chicago

Tough. Chicago Tough.

Chicago.

Home of the Cubs, Harry Dresden, deep dish pizza, and hot dogs dragged through the garden.  The city where Al Capone became a folk hero.  A place where you can visit Sue the Dinosaur, Inez at Graceland, and the oldest tobacconist in America; where the river runs backwards, guns are banned, and shootings are everywhere.  Ten percent of the country lives within a hundred miles of here, and the graveyards all vote Democrat.

We joke about it because what’s the choice?  There’s (more…)

Pizano’s Pizza, Chicago

They tell me you can’t go to Chicago and not try the deep dish pizza.  Well, you know me; I’ll gladly go the extra mile for the cause of enlightenment.  Actually, with half a dozen locations, I only had to travel six tenths of a mile to get to the nearest Pizano’s, which is on upper State Street (stay out of the Loop if you can, people).

So walking in the front door was an adventure in itself; (more…)

Chicago Is Uber Corrupt

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Dateline: Chicago 06 Jan 2020
Byline: The Not Fake News, Actual
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The fix is in, boys and girls.  Chicago is as crooked as always.  I know, I know; that’s not actually news.  But it’s what I’ve got, so read it and shaddap.

It’s dead on the downtown Chicago streets today.  The weather’s turned off nice and there’s a few people walking, but the normal traffic is… well, it’s downtown Chicago, so the traffic is deadly.  Pedestrians, look both ways crossing one-way streets, and don’t jaywalk (more…)

Dateline: Harper’s Ferry

It’s a curious thing about this nation’s passenger rail network.

I mean to say, apart from that we have one in the first place.  This appears to surprise a lot of people.  “Chicago?  When do you fly out?” they ask, confident in the familiar ritualized response of airline and time and ticket class.  When I say I’m taking the Capitol Limited, they’re at a complete loss.  I must clarify:  Amtrak.  A passenger train.

Yes, Virginia, we still have passenger trains. (more…)

Dateline: Cumberland Gap

More updates from the road, as your Not Fake News action correspondent continues his travels.  For research purposes only, of course.

One of the things I love most about traveling by train is the completely different attitude by passengers.  I’ve seen fights break out over who gets which taxi, whether people have the right to lay their seats back on a plane, or who let out that legendarily nasty (more…)

Is It Voter Fraud — Or Suppression?

There’s a curious debate going on in this country, and I’m here to settle it.

Republicans are worried about voter fraud.  Democrats are worried about voter suppression.  Both topics are all through the news right now, and they’ll continue to be trumpeted through the election.  If we asked them, most people would say that at least one of these subjects ought to be a matter of blazing headlines, followed by investigations, prosecutions, and convictions.

They say a lot of people in this country don’t vote.  I’d say that, for non-voters, we Americans take the subject pretty seriously. (more…)

Living Without Fear?

I don’t fly.

It’s not that I’m afraid of heights or superstitious about technology, and it’s certainly not a fear of terrorism.  Commercial aircraft are insanely safe, especially when compared to interstate highways.

No, I won’t fly because the security offends me.

Before we get too far into this:  I’m aware this isn’t an entirely rational (more…)

Chicago Shooting Isn’t News, Dammit

I’ve just read a CNN news story that’s miles away from objective journalism.  It’s the top-trending article, above the Tunisian bombing, above what seems to be World War Three starting in Turkey.  And it’s not even news.

So a year and more ago, Chicago cops apparently (more…)