Friday, October 31, 2008

Julia Hudson Finally Sets her MySpace Profile to Private

I wonder why it took her so long?

Story Debunks Severed Hand Rumor For Julian King

Since not many of the major papers have reported on or debunked the rumor, I found only one site that debunks it. Here's the story.

Better Julia Hudson Press Conference

I'll Let it Speak for Itself. Julia Press Conference

Why wasn't Julia a "real" mother to her own son. Another black child being raised by a grandparent.

William Balfour MySpace Page

He was arrested on 10/25/08 and yet someone logged onto his page the next day.

Balfour MySpace Page

I hope the police are checking that out.

Hudson Funeral To Be Private, But Should It Be?

I have no idea what its like to have three family members brutally murdered. Of all the victims of that violence, I know that Julian King was the most innocent.

I wish Jennifer had the courage of Mamie Till. When her son was brutally murdered in Mississippi, Mamie didn't hide his battered and bruised body. Instead she wanted the world to see what racism could do to a child.

I wished Jennifer and her family had the same sort of strength to allow the funerals of her relatives to be public so that the entire world can see what crime in the black community can do to child.

I cannot imagine the anguish that Julian King had to go through before someone took a gun and SHOT A 7-YR-OLD-CHILD in the head multiple times. What sort of animal was running our streets that can do that to a child?. Mamie Till didn't have celebrity status to highlight the violence that was imposed upon her son. It's nice that Jennifer Hudson has established ANOTHER fund, but in my opinion, what the black community needs is an IN YOUR FACE REALITY CHECK!

Yes, Jennifer and Julia Hudson have the right to privacy. But what happened to their family has made it public. They right now have the type of publicity and center stage that money cannot buy. Just like Mamie Till showed the world and screamed the loudest, "LOOK WHAT THEY DID TO MY SON", Jennifer has the opportunity to point at Julian's casket and shout, 'LOOK WHAT THEY DID TO A CHLD"!

And until the black community has an up front in your face opportunity to really see what violence does, we will shed a few tears, get a bunch of stuffed animals for a so-called memorial and yet days later we will return to doing what we've been doing because in order to change, we need a shock moment to embed itself forever in our memory to say and mean, "enough is enough"!

Profiting off of the Hudson Murders

There appears to be two entities working on getting "donations" in regards to the victims in the Hudson murder case.

First off, I am no longer a spring chicken so my thought processes go along with my middle age. But even with that, I was preplexed as to the request made by a "friend" of the Hudson family to get Tommie Harris to donate a jersey for a memorial for Jason Hudson. Huh????? I mean its not as if Jason was a future linebacker or died in a tragedy related to football. That jersey may just end up on the back of someone else. Here's that story.

There also seems to be some competing "memorial" funds being set up. The first is the Hudson-King Domestic Violence Protection Fund

Now I'm seeing a second fund being set up as Hudson-King Fund.

With the police now stating that Julian was killed in his uncle's SUV, what could have prompted him to go outside in his sleeping attire (due to his size it makes sense for him to sleep in basketball type shorts and a t-shirt as pajamas)? What would have cause him not to scream and holler as soon as he was outside to attract some sort of attention? Was there someone who was very familiar to him in the car already????

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Don't Foget the State's Attorney Race

Everyone is aware that next Tuesday, Nov. 4, is the date to vote for president of the United States. And many of us will be taking that time to vote for Senator Barack Obama for president. But there is another election as important to those of us living in Cook County as the vote for President-and that is the vote for Cook County state's attorney.

According to the website of the current state's attorney, this is the description of the job: "The State's Attorney of Cook County is responsible for prosecuting all individuals charged with violating Illinois' criminal laws within the county. The State's Attorney ... may appoint assistant state's attorneys as his legal representatives. ... Under Illinois law, the State's Attorney is granted the exclusive authority to represent crime victims. ... The duty of a prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict. ... In addition to his responsibilities for criminal prosecution, the State's Attorney is charged with enforcing many civil laws that protect abused children, the elderly, the disabled, and consumers as well as laws that promote the public interest in the environment and the provision of utility services. The State's Attorney also acts as legal counsel on civil law matters on behalf of Cook County government agencies and the county's elected officials."

