July 2008 Archives

Lately, John McCain has complained the media isn't giving him enough love.
His campaign recently released two videos showing all the loving the media gives to Barack Obama.
It is true that Obama's overseas trip this week received tremendous coverage, while McCain's recent trip to Mexico got scant notice.
But McCain is blowing off an invitation to address as many as 5,000 journalists attending the UNITY: Journalists of Color convention held in Chicago this week.
The convention organized by the four major minority journalism associations representing blacks, Hispanics, Asian-Americans and Native Americans with a mission to promote diversity in the media, has invited both of the major candidates running for president.
Both candidates were invited to speak Thursday night but Obama was in Berlin. Obama will instead speak to convention goers on Sunday morning, and it will be broadcast on CNN. McCain hasn't accepted the invitation.
When the UNITY conference was last held in 2004 in Washington, D.C., both John Kerry and President Bush spoke to the group of journalists.
There will be thousands of journalists at UNITY, most who don't normally get to cover a presidential candidate, and many of them would write about McCain's visit for their local news organizations.
It's time for McCain to stop whining about the media ignoring him, and pay attention to this large group of journalists willing to hear what he has to say.


Despite the growing popularity of the fist bump, as demonstrated by the Obamas and even President Bush, some folks hope the gesture doesn't take the place of handshakes ...

I'm not one of those people.

I'm what you call a germphobe. I would rather not shake a hand if I can bump it instead. Less exposure to germs that way, ya know? I can't resist the urge to scan the state of a person's fingernails before they touch me. I'm fully aware some people never learned to fully appreciate the wonders of hand-washing, yet they want to shake ... my ... hand.

Of course, I'm the same person who lets her dog lick her face, so what do I know? OK, so I know the fist bump is cleaner and hipper and might stop the exchange of germs that cause the common cold. So there.

Fist bumps rule!

tahir.jpgOur emotional connection to life's far-flung triumphs and tragedies becomes numbing after a while -- until something happens close by. That something happened Tuesday evening when Friehiwet Tahir, a manager at Gregory's Deli and Market on the first floor of the Chicago Apparel Center, the Sun-Times' headquarters, was struck and killed by a CTA Red Line train.

Amid controversies over border fences and detention centers, Tahir's story is the one we don't hear often enough. But her story is our story. It's the quintessential immigrant story, whether your family was forced to come here like mine, or clamored to come, like most.

Sun-Timesers looking for their morning coffee fix or a cup of soup for lunch met Tahir's earnest smile and dancing eyes behind the deli counter daily. Her innate shyness was overcome by her obvious love and respect for her job, customers and employees.

That was quite a feat considering the 35-year-old native Ethiopian spoke very little English when she was poached from White Hen Pantry eight years ago. She mastered English and that uniquely American art of looking people in the eye and putting the customer first, always.

In showing up every day and helping her husband, Abraham Alemu, pay for college to become an engineer, Tahir mastered that most beloved of state of being: pursuit of the American Dream.

Read her obituary here:

Some disturbing video was released this week. In it, a Canadian teenager cried out for his mother and medical attention while being interrogated at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo.
Omar Khadr is now 21 and he has been held without due process since he was 15.
Human rights groups and the Sun-Times editorial board have argued that the military prison at Guantanamo should be closed down.
But it's beyond disturbing to think that a minor was held there in legal limbo for six years.
This young man should be returned to his home in Canada, where he should be given a fair trial for his alleged crimes. He is accused of throwing a grenade that killed a U.S. Special Forces soldier in 2002 in Afghanistan.
The Canadian and American governments must intervene. To continue to hold him in Guantanamo is a violation of international law and basic human rights.

It's already hard enough being a regular CTA rider.
We have to put up with smelly and slow trains. Now the CTA wants to pack us in like cattle.
They announced a plan this week to tear the seats out of some of the cars and create standing room only for as many as 140 people per car.
There's no way I'd get in one of those cars. It's hard enough riding the train as it is, but to be sandwiched in between other passengers would not only be uncomfortable but potentially unsafe.
The way some of the conductors brake, I'd be afraid of people falling on top of one another. And being packed in so close offers more opportunities for pickpockets and pervs.
They will make two of the eight cars seatless, but that'll make the it even harder to find a seat on the other cars.
This is just a temporary solution to train overcrowding. But the CTA needs capital funding so that it can purchase new train cars.
In a city like Chicago, our trains should offer us a smooth ride.

A Chicago suburban teen is hoping to win the National Texting Championship in New York.
Megan Rach of Naperville could win $50,000 for the speed at which she can play a telephone. She's been practicing by sending 100 to 500 messages a day.
We hope her parents have a good phone plan.

In revising policies for recruits, the Pentagon considered relaxing rules for potential recruits who have committed petty crimes — but didn't. Wannabe soldiers still can apply for a waiver, but they'll have to endure a lengthy probe of past conduct before the various branches of the armed forces will consider their applications.

Considering our lack of a draft, the fact that we're talking about petty stuff like traffic offenses, plus the beneficial impact of becoming a soldier, should the Pentagon have relaxed recruitment requirements?

Here's the original story:
http://www.suntimes.com/news/washington/1034860,CST-NWS-mil02.article

Reality check

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Is it ever OK to lie on your resume?
On Monday, Sun-Times reporter Dave Newbart exposed several lies on the resume of Chicago State University’s baseball coach. Coach Husain Mahmoud lied about being drafted by the Cincinnati Reds and about playing professional football.
Seems to us there is never a good reason to make up stuff on your resume. Even if you don’t get caught, you’ve created a lie that will likely forever haunt you.
Any dissenters? Can anyone come up with a justification for fudging the facts on your resume?

Ringo Starr wants more peace and love in the world.
He's planning a peace rally this Monday at noon in Chicago in honor of his 68th birthday. There will be simultaneous rallies in Hollywood, New York, London and Iceland.
The planned rally at Buckingham Fountain may be drowned out by clean up crews from Taste of Chicago. So Ringo may have to find an alternate venue.
Still, is all this talk of peace an empty gesture?

Springfield showdown

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It's showdown time in Springfield.

Governor Blagojevich Wednesday called state Legislators back to Springfield for a special session July 9th and 10th to deal with a budget that could be as much as $2 billion out of whack.

Blagojevich wants House Speaker Michael Madigan to move several spending measures that House Democrats are already on record opposing, including a capital bill. Blagojevich has tried to get Madigan to the table, to discuss ways to fill the $2 billion hole, but Madigan's been a no show. That was a mistake.

But Blagojevich didn't help matters Wednesday by accusing Madigan of plotting for a secret tax increase after the November election.

What we need now are grown-ups, who can not only talk to each other but talk to each other respectfully. Otherwise, we can all expect more of the same. In this case, that means Blagojevich will have to resort to $1.5 billion in cuts on July 10th.

At risk is nearly $2 billion that would fund social services, health care, public safety, economic development, transit and services for veterans and seniors.

Is that really what we want?

It's trendy to consider what effect you're having on the environment.

Trendy, but you don't often don't see companies volunteering detailed information on how much carbon dioxide and waste are created when they manufacture their products.

That's what makes Patagonia's website stand out.

The clothing manufacturer has taken 10 products, from its polo shirt to its honeydew shoe, and shown where the materials it uses come from and the route they take from the farm field, to the manufacturing plant to the company's distribution center in Reno.

Back Talk

This blog brought to you by the Sun-Times editorial board (click on names to read bios):
  • Tom McNamee
  • Thomas Frisbie
  • Kate N. Grossman
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