Monthly Archives: October 2007

>OBSERVATION: Be a zealot for Halloween?

>As I look forward to the coming of Halloween, and selecting my hidden personality dress-up option, I suddenly realized that zealotry seems to be reflected through permanent fashion. I mean you can actually dress up for Halloween like some real people do every day.

Examples.

Today’s left wing radicals are often seen wearing their best 1960s radical hippie attire. While once a modern subculture style, the Jesus look-alike hair styles and rumpled poverty-esque Raggedy Ann and Andy attire can now only be viewed as some sort of neolib costume. Less radical liberals have sustained the pre-WWII tweedy cum academic look of the early Communist sympathizers.

Then my mind drifted to more extreme examples of zeal-driven dress codes. Until recently, Catholic nuns and priests were going around in clothing designed during the Renaissance – the remnants (no pun intended) of which can still be seen among the more zealous religious orders. What did God have in mind to decide that devotion depended on the resistance of modern style from that point in time? Why the Renaissance?

Then I wondered. What did the God of the Amish liked so damn much about that late 1800s? And not only haute couture but every other modern development from the electric light to the automobile.

Of course, up popped the Muslims. Apparently Allah decided that the fashion of devotion stopped about the time of the Christ, in whom they do not even believe. Did you ever notice that a lot of the Middle East war photographs depict scenes that look like sets for a Cecil B. DeMille biblical movie? What is with these theological fashion time warps?

Then I realized that as a conservative, I have no symbolic attire – no historic look that instantly tells the world what I am. (Okay. Okay. I heard that. Neanderthal? Very funny, but not truly relevant.) I cannot think of any right wing sect that has maintained a fashion for more than a season as an expression of philosophy. There was a moment that the Gatsby look of the Roaring 20s might have had a chance, but no.

I am eternally appreciative that the 1970s were not the time of conservative zealotry. I shudder at the thought of being permanently attired in hip hugger bell-bottoms (Yeah, men had hip huggers, too.), Nehru jackets (which were a throwback themselves) and ruffled tuxedo shirts

Looking back was no help in selecting this year’s costume. In the past, I have been a pope, a rock singer, a Chinese emperor, Dracula (not my most creative year) and a bumble bee (that may have been). Some say that customs reveal a portion of the inner psyche. If that is true, I don’t even have a theory as to the meaning of the bumble bee.

Still undecided is this year’s costume. Hmmmm. I could go in drag, but then everyone would mistake me for Rudy Giuliani. I could dress up like a liberal. Now, that’s a scary idea. If I can come up with enough global warming one-liners, I could go as Al Gore. Like: “A newly discovered major cause of global warming is hot air emanating for Al Gore’s mouth.” Hey! Cut me some slack. This is still a developing thought.

Maybe I will just stay home, put on a grotesque mask and scare the crap out of little kids who come to my door. Teach them a valuable conservative lesson. There is no such thing as free candy.

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>REACT: Bob Cesca wrong about right … again!

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Bob Cesca, the spewer of left wing pablum (and who I recently discovered is a nephew of a friend of mine AND whose photo [right] reminds me of Meathead in the old Archie Bunker show), is one of Arianna Huffington’s opinion-by-proxy scribes. In his most recent post on her blog he proffers that Amrerica is not a right-of-center nation, as we conservatives claim, but rather a left-of-center society, as he wishfully thinks. He presents his case with all the arrogant certainty of an extreme ideologue, utilizing dubious facts, out of context quotes and twisted logic.

Of course, his brief is not compelling or convincing … because he’s wrong. America IS politically right-of-center when relevant indicators are measured objectively.

Yes, our philosophic continuum spans from left to right, but more as an internal comparative convenience than a full and absolute standard. Compared to our erstwhile friends in the European Common Market, we are a household of right wingers. Only the smallest portion of our left wing (where Cesca and Huffington exist) can compare to the more abundant liberals in many other nations. If we overlay the American philosophic continuum on the international measure, the vast majority of you good citizens are right of the global center. Hence, we are a conservative leaning nation.

Cesca bases much of his claim on the individualistic religious beliefs of the founders, and the fact that most were not very fond of the great denominations. If he wants to make a case against America as a Christian founded nation, he makes some interesting, albeit debatable, points. They are not, however, relevant to his argument in support of a liberal nation.

