The Other Internees
Re: "The Silent Minority" by Ed M. Koziarski at chicagoreader.com, April 2
Mr Aoki is simply not telling the whole story about the internment of civilians during WW2 when he restricts that to Japanese, when he knows that Germans and Italians were interned with them in internment places like Crystal City, and Seagoville, Texas, and Fort Lincoln, ND, and Ellis Island and a host of other places.
His omission may be due to the fact that Japanese were compensated $20,000 each, no matter if interned one day or six years. None of the European internees ever received a dime, even while their losses were equally as great or greater.
I was interned at the age of 17 after arrest at Woodward High in Cincinnati, at Crystal City, Texas, with an equal number of German and Japanese internees and one Italian family from Honduras, Central America. In April 1947 I was sent to Ellis Island and not released until September 1947.
Incidentally, following my arrest in Cincinnati I was held in detention, with 37 other internees, at 4800 S. Ellis, Chicago, which the Department of Justice leased for that purpose. Upon becoming age 18 there I was taken to register for the draft to Cook County Jail, where there was a draft board there during the war. In July of 1943 I was sent to Crystal City.
PS: See Chicago Reader September 3, 1993, Dangerous Enemy Alien, by Kitry Krause [Fuhr is the subject —ed.].
Does Anyone Even Want the Olympics?
Re: "An Open Letter to the IOC" by Ben Joravsky, April 2
Your article was brilliant. It did a wonderful job of tying together all of the major issues in the city right now, and it got to heart of the matter without hyperbole or vitriol. I read the piece while driving in the car on Saturday with my husband driving, and I couldn't help but read the best parts aloud to him—over 3/4 of the article. Over the years, your articles on TIFs have consistently been right on the mark, and I wish there was something that could be done to wake folks up to the danger they pose. You'd think the statistics you cited in your most recent article would do it. But I guess for a while longer, you have no choice but to keep up the fight.
From the 50th Ward
Where we still ain't ready for reform
Daley's hidden motive for the Olympic Games is to have journalists report about Chicago's Olympic bid instead of writing about the ubiquitous corruption in the Daley administration. Chicago's Olympic bid has been a sham just like the mayor himself.
People are putting two and two together. They're tired of being lied to, they're tired of being manipulated and conned into a corner, and they will rise up. It's only a matter of time, and Daley's time is running out.
Thank you for writing this. Bottom line, Daley's going to screw the Chicago taxpayer! I don't know anyone who is for the Olympics coming to Chicago, which might add up to 100 people, but they don't know anyone either. Where are all these "supporters"? I'm getting the impression that it's only Daley and all the spineless representation in City Hall!
How about telling the portage story? Something the early settlers of Chicago did. They ported their canoes from Lake Michigan to the Des Plaines River to keep a flowing trade route. When are you going to tell us about how TIF money, when contiguous to another TIF district, can be ported, moved along, just as the settlers did with their canoes? What better place to reinvest in housing, but the south side? What better use of TIF funds? Port it all down there. Make the preparations for the Olympics. Fix that blighted area.
In the summer will you expose the big pots of leased tollway money and the parking meter stash? Then will you tell about how we're stuffing eight quarters at a time so the parking meter company can pay its purchase price back to the city, and the city can funnel more quarters down to develop the south-side Olympic sites?
Look at all that land to be had! If only we can get the low-rent-payers out and set up difficult situations making it impossible to get back into the neighborhood—oh, but that's being done. As Low-Income Housing Tax Credits end their 15-year commitments, land owners are getting ready to sell off the stock. They're just waiting for the juicy Olympics.
Is that when you'll tell us these stories, Ben, in the summer when the heat and the guns crackle? Or, have you been telling us all along and we just haven't been listening?
As it happens, Ben has addressed "portages." Please see chicagoreader.com/tifarchive. —ed.
Another well written piece by Ben Joravsky and he came so close to identifying the key argument against this. What are the two main reasons that the IOC would award this bid to Chicago? 1. Barack Obama. 1A. Mayor Daley. No matter what Ben says about parking meter outrage, Daley will not lose an election. Daley has this set up so that he can step out of office with a successful Olympics as his legacy in about a decade.
