Climate advocate Rollie Williams looks at the legacy of the 2008 Chicago parking meter deal:
Contra Williams, many Chicagoans, including The Daily Parker, saw the problems with the deal at the time, and how it just got worse over a very short time.
But spend 25 minutes with Williams' video. He takes you through all the immediate problems as well as how it prevents Chicago from adopting more climate-friendly and pedestrian-friendly changes to its streetscape.
Just a couple to mention:
- A jury convicted Sam Bankman-Fried of committing the largest fraud in US history. He faces up to 110 years in prison.
- House Republicans passed a bill that would provide $14 billion in funding for Israel's war with Hamas by taking it from IRS tax evasion enforcement, a move so cynical that Paul Krugman likens it to "the Big Lie." ("Starving the I.R.S. has long been a Republican priority; what’s new is the party’s willingness to serve that priority by endangering national security.")
- Calumet City, a mostly-Black suburb about 35 km south of Chicago, issued a citation to Daily Southtown reporter Hank Sanders for calling city employees and asking for comment (i.e., "reporting") about major flooding in the area.
- Chicago Alderperson (yes, that's what they're called now [shudder]) Ray Lopez (D-15th Ward) pulled a Vrdolyak at yesterday's City Council meeting before describing it to reporters as a "shitshow."
Finally, David Brooks offers some advice on "how to stay sane in brutalizing times."
And, almost forgot: It was 25 years ago today that Minnesota elected Jesse Ventura governor, sending my team running the election data at CBS News into a brief panic before we confirmed the result.
I'm still thinking about propaganda in the Gaza war, but I'm not done thinking yet. Or, at least, not at a stopping point where a Daily Parker post would make sense. That said, Julia Ioffe sent this in the introduction to her semi-weekly column; unfortunately I can't link to it:
The absolutely poisonous discourse around this war, though, has taken all of that to a whole other level. The rage, the screaming, and the disinformation, ahistoricity, the anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, the propaganda—all of it has felt overwhelming at times. The way that reasonable people I otherwise respect have shown themselves to be hard-hearted zealots—clinging to what they want to believe, starting not with the facts but rather their ideology and working backwards from there—has led me to stop talking to people on both sides of the divide. The facts of what’s happening in Israel and Gaza are hard enough to absorb as it is.
As usual, Ioffe wrote what I was thinking. Again, I'll have more, but that's a very good take.
- The column Ioffe introduced in that email, an interview with international lawyer David Scheffer, is a must-read.
- A jury found the National Association of Realtors liable for restraint of trade and anti-competitive practices, awarding the plaintiffs $1.87 billion in damages. (Where's my refund from my last house purchase?)
- Strong Towns points out that contrary to the wishes of many on the left, rent control works as an anti-displacement policy, but not as an affordability policy.
- Chicago Tribune sports writer Paul Sullivan laments that this year's World Series, between the 5th and 6th seeds, for which three 100-win teams lost in the playoffs, has the smallest audience of any World Series in television history. Can't think why.
- It turns out, AI image generation can only be as good as the images it learns on, which means AIs have even more bias than humans do.
- Somehow I wrote a 20-page paper for 11th grade on Mark Twain and never read the account of him meeting Winston Churchill in 1900.
Finally, Michelin just announced its Bib Gourmand list for Chicago, with its US stars all coming out next Tuesday. The Bib list has five new restaurants that I must now visit. We'll see who gets new stars in a few days.
It's still not what I want to see on Hallowe'en:
Tomorrow will be warmer, we think.
We officially had our first freeze last night as the temperature at O'Hare dipped to -1°C. At Inner Drive Technology World HQ it only got down to 0.1°C, barely above freezing, but still cold enough to put on ear muffs and gloves taking Cassie to day camp this morning. It'll warm up a bit this weekend, though.
Meanwhile, I'm writing a longer post about propaganda, which I may post today or tomorrow. And that's not the only fun thing happening in the world, either:
- Ukraine has had a lot of success blowing up $2 million Russian tanks with $400 drones. Good.