When a person is arrested and charged with a crime, it is up to the State's Attorney's Office to prosecute. When the office is held by someone who doesn't give a hoot, then suspects can be tortured and made to give false confessions, like what we are currently seeing with the people who were tortured by those under the command of Jon Burge and when Richard J. Daley, the current mayor of Chicago, was state's attorney for Cook County. When people are arrested and held at Cook County Jail for years, it has a lot to do with the lack of creativity coming out of the State's Attorney's Office. We as a county are spending millions to house prisoners whose minor crime is that they can't come up with bail money. When the state's attorney takes years to finally bring someone to trial, what we have is a major waste of taxpayers dollars and continuous overcrowding at Cook County Jail.

Of the three candidates who are running, two are already members of the State's Attorney Office, Anita Alvarez and Thomas O'Brien. Neither of them has put forth a campaign that says their tenure in the office would be anything other than more of the same.

The third candidate is Tony Peraica. We all got to meet the feisty Mr. Peraica when he ran for Cook County board president. Say what you will about him, he is an energetic character with an in-your-face feistiness that says his term as state's attorney would be a change from the past. After watching the debates that aired between the three candidates, Mr. Peraica gets my vote.

Remember, vote on Nov. 4 and make sure you continue down the ballot to vote on the retention of judges. For a list of judges, who have been recommended for "yes" votes, visit my blog.

Judges Who Should Get A Yes Vote for Retention

Hi everyone: If you have not voted early, listed below are the names of Black judges and their numbers that we should support:
Murrell / 212
M. Johnson/50


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hudson Family Murders - Drug Hit Gone Bad?

Yesterday in a phone coversation, I mentioned that the Hudson family murders probably involved more than one person. Today it seems that the news reports are saying the exact same thing.

The more information that is slowing being released about Jennifer Hudson's family, the more the stench on certain members is becoming unbearable.

In 2002, a raid was conducted at the Hudson home and Julia, Jason and Julian's Dad Gregory King were all arrested. Here's a link to that story. Hudson Home Drug Arrest.

When Julian King's body was found, he was wearing shorts and a T-shirt. Now it was damn cold on Friday. What would possess a child to go out in the cold with so little on? Was there someone he knew in the car? And why did they cut off his hand? Yes, several papers are reporting that Julian had a hand cut off. Julian Severd Hand Story. Was that a message to Julia?

The stench from 7019 S. Yale is getting worst.

Julia Hudson - A Question of Propriety

Have you visted Julia Hudson's MySpace Page? If not, check it out. Julia's MySpace.

I cannot question her motives in updating the site during this period of morning. BUT, COULDN'T SHE HAVE AT LEAST TAKEN THE TIME TO REMOVE THE INCENDIARY COMMENTS SHE MORONICALLY POSTED OUT THERE?

Like this: Your Weakness: GOOD DICK

or how about this winner of a comment:


Even more interesting is that she updated her MySpace page with this:


When a child dies in an unforeseen accident, or because a mother has done all she could to protect her child, then I can see the mother saying her child is now an angel to protect her. But to have contributed to his demise, to have referred to her child for the world to see as an "ass", I'm sorry but her rating as a mother is just a few feet lower than purgatory.

What kind of mother posts the mess that Julia did? Why all the sexual references to her "pussy"?

I.E: Ever been called a Tease: GOT A PUSSY DON'T I

Julia needs help and right now she is using the murder of her CHILD, MOTHER AND THEN BROTHER to get her 15 minutes of fame.

Please note the order of her priorities. When you have children, they come first. But not to Julia. I still feel she knows more than what is being said.

Monday, October 27, 2008

How could the Tragedy Happen to the Hudson Family?

I've been browsing the internet to find out all I could about the Jennifer Hudson tragedy. I've also been listening to the radio. One of the least surprising things is that in the aftermath of a tragedy, as a community, we don't want any discussions held.

What do I mean? Well a young lady called into WVON and gave a genuine list of concerns about why a mother would marry someone just out of prison? William Balfour is 26 and spent 7 years in jail. That means he was just 19 yrs-old when he went to prison. He spent his initial adult years locked away and now comes out and is expected by Julia Hudson to turn into her man and father to her child????