Problem with this: in a few years he will be reaching the age that his father was at on that fateful day in City Hall, and he has had some health issues of his own. So here is the scenario that the IOC should contemplate: Chicago is awarded the 2016 bid and gets cracking on the huge amount of work required. Mayor Daley wins another uncontested election and all looks rosy. One day in let's say late fall of 2011 the Grim Reaper makes another call to City Hall and a scramble ensues for a successor.
Now, Ben can say what he wants about the mayor, but he is the definiton of "the evil that we know." Maybe we end up with another Eugene Sawyer—nice guy, but probably not what the IOC had in mind. Around this time people start figuring out that someone has to pay for the outlandish spending of our other political son and taxes and interest rates start going throught the roof. It is hard to unseat a sitting president, especially one as popular as Obama, but a lot will occur in this country over the next few years.
So the IOC awards Chicago the Olympics due to a powerful mayor and a popular president and has neither to deal with as the games grow close.
Ben and your paper are a joke! I can guarantee the Reader will be one of many papers running special Olympic editions in 2016 in order to capitalize on all of the extra money stimulus being spent in Chicago (just like Obama's stimulus).
Wait—let me append. The Reader won't be around in 2016. This paper is becoming irrelevant. What is your circulation now?
If you don't agree with the very substantive facts of Mr. Joravsky's piece, then it would be more effective for your argument to present your own facts and thoughts rather than resorting to name calling of the readers and the paper. Just sayin'.
Thanks for this Ben—awesome piece. I am forwarding it to everyone I know. I hope the sleeping giant wakes up sooner rather than later. Perhaps something as small as parking meters will do the trick.
A Better Approach
Let's make the Mayor a deal. We'll help him get the Olympics if he agrees to resign and help set up a whole new government without aldermen and a mayor.
Draft the Chicago City Club or the Chicago 2020 plan people to come up with a manager and completely redo the government from top to bottom.
I don't get the point of writing this sort of thing to the IOC members. I did read Ben's article, but it does come across as small-minded and provincial—something like a petulant child telling his father's customers to go shop somewhere else because the storeroom in the back isn't so pretty and he was late last month paying the gas bill. Please.
Modern American Olympics haven't lost money. The USOC doesn't want us to lose money because it makes everyone look bad, and they will be watching every step.
I love Madrid, and I'm sure Tokyo could put on a nice games, but neither are any less expensive to visit than Chicago, and both have their own financial issues right now. Spain's housing crash is even worse than America's.
If anything, your "commentary" is more of an argument against ANY Olympic Games, anywhere, ever, than it is against Chicago hosting them. That you don't see that reveals how narrow your exposure to the larger world really is.
I like that. There are a lot of problems in every city. I can see a lot of progress that groups are trying to make in our city (like Chicago 2020).
If the Olympics were coming here, these groups would certainly include that in their plans. If the Olympics are about city PR, then I see no reason why any city official would not try to take advantage of these resources to leave a lasting legacy on the city.
What everyone else said but I bet Rio, Madrid, and Tokyo feel the same way about the I.O.C. in their town.
Just build your own "Olympic Island" somewhere between the Philippines and Cambodia out of slave labour and other human rights atrocities—and keep the Olympics there from now on. Save the countries some humility from now on. It's the LEAST you could do.
If most laypeople understood the bubble-bursting-fueled deflationary fundamentals driving this global economic crisis, they'd see that Daley's Olympic bid is an ill-informed economic "Hail Mary" desperation pass that can only sink Chicago quicker. It also will be devastating for any adjacent entity that typically suffers whenever Chicago suffers financially.
2016 is not when the bills come due; bills are incurred and come due each year of construction, beginning with the expenses from 2008-09 that went into the original USOC and IOC bids.
Fate gave the world the biggest Olympic bash ever in Beijing 2008 and that likely will be the last big Summer Olympiad for a generation. Vancouver is already reeling from over-building of unsellable properties thought to be sellable due to an over-hyped 2009-2010 Winter Olympic Stimulus effect.
London's games are heading towards a major No-Go and bust with the UK veering closer to a sovereign default on its national debts; a move that guarantees the IOC will have to beg Beijing to step in as a last-minute replacement host site as the UK goes belly up. Putin can't get his 2012 Winter games financed cuz oil is far far below the $127/barrel.
But if Chicagoans stay frightened and mealy-mouthed about standing up to their elected mayor, then they deserve whatever befalls them. Grow a backbone, Chicagoans!