Quick Hits – November 10, 2017

It ain’t always harassment!

Nobody should have to put up with workplace harassment of any kind, period! That clearly applies to those Cook County public defenders who just filed suit to force corrections officers to keep inmates from performing certain acts during legal conferences.

But in their blind rush to demonize all men, too many women are embracing sexual harassment “victims” who really aren’t victims at all.

FX 'Better Things' TV show panel, TCA Summer Press Tour, Los Angeles, USA - 09 Aug 2017

If comedian Louis C. K. invites you up to his hotel room at midnight, it’s probably not for tea and crumpets. And when he asks if he can perform a different kind of solo act while he’s disrobing, that’s about the time you get up and leave.

If that event did occur, it’s not harassment – there was no power dynamic involved and no one was unlawfully restrained – it’s just a really bad come on. Let’s save our sympathy for the real victims.


Under his skin

Whether it’s a trial, a nominating petition challenge, a civil case, or advising a government body – and I’ve covered it all – I’m consistently confounded by the average attorney’s lack of legal skills, not to mention their repeated failure to correctly read a situation.

It’s almost as if the justice system works in spite of them,

So when you run across stellar lawyers like Brick Van Der Snick, Jeff Meyer, Amanda Wielgus, or Tom Hartwell, you tend to take notice. And it’s in that very vein that I’ve become quite enamored of the Motta and Motta Law Firm out of Chicago and Aurora, Illinois.

For background purposes, Alison and Robert Motta are defending Scott Turyna, 66, of St. Charles, against attempted murder charges.

If you would kindly recall, it was last May when St. Charles School Superintendent Steve Spurling and his wife were walking their dog when a bloodied Mrs. Turyna ran out of her garage and fell onto the driveway. Scott Turyna emerged from the house shortly thereafter and began firing a pistol at her. Spurling was hailed as a hero for disarming the gunman before he could wound or kill his wife.

And the pre-trial motions are getting more and more fascinating.

In an All My Children-esque twist, Turyna claimed he had no memory of the event back in June, but the defense didn’t ask for a trial fitness test until five days before the October proceeding was about to commence. And that late motion clearly got on Judge D. J. Tegeler’s last good nerve.


Judge Tegeler

When Tegeler heard Alison Motta mutter something under her breath at one of those hearings – a tactic for which she’s quite famous – he threw the kind of temper tantrum that makes yours truly look like Mr. Rogers on a good day! Nothing offends a judge’s delicate sensibilities like a whispered epithet.

When Tegeler did accede to that request by ordering a Kane County Diagnostic Center evaluation, the Motta’s objected claiming that the county’s psychiatrist would be biased.

Having purposely stoked the flames of discord and dissent, though they knew it would never fly, the Motta’s filed a petition for a new judge claiming, “For whatever reason, our team has upset the judge to the point where my client will be prejudiced.”

“He was very loud. He was shouting at me. He was glaring at me,” Ms. Motta added. I gotta say that certainly does sound like Judge Tegeler.

To absolutely no one’s surprise, Judge John Barsanti swiftly denied that motion, noting that Tegeler pretty much gave the Mottas everything they’d already requested.

Meanwhile, I’m sitting here laughing my ass off at how two attorneys have thrown the entire 16th Circuit into complete conniptions. Who needs Pheasant Run when you can head over to Route 38 and Peck Road to watch this kind of theater for free! I thought I was the only one who could completely aggravate people in this kind of amusing manner. Apparently I was wrong.

You see, the Motta law firm motto, as described on their website is:

When your enemy is weak expose their weakness, when your enemy is strong delay the battle, and when your enemy is angry, make them angrier because mistakes are sure to follow.

(They really do need to hire a good editor because I had to add the last two commas.)

And it’s fucking brilliant. It’s Sun Tzu at his bleepin’ best (look it up). If more attorneys had this eminently basic understanding of human nature and how court systems really work, I wouldn’t be bitching about ‘em nearly as much as I do.

The Motta’s know they have an unwinnable case. A former school superintendent as the prosecution’s star witness? That’s virtually impossible to overcome. So, their underlying strategy is to delay the process until they see an opening. And they’re trying to create that opening by making the judge, not their crazy client, the issue.

