Category: Uncategorized

Ketanji Brown Jackson actually said a couple of things that should make the other side happy....

Ketanji Brown Jackson actually said a couple of things that should make the other side happy....
Now that KBJ has been sworn in as a Supreme Court justice to replace the justice she clerked for way back when, Stephen Breyer, it’s time to take note of a couple of things she said during her confirmation hearing. They may make her critics and skeptics happy that she’s there. (By the way, she... Read more »

Thoughts on living in tents: under an Archer Avenue viaduct...in Chicago parks... that one time in Idaho...and that time in California's Steinbeck Country

Thoughts on living in tents: under an Archer Avenue viaduct...in Chicago parks... that one time in Idaho...and that time in California's Steinbeck Country
Sometimes, my former journalism students from Columbia College call me when they’re working on stories about the South Loop, where I’ve lived for almost 30 years. One call will always stand out. A young man rung me up to ask about homelessness in the neighborhood. He wanted to pick my brain on everything from the... Read more »

Memorial Day: This one's for you, Argentina "Tina" Jones, 1919-2022:

Memorial Day:  This one's for you, Argentina "Tina" Jones, 1919-2022:
Some time after my daughter was diagnosed with autism in 1985, which was shortly after Sly Stallone‘s son was diagnosed with autism, my mother gave me some advice. I’d already had plenty of advice from arrogant doctors, old-fashioned psychoanalysts, people on the street, speech therapists–and the rotten stench of the late Bruno Bettelheim, the “expert”... Read more »
Advertisement:

It's been 35 years since Harold Washington ruled the City--and I'll never forget the day he died.

It's been 35 years since Harold Washington ruled the City--and I'll never forget the day he died.
It was Wednesday morning, November 25, 1987, the day before Thanksgiving and I was busy preparing all the things that could be made a day ahead. I loved Thanksgiving back then. Everyone came over and filled up our big apartment on Michigan Avenue. And we’d be like all other American families, eating everything I was... Read more »

How come the US Government can only bring half the country's poor children out of poverty?

How come the US Government can only bring half the country's poor children out of poverty?
Over and over I hear the White House boasting that “our policies have brought half the kids in this country who were in poverty out of poverty.” Half? Is this something to be proud of? When it comes to kids in America, half a loaf isn’t better than none. A whole loaf is absolutely required.... Read more »

The day Gloria Steinem came to my house and I couldn't think of a thing to say

The day Gloria Steinem came to my house and I couldn't think of a thing to say
It’s true. Feminist Gloria Steinem came to my house 38 years ago, at the height of her life of being the feminist Gloria Steinem. She would be turning 50 in a few weeks, which she mentioned almost as soon as she arrived. And I thought, wow, that’s old. (I wouldn’t be turning 50 for almost... Read more »
Advertisement:

The Chicago Reader recently celebrated its 50th annivesary--and some of those years were the best years of my life

The Chicago Reader recently celebrated its 50th annivesary--and some of those years were the best years of my life
The last piece I wrote for the Chicago Reader was in July, 2008. I’d run into Reverend Al Sharpton getting a shoe shine on Chicago Avenue. I think I complimented him regarding a wisecrack he’d recently made on MSNBC, when he was asked why dejected Blacks didn’t just become Republicans; and he said, “If you... Read more »

Chris Hedges' recent talk in Chicago brought back memories of my days in jail

Chris Hedges' recent talk in Chicago brought back memories of my days in jail
Yes, the above is clickbait. But I did spend years visiting all the prisons in Illinois and all the divisions of the Cook County Jail, all the children’s prisons and the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center. With the John Howard Association, a local not-for-profit prison watchdog group. I was a JHA board member for a... Read more »

Dateline: 1963, Me and my aunt in Venezuela, Curacao, Aruba, Jamaica...and Haiti....

Dateline: 1963, Me and my aunt in Venezuela, Curacao, Aruba, Jamaica...and Haiti....
For my 12th birthday, Christmas, 1962, my aunt Dorothy decided to take me on a Caribbean cruise during my school vacation. We departed for New York on a train to meet a very fancy ship called the Santa Rosa. It was built in 1958, had a twin sister ship called the Santa Paula and they... Read more »
Advertisement:

My September 11, 2001 Timeline

My September 11, 2001               Timeline
It was early on a Tuesday morning, and my routine was to get up early on Tuesday mornings to put the finishing touches on my weekly column in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin before emailing it to my editor. He needed time to look it over before it was time to print and deliver the... Read more »