Tuesday, December 16, 2014

KEEP CHRIST OUT OF “CHRISTMAS”—2014 EDITION

12/16/14

I haven’t written much lately for a variety of what I increasingly see as very good reasons.  But I have been in the habit of writing something at Christmas, usually a somewhat light-hearted attack on the way our silly society celebrates the birthday of our Savior.  In order to continue that tradition while not wasting time on things few people read, here are some excerpts from a letter I enclose along with my contribution to one of my favorite charities, which shall remain nameless.   There’s nothing light-hearted about this one, but the message is essentially the same as it has always been at Christmas time.

God bless you all at Christmas time and always.

Christmas is upon us.  We are supposed to be joyous and happy at this time, as if on demand we could make ourselves joyful and happy.   But for me, and those like me, Christmas gets more depressing every year.   We continue to insist on celebrating the birth of our Savior with a continuous wanton display of hedonism, materialism, anxiety, and debauchery.  We teach our kids to be greedy and try to imbue in them the idea that happiness is measured by the volume and value of the things that one has “acquired.” In short, we celebrate Jesus’s birthday by doing everything He, as a loving God and Brother, advised us not to do.   It is as if we take the occasion of our Savior’s birthday to repeatedly strike Him in the face, much like His torturers did just before the crucified Him.  Are we crucifying Jesus by the way we celebrate His birthday?

So I find it difficult to be jolly during the Christmas season and I fervently wish that we would stop calling it Christmas if we insist on doing such un-Christlike things during the “Christmas” season.   Call it the “holiday season,” whatever that means, or call it what society wants; just don’t call it Christmas because to do so is beyond sacrilegious.

Tough stuff?  You bet.   But that’s the way I feel.  

Yes, at this time of year, people like you and I try to celebrate both Jesus’s historical arrival to save us and, more importantly, to prepare for His coming into our hearts.   But shouldn’t we be doing the latter all the time?   Shouldn’t Christmas be always, not just around December 25?  Our Savior loves us…all the time.  He came to die for our sins, to enlighten the world, and to impart His Father’s message.  We should thank Him, and live that message all the time.


Friday, July 11, 2014

QUINN ON EMANUEL, WRIGLEY, THE OBAMA LIBRARY…AND GOD’S CAPACITY FOR LOVE

7/11/14

This week I reverted back to Mighty Quinn on Politics and Money for two posts, one a true masterpiece, the other merely great, on Chicago politics in general and Rahm Emanuel in particular:

RAHM EMANUEL IS NOT GOING TO BE THE MAYOR WHO “LOST THE CUBS.”
This is the aforementioned “merely great” post and the title says it all, or most of it.  My readers were not at all surprised by the outcome of the Cubs saga, by the way.

THOSE HORRIBLE SOUTH WORKS AND RAHM EMANUEL’S CORE CONSTITUENCY
This post, on the placement of the Obama Library at the old South Works site, is the aforementioned masterpiece not only because it continues my usual practice of skewering our poseur (An earlier mayor, from the Chicago’s days of greatness, may have said “faker.”) mayor but also because it addresses so many issues that are vital to our crumbling society.


I also put up a post at Rant Lifestyle on a very different topic…

HOW MUCH DOES GOD LOVE US?

in which I discourse briefly on something that came to me while praying.   This is the type of post I was putting on Insightful Pontificator before all my musings migrated to Rant Lifestyle.  Yes, I understand the irony, or worse, of such a post appearing on a site like Rant Lifestyle, which is one of the reasons I may, and only may, be going back to my own blogs from Rant.  I will, of course, keep you posted.




See my two books, The Chairman, A Novel of Big City Politics and The Chairman’s Challenge, A Continuing Novel of Big City Politics, for further illumination on how things work in Chicago and Illinois politics. 


Friday, June 27, 2014

QUINN ON EMANUEL’S PHONE TAX, U.S. INVOLVEMENT IN SYRIA AND IRAQ, EXPORTING CRUDE OIL, AND TRADING BASICS

6/27/14

Summer is finally getting to be some fun, and writing these screeds is a major element of said fun.  This week, I feature posts on basic trading and economics, Iraq and Syria (of course)…and a masterpiece, if I can say so myself, on the phone tax increase that illuminates much of Rahm Emanuel’s thinking.

CHICAGO’S PROPOSED PHONE TAX INCREASE:  RAHM EMANUEL’S IDEA OF “CONSTITUENT SERVICE”
You think the property tax can be regressive?  Try this phone tax.  Do you think Rahm Emanuel gives a rat’s hindquarters?   He’s just serving his natural constituency.

