Archive for the ‘Chicago’ Category

The Chicago riot and a long hot summer.

Saturday, March 12th, 2016

trump rally

Last night, the Trump rally in Chicago after rioters invaded the hall and threatened to rush the stage.

Last night saw unprecedented scenes inside the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion between an anti-Trump mob and Chicagoans who came to hear the Republican front-runner speak.
While outside, an impatient group of thousands more massed. Temperatures rose.
Multiple law enforcement sources told DailyMail.com that there was a credible threat against Trump from groups of protesters who planned to storm the stage.

I watched some of the TV coverage and the protestors seemed to be a combination of blacks and white “Bernie” sign carrying student age people. There were a few fist fights but the vast majority of the capacity crowd filed out peacefully and drove home. I was struck by the quiet cooperation of the rally goers and the taunting celebration of the rioters.

This will be a long hot summer. Last weekend saw 22 shootings in Chicago’s black neighborhoods. St Louis saw protestors at that Trump rally and there is another big rally scheduled in Ohio tonight.

The political world holds its breath for Saturday’s Ohio rally after Donald Trump’s Chicago event last night went into melt down after bloody brawls and loud demonstrations broke out, amid simmering racial tensions.
As the dust settles in Chicago, hundreds gather in Wright Brothers Aero Hangar for the Republican candidate’s first official address since last night’s fracas.
Supporters were queuing from midnight last night, according to local reports, where there is a heavy police presence and the venue is said to be ‘at capacity’.
Today’s event is arguably the most anticipated of the entire primaries following yesterday’s unprecedented scenes.
The Donald tweeted this much-needed message of encouragement as the crowds anticipate his arrival: ‘The rally in Cincinnati is ON. Media put out false reports that it was cancelled. Will be great – love you Ohio!’

It will be interesting to see if the rioters can create the same disturbance. In Chicago, local politicians helped organize the riot.

Bernie-Sanders-supporters-Chicago-pic

Yes, it did and some of them are elected officials. Some are old experienced terrorists, like Bill Ayres who was there.

Ted Cruz managed to look creepy.

Ted Cruz: Ted Cruz is responding to Donald Trump’s cancellation of his Chicago rally, saying the billionaire has created ‘an environment that encourages this sort of nasty discourse.’ The Texas senator is calling it a ‘sad day.’
He says, ‘Political discourse should occur in this country without the threat of violence, without anger and rage and hatred directed at each other.’
Cruz says blame for the events in downtown Chicago rests with the protesters but ‘in any campaign responsibility starts at the top.’
Cruz says, ‘When the candidate urges supporters to engage in physical violence, to punch people in the face, the predictable consequence of that is that is escalates. Today is unlikely to be the last such incidence.

An invitation ?

Growing up in South Shore.

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

I grew up in a section of Chicago called “South Shore.” It was a beautiful part of the city now ravaged by crime and economic collapse. I have previously posted an article on my childhood. Here is more.

I was born in 1938 when my parents lived in this building at 77th and Marquette Avenue, near mother’s sister Marguerite and her husband Art.

Apartment 77th and Marqurette

That street was a quiet street and my aunt and uncle had lived there for many years. I think it was the only house they ever owned. Sadly, it is gone having been torn down after being damaged by vandals after they left. My mother had lived with them since she was a girl and her mother had lived there until she died in 1926. By the time I was three and my sister was born, we had moved to a rented house on Clyde Avenue.

Peg and Art and me

Here they are holding me in their yard on Marquette. My uncle Art’s parents had lived right behind them on the next street.

St Brides

That is St Brides, the church in which I was Christened in 1938. Many years later (1967), my daughter Kate was Christened in that same church. In the days when I lived in Chicago, that church was so busy that it held two simultaneous masses on Sunday every hour. One was in the main church and the other in a smaller chapel in the basement. That door to the chapel is seen to the left of the steps.

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Chicago 2015

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

I went back to the neighborhood where I grew up today. Here are some photos from that visit.

