 'forbidden fruit'. He will never have an 'affair' with his wife. Once he's done making out with you in your car once or twice, he'll get bored with that and move on to the 20-year-old college student....This is a bullshit attitude that, still, somehow, it's the woman's fault for the adulterous husband. A cheating husband is being a fucking asshole. End. of. story. )

Or you could always put it in writing. Some of her clients have "fidelity contracts" promising each other to be faithful. "One client has to pay his wife $100,000 if he cheats," she says. (....keep.....breathing....Snrub......keeeeeep....breeeeeaathii......steady....steeeeady..)

Something needs to change, says Jenny Block (yet, another chick offering advice about men. Well done, Paige) , author of Open: Love, Sex and Life in an Open Marriage. "I think we need to reevaluate how we 'do' marriage because it is not working for most people as it is," she says. "People are unhappy. People cheat. People are getting separated and divorced. And, without fail, when one political sex scandal dies down, another one crops up."

If the lifestyle of TV's "Swingtown" were truly a mainstream option, she thinks a lot of people would try it. (if anybody watched it)

"Human beings are not a monogamous species, and expecting everyone to live that way is unrealistic, as this scandal proves once again," says Block. "It's as if we want to be a society of happily, healthily, successfully monogamously married people, and so we pretend we are. We pretend that works for us, and yet our actual behavior displays anything but that." (Again. What's with this 'we' shit? Talk about yourself, Jenny "on the" Block, and maybe I'll listen.)

Block knows a number of couples who are faithful and happy. But why focus so much on the ideal? "People can believe in different religions," she says. "They can believe in different methods of child-rearing. They can believe in different ways of eating and dressing. But when it comes to love and sex and relationships and marriage, there's supposed to be one right way for everyone. It keeps failing." (So does religion, parenting, eating and fashion.....people fail at all of them, yet, I guess we should just stop shooting for religious morals, being good parents, eating healthily and dressing professionally, then, because, hey, we're just going to fail anyway....what a load of lazy-ass bullshit)

Block doesn't see what Edwards' personal life has to do with his leadership abilities. And she doesn't see why we limit ourselves to monogamy.

"Would it be so bad if there was more than one way to do marriage?" she asks. "Wouldn't honest and happy be better than lying and unhappy?" (who's stopping you, shithead? You wanna fuck around while you're married? Go ahead. Lord knows, your husband's already doing it.)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Like PB&J, It Never Gets Old For Me.

Protect, serve, demand free java?

Police officer lands in hot water (get it?) after Starbucks complains about pressure for coffee on the house

By Angela Rozas | Chicago Tribune reporter
August 8, 2008

It's maybe the last great perk (hahahaha, at least that's what Scott said.) a beat cop can get.

A free cup of coffee, a discount on a greasy burger (potshot at fat cops.).

Though many police departments officially frown on freebies (I want a list on the police departments who don't.), coffee houses and restaurants around the city and suburbs give the gratis (dusted off the thesaurus for that one and even then it's used improperly.  You give it 'gratis', not 'the gratis'.  It's not a noun.), and the officers' bosses seem to look the other way.

But there's another unwritten rule: Cops can't demand the free stuff (I'm betting that's codified.  Just betting.  I'll put $52 on it.  Any takers?  Anyone?  [chirp, chirp, chirp...]). And that's just what officials say Chicago Police Officer Barbara Nevers did, demanding free coffee and pastries from a half-dozen Starbucks stores over the years, until she was banned from one of the java joints and a memo was sent to other stores.

The 55-year-old veteran of more than a decade (odd career change for the early 40s.) was suspended for 18 months and recommended for counseling after showing her gun and badge to intimidate employees into giving her free coffee (No sudden moves or the mochaccino gets it.), according to documents released Thursday.

Nevers' actions may have cemented one of the oldest stereotypes about cops—you know, the one about the certain circular pastry they're supposed to love. But she also took advantage of a time-honored tradition: giving hard-working public servants a little gastro-love. (The beat cop working in the neighborhood of the restaurant I used to work at was actually named Jonesy.  He used to come in once a week when Holly the hostess was working to chat her up and stare at her boobs.  Is that the certain circular pastry she's referring to?)

A few Dunkin Donuts employees around Chicago said they often give 10 percent discounts to cops and the elderly (Does an elderly cop get a 20% discount?). A 7-Eleven employee at 180 N. Franklin St. said she gives officers who visit a free cup of coffee. (Angela takes the Metra.  It's on the way to work.)

At the Golden Angel in the Lincoln Square neighborhood Thursday, a waitress said, yes, they give 50 percent discounts to the cops who frequent. (and lives in Lincoln Square.  Takes the Metra and lives in Lincoln Square.  Got my sleuthing hat on.)

"There's a few sitting right here," Julie Paterno said as she watched them munch on chicken-fried steak. (Angela was unlawfully pulled over by a fat cop in her life.  That's three references to fat cops and their pie-hole preferences so far.  One more and it was a speeding ticket.  Two more and it was an OWI.)

