Chicago Values: A Tale of Two Rahms

In my never ending quest to discover Chicago values (and at the same time anger the most powerful man in the city state country state), this hot shot reporter stumbled across a Tuesday morning story ablaze across the airwaves.

Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words.
Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words.

This little gem sits at the corner of Clark and Ontario on the near North side. It advertises another one of now countless internet dating sites, but this one has a special twist: it matches women who need money with men who have money.

“So,” you ask, smartassedly, “like a pimp?”

No, smartass reader, not like a pimp. Because that would make those women prostitutes, whereas these women are just accepting money for sexual acts. So of course this website, affiliated the infamous Ashley Madison, is certainly on the up and up.

The subtlety of the title of the website is overwhelming. Arrangement just screams romance. There couldn’t be a more casual way to state it other than http://www.Prostitutesformoney.com (If that really goes somewhere, I did not send you there).

The website has since explained that there reasoning for advertising in Chicago is due to the high unemployment in the city. I want you to really think about this message. “Hey unemployed women, the world’s oldest profession is still an option.” The overwhelming sexism at play is mollified only by Bree Olson’s seemingly outraged face (some sort of o-face).

But Thursday morning, Rahm Emanuel came out with a hardline stance against the internet-pimps (possibly robot pimps…) saying “Arrangement Finders’ values do not represent Chicago values.”

Oh wait, no. That was Chick-fil-a, that notorious poultry peddler, who dared to try to open a restaurant while holding opinions on marriage that differed from Rahm’s. What he really said about the prostitution ring putting up the billboard in the heart of the city was:

Look, we have a First Amendment. You usually operate under it. There are certain things you say I don’t think appropriate also. But that said, I’m not gonna respond to that because I haven’t seen it. You’re just reading it to me. But we do have a First Amendment, and I’ve got to take a look into it.

The mayor, flabbergasted, explained that we have a First Amendment. Usually. It’s as if he’s aware of the double standard as he says it. So lets recap. A prostitution website from the makers website specifically for adulterers? Protected by the First Amendment. A company with a CEO who supports traditional marriage? Not the right values.

Perplexing? It should be. The only question left is how Rahm would react if Mcdonalds donated to a charity funding a website for gay marriage adulterers (it could happen!).

In the press conference, when the billboard was first brought up, Rahm claimed he hadn’t seen it, so he couldn’t speak about it. Nor had he met S. Truet Cathy, Chick-fil-a’s CEO, before he made the judgment call that he was wrong. But luckily in this day and age, a reporter was able bring up a photo on his smart phone immediately so Emanuel couldn’t rely on his ignorance as an out. His reaction?

You are a living example of why people should not have either smartphones or technology.

What? Explain that one to me, Rahm. If you truly hadn’t heard about it yet, it seems like a reporter the exact person to have that technology (you know, reporting and all), and you could probably use one, too. That way you could narrow the time between hearing something and having a knee-jerk reaction based on what can only be described as bizarro values.

Brian Gross is looking to make an arrangement. Looking for a discreet, often funny columnist? Then follow this blog and let your friends know (he’s not just a one-reader type of reporter).

 

 

Send in the Drones

Yesterday, press secretary and general whipping boy Jay Carney alleviated all of our fears, stating that “[President Obama] thinks that it is legitimate to ask questions about how we prosecute the war against Al-Qaeda.”

"Yes, His Grossness. I'm sure you have a comment."
“Yes, His Grossness. I’m sure you have a comment.”

President Obama says it’s okay to question him, at least on this one issue. So let me take first crack at it.

That admission comes after the drone aspect of the War on Terror Overseas Contingency Operations has fallen into the public spotlight after the death of a 16-year-old American citizen. Quickly following was the release of the Department of Justice’s guidelines for when and where they can kill American citizens.

But I’m not going to take issue with the severe erosion of civil liberties and the collective constitutional spitting the administration is doing with this (you know I worry about that sometimes. And othertimes). I want to take sides with a younger, more idealistic politician. A politician I like to call Barry Obama.

Barry, the near luddite like I am, does not believe that good, hardworking Americans should be replaced with better, harderworking robots. There we can have some common ground, both of us ignoring those American jobs created by inventing, producing, and maintaining those robots (and those criminals who comically try to steal them).

And how soon power changes us. In those four years, my crippling paranoia has only improved (I’m typing on the original Gilligan’s Island’s coconut radio), whilst now Mr. Obama has done a complete 180, replacing good, honest American Killing Machines with actual Killing Machines (which I hope are at least American made).

The average bank teller makes $24,000 nationally. The average army sniper? $35,000. We’re taking away well paying jobs with endless potential (Yemen, here we come). We have recently seen that in America there is no dearth of gun-happy young men, (maybe because there is no jobs for them), and as much as we like to pretend, killing people needs a human touch.

In all reality, people make mistakes, too. I am sure there have been real live American soldiers who killed 16-year-old American citizens. But that’s why we have a court martial system. And if it turns out to be intentional, they get punished. Who’s going to reprimand the machine? There are so many endless amounts of fingerprints on the drones, so many difference people who could take and dodge the blame, that the buck has to stop somewhere.

I’m always cautious when killing becomes too easy. And not just with guns, because (usually) behind a gun you have a person and a conscious, who has to consider and weigh the value of his actions against the value of the opposite’s life. Can you program one of these machines to make these decisions? Can they sense the American citizenship on the heatmass in the crosshairs, realize it’s depriving due process, and kindly move on? An occupying force can win the hearts and minds of an occupied citizenry, but what do the Iraqi or Afghani people think about America when the look up at the dark shadow crossing their skies besides recognizing the sure sign of imperialism.

Brian Gross had his internship as a Doorman stripped away by that door jamb. That stupid door jamb. Help fight machines taking valuable jobs by reading his blog and telling your friends.