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This is the church I attended as a child. To the left is the rectory, the priests’ house. Behind that was the school where I attended kindergarten for a couple of days. After being rapped on the knuckles for some reason, I decided not to return. The next day, instead of going to school (I heard the school bell and knew I would be late, I went next door to the florist shop and nursery owned by friends of my father’s who knew me. I helped “Hug” Krause in the nursery until I heard the school bell ring at noon. I then left and walked home. I did not go back to school and, fortunately for me, we moved in November to our new house.

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This was the house we lived in until my father bought a new house on Paxton Avenue about a mile away. It is on Clyde Avenue between 75th and 76th streets.

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This is another view showing the house next door. That one was owned by an older couple who retired to Michigan where they bought a peach farm.

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St Philip Neri was the new parish and the church is still beautiful although the neighborhood shows serious trouble. The interior is worthy of a cathedral.

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At Christmas time the altar had life sized figures in a cresh on the altar to the side.

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St Philip Neri school where I attended from 4th grade until graduation from 8th grade. The elementary school building, which housed kindergarten to 3rd grade, has been razed to build a supermarket. Also gone is Aquinas high school where my sister attended. The school is larger now although the number of students is much reduced. The school building is dated 1913 and was originally the church, as well.

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This is the house I lived in from November 1944 until I left for college in August 1956. The house looks in good shape although the neighborhood has deteriorated.

Saloon

The basement had a party room built by my father after the purchase of the house for $12,000 in 1944. It was built in 1912 and had gas fixtures in the living room and the bathroom on the second floor. They were never used but installed as a precaution, I guess. The photo of the party room was taken about 1946 or so. Everybody was home from the war.

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The house next door was owned by an elderly man, Mr Hausler, with whom I spent many hours watching him build a new fence and restore his bluebird house every spring. He had a lovely yard which he kept meticulously. He even had the first sprinkler system I had ever seen.

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Directly across the street was the house owned by a patent attorney named Nearman who enjoyed working on electronics and who volunteered to repair any TV in the neighborhood that needed work.

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Next to Nearman’s was the house owned by a dentist named Cox. His daughter played with my sister.

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Across the street next to Nearman’s was the McGuire house, now in sad shape. Jack and Bobby and Ginny were kids we played with. Tom, the oldest was a music major and later moved to San Francisco where he was a church organist. The youngest, Billy, was born after I had left for college and he became an artist. He painted a very nice picture of our house. The house is now abandoned. It was a very nice home when I lived across the street.

Next to the McGuire house is one that was owned by an attorney named Monaghan. My sister Pat used to babysit for them. He had a beautiful wife named Lois and they had several servants. Lois Monaghan was serene except on the servants’ day off when she looked like different person. They were lovely people.

Michelle Obama grew up in a home on the next block long after we had left.

The neighborhood shows the effects of years of crime and the lack of commercial business although most of the houses show care by the owners.

Growing up in Chicago in the 40s.

Monday, May 4th, 2015

I grew up in a Chicago neighborhood called South Shore. At that time, 1943 to 1956, it was one of the nicest parts of the city. Now, now, it is a cesspool of crime.

When my father moved us to the house at 7344 Paxton Avenue, I was 6 years old. The area was quiet and peaceful. Not far away was South Shore Country Club, a beautiful club that offered golf, skeet shooting and a horseback riding to members.

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It was a elegant place and I visited a few times but we were not eligible for membership because my father was in the business of owning and repairing juke boxes. That was not a respectable enough occupation. Prosperity was not the criterion. Los Angeles County Club has barred people from the entertainment business for the same reasons.

Our home had been built in 1912 and still had gas lighting fittings in the bathroom and living room, as electrical lighting was still a bit suspect.

Paxton

This is the house many years after we were gone. It has had the front porch enclosed in brick. Otherwise, it looks much the same. The owner saw me taking a photo and came out to ask me who I was. He insisted on showing me through the house which has had some interior remodeling. He asked if I could send him photos of what it looked like when we lived there but most of my old pictures are home movies.

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Chewing Gum

Monday, January 26th, 2015

gum

UPDATE: We now have a report that the former commander of the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) has accused the administration of ignoring and even falsifying the Islamist threat.

“You cannot defeat an enemy you do not admit exists,” he said.

The administration, he continued, wants “us to think that our challenge is dealing with an undefined set of violent extremists or merely lone-wolf actors with no ideology or network. But that’s just not the straight truth.”