Even many of our self proclaimed liberals are more conservative than liberal. Blacks, for example, are among the strongest supporters of litmus test conservative causes, such as the right to life, Second Amendment gun rights, heterosexual marriage exclusivity, school voucher, tough crime measure, and so forth. Many with bedrock conservative leanings eschew the media maligned right wing label. They prefer to be known as liberal among certain peers, even as they support one conservative issue after another. A rose by any other name, is still a rose.

If we are not a right-of-center nation, then why are our policies so conservative? Why is conservative talk radio so overwhelmingly popular, while liberals cannot get their media blabbermouths into even survivable ratings range? Legislation we call liberal wouldn’t even cross the center line in the parliaments of Europe. Why do the liberals dominating Congress shrink from the left wing campaign rhetoric? I dare say it is because they know the public is not with them. They would rather risk the betrayal of their less plentiful liberal supporters than the anger of the more conservative majority. George Bush is not in trouble because of liberal oppositon to the war in Iraq, but because he lost his conservative base with his drunken sailor spending policies. (If the GOP leaders figured this out, they might have curtailed spending when they had the chance, and been poised of leadership again.)

Cesca may enjoy the self certainty of his opinion, but the facts do not support him beyond the comforting fantasies of his own mind. Like Huffington, when you are so far to the political edge, you begin to think that the small crowd around you is a mob

I wonder if his liberal bluster is just to cover up his own latent conservative thoughts? Hmmmm?

>REACT: Latter day Ryan earned prison

>It appears after years of delaying tactics, former Illinois Governor George Ryan is heading to the hoosegow. It is a long sad story.

During most of my adult life, I have been aware of George Ryan – sometimes dealing with him personally.

There are really two George Ryans. The first was the up and coming legislator. That George Ryan was an idealist, conservative and guy as good as his word. He reached conservative hero status when he engineered the defeat of the so-called Equal Right Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In denying the ERA Illinois’ ratification vote, Ryan gave the coup d’gras to the feminists’ effort to tweak the Constitution.

The early Ryan was a man of principle.

When and why the latter day Ryan emerged is not at all clear. There was no reported seminal event. Rather a gradual, often imperceptible, erosion. The latter day Ryan is a cynical man, lead by power and greed over principle. He abandoned conservative positions and personal ethics simultaneously – some say an inevitable pairing. Many early friends and supporters either separated in disappointment or were brutally cast aside as irrelevant to his lust for power and money. Those who stood in the way suffered even more.

His big sins were well laid out along the evidential trail by the federal prosecutors. Like the tip of the iceberg, however, the larger mass of his misdeeds never surfaced. Virtually all of us in the political arena around Ryan have personal stories of his political brutality.

One of my own experiences came through my friendship and working relationship with Bill and Carol Dart, among Springfield’s most prominent players. He was chief lobbyist for the then powerful Illinois Manufacturer’s Association. She was among the most respected and effective independent lobbyists in the state capital.

Ryan owed his early success in large measure to Bill, who had single-handedly engineered the deal that put the Kankakee Republican in the Senate presidency. Year’s later, Ryan would engineer Bill’s ouster from the IMA as part of a Ryan insider take over.

Around that same time, Carol and I were working for the same client on a piece of legislation. One day the client called me to ask what to do about Carol – and if I would take over the relationship alone, if necessary. My contact said they were astonished when Ryan called them in to tell them they would get nowhere unless they “fired that cunt” and hire a lobbyist he recommended. They assured me that the c-word was an exact quote. Having seen the latter day Ryan, I was NOT astonished. This was who he became.

To the credit of the client, they decided to defy the Governor, and keep Carol as the principle lobbyist. In the spirit that good things happen to good people, our client came out okay when Senate President Pate Philip defied the Governor on the legislation.

Because we knew the latter day Ryan extremely well, from this and many other incidences, Bill, Carol and I broke life-long traditions of supporting Republican governors and endorsed and openly supported Ryan’s Democrat opponent, Glenn Poshard. We knew then what the public would only discover years later. The latter day George was a crook.

