Thursday, January 12, 2012

WOW! I coulda had a G8

It was announced today that portions of Chicago will be on lockdown during the G8 Nato Summit, to be held May 19-21. By "lockdown" I mean that people in cars will not be able to travel on certain streets, nor will parking be allowed in what NBC is calling "scores of parking spots" along some of the Loop's streets. Unclear so far on which streets, but a "large security perimeter" will be encircling McCormick Place, where the conferences will be held.

The reason for the vagueness at this point? The United States Secret Service won't release the information until April 21. No mystery why they don't reveal, but these are issues that need to be addressed.

For starters, we're talking serious adjustment for a large number of people here. Drive into the Loop on any given day and you'll see streets lined on both sides with parked cars for as far as the eye can see. If you drive along Washington for instance, heading east from the Kennedy Expressway, not only are there parked cars lining the entire parade route, but there are Public Parking entrances on both sides of every block that lead to 10 story parking structures.

Those enormous lots fill up very often. Depending on which streets the SS decides to close, we could be talking "no room at the Inn" at practically every one of these lots when those who were chased off the street come looking for a place to spend the day. I wouldn't call it a perfect stasis down there but the city's parking capacity and the demand for parking spots is always teetering right there. Some days no problem finding a spot,...some days you circle for blocks looking for a lot with available space. The people who park in the street are usually down there very early, and so high rise parking is usually the only option when you hit the Loop at 8:30 AM.

Now, with closures and parking bans in effect for this fucking G8/Nato deal, the early birds will just use the high rise lots instead of the streets, and those who normally drive up 6 stories to park every day are going to be shit-out-of-luck. The G8 Committee, by way of spokeswoman Jennifer Martinez says the committee has agreed to foot the tab for lost parking revenue which is something like $6 per hour.....per parking spot. (Weird isn't it? A small slab of concrete makes 6 bucks an hour, even the spots in front of the unemployment office.)

Actually, most of the really sweet street parking spots around the Daley Center and City Hall are reserved for police vehicles, City of Chicago employee vehicles, limos, and Rahm's Rolls Royce but that's a rant for another day.

And don't think for a second that the parking ban will only be in effect for 3 days. The SS will want barriers, barricades, police lines, parking blockages and what-not in effect for at least a week before the fun begins, and maybe more than that. They'll have bomb sniffing pooches going through every garage in the city. Soon enough we'll be seeing the distinctive blue-glow of the welders as they seal up the manhole covers, suddenly mailboxes will vanish from street corners, strange silhouettes will begin to appear on rooftops overlooking LaSalle Street, and little men with tiny binoculars will take their places as spotters for the other little men with tiny sniper rifles. Every window in every office building within blocks of the SS determined route from Loop hotels to McCormick Place will be under surveillance so don't even think about doing the old "hey world look at how incredibly big my dick is!" flasher stunt.


I hate the sound of that fucking word, especially when it's used in my hometown. For a few weeks in May, this city is going to be a police state. Two City Council committees will meet next week to vote on Mayor Rahm Emanuel's G8/Nato Summit proposals. They'll decide if we should suspend normal spending rules and allow money to be spent on what-the-fuck-ever-we-feel-like-at-121 N. LaSalle.

They'll also vote on Rahm's proposal to allow Chicago Police Superintendent Garry O'Connor to deputize temporary muscle to deal with unruly citizens.

And there will be unruly citizens. One group plans to march from the Daley Center to McCormick Place on the 19th. That'll perhaps take them through Grant Park. Why am I positive that's the way they'll go? Ya just know they're NOT going to avoid Grant Park, for symbolic reasons if nothing else. And besides, it is the more scenic way to march if you're going to McCormick Place. You can look north and see the Married With Children Buckingham Fountain, you can walk south on Michigan Ave. past Spearman and Bowman and the Hilton and Balbo and all that other Democratic National Convention 1968-ish stuff.

Over on the left of the vehicle, you can see the large clearing where our current president Barack Obama gave his acceptance speech to 400,000 in November, 2008. And over there is Mike Royko's softball field.