And nothing makes a judge angrier than an attorney with the temerity to move to replace him on a high profile case. And when Judge Tegeler gets angry, he makes all kinds of mistakes. The Mottas have concocted a patently brilliant strategy and Tegeler has fallen for it hook, line and sinker.

I’m not sure they’ll get Turyna off, but I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if they did. They’re certainly going to get the best deal they possibly can.

Perhaps I’m gonna have to get off my bony white ass and head over to courtroom 311 sometime soon. It doesn’t get much better than this, folks! They really oughtta sell popcorn at the Kane County Judicial Center.


You can thank Brick

Brick 2Between Comcast’s inability to keep the Net up for more than 2 minutes at a time, and a Windows update error as a result of those sudden outages, I had to waste three goddam hours with the cable company and restoring my computer back to a previous configuration this morning.

So I was gonna give up on Quick Hits for today until I remembered how disappointed Brick Van Der Snick would be if there was no Friday edition.

This one’s for you, sir!


Quick Hits – November 8, 2017

Give it a rest guys!

Despite massive referendum failures in 2015 and 2017, utterly undaunted, the Fox River and Countryside Fire/Rescue District, covering unincorporated St. Charles, Campton Township, Wayne and Campton Hills, is gonna give that tax hike another shot.


This time, they’re asking for a mere 50 percent increase and FRCFR attorney and partial architect of this complete disaster, Ken Shepro, is threatening to close stations on a rotating basis if voters don’t cough up the cash.

Silly me! I thought he was a Republican!

“The problem is, you’re basically telling people to schedule their heart attacks on the days the station closest to them is open,” said Shepro, blaming residents for the district’s sad plight. But it ain’t the residents Ken!

Both you and former FRCFR President Jim Gaffney flipped then Mayor Don DeWitte and St. Charles the figurative bird by saying your breakaway district could name that tune in one note. You said you could provide the same services for just a third of the cost, and the voters bought it.

But it turned out you couldn’t and the voters aren’t about to let you off the hook!

So, it wouldn’t matter if FRCFR was asking for a scant one percent increase. It will be voted down just like the last two attempts. This ain’t like a Hall of Fame ballot where that semi-legendary third baseman missed it on his eighth try by two percent.

Those 2015 and 2017 FRCFR referendums went down in two-to-one flames, which makes it statistically impossible to close that gap in one scant year. I know Shepro thinks it’s funny to threaten residents’ safety, but I’m bettin’ they don’t find him amusing at all.

You’d think Ken would’ve figured out that voters don’t respond very well to threats by now.

To put this fiasco in perspective, for all its fiscal foibles, the State of Illinois has never had to step in and dissolve a fire protection district. But when this one won’t be able to keep their stations open on a daily basis, it will be time for the adults to take over and put us out of their misery.


Blinded by the white

You’d think after their last thrashing, the Daily Herald wouldn’t go there again. Bu no! Their completely Caucasian editorial board just ran another editorial chiding the U-46 School District (Elgin, Bartlett, Streamwood, Hanover Park, South Elgin) for not hiring enough black teachers.

Daily Herald Building

And while seeking diversity among educators is always a worthwlhile endeavor, it kind of falls flat when that clarion call comes from an entity whose management team consists entirely of old white men.

Wouldn’t you think a company like Paddock Publications would seek the same sort of racial and ethnic balance they thrust upon everyone else? Sheesh! At this point I’d be willing to accept a short, near-sighted woman with a mild sunburn.

What do you say Paddock?


A bad day for Republicans

Both New Jersey and Virginia elected Democratic Governors yesterday, and in the most delicious political irony ever, Virginia sent transgender former journalist Danica Roem to their legislature replacing Bob Marshall, the author of that state’s divisive bathroom bill.

Almost as ironic, black, Democratic candidate Ashley Bennett beat white, Republican incumbent John Carman in their Atlantic County, New Jersey, Freeholder race. If you recall, Carman gained national notoriety when he wrote, ““Will the women’s protest end in time for them to cook dinner?”


Danica Roem (center) celebrates an election day victory

He said he was just joking, but the women who voted him out clearly weren’t. Apparently he’ll have plenty of time to cook dinner now.