Glenn called Ryan out on his corruption, but the protective press denied Poshard the credibility his charges deserved. It was only after Ryan’s election, and the dedicated work of a truly independent prosecutor, that the public was finally able to see the real George Ryan, of the latter day. With Ryan’s election, the atmosphere in Springfield became so hostile that the Darts left the state. I remained to occasionally suffer the sling and arrows or Ryan’s revenge. He cost me a few clients along the way.

Many wondered if the cadre of political thugs that formed his inner circle had unduly influenced the once respected public official, or if they merely were an extension of his own metamorphous from the well intention Dr. Jekyll to the evil Mr. Hyde. There are those who believed Ryan’s power and money crazed actions we committed by his aides, and that he was mostly unaware of them. Some of that excuse was found in his trial defense – and ultimately repudiated by the weight of evidence. The buck stopped at the Ryan’s desk – every buck he could get his hands on, in fact.

Some say his release of the death row reprobates was and act of conscience, others say a crass exploitation to create public sympathy going into his trial. I cannot say if it was about pre-trial sympathy, but I am pretty damn sure it was not about conscience. Not many, friend or foe, ever saw much of a conscience in the latter day George Ryan.

Perhaps the most tragically eloquent example of the cost of corruption was the 1994 deaths of the six Willis children, caused by an unqualified truck driver who obtained a license through bribes to Ryan’s campaign fund when he was Illinois Secretary of State.

The latter day Ryan is old, but has not lost any of his survival skills. He has not repented. He fights prison with all the cunning and guile he exhibited throughout his carrier. It is sad, to be sure. But, do not pity George Ryan, he has gotten no more than he deserves – and maybe not even as much.

>OBSERVATION: China’s new dynasty?

>I get a lot of my fellow conservatives rankled over China. I am of the opinion that China will be THE dominant social and economic world force for the better part of this young century. I believe in a certain inevitability. Most of the opposition to this view comes from wishful thinking, trade union propaganda and strident nationalism – none of which is consistent with conservative philosophy.

For most of my adult life, I have head my conservative colleagues talk about spreading the free market system around the world. The old counterpoint to our system was communism. Now that communism is only a name severed from the former failed ideology, and the free-market spirit is abounding in the Middle Kingdom, my friends are upset because we seem to be losing our completive advantage. But hey! That is what free-market competition is all about. Right?

Understand, I am not happy about us sinking to second place, but I just don’t see the strategic resolve in this country to stop it from happening. Yeah, there are a few things about China that can be criticized. But, against the monumental shift to a western-style economy, the problems pale by comparison.

Understanding why China will overtake the United States need not be overly complicated. One of the principle reasons seems to have escaped the attention of analysts and pundits. So, it is up to me to again provide some enlightenment. Gads, it is not easy educating the world.

But, here are the hard facts.

In the United States, the ruling class is the legal profession. It is almost assumed that you cannot serve in public office with out being a lawyer. That profession dominates all three branches of government, and a good deal of the entrenched bureaucracy.

On the other hand, the ruling class of China is composed of engineers. Not sure why that is. Maybe the authoritarian rule of pre-Nixon China found little need for lawyers because not a lot of things needed to be adjudicated. The legal profession thrives on two points of view. Dictatorships do not.

Engineers, by their professional nature, are creators, inventors, designers, innovators, builders. They give us the new products that drive a fee-market economy. They improve the quality of life, and stimulate the production/consumption cycle. Laws and policies in China bend to the perception and well-being of their ruling class.

Our laws and policies also bend to our ruling class; lawyers. While lawyers serve a good purpose in a free society in terms of their professional duties, they are about the last group on earth you want as a ruling class.

By there very nature, lawyer-legislators are counterproductive. They inhibit progress, and make all things more expensive. The empower their peers to wreak havoc on the free enterprise system. They entangle citizens, corporate and private, in restraining red tape. They discourage production and innovation.

The litigiousness of our society is well reported. The very fear of litigation is undermining every aspect of American life. Think for a moment how many times litigation and fear of litigation come into play – at home, in the work place, at school, in restaurants, at sport events. Every aspect of our civic life suffers from hyper-litigation. How many times do your read about ridiculous law suits – with ridiculous settlements?

