Archive for April 2011

Pardon me boy, but is this the bullet train to fantasy land?

You had to see this coming: The “high-speed” rail that will consume tens of billions of dollars won’t be up to speed. So, we’ve got to spend a lot more. A new study, sponsored by high-speed rail enthusiasts, throws water on the $75 billion Midwest high-speed rail system that they had been pitching. Won’t generate... Read more »

Is Father Pfleger the Christ?

( Nancy Stone, Chicago Tribune / March 20, 2011 ) Father Michael Pfleger gives prayers to his parishioners after the end of mass at St. Sabina Church. With his future at St. Sabina Catholic Church in doubt, a tired-sounding Pfleger stood in front of his parish Sunday and asked for its prayers. Two things puzzle... Read more »

Oprah to tape celeb-filled farewell show at United Center

Ho-hum If you’re interested, the story is here.
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Exploring blacks' high rate of abortion

Among the most contentious issues in America today are race and abortion. Fuse them into a single issue and you’ve got a nuclear bomb. And so, when a Texas minister last month posted pro-life billboards in African-American neighborhoods in Chicago, more than feathers were ruffled. With a picture of President Barack Obama, they proclaimed, “Every 21 minutes our next... Read more »

Hilarious! Priceless!

Iowa professor’s outrageous response to GOP event prompts outrage The poor lady became unhinged when University of Iowa conservatives said that they were planning a “come out of the closet” day. Apparently believing that she or gay organizations have a copyright on the expression, she–a University of Iowa anthropology and women’s studies professor, replied with... Read more »

Emanuel campaign contributions: The more money he gets, the better for us, suggests alderman

Conventional wisdom says the more money the candidate raises from special interests, the more indebted he becomes to them. So, you’d think we might be worried with the news that Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel raised bundles of money from the usual (and some new) suspects. (The Tribune reports it here: ”Inside Emanuel’s campaign war chest. Mayor-elect raised more... Read more »
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The morphing of NBA basketball into hockey

( Chris Sweda, Chicago Tribune / April 21, 2011 ) Derrick Rose fights for possession with Indiana’s Josh McRoberts in the second quarter. Just one of the many scrums that marked Thursday’s game. Basketball used to be a sport of strength and finesse. Now–at least for the NBA–it’s a game simply of brute strength, and... Read more »

Why is Dwight Schrute The Office's top salesman?

    Would you buy a used car from this man? Would you buy a ream of paper from this man–Dwight Schrute? For me, this is the big unanswered question that the great writers of the acclaimed TV show “The Office” haven’t answered. We have heard occasionally that Schrute is the best salesman in The... Read more »

A vineyard could grow in the rubble of a South Side neighborhood

  “Back in the day,” as they say, when I was the urban affairs beat reporter at the old Chicago Daily News (in the 1970s), the estimates of the vacant lots and derelict land in the city ran to about 40 square miles. I imagine its quite a bit more now. This is land, devastated... Read more »
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Good news: Existing home sales rise.

The National Association of Realtors reports that existing home sales nationally rose in March, compared with February. That includes the Chicago area, according to the Chicago Tribune.
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    Dennis Byrne

    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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