Flynn left government last summer, a year before scheduled. He did not provide a reason for his early departure, but sources close to Flynn told THE WEEKLY STANDARD that he was forced out after years of making arguments the Obama administration did not want to hear.

Flynn, and many of the analysts who worked for him, consistently reported on the global nature of the jihadist threat and the interconnectedness of the groups driving it. They mapped overlapping networks of al Qaeda and its offshoots and rejected arguments, pushed primarily by the White House and the CIA, that killing leaders of “core al Qaeda” inevitably meant a diminishing threat.

The Obama people do not want to hear what DIA says.

Sources familiar with the documents tell TWS that they include troubling information about al Qaeda’s plans to empower its franchises, new details about the many relationships with Pakistan’s powerful intelligence service and, significantly, support that the group has received over the years from senior figures in the Iranian regime.

In classified analyses based heavily on the documents, the DIA directly challenged the Obama administration’s claims that the threat from al Qaeda was diminished or fading. Flynn hinted at this in an interview he gave to James Kitfield of Breaking Defense shortly after he left government. “When asked if the terrorists were on the run, we couldn’t respond with any answer but ‘no.’ When asked if the terrorists were defeated, we had to say ‘no.’ Anyone who answers ‘yes’ to either of those questions either doesn’t know what they are talking about, they are misinformed, or they are flat-out lying,” Flynn said.

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Election Day

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Election Day in California is pretty dull because California is a one party state with Democrats and their illegal alien voters running things.

ya vote

“We don’t need no stinkin’ voter IDs !”

Elsewhere there is excitement. Voting machines in multiple states are changing GOP votes to Democrat.

The Cook County Board of Elections Deputy Communications Director Jim Scalzitti said the machine’s failure was “a calibration error of the touch-screen on the machine,” and that Moynihan’s votes were not actually registered. Scalzitti said that voters are always asked to double-check their votes before they’re counted.

The same “error” is occurring in North Carolina and Maryland, the latter a state where the Democrat governor is in trouble with a GOP challenger close in polls.

Naturally, that is where voting machine “errors” will cluster.

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Update on cash medical practices.

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Titanic; Vancouver; 1912

I can’t resist this graphic as a metaphor for the present health care crisis.

Some time ago, in fact several years ago, I posted a piece on coming changes in health care. I didn’t necessarily recommend this for reform but it was something I saw coming.

Perhaps more than most people, Reitz, a senior HIV?AIDS scientist with the Institute of Human Virology in Baltimore, appreciated the need to be examined quickly. And thanks to a recent trend to help personalize physician care, he got an appointment the same day — but not because of his professional status.
Reitz, like any patient of Dr. Philip Henjum, can get a same-day appointment because Henjum and his partner, Dr. Robert Fields, practice retainer medicine in their Olney office.
Their patients pay a $1,500 annual retainer fee to see them as soon and as many times as they need to. They also make house calls.
As it turned out, Henjum diagnosed Reitz with Lyme disease, an infection from a tick bite, and prescribed antibiotics. If not diagnosed and treated early, Lyme disease can lead to severe headaches, muscle pain and serious heart problems.
Fields and Henjum are two of about a dozen doctors in Maryland and an estimated 600 nationally who won’t take insurance coverage. Instead, they charge a yearly or monthly retainer. Some work out of comfortable medical office such as Fields and Henjum, next to Montgomery General Hospital.

That was 2009. I added another post on Chicago Boyz in 2010. Here it is.

The reason why I believe this trend is growing rapidly is that some states, like Massachusetts, plan to pass laws requiring doctors to accept Medicare as a condition of licensure. If they were not worried, why write a law about it ? Medicare has a provision that they determine the price and there are no extra charges allowed.

A participating physician agrees that payment for Medicare services based on the fee schedule represents the approved and full charge. This means a physician cannot collect or balance bill an amount in excess of the approved charge listed on the fee schedule for services furnished to Medicare patients.

That, plus the rationing, drives most primary care doctors out of the field or, more recently, out of Medicare. Those who remain, hire Physician Assistants or Nurse Practitioners to see Medicare patients. That works for a while but PAs and NPs are still expensive.