But unlike '68, this isn't just a Richard J Daley/ James Conlisk Chicago Op. Black helicopters and men who talk to their wrists will be here too. SS will be everywhere, and I would expect security personnel from other countries to be accompanying their dignifuckintaries. This is Michelle Obama's hometown, and Maui Jim certainly doesn't want any fuck-ups when the whole world's watching this time. If that means turning Chicago into a place more like 1975 Moscow, so be it. The fucking circus is coming to town, and Jennifer Martinez says that when it's all over, the event will not have cost the taxpayers a dime.

Yeah, sure, right, okay, uh-huh.

"The police aren't here to create disorder, they're here to preserve disorder."~ RJD


UPDATE: At Thursday's (today's) City Council meeting, several Aldermen used strong language to attack Mayor Emanuel's G8/Nato Summit proposals.

Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward)- “It’s an affront to the right to free speech. Government is telling you what you can write on a sign, who’s allowed to carry those signs and what kind of [sound] amplification you can use. For every 100 people, you have to have a parade marshal.At least after `68, Chicago has always been a city that has done very well with protests. Police have been excellent at handling protests over the last few years. This seems like pushing the table backwards. I understand you have serious international actors coming into town and there needs to be restrictions. But we can’t let it go over the top. They can’t be things that stop people from expressing their right to free speech. ”

Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th Ward)-“I don’t want protesters to get a criminal record just on the basis of protesting and exercising their constitutional rights, I don’t want people to be unnecessarily impeded for what they naturally do every day. This is a bustling city. People do have schedules and agendas to keep. I want people to live as normal a life as they possibly can when the G-8 comes."

Ald. Michelle Smith (43rd Ward)-“Public parks are closed until 6 a.m. We have joggers who go out earlier than that. The fines seem very high. As people who were around in the `60’s, we didn’t face those kinds of fines to protest the war in Vietnam.A lot of the regulations seem a bit excessive and I hope the administration is open to compromise on them. We have a really well-trained police force. They did very well with the Occupy Chicago protesters. We can showcase Chicago to the world, yet preserve free expression.”

Also today, the city announced that the Coalition Against the NATO/G8 War & Poverty Agenda has been granted their permit for a march on May 19 from Daley Plaza to Indiana and 23rd.

Meanwhile, Rahm Emanuel said today that the city is working with the Secret Service “to establish an official protest area, where the City will provide sound amplification equipment, portable toilets, and other resources for protestors who wish to use it.”

An official protest area! Oh yeah, that's got "winning idea" written all over it.

Monday, January 09, 2012


I haven't really put much time into writing anything worth blogging about lately. Went and checked my stats on a whim and was surprised to find that I was still getting 15-20 page views a day. Fascinated, I opened up the "visitor activity" log to see what these folks were reading. What jumped off the screen at me first were all these flag icons next to the visitors. British flags, Brazilian flags, Canada, Singapore, South Africa, Honduras, Ecuador, Egypt.... What the fuck are these farrrreigners looking at?


Men (I'm assuming they're men) from all over the world are reading my post about baldness, partial baldness, possible shaving my head to go with the full baldness look, and of course mocking Carlos Boozer from the Bulls who has a full beard with a bald dome. Imagine having a full head of thick hair....and shaving it off voluntarily. Shit's fucked up I tell ya.)

It's not just visitors from around the world who are reading my Bald post, there are some Yanks who also pop in, but the array of flags from other countries shows quite clearly that men from all over the world are really fucked up in their heads because they think they're fucked up on top of their heads.

What is it in human beings that is so obsessed with this patch of hair (or lack of it) on top of our heads? Consider the billions of dollars spent every year on hair care. Shampoos, conditioners, rinses, Grecian formulas, hair coloring, uncoloring, cutting, trimming, styling, shaping & changing...

When did this start? I see old pictures of my dad and his buddies from the 1960s and they were all pretty much sporting the part-on-one-side standard Dick Van Dyke style.

I acknowledge that the el feminitos have always spent more time (and money) styling and maintaining their dos, but I can't imagine my mom's generation taking hair-care to the extreme that we've reached, and so this hair obsession must have started sometime in the 70s.

Somewhere along the line here, we have begun to pay way too much attention to something that grows out of our bodies. When I consider hair in its most basic form, it's really sort of unpleasant which is probably why they call it "unsightly hair." On the one hand, we pour hot wax on part of our body to get rid of the shit because who the fuck wants hair down there? On the other hand, the exact same follicles are squirting out these long strands of fine vellus or thick stuff that is made mainly of the protein keratin, becomes such an obsession that we stop and look at our own reflections in store windows.

