I am a Muslim, a Christian, a Jew and a Buddhist too. If you don't like it, then this place is not for you, but as long as you don't force your beliefs on anyone, you're welcome to join in, it doesn't matter if you're a liberal, a republican or just simply you.
President Obama wasn't kidding when he said: "The constitution is a charter of negative liberties...it says what the states can't do to you, it says what the federal government can't do to you, but it doesn't say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf."
Thank goodness we have the Supreme Court!
Chicago has banned gun ownership for the last 30 years even though the American constitution grants citizens the right to keep and bear arms. Attempts to lift the ban have been ongoing but to avail.
Well, today finally the supreme court ruled against Chicago's unconstitutional gun ban law, but even now, Mayor Daley still insists on wanting to go against this ruling and craft a new ordinance to enforce tight control on gun ownership in Chicago, despite the fact that a strict ban has not produced the desired results in reducing the rate of gun related violent crimes.
I think Mayor Daley needs to quit resisting the law and start enforcing it instead. And for goodness sake put some more cops out on the streets and let them do their jobs. Perhaps he ought to have a chat with Newark Mayor Cory Booker and really learn how it's properly done.
Last Friday, as Daley awaited the Supreme Court ruling, he continued to
fret about the dilemma the ruling would cause police officers, firefighters and
paramedics arriving at emergency scenes.
“What does a first-responder [do when they] come to your home, if you have 50
guns and you pointed a gun at your wife? You have a legal right to a gun,” the
“Can we interfere with that display of a gun if you’ve shown it to somebody
in your home? Of course not because everybody wants to sue the city. They want
to sue you, the taxpayers, to try to get money out of your pocket. … That’s what
we’re worried about.”
Northwest Side Ald. Tom Allen (38th) said the ban has done nothing to stop
the bloodbath on Chicago streets as evidenced by the 26 people shot this
Asked whether Chicago would be more or less safe without the ban, he said,
“It’s a wash. The bad guys are gonna have their guns and the good people who are
responsible citizens — they will also have their guns. But they’ll do it in a
responsible way in their home to protect their family or in their place of
business to protect them from armed robbers.”
The Blackhawks RULE! Well done guys, congratulations!
YES, Chicago could
really use a little boost in its economy right now. I would imagine the
Blackhawks jersey (which is already the most popular in all US sports)
will probably be selling for a few bucks more.
Chicago is proud, as the only city in the US that has won championships
of the four major national sports - football, basketball, baseball and
now hockey - in the
past 25 years! Plus, the Stanley Cup is the most coveted trophy in all
American sports and
has been around since 1892. How about that!
Funny how Obama somehow got injected into the Blackhawks Wikipedia entry earlier and then corrected right after I took this screen shot....haha "Obamahawks"? Who's the fool who did this?
Hey now, here's a fantastic way to keep spring alive in the dead of winter.
Spring ahead, crush those winter blues and put your crocheting/knitting skills to good use to bring some color into your hood. You can help maintain that warm and cozy feeling by giving your trees some colorful winter coats/scarves and make them feel loved.
I don't know about you, but winter hasn't even started yet and I'm already sick of all the snow we got bombed with in the last few weeks. Chicago winter sucks, plus we have the worst drivers ever!
The day before yesterday it took me two hours to drive home from work through the snow storm. On a regular day it only takes 10 to 15 minutes tops.
Sighh I wish i lived somewhere wehre the sun always shines.
So Governor Blagojevic of Illinois got busted for trying to auction off Obama's vacant senate seat to fill his own pockets. Yes, of course that's wrong, it's sickening! What's just as sickening is the way people are constantly talking about it as if his criminal act of corruption is somehow unusual for a politician in this lovely American democracy or even unique to Chicago politics. I'm sure Chicago is not unique in the fact that it even has an entire prison dedicated to politicians and high profile white collar criminals, but that's besides the point. What I find curious, is that some people are going as far as questioning Blago's sanity, because supposedly he knew months ago that he was being investigated by the Feds, so he should have been more careful. Uhhuh yeah! Give me a break! Why should he be more careful when that's the normal way of doing business in Chicago. The man must have failed to kiss someone's ass along the way of making it to the top, it happens.
