Foreclosure Crisis: Chicago Stands Back From 'Katrina' Sans Water

Want an example of true leadership with a conscious? I'm proud to say that you (and your city's decision-makers) should look right at Chicago and the surprising cease of foreclosures our county sheriff took today.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart deserves applause for deciding enough is enough in Chicago's foreclosure mess. Dart took a stand for "Joe Sixpack," halting his team from executing what I understand are ALL foreclosures in Chicagoland's Cook County.

The problem? Tom Dart's sheriffs were running into far too many ugly situations when showing up to evict innocent renters. People who'd paid their monthly rent -- but had not been told by the building owners they needed to start packing -- were being tossed on the streets. Countless decent, hard-working and totally unaware people -- and even elderly, seriously ill renters -- were shockingly being forced from their homes... out of the blue... when they'd paid their landlords every dime owed.

Thus, Sheriff Dart made an unprecedented decision: (Almost) all evictions are over for now. At least until the mortage-holding banks provide the Sheriff's Department affidavids proving that everyone affected by a building's foreclosure has been duly notified.

People won't be caught off guard now; they'll receive a proper grace period in which to make other living arrangements.

I'm sure that Tom Dart's heart went out to the sea of people who may have come home from work and found their every belonging sitting on the sidewalk. Already picked over by two-legged leeches, no doubt.

Of course, there's also the unspoken probability that Dart saw something of an uprising starting to occur among his foot soldier deputies... It's my guess he couldn't keep putting his deputy sheriffs on the firing line, trying to enforce 11th-hour evictions among the innocent... Removing the wrong people's belongings "out of nowhere" can lead to confrontations with deadly consequences, for sure.

So open your eyes. There's a nationwide version of Hurricane Katrina going on, just without the water.

Please speak up and out. As quiet as it may be kept, this exodus of the angry is likely happening in your neighborhood, too.

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Saying Grace (Jones, That Is)

Troubled world economy aside, if you've ever said a little prayer for a return to the funkier side of life, get this: Grace Jones is the cover girl for the new issue of Dazed & Confused. That's right. Strange' is baaaack and in living color.

We'll be able to revel in devilish Grace's latest art photography -- or nudish glamour photography, really -- in the British magazine's November 2008 issue (out October 9). A true Renaissance woman, the art, film, music and fashion icon is photographed by Chris Cunningham. You may know him as the auteur behind Madonna, Madonna's "Frozen" video...

Yes, I typed Madonna twice, referencing a favorite Robin Williams line in "The Bird Cage."

In any case, great to see Grace in the limelight. Just check out this video of Grace Jones performing in full regalia with the late Luciano Pavoratti:

For more, check these Grace Jones links, including her own absolutely stunning website:

~ The World of Grace Jones (The living legend's own impeccable web site)

~ Grace Jones Performs at Meltdown (BBC report, June 2008)
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Presidential Debate - Town Hall Bullies, Brats and Bawlers

On deadline with a writing job, I wasn't able to pay real attention to last night's Town Hall presidential debate. But being of the auditory language modality, as I've learned through writing ebooks on hypnosis, "that one" musical line by Barack Obama stood out for me: Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.

Who knew John McCain was a lost Beach Boys, the lyricist behind a killer remix of the classic tune "Barbara Ann?"

Hey, but that's just me... Apparently, a certain zinger by McCain stood out, too. Says Seth Walls of Huffington Post about Senator McCain's "That one" jab:

During a discussion about energy, McCain punctuates a contrast with Obama by referring to him as "that one," while once again not looking in his opponent's direction (merely jabbing a finger across his chest). That's not going to win McCain any Miss Congeniality points. Nor will it reassure any voters who believe McCain is improperly trying to capitalize on Obama's "otherness."
Not very presidential on McCain's part. His momma should spank his little butt. If she won't, looks like American voters will. Perhaps this is why Huffington Post is running this blaring, breaking news headline:

Pundit Links:

~ That One (video) (Seth Colter Walls, Huffington Post)

~ Mud Pies for "That One" (Maureen Dowd, New York Times)

~ Town Hall Debate: Punch, Counterpunch (Eugene Robinson, Washington Post) Read the whole post...


Absolutely Fabulous - Fox Bringing Original Cast to America


Stop the '08 election and step aside Simon Cowell... According to Variety, Fox is bringing sexy back: Absolutely Fabulous is coming to America, anew! Hello Edina and Patsy; hello fashion-forward fag hags; hello psychedelic drugs, kinky sex, and rolicking rock 'n roll.

What's most excellent is that both stellar actors from the original Ab Fab -- Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley -- apparently are set to reprise their roles here, debuting 2009. Equally on target is that Jennifer (Eddy) Saunders will executive produce the new, U.S. version of Ab Fab along with Christine Zander of "Saturday Night Live" and Ian Moffet of the BBC.