Democratic candidates generally did well across the country as voters finally mounted a concerted effort to repudiate Donald Trump and his divisive policies.

So, like I said on Monday! You may as well start calling him Governor Pritzker now because he’s gonna win.  And those 2018 Republican candidates, firmly wedged between Scylla and Charybdis, are going to have to cut Trump loose or risk the same kind of backlash.

The truly terrifying thought in all of this is, could Democrats finally be getting their fippin’ messaging act together? I’m not sure I can handle that.


They’re catching on!

Texas authorities made it clear they will no longer mention the Sutherland Spring church shooter’s name. Though it’s not nearly as effective as reasonable gun control, it’s a step.


High times

Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey says he has enough board support to get sponsor March 20 advisory referendum asking residents if they think legalized marijuana would be a good idea.

If all those Cook Countians put down their joints and Doritos long enough to make it to the polls – and if they can find them – unlike the FRCFR question, this one should pass faster than an impatient I-90 rush hour driver.

When Cook County legalizes pot – and they will – despite whatever law enforcement or prosecutorial objections remain, the state will too.

It’s about time!


They don’t make ‘em like that anymore

Though I’m gonna go a little far afield here, y’all know I harbor a vast love for music of all denominations. As my beloved radio show co-host Larry Jones used to say, I have the most eclectic musical taste he’s ever seen.

I even like my 18 year-old son’s EDM stuff, so you can’t accuse of muttering that old man’s screed, “That’s not music!”


Ahmet Ertegun

But as I was listening to ‘We Just Disagree’ (Dave Mason), ‘Dirty Work’ (Steely Dan) and ‘Can’t Find My Way Home’ (Blind Faith) on my morning dog walk, I caught myself thinking, “We’ll never see this kind of really great music like this again.”

Generally, I like the playing field leveling propensity of the Internet, but it hasn’t served the music industry well on a number of levels.

To wit, I find myself longing for the days of legendary Atlantic Records founder and President Ahmet Ertegun, who brought us talent like Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Aretha Franklin, Led Zeppelin, Ray Charles, Yes, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Cream, AC/DC and many more.

Don’t get me wrong, I just bought vinyl albums by Jason Isbell, The War on Drugs, Manchester Orchestra and Brand New. And while I certainly enjoy their music, it doesn’t send my soul soaring like ‘Fastbuck Freddie’ (Jefferson Starship), ‘Wondrous Stories’ (Yes), ‘Living in the Past’ (Jethro Tull) and ‘Higher Love’ (Steve Winwood).

I don’t care what you say, it’s more than just a youthful longing. Without that big money music machine behind them, fewer and fewer groups will hit the stratospheric level of some of their ‘70s counterparts.

And that my friends, saddens me.

Though my mother was dead wrong when she said, “I’m worried you’ll never have any rock ‘n roll standards,” now I’m saying the same thing to my son because I don’t think there will be any more great musical standards.

Quick Hits – November 6, 2017

You don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction!

Just when you think the Democrats have cornered the market on abject political obliviousness – and obliviousness is always worse than stupidity – the Republicans swoop in to snatch that title as if to say, “We gotta be good at something because it certainly ain’t governing!”

So, when The First Ward announced Rauner wasn’t running again, given my impeccable sources and the fact that he’d just expanded taxpayer-funded Illinois abortions, I’m convinced that was the case. But our governor, who’s more mercurial than a middle school girl who just lost her BFF, changed his mind – again.

Since Newton’s Third Law always applies to politics, that equal and opposite reaction consisted of conservative ideologues, who’ve completely co-opted the Illinois Republican Party, to abandon the Governor in droves.

Never mind those less-government folks completely fail to see the vast irony in having old bald white guys tell women what they can and can’t do with their bodies. They also seem to miss that Rauner has always been a Democrat, but that’s a story for another day.

So now, Sate Rep Jeanne Ives (R Wheaton), the right wing’s current scion and savior du jour, is gonna primary the Governor. C’mon! She has a better chance of getting elected Pope. But with Dan Proft and his regular right wing crazies supporting her, that contest will swiftly descend into the kind of name calling quagmire that makes a Trump – Kim Jong Un tweet war seem mild by comparison.


