Monthly archives: June, 2010

Why Do People Celebrate by Shooting Guns?

Two Naperville men face Class 4 felony charges because of the way they allegedly chose to celebrate the Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup victory.

From the Sun-Times:

A Naperville man and his son caught the unexpected attention of police as the men allegedly celebrated the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup victory by firing rounds from an assault rifle into the ground behind their home.

Mark W. Steinbrecher, 54, and his son Mark S. Steinbrecher, 20, were wearing shirts embossed with Blackhawks and Stanley Cup insignia when their booking photographs were taken at the Naperville police station. Both men face Class 4 felony charges of reckless discharge of a firearm.

Police Cmdr. Dave Hoffman said patrol officers were sent at 12:40 a.m. to the Steinbrechers’ house on Naperville’s far southwest side. A neighbor called 911 to report "a subject in the backyard firing a weapon,” Hoffman said.

I don’t understand.

Welcome to the Summer of Blagojevich

It’s not yet bedtime for Blago, but the madness has officially begun.

From John Kass at the Chicago Tribune:

The former Democratic governor of Illinois now has only one audience to charm: his jurors. And they’ve had one heck of a week already, being dragged down the rabbit hole into the wonderland of Illinois politics.

They watched Dead Meat perform from the defense table, sighing, shrugging and making faces at a former chief of staff testifying for the prosecution. Dead Meat was desperate to convince them he’s just an honest man victimized by a pack of schemers.

On just the second day of testimony, the jury was treated to a peek into the political shadows, with audio of Rod praising good buddy and state Sen. Jimmy DeLeo, D-How You Doin?, as the one guy he could trust to bring in the campaign cash.

The Summer of Blagojevich, hopefully the last season we’ll spend with the wild-haired one before he’s sent away, has begun.

Chicago Teachers Union Elects Socialist Leadership

I know the word "Socialist" was dragged through the mud during the last presidential campaign. Barack Obama is showing himself to be quite the centrist — I know my friends in the right will disagree with that, but it’s the truth.

I try to avoid extremes. Strict socialism is too far to the left for my tastes. There are those who would call all public education systems exercises in socialism.

I disagree. Just because an organized governmental entity is running something, that does not mean that particular endeavor is socialism. If that were so, one could argue that government doing anything is socialism: street repair, police, fire, or paramedics.

Socialism is much broader, "a centrally planned economy in which the government controls all means of production," where "private property and the distribution of income are subject to social control."

Socialism is too far to the left to me.

It appears, however, that Socialism is not too far to the left for the Chicago Teachers Union.

Incoming Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis and incoming Vice-President Jesse Sharkey are strongly affiliated with the Socialist Worker Party. In fact, Sharkey is scheduled to speak at the Socialism 2010 convention in Chicago beginning June 17.

Did the rank and file know they were electing socialists?

Too late now.

Obama To Make Reassuring Eye Contact With Every Last American

Obama making eye contact

Gotta love The Onion:

In an attempt to convince an anxious populace that his legislative agenda is working and that everything is going to be all right, President Barack Obama embarked on a 50-state, 30,000-town tour Monday during which he plans to gaze assuredly into the eyes of each American citizen, one at a time.

"I know a lot of people out there are nervous. They’re worried about unemployment, the oil spill in the Gulf, and whether or not I am making the right choices in Washington," Obama said during a rally at Rockland District High School. "To those Americans, I offer you this inspiring, confident gaze."

Obama then stepped down from his podium, walked into the 2,000-person audience, and peered comfortingly into each person’s eyes. After taking 45 minutes to methodically work his way from the front row all the way to the balcony, and punctuating each look with a gentle pat on the shoulder, Obama returned to the stage, collected himself, and addressed the silent group before him.

"There," he said. "All better."

In their announcement of the "2010 Eye-to-Eye Tour," White House officials said that Obama will first spend two weeks making eye contact with the 55 million residents of the densely populated Northeastern states, looking into their eyes and, if necessary, offering them an encouraging head nod. Obama will then continue down the East Coast before taking on the tour’s biggest challenge: gazing with confidence into the eyes of a hostile Southern electorate that largely rejects his policies.

More on this Onion exclusive here.