Several American television series have tried to imitate Absolutely Fabulous, a BBC TV series with a huge and intense cult following. And as one of them, I've enjoyed each short-lived stab at it. But, as they say: Ain't nothing like the real thing, baby. So grab your bong, drop a 'lude and get the party started, Fox.

This almost makes me less disgusted with the politics over at Fox.

I repeat: almost, sweetie dahling!

~ Absolutely Fabulous [BBC]

~ Absolutely Fabulous [Wiki]

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Biden Condolences | McCain Keating Five Video

Sending heartfelt condolences to vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden and his lovely wife, Jill. Jill Biden lost her mother, Bonny Jean Jacobs, yesterday after a long illness. This New York Times article tells more about the loss of Senator Biden's mother-in-law.

Meanwhile every Obama-ite's good cyberpal, David Plouffe, who heads communications for the Obama campaign, just emailed this message and video. It's about McCain and his involvement in the Keating Five savings and loan scandal:

Dear Viqi,

John McCain wants you to forget about his role in our country's last major financial crisis and costly bailout: the savings and loan crisis of the late '80s and early '90s. But voters deserve to know that the failed philosophy and culture of corruption that created the savings and loan crisis then are alive in the current crisis -- and in John McCain's plans for our economic future. We just released a short documentary about John McCain's role in that financial crisis -- watch it now and share it with your friends:

Voters should know the facts about John McCain's poor judgment -- judgment that has twice placed him on the wrong side of history.

Please forward this email to everyone you know.



There ya' go, Dave. No fave is too great for my neighbor, Senator Barack Obama, the next president of the United States. He continues to do all of Chicago, but particularly our cool community of Hyde Park, proud.


PS -- Here's a link to the landing site for this Obama video, "Keating Economics: John McCain and The Making Of a Financial Crisis." On the site, you can get new Obama news, email the video to your friends, and more.

~ Is John McCain a Crook [Slate in Feb. 2000]

~ Keating 5 or Keating Five [Wiki]
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Sarah Palin - One Child Left Behind

Of course, Maureen Dowd of the New York Times would also have her say about Sarah Palin's dubious way with words. Don't miss Dowd doing duty in this hot op-ed piece,

Sarah’s Pompom Palaver:

Talking at the debate about how she would “positively affect the impacts” of the climate change for which she’s loath to acknowledge human culpability, (Palin) did a dizzying verbal loop-de-loop: “With the impacts of climate change, what we can do about that, as governor, I was the first governor to form a climate change subcabinet to start dealing with the impacts.” That was, miraculously, richer with content than an answer she gave Katie Couric: “You know, there are man’s activities that can be contributed to the issues that we’re dealing with now, with these impacts.”

At another point, she channeled Alicia Silverstone debating in “Clueless,” asserting, “Nuclear weaponry, of course, would be the be-all, end-all of just too many people in too many parts of our planet.” (Mostly the end-all.)

Honestly, I'm so astonished by the nonsensical words of Sarah Palin that I may just dig up the entire vice-presidential debate transcript and post it here soon. No child left behind, eh? Well, this here darn tootin' governor here seems to be proof there that for some, being left behind can have its rewards on your impacts. Read the whole post...


Annie Get Your Gun - The Sarah Palin Remix

On the heels of gun-toting Dick Cheney hopes to come Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, the hot new Annie Oakley coming to a town near YOU

Following the Sarah Palin - Joe Biden debate, I wrote a commentary voicing my suspicion that Governor Palin, a Pentecostal, seemed in some sort of rambling, Stepford Wife trance the first half of the debate. Really, if you look a little into hypnosis, you'll discover there are numerous types of trances, so it is quite possible. So much of our everyday lives can be affected by a hypnotic state. They manifest as "highway hypnosis," not being able to get an advertising jingle out of your head, an inability to quit smoking, feeling lifted while dancing, and other common events.

Well, two top New York Times columnists -- Frank Rich and Gail Collins -- also wrote about Sarah Palin's peculiar ramblings during the debate. They don't go as far as I have in wondering if she was in some sort of trance, but their way with summarizing her warbly words is wholly entertaining.

Talking In Points by Gail Collins had me laughing out loud. This Palin debate quote Collins cites is absolutely priceless:

She appeared to agree with Dick Cheney’s manic theory that the vice president is a member of both the executive and legislative branches, although it’s hard to tell since she began her answer this way: “Well, our founding fathers were very wise there in allowing through the Constitution much flexibility there in the office of the vice president. And we will do what is best for the American people in tapping into that position and ushering in an agenda that is supportive and cooperative with the president’s agenda in that position.”