But even more disturbing to me is the press conference that Julia Hudson held. She says and I paraphrase that "if you have a beef with me, take it up with me". Is she responsible for bringing this tragedy home to her family???? Also note the "you all"? Sorry, but the reason for her lack of tears is that she knows something or the reason that her family was targeted! press conference video

One of the issues within some parts of the black community is that in order to truly resolve an issue, we must address the issue. We cannot continue to place things in the "we will worry about it later" category and not expect that things will happen in the meantime. And to all those who brought teddy bears and fake flowers to a memorial, instead of bringing those items to line a fence, get some brooms and shovels, lawnmovers and garbage cans and clean up our neighborhood and remove the overgrown weeds and brush that is the perfect cover for criminal activity.

The Hudson family home also looked in dired need of repair. Come on people, a BBQ grill in the front yard, overgrown weeds around the broken down chain link fence all around adds to the 'ghettoization" of a neighborhood! Was any of them using Jennifer's fame and ever increasing pocketbook to pretend to be something that they weren't?

Another interesting point is what I took from a Sun-Times story. Here the part that is really bothering me. "Jason Hudson had been living at the family home after being shot about two years ago during a home invasion at a suburban home, Buckner said. Jason Hudson was shot in the leg, and had been recovering." What is unclear is whether Jason was doing the home invasion or his home was invaded. But which ever is the case, Jason and Julia's activities will need to be investigated. Here's the Sun-Times story.

And lastly, there should be a huge outcry over any 7 yr-old who weighs in at 130 pounds! That in itself is child abuse!

From now on if the black community is to take something from from these horrific murders, let it be that we all dial 911 when we hear shots fired.

Julia Hudson's Tragedy

My condolences to the Jennifer Hudson family on their lost

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Scorned

Before Sarah Palin was recently "outed" for having had the RNC buy her $150,000 worth of clothes, there were news reports out about how she had broken free from her handlers and did several impromptu press conferences.

As I watched and read the news report about those impromptu talks with the press, the first thing that came to my mind was of a person who was starting the process of bailing ship before it sank. If Palin is to remain on the national scene after this election (yeah I already predicted McCain would lose the elections back in May of this year) she is gingerly stepping out so that people can get to know her apart from the McCain campaign.

I can't guarantee the effect the news about how WardRobeGate or TrooperGate will affect her in the long run. But as a woman, when we've been cornered and kept in a state of subordination by a man, we look for every chance to break free. That is what I see Palin doing. I see Sarah Palin as a master manipulator of what she does know. And she's pretty good at throwing words around in a nonsensical fashion that sounds good until you sit back and realize that she hasn't said anything of substance.

One friend feels that Palin will be around in four years to run again and she will be a formidable opponent once she has grasped the issue. I'm not feeling that. In fact in today's Washington Post story Sarah is quite proud to have once been called a "redneck".

Her response was cute, but then when you begin to really think about it, the "racist" brush that McCain/Palin ticket painted themselves with is beginning to look more realistic with every misstep the woman takes.

I don't know how much schooling Sarah Palin needs, but she still can't get right the proper definition of what the VP jobs consists of. Anyone who has watched the TV show 24 remembers how the VP declared the president unfit and then took over. Sarah is a very scheming woman. Can't you see her declaring McCain to have Alzheimer and then making herself president?

November 4th closing time of the polls for the entire country cannot come soon enough for me.

"Crying Wolf" Should Guarantee Jail Time

Every couple of months, there has been a headline-grabbing story in the Chicago area. Besides being a major news event for several days, it is one that wrenches this country and who we are and where we are going.

When the story hits the papers, as Americans, citizens and taxpayers, we are outraged to hear that certain crimes are being committed-especially when the victims of the crimes are very young women. Then, after the entire viewing public has been whipped into a frenzy over the crime, there is barely a sound made when the outcome is finally revealed.

We, the viewing and maligned public, barely offer a peep or a whimper. We are silent when we should be incensed. But for reasons I don't comprehend, the outrage that should be as much a part of the conclusion as it was when the crime was committed is barely displayed, voiced or demonstrated.

How can it be that a community that originally became outraged when the crime came to light can so easily accept the letdown following the outcome? Perhaps it has a lot to do with the fact that the original crime was a bald-face lie to begin with.