Gov. Rod Blagojevich knew for months he was under investigation, so why was he caught on tape making so many incriminating statements? Some are wondering if there's something wrong with his mental acuity.
Of course, just because corruption in politics is widespread doesn't mean we have to accept it, but what bothers me even more is the way everyone who had any business dealings with Blago is now somehow deemed, not just suspicious, but guilty by association as well. That Obama is being questioned in the process is understandable considering that it involves his own vacant senate seat, plus the fact that he's about to fill the most important position in the world. So yes, by all means, question him! What really bothers me is the televised interviews with several members of the Serbian community in Chicago that I watched last night on CBS2 Chicago. They were all immigrants from Serbia expressing their undying support - in broken English - for Blagojevic, just because he happens to have Serbian roots. Never mind that Blagojevic was born and raised in America, he's guilty of corruption so he must be an immigrant now. So yea, let's implicate the entire Serbian community for one man's dirty dealings, shall we? What a bunch of bullshit! CBS2 Chicago did mention that they talked to other members of the Serbian community as well, who do not support Blago after what he did, but their statements were not televised, supposedly because "they're ashamed" of him. End result? CBS2 Chicago scores a tripple whammy on negative stereotyping and feeding the hype on Blago!
But to get back to the money hungry Blagojevic, there is just one more thing I'd like to see the Feds do.
Investigate his (mis?)management of state funds please. For instance, I would love to see what the Illinois Department of State Revenue does with all the taxes it collects from the citizens of Illinois and why some of its staff members are in charge of two to three departments at once. Is the IDOR understaffed? I'm sorry, I checked the IDOR site yesterday and there was a link to the list of the entire staff. I went back there today to include the link in this post, but could not find that list. I also would like to know why Chicago has the highest sales tax rate in the country (10.25% in the city, 10% in the suburbs), especially because it affects poor people more than it does the rich.
Sales taxes are considered to be regressive tax; that is, low income people tend to spend a greater percentage of their income in taxable sales (using a cross section time-frame) than higher income people.
It is also worth noting that sales tax went up twice in Chicago this year within two consecutive months.
In Chicagoland's suburban Cook County (where I live) it went up from 8.75% to 9% on April 1, 2008. As if that wasn't enough, it went up again from 9% to 10% on May 1, 2008.
At a time when the economy is really bad, gas prices were sky-rocketting and regular hard working people are struggling to make ends meet and take care of their families, this is unacceptable to say the least.
Last night my daughter and I were at Woodfield Mall shopping for eye glasses when a severe storm suddenly swept through Chicago. Just when we finished our eye exams, a mall security agent came into the store ordering everyone to evacuate and seek shelter in the lower level of the building. The mall was pretty crowded, but luckily everyone remained calm while we were being ushered into the mall's emergency hallways.
One woman came marching in with her clan looking furious! She started complaining out loud about how mall security was handling the situation, saying that they didn't act fast enough and they shouldn't be asking people to sign in their names at the hallway entrance in a time like this. Her little girl started crying, holding on to her begging for comfort, but she went on and on and wouldn't shut up. Finally I decided to shut her up in my calmest tone of voice saying, "There is no need to worry mam! They're saying the storm is headed this way, but it's still plenty far enough, so there is no need for alarm or panic. She yelled at me: "Well, I used to manage a large movie theater and this is not the way we did it. This is not the way to handle an evacuation!"
I thought oh whatever....and looked away. A few seconds later she moved away from me to a different spot.
People looked tense and worried and many were using their cell phones trying to get weather updates from friends and family. They shared all kinds of mixed reports with us and the crowd grew restless. There were at least five different claims of tornados touching in several different towns close by, but newspapers today reported that no such thing happened, funnel forming yes, but only in one of the suburbs south of us. The narrow hallway was about 100 feet long and 4 feet wide. It was packed with people lined up against both walls, staring at each other while exchanging nervous smiles when eyes met.
I just stood there quietly listening, assessing the situation while I was trying to comfort Nat. Nat was worried about Oreo who was all alone at home and terrified of thunder.