Say whuuut?! Not only does Palin envision becoming the new gangsta, gun-toting Dick in a dress, working her own separate agenda, she can barely put two sentences together to say it.

Frank Rich, in Pitbull Palin Mauls McCain, takes a bite out of the surreal Republican scene this way:

The standard take has it that she’s either speaking utter ignorant gibberish (as to Couric) or reciting highly polished, campaign-written sound bites that she’s memorized (as at the convention and the debate). But there’s a steady unnerving undertone to Palin’s utterances, a consistent message of hubristic self-confidence and hyper-ambition. She wants to be president, she thinks she can be president, she thinks she will be president. And perhaps soon. She often sounds like someone who sees herself as half-a-heartbeat away from the presidency.

If Mr. Rich's observation is correct about Palin all but feeling the Oval Office leather warming her hot sexy Sarah Palin photos in stilettos buns (per the Google searches that are driving tons of traffic to this post, tell Katie bar the door and Annie get your gun. This new sheriff coming to town is utterly out of this world.

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Sarah Palin Debate: Out of Body, Out of Nowhere

I applaud Sarah Palin for "showing up and showing out" in her big debate with Joe Biden. Leading up to the vice presidential debate, I wondered if there could be a surreal moment when Sarah Palin shockingly exited the stage early, stage left -- fed up with this challenge.

Luckily, that didn't happen. But there was plenty more going on with Sarah Palin on that stage that has my head spinning post-debate.

I am hard-pressed to recall any politian who so assaulted my senses. For me, it was a problem of body language and nervous ticks. Now, I'm no expert on body language, but here's a recap of my Sarah Palin experience during the debate...

Warning, I'm about to pick a bunch of nits here. If you love Sarah Palin, reading this will tick you the heck off, doggnit.

-- Palin casually greeting Biden with "Hey, can I call you 'Joe'" was cute. But little did I know that casual tone would punctuate the entire debate. Now doggonit. Darn right. You betcha. Similarly, whole letters were missin' from the end of many of her words. After eight years of George Bush "mispronunciating" words, must we now brace ourselves to hear the "g" being clipped off so many of 'em? I mean, how low on the verbal chain can the office of POTUS go?

-- Political pundits are fascinated by the number of times Joe Biden said John McCain versus Palin's less frequent mentions of Obama. I, however, am more intrigued with the number of times Palin said the word also... and also... but also... Was this just a nervous tick, how she was coached to bridge subjects, or a sign of something else? Go count 'em... you decide.

-- Now onto more serious matters. A media pundit last night was quick to credit Palin for not looking like a "moose in the headlights." Well, perhaps I was the only person who picked up on something eerily similar. Most of the time when Governor Palin spoke, it felt like I was watching a Stepford Wife talk: She seemed hypnotized... the entire first half of the debate. Staring (almost) straight into the camera and just this side of rambling, as if in a trance. Reading a mile a minute from a Teleprompter located inside her forehead.

-- Thus, I must confess: I believe Governor Palin was having some type of out-of-body experience. To be clear, I am not mocking this possibility. Truth is, the human mind is an awesome thing; it's designed for survival, by whatever means necessary. You see, for my money, that possible out-of-body experience later was somewhat confirmed...

-- Near the end of the debate, Governor Palin squeezed her eyes peculiarly hard when she said the word blessed. Palin is Pentecostal after all, and Pentecostals are proud of speaking in tongues. So who knows? Maybe someone really did take the wheel to get her through the most intense 90 minutes of her life. The way Palin shut her eyes on blessed seemed deeply prayerful. Like maybe she was thanking Him. Or Her. For amazingly getting her through this.

I haven't addressed other observations -- and I have many. But suffice it to say that I appeciated this about Sarah Palin: She outright acknowledged the questions she wouldn't be answering. Because she couldn't answer them.

It would have been far worse had she tried (again, as with Katie Couric) to bluff her way through stuff she clearly hadn't been rehearsed on. That would have been insulting, as if the American public is too dumb to see she didn't have a clue. So, Palin demonstrated integrity in showing that not even God could whisper the answer to what would warrant pulling the nuclear trigger.

Oh wait, Palin did actually try to answer that one...

Likewise, Palin's former pastor, Tim McGraw, and a fellow parishioner, told CNN this:

Like many Pentecostal churches, some members speak in tongues, although he says he's never seen Palin do so. Church member Caroline Spangler told CNN, "When the spirit comes on you, you utter things that nobody else can understand ... only God can understand what is coming out of our mouths."

~ What Is Channeling (or Channelling)?

~ Speaking In Tongues

~ The Fight or Flight Response

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