Savage: ‘Most’ Jewish people killed in the Holocaust ‘went like sheep’ to slaughter (Video)

Oy. Vey.

Stan Boardman and Des O’connor the Fokker Joke (Video)

A blast from the past, courtesy a friend (and real author) on Facebook.

Enjoy the Fokker.

Chicago Blackhawks Drink Lord Stanley’s Cup

Holiday Star Theater Stanley Cup

Park Foresters celebrate the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup victory at the Holiday Star Theater. (Photo: ENEWSPF)

The Chicago Blackhawks drink from Lord Stanley’s Cup, ending professional hockey’s longest drought. Patrick Kane sealed the slim 4-3 overtime victory with a slam that just kissed net after passing under Flyers goalie Michael Leighton. After brief hesitation while officials and television comentators comprehended the winning goal, fans at Park Forest’s Holiday Star Theater, and throughout the rest of the Chicagoland area, erupted in cheers.

Chicago drinks the cup again at last.

Richard Roeper had the honor summarizing the game at the Sun-Times:


The enigmatic half-smile of Chief Blackhawk has widened to a full-out expression of joy. OK, so there might be a few teeth missing in that smile in honor of Duncan Keith, but oh what a satisfying grin it is.

Let that signature horn of victory blare deep into the night, as Chicago celebrates its first major championship in a half-decade, brought to us by the best team in their sport — a team that outlasted, outsmarted and outplayed Nashville, Vancouver, San Jose and finally, Philadelphia, home of the nastiest fans and the most weirdly-bearded players in all of hockey.

It seemed as if the playoff marathon lasted nearly as long as the regular season. (Do the Bears kick-off tomorrow?) When it was finally over, there was one team left standing, one team hoisting the fabled Stanley Cup. After decades of watching the Oilers and the Islanders and the Red Wings and the Penguins and so many other franchises have their day, it’s finally Chicago’s turn.

Let “Chelsea Dagger” and “Here Come the Hawks” play until your iPod explodes and your ears bleed.

Rattle your windows as if you were a fan in the front row celebrating a goal by Patrick Kane or a bell-ringing hit by Dusty Byfuglien.

Drink out of your own cup to celebrate the first Stanley Cup to be claimed by the Chicago Blackhawks since John F. Kennedy was a freshly minted president, Roger Maris was making a run at Babe Ruth’s single season home run record and a band called the Beatles was performing for the first time at the Cavern Club.

At this moment, it doesn’t matter if you’re an Original Six diehard who saw Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita skate in the glory days, or a newbie whose feet still feel the sting from jumping on the bandwagon. You have the right to cheer as much as you want for as long as you want.

More from the Sun-Times:

Brian Hamilton had the honors at the Chicago Tribune:

Patrick Kane streaked down ice, threw his stick and his helmet into the air and soon was mobbed by a horde of exultant Blackhawks.

At the other end of the ice, no one was quite sure where the puck had gone. The Flyers stood motionless and still by the net. And in short order the verdict came: A half-century of agony had ended.

Kane, the superlative 21-year-old winger, scored 4:10 into overtime of Game 6 at the Wachovia Center on Wednesday, and that made the Blackhawks 4-3 winners and Stanley Cup champions for the first time since 1961.

“I knew it went in right away,” Kane said. “What a feeling. I can’t believe it. We just won the Stanley Cup. I can’t believe this just happened. … It’s something you dream about, scoring the final goal in the Stanley Cup finals.”

Kane scooped up the puck along the wall and flung it toward the net, and it zipped past Michael Leighton and in on the far side of the goal — such a blisteringly quick score that officials reviewed it just to make sure. Once they did, the celebration was on in earnest.

“I was just hoping to God it was just an actual goal,” said captain Jonathan Toews, the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoff MVP. “They came back hard in the third and we just stuck with it.”

As captain, Toews received the honor of being the first to hoist the Stanley Cup. Next was Marian Hossa, who finally won a title after near-misses with Pittsburgh and Detroit.

“There’s so many great things about winning a Stanley Cup. This is it,” Toews said. “This is the best feeling you can ever get. I just can’t believe it’s happened.”

More from the Trib here.