All in all we were cooped up in that hot and muggy hallway for about 45 minutes before they finally announced the all clear.
Nat and I went home immediately afterwards to check on Oreo. Poor thing was so scared, she peed all over her cage.
More than 200,000 Commonwealth Edison customers lost power across northern Illinois in the aftermath of the storms, with about 49,000 of them in Chicago, according to Pam Anton, a utility spokeswoman. Lansing, Aurora and Lombard also had thousands of customers reporting a loss of power.
WOW it is so colllllld in Chicago. This has got to be the coldest winter I've experienced in my entire life. It's currently 8ºF/-13ºC, which is actually not too bad compared to a couple of days ago when it was only -6º/-21ºC. I don't mind winter at all as long as I'm indoors, preferably under a blanket nice and toasty, with a cup of hot chocolate watching some good movie or making.......something.
My idea of fun in winter is going out and taking pictures of the first big snowfall of the year and that's about it. I don't like cold.
Actually I haven't enjoyed winter outdoors since my first introduction to snow in Holland. I was 12 years old when I woke up to my first winter wonderland on Christmas day....it was magical! I played outside all day long, even learned how to skate, but little did I know I was going to end up suffering from frost bites on my ears the rest of my life. Despite all that, I can't wait to try this tomorrow with my little girl. We're gonna have fun!
First, the new owner of a nearby Kentucky Fried Chicken began trying to lure shoppers in the heart of South Asian Devon Avenue. Then a Brown's Chicken and Pasta popped up a few blocks away.
It seemed a strange juxtaposition--all-American fast food, elbow-to-elbow with pungent cuisine from the other side of the globe.
So what's the beef?
It's all about the correct way to slaughter a chicken in Muslim fashion to make it ready for consumption....in America, where mass production makes it nearly impossible to do so.
Had this little quarrel taken place in Europe, most likely the Jews would have been looped in somehow considering that it's taking place in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood. If you're from Chicago you'll probably know that Devon Ave. and a few blocks down, Touhy Ave. are known for the best kosher foods and the many Jewish temples around, but notice how the Chicago Tribune refers to South Asian Devon Avenue instead. Good for them!
hmm I pointed this out to my roommate and instead of discussing the chicken beef with me, he said this:
It's funny how Muslims and Jews usually end up in the same neighborhoods, they always seem to be drawn to each other. Their cultures must be very similar.
I said: Muslims and Jews do get along as long as politics isn't involved. Take away politics out of religion or religion out of politics, everybody gets along just fine.
Remember Amir Normandi, the Iranian artist who stirred up controversy with his photo expo depicting Muslim women at a college in the Chicagoland area? Well, he's about to do it again, but this time he's not alone.
I just received this email from one of his fellow artists Diane Carrière,as an effort to help spread the word.
Please pass it on to anyone who might be interested. Thanks.
Subject: Amir Normandi, Ramadan Postcard - Art Event.
Even in the Age of Information, it would seem that not all information is created equal: the closure of a successful 3-year-old production of Mozart's opera 'Idomeneo' because, said Berlin police, it posed 'incalculable risk' of inciting Islamic fundamentalists to violence is a stark reminder that censorship throbs with power while the lifeblood of art is wrung dry. Last year, outrage from Muslim students led Harper College, located just outside Chicago, to remove an exhibition of works by Amir Normandi depicting the oppression women suffer in many Islamic countries. Partly in response, Normandi, himself an Iranian-born Muslim, has curated a new exhibition of works Dianeby local and international artists, 'Desire No Shackles/ Imagine No Borders', to examine oppression and the notion of borders in Islam and other contexts.
Timed to coincide with Chicago Artists Month, the event opened as part of the annual PilsenEast Artist's Open House weekend. 'Desire No Shackles/ Imagine No Borders' ran September 29 – October 1 at 1823 S Halsted, Chicago. The complete collection of art works will be presented at d'Last Studios and Gallery at 1714 S Ashland, Chicago, where it will run between October 7 and November 11.
Featured artists: Amir Normandi, Maryam Hashemi, Marcia Middleton Kaplan, Tim Arroyo, Diane Carriere, Rosy Torres.