URBAN PHILOSOPHER
Conscience Laureate

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

COMPUTER KIOSKS TO REPLACE GREETERS AT O’HARE

COMPUTER KIOSKS TO REPLACE GREETERS AT O’HARE The news on Tuesday that fifty new tourism kiosks will be installed throughout O’Hare to replace 29 airport customer service representatives who had translated and answered questions for passengers for decades was not what the REAL news was to me. The REAL news to me was that the city had been paying annual salaries of between $38,000 and $58,000 to 29 people who had what seemed like pretty cushy jobs to me! With benefits these “greeters” were costing the city about $2 million a year!! And they have been around for DECADES!! Do the math on those numbers! I have been traveling in and out of O’Hare for decades and have never once been “greeted” by anyone---unless you count the Hare Krishnas who used to sell flowers in the lobbies. In speaking about the new kiosks Daley said at a news conference at the airport, “Technology has really changed that. This gives more information than any people can have. You can get more information off this system than any one individual could have at O'Hare Field." Mayor Daley’s statement would make it seem like the City of Chicago had never thought about having information kiosks before and that the technology did not exist until now to have them. WRONG, MR. MAYOR!! Approximately 15 years ago, the Department of General Services of the City of Chicago created and installed computer kiosks in public libraries, City Hall, schools, public buildings etc. The kiosks provided users with information about city services, museums, parks & recreation etc. The kiosks were called, "FOR YOU CHICAGO." The kiosks disappeared and no one knows whatever happened to them. My friends who worked at General Services back then, said today they just “went away.” Obviously the new tourism kiosks will be using technology that did not exist 15 years ago, but the idea of kiosks to provide information did. So the City of Chicago could have saved about $20 million in salaries if the O’Hare customer service reps had been replaced back then with kiosks. Why weren’t they replaced? Maybe Al Sanchez needed more city workers on the payroll to do his bidding.

Monday, March 30, 2009

LIFE IS REALITY, NOT EPISODIC TV

LIFE IS REALITY, NOT EPISODIC TV I am addicted to “reality” television. I put the word “reality" in quotes, because we all know the footage on the shows is edited so much that the final product no more reflects reality than my pretending I was a former supermodel does. Chicago was recently the scene for casting calls for “America’s Next Top Model” and “Sheer Genius.” Thousands upon thousands of would be participants descended on the locations hoping for a chance to be picked. The people had as much chance of being picked as one has of winning the lottery. But they still came out. I watch both those shows even though I am ashamed to admit my sick addiction. Ashamed because if I want REAL reality, I should be watching CNN, MSNBC, FOX NEWS etc. and have my brain working and not be turning to mush. So why is the American public so fascinated with “reality” television? Is it because the shows peddle blatant voyeurism (“The Bachelor”), shameless exhibitionists (“Rock of Love”), competition (“Amazing Race” ,“Survivor”) or we just love food (“Top Chef”)? There exists some “reality” show to cover every topic that anyone could care about. I love “reality” shows because I don’t have to think about what I am watching. I can get caught up in the mindless drivel of people’s lives that I don’t really care about and not have to think about my own life. There is no competition going on in my brain where I have to decide if Bill O’Reilly or his guest is correct in their assessment of the economy. During a time when we are afraid to read our bank and brokerage statements, we can watch people who for 12 weeks don’t have to live in the real world. There are no bills and no e-mails. These people get to live in a “bubble” where everything is provided for them and there is not a care in the world except if their make-up looks professional. It reminds us of life when we were 6 years old and did not have to worry about anything. It will also be our life when we enter the managed care facility. Let's hope that it's not next week!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