With the passage of Obamacare, Forrest says he’s seeing more physicians aggressively search for alternatives, as he once did. Over the years, he’s helped a couple of dozen offices open across the country, and he’s started speaking at industry conferences about his practice. But in recent months, he’s been flooded with inquiries from fellow doctors. “Since the health care reform bill passed, you wouldn’t believe the number of doctors who have said they’ve had it and want to operate outside the system,” he says.

Now, Obamacare is here and we are seeing the first glimmerings of the problem coming into focus.

This was a week ago.

Health plans are sending hundreds of thousands of cancellation letters to people who buy their own coverage, frustrating some consumers who want to keep what they have and forcing others to buy more costly policies.

The main reason insurers offer is that the policies fall short of what the Affordable Care Act requires starting Jan. 1. Most are ending policies sold after the law passed in March 2010. At least a few are cancelling plans sold to people with pre-existing medical conditions.

By all accounts, the new policies will offer consumers better coverage, in some cases, for comparable cost — especially after the inclusion of federal subsidies for those who qualify. The law requires policies sold in the individual market to cover 10 “essential” benefits, such as prescription drugs, mental health treatment and maternity care. In addition, insurers cannot reject people with medical problems or charge them higher prices. The policies must also cap consumers’ annual expenses at levels lower than many plans sold before the new rules.

But the cancellation notices, which began arriving in August, have shocked many consumers in light of President Barack Obama’s promise that people could keep their plans if they liked them.

Just for curiosity, I did a search on cash medical practice in Orange County CA.

The results were interesting. Among other things, I found a bunch of family practices for sale.

I also found a long list of practices that accept cash. Quite a few have good Yelp reviews. For example:

regular physician normally does! And I was only charged $75 for the visit! (To put that in perspective, my PPO insurance copay would have been $60 had I waited another week for an appointment.

There are 15 pages of reviews. Children’s Hospital is even listed as taking cash: for his recent cold. Parking is underground $7 they take checks and cash only. Parking distance from emergency entrance is very close. We checked in soon after we were called, minimal wait… No mention of costs here but a good review.

The possible outcome of all this, and I don’t believe that employer health plans will survive, is a new system of cash payment for primary and routine care plus insurance for insurable events. That’s what we had in 1950 and it worked well. Doctors didn’t get rich but they often ran their offices with one person helping, sometimes the wife. I remember an orthopedic surgeon and family friend whose office had one large waiting room and telephone person for about 30 doctors. He was later the team physician for the Chicago White Sox so he was no slouch. He also did the first cup arthroplasties in Chicago. One of them was on my aunt.

The medical world will be changing.

A week in Michigan

Monday, August 26th, 2013

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When my sister and I were very young, I was 10 and she was 7, we used to go on vacation to a small village on the lake in Michigan. It is named Grand Beach. It’s a delightful place across the lake from Chicago. Shortly after the war, we began to spend more time there in the summer. I vaguely remember the first time but the month we spent there in 1948 is one of my fondest memories of childhood. My parents, along with another family, the Coyles, rented a good sized house for the month of August through Labor Day weekend. The house is still there although no longer rented by the owners.

Thirty years ago, my wife Jill and I, plus our three year old daughter Claire, spent a week at Grand Beach with my sister’s family. My sister, Patty, and her husband rented the same cottage last year and this year I joined them for the week. The weather was delightful and we all had a nice time. It gave me a chance to know my nephew Jimmy’s children and my niece, Caroline, joined us for a few days. Jimmy’ wife, Holly, was there and had her hands full with the small kids. The women were also on vacation so we ate most of our meals out. When we were there 30 years ago, Claire hid under a bed with Patty’s dog. Jill was frantic looking for her until someone heard scuffling under the bed. We didn’t have any crises like that, at least.

The village is entered from a frontage road that runs along the railroad tracks. The gate is a large white painted arch that pierces a white fence along the road. In 1948, there was less foliage and I used to help the village policeman, who drove an ancient Model A Ford, retrieve the mail when the train passed and the mail pouch was tossed from the mail car. This was usually about dusk. There was a hook by the side of the tracks which was supposed to catch the mail pouch but they usually missed and I had a good time searching for the pouch along the tracks.

grand beach road

The entry road passes the golf course where I first played golf at age 9 and then the playground, seen here. The entire road is lined with white painted cement pillars that were there in 1948. They may have been there in the 1930s.