Paterno said customers like the feeling of safety when a police officer is around, and the restaurant feels like it's helping out some public servants. 

"I'm thinking most restaurants do it for protection, so they'll keep an eye on the place," she said.

In Lincolnwood, at the all-night Whistler's Restaurant (and went out for drinks with her friends in Lincolnwood.  Takes the Metra, lives in Lincoln Square and drinks in Lincolnwood.  She might be my neighbor.), owner Chris Dimas says it's a give and take. He likes officers to be around his restaurant late at night, and they like his food.

"At night, you don't know the people around, so it is good for them to be here, eating my food," said Dimas, who has owned the place for more than 30 years. There are some officers who don't accept his freebies because their bosses don't like it, and some officers he doesn't know and thus doesn't offer the discount, he said.

"If they feel comfortable with us, we feel comfortable with them and appreciate what they do," he said.

Starbucks has no official policy regarding free coffee for police, leaving that decision up to each franchise, company officials said Thursday. According to testimony before the Chicago Police Board, which decides cases of misconduct, employees in several North Side Starbucks said they often give free 12-ounce coffee or tea to officers on duty. But Nevers would often ask for a larger size or multiple drinks, employees said.  (Stop the presses, Jimmy.  I got a big scoop!  It wasn't just free coffee.  It was larger sizes of free coffee!  And isn't this a tad long for a rather pedestrian offense.)

Some employees testified that between 1999 and 2004 Nevers frequented their stores weekly, often in street clothes, and flashed a badge or flipped her jacket to reveal her gun if they asked for payment. In 2004, she was accused of stealing a juice drink from one Starbucks, but eventually was acquitted. (Acquitted would imply trial or filings to the effect.  Doubt there was a trial but if there was, I want the transcript.  "You took the juice box, didn't you Officer Nevers!  Didn't you!  You took it!"  Ms. Nevers stands up in a huff, prompting the judge says she's out of order.  "I'm out of order?  You're out of order!  This whole court's out of order!")  

One manager at a Starbucks in the 1700 block of West Diversey Parkway testified that Nevers started asking for free pastries too, and got angry when the store employees refused. The manager told Nevers she wasn't welcome in the store anymore, and testified that Nevers walked behind the store counter, asking angrily if she wasn't welcome, before leaving.

"She was vehement about getting the free pastries," the manager testified.

Several employees said most officers who come in are friendly and always offer to pay before being told that it is on the house. But Nevers was unprofessional, they said, and rarely talked with employees before demanding free coffee. Her actions made even other officers who went to the Starbucks suspicious, believing she could be a police impersonator, one employee testified. (All together now:  SPEC-UL-A-TION!  Dah-dah-dahdah-dah.  So is the writer saying the cops didn't check that out?  Maybe that's the real story here.  She better have had two confirmed sources on that one.  Just sayin'.)

A district manager eventually sent out a memo to stores Nevers frequented, saying free coffee wasn't allowed for her anymore, according to the testimony.

Nevers joined the force when she was 41 but after an injury in training spent most of her time off the street at "call-back," where officers write reports and handle calls. She denied that she demanded coffee or flashed her gun to intimidate the employees, and said she only took free coffee when offered.  (uh-huh.)

"I don't demand anything," Nevers told the Police Board, adding that she always put $2 in a tip jar when she was offered free coffee. Her attorney said Nevers was only accepting what had been a custom in Chicago. (uh-huh x 40.)

It's a custom that's not likely to change any time soon, rules or no rules. (So is it a rule actually written down in the Chicago Police Department code of conduct or not!!!!????  This whole damn article never actually answered the one pertinent question to this whole affair!  Cripes!) At the Golden Angel on Thursday, Paterno tallied up the bill she'd given the two police officers who stopped by—$6, after the 50 percent discount. The cops didn't forget their waitress, though.

"They both left $2 apiece," she said.  (33% tip for a discounted bill?  Meh.  At least it's better than teachers, by far the worst motherfucking tippers on the planet outside of Nebraskans.)

There was a poll attached to this asking if free stuff for cops is okay.  2900 votes.  Pales in comparison to the over 9,000 votes cast for the question "What's your favorite fast-casual restaurant".  Chili's won that in a real nail-biter.  

Just keeping everyone abreast on the real issues facing Chicagoans.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Leading the World in Working Less!

Four-day work week gets A+ at college

By John ZarrellaCNN's American Morning

COCOA, Florida (CNN) -- Ask just about any college student and they'll tell you they'd jump through hoops to avoid taking a class that meets on Fridays. (or, they'll just sign up and skip it every Friday. I don't think students are that creative)

So, it was welcome news to students when Brevard Community College in Cocoa, Florida, decided to experiment with a four-day work week. (how is being a student also being a member of the workforce? "work"week?!? WTF?) A year ago as energy costs headed up and the school faced cuts in state funding, college president James Drake, who drives a hybrid, (the HELL you say! Veeeeery important information to include, however....) decided to give the shortened work week a try.