POTHOLE NAMING RIGHTS

POTHOLE NAMING RIGHTS Last week Mayor Daley’s Lincoln Town car blew out two tires when his driver hit a huge pothole on Pulsaki Avenue. Of course the irony of the incident is that it occurred right after a press conference where the Mayor had apologized for the behavior of convicted Streets and Sans czar Al Sanchez ( who had just been convicted of hiring fraud) , and had been in charge of plugging the city's potholes! City Crews have repaired about 280,000 potholes since December 1st, according to city Transportation Commissioner Thomas Byrne. There have been approximately 120 days since December 1st. Subtract 34 weekend days and 6 holidays and that leaves 80 days for pothole repair. Now divide 280,000 potholes by 80 days and you arrive at the figure of 3500 potholes per day that have been repaired. I don’t believe that number and I don’t believe that 280,000 potholes have been repaired. The public has no way of confirming those figures, so we just blindly accept them. Nobody has ever seen a Streets & San employee working that diligently! KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken’s official name) has offered to patch the pot holes for free in exchange for leaving behind a stenciled brand on the patch informing the public that the road has been “Re-Freshed by KFC.” KFC has already done this in Louisville and earned a testimonial from Mayor Jerry Abramson, who noted that “finding funding for needed road repairs is a continuing challenge.” While I think that stenciled, repaired pot holes would look ugly, our city’s reason for turning down the offer is a total spin city lie. According to Brian Steele, a spokesman for the Chicago Department of Transportation, “We don’t allow any type of printing or advertising placed on a city street or sidewalk.” WHAT?? Where are the advertising benches placed? They are placed on the sidewalks! The JC Decaux bus shelters—placed on the sidewalks- are covered with advertising. There are advertising signs up and down the sidewalks on Michigan Avenue. Those are just three examples of advertising on city sidewalks, there are lots more but I don’t want to bore you. Can’t we ever get the truth from the mouths of city employees? The Greek philosopher Diogenes used to stroll about in full daylight with a lamp; when asked what he was doing he would answer, "I am just looking for a human being." Diogenes looked for a human being but reputedly found nothing but rascals and scoundrels. He would feel right at home in City Hall.

Friday, March 27, 2009

JACK DREYFUS DIES AT 95

JACK DREYFUS DIES AT 95 To most people the news that Jack Dreyfus died at 95 was a headline they saw in passing—if they saw it at all. Dreyfus is a name they might have recognized and wondered if he were related to actress Julia Louis Dreyfus. If they read the stories they might have learned that Dreyfus was the man who virtually created the retail mutual fund industry 58 years ago with his innovative advertising tactics. But to me the news that Jack Dreyfus had died broke my heart. He was a part of my life for nearly 39 years. In 1970 I met Jack’s son John when I was hitchhiking near my college in suburban New York. I was a very young, naive 17 year old teenager and John a very sophisticated 28—a huge age difference when we started dating. My Father had died 9 months earlier and I think I was looking for someone to replace him. An older man was just the ticket. But this essay is not about my tumultuous relationship with John during the past 39 years, but my memories of Mr. Dreyfus. I called him Mr. Dreyfus—never Jack- for the whole time I knew him. Even though his staff and every corner street vendor called him Jack, I was too much in awe ever to use his first name. No matter how many times he encouraged me to call him Jack; he was Mr. Dreyfus to me. I vividly remember the first time I met Mr. Dreyfus in August of 1970. It was Mr. Dreyfus’ birthday and John invited me to celebrate it with the family at a restaurant in Manhattan. John and I drove into the city from Westchester and left the car right in front of Jack’s apartment building on east 75th street. A doorman came out to take care of parking the car. I was from the suburbs so I had never seen that type of treatment before. We took a small elevator to the penthouse and when the door opened we were in the vestibule of Mr. Dreyfus’ apartment. There were no other apartments on the floor. I had never seen that before either. A butler greeted us and led us to the living room. Mr. Dreyfus was sitting there and I had no idea that I was meeting a financial legend—he was just the father of my date. But a very wealthy one as the size of the apartment, butler and rest of the staff indicated! I was served an iced tea in a crystal glass from a sterling silver tray; as was John. When I saw John take the chewing gum out of his mouth and leave it on the tray, I was mortified. But Mr. Dreyfus laughed it off. We started talking and I told Mr. Dreyfus that I was a mathematics major (I later changed to economics and journalism) in college. He said to me, “If you were to pay a $1 insurance premium for a million to one chance that you would not die tomorrow, how much would you pay for a billion to one chance?” Mr. Dreyfus loved numbers and so did I. Our conversation that night and in the future always dealt with mathematics. After visiting for a while in the living room, we went downstairs to go to a restaurant to celebrate Mr. Dreyfus’ birthday. Even though there were three cooks on staff at his home, Mr. Dreyfus liked going out to restaurants for special occasions. The restaurant was the Forum of the Twelve Caesars. A restaurant more luxurious than any restaurant I had ever been in before. We were greeted as visiting royalty and escorted to the best table in the house. Waiters swarmed around us to make sure we were comfortable. People stopped by the table to greet Mr. Dreyfus The final topper? The owner of the restaurant brought over a telephone to Mr. Dreyfus and told him he had a call. For those of us old enough to remember telecommunications 39 years ago, that was unheard of. I was stunned. I had never seen an extension phone brought to a table in a restaurant! Mr. Dreyfus, apologized for the interruption, took his call and returned to our conversation. I was a 17 year hick from the suburbs when I met Jack Dreyfus, but I knew I was not, as Judy Garland said in the Wizard of Oz, “in Kansas anymore.” My life changed that day and it changed today also when I got the news that Mr. Dreyfus had died. He might have been a legend, but to me he was a friend. The odds are a billion to one that I will miss him.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

MWBE CONTRACTGuarantees?