For example, last December we were all made aware of the case of Anu Solanski. She was the 24-year-old woman who went in the freezing cold to the river to place a religious Hindu statue in it. On her way to the Cook County Forest Preserves location where she wanted to put the statue, she managed to call a friend and tell them that four men are following her. Her car is later found but not her. She is headlines news for days as divers search the river for her. Over $200,000 of taxpayers' money is spent looking for her, only to learn that she faked her disappearance to run off with a man from California.

This past September we were again put into a tizzy when a young, white 17-year-old girl, working at a sandwich shop in Palos Hills was "sexually assaulted" by a man lurking around outside the store. Rather than call 911, her parents or even the owner, the girl calls a friend who arrives at the workplace to find her purse, cigarettes and cellphone scattered on the ground. When she finally shows up at home, she claims to have been raped by a man. She not only helps police make a sketch of the "Arab" who allegedly committed the crime, but two days later she is also involved in passing out those flyers. Alas, the truth comes to light with a small disclaimer in the papers that the girl, whose name was never made public, made up the entire incident. Taxpayers were again on the hook for another $200,000 and the community was frenzied up, only to have the incident turn out to be a complete fabrication.

Can it get even worse in this current rash of major phony crimes? Yes it can! Who didn't hear the news all last week about the Muslim female student Safia Z. Jilani at Elmhurst College who was attacked in the bathroom of the school and hit over the head? The entire campus was locked down, and student groups held a candlelight vigil to protest the racism and hate crime that occurred. Turns out she too made up the story.

Her lie cost taxpayers money, soiled the name and reputation of a school and again put the community into a tizzy.

All of these modern day trollops and tarts are guilty of "crying wolf." For whatever reason, these young females have no problem fabricating a lie and putting others in jeopardy as they claim their 10 minutes of fame. Those divers who searched the river in the dead of winter risked their lives because of the fabrication of a kidnapping, or worse, by Anu Solanski. Any man of Arab descent automatically risked being labeled or killed as a rapist because of the phony description given by the teenager in Palos Hills. All the male students at Elmhurst College were painted with a racist/terrorist brush because Safia Jilani accused them of that. All three of these females (they don't deserve to be called women) are victim-wannabees. But what they should all three be are inmates in the jail system with fines and prison sentences that will let the next young girl who wants to "cry wolf" know there are consequences for their actions.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sarah Palin Poll - Is She Qualified

Take the time to voice your opinion.

Palin Poll

Saving Money Ideas During This Rough Economic Times

It has always been said that when the American economy catches a cold, the black American economy catches pneumonia. Well thanks to the current economic crisis, many of us will soon discover the truth of that saying.

Many of us are not the children of parents who made it through the Great Depression. Our grandparents were the ones who saw the American economy tank. So some of us are still acting like what is currently happening is like something we have experienced in the past, but it's not. By the time our economy recovers, if it ever does, there will be new rules and regulations in effect that will substantially change credit, banking and perhaps life as we know it.

In days past, people would can the food they grew during the summer. Although too late to do it for this year, anyone with a yard should grow vegetables to help offset ever-increasing food costs. Every year since I have owned my house, I have grown tomatoes and peppers. Some people are hesitant about growing their own food. But any reason that one uses to justify not doing it (rats, bugs, animals, etc.) are also living in the fields of farmers who grow food for a living. Whatever can happen in your backyard garden, can and does happen in the farmers' fields.

I also put up what I grow by freezing rather than canning. The best part about freezing is that I use a vacuum sealer to preserve the vegetables. I put tomatoes in boiling water long enough for the skin to slip off then place them in bags, so I'll have them to add to soups, stews and chili for the entire winter. Every kind of pepper is easy to both grow and store. This year I grew green, yellow and red bell peppers. I also grew jalapenos and habaneros hot peppers. The hot peppers were so hot, I had to use plastic gloves when harvesting them and in all aspects of handling them.

What I like best about growing peppers is that you don't have to vacuum-seal them. They store just as well in regular plastic freezer bags. You can chop, slice or just freeze the peppers whole. With whole frozen peppers, I rinse them briefly then cut off what I need and return the rest to the freezer.

If you don't own a vacuum sealer, it is an investment well worth the money-also a deep freezer. For the past few weeks, I have been cooking double and triple batches of food and freezing portion-size amounts. The vacuum sealer also comes in handy when buying in bulk. I especially like using it for sealing meats. I recently found Perdue chicken breasts at 99 cents a pound. I bought about 20 pounds and then sealed them in bags in amounts that I need to cook with. Same with pork chops. Again I purchased a large amount and sealed them in sizes more suitable to my family's needs.