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I have movies of the kids, Caroline and Claire, at this playground when they were small. I have to find them for Patty.

The history of the place is here.

Caroline and Patty

The front of the cottage, no doubt built in the 1930s or earlier has been changed with the addition of new siding. The bushes are larger than they were 30 years ago. Here are Patty and Caroline.

Caroline

Caroline took some photos of Jimmy’s kids, Jimmy Jr, Aubrey and Nathan. Here are her photos of my sister and me

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And here are the two children of my sister, Jim Jr and Caroline between us.

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Cottage front

Cottage front

More views of the cottage.

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Here is a view of the street and the walk to the lake which is just across from the cottage. At one time in the 80s the lake level was much higher and some of the homes along the bluff were undermined and in danger of falling into the lake. It is back to normal and the walk ends in a staircase down to the beach. The location of the cottage is almost perfect and the owners have upgraded it inside, including another bath.

When I was here in 1948, a classmate of mine had an older brother with a motor scooter. He would whiz through the village along this road and the village cop would chase him in the Model A. I don’t think he ever got caught. The poor Model A was on its last legs.

Redamak's

One of the places most people visit for lunch or dinner is Redamak’s in New Buffalo. It does an enormous business from May to October, then closes for the winter. This year, they had expanded into a back room that is almost the size of the rest of the restaurant. The menu is basic sandwiches and beer.

Stray dog

Stray dog

When we wanted a slightly more formal place, we went to the Stray Dog, also in New Buffalo near the harbor. It burned down last year and has been rebuilt. The entry is lined with dog pictures.

Caroline

Caroline

Caroline took lots of photos. She arrived on Thursday evening and went home with us Sunday. The last time I was there, she was about 5 and Claire was three. Times flies. Both are now married and thinking about babies.

The cottage

The cottage

More pics of the cottage. The owners have added a new rear deck and the deck is a nice place to sit in the sun or in the evening. I saw very few mosquitoes and it was cool for a few days.

Casey's

Casey’s

In New Buffalo, we went to this place for lunch. It reminds me of Dartmouth in its decore. It had apparently been closed for a few months and was trying to rebuild its clientele. It is a very nice place with excellent service. I wish them well.

After dinner, everybody goes to Oink’s for ice cream. I weakened the first night and ordered a double scoop cone. It was size of a 16 inch softball, like the ones I used to play with in school. After that night and the reflux that followed, I abstained.

Oink's

There are now some multimillion dollar new homes there but I like the old cottages. There is something that says “Midwestern” about them and they have been well cared for.

Teaching in a majority black high school.

Saturday, July 6th, 2013

This essay has been around for a while but I saw it for the first time today. It is powerful but depressing. I wonder how applicable it is to the Chicago school system? I have a nephew who has a step daughter in a public school that is about half black. Her mother has to go to the school about once a week to complain about bullying. Catholic schools’ tuition is far higher than it was when I lived there.

Here it is.

A few excerpts: Until recently I taught at a predominantly black high school in a southeastern state.

The mainstream press gives a hint of what conditions are like in black schools, but only a hint. Expressions journalists use like “chaotic” or “poor learning environment” or “lack of discipline” do not capture what really happens. There is nothing like the day-to-day experience of teaching black children and that is what I will try to convey.

Most whites simply do not know what black people are like in large numbers, and the first encounter can be a shock.

One of the most immediately striking things about my students was that they were loud. They had little conception of ordinary decorum. It was not unusual for five blacks to be screaming at me at once. Instead of calming down and waiting for a lull in the din to make their point — something that occurs to even the dimmest white students — blacks just tried to yell over each other.

This must be an impossible place to try to teach. Are there any kids who want to learn?

Black women love to dance — in a way white people might call gyrating. So many black girls dance in the hall, in the classroom, on the chairs, next to the chairs, under the chairs, everywhere. Once I took a call on my cell phone and had to step outside of class. I was away about two minutes but when I got back the black girls had lined up at the front of the classroom and were convulsing to the delight of the boys.