The City of Chicago has agreed to award a guaranteed combined 30% of Olympic construction contracts to minorities and women owned businesses. The Chicago 2016 team has also agreed, according to the SUN TIMES, “to develop employment training programs and create a "scorecard" by which Olympic vendors will be judged. The more minority subcontractors they hire, the more diverse their workforce and the more community residents the firm employs, the higher the ranking. “ Now that I have resigned from The Chicago Commission on Human Relations, I can reveal my true feelings about set –asides in contracts. I AM AGAINST THEM!! Reason Number One: Historically, many contractors using MWBE (Minority, Women Business Enterprises) have been caught “cheating” when it turns out the MWBEs are just “fronts” for male owned businesses. When I received MWBE status for my company, it was a very arduous process to complete and to get certification. The fact that there are phony MWBEs means that someone in the approval process is circumventing the rules. I am not accusing anyone; I am just stating my opinion. Reason Number Two: Sometimes the best man for the job is a MAN. I want the City to hire whoever is best QUALIFIED to build the stadium that people will be sitting in, not hire whoever has MWBE certification. I don’t want an UNQUALIFIED construction company doing the building of a stadium that might collapse and send everyone tumbling. (Not an Olympic sanctioned sport) I am not saying that there are not qualified MWBE construction firms; there are. I am saying that everyone should be competing on a level playing field. Having a vagina does not make one a better builder, having experience and expertise does.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

RANDOM THINGS PEOPLE MAKE FUN OF ME ABOUT

RANDOM THINGS PEOPLE MAKE FUN OF ME ABOUT (Including ending sentences with a preposition) I like to end sentences with prepositions. “Ending sentences with a preposition is something up with which we should not put.” That makes no sense at all. Real English would be: "Ending sentences with a preposition is something we should not put up with.” Apologies to Editor Bob Manewith, but I will end my sentences with a preposition if I so wish to! When I go to a fine dining restaurant, I feel I should be given the choice of a white or black linen napkin. If I am wearing a dark colored suit and am presented with a white napkin I go insane. I know that little white pieces of lint will sully my dark skirt and make me look sloppy. Blog Follower Kevin Black has become a proponent of the black napkin and has thanked me for teaching him about it. Blog Follower Alison Slovin has ridiculed me in the past for insisting on a black napkin—that is until today when she texted me from a luncheon writing- “I'm @ a luncheon with a black skirt and white napkins. I am a mess from the white lint. I will never make fun of you again.” Unfortunately she took the kindness out of her apology by immediately texting: “I amend my previous email – I’m not sure in our long life together I could/would never make fun of you again!” You should have stopped at the first text, Alison. I wrote in an earlier Blog that I did not know how to re-new my passport. I got many e-mails from people laughing at me and instructing me exactly how to do it. I followed all the steps—went to the Department of State web site, filled out the application, got new pictures taken, found my old passport, etc. I met Blog Followers Constance Buscemi (affectionately know to us as Connie) and Stella Black for lunch to be followed by our going to the City Clerk’s Office for me to leave off my application. Luckily, Stella came with me. Why was I lucky? Because even though the Department of State web site said you could pay by check or credit card, the Clerk’s office would only take a check! I did not have a check on me. Stella had her checkbook with her and fronted me the $75. To accommodate Kathy, it takes a village! Fortunately for me, Chicago is a big village!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

BLAGO VS. OCTOMOM Who disgusts you the most?