Illinois State Rep Jeanne Ives

This means that Rauner will limp into the General Election and, in a par for the course move, those disappointed true believers will simply take their electoral football and stay home. Not only does that mean a huge win for impending Democratic gubernatorial nominee J. B. Pritzker, but those on-the-bubble Democratic General Assemblymen will also have a massive leg up.

(No, it won’t be Chris Kennedy in the finals because I can’t remember a more mediocre statewide candidate. Who the bleep is advising this guy?)

So, the more things change…

Which leads us into our second biggest irony, since they insist on having their cookie RIGHT NOW, those unyielding conservatives fall for candidates who either can’t get elected or can’t govern. And that sets up the very scenarios they claim to loathe. Michael Madigan will continue to rule with an iron fist as defined by an even stronger Democratic supermajority.

God forbid a Republican candidate turns out to be anything short of ideologically pure! Then their “adoring” throng will turn on them faster than Harvey Weinstein on a recalcitrant starlet. And as they say on those shampoo bottles, Republicans are more than happy to rinse and repeat.

It may be entirely self-indulgent, there are times when I lean back in my home office chair, close my eyes, and wistfully ruminate on what a former Treasurer Dan Rutherford or former State Senator Kirk Dillard gubernatorial administration might have meant to the State.


Republicans! Ya gotta learn, if you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him!

God, conservatives suck!


Eve of destruction part 2

To prove I’m a man without a country, I’ve been taking a bit of heat for Friday’s piece on the abrupt demise of DNAinfo, a hyper-local news experiment brought to New York, Chicago, LA, SF, and Washington courtesy of billionaire Joe Ricketts, the Cubs family patriarch.

In spite of the kind of hint that makes Blues Clues seem like a 400 level college course, when the New York office officially voted to unionize, Ricketts shut down the entire shebang just one week later.

And 116 journalists are out of journalism because those jobs don’t exist anymore.


So, some folks called me heartless, others accused me of being anti-union and the Tribune’s Heidi Stevens and Eric Zorn waxed poetically about the untimely death of yet another Net news organization. Why, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio went as far as calling Ricketts “a coward.”

Goddamn Democrats!

First, if holding the folks who hold us to a higher standard to the same standard is “heartless,” then I’m thrilled to be guilty as charged.

Second, when Ricketts refused to negotiate with the Writer’s Guild back in February, what the fuck did those New Yorkers think would happen when they forced the issue? DNAinfo NEVER broke even, much less turned a profit, and even though Zorn briefly touched on it, when did Democrats start demanding corporate welfare as a God-given right?

It doesn’t seem to appear anywhere in the Constitution.

So, now I’m suddenly beginning to understand the absurd level of malice conservatives  harbor for your average liberal, who fervently believes no one should ever have to face the consequences for their bad decisions.

Not to mention that DNAinfo generally paid their people far more than new hires at the Chicago Tribune, Sun-Times, or the Daily Herald would ever get. To wit, the Daily Herald is offering employee buyouts to the tune of a paltry one week’s pay for each year of service. Ricketts is providing three month’s severance to all of those former DNA employees.

I know this was mainly the result of the 25 New Yorkers who voted to unionize, but the other 89 DNAinfoers had to have some sense that the light at the end of the tunnel wasn’t salvation, but an oncoming locomotive. Much like I lobbied that Joliet union to make the necessary concessions for the 2013 sale of the Sun-Times, perhaps they could’ve done their damndest to enlighten their brethren about the realities of a truly bad decision.

Then, to make matters so much worse, my conservative friends are patting me on the back for my “anti-union stance,” which annoys the shit out of me. My wife is union, two of my brothers are union, and I regularly work with unions to get good candidates elected.

There’s a time and place for union intervention, but it IS NOT at a company that’s being subsidized by a gentleman who generally believes that doing the right thing is more important than making money. As conservative as the Ricketts family is, instead of engineering Fox News Lite, Joe insisted that DNAinfo report the news with as little bias as possible.