Many black people, especially black women, are enormously fat. Some are so fat I had to arrange special seating to accommodate their bulk. I am not saying there are no fat white students — there are — but it is a matter of numbers and attitudes. Many black girls simply do not care that they are fat. There are plenty of white anorexics, but I have never met or heard of a black anorexic.

“Black women be big Mr. Jackson,” my students would explain.

“Is it okay in the black community to be a little overweight?” I ask. Two obese black girls in front of my desk begin to dance, “You know dem boys lak juicy fruit, Mr. Jackson.” “Juicy” is a colorful black expression for the buttocks.

The attitude toward learning is totally negative. That is “Acting white.”

“Once I needed to send a student to the office to deliver a message. I asked for volunteers, and suddenly you would think my classroom was a bastion of civic engagement. Thirty dark hands shot into the air. My students loved to leave the classroom and slack off, even if just for a few minutes, away from the eye of white authority. I picked a light-skinned boy to deliver the message. One very black student was indignant: “You pick da half-breed.” And immediately other blacks take up the cry, and half a dozen mouths are screaming, “He half-breed.”

I have been teaching medical students for about twelve years. About 1/3 to 1/2 are black, most of them are foreign born, either Africa or the West Indies. Most are more dark than the average American born black but some, as those from Ethiopia, may be quite light skinned. The foreign born blacks have a totally different attitude than the American blacks. Of course, with medical students, I am seeing the highest achievers.

Even so, I have met college students who are from Africa. One, I remember quite well, was attending Dartmouth in the mid-ninties. He worked the night shift in the dining hall, which was open 24 hours at the time. He could not understand white students who would come to the dining hall at 3 AM drunk. What were they doing at such a prestigious and rigorous college ?

I also examine recruits for the military in Los Angeles. I talk to these kids and about 1/4 are black. Hispanics seem to be about twice their share in recruits but both groups are highly motivated. Some of the blacks are foreign born and I have spent some time talking to them. They show none of the social pathology I see in this article but, of course, it would be hopeless for such kids to try to join the military even if they wanted to. One young man I talked to last month is 25 and has 17 half-siblings. He said he never wanted to see any of them again. He is drug free and trying to improve his life. He was raised mostly in foster care and, I suspect, was luckier than most in his situation to had that upbringing.

Most of the blacks I taught simply had no interest in academic subjects. I taught history, and students would often say they didn’t want to do an assignment or they didn’t like history because it was all about white people. Of course, this was “diversity” history, in which every cowboy’s black cook got a special page on how he contributed to winning the West, but black children still found it inadequate. So I would throw up my hands and assign them a project on a real, historical black person. My favorite was Marcus Garvey. They had never heard of him, and I would tell them to research him, but they never did. They didn’t care and they didn’t want to do any work.

Anyone who teaches blacks soon learns that they have a completely different view of government from whites. Once I decided to fill 25 minutes by having students write about one thing the government should do to improve America. I gave this question to three classes totaling about 100 students, approximately 80 of whom were black. My few white students came back with generally “conservative” ideas. “We need to cut off people who don’t work,” was the most common suggestion. Nearly every black gave a variation on the theme of “We need more government services.”

My students had only the vaguest notion of who pays for government services. For them, it was like a magical piggy bank that never goes empty. One black girl was exhorting the class on the need for more social services and I kept trying to explain that people, real live people, are taxed for the money to pay for those services. “Yeah, it come from whites,” she finally said. “They stingy anyway.”

Is there any hope for these people ?

My department head once asked all the teachers to get a response from all students to the following question: “Do you think it is okay to break the law if it will benefit you greatly?” By then, I had been teaching for a while and was not surprised by answers that left a young, liberal, white woman colleague aghast. “Yeah” was the favorite answer. As one student explained, “Get dat green.”

There is a level of conformity among blacks that whites would find hard to believe. They like one kind of music: rap. They will vote for one political party: Democrat. They dance one way, speak one way, are loud the same way, and fail their exams in the same way. Of course, there are exceptions but they are rare.

Whites are different. Some like country music, others heavy metal, some prefer pop, and still others, God forbid, enjoy rap music. They have different associations, groups, almost ideologies. There are jocks, nerds, preppies, and hunters. Blacks are all — well — black, and they are quick to let other blacks know when they deviate from the norm.