- The XPOTUS keeps making fun of the President's age, which, like everything else he does and says, turns out to have a pretty large element of projection. (Remember: to figure out what the XPOTUS wants to do, listen to what he says our lot are doing.) Bad.
- Chicago house prices have risen faster than in any other major US city lately, but only because they still lag almost every other US city. Mixed.
- BlueTriton, the parent company of Poland Springs-brand bottled water, not only sells one of the worst products for degrading our natural environment, but also has engaged in ballsy corruption to "persuade" the Maine legislature to let it continue doing so. Bad.
- HackRead reports a 587% increase in "quishing" attacks, where bad guys get you to scan bogus QR codes to steal your credentials. Very bad.
- Paleontologists have published evidence that the dust layer kicked up by the Chicxulub impact 66 million years ago may have persisted for 15 years, shutting down photosynthesis entirely for up to 24 months. Bad for the dinosaurs, good for the paleontologists.
Finally, as you sniffle and snort this winter, it might not comfort you to know that you have two noses that can get congested and runny. Bad.
With a concert on Sunday and other things going on in my life before then, I don't know how much I'll post this week. Tomorrow I get to walk Cassie to day care and hop on a train to my downtown office in the snow, which sounds really bad until you look at the data and see that October 31st is actually the average date of Chicago's first snowfall. The weather forecast promises it won't stick.
Speaking of sticking around:
- David French believes President Biden has threaded the needle well with his response to the war in Gaza, even though his poll numbers have declined.
- US Sen. Kristen Sinema (I-AZ) may have done more to enable the lunatic fringe of the party she claims to oppose than any other Democratic senator (before she became "independent"), save perhaps Joe Manchin (D-WV).
- Author Anne Lamott, who recently turned 70, offers a plea to let yourself age gracefully.
- Bruce Schneier points out a hack long known to Scandinavians: you can avoid EU alcohol tax by taking a ferry from Helsinki or Stockholm to the Finnish archipelago Åland.
Finally, John Kelly interviewed some expert sources to find out what language tics really irk them. For example, to someone who rows, saying "a crew team" is like saying "an ATM machine." Don't do it.
We have a typical cloudy autumn day, good for reading and not so good for long walks with the dog. So I'll read and Cassie can wait for a bit:
- Turns out, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) is even more of a scary, right-wing Christian nationalist nutter than most people knew. Paul Krugman concurs, warning that Johnson wants to eliminate the social safety net entirely.
- Actor Matthew Perry drowned in his California home yesterday. He was 54.
- New DNA evidence confirms that the Assateague horses on Delmarva's barrier islands arrived in North America when a Spanish galleon wrecked there 400 years ago.
- Data from Tallinn, Estonia, suggests that even free public transit doesn't keep people from wanting to drive.
- Chicago's first railroad line turned 175 this week. Happy birthday.
Finally, new research shows elucidates the complex relationship between alcohol and orgasms. Apparently there's a sweet spot somewhere in the "moderate drinking" zone. I will leave the details as an exercise for the reader.
I really love the Lakewood-Balmoral neighborhood in Chicago's Edgewater community area. I only had 25 minutes to walk Cassie while my car got serviced nearby, so I didn't stop to photograph everything. But I did snap this at the corner of Magnolia and Bryn Mawr:
And then, just 200 meters away on the 5400 block of Wayne, this:
That's not too creepy, is it?
Yesterday's temperatures at IDTWHQ fell off a cliff right before dinner:
(I know, we play this game a lot.)
I've had a few things on my plate this week, including a wonderful event with the Choeur de la Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris at Old St Patrick's Church in Chicago. We had a big dinner, they sang for us, we sang for them, and then some of us hosted some of them in our homes. Tonight I'm hearing their real performance at Alice Millar Chapel in Evanston.
Sunday night I saw comedian Liz Miele at the Den Theater. I'm totally crushing on her and highly recommend you catch her on this tour:
And naturally I have a few photos of Cassie that got imported into Lightroom this morning:
Real post later today, probably around the time the cold front hits.