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"Under Daley the main qualification for service on the [Chicago Plan] commission is loyalty to Daley." —"A Commission of Puppets" by Ben Joravsky, May 15

Half Full, Half Empty

Re "A Commission of Puppets" by Ben Joravsky, May 15

Great article, same old Chicago, just new names. Stick with it, protesters, the law is on your side.

Bright Spencer

With All Our Rage; We Are Still; Just Rats In His Cage.

Joe from Chicago

Made in Mexico

Re "On the Trail of the Delta Tamale" by Mike Sula, May 15

The mother-in-law sandwich is known in Mexico as a "torta de tamal." In Mexico City it is a bolillo [stuffed with] a hot tamal (please do not spell it tamale; in Spanish the words that end in a consonant are pluralized with an "es" ending). It is usually served with a cup of atole (or a cornstarch-based, flavored hot drink, usually chocolate).

The practice probably originated because of the portability of the sandwich, and also because it allows for either salsa or chili to be put on top of it, and all without using a plate.

Rolando J. Romero

Secure Revenue by Raising Taxes With Gas Prices

Re "Repeat After Me: TIFs Are Great" by Ben Joravsky, October 6, 2006

When the oil companies raise their prices, people drive less, which means they buy less gas, which means there is less revenue (from gas taxes) that is received by the city, county, state, and federal governments. However, if these entities—city, county, state, and federal governments—would institute a law that stipulates that for every amount above $2 that gas prices rise, there will be a corresponding rise in municipal, county, and federal taxes (thus offsetting any profits for the oil companies, while maintaining the same level of revenue for the city, county, etc), then I am sure that these increases will cease. Even if the oil companies continue to raise prices, the corresponding increase in their taxes will offset any profits. And, because consumers will continue to buy less gas when the prices are high, there will be no incentive for the oil companies to continue raising prices. Just a thought.

George E. Dean

There's a Reason Prisons Lock People Up

Re "Hell in a Cell" by Jeffrey Felshman, April 24

I am reminded of comedian Paula Poundstone's great line: "Gee, I thought prison was supposed to be a little bad for you!"

Reginald Berry, a murderer, pimp, heroin dealer, and at one point head of a gang. Why, oh why was he sent to a supermax prison I just can't imagine.

All the concern for violent felons and their rights could better be channeled to help their victims or the poor bastards sleeping under Lower Wacker Drive. I bet they'd love a warm bed in winter as opposed to a night (if they're lucky enough to get in) in a makeshift church shelter laying on mats. They get a meal at night and a meal in the morning and then are turned out at 7 AM in the dead of winter to find someplace to land before they get frostbite and then wait to go back to the shelter that night. Most of those people are mentally disturbed, veterans, poor, and victimized.

Prisons have been criticized for not magically turning inmates into wonderful prosperous, happy, productive members of society. One has to want to change to change.

Prisons do serve one good purpose—they keep the murderers, rapists, thieves, and bad people away from the rest of us. As Richard Pryor once said in a routine: "I rapped with the brothers in the penitentiary. I want to say one thing: thank God for penitentiaries."

Marcy Abrams

N. Paulina

Fighting Fact With FACT

Re "Goldberg's Views on the Left and the Right," Letters, May 15

I can't believe you printed Greg Nouhan's letter praising Jonah Goldberg's attempts to gloss over more than 300 years of political history as "Knee-jerk right wing good; intellectual left wing bad."

I can't believe it, not because I can't believe you refuse to print opposition sentiment, but because I can't believe you allowed these liars to have a public forum at your expense.

Truly, liars. I mean, really; Greg claims it's a fact that Nazism is closer to socialism on the political spectrum than conservatism—and yet what is his source for this statement other than Goldberg's book?

It is a historical fact—one that has been confirmed and vetted many, many times over in recent history—that the only connection the Nazi Party had to socialism was in their name "National Socialism." Subtleties like this are confusing to the more literal, less rigorous minded in our community—but it remains a FACT that the word "Socialism" was only adopted by Hitler in an attempt to co-opt the German population's support for the ideals of generosity, freedom, and social concern and to turn that popular voice into a machine that would work to bring Mussolini's "economic miracle" to Germany; a miracle that involved vast public subsidies for large industries and easy political influence for wealthy industrialists (their military-industrial complex) and poverty and political oppression for the vast majority of the German people Other than that trick of verbal legerdemain, Nazism has nothing in common with socialism and far more in common with the tactics we have seen adopted by the right right here at home in America, tactics that attempt to enforce a kind of capital feudalism (a plutocracy rather than a landed gentry) at the deep expense and impoverishment of the common, wage-earning citizens of this country.

The rich have always had socialism of this sort in this country—just look at the recent Farm Bill, where sugar ranchers who live in such agricultural communities as Miami and Palm Beach receive vast "gummint" subsidies to keep sugar prices high for poor folks.

No, liars like Goldberg, and duped halfwits like Nouhan are out to turn this Great Republic into a fascist state where the only valid point of view is that of corrupt, extortionate "businesses" (a la Enron), and they hope to do it by making us vote against our own best interest—and against the national security interests of this country, in favor of the wealthy, who have historically committed treason for profit at every opportunity.

Jim Morgan



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