BLAGO VS. OCTOMOM Who disgusts you the most? It is a tough call today on whether Octomom or Blago disgusts me the most. Blago will be filling in for Don & Roma on WLS radio on Wednesday morning and Octomom just fired her free nurses. The octuplets' mother Nadya Suleman fired four nurses who offered to give free care to her children, according to media reports Tuesday. A week after the first two of her eight babies came home, the Octomom terminated the four nurses from the organization Angels In Waiting, mostly because one filed a report against her with Child Protective Services (CPS). The shocking news should be that only ONE nurse reported Octomom to CPS and that CPS has not been called before. WLS-AM program director Bob Shomper says Blagojevich will be on the air from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Wednesday, taking calls from listeners, telling stories and talking with guests. Sure it will be a one day ratings bonanza for WLS, even though Blago will not say anything of any significance. I don’t know what people tuning in will expect to hear—Blago admitting guilt? Of course not! So why tune in? Because we are like a group of lemmings throwing ourselves off the cliff. I don’t want to read any more stories about Blago until he has been convicted and I don’t want to hear anymore about Octomom until all her babies have been taken away and placed in foster care. Those are the two reality shows I want to see.

Monday, March 23, 2009

FISH PEDICURES COME TO ILLINOIS

FISH PEDICURES COME TO ILLINOIS WARNING-this blog is not for the squeamish because it contains information that will make you nauseous! The latest insane craze to hit Illinois is the fish pedicure. This type of pedicure is performed by putting your feet in a tank of hot water that contains by one-inch long garra rufa and chin chin fish, imported from Turkey. The hot water in which the fish thrive doesn't support much plant or aquatic life, so the fish feed on whatever food sources are available — including dead, flaking skin. They leave live skin alone because, without teeth, they can't bite it off. The fish eat the calluses and corns off the bottom of your feet to make your feet smooth. Florida, Texas, Florida, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Washington have already banned the practice of fish pedicures. Louie Pukelis, a spokesman for the Illinois Professional Regulation Department said fish pedicures appear to compromise the agency’s sterilization and sanitation practices. Hey, Louie--what do you mean by saying fish pedicures APPEAR to compromise sanitation? This is a thoroughly disgusting procedure and cannot in any way be sanitary! A salon owner in Aurora said the service is in such demand that she’s raising what she charges for the 30 minute soak, followed by a full pedicure, from $50 to $60 in April. “The fish do a really good job of taking dead skin off and making your feet soft.,” she said. What I find so sad, is the lengths women (I don’t think any man would be crazy enough to get a fish pedicure) will go to in their search for beauty and perfection. Are we that desperate?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

FAMILY SHOULD NOT COME FIRST IN THE WHITE HOUSE

FAMILY SHOULD NOT COME FIRST IN THE WHITE HOUSE Christi Parsons of the Chicago Tribune Washington Bureau published a story on Sunday on how the Obama administration “recently gave explicit orders to his staff not to neglect their families, directing them after the passage of his first big legislative initiative to get home and spend some time with their spouses and children.” I feel that if one decides to take a job helping run the greatest free country in the world, country should come first and not family. The Obamas planned to skip the annual Gridiron dinner so they could start their family vacation when their daughter’s Spring Break started last Friday. The President has not even served 100 days in office and he is already taking a vacation. He has not accrued any vacation time yet. In the “real world” he would have to wait a year before he received any vacation. If a Republican President took off for vacation this early in his “career” he would be castigated by the liberal media. But a Democrat is lauded for the vacation as caring about family values. I was astounded to read that Deputy Chief of Staff, Mona Sutphen commented that “the resentment factor can shoot pretty high,” if one has to work on a Saturday. Don’t take the job Mona if you can’t “pay the time.” Since Sutphen had previously worked in the Clinton administration she knew what she was signing up for. There is not a single entrepreneur of a small company who does NOT work at night and on the weekends. When you have a tough job, you devote your life to it. It is a choice one makes when they start a business. It is a choice one makes when they take an important job in a presidential administration. Everyone repeats the line, “Nobody ever said on their deathbed I wish I had spent more time in the office.” Well, if you don’t want to spend more time in the office, make your career one that includes the phrase, “Do you want fries with that.”

