Archive for the ‘Chicago’ Category.

Stupidity, Ignorance, and Hatred on Parade

This afternoon, on my way back from looking at this, I saw this:

Palestinian supporters in Chicago

Palestinian supporters in Chicago

and this:

The Israel as new nazi canard. Image taken by E. Voogd

The Israel as Nazi idea is not new, but always a shock when seen again.

Really? Israel is the new nazi? Letting go the poor grammatical structure of that sign, I would seriously like someone to explain this. The same country that CALLS its terrorist targets to let them escape their homes and live is likened to the philosophy that propogated antisemitism and killed millions, MILLIONS of Jews, gypsies, and others in disgusting, methodological fashion?

From this Haaretz article:

The IDF has made frequent use of what is known as “knocking on the roof”: Militants are warned by phone when a residential building used to store arms will be bombed, and told to vacate the premised together with their neighbors. The weapons caches are hit only after the residents leave.

Hamas has tried placing civilians on the roofs of such buildings when the phone call warning comes in. In these cases, the IDF fired antitank missiles near the building, and in a few cases the residents left.

These people, like many protestors before them, desperately want to be noticed. They want to be heard. But active listening is not enough. Not when they are also strapping bombs to children, and encouraging them to be martyrs via television programs.

And just read Charles Krauthammer (well, from yesterday, but you’re probably reading this tomorrow).

This conflict has been going on literally, LITERALLY, since the time of Abraham, Isaac, and Ishmael. And it will continue, I fear, as long as there is hatred in the world. That is no reason, however, not to support Israel.

Happiness in Obamaca

The economy might be crashing, automakers are seeking government aid (hey why not? Let’s just socialize them!), and Obama is set to reverse certain executive orders that will be a definite set-back for those of us who care about bioethics, but WHATEVER.

People here are super-happy. But serious too. I actually walked down toward Grant Park on Election Eve on my way to a party for the, uh, other side (which was, ironically, literally ON the other side of the street), and felt myself enveloped by the smiles and general good mood.

If I was a sophomore in college, I might say the experience was “surreal” — and hey it really was!

After at least six years of Bush-hatred and people who angrily disdained the American flag because Bush was prez and the GOP was in charge, I walked past street vendors happily hawking t-shirts (‘Yes We Did” T-shirts! Two for Ten!), and cardboard fans sporting Barack’s smiling face. American flags were passed out to children, who waved them un-ironically. People sweeping behind me discussed how it was their first time voting, or it was their friend’s first time voting.

“This is the closest this country will ever get to revolution,” said one young man. (I hope so, I thought.)

There were happy giggles. It felt like the Fourth of July, except a more patriotic Fourth than I’ve actually ever experienced in Chicago. And overall there was an extreme and surprising sense of CALM.

It was in a way extremely refreshing to see so many people engaged in the political process, but so very, very sad to know that the man in whom they had invested such “hope” for “change” is, after all, a pretty typical socialist. I was reminded of the Evita museum in Buenos Aires, which commemorated a woman who  was revered almost religiously for giving out welfare from the back of a truck  (and yes, yes, she died tragically young…but so do lots and lots of people.)

Lane said below that we’ll survive… I hope so. We must remember that even in a terrible year for Republicans, McCain got 46% of the popular vote. And I don’t think that’s just from racists.

I’m happy Obama won, in a way. The best teacher, they say, is experience. May we learn lots the next few years.  And can everyone finally accept that we ARE post-racial?  (Though I suspect a Michael Steele or Condi Rice election would not have produced the same weeping reactions from Jesse Jackson and others.)

But for now I’m going to enjoy the good mood, even if I can’t share it. And I’m going to savor the last couple months of having a president who, though I disagreed with how infrequently he used the veto pen the first 6 years and some other things he did or didn’t do, has worked to keep our country free of attack since 9/11. Thank you, Mr. President.

Who else thinks Chicago will be a MAJOR target now?

Apocalypse Eve (not now, please)

Chicagoans are PSYCHED. Well, 95% of Chicagoans and 100% of academics are (obviously).

I spent the last day and a half in Hyde Park (HYDE PARK) listening to one academic after another (who, may it be noted, have NOTHING TO DO professionally with political philosophy or government work, but when does that ever stop anyone), get all glowy and happy and hopeful at the very thought that one of their own could be in charge of the USA.  Maybe even the World.

Why do I torture myself this way? I don’t know … why do I live in Chicago?

But I need to smarten up. Once Obama is elected, everything will be better. Our racial wounds will be healed, energy will be free (hey, wind is free!), and perhaps MOST importantly, the NEH will be funded the way nature intended -  to the same degree as the Defense Department. Someone (a student) actually said this. I am not making this up. Even the NEH guy thought that might be pushing things a bit too far.

One humorless academic from a university in a nearby state (hey these were nice people so I’m not going to name names), was even careful to make sure that all the photos in his presentation featured African Americans, in order to honor what he said he was sure would happen tomorrow. That’s nice. Then I looked around the room and there was not ONE African-American in attendance. That’s what we call…ironic. But everyone smiled and felt sooo good about themselves.

And then it was announced that the school I attend will close at 3 tomorrow, so that faculty and students can be sure to vote and to make it to the rally on time (okay they didn’t say THAT, but talked traffic. Whatever). Other offices are closing early — heck didn’t even Obama say that no one should have to work tomorrow — let it be so.

The port-o-lets are all set up in Grant Park, and the CTA will be running until at least 2AM. Chicago is ready — are you?

Happy Birthday, America! Part II