One of my favorite dishes is fried corn. It is best made with fresh corn, so I bought an entire bushel of corn, shucked and cut it off the cob and again froze it in amounts for me to be able to have all winter long.

As we continue our journey into the unknown economic future, saving pennies will lead to nickels, which lead to dimes, quarters and dollars. Let's all share ideas on how we can best accomplish that goal.

E-mail your ideas to Austin Weekly News at or mail them to 141 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park 60302.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Cell Phone in Washing Machine

In my haste to do the laundry, I sent my LG cellphone thru the wash. Now only a full cycle, but I then did an extra rinse and when I went to get my clothes out, well you know what I found.

The good part is that the phone is very clean. The even better part is that I let the phone dry out(took the battery off so that more air could get to it) and viola, turned it on and THE PHONE WORKS!

Saturday, October 11, 2008


You all know that I have been against the red light cameras for a number of reasons. Primarily because if any site in the city is generating that much money in red light running, the cameras should come out and the police officer should go in.

Anyway, here's a story from Philadelphia regarding their red light cameras.


Here's the story:

Refunds for Phila. motorists clocked improperly by red-light cameras
By Jeff Shields

Inquirer Staff Writer

The Philadelphia Parking Authority will give $100 refunds to 4,390 motorists ticketed this year, because its red-light cameras were a little too quick on the draw.
> Seven months after discovering that cameras along Roosevelt Boulevard and elsewhere were suffering from "premature activation" - but failing to determine the depth of the problem - the authority yesterday announced that it would wipe out the tickets at a cost to the agency of $440,000.

> "All I can do is offer my apologies to those who were affected, and assure them that the system is working properly," said Vincent Fenerty, the authority's executive director. He said he ordered the refunds because "I want the public treated fairly."

> The action came just days after Inquirer columnist Daniel Rubin wrote that the cameras along the Boulevard and elsewhere were calibrated incorrectly, and that a Central Pennsylvania man had challenged his ticket and won.

> Fenerty said that after he learned of the problem on Thursday, he ordered an investigation into how many motorists were affected by what he called "premature activation."

> The manager of the authority's red-light camera program, Christopher Vogler, discovered the discrepancy in March but was assured by the company that operates the cameras that it was an isolated problem, Fenerty said.

> "We did not know the magnitude of the problem, nor did the contractor report it," Fenerty said. "Should we have looked further? Most definitely. We didn't."

> When the authority began the red-light program in March 2005, it established a grace period of three-tenths of a second, meaning that only flagrant violators would receive the $100 citations.

> In February, when the city began upgrading the cameras from 35mm technology to digital, the problems began. According to the authority, the contractor, American Traffic Solutions (ATS), did not allow for the grace period, meaning that the cameras were snapping more quickly than expected.

> A spokesman for ATS yesterday confirmed that account. The error occurred because most ATS customers do not allow a grace period, and technicians sent to install the cameras did not include it in the programming, said Josh Weiss. He called it human error.

> New protocols will require workers to monitor violations for those falling within the grace period, he added.

> Weiss would not say why the company failed to investigate the extent of the problem detected by the authority in March. "We didn't know the extent of the number at that time," he said.

> The errant violations occurred between February, when the first cameras were converted to digital, and May, when the last camera was fixed, Fenerty said. The cameras with the most unwarranted violations were on the Boulevard at Mascher Street in Olney.

> Fenerty said that the drivers caught by the cameras were going through a red light, but that the cameras were triggered sooner than the widely advertised grace period.

> There were many other violations at those lights during the time period that were legitimate, Fenerty said.

> Fenerty said Vogler, who has worked for the authority since January 2006, "made a mistake." The incident, Fenerty said, would be "a very big learning experience" for Vogler, who he said has had a "stellar career."

> The city has 52 cameras at 10 intersections, including eight along the Boulevard, one at Broad Street and Oregon Avenue, and one at 34th Street and Grays Ferry Avenue.

> Letters of apologies with refunds are to be sent to those affected Fenerty said, and those who paid a $3 service fee for online payment will receive that back as well. The authority asked anyone with questions to call the red light program at 866-294-4500.


