Governor for the Day? The problem of over-simplification

Earlier today I came across a very interesting resource: an interactive model of the Illinois state budget. In case you have been living under a rock, Illinois is about as well-run as gymnasium managed by chimpanzees (and I fear that I give that state’s legislators too much credit in the comparison). The extent of Illinois’Continue reading “Governor for the Day? The problem of over-simplification”

The Mali I Knew

This post is not about the country currently torn in two by Tuareg rebels and their Al-Qaida allies whose extremism has recent spread like a disease to Algeria, but of what I saw in Mali a few years ago. The Mali then was no paradise. It suffered under the chains of poverty and its peopleContinue reading “The Mali I Knew”

Streetwise Goes Global!

Streetwise, a local magazine written and sold by Chicagoans affected by homelessness, had a great issue over the New Years. For those that don’t know Streetwise is a real asset to the community. In a job market that has far too few entry level positions, this non-profit allows those who are homeless or in fearContinue reading “Streetwise Goes Global!”

What do you know about your tank of gas? (The answers are here!)

Last week I put up this poll asking where our oil comes for here in Chicago? Thanks to the monthly data on imports, I can now report that the majority of Illinois’ petroleum comes from our neighbors to the north: Canada. Congratulations to the forty percent of you who got this one right! But those whoContinue reading “What do you know about your tank of gas? (The answers are here!)”

QE3: Money for Nothing (and the Chicks for Free)

Chicago School Teachers entered the second week on strike following disagreements over a medley of education issues. As a result average Chicagoans have been frantically searching for safe alternative daycare. And to make matters worse our beloved Bears fell short up in Green Bay. Chicago has been busy. Yet from the Beltway came a Fed decision thatContinue reading “QE3: Money for Nothing (and the Chicks for Free)”

Help a College Class Learn about Political Polling!

Please take the short linked poll. It was designed by my advanced Elections class at Harper College (with some guidance). Next Wednesday, the class will analyze the results! https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dFNuZDJuOHA0MDlveldCSUI5R0ttZEE6MQ

The Poor Penniless Penny

What is America’s obsession with the penny? Quoting a study from 1976, the US Mint suggested that the humble penny is the “most widely used denomination in circulation.” Even more bizarre, the one cent coin  requires nearly 2.5 cents in raw materials. A penny saved is now a penny and half of your tax dollarsContinue reading “The Poor Penniless Penny”

Where Should We Plant the Canadian Flag?

The Supreme Court just confirmed the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (PPACA) individual mandate. This provision requires all uninsured Americans to enroll in health insurance or pay a tax penalty. For those who could not afford insurance, the Act was also to expand Medicaid. This second provision was adjusted but notContinue reading “Where Should We Plant the Canadian Flag?”

Rio Redbull, Now at Macy’s

As part of Macy’s “Brasil” summer marketing campaign, the former Marshall Fields superstore has added some fun extras to their usual inventory. In addition to Brazilian themed clothes, there are music CDs with killer beats (my personal favorite song was not there), snacks, and even a soda from our southern neighbors, Guarana Antarctica.  According toContinue reading “Rio Redbull, Now at Macy’s”

Lessons for Wisconsin from the Southern Tiger

I have introduced a new section to the site that is devoted to book reviews. Like everything else on GlobalChicago, the focus is on books that contain both a local element and an international joie de vie. The first book is The Southern Tiger an autobiography of former Chilean anti-Pinochet activist turned president, Ricardo Lagos. It is aContinue reading “Lessons for Wisconsin from the Southern Tiger”