Friday, March 20, 2009

PASSENGER BILL OF RIGHTS

PASSENGER BILL OF RIGHTS When one gets into a cab, please notice that there is a passenger Bill of Rights posted on the back of the front seat. One of the “rights” of passengers is that the driver will not use a cell phone while driving. It is also THE LAW in Chicago that a cab driver not be on his phone while driving. It does NOT allow for hands-free or Blue Tooth. It is not allowed under any circumstances. I cannot tell you the last time I was in a cab and the driver was NOT using his cell phone—usually speaking in a foreign language. What is a passenger to do? We are at the mercy of the driver-- so if we complain, we have to worry about how he will react. Don’t even think about filing a complaint with the City of Chicago’s Department of Consumer Services because that gets you no where. I guess the alternative is to take a bus—but we already know I don’t know how to do that. I also HATE when restaurant musicians come by my table. One has to STOP eating and sit there grinning stupidly and pretend one is enjoying the interruption of one’s meal. I always tip the musicians—but I would prefer to tip them at the beginning and ask them to NOT play. Speaking of tipping—I do not believe in tipping! I believe in OVER-TIPPING. Regular tipping is a waste of money because it makes no impact at all on the person you are tipping. They expect a certain amount and if you give it, they will not remember you. So don’t just give a tip-OVER-TIP. OVER- TIPPERS are remembered. And we all know I have an emotional problem of making sure that people remember me.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Baby Boom? Or Bust?

Baby Boom? Or Bust? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that more babies were born in 2007 than any other year on record. Birthrates in all ethnic groups and age groups increased resulting in 4.3 million births. This surpassed the Baby Boom of the 1950’s. So why do I call this a BUST and not a BOOM? Because the sad facts are that 40% of the babies were born to unwed Mothers and teen birthrates rose for the second year in a row. “Teen women tend to follow what their older sisters do, so perhaps it's not surprising that teen births are going up just like births to older women,” said Sarah Brown, the chief executive for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. Hello,Ms. Brown—you are the CEO of an organization whose mission is to PREVENT teen pregnancy. You must not be doing your job, if the teen birth rate has risen two years in a row. According to the Pregnancy Info web site, teen pregnancy is viewed to be the cause of many problems. Teen mothers are more likely to not finish high school or college. Additionally, it is estimated that as much as 80% of unwed teen mothers end up welfare. A child born to a teenage mother is also seen to be at a disadvantage in society. Newborns of teen mothers tend to have a lower birth weight. As they get older, they are more likely to do poorly in school and have a greater chance of experiencing abuse and neglect. It has been found that sons of teenage mothers are more likely to wind up in prison. Daughters of teen mothers have an increased risk of experiencing a teenage pregnancy themselves. An AOL news poll showed that 48% of the repondents thought it was okay for women to have babies on their own. A woman might be FINANCALLY capable of supporting a baby on her own, but she is not EMOTIONALLY capable. A child needs both a Mother AND a Father!! I find it extremly selfish for a woman to have a baby without letting the Father be a part of the child’s life. I don’t care if it is medically possible to have a child without a “Dad” or if a woman claims she has the RIGHT to have a child on her own, think of the ramifcations as the child is growing up. The child is not part of a FAMILY!! I know I will get comments that a woman has a RIGHT to have a baby on her own, but I find that reasoning extremly selfish! That woman is ONLY thinking of herself and not of the child’s RIGHT to be a part of a family—to be nurtured by both a man and a woman. That is the way God intended life to be.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

THINGS I DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO

THINGS I DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO I might be a member of Mensa (if you don’t know what Mensa is, look it up!), but I still have many shortcomings when it comes to some very simple things that I do not know how to do. I am one of the last people in America who is still using dial up on my home computer. I have broadband on my laptop (which I use inside my home) but I don’t know how to change my “landed computer” from dial-up. I realize I could probably call AT&T or RCN (my cable provider) and have them come over and do something, but since I don’t know what to ask for—I do nothing. Instead I suffer through having downloads that take 10 hours to accomplish. Until I moved into my current condo, I never did laundry. I always sent everything out—including my underwear! I have never been to a laundromat. My home now has a washer and dryer in it, so I do wash underwear and towels. I still send everything else out to the cleaners. WHY? Because I don’t know how to use the washer on any setting except cold (there are so many buttons!) and when I tried to wash sheets, they came out all wrinkled. My friend Patti Condon tried to teach me how to iron, but I am incapable of making the wrinkled sheets come out smooth. Last week, for the first time, my friends Jenny Brandhorst, Deb Morrison, Laura Konwinksi and Stella and Kevin Black took me on a bus ride. We all got on a bus together and Deb paid for my fare with her transit card. The bus was going straight down Michigan Avenue, so it was obvious that it would let me off right by my home. But what if the bus made a turn on some side street? How would I know if as the bus was traveling down Michigan Avenue that it would go to my home? How does anyone know what bus to take? It is meaningless to me that the bus signs have names of routes like “Marine Drive Express,” “Sheridan Road Express” or “Blue Island (wherever that is?). The bus signs do not tell you where the bus is going and when a particular bus will arrive at the stop. How are visitors from out of the city supposed to know what bus to take and what bus stop they should wait at so they can catch a particular route? I really should not humiliate myself by also sharing that I need to re-new my passport but I don’t know where to go to get the application. But I just did! I will rely on the kindness of strangers and my blog readers to help me solve the problem of figuring out how to do the things I don’t know how to do.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Too Much Technology!

