Pierre McGuire proclaims World Champ Corey Crawford is lacking confidence

25 Jun Pierre McGuire is killing NBC Sports Hockey coverage

This video perfectly illustrates why I think Pierre McGuire is the biggest douche bag network broadcaster in professional sports. Dickhead tells Corey Crawford, who seconds ago won the 2013 Stanley Cup that he, as in Corey, lost confidence. He TOLD him. McGuire did not ASK him.

Pierre “Dickhead” McGuire – “Corey, the last time you were in this building, it was a rough game. Your confidence was sketchy. How’d you get it back?”

Corey “World Champion Goalie” Crawford – “I never lost confidence. No one in our locker-room ever did.”

I’m not a big time corporate sponsor. Just a fan of hockey, so my advice may be worthless and ignored. I’ll give it out anyway. NBC Sports, you have a great opportunity. ESPN refuses to cover hockey in any way, shape or form. Take advantage of this by showcasing it and all the glory that the NHL delivers in virtually every minute of every game.

Report the game. Focus on the players, the coaches, the staff, the TEAMS. That is what hockey fans want from you. If they want to listen to an asshole like Pierre McGuire give his irrelevant opinion, they would turn off the TV and turn up an AM radio to listen to idiots like him call sports talk radio shows.

NBC, you do not need personality and opinion from the patronizing Pierre McGuire when you have THE NHL! It only annoys and undermines what FANS want to see, the solid gold, bigger then life, gladiators on ice who are battling like Spartans for the honor of hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup and being crowned the 2013 World Champions.

Boston Bruins, thank you for a great series.

The Chicago Blackhawks are the 2013 World Champions.

Pierre McGuire is almost as upset by this as he becomes when Cindy Crosby let’s his calls go to voice mail.

The White Sox are a Disgrace

15 Jun Nolan Ryan beating the shit out of Robin Ventura

The White Sox are a Disgrace

A disgrace to Chicago.

A disgrace to anyone that works for a living.

A disgrace to the fans that look forward to sharing memories of baseball with family.

A disgrace to the Southsider or the baseball fan that defends them when talking baseball with a Cub fan.

A disgrace to Major League Baseball. To the 29 other teams that have the privilege of being identified and cherished as America’s Pastime.

I can continue the list, but the point is made. The White Sox are sickening.

Last night while washing my truck I had the familiar displeasure of listening to the White Sox lose. Ed Farmer and Darrin Jackson on 670 AM broadcasting the Sox playing at Houston. The Astros who have a record of 24 wins and 44 losses. Good enough to currently be in last place in the American League, defeat the White Sox, who will shortly assume that last place distinction. Pitching a journeyman bustout named Eric Bedard, 4.82 ERA is all that it takes to hold the White Sox to 1 run. Sox lose because the Astros were capable of scoring 2. Unearned.

The ace of the staff, the only player on the team worth acknowledging is Chris Sale, 2.43 ERA, pitches yesterday. Sox are favorites -190. Unfortunately Chris Sale cannot field all nine positions and be the entire batting line-up. This team can lose games anytime, any place, and even when the starting pitcher goes the distance allowing ZERO earned runs.

The pathetic performance of the gutless White Sox has me so disgusted that I feel the need to put it in words. To share my frustration. This post will let me look back at the day I all but vomited on my Sony transistor radio because of the White Sox organization. A summer is ahead in which baseball will be an afterthought as I wait for Bears training camp and college football.

Is it surprising that the White Sox suck? No. So what really makes this season so infuriating? For me it is the way they play. The lack of passion, the lack of accountability, the complete absence of hope. What would it take to give us a Lee Elia rant? Trade everybody and fire the entire staff and front office, except Roger Bossard. Find new people NOW. Make them, DO. THEIR. JOB.

ZERO accountability.