MORE ENLIGHTENED THINKING FROM WASHINGTON:  LET’S FIGHT IN BOTH IRAQ AND SYRIA!
There is no limit to the world’s battlefields and potential battlefields, which Washington sees as more opportunities to keep the “defense” contractors happy…and writing checks.

KEEP ALL CRUDE OIL AT HOME?   “LAST NIGHT I HAD A WONDERFUL DREAM…”
I suppose we’d all like to be swimming in cheap domestic crude, but the world doesn’t work that way.   It looks like somebody in Washington understand this, but it’s not who you’d think.

BAD ECONOMIC NEWS = A HEALTHY STOCK MARKET?  BUT OF COURSE!
Pretty basic stuff for many of my readers, not so basic for others.  However, in trading and investing, as in so many other fields of human endeavor, ignoring the basics is the source of much misery.   One of those basic points is that you don’t have to like a particular policy or approach to act on, and profit from, that policy or approach.  Ideology and investing, and certainly trading, don’t mix.

Have a great weekend, everybody.  While I don’t pretend to understand this World Cup stuff (For example, why is losing such a good thing?), it’s sort of fun.



For more on Chicago’s politics, see my books:
The Chairman:
The Chairman’s Challenge:

Friday, June 20, 2014

QUINN ON IRAQ, SHAKMAN...AND THINGS FAR WORSE THAN PATRONAGE HIRING

6/20/14

Yes, I am a bit consumed with Iraq of late, but this story deserves plenty of attention; rarely do we find ourselves on the brink of catastrophic (at least) regionwide conflict in which at least some of the major players are clueless, fanatical, or both.  

Despite the time spent on Iraq, I did mention to commit some apostasy on Chicago politics, still one of my favorite topics, in my first (and thus the last in this reverse chronological list)  post this week.

This week’s paragons of insight included


“ADVISERS” TO IRAQ:   DOES OBAMA REMEMBER VIETNAM?
Our clueless commander-in-chief apparently can’t remember the major foreign policy debacle of his youth.   This post not only afforded me the opportunity to rant in a Cassandric fashion but also gave me an excuse to relate a few stories from the St. Walter School of my youth.  Such stories are bound to be included in my upcoming third book, still in its formative stages.

JOHN KERRY TO IRAQIS TRYING TO STAY ALIVE:   (WESTERN DEMOCRACY) IS WHAT YOU NEED 
Mr. Kerry failed to propose mandatory nightly renderings of Kumbayah.  One wonders why he committed such an oversight.


PARTITION IRAQ?   ANOTHER LOUSY IDEA FROM WASHINGTON
Modern day Metternichs pore over the map of the Middle East.  Oh, yeah, they’re qualified to redraw the world…just like the guys at Versailles in 1919.

PATRONAGE, THE SHAKMAN DECREE, THE CITY THAT ONCE WORKED…AND DAVID COPPERFIELD
http://www.rantlifestyle.com/2014/06/16/patronage-the-shakman-decree-the-city-that-once-worked-and-david-copperfield/
Yes, Mr. Shakman, et. al., there are worse things than patronage hiring.

For more on Chicago’s politics, see my books:
The Chairman:
The Chairman’s Challenge:

Friday, June 13, 2014

QUINN ON IRAQ, SYRIA, ERIC CANTOR…AND $5,000 SUITS

6/13/14

Somehow I was under the mistaken notion that things would slow down with the summer and the consequent lightening of my teaching load, but that has not been the case.  Still, I’ve managed to comment on what I consider the big story of perhaps the year, or maybe even the decade, the goings on in Iraq, and a few other items for good measure:

SYRIA AND IRAQ:  THE BUSH/OBAMA ADMINISTRATION PUTS US ON BOTH SIDES OF A RELIGIOUS WAR
..and we continue to elect these Bozos from both parties who are apparently completely ill-equipped to deal with a dangerous world…or any world in which they are not completely insulated from reality, for that matter.


IRAQ ON THE VERGE OF BECOMING A TERRORIST PETRI DISH:   THANK THE BUSH/OBAMA ADMINISTRATION
Yes, I will blame Bush…and Obama and Hillary Clinton.  They are all guilty of making the Middle East a fiasco…but none is more guilty than George W. Bush, an utter and complete disaster of a president.