It is an exponential problem because even as the practitioners increase litigation under current laws, the lawyer-legislators are passing new laws to create more opportunities and exclusivity for their professional colleagues.

A generation ago, I could form a corporation for a small fee, and no help from a lawyer. That is not so easy or cheap today.

A generation ago, I could set up a not-for-profit civic group in a few days for a small fee, and no lawyers. Today, the process requires reams of paper and stacks of dollars for the attorney.

A generation ago, I could close on real estate with a few papers and no lawyer. Today it takes more reams of paper and thousands of dollars in legal fees.

A generation ago, I could effectively represent myself in court. Today, lawyer-generated laws and self-serving court procedures make that impossible. We have literally lost our right of self-representation.

A generation ago, a teacher could discipline a child without fear of civil or criminal charges. Today, our education system flounders – and some due to inability to impose discipline.

It goes on and on.

We are suffering from lawyer-induced advancing civic paralysis. In many ways, they are like a medicine that is beneficial in its prescribed dosage, but lethal when over consumed. America is definitely overdosing on lawyers in government. Add it all together, and you can see why America will not compete effectively against the growing consumer and technology-driven Chinese free-market.

In many ways, China and the United States are still far apart on the free market continuum. How far apart is debatable. What is less arguable is the fact that China is heading in the right direction, and the U.S. is heading in the wrong direction. While they are opening up more and more free market opportunities, we are slowly suffocating them with excessive laws, regulations, and litigation.

>LMAO: Arianna Huffington sucks

>Arianna Huffington, the accented voice of the extreme left, has issued a pronouncement from her blog. She claims that it is now beyond any doubt that the Republican Party has been taken over by the right-wing “luntic fringe.” She refers to the Democratic leadership as the American “mainstream.”

Reading her words, I could not help but break out in uncontrolled laughter. I guess when you teeter on the very far left edge of the political spectrum, everything to your right looks a bit far out.

How does she explain that the approval rating of her darling Democratic leaders in Congress is lower than President Bush? At those levels, the Reid-Peolsi crowd must be losing the support of their immediate families.

Arianna fails to see the lunatics in her own party – probably for lack of a mirror. Or … maybe … hmmm … just may … her image does not reflect in a mirror. (Sorry. It must be the Halloween season that plunked that thought into my brain. Is it just me, however, or does the vampire photo I downloaded bear an uncanny resemblance?)

Though not often accurate, Arianna is amusing. Happy Halloween, Arianna. Did you think it was April Fool’s Day when you wrote your blog?

>REACT: Dumbledore gay … Rowling wrong.

>J. K. Rowling has revealed to the world that her fictional character is gay – giving his title as Headmaster a whole new meaning. It turns out that Dumbledore is more an old queen than a wizard – unless, of course, he is a wizard in bed. Now we have to look the phallic implication of all those wands.

Since Dumbledore is only an imaginary figure, and since his fictional gayness has never been integrated into the Harry Potter story line, one must assume that the outing was solely for publicity. It worked. The gender preference of the old geezer is now the subject of more media attention than Congressman Mark Foley’s emails and Senator Larry Craig’s bathroom acrobatics.

However, her revelation leads me to wonder how fictional characters can be gay. Since his only traits are limited to those committed to print, he does not seem to be sexual. I could speculate that he is former skinhead … maybe a woman passing as a man … the bastard son of Rasputin. Off paper, he is nothing.

Now that she has outed Dumbledore with an out of text persona, are we not entitled to the salacious details of his past sexual experiences? Forget about the sad erotic obsession with nemesis, Gellert Grindelwald, which left the wizard traumatized. I am sure as a once handsome gay man, he had his share of steamy relationships. Will we ever know if he is a top or bottom? (If you do now know what that means, ask a gay friend). Maybe he is a secret crossdresser (Are those flamboyant robes a hint?) He into leather? Oh wow! Maybe a child abuser? Lot of that going around these days.

And … while she is tattling, why only the gay thing. Let’s hear about the sex lives of the others. Who has been bonking who? When? Where? Why? Does Harry masturbate? Why not totally trash the legacy of Harry Potter by turning it into fodder for the porn mill?