Can the PR team drop the never ending campaign centered on “the fans don’t show up?” Replace it with “we suck, live with it. Your tax dollars payed for the stadium anyway. Fuck you.” The marketing department may not be intentionally messaging that, but the organization is. And we hear you loud and clear.

When you beg Robin Ventura a man famous for one thing only, being Nolan Ryan’s punching bag, to manage, even though he never has, and he doesn’t want to, you are sending the message.

When you trot out a thief that has stolen $56 million dollars, Adam Dunn batting .181 with 79 strikeouts in 216 at bats, you are sending the message.

When your catcher Tyler Flowers is hitting .222 in 166 at bats replaces A.J. Pierzynski hitting .295 in 162 at bats for the Texas Rangers, you are sending the message.

You allow number 56, the heart and soul of the Pale Hose to leave in free agency. Mark Buehrle, the leader of the 2005 World Champion Chicago White Sox, the first team to win the World Series in Chicago since 1917, you sent the message. You do not care about the fans. At all. Mark Buehrle was the statesman and living, playing ambassador of the Chicago White Sox. Mark Buehrle is my favorite baseball player. Ever. Let’s remember a few of the memories of what 56, Mark Buehrle did on the field for the “Good Guys.”

2005 World Series game 3, SAVE. This after 56 started and the Sox won game 2. Swept the Astros.  

April 18, 2007 no-hit the Texas Rangers at U.S. Cellular Field.

June 14, 2009 home run off the Milwaukee Brewers Braden Looper.

July 23, 2009 perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays, at U.S. Cellular Field.

On July 28, 2009, Buehrle established the MLB record for number of consecutive hitters retired, breaking the previous record of 41 held by Jim Barr and Bobby Jenks, by retiring Minnesota Twin and former teammate Joe Crede; he went on to retire the next three batters to set the record at 45 consecutive batters retired. The streak ended with a walk to Alexi Casilla, foiling another perfect game after 5⅔ innings.

Number 56, Mark Buehrle played for the White Sox for 12 years. He has a career ERA of 3.85 and 177 wins. He now plays in Toronto. DISGRACE. Shame on the organization. Shame on anyone that defends the actions of this organization.

The message has been sent by the organization. “We do not care about the fans. We will win if we get lucky or if it is convenient. Fuck you.” The marketing department cannot polish that turd.

And this stagecoach of thieves disguised as apathetic rodeo clowns was assembled by Kenny Williams, who has handed the reins to his sidekick Rick Hahn.

Unlike the White Sox, I have sympathy for anyone I may hurt. Hawk Harrelson, I’m sorry. I apologize for broadcasting how I feel, because I will miss you. Like a family BBQ or a round of golf, Hawk Harrelson is summertime to me. I am leaving you, but it’s not you, it’s me. If a company tries to sell me a shit sandwich, I eat elsewhere. Chicago White Sox, stick your shit sandwich and side order of Adam Dunn up your ass.

Good riddance.

Disgrace.

Dick Durbin’s Marketplace Fairness Act and My Reply to Him

26 Apr Senator Dick Durbin Marketplace Fairness Act S. 336

This is a response I received from Senator Dick Durbin this morning, followed by the email response I sent him. It is regarding the Marketplace Fairness Act (S. 336). This is an amendment to the 2014 Budget Resolution which was passed by the Senate last month 75-24.

April 26, 2013

John Sostak

Chicago, IL

Dear Friend:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the Marketplace Fairness Act (S. 336). I appreciate knowing your views on this issue.

On February 14, 2013, Senator Mike Enzi of Wyoming introduced the Marketplace Fairness Act. This bill is designed to allow local Main Street retailers to compete more effectively against out-of-state merchants who sell over the internet.

Currently, retailers are only required to collect sales tax in states where they also have brick-and-mortar stores. The burden falls to consumers, who are required to report to state tax departments any sales taxes they owe for online purchases. As a result, local retailers are at a competitive disadvantage because they must collect sales taxes while out-of-state retailers, including many large online and catalog retailers, collect no state or local sales taxes. Consumers are left with the responsibility of reporting the sales taxes owed on online purchases on their tax returns. .

