Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Rauner’s best friend that money can buy ]]> Lead story image

When Martin Luther King brought his open occupancy marches to Chicago, there was no shortage of black alderman willing to rise in City Council and denounce King as an unwelcome outsider, their strings pulled by Richard J. Daley. As a general rule, individuals will sell out the interests of their groups in return for personal benefit. It isn’t just a black thing. ]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 02:26:26 -0500 <![CDATA[ Inviting Palestinians to the Seder ]]> Lead story image

Religion is supposed to impose hardships and obligations. That’s the whole point. My kin do the full, six-hour, sail-past-midnight, 14-point, Kiddush-to-conclusion Passover meal, with frequent pauses for questions and comments and readings. One by one, suffering groups were named. Except one. ]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:34:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ CNN stuck in pandering pattern on Flight 370 coverage ]]> Lead story image

On March 8, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, a Boeing 777 carrying 239 passengers and crew en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, disappeared. That’s it. There’s really no more to say, no more facts at hand. Oh, a few details, if you are new to the story: Many nations have been looking for the plane. The few leads — some floating debris — have turned out to be red herrings. The black box data recorders are running out of juice. But most people know that already. If you need someone to tell you what likely happened to Flight 370, I … ]]> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 02:18:15 -0500 <![CDATA[ It’s fine to tax Main St., but hands off La Salle ]]> Lead story image

Two utterly true, impossible-to-argue generalizations about people: a) they like to insist they are right about everything; b) they often are wrong. Notice a conflict? There is nothing you can do about b); try not to be mistaken, but it still happens. But a) can be worked with, and I find if you readily accept errors as they occur, you’re way ahead of the game.Thus when Tom Donovan called Wednesday to say, in essence, that my column on the idea of a financial transaction tax overlooked a key point, I was not irked. I was not shamed. I was glad; … ]]> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 02:24:56 -0500 <![CDATA[ Chicago fighting to defuse pension bomb ]]> Lead story image

It hurts to have your pension cut. Trust me on that; I know of what I speak. In 2009, when Jim Tyree bought the paper, the deal he offered was: the union loses its right to seniority and takes a pay cut, and the company stops funding our pensions. What made the union vote to swallow that bitter pill was the alternative: If we didn’t accept it, Tyree promised, he wouldn’t buy the paper and it would go out of business. The only question was, was he serious? After exploring the subject from all angles, the honest answer seemed to … ]]> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 02:23:54 -0500 <![CDATA[ April is poetry month, so open your heart ]]> Lead story image

Friday was cold and windy. Getting dressed for the Cubs home opener, I thought: better put on my Under Armour. Which is usually reserved for skiing or when it’s 15 below zero. But I worried that high-tech long johns were overkill, so I fired off an email to a Cub fan buddy, who would be at the game. Is wearing long underwear to the ballpark in April, I asked, a “prudent precaution” or a “shameful stratagem?” You’ll notice the alliteration in that question. Not an accident. “Prudent precaution” came naturally, then I paused, searching for the right “s” word to … ]]> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 02:17:40 -0500 <![CDATA[ In Chicago, Amnesty International to debate legalizing sex trade ]]> Lead story image

In case you are tempted to stop by that conversation, you can’t: closed to the public. You may, however, join the protest convening in the street at 5 p.m. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan will be there, along with Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer, asking Amnesty International why it is using its good offices, usually found spotlighting torture and political oppression, to go to bat for pimps and johns. ]]> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 02:21:07 -0500 <![CDATA[ So tell me, maestro, what’s with the stick? ]]> Lead story image

Only one member of the orchestra is mimicked with any regularity. The average guy doesn’t tape empty soda cans together and pretend to play the bassoon, or sit on a chair and saw away at an imaginary cello. Nobody plays the air flute. But who has not picked up a pencil and pretended to conduct? You hear some rousing Beethoven symphony, you almost have to. At least I hope you do and it isn’t just me. Either way, I’ve always wondered: what, exactly is the conductor doing? I’ve always meant to ask Sir Andrew Davis, conductor of the Lyric, “What … ]]> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 02:22:03 -0500 <![CDATA[ Illinois is doing lousy? No, it’s doing great ]]> Lead story image