The Tribune reports that the Blackhawks’ victory parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. Friday at Wacker and Washington, and proceed east to Wacker and Michigan, where a rally will be held at 11:30 a.m.

The Chicago Cubs now stand alone with the longest drought in sports history.

Yes, just had to slip that in.

Caveat Lector! This is the Internet, After All!

For all our readers, we have revised our About Turning Left page to include a caveat

Turning left is a collection of the musings and reflections of select authors, all of whom have been turning farther and farther left for quite some time. As the right continues to raise its ugly head, it is more and more apparent that all of us should be Turning Left. We are proudly, unabashedly liberal.

Let it be clear: Turning Left is first, and foremost, opinion.  We do not claim to publish first-hand news. We will point the reader to first-hand sources, and, we must stress, caveat lector! Let the reader beware!  Remember, something is not true just because it exists online.  Please do your own fact checking!

Our goal is not to mock or hide behind anonymity. Our goal is Truth, Veritas, and we recognize that human rights are still being denied many in this the United States and abroad. We wish to help shed light where there is darkness.

We respect the right of our authors to remain anonymous. The anonymous journalist helped shape this country, the United States, and many anonymous journalists labor today in the U.S. and more oppressive countries. In the proud tradition of Thomas Paine and countless others, we invite you to join us as we all continue Turning Left together.

City Councilman Steve Blair Fired By KYCA Because Of Comments Re: Mural on Miller Valley School

I wrote about the mural controversy in Arizona just a few minutes ago. City Councilman Steve Blair was fired by the radio station he worked for due to his remarks, according to reports.

From prescott enews:

Steve Blair has been fired by KYCA, due to his comments regarding the new mural on Miller Valley School at the corner of Whipple Street and Miller Valley Road.

Besides being a City Councilman, Steve Blair is also a well-known afternoon talk show host for radio station KYCA. Well, make that "was" because he has been removed from his radio talk show as of today, due to a controversy over the mural painted on Miller Valley School.

The discussion about the mural has been controversial ever since the paint began being brushed on the wall. Now it’s a full blown controversy, with statewide and even national media paying attention. Right now, the spotlight is on Blair, who made comments that some interpreted as being racist.

Blair is not backing down, saying that the mural “defaces” the public building.
He says he "doesn’t get it," that the picture looks like a "big old black guy," and maybe that has something to do with the "guy that’s in the White House."

The picture actually depicts one of the children who goes to the school, according to reports.

Here’s Blair in his own words:

And the mural in question:

Arizona’s Gone Wild: Officials Want Dark Skin of Child on Grade School Mural Lightened

What’s wrong with this picture?

From AOL News:

An Arizona school mural designed to promote environmentally friendly transportation has ignited a debate about race and censorship of the arts.

Officials at Miller Valley Elementary School in Prescott, Ariz., asked the painters of the mural to lighten the skin of children depicted after a city councilman denounced its prominent portrayal of ethnic minorities. Following protests, the principal apologized today for making the request. "Miller Valley made a mistake when we asked them to lighten the mural. We made a mistake," said Principal Jeff Lane.

The mural shows children walking and cycling in a garden-like scene, with birds flying around them.

"We don’t have a racist town," R.E. Wall, who painted the "Go on Green" mural, told AOL News. "I believe we have racist city council."

City Councilman Steve Blair, who says he "can’t stand" the word "diversity," criticized the mural on his talk-radio show. He particularly targeted the portrayal of the painting’s main figure, a dark-skinned boy in blue jeans and green sweatshirt.

"To depict the biggest picture on that building as a black person, I would have to ask the question, ‘Why?’" Blair said on a May 21 broadcast, according to The Daily Courier.

The child in question is meant to be a Mexican-American, Wall told AOL News.

When the Courier published an article online about the unveiling of the mural, readers left comments describing the painting as "tacky," "ghetto" and "ugly." On his radio show, Blair said that he had spoken to locals who are offended by the mural and call it "graffiti."

Welcome to post-racist America. Yes, we’re beyond all that, of course.

Consider for a moment what this kind of ugly rhetoric is doing to children in Arizona. How will the brown-skinned kids be treated now by their lighter-skinned peers?

Jane Elliott, what would you charge to give the entire state of Arizona a Blue Eyes Brown Eyes exercise?