Don’t get me wrong. I like the Potter books. Nice fiction. I do not share the equally unfounded assessment that they promote witchcraft. I do think it is unfortunate, however, that Rowling had to stoop to crass publicity to draw more attention to herself and her books – as if she needs more. Geeez!

She seemed delighted to presage the wrath of religious fundamentalists. Of course, there will be the predicted reaction. She has poked them in the posterior with her magic wand. I can only imagine the Dumbledore cartoon porn that must be flowing onto the Internet, as we speak.

It is just unfortunate that Rowling would bring adult issues to a children’s story.

>OP ED: I hate greeting cards…

>It is Sweetest Day, one of what I refer to as the “card, candy and carnations” holidays. It is not a real holiday, by any means, but just another day invented by the public relations departments of the major greeting card companies, candy manufacturers and florists to boost sales.

I do not have any problem with finding excuses to eat candy, other than I personally don’t need one. I am not overly enthused with short lived flowers as a gift, but they do add both visual and aromatic charm – and my wife loves them. So, I give them a pass.

But, I say “down with greeting cards.”

I wimpishly, albeit begrudgingly, succumb to greeting card purchases least I be recognized as the curmudgeon I am. However, I would not mind putting Hallmark et al out of business. Okay, not out of business, but a handsome slash in sales would be just fine with me. Greeting cards, which have a useful life of about 45 seconds, represent our reliance on institutionalized sentimentality. Think how much more meaningful a message of thanks or love would be if written in long hand, or if the “card” was created by the sender.

I came to this view when I discovered that almost all the “cards’ I saved and cherished were hand made by my kids. Their gifts were often scrawled coupons for chores, from car washes to house cleaning – coupons too cute and sweet to be redeemed.

To be honest, I probably would not be so grumpy about greeting cards if they didn’t cost so damned much. Your basic piece of printed cardboard runs two bucks. Add some sparkle and snippet of ribbon and you start looking at $4 a pop, or more. Many a holiday, I walked out of the drug store almost $20 poorer for the sake of ghost written sentiment. I always feel ripped off. One should not feel crappy when doing something nice.

Perhaps this price thing is due to the fact that 85 percent of the greeting cards are purchased by women. The remainder, most of my share, are purchased FOR women. Before all you feminist get your flannel panties in a bunch, face the facts. Woman pay more – and cost more. Just check out the prices of men’s cologne against women’s. Take a cotton shirt and a cotton blouse to the cleaners, and check out the cleaning price for each. If I removed the women from my card buying list, I would have dropped my purchases by ninety-five percent.

Fortunately, my wife, Jill, is one of those more practical types. She does not suffer emotional trauma over a cardless holiday. She values the home made efforts as much as I do.

One St. Valentine’s Day, we shamelessly headed to the drug store. I selected my card for her. She selected her card for me. We then exchanged cards, read them, kissed and returned them to the rack. I was wonderful.

One time, another couple saw what we did. Looking at the $10 worth of cards in their hands, they happily followed our example – leaving the store literally richer for the experience.

Eureka! My wife and I had unwittingly created a new custom, “read and release.” The nice thing about “read and release” is that there is nothing the card company can do to stop you. Unlike magazines, that can be sealed in shrink wrap to thwart in-store readers, the cards have to remain readable.

The “read and release” approach also saves the environment. Think of all the cards that will not be sold. As sales droop, productions diminish. Fewer trees cut down, and less waste to fill the dumps, or to be incinerated. Wow! The more I think of it, my “read and release” program should be up for some green recognition award.

With “read and release,” you can offer up dozens of cards you think appropriate – sentimental ones, funny ones, big ones, little ones, plain ones, fancy ones. Next time you have a birthday or holiday, take your card recipient to your local drug store, pick out that special card for them to read, enjoy the moment and replace it on the rack — and use the money to buy candy.

Happy holidays!!

>SPECIAL INVESTIGATIVE REPORT!! Skullduggery in Chicago Olympic bid.