Too Much Technology! I long for the days when people actually spoke to each other face to face as people and did not always communicate through voice mail, e-mail, twitter, Facebook, My Space and one million other technologies. That might seem odd coming from someone who is communicating to you through a Blog, but I have no other choice and every once in a while I must become a part of the 21st century. I was speaking to Carole from Hyde Park this morning ( actually TALKING-not e-mailing, blogging or twittering) and one of her pet peeves ( as is mine) is when you leave a detailed voice message for a person and they call back and say, “I see from Caller ID that you phoned me.” They did not listen to your carefully detailed message and just called back. Carole feels that if she spends the time LEAVING a message, the receiver of the message should LISTEN to it! Is that so wrong? Carole and I also are annoyed at people who leave NO MESSAGE at all and expect that one should just scroll through a listing of all the missed calls and magically know to call someone back. Even though most technology annoys me, I am a huge proponent of e-mail. I receive and send at least 250 REAL e-mails a day. If we count also the “time-wasting” e-mails we receive from all the sites that we gave our e-mail address to so we could learn about sales and specials, I deal with about 500 e-mails a day. Because we all write and receive so many e-mails, the SUBJECT LINE is very important. The SUBJECT LINE lets us know what to expect. My dear friend Stella Black does not believe in the subject line header. She will send an e-mail that reads something like, “Should I invite Karen or Linda?” I have no idea what she is talking about. I attend 10 parties a week. What party or event is Stella referring to? I then have to e-mail her back asking what she is writing about. Stella claims I am “picking” on her when I express my frustration, but I am sure her lack of SUBJECT LINE info probably bothers other people also. I am training her slowly and she is getting better. So if you are my friend (or want to be my friend as 100 e-mails a day request from total strangers), just call me and we will get together. Please leave a message if I am not available otherwise I won’t know you called.

Monday, March 16, 2009

PRIEST DOES NOT WANT SPRINGER NEXT DOOR

PRIEST DOES NOT WANT SPRINGER NEXT DOOR The Rev. Stephen DiGiovanni of St. John’s Catholic church in Stamford, Ct. does not want Springer” moving next door” to his church in a city that already houses The World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) corporate headquarters. We know that WWE is a paragon of virtue! They make a fine neighbor with all the steroid swallowing wrestlers who are a part of that organization. Rev. DiGiovanni does not want strippers, cheaters and skinheads near his church. If the good Reverend considers these type of people “sinners,’ one would think he would want them “next door” so he could “save them.” I thought “saving people” and bringing them closer to God were important purposes of a church? Think of all the new parishioners the Reverend could draw into membership if he just solicited outside the Jerry Springer Show? He should have considered the upside before he shot his mouth off.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

MEDICAL IDENTITY THEFT

MEDICAL IDENTITY THEFT The Chicago Tribune headlined a story on Sunday about an ILLEGAL Mexican immigrant who stole someone’s identity to be able to get medical attention for her cervical cancer. While we all certainly feel saddened that someone is suffering through the pain of cancer and is desperate for help, we must look at the numbers and be practical. Her medical attention alone cost $530,000 and, according to statistics quoted in the story, more than 250,000 people a year suffer from identity theft and risk have medical misinformation in their personal files. Currently the federal government reimburses hospitals for emergency medical care to the tune of $250 million a year. That number does NOT include the amount of medical care that is provided through medical identity theft. Our government is enacting new safe guards to help control rising medical identity theft. There will be protests from immigration groups that this is unfair and everyone is entitled to medical care. Yes—you are entitled to medical care if you are a CITIZEN of the United States and have earned that right. It is interesting that one never hears stories about United States citizens becoming ILLEGAL immigrants to other countries. Why is that interesting? Because we are the greatest country in the world and people want to come here to get a new start on life—no American citizen wants to leave and become an illegal elsewhere. The United States of America was built by LEGAL immigrants. Our grandparents and great grandparents came to America to escape poverty and intolerable conditions in other countries. But they came here LEGALLY and worked hard to succeed. They did not look to the US government to provide them with sustenance and welfare. They came for a hand-up, not for a hand-out. I am pro LEGAL immigration; I am just anti ILLEGAL immigration.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