Some guys are so tormented by a lack of the shit on top of their heads (said to be caused by an excess amount of testosterone you fucking morons) that they spend thousands of dollars on weaves, plugs, transplants and worst of all....fucking toupees.

Maybe I shouldn't be wondering when we became this obsessed over something as basic as a patch of hair on top of our heads, and instead I should wonder why. I use the first person plural pronoun, although frankly I don't belong in this group. I spend about 1 minute and 9 seconds a day screwing around with my hair but I am a member of this society, and as such I feel it's my duty to get to the bottom of this. Who in the hell decided that our hair is so fucking important?

After much consideration I've decided that I blame the same people Carlin blamed for most of the ills of modern society.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012


They're coming to town from May 15-22. The meetings are going to be held at McCormick Place, which is roughly at Roosevelt Rd. & Lake Michigan.

Leading up to this global event, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has proposed a few changes to the way things are normally done around here. First of all, he wants to be able to purchase “goods, work or services” needed to host the event without City Council approval.

Now right there we have a problem. Same problem we'd have had if Richie Daley had succeeded in landing the 2016 Summer Olympics. Graft. Payoffs. Kickbacks. Sweetheart deals. Money grubbing pig-whores feeding at the trough without any oversight. (Not that there's an alderman who would have raised a stink but still....ya know...let's pretend we have some scruples Rahm. City Council not in your pocket yet?)

At the same time Emanuel was proposing that idea to the City Council, he also suggested making a few changes in the way protesters are to be treated by the great City of Chicago. They include: higher fines for resisting arrest; added surveillance cameras; parks and beaches closed until 6 a.m. instead of the current 4a.m. opening; sweeping parade restrictions and higher fees for those events. Rahm also wants to give Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy the authority to “deputize law enforcement personnel” and reach cooperative agreements with state, federal and local law enforcement agencies.

Last month Mayor Emanuel said that all of these measures were temporary, and were a one-time deal for this G8-Nato business. Turns out that's not true. The contract thing is temporary, time offer for the pig-whores to feed at the trough of graft.....but not the other part. The added fines and the battlefield deputizing part. Turns out those changes are to be permanent.

A group calling itself the Coalition Against the NATO G-8 War and Poverty Agenda, is slamming Emanuel for what they're calling blatant lies. They're pissed off that Rahm tried to shrug these changes off as temporary, and in the process ratcheting up the power of police during protests. Forever.

Emanuel is now claiming he misspoke when he said the changes were all temporary, and that indeed he did only mean the pig-whore contract feeding frenzy of graft. In clarifying, Rahm said that the changes in police powers are long overdue, and are merely intended to bring Chicago into the 21st century.

One of the changes deals with me resisting or obstructing a police officer, as well as helping another protester escape police. That'll cost me a cool grand now. The minimum fine for being a pain in the ass to cops during a parade or protest is now $200. It used to be $25. At one point yesterday, Emanuel actually referred to these as "fees" rather than fines, which I found and still find hilarious.

"Loud noise, amplified sound or music" will now only be legal between 8a.m. & 10 p.m.

That might be a problem. See, Andy Thayer and his Coalition Against the NATO G-8 War and Poverty Agenda are planning a massive protest march on May 19th. Now I've seen some video from other G8 summit protests, and I'm worried frankly. They make loud noise, and they amplify sound,..on purpose. Fuses are short with these people in the first place.

Their permit request hasn't yet been granted, but I assure you these people are going to march on May 19th.

Their current plan, according to Thayer, is to start the march can't make this shit up...Richard J Daley Plaza. You remember him right? The Boss? Shoot to kill? The Battle of Michigan Ave.? 1968?

And they plan to march all the way over to McCormick Place where the conferences will still be in session. I'm not sure which way the Coalition protest marchers plan to take, but if they head straight east from the Daley Center, and then head a little south, they can march right through Grant Park!

This has got global news story written all over it. The whole world's watching!, again. It's a fucking riot waiting to happen, and this may be Rahm Emanuel's first real test as our mayor. Stay tuned.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Monument Valley

I wish I could set my camera to monochrome. Ya know, just to add the John Ford feeling....