>Rumors abound that not only is Chicago Mayor Richard Daley attempting to bamboozle the International Olympic Committee to award the 2016 games to Chicago to save his political posterior in the wake of the unending string of scandals, but he is secretly attempting to introduce new events to the IOC which are designed to ensure that Chicagoans and Illinoisans win a disproportionate share of gold, silver and bronze medals. Other Illinois officials have joined in the effort to lobby the IOC

They have secretly proposed the introduction of a series of Olympic “civic” events. Due to my dogged sleuthing (even out doing The Drudge Report), I am now able to reveal the details of this plot. Here are the events they have proposed.

Job Placement I (cronyism): This event is simply judged on the number of political pals placed on the public payroll. Contestants are judged on not only the number, but also the rank and pay scale of the placed employees. Yet to be settled is the inclusion or exclusion of lucrative contract holders. Some argue that this is already incorporated in the Public Trough Feeding event (see below). With its long and colorful history of raw politics, Chicago has obvious advantages over other contenders. Several of the strongest players were previous winners of the World Shakman Cup.

Job Placement II (nepotism): This event is similar to Job Placement I except it deals only with the number of family members placed on the public payroll. With major politicians claiming so many “cousins,” qualification verification is expected to be difficult. Cook County President Todd Stroger is already in training and could be a strong contender. However, he will be hard pressed to challenge the long established Irish politicos, who literally invented the sport. The Mayor is pushing to have his brothers judge this event.

Under the Table Kick-Back: Government employees, in performing their civil duties are judged on how much money they can secure from citizens in need of services, permits, etc. Volunteered bribery, while quite lucrative, is excluded from the competition. The stack-o-cash qualifying event requires participants to secure the greatest amount of cash in the shortest amount of time – and no bill more than $100.

Official Corruption Marathon: This is the big kahuna of the proposed new events, with all-star competitors. Winners will be judged on the number of scandals that occur directly under their administrative rule. Indictments and convictions will be especially useful. Mayor Daley, himself, would have been a run-away favorite for the gold in this category, but Governor Rod Blagojevich is making a serious effort for the top medal. Many thought this event would be a Democrat sweep. However, Republican jail-bound Governor George Ryan looks like a potential medal winner. The Nobel Prize nomination is not expected to hurt his chances for a corruption award. He is also the only contender actually convicted of corruption. This could put him in contention for a gold medal. However, it is no small irony that the gold medal in this event will not be won according to the rules, but will most likely be stolen by the person most adroit at breaking the rules.

The Featherbed Beer Run: Government workers are judged on the most unproductive hours on payroll. Extra points can be gained by being totally away from the work environment while being paid. Back room card games, sports events and motel trysts are among the more popular work day escapes. The event gets its name for the propensity of government to employ needless workers, and the ubiquitous beer guzzling that takes on shift. There is a major loss of points for being the subject of the semi annual newspaper expose on malingering public workers. Instead of the traditional Olympic medal, the winner of this event will receive a gold brick.

Education Dodge Ball: The winner of this event will be determined by the number of public school children who will go uneducated. While drop-out rates are significant, the big point gainer is actually graduating an uneducated student in the “social promotion.” Overall winners will have to do well in the “phony truant report” event. The medals in this event are almost certain to fall to the major American cities. Look for Chicago, once declared to be the worst school system in America, to be a top contender for the gold.

Public Trough Feeding Frenzy: This is one of the few proposed events where well-connected private citizens will compete. Contestants will be judged on both the number of contracts and the total cumulative value. Extra points will be given as part of the ‘Inferior Work Rip-Off” event. Inferior work resulting in permanent injury or death of innocent people can boost the point score significantly. Look for Tony Rezko and Bill Cellini to duke it out for the gold in this one, with Bill Kjellander picking up the bronze.

Airport Demolition Smack Down: This is likely to be a relatively exclusive event. Spectacular as it can be, there are very few contenders – especially if military bombings are eliminated from the event, as Mayor Daley demands. He is arguably the world’s leading civilian airport destroyer, and would mostly likely pick up the gold.

Taxpayer Raping: Always popular with the political contestants. Here public officials are judged not only on the sheer level of taxation, but on creativity as well. Hidden taxes, in the form of mandates, will garner extra points. Misuse of taxpayer money also can produce additional points. More points for tax increases which do not improve services, and even more if services are reduced in the face of the tax increase. Many consider higher taxes for fewer services to be the Holy Grail in this event. For those anticipating a salacious contest please be aware that the name is only symbolic.

