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With or without NATO hassle, Chicago already an international city

Protest preview: 
May Day protesters offer hint whNATO protests will be like.  | Brian Jackson~Sun-Times

Protest preview: May Day protesters offer a hint of what NATO protests will be like. | Brian Jackson~Sun-Times

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Updated: June 4, 2012 11:38AM



Tell me again why Chicago should be excited to host the NATO Summit?

Reason No. 1: It will pump some $128 million into city coffers.

Right. Except some economists have already said that figure seems wildly inflated.

Reason No 2: It will put Chicago on the map as an international city.

Right. But if we aren’t already on the map thanks to the skyline, the art and museums, the Michael Jordan Bulls, etc., etc., is there a single citizen of the globe that will see we’re hosting the NATO Summit and say, “Chicago! I must go there immediately. I realize now it’s a world class destination.”

Reason No. 3: Because if all goes well, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and President Obama will look cool for hosting this major international event on home turf.

Right. But how does that help us?

If there are more upsides to hosting this thing, I’m sure you’ll let me know.

In the meantime, when it comes to the downside, well, the hits just keep on coming.

Note to small-aircraft pilots: If you enter the no-fly zone any time from May 19 to May 21, you’ll be shot down.

Shoot to kill. Have a nice day!

Memo from the FAA: “The FAA will be issuing a Temporary Flight Restriction (TRA) in support of the 25th NATO Summit taking place in Chicago. . . . Pilots who do not adhere to . . . procedures may be intercepted, detained and interviewed by law enforcement/security personnel. . . . The United States Government may use deadly force against the airborne aircraft, if it is determined that the aircraft poses an imminent security threat.”

So much for those insurance company and have-a-beer banners seen flying over the city on spring and summer days.

This latest chill-inducing news comes on the heels of reports about heightened security efforts involving mysterious helicopters, rumors of anarchists lying down on train tracks, businesses and restaurants closing, a designated “red zone” in the financial district, and high-rise residents from the South Loop to the Gold Coast receiving memos telling them in essence to get out of Dodge for the weekend.

But hey, the Cubs are hosting the Sox that weekend, and there will be baseball.

May Day gave us a mini-preview of things to come, with about 2,000 demonstrators peacefully marching through the city and holding a rally that was more about unions and immigration than Occupying anything.

No doubt there will be bigger crowds for NATO. But nobody really knows how many protesters will show up or whether some terrorist will try to do serious damage.

My prediction, and let’s hope to God I’m right: There will be some major marches and rallies. Security will be omnipresent. Save for a small incident here and there, it will be largely peaceful. A good percentage of downtown residents will flee the city. Those who stay behind will find the whole thing to be a pain in the ass.

And when it’s over, we’ll be saying: Tell me again why this was so great for the city?

At least she didn’t
name her O.J.

Given that Jessica Simpson’s baby has a cousin named Bronx Mowgli, and given that Jessica Simpson was once considered some sort of singer/actress but now is famous purely for being Jessica Simpson and having one of the most chronicled pregnancies in the history of humans, of course there were hundreds of news stories revealing the name of Simpson’s daughter.

Maxwell Drew Johnson.

To me it sounds like the name of an early 20th century baseball player: “Maxwell Drew Johnson was known for his handlebar mustache and his wicked curveball.”

Simpson says she’s going to call the child “Maxi.” At least she didn’t give her the middle name of “Pad.”

Now that the child has arrived, there’s a mad scramble among the tabloids to get that all-important first photo, because for reasons that will forever elude me, photos of the infants born to celebrities lead to increased magazine sales, even though infants born to celebrities look just like infants born to non-celebrities.



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