And now he’s getting excoriated for shutting down a money pit that makes that fixer-upper situated on that old Indian burial ground look like a real bargain. I don’t know about you, but if someone was subsidizing my very existence, despite whatever imperfections they may have, I’d go with gratitude instead of rebellion.

Meanwhile, Stevens wrote about all sorts of GoFundMe campaigns designed to augment that three months of severance. Really? So now, in the face of folks facing real need, we’re rewarding some truly unconscionable and inexplicable decision making?

God, liberals suck!

Quick Hits – November 3, 2017

Stupid is as stupid does!

So suddenly DNAinfo is no more, and the moral of that story is, a bunch of overly entitled, smug, shortsighted and vainglorious (look it up!) journalists are no match for Joe Ricketts. Perhaps they shouldn’t have called his “bluff!”

For the uninitiated, DNAinfo was a hyperlocal news experiment founded in 2009 by billionaire Ricketts, the Cubs family patriarch, with offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington D.C. Though I think it was a bad business model, they took a no-nonsense approach to local reporting by eschewing opinion, editorials, taking sides on issues, and political endorsements.DNABut make no mistake, the bottom line was (pun intended), the only reason this enterprise existed is because Joe Ricketts underwrote the whole thing. With Net ads bringing in less than 10 percent of their print counterparts, DNAinfo never came close to breaking even, much less making a profit.

Just like Illinois unions fervently felt they couldn’t let the Sun-Times die, Ricketts believed a truly independent news organization was critical to the municipal Democratic process. And he paid his people far more than they would’ve made at any newspaper.

But despite a clear understanding of this business dynamic, last April, the 27 blitheringly oblivious journalists in the New York office decided to bite the hand that fed them by joining the Writer’s Guild, an obsolete union if there ever was one.

When Ricketts made his displeasure abundantly clear by refusing to negotiate with the union, failing to consider that fencepost over the head hint, those chutzpah addled New Yorkers turned to the National Labor Relations Board who forced a formal vote. And when 25 of ‘em went all Norma Rae on him, the unamused Ricketts shut the whole thing down the following week.

And 115 journalists lost the kind of jobs that they’ll never see again because they don’t exist anymore.

Then, in a scene right out of a Monty Python movie, those suddenly former DNAinfo employees had the nerve to basically tweet “I can’t believe this happened,” which is more than ironic when you consider that journalists are supposed to have the capacity to understand cause and effect.

Of course, all the insipid anonymous commenters are calling out Ricketts for what they call a “dick move.” Really? I’m certainly no fan of the Rickett’s family brand of conservatism, but if the employees I’m paying out of my own pocket offered me that not so subtle fuck you, I’d send ‘em packing too!

I don’t think “hoist by their own petard” is nearly a strong enough sentiment here.


He had a bad day?

If you recall, Dominic Castelvechhi the adult member of the trio that firebombed my pickup truck in my driveway at 3 a.m. on an April 2016 Saturday morning, just got 15 days. The moral there is, when considering potential sentences, you’re far better off going on an arson spree than selling small amounts of pot.

After that absurd sentencing, his attorney, a real piece of work, said, “He’s not a bad kid. He had a bad event.” A “bad event?” A flat tire is a “bad event!” Throwing Molotov cocktails at two residences is a a bit more than a “bad event.” A black or Hispanic offender would’ve gotten at least two years.

castelvecchi mugshot

Castelvecchi’s lawyer delayed the proceedings for over a year-and-a-half so this worthless piece of bleep could get just sober enough to enroll in community college and get a minimum wage job. Then Judge David Kliment, not the brightest bulb in the 16th circuit pack, fell for it.

Ah! But as a result of that sentencing, a number of former classmates and friends reached out to explain the real Dominic Castelvecchi.

According to a former middle and Geneva High School classmate, “Dominic was one of the students that everyone knew did drugs.” Her theory is borne out by the fact that Castelvecchi was already serving supervision for drug paraphernalia in his locker when he assembled those Molotov cocktails.

They went on to say that Castelvechhi was frequently suspended for drug use, drinking and assaulting other students, going all the way back to seventh grade.

Another former classmate said, “I would frequently see him grabbing girls’ butts in the hallways, followed by them looking scared and quickly escaping with their friends.” Apparently he’d call them prostitutes in the process. The source added that those young women were so scared of Castelvechhi, they wouldn’t seek help from Geneva High School administrators.