Jailhouse Torture Tournament: In this event, contestants will be judged both on the number of people they can torture in the shortest time and the effective use of torture devices. Special emphasis is on creativity and effectiveness. Yet to be decided is whether contestants will be allowed to use any device, as an indication of creativity (the City Hall preference), or be limited to such devices as electric generators, billy clubs (a long Chicago sports tradition), rubber hoses, brass knuckles. Maximum pain with minimum physical evidence is important. There is some controversy over anal penetration events. It is more a matter of esthetics than effectiveness. John Burge is a local favorite for the gold, but some say there are many more currently unknown contenders.

Minority Profiling Relay: Another of the so-called “law enforcement events,” it will require contestants to carry innocent minority individuals through the judicial system – from driving tickets to false imprisonment. Special points are given for false arrests and advancing cases that have no merit whatsoever. Sub-events, such as “evidence planting” and “prosecutorial abuse,” will be key to victory. Contestants with racial profiling experience are expected to dominate this event.

Cops as Robbers on the Run: This law enforcement event is strictly for police officers. Winners are determined by the amount of cash and the cash value of merchandise stolen from the public. Additional points are given for pocketing evidence form the scene of a crime, and even more for stealing evidence out of the police lock up. While accepting bribes for not issuing tickets is included, such low level corruption will not take a medal.

Mafia Marksmanship: Though the Mob has been out of practice in recent years, it was felt that, with Chicago’s Capone reputation, there should be a least one event honoring so many great Chicago personalities. Only “made” mobsters, with funny nicknames, are eligible. There are two major events. The first requires the accumulation of “intimidation money.” Extra points for money extracted as a result of severe beatings, with permanent injury good for bonus points. However, killing the victim is a disqualifier. Rules forbid accidental killing, and planned killing falls into the second major Majia event – and will be much more exciting for the audience. It measures the number of hits. Wounding does not qualify. The Whack Job event is judged on the importance of the decedent, the method of extermination and creative body disposal. Team Hoffa could be real contenders. Flawless from hit to disposal. On the other hand, Team Spilotro lacks Olympic stature. Nice hit, but botched burial. Didn’t they know that every two-bit amateur killer buries the bodies in Indiana? The names of the judges in this event are being withheld since the first three named are now missing – perhaps to Olympic training.

Rejected Events: A number of City Hall’s recommended events did not make it past first review by the IOC. The proposed Friend Shedding event was to judge contestants by the number of friends cut off in the face of scandal. The rapidity of such excommunications was to be a major consideration. However, this event was vetoed by the Committee because it appeared to have been proposed solely to insure Mayor Daley a gold medal. The same fate befell the proposed Official Public Temper Tantrum event — for the same reason.

In a similar vein, the Nutty Official event, proposed by Governor Blagojevich, will not be considered due to his pre-emption of the field. The Governor tried to convince the Committee that being recognized as a gold medal nut would be good for his career. To draw a comparison, the Governor explained how having almost every member of the legislature vote against his tax package was his greatest legislative victory. However, the IOC determined that the very idea to be a bit nutty.

The IOC also rejected Todd Stoger’s suggestion of a medal for Not So Bright Offspring of Powerful Politicians. They did not feel it was a very bright idea. In fact, they were not ever sure what the event would be. On the same basis, the OIC summarily rejected former Governor Ryan’s proposal for an event designed for Nobel Prize Nominees Currently in Jail.

State and city officials are lobbying hard against the proposed Convicted Public Official event. In this event, contestants would be judged on the number of public officials they have indicted and convicted. More points for higher-ranking officials. Though his would undoubtedly bring the gold to Illinois, city and state official believe the competition would generate too much enthusiasm among prosecutors, and could deplete the state and local governments of most of the current public officials. Mayor Daley argues that this event would be a set up for U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who, according to the Mayor, is not even his cousin.

Finally, the IOC rejected City Hall’s suggestion for a Snow Removal Race noting that this was the summer Olympics. The Mayor countered that he has several cousins with snow making equipment who would cover the course in several feet of snow. “Nobody knows how to do a snow job better then we do,” the Mayor argued.