S. 336 would give states the option to collect sales tax already owed under current law from out-of-state businesses, rather than rely on consumers to report those taxes on their tax returns. The bill would not impose any new tax; rather, it would allow states to enforce the collection of sales tax already owed.

In 1992, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that out-of-state vendors are not required to collect sales taxes for states in which the vendors do not have a typical brick and mortar presence. In an effort to stem the loss of tax revenue caused by internet sales, several states are participating in an initiative to simplify and coordinate their tax codes. This effort is called the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA). S. 336 provides states the ability to enforce their existing laws upon becoming a member of the SSUTA or by adopting alternative minimum simplification requirements. States would have the clear authority to require all retailers to collect sales taxes and release consumers from tax remittance obligations. Contrary to some statements regarding the legislation, it will not increase the reporting burden on small businesses. Further, it would protect many truly small businesses from collection requirements by exempting those with annual gross remote sales under $1 million.

States, including Illinois, are grappling with a reduced tax base and growing needs as our nation recovers from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Our local businesses are struggling to complete against their remote counterparts. This bill provides states with much-needed revenue to keep providing essential services, as well as levels the playing field for businesses so they can all have a fair shot to succeed, create and retain jobs, and continue to contribute to local economies.

Thank you again for contacting me. I will keep your concerns about this bill in mind as this issue is discussed in the Senate. Please feel free to keep in touch.

Sincerely,

Richard J. Durbin

United States Senator

RJD/b

My response to the Senator who so generously addressed me as “Friend.” I didn’t realize how loosely applied the word Friend has become. It goes without saying that there aren’t any politicians that are Friends to anyone that cannot afford to pay them for their Friendship.

Senator Durbin,

I guess I should appreciate an email response, however, it is patronizing and written in political speak, which I had to reread to make sure I was interpreting it correctly. This language you write in is not my native tongue or one I learned through the course of my life.

As a lifelong Chicago resident, I know Illinois. I have also lived outside of Chicago while serving in the Army, and I do of course travel on occasion. You mention protecting Main Street retailers. I’m curious which retailers specifically. In Chicago we have Targets and WalMarts popping up in every neighborhood and CRUSHING any small brick and mortar stores that did or could serve a community while proving lucrative or at least viable to the mom and pop that invests in it. Stores owned by PEOPLE, not the TGT corporation at $70 a share or WMT corporation at $78 a share. Wouldn’t those be the out of state merchants you should be protecting us “Main Street retailers” your words, from?

As you impose a state by state tax burden, or a tiered tax burden on Internet retailers, all you are doing is once again, delivering another advantage to the mega conglomerates that already dominate every aspect of American life. The monopolies continue to consume more of our money because true small businesses cannot compete with them, because they own your votes.

The last place that a true mom and pop like us, my wife and me, have any chance of carving out a small retail business is online. Our government has bent over backward and given away the keys to the city and state to the huge retailers. Chicago is dominated by Target, WalMart, Costco, Petco, PetSmart, Home Depot, Menards, McDonald’s, 7-Eleven, and the list goes on. So the only advantage these stores do not have is local tax, and now you vote to give that to them?

The tax collected on sales will not outweigh the economic opportunity you are taking away. This business opportunity benefits the economy and grows the tax base more, and more efficiently. This tax is another tool for the corporation, not the state. The corporations through THEIR bought and paid for lobbyists and representatives are crushing us. Both houses of Congress are letting the corporations consume more individual opportunity and wealth. This sucks.

