Archive for April 2012

Do you think that you could live on a $427,000 pension?

That’s what a retired University of Illinois professor rakes in. According to Jim Tobin, of Taxpayers United of America, a bunch of others also are pulling in the kind of pensions that the Illinois public employee pension system simply cannot sustain. His press release reads: The most outrageous pensions in all the Illinois state pension... Read more »

The goofy Sarah Palin sculpture reminds me of Harold Washington in women's undies

Conservatives are riled over an ugly sculpture of Sarah Palin, now on exhibit at the Bridgeport Art Center. The sculpture, which has been on tour, features a gapping, yawling mouth in which a pig can be roasted. Conservatives also have been riled about the nude (full frontal) painting of  of Palin in the Old Town Ale... Read more »

In apparent first, a public pension plan files for bankruptcy

According to Pensions & Investments: In what’s believed to be a first by a public pension plan, the Northern Mariana Islands Retirement Fund, Saipan, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Tuesday. The public defined benefit plan is only 38.8% funded, thanks to low investment returns and a benefit structure that’s been increased without raises... Read more »
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Zay Smith's QT feature returns. Will be thrice weekly on WBEZ blog.

As reported by Rob Feder, another former and great Sun-Times columnist: Veteran Chicago newspaperman Zay N. Smith, whose Quick Takes column was a popular fixture in the Sun-Times for 13 years, is bringing it back as a blog on the website of Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ-FM (91.5). This is great news for Chicago readers who have missed his witty and... Read more »

It must be Thursday--the Sun-Times has a new owner, editor and vision

Jim Kirk discusses a new life for the Chicago Sun-Times on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight Sometimes it seems that new owners, new leadership and new new inspiration at the Chicago Sun-Times come as frequently as the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Perhaps someone is keeping track of the changes at... Read more »

Trayvon Martin, NBA brutality and a Catholic bishop's words distorted

I tuned in to CNN on Friday to get the news. Saw Rodney King being interviewed. The host asked: Do you think that race figured into the Trayvon Martin shooting? I turned off CNN. There’s King, the guy beaten by Los Angeles cops two decades ago, dragged out of obscurity (except for an arrest last... Read more »
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"The mystery, magic and divinity" of human development

Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, whether you believe that personhood begins at conception or at birth, this is a spectacular visualization the stupefies the human mind, that resists any known scientific method that can explain how this is done. Please watch it. You will be inspired, awestruck and pulled in by its beauty. This is... Read more »

Why are those who yearn for moderate government called extremists?

Following the example of my sometimes debating partner, Tribune commentator Eric Zorn, I was skimming through my column archives and came across a Chicago Tribune column I liked when I wrote it, and still like. It was written two years ago, but applies today as much to America’s upset caused by the overreach of government... Read more »

Grandmother draws blood from knife-wielding attacker

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U. of Chicago's Martin Marty and me. He lets me have it.

I’m used to having my columns misread or intentionally distorted by readers whose closed minds keep them from trying to understand my point. (Examples are posts following two of my recent columns, here and here.) But for a distinguished scholar like Martin Marty, the highly regarded emeritus professor at the University of Chicago Divinity School,... Read more »
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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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