A sentence I didn't finish reading regarding Charles Thomas

“The traumatic consequences of being shot by an officer of the law along with possible legal consequences and a baseline stigma against people labeled…” –Statement released by “supporters” of Charles Thomas, a University of Chicago student who was shot by police who were defending themselves as the fourth-year student rushed them, brandishing an iron tent stake.  And so... Read more »

Hey, J.B., here's how to get your Illinois graduated income tax

Strike a grand bargain by amending the Illinois Constitution to give both sides something. And save Illinois.   J. B. Pritzker, the Democratic nominee for Illinois governor, says his top priority is passage of a graduated income tax in Illinois. That will be difficult, if not impossible, because of a little something called the Illinois Constitution, Article IV,... Read more »

Who the hell feels sorry for Mark Conditt, the Austin bomber?

Somehow Mark Conditt’s bombings in Austin, Tex., have been turned into a racial thing, believe it or not. I read the news this morning and saw two opinion pieces (here and here) about how Conditt has received a lot of sympathy because he’s white. It’s all about–get this–the “racial empathy gap.” Who? Who is giving this murderer sympathy?... Read more »
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All aboard the fantasy express to O'Hare Airport

Imagine zooming 125 m.p.h underground from downtown to O’Hare Airport on a new express train and getting there in plenty of time of find out your flight has been delayed–again. Imagine making that trip in a promised 20 minutes from O’Hare to downtown after it took your flight 20 minutes to get to the terminal gate... Read more »

Hey, Tribune. The White Sox are a Chicago team too

Believe me, I looked hard, but I still might have missed it. For the second time, I noticed that the home delivered Chicago Tribune sports section didn’t have a story about the Chicago White Sox. My apologies if I missed it. This is astonishing. Chicago is home to a American League team–a Major League Baseball team–that... Read more »

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is dead meat

Bruce Rauner has slit his throat, with his general incompetence and a campaign that was so dishonest that it set some sort of record in a state where truth is typically flushable. The way he failed to get a single one of his goals accomplished in his three and a half years as governor is... Read more »
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Rising panic in Trump's Oval Office over Mueller

Don’t know anything inside about Donald Trump’s fight with special counsel Robert Mueller, but from all the external signs, it sure seems like the president thinks that Mueller is closing in on Trump in the Russian investigation. A sign of increasing panic is Trump’s renewed attack Sunday on Mueller’s objectivity, claiming that his team is loaded with... Read more »

The cultural (mis)appropriation of St. Patrick's Day

Now comes the latest offense…. Wait, I can’t say it’s the latest, because these things keep popping up every day. Well, for me, cultural (mis)appropriation is relatively new. Some examples: A white guy wears dreadlocks. Black Americans wearing African-style clothing. Wearing a Native American feather headdress. Actors performing in roles not of their race or ethnicity. (Except,... Read more »

The national student walkout to protest gun violence is wrong

Leave it to Byrne, I can hear some people saying, to come up with such a crazy post. But hear me out please. I admire the spunk, energy, determination and organizational ability of the students in their National Student Walkout. I agree with restrictions on gun purchases that include a  ban bump stocks, a longer wait... Read more »
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Analysis of the latest O'Hare Airport expansion plan that you won't find elsewhere

Why? Because as the Chicago Daily News’ urban affairs reporter I started covering the airport beat in 1972 when Richard J. (The First) Daley floated the cockamamie idea of building a third airport in Lake Michigan. As the transportation reporter, editorial board member and op-ed columnist for the Chicago Sun -Times I followed the issue... Read more »
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    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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