You complain that career politicians are “grappling with a reduced tax base and growing needs” without being honest about why this is really is happening. Those same corporations I mentioned above have replaced hardware stores, gift shops, corner stores and small markets and grocers and restaurants. The small stores were sources of income for families, the new monopolies are employers of the working poor. Your, (I use your as you are my Senator and a career politician) policies and tax giveaways to these mammoth corporations is the true reason our tax base is reduced. They pay minimum wage and they do not pay taxes like the rest of us. We are supposed to pretend that sales tax makes up for the money lost from allowing them to do business in my neighborhood and the Country like wildcats? The “increased needs” are because these employers are paying $10 an hour and workers NEVER see overtime and can’t afford benefits.

We (Americans) are lucky that there isn’t more that the Senate and Congress can give to these corporations. If the trend continues We won’t have anything left to give.

Sincerely,

John Sostak

Chicago should become the leader in solar energy

23 Mar Chicago, beautiful blue sky behind broken wires and rusty transformers

I’m not a scientist. I am a pragmatist. Unless some online college for profit like the prestigious University of Phoenix begins an undergrad program for those of us that are devotees of the field of common sense, I’ll remain a self proclaimed, unlicensed master of the obvious. A student of life that can see beyond the elephants conveniently placed directly in front of the truth.

My most recent method of informing, some say annoying, my bride, barber, bartender, bookie, and the unfortunate people I call buddy is a verbal assault/stream of consciousness manifesto on how we must commit to the sun. Wind and hydro belong in this plan. Zero waste trash disposal belongs in this plan. See Sweden. The sun should be first, because all other renewables will easily assimilate into a new smart grid.

The miracle of modern engineering called a telephone pole. Behind my home.

The miracle of modern engineering called a telephone pole. Behind my home.

Mayor Emanuel and Governor Quinn, can we start a Sunshine Project here, in Chicago? A well managed public works project that builds tunnels beneath our streets. Check out the list of needs that can be accomplished with our, get ready, we’re naming it, Chicago Tunnel Utilities Project. Or Sunshine. Ta da.

No more wires on poles. Electric and communication lines are in the new service tunnels.

New metered water service to every structure. Lead pipes, buh-bye. Water waste identified and eliminated.

100+ year old sewers are now new, and basements of taxpayers are now dry.

Good old PGLC – People’s Gas Light and Coke Company, or whatever they call themselves today can now can install new gas meters that residents cannot tamper with which can also be monitored remotely. Gas leaks mitigated by the click of a mouse.

Six corner intersections and train tracks can all be modified to reduce traffic congestion. Hey, we’re digging, tying rebar and pouring concrete, traffic management should be addressed too.

The best part is the smart grid. A power grid that will not only deliver electricity to my home, but can purchase and distribute energy that I generate but do not need. On demand solar energy management. See Germany.

Every home in Chicago should have solar panels, without the need for a storage system for surplus energy. Surplus energy can be diverted by the grid to high use structures and services. El-Trains, high rises, McCormick Place, street lights and schools. The list is endless. The sun helps to reduce the dramatic demand for natural gas and coal. Carbon based fuel can be used more efficiently and the cherry on this sundae?

An enormous public works project that this economy needs more then any oil or gas company needs a tax subsidy. More then North America needs another refinery or pipeline. And it can be done without new money. Without raising taxes. Just use the taxes we already collect to pay for good, solar, rather then evil, oil. Citizens for Tax Justice is a must visit website if you are interested in learning exactly how the wealthiest and most powerful corporations avoid paying taxes, despite their profits which are dependent on our infrastructure, land and people.

Use the Citizens for Tax Justice report as a baseline to understand that subsidizing dirty fuel and the largest corporations actually increases what the middle class pay in taxes. We are paying for these guys to play for free in the casino called America.  Here’s a link to a PDF reporting 30 huge no-tax paying corporations. 

Solar is ready, and Chicago is the city with big shoulders, big balls, and the men and women that can make this happen today. We need clean energy. We need jobs to improve ALL our lives. Solar is an ongoing infrastructure project that can build back our tax base and reduce the violence that flourishes in communities that suffer from a disproportionate unemployment rate, like Chicago’s south and west sides.