It worked out better than anyone could have imagined, Drake says. (well, what the fuck do you expect him to say? "My idea sucked. I should be removed from office."??)

"If it weren't for the savings that we have netted from energy management and the four-day work week, we would not have been able to do several of the vital things that are going to help us attract and retain even more students," says Drake (with a straight face...)

Brevard Community College began the four-day work week during the 2007 summer session. The following fall and spring they added a half-day but then went back to the four-day work week again this summer. (Thus, preparing them for a the real world, where international and domestic business is only done four days a week. Totally brilliant.)

Over that year-long period, by closing on Fridays and turning down the air conditioning and heating systems -- the college saved $267,000 in energy costs. The savings allowed Brevard to hire 10 new full-time faculty members. "It was a great thing for me because I became a full-time faculty (for, at least, a year until energy costs come down...)" says Betty Blaschak.

Blaschak teaches at Brevard's cosmetology school where scissors and combs are moving a mile a minute as students learn how to style hair. (thanks for explaining what cosmetology school is)

Brooke Stile is one of the those students and taking classes four days a week instead of five makes a huge difference to her. "The fact that I have that day, that one day, it's just so much nicer and I just don't have to drive all that way to Cocoa," said Stile.

Stile, who is a single mom, saves a 50-mile roundtrip with the four days of classes. She spends the extra day with her son which means one less day she has to pay for child care. (with whose money? I'm doing some math: single mom + full-time student?) She says she can also get more done.

"The bank is only open till noon on Saturdays so instead of doing it on Saturdays, I can do it on Fridays (or, any other day of the week, or online, or at an ATM, or at 7am on Saturday....OR, the school could have normal hours and you'd get home before the bank closes....oh, wait.)," says Stile. "And go grocery shopping and there's not going to be a lot of people there." (Case. Closed. Four-day work week is a success!)

Evers, who drives nearly 100 miles a day from Orlando, Florida, to take a biology class at Brevard, (100 miles?!? Listen, I'm sure Brevard is a fine junior college, but, I'll wager there are a few more colleges that offer biology) saves gas and says the Friday off, is a win-win.

"I get an extra day to go to work and I have an extra day to study (PAAAARTYYY!!!)," says Evers.

The four-day work week at Brevard has yielded even more positive results: There's been a 44 percent reduction in staff turnover, according to Drake.

"We have had a 50 percent increase in applications for employment during the same period this year as apposed to last year," says Drake. (Can't figure that one out. I doubt there's any white trash applying for that gig - "Uh, excuse me, y'all. Kin y'all tell me where I kin sign up fir the job where y'all don't hafta go to work all the time?)

Mili Torres, the director of enrollment at the Cocoa campus says her staff rarely misses work.
"Absenteeism has actually gone away almost in my department, (except on Fridays) " says Torres.
However, the longer work days of a four-day work week has created some problems for people who need child care. For them the school provides flex scheduling, which allows staff to come in and leave either earlier or later depending on what is convenient.

Drake says he often receives calls from other colleges and universities wanting to know how it's working. (Hard to believe that any college presidents and professors would want to work less isn't it?) It's working so well that when the fall semester begins, Brevard Community College will shift to a year-round four-day work week.

Across the country, businesses, institutions and even one state (lemme guess....Hawaii?...yep! are considering or have moved to a four-day work week.

Donetta Pritchard, who lives in Utah, has been commuting 100 miles a day (is there ANYthing within 99 miles for these fucking people?!?) for the past 14 years. Today she's leaving the roads a little less traveled.

In Utah, the state government has just gone into its second week of shutting down 1,000 buildings on Fridays. The state believes it can save $3 million by moving to a four-day work week. But just as important as the savings is how employees are affected.

But while the change has been a welcome relief to some workers, it's created hardships for others. (no. way. Won't hear it. Working less is foolproof)

Mylitta Barrett, a single mother, (is it something in the water?) says the switch means she spends less time with her three sons. Barrett now needs a sitter in the mornings to care for her severely disabled son, Joseph, until his bus comes and says she has less time for her other boys as well. (thanks for leaving me with this, Hubby.....ya' think you could step it up a notch?)

"You can't make up the soccer game that I missed on Monday because you were working and didn't get home until seven o'clock at night," (ah HA! Pronoun trouble....) Barrett says.

After 15 years with the state, she says she depends on the medical coverage and can't consider quitting. (Ah, the American dream...)

"I don't like being thrown in this position where my life is going to get more difficult because of energy savings or whatever reason they decided to do this," Barrett says. (didn't you hear?!? They hired ten more people, it's a win-win, and that one chick can do her banking on Fridays!!! Shut the fuck up, Mylitta!)

But Barrett says she knows hers is an extreme situation and that her supervisors are being as flexible as they can. (Wow.....I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that Mylitta doesn't make much of a fuss at work. What'd'ya think?)

Whether the four-day work week will prove to be just a short-term solution to rising energy costs or is here to stay, only time will tell. (Time's up.)