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Isn't it Time City Employees Fund Their Own Pensions?

I just got my real estate tax bill for the second installment. Boy am I mad. My taxes have doubled! In an economy where our U.S. Congress has bailed out Wall Street, our local politicians are trying their best to bury those of us eking out a living here on Chicago’s Side Streets.

One of the things the property tax bill does is tax us to pay for the retirement fund of those on the public dole. Now in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, most people who worked had a retirement plan paid for by their private employers. But starting in the 1980s, most private employers replaced pension funds with 401k(s). A 401K makes individual employees responsible for saving for their own retirements using a percentage of the money they make.

Now fast forward to today and as we sit in an economy reeling from the credit meltdown, riding a recession and if it continues, may lead to a depression, I think it is time we the average bungalow belt homeowner begin to ask ourselves if we can continue to be the financial source for paying the retirement benefits of public employee? Especially when those salaries are beyond what most of us make.

Take for example Police Superintendent Jody Weiss. He earns over $300,000 a year. Or Mayor Daley who earns around $216,000 a year. Don’t you think that they can afford to put some of that money away to pay for their own retirement? Add in the fringe benefits that they get like bodyguards and being chauffeured around and for them rising gas prices are at the expense of the public and not out of their own pockets.

Public employees are no longer “poorly paid”. Their salaries are commensurate or even better than those of people working in the private sector. When Mayor Daley defends the high salaries, he says the city has to compete with the private sector for top-notch individuals. Yet with a 400 million dollar budget shortfall affecting the city, one has to question just how “top-notch” those folks are.

The same can be said for the county. We pay the highest taxes in the country because of County Board President Todd Stroger and the rest of the Cook County Commissioners. Election time is coming and many of them will be on the ballot asking you to send them back to continue to fleece your pocketbooks. Every voter should do their homework prior to going into the election booth and determine if their current elected representative will get their vote. I can guarantee you that for many offices, I will no longer support the “do nothing“ incumbents.

By the way, a small blurb in the newspaper a few weeks back caught my attention. Tax Increment Financing (TIFs) is a tool to help impoverish areas develop. A TIF freezes the taxes in a community at the level they were at the point the TIF was put in place. All increases after the TIF goes into effect are placed in a special TIF fund that the mayor can use as he pleases.

Well one of the TIFs that will be expiring is the Central Loop TIF. It is said that that TIF alone will generate over 111 million dollars a year back into the regular city tax coffers instead of being sequestered in the TIF funds. So here’s a suggestion for those who have been protesting to get more funding for CPS. There are millions and millions of dollars being taken from taxpayers and put into TIF funds all over the city which the mayor uses as his own slush fund to pay for anything he wants in those areas. For example, the Central Loop TIF helped pay for building Millennium Park to subsidizing development of Theater Row and Block 37. So while many are screaming at Springfield to give more money, they should also look at where our tax dollars are going.

The recent Wall Street crisis has proven one thing. That is, we the taxpaying public can no longer just go about our merry way and expect others to do right. We must get involved and loudly let our politicians know how we feel. Otherwise, we will watch while they bail out everybody but us.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

For The Love (?) of the Game....

Story from the Houston Chronicle:

Trevor Wikre was willing to forgo a finger for football.

The Mesa State (Colo.) College senior offensive lineman fractured his right pinkie so severely in practice on Tuesday, doctors told him he needed immediate surgery. His season and career would be finished.

Instead, Wikre told them to amputate the finger. He's now missing a good portion of his pinkie.

"I'm just short one," Wikre said with a chuckle. "But this game means that much to me. This team means that much to me."

Wikre will miss the Mavericks' game Saturday at Colorado School of Mines, but will be back the following week — albeit with his finger covered in a cast.

"Football is something that's been in my blood," said Wikre, who's from Berthoud, Colo. "It's something I have a passion for. The game quits everybody eventually — you want to hang on to it as long as you can."

Wikre was going for a block in practice when he caught his finger in a teammate's jersey. At first, he didn't give the ailing pinkie a second thought, thinking the sensation he was feeling inside his glove was a piece of tape that had simply slipped off.

But when he removed his glove, the bone was jutting out, and he was immediately sent to the hospital.

Doctors informed Wikre he would need surgery to insert a pin and that he'd likely be out for up to six months as the finger healed. He couldn't bear the thought of his career ending so abruptly, so he decided to forsake the finger.