Mostly intact wires hanging over the paint factory behind my home

Mostly intact wires hanging over the paint factory behind my home

Thousands of jobs will be created by small business owners working together to harness the power of the sun. The small contractors replacing roofs and installing panels. The suppliers running materials. The large contractors building the tunnels. Then peripherally, the bars, restaurants, the families that can finally build a new deck or replace a kitchen because they know they have the work to pay for home improvements. The tradesman that can replace his 2002 Ford F-150 with a new truck. Employment for people that want to get out of poverty that pays above the poverty line and provides benefits for us and our families.

Unlike politicians and lobbyists, the sun is not the enemy. As a pragmatic man learned in the use of all things available, I know that sunshine has more to offer Americans then what we currently appreciate about sunshine. The excuse to visit Mexico in February, vitamin D and melanoma come to mind.

Solar energy. The time has come. In 1980 Big Oil helped Ronald Reagan defeat Jimmy Carter. Before President Reagan boldly demanded that the USSR “tear down this wall” he first told the keepers of the White House to remove the solar panels that President Carter had installed on the roof. “The Department of Energy has a multibillion-dollar budget, in excess of $10 billion,” Reagan said during an election debate with Carter, justifying his opposition to the latter’s energy policies. “It hasn’t produced a quart of oil or a lump of coal or anything else in the line of energy.”  You see, oil men don’t want us to use solar. Because they sell oil.

President Jimmy Carter 1979

President Jimmy Carter 1979

Politically everyone is sharply divided. Our government is obnoxiously inconsiderate of the needs of the greater good, and to a lesser extent, the voter that elected them.  It doesn’t seem like our traditional two party system can agree on anything. Sadly, this gridlock is not idealistic, it is theater to maintain the status quo. Those that pay the elected officials, although they call it campaign donations, want the status quo. The status quo only benefits the people in power. the wizard behind the curtain. I think if a democratic member of congress says to a republican member “it’s sunny out today,” he might be met with a response like “until we get spending under control we will continue to exist in a black hole that consumes the American dream.” This theater is not meant to entertain, it is to maintain. The status quo.

I’ll now state something obvious, children cover your ears. The people elected to congress are assholes that do not care about anything that does not benefit themselves personally and immediately. They are not elected by and for the people. They are elected by the money spent to get them in office by and for wealthy power brokers.

Let’s make enough noise that we stop allowing tax money to be spent on oil, and start rebuilding the nation’s energy grid so that we can use the sun for things we need, like powering my flat screens. Charging my iPhone. Warming the water that I enjoy bathing in. Illuminating our streets.

We are not a poor country. To control you and maintain the status quo, our politicians are pretending we are. Do not believe the old man screaming “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”  

Urban farming…actually, cleaning my alley

19 Mar My alley facing east

I’m not a farmer. I live in Chicago. The City of Chicago. Real Chicago is not the tourist Chicago that is a phallic flowing fountain with your reflection on it and the AMAZING $20 MILLION DOLLAR BEAN. Millennium Park is not the Chicago I call home.

My pride and joy, and my dog.

My pride and joy, and my dog.

About once a month I pretend to be a farmer.  I don’t have much land.  Just a small two flat in Ukranian Village.  I live on a block about 600 feet long and across the street from a Chicago Public School.  When I feel the agrarian urge to tend the land, to work a crop, to harvest food for a village, I clean my alley.

If you live in Chicago, and it isn’t in the Cardinal’s Residence on the Gold Coast or Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s home in Ravenswood – Roscoe Village, your alley is fucked up.  It takes me a couple of weeks of watching the dog shit pile up and pretending that the rats I constantly see are squirrels before I take action.  When I do, I am ever more convinced of  the stark reality that we are a city of socialized savages that without governance can devolve into neanderthals.

“It is not the strongest of species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives.  It is the one that is the most adaptable.” Charles Darwin.