SOFT DRINK WAR COMES TO ILLINOIS Nearly a year ago, State Rep. Jack Franks ( D-Marengo) requested an audit into how the state made the final decision to award a lucrative soft drink contract to PepsiAmericas Inc. The July 2007 contract gave exclusive “pouring rights” to Pepsi in state facilities for 10 years. The revenue to Pepsi was estimated at $64 million!! A study release last week from Auditor General’s William Holland’s office found defects in the bid process. Rep. Franks called for the state to repeat the entire process and seek new bids. “The whole thing should be re-evaluated,” he said, “to make sure the state is getting the best return. It doesn’t appear it is.” He added, “I am not saying there is corruption here. But there’s certainly incompetence.” Now you have the basic facts. What also needs to be considered—revenues aside-is that Coca Cola products are 1,000 times tastier than Pepsi products! Does the bidding process take into consideration the flavor of the products? What if the best bid came in from a soft drink company that poured a generic cola that could not pass a taste test if the Grandmother of the President of the company were voting? Money should not be the only consideration when it comes to the soft drink consumption enjoyment of the citizens of Illinois. Coca Cola produces Diet Coke, the most delicious beverage ever brewed. I have to sneak Diet Coke (hidden in a large purse) into Cellular Field when I attend a Sox game. How can I enjoy the game if my thirst is not being quenched by Diet Coke? So, PLEASE- when the bidding process starts again, include a blind taste test as part of the contract requirements. Give Illinoisans the right to enjoy a beverage that tastes delicious and not like cardboard. Give us back our Coke!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Big Willie comes to Chicago The Aon building was once called the Amoco Oil Building, The Palmolive building became the Playboy Building and then returned to the Palmolive name, Comisky Park is now Cellular Field and the list of name changes goes on and on. In fact many women reading this blog had a maiden name and changed their name when they married. Should I not be friends anymore with women who change their name through marriage? Susan Levine—who is she? Well, she has been known to us for many years as Susan Kupcinet. Do we love her whatever her name is? Yes! It is not the name that matters, it is what is behind the name. Chicagoans go mad when a building, store or park changes it names. Marshall Field’s did not CHANGE its name—it was not RE-NAMED—it became a totally different store when the buildings and assets were bought by Macy’s. The buildings in the store chain were NOT owned by Marshall Field’s anymore, so why should the building the store is located in keep a name of a non-owner? The Sears Company has not had offices at Sears Tower for many years. There is absolutely no affiliation with the big building on Wacker Drive with that big box store chain. A new tenant comes in and wants the building named after them. They have the right to negotiate for that perk and kudos for them for receiving it. Chicagoans who have commented that they don’t know who The Willis Company is have now learned it is an insurance corporation. People around the world who had never heard of The Willis Company now know the name. A current tenant of the Tower was quoted in the Chicago Tribune as saying that when their lease is up in two years they will not renew because they don’t like that the name has changed. This is so insane I cannot even comment on it. Let’s worry about how Mayor Daley is wasting millions of dollars trying to snag the Olympics and if he succeeds how it will cost us taxpayers a fortune in monetary guarantees, rather than care about the name of a building on Wacker Drive.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Now that I have set up a Blog, I will RANT about whatever I want without consideration to political correctness. I do not care if what I write offends any particular group, because if I am ranting about them--then they offended me first! Today's rant is how the media seems to be blaming The Chicago Public School system when there are shootings of teenagers. CPS has NOTHING to do with the shootings! The senseless violence comes from gang turf wars. Schools are meant to EDUCATE our children in the learning process so they can achieve in life. Parents have the responsibility to PROTECT their children from danger! Every time a child is shot or killed the media headlines read CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENT SHOT. They are not shot on school property, so it has nothing to do with schools. The media might as well put up headlines that read, MILK DRINKING TEENAGER SHOT or HAMBURGER EATING CHILD SHOT. Those characteristics fit as well as CPS student. Notice how this violence does not reach to private and parochial school. WHY? because the parents of those students have taught their children how to act as responsible citizens and not get involved with gangs!!

Kathy P's Blog

This is my first entry, so I am testing to see if it works.