But none of that came into play during his sentencing because a prosecutor told me that most judges won’t consider a juvenile record when faced with a first adult offense. It’s kind like shaking a virtual Etch-a-Sketch. Those youthful incidents are magically mitigated by sheer virtue of turning 18.

I’m gonna keep on saying it! There’s no justice in Kane County. So let’s see what the civil courts can do. I promise I’ll keep you posted.



Quick Hits – McMahon ain’t running for Attorney General

“McMahon won’t challenge [Erika] Harold in GOP AG primary,” the Capitol Fax headline blared. My first thought was, “Tell us something we don’t know, Rich Miller!” Beating Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon wouldn’t be much of a challenge for any candidate.

His press release also begs the question, do you really have to announce that you’re not running for something you weren’t really running for, and you never had a shot at to begin with? I suppose I could distribute a press release pointing out that I won’t be competing for the Cubs’ centerfield spot in 2018, but what’s the point?


So, here’s how I’m guessing the conversation between Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon and Illinois Republican Chairman Tim Schneider must’ve gone:

Tim: What the hell are you doing?

Joe: Whaddaya mean what the hell am I doing?

Tim: For the first time in 50 years, we field a decent minority statewide candidate and you’re screwing it up.

Joe: How am I screwing it up?

Tim: The Illinois GOP already has more than their share of old, bald white guys, Joe. Ah! But as a black female candidate, Ms. Harold counts as ten minorities. It’s kinda like dog years when it’s applied to the Republican Party. If only she were gay and handicapped! We wouldn’t have to embrace another minority candidate for at least 20 years.

Joe: Don’t say “embrace,” Tim. It’s that whole Springfield sexual harassment thing.

Tim: (rolls his eyes) Thanks for the free legal advice, Joe.

Joe: But Erika has no chance of beating the Democratic Machine.

Tim: Of course she doesn’t. C’mon! We don’t really want to get a black woman elected. She’s simply a sacrificial minority lamb who makes the rest of us look good for supporting her. But we wouldn’t want that getting out now, would we? The plan is for all the Republican bigwigs to celebrate Kwanzaa at her house and then we cut her loose right after January first.

Joe: But I could win Tim! Really! I could! Joe Lulves and Joe Cullen told me so!

Tim: No you can’t! And they work for you Joe. What the hell do you think they’re gonna say? You suck? You’re gonna have a tough enough time getting reelected in Kane County.

Joe: But the countywide elected officials and the chairman seemed so excited about my candidacy.

Tim: That’s only because they want to get rid of you, Joe.

Joe: Oh.

Tim: So are you going to get with the program and get behind Ms. Harold, or do we have to put you on the Governor’s shit list? If you insist upon running for Attorney General this time, you’ll get no party support now or in the future.

Joe: Well, since you put it that way, I guess I have no choice. But the Party will help me get reelected in 2020, right?

Tim: (Fingers crossed behind his back) Of course we will Joe! Despite your vast political naivete and the worst case of electoral tone deafness we’ve ever seen, you’re our man!

I won’t bore you with the entire thing, especially all the grammar and punctuation errors (yikes!), but McMahon concluded his I’m-not-running press release with this:

I have an incredible job; one that I am thankful for and I intend to fulfill my commitment to the people of Kane County and the People of the State of Illinois as state’s attorney for Kane County.

Why start now, Joe?

Quick Hits November 1, 2017

Halloween sucks!

As I’m wont to do, I was waxing poetic about all the shit that annoys me on Facebook yesterday, when my satirical sister-in-crime, Mona McCranky, asked me why I hate Halloween with such a flippin’ ferocity. I suppose a simple, “What’s not to hate?” would’ve sufficed, but since brevity has never been my bailiwick, a more thorough explanation is required.


You see, I’m not terribly fond of people ringing my doorbell to begin with, so it’s beyond horrifying to have to repeatedly answer the door just to give those ill-mannered disguised neighborhood progeny free candy, which only serves to hype them up more so their incapable of parenting parents can thrust them back upon the rest of us the next day.