WALL STREET DRESSES DOWN TO SEAL A DEAL
The smart money guys wear $5,000 suits?  O tempora, o mores!


ERIC CANTOR AND THE GOP ESTABLISHMENT GO DOWN HARD IN VIRGINIA
Few elections have ever made yours truly happier.


THE BIGGEST FAILURE OF HILLARY CLINTON AT STATE
Benghazi is only a symptom of a much larger policy failure.

Have a great weekend and a great Father’s Day.  I will.




See my two books, The Chairman, A Novel of Big City Politics and The Chairman’s Challenge, A Continuing Novel of Big City Politics, for further illumination on how things work in Chicago and Illinois politics. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

QUINN ON WRIGLEY AND FORMER ALDERMAN SMITH, CAR SALES AND FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, AND AN HISTORIC ANALOGY FOR TODAY’S CHINA

6/6/14

Today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day.  Last summer, we were in France (See my seminal travelogue, CLARK GRISWOLD, MR. PEABODY, AND ME, http://mightyquinnpolitics.blogspot.com/2013/08/clark-griswold-mr-peabody-and-me.html) and visited the beaches and the American cemetery in Normandy.  At the expense of sounding sacrilegious, if I don’t ever see Paris again, it won’t break my heart.  But Normandy is another story; if you can, please try to get there.   You’ll learn a lot, hopefully pray a lot, and maybe cry a little.  And you will appreciate what those guys gave us.  At the expense of sounding comparatively trite, the countryside and the villages of Normandy are also stunningly beautiful; I told our tour guide the farm boys from Iowa who landed at Normandy probably felt right at home.   I don’t think she appreciated the sentiment.

I thought I’d be able to write a lot more this week, but things got busy, though I’m not quite sure with what.  I did manage to write three posts on widely varying topics, however…

WRIGLEY AND THE CUBS:  A FORMER ALDERMAN ENLIGHTENS THE BENIGHTED RICKETTS FAMILY
The politicians know everything, don’t you see?


HUGE MAY CAR SALES:  “I SAW A CADILLAC SIGN SAYIN’ ‘NO MONEY DOWN’…”
The seemingly prescient Chuck Berry, the father of rock’n’roll, saw today’s car financing situation way back in 1956.


A "COERCIVE AND PROVOCATIVE” CHINA?   LESSONS FROM HISTORY
To quote a guy who was okay but who couldn’t carry the aforementioned Mr. Berry’s guitar case, I’m lookin’ at the man in the mirror when I read about China.


Have a great weekend, everybody, and say a prayer for the boys of Normandy.


See my two books, The Chairman, A Novel of Big City Politics and The Chairman’s Challenge, A Continuing Novel of Big City Politics, for further illumination on how things work in Chicago and Illinois politics. 


Friday, May 30, 2014

QUINN ON WRIGLEY FIELD, NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION, INTEREST RATES AND STOCK PRICES…

5/30/14

I know this is late, but I got really busy today and wanted to make sure that the first piece listed below got published and was brought to your attention…


THE CUBS, WRIGLEY FIELD, RAHM EMANUEL, AND CHICAGO POLITICS:  PLAY BALL!
I even worked a reference to granite counter tops into this observation of Wrigley and the way things work around this town.

SOUTH KOREA WARNS OF NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION:  SO WHAT?
I, for one, would welcome a Japanese nuclear capability.

STOCKS AND BONDS ARE TELLING DIFFERENT STORIES:  WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
I wasn’t the first to make this point, and I admitted it at the start of this piece.  But today, the day after I made and published this argument, I heard or read it at least three times in the financial media.  Am I prescient?  Probably not.  Am I honest?  Absolutely.

CAP AND TRADE:  THE DEMOCRATS SCREW UP ANOTHER GREAT IDEA
Cap and trade came right out of Jack Kemp’s playbook.  But the GOP has a legitimate beef about the Obama Administration’s proposed execution of this idea.

VLADIMIR PUTIN:  “POP HAD GENCO; LOOK WHAT I GOT!”
I’ve asked it before and I’ll ask it again…what does Vladimir Putin think when he meets with the likes of Barack Obama and George Bush?

Have a great weekend, everybody.   Hopefully, the other Hawks will stay alive tonight.  In any case, it will be a great weekend at the Quinn household.


See my two books, The Chairman, A Novel of Big City Politics and The Chairman’s Challenge, A Continuing Novel of Big City Politics, for further illumination on how things work in Chicago and Illinois politics.