I wanted look at the state of Illinois with a cool, dispassionate eye and ask: Is Bruce Rauner right? Are we really much worse off under Gov. Pat Quinn? Rauner points to our 8.7 percent unemployment, second highest in the nation. The Quinn people, however, observe that when he took office, it was 11.4 percent. Rauner focuses on the bloat of government, Quinn on how much has been cut. Who’s right? The bottom line is, for purposes of conversation, that it doesn’t matter. ]]> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 02:18:25 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hobby Lobby tries to craft religious rights ]]> Lead story image

The arc of history bends toward freedom. If you want to understand what has happened over the past decades and centuries, what is happening now, keep that premise in mind. In the past, people were controlled by institutions, which dictated the details of their lives, telling them how to worship, work, dress, think, behave. Yet, right now, in 2014, a case is being discussed by the Supreme Court whether Hobby Lobby, a chain of 500 arts and crafts stores, can decide for its 13,000 employees what kind of birth control they use. ]]> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 02:20:08 -0500 <![CDATA[ Chicago City Council to fire words at Russia ]]> Lead story image

The Chicago City Council is poised to try to project its moral authority from the corner of LaSalle and Randolph streets, echoing across the globe, to rattle the windows of oppression and exert what influence it can on the enormous, grinding gears of world events. It wants too dummp Moscow as a sister city. ]]> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 02:17:23 -0500 <![CDATA[ Felon’s teaching role at U of I sparks response ]]> Lead story image

The phone rings. David Thomas, formerly of Orland Park, now of Honolulu. Do I know that the University of Illinois is employing James Kilgore, a 1960s radical and terrorist, as a teacher? What, another one? I wonder. ]]> Sun, 23 Mar 2014 02:29:13 -0500 <![CDATA[ Putin’s next push into Moldova? ]]> Lead story image

Before we work ourselves into too tight a knot over what we should have done to keep Russia from seizing Crimea, here’s a sobering thought from Sen. Dick Durbin, fresh from a quick trip to Ukraine. “I don’t think it’s over,” he said, referring to Vladimir Putin’s attempts to claw back parts of the Soviet Union. ]]> Fri, 21 Mar 2014 02:25:52 -0500 <![CDATA[ When the rich play poor ]]> Lead story image

In politics, it’s better to be seen as a common man climbing up than a rich guy stooping down. Take Lucius Annaeus Seneca, the stoic philosopher of 1,950 years ago, constantly pooh-poohing the importance of money, yet as Nero’s tutor he was one of the richest men in Rome. ]]> Wed, 19 Mar 2014 16:42:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Products you can — and can’t — live without at Housewares show ]]> Lead story image

From toilet decals to cases that keep bananas from bruising to cookie dunkers, the housewares expo has solutions to issues you don’t even know you have. ]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 06:21:53 -0500 <![CDATA[ Brain cancer battle may include vaccine ]]> Lead story image

‘Here’s the thing with brain cancer,” said Dr. Andrew Parsa, chairman of neurological surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, “it’s relatively rare — 30,000 to 40,000 people get it every year. Yet it’s a very significant health care cost, per patient, because of all the chemo, all the treatments, the MRI scans.” An expensive, deadly illness, one that kills patients quickly, usually within a year to 16 months after it’s detected. “We have made no progress in this disease in the 20 years I have been in neurology,” Parsa said. “We haven’t moved things forward in terms of therapies. We have … ]]> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 06:23:11 -0500 <![CDATA[ Leaving your phone at home ]]> Lead story image

The possibility bloomed, strange and wonderful. I could go to work without my cellphone. I could consciously and deliberately leave it behind. ]]> Sun, 13 Apr 2014 06:21:04 -0500 <![CDATA[ Don’t argue over gun permits, just watch ]]> Lead story image

I want to depart from habit today and tip my hat to Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, because he said something that is utterly true and will certainly be born out by events. As the state of Illinois sent out its first 5,000 concealed carry permits, he noted: “Stand by and watch what happens. The answer to gun violence is not more guns.” ]]> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 06:12:17 -0500