"This was the best way to get me back out there," Wikre said. "There are worse things in the world — a pinkie is not that bad in my mind."

The four-year starter is still a little sore that he can't play this weekend. Mesa State, a Division II school in Grand Junction, Colo., has won its last three games, and Wikre didn't want to mess up the mojo.

"We've got a great team," said Wikre, who was an all-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference player last season. "We've got to keep this rolling."

Instead, he'll mentor his backup on the sideline, shouting encouragement and advice.

"I'll be that big supporter," he said.

The 6-3, 280-pound Wikre said he'll never glance back at his decision with remorse.

What's done is done.

"Never look back on the decisions you make," he said. "Everybody thinks I'm crazy, but anybody that loves sports and has had this camaraderie knows what it's like."

That's why he was willing to part with his pinkie.

"This will be a great story down the line," Wikre said.

Mortgage Fraud Column - FROM JUNE 2006

Know why I am so angry about the current mortgage crisis that has been going on? It's because it is an issue that I had written about previously. It should come as no shock that what happened - happened.

Originally Published June 22, 2006

One of my best friends as I was growing up always used the lesson out of Galatians 6:7. His basic premise for life was that as a person, we reap what we sow. He would forever remind me that I cannot plant wheat in the spring and spend the entire summer talking about the corn I would harvest. If you plant wheat, you’ll harvest wheat. You won’t harvest corn!

That life lesson has been one of my foundations. I use it and the wonderful old folk’s saying, “the acorn does not fall far from the tree”; “you get what you paid for” to be some of the guiding principals in how I live and see my life. But as a community, do those same lessons apply? Is the Austin community reaping what it has sown? Are the young people in Austin representative of the elders who live here? As a community, are we getting what we paid (taxes) for?

Recently there was a story in the paper about a house at 1054 N. Lorel. The house owned by HUD is in bad shape. The front and back doors were messed up, the kitchen was missing, it had exposed pipes and wiring. You get the picture. In general, that house would need a complete tear out and rehab in order to make it livable again.

Anyway as the story went in the paper two men, one from Wilmette and the other from Highland Park (both very well-to-do northern suburbs) decided to attempt to play a mortgage fraud game using that house. In a nutshell, the house was appraised at $105,000 in 2005. Using a complex mortgage fraud scheme, they did get a new appraisal for $257,000 (based on the man from Wilmette) and a loan to match. Then they recruited a buyer who agreed to lie about his earnings and the work done on the house. The man from Wilmette added to the lie by being an appraiser and stating that work had been done on the house to make it fully livable with new floors, kitchen, bath, etc. In reality, very little had been done to the house. The game was to get the mortgage money ($257,000), pay off the amount to buy the house ($105,000) and run off with the difference. The buyer turned out to be an informant for the FBI. At the closing for the house, the FBI arrested the appraiser.

What does a situation like that have to do with reaping what you sow? Well as a community if we don’t stay watchful for what others are doing, we will reap what they have sown. Sometimes it can be good. But let’s be real. In the black community, when others play games using us as their pawns, it only benefits them and never us. In the case of the house at 1054 N. Lorel, let’s say the scheme worked. Based on the way the Cook County Assessor office works, that transaction closing that house for $257,000 would have gone thru to the Assessor (taxman) office. The Assessor office would then say that every house in the vicinity of 1054 N Lorel is now worth $257,000. When it came time to determine what your property value is and how much you should be paying in real estate taxes, the house at 1054 N. Lorel would be the current standard. Your tax bill would then go from (example) $1200 a year to $2400 a year since the property value has doubled to almost tripled

How can that be? Well, the truth is that the Assessor’s office and the way they calculate your property taxes is antiquated. It’s old and obsolete. 50 years ago, there wasn’t any mortgage fraud going on like today. People paid what the house was really worth and not an inflated amount. What can be done? Well I say all three Austin aldermen, Smith, Mitts and Carothers should begin an immediate investigation into mortgage fraud in their areas of Austin. They should call in the Board of Review and allow people an extra opportunity to contest their property taxes based on Austin being targeted by those who want to commit mortgage fraud (and have probably already committed it here). They should also become the loudest voices in city council for property tax reform.