Reading this essay, and I recommend it, has made me a little more comfortable with the concept of amnesty for illegal aliens.

My black students had nothing but contempt for Hispanic immigrants. They would vent their feelings so crudely that our department strongly advised us never to talk about immigration in class in case the principal or some outsider might overhear.

Whites were “racis’,” of course, but they thought of us at least as Americans. Not the Mexicans. Blacks have a certain, not necessarily hostile understanding of white people. They know how whites act, and it is clear they believe whites are smart and are good at organizing things. At the same time, they probably suspect whites are just putting on an act when they talk about equality, as if it is all a sham that makes it easier for whites to control blacks. Blacks want a bigger piece of the American pie. I’m convinced that if it were up to them they would give whites a considerably smaller piece than whites get now, but they would give us something. They wouldn’t give Mexicans anything.

We live in interesting times.

Reflections on the debate

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

The reverberations are still going on after the Wednesday debate. The theme coming from the Obama campaign is that Romney did not tell the truth about his policies. Most of the discussion on the non-campaign left is like Bill Mahers’ who said “It looks like he took my million and spent it all on weed.”

One of the most peculiar reactions was at the U of Wisconsin the next day. Hundreds of UW students were filing into an Obama on-campus campaign rally and were asked by a Breitbart writer if it was unfair that Obama couldn’t use his Teleprompter in the debate. Amazingly, most of the students agreed. What would a Teleprompter do ? Would they stop the debate for a few minutes while Obama’s handlers thought of a good response?

The polls will take a few more days to show the response but already something is going on. A poll of Illinois’ 10th Congressional district last August was ignored but another poll now suggests that Illinois might be in play in this election.

There is a new poll out of Cook county that should make President Obama, Robert Gibbs, David Axelrod, and the rest of the Obama reelection team nervous. In Illinois’ most populous and most Democratic county things are not looking so good for team Obama. In Cook county, home of Chicago, Obama only leads Mitt Romney 49 to 37. This is bad for Obama because he needs as big of a lead as he can get from Chicago Democrats in order to hold off the fact that he will lose the rest of the state, and in some areas of Illinois by a lot. Things are so bad for President Obama in Cook county that the suburban areas are breaking for Romney 45-38(the City of Chicago still goes to Obama 60-29).

The next debate is supposed to be on foreign policy and it is interesting to speculate on what Obama will do to recoup his loss this week. First debates have been weak for previous presidents. Reagan was criticized for looking old and a bit out of touch in his first debate with Mondale.

Still, there have been a long line of incumbent presidents who bombed their first debate.

Reagan, H.W. Bush, Clinton and Bush all had middling to bad receptions after the first debate as an incumbent seeking re-election.

Advice for Obama will be plentiful next time.

If Obama wants to seal this election win from behind a podium, the ball is in his court alone. He’s got to recover and rebound in the next debate.

Still, Obama needs to get a Red Bull into his system for next time, because former incumbents with a bad second debate — Ford, H.W. Bush, and Carter come to mind — don’t tend to get their second term.

I expect him to try to be more aggressive. Foreign policy is not a good area for him but, no doubt, we will hear about Osama bin Laden and Romney’s inexperience. He runs a risk of further weakening the traditional Democrat support from Jewish voters (See above about Illinois) if they get into the Israel and Iran situations. Romney has to avoid looking as though he wants war with Iran and I expect Obama to bring this up. Still, Romney has good points about the failure of Obama to support the people of Iran when they were demonstrating against their own government, and the disclosures about intelligence that came from the White House.

The second debate is Romney’s chance to close the deal and how he conducts himself will be critical. So far he and his campaign have done a very good job. I was not one who complained that he was not aggressive enough. Charles Krauthammer thinks he should have given a foreign policy speech sooner, after Benghazi, and maybe that is right but he plans one Monday and the tide seems to be turning right now.

I’ll bet the audience for the VP debate this week will be larger than usual as Paul Ryan makes his national appearance for those who haven’t been following the election closely until now. I expect he will do very well. Biden is an old school politician but he lied his way through the debate with Sarah Palin and she did not point them out. Ryan is another numbers gut, like Romney, and won’t let him get away with it.