That’s the real horror story here! How can Jason or Freddy possibly compare to that?

For all the goddam money I put into the school district and dole out to children selling all sorts of shit at my front door – I shouldn’t have to dole out free candy – they should be bringing me free liquor.

That would make Halloween much more palatable.

On the bright side, we had only one group of teenagers who clearly needed a shave, especially the young women. New rule! Trick-or-treating ends the second you walk through that middle school doorway.

Of course, the remaining idiot high schoolers, who aren’t anything to write home about on their best day, take Halloween as a license to behave more badly than they already do.

Not to mention all those south Fisher Farms parents, who can’t walk a scant block without a bottle of beer in their hand. And they don’t need any help ignoring their children as it is.

Speaking of costumes, though last night’s near-freezing temperatures put a damper on it, it’s so much fun to watch all those “me too” moms dress their middle school daughters like hookers. Sexy nurses, sexy devils, sexy policewomen and sexy gynecologists, because that’s the message you really want to send the boys and young girls everywhere.

Then there’s the neighborhood trend towards graphic scenes of dismemberment and other “humorous” mayhem. Considering what my neighbors already think of me, they probably shouldn’t be giving me ideas.

But worst of all, people invite you to parties, which, in and of themselves, are far more terrifying than anything we’ve already covered. I barely want to get dressed in the morning, much less have to put on some sort of costume only to be forced do deal with my adult neighbors who inexplicably, don’t get any more interesting when they’re drunk.

Though, I will say, my wife and I truly enjoyed watching all the neighbors skip our house last night.  Apparently they didn’t get the memo about what a great guy I really am!

Put more simply, once again, adults have co-opted yet another children’s holiday and they sucked all of the innocent fun out of it. Thank God it’s over for another year.


You can’t turn Hendrix down!

So, the body parts they found along the lakefront and in the Lincoln Park lagoon, indeed, turned out to be our missing Elgin woman.


Apparently, fed up with his mother’s insistence on a quieter Jimi Hendrix experience, the son decided that homicide was the only option. It was an eminently unreasonable request – the statute clearly states that ‘Foxy Lady’ must be played at maximum volume at all times – but I might’ve resorted to headphones before considering murder and dismemberment.

It would’ve been a close call.

Perhaps all those graphic neighborhood Halloween displays made him think it was alright.


The Daily Herald downsizes

Despite the fact they’re profitable and they fail to report any real news as it is, according to media blogger and occasional Daily Herald columnist, Rob Feder, Paddock Publications is offering buyouts to DH staffers in all departments.

Why, they’re going as far as threatening to give them a week’s severance for every year of employment plus three months of medical coverage. Be still my beating heart! If no volunteers come forward, and none will for that paltry payout, Paddock will resort to layoffs which does wonders for company morale.

So basically, this is downsizing under the guise of giving folks an option that really isn’t an option.

daily herald

“We’re trying to get ahead of the curve here, and we need some breathing room to execute on the strategy to grow the business in new and different ways,” said Doug Ray, chairman, publisher and CEO of the Daily Herald Media Group.

Why start now, Doug?

We’ve already covered those impending “strategies,” which include running stories about nothing and printing columns informing us they won’t be writing about what they were writing about.

They are novel strategies, I will give them that.

So, since the DH and TheFirstWard.net have reached a new level of détente, and given my generally magnanimous comportment, I’m willing to provide a list of who should take those buyouts in the order they should take them. So, here goes:

1. Harry Hitzeman – (It would be cheaper to pay him off by the IQ point)

2. Jim Fuller – (He doesn’t even get it right twice a day)

3. Mike Smith – (He lets Jim Fuller get away with all that stupid shit)

4. Jim Baumann – (The guy who writes about writing should really be able to write)

5. Elena Ferarrin – (She can’t even get restaurant names right)

6. John Lampinen – (The inept bosses should go first)

7. Jim Slusher – (See the above comment)

8. Madhu Krishnamurthy – (She never met a run-on sentence she didn’t like)

9. Kerry Lester – (It’s the IQ thing again)

10. Justin Kmitch – (Because that’s a silly last name)

11. All the rest are tied.

And people have the nerve to say I’m not a nice guy.