In the meantime, everyone should go online and look at the closing transactions for properties in the vicinity of their houses. The Chicago Tribune is a good website to use. If a house sold for more money that what it seems it should have, bring it up to your elected officials as well as write us here at the paper.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Pay Attention, America!

There is an old saying, "It was the straw that broke the camel's back." That was the first thing that came to my mind as I analyzed the current financial crisis affecting this country. Many of our financial institutions were out of control and now the straw (sub-prime mortgage lending) has broken the back of our Wall Street economy (the camel).

When I first heard of low-doc/no-doc loans, 125% loan-to-value, and interest-only loans, each one screamed "Nonsense!" Why would you loan money to someone who produces very few documents? Who among you would want to work your butt off to buy and own a home only to have the neighborhood filled with folks who don't have the same commitment to the process? Or how about being able to take out a loan on a house and get money in the process?

Yes, there were people who bought a house for, say, $100,000 and left the closing with $25,000, thus ending up owing $125,000 or more in total for the property. Lastly, if you buy a house and only pay the interest and the value of the house drops, then you end up owing more on the house than the house was worth.

Those three components of the straw are part of the reason this country is in the current economic mess. When you add to the mix mortgage brokers and lenders whose only purpose was to sell the initial loan; make huge commissions by doing so, and then make even more money by selling bad loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the straw breaking the camel's back was more of a log that our politicians helped create.

You see, a huge reason for the sub-prime market surge was because the American dream of a house, car and two kids wasn't what all politicians could claim their constituents possessed. Homeownership has always been the benchmark by which success in America was measured.

Yet for black people, homeownership eluded many of us. So the government made it easier for home loans to be made. And, of course, the greedy soon found a way to make lots of money by putting ill-qualified folks into houses. Nothing was learned when areas such as Roseland became financially depressed neighborhoods where HUD home after HUD home was foreclosed on by lenders.

Now back in the 1970s and 80s when this was occurring, many of the lenders were quick to foreclose because the loans were guaranteed by the government and therefore the lender didn't get stuck holding the bag.

But fast-forward to today and there has been another significant but seldom talked about phenomenon taking place that few politicians want to discuss: the significant number of illegal aliens who were given NINJA (no income, no job or assets) loans.

According to Michelle Malkin of the Washington Times, a lot of illegal aliens were used as "straw" buyers for phony mortgage purchases to flip houses that no one actually lived in or fixed up. When mortgage companies, because of political correctness, were encouraged to lend money to anyone who found a house-citizenship, social security numbers and credit history be damned-then our mortgage system was crying to be ripped off. Deny a loan to someone who can't produce any ID and you will be called "racist" or "xenophobe." When banks weren't making enough profits to make their shareholders happy, they offered credit cards and bank accounts to anyone showing up with a foreign government's ID card.

If you look at a map of where the most money was lost because of this type of subprime lending and areas that had huge illegal alien populations, they match. Even more interesting is that the National Council of La Raza almost got a $10-million earmark to "counsel" people on getting mortgages with little to no money down. One example cited was in Las Vegas where 233 FHA loans, valued at $25 million, went bad. Those loans were given to people who lied about their identities, income and turned out to be illegal immigrants. Now U.S. taxpayers are expected to bail out the problem.

As Bernie Mack would say, "Pay Attention, America!"

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Sarah Palin Update - Can't Name a Supreme Court Decision

Before I got my daily Sarah Palin Interview Laugh on, I had to reflect if I knew of a Supreme Court decision that I disagreed with. Whew, thank god I know more than Sarah Palin (I keep mispelling her last name as Plain. Could that mean something????). Anyway, I digress. My supreme court decision that I am totally against was Kelo Vs. New London Ct. The supreme court supported the use of eminent domain in a case where the city wanted to replace houses that the people had lived in for years with condos so that it could generate more revenue.

What did Sarah say?


Can we find some real men to teach this fool a lesson?

Although there isn't any sound, the first two young girls were in line when the "man" came in and butted. Guess those two young boys with him have learned a valuable lesson in how to treat women. I wonder if that "man" treats his mama like he did the young girl.

BTW, he hit her after she cursed him. I almost understood his anger..... But grown folks should never respond to children in a physical method. He could have just called her a trollop and sent her off to find a dictionary to see what the meaning was.

Man beats Girl