Dr. Darwin, you are needed in Chicago, posthaste. I’m not a scientist, I’m not even the urban farmer I sometimes endeavor to be. I do know that I am stronger then an alley rat.  I also believe that rats will bare nonpartisan witness to the Chicago homo sapiens extinction.

Zosia hates watching people litter

Zosia hates watching people litter

I pull out the tools one needs to work the land, and begin farming.  “Hey Buddy! Get the fuck out of that garbage can.  Come back when you learn how to put the toys you don’t want back where you found them.” Clear of vagrants, I’m now ready to work.

Two hours later, my energy is waning.  Having only worked about 75 feet of alley, err, I mean farm, I feel I must do 25 more feet, despite the constant interruptions.  Neighbors pulling in and out of their garages.  Shopping-Cart Poor looking for beer cans.  1980ish Chevy Pick-Up Truck Poor looking for hot water tanks.  The employees from the paint factory behind my home smoking weed next to their dumpster.  Apparently if you are separated from someone by a chain link fence the drug use you are doing is not visible.  Or they just don’t give a fuck about their job.

Amazing what can accumulate in a week or two in a typical Chicago alley.  Broken glass, batteries, old auto oil left behind my garbage cans by a person fortunate enough to have a vehicle worth changing the oil in. This person is also not a resident of my home, so I am grateful he was environmentally conscious enough to leave most of the dirty oil in a plastic milk jug.  The extra quart or two he left on the concrete is easily cleaned by a combination of absorption into the earth and tires from vehicles smearing it through the rest of the neighborhood. Whatever remains I throw some sand on, shuffle over the sand, then sweep it up. Thank you environmental ally/alley mechanic. With any luck we one day meet in person so I can thank you with more then words.

The uglier items begin to appear. This is the life I chose. I am aware that the farm comes with the rocks. I am curious why I seem to only grow rocks instead of crops, but I digress.  The additional filth I find and place in the poorly made broken plastic trash cans paid for by our increasingly long list of city, county, state, federal taxes not the least of which is my $6K a year property taxes.  Condoms, crack bags, dog shit, band aids, the carcass of what appears to have once been a pigeon can all be found hovering under and around the previously described “poorly made broken plastic garbage cans”, recycling bins, and another previous neighbors furniture.

Furniture continues to appear in the middle of the night, to be discovered by alley shoppers and urban farmers in the morning. Why move so late? Why leave such treasure as a velour sectional and twin sized beds that resemble large sponges soaked with piss behind?  At the very least Craigslist would love for you to offer them to those who need pissy furniture before you deposit them in a Chicago alley. Spoils of the To Big To Fail or Even Get In Trouble, Big Bank inflicted housing bubble. Instead, here they will remain for months because the garbage men will only remove them when the alderman has had a sufficient number of complaints that he pulls the levers of power to make them disappear.

Looks like a prayer card

Looks like a prayer card

The saddest item I found in the field this time is a prayer card.  Under a wet Menards sale circular and next to the difficult to identify without forensic training, carcass.  A picture of Joseph holding Jesus.  I am wearing breathable gloves, but this is Jesus, so I do not fear being exposed to the viruses that blossom in our urban utopia.  I turn the card over to read the prayer and the name of the deceased, but instead I find something even more unusual then the bent spoon and rubber strap on the ground beneath it.  I find the name of Rosa Gonzalez.  Her contact info and what appears to be a company slogan, in Spanish for an Insurance Agency named Active Insurance. What. The. Fuck. So Active Insurance has decided to market itself through prayer cards. I am going to have to check the holy candle section at the carniceria to see if they put stickers on the Our Lady of Guadalupe candles. I should be thankful instead of disgusted that the appearance of holiness does not deter trash from ending up wear it belongs.

It's actually an Insurance Company

It’s actually an Insurance Company

Another fine day in the fields complete but never completed, I now can enjoy a beer. I know there is always more that can be done. As hard work is tonic for the soul, beer is tonic for the life I chose.

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