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Derivative Works from Daniel X. O'Neil

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Pentagon - Military Analysts - TV Network Collusion Story is Still Nowhere

Two Sundays ago I read pretty much the best, most researched, most stunningly dead-to-rights piece of investigative reporting that I had ever read. The New York Times, out of the blue, published "Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand", which chronicled, in a devastatingly detailed 7,000 word report, the nefarious and direct connections between what retired generals said on TV about the Iraq war and what the Bush administration told them to say about the Iraq war on TV.

To the public, these men are members of a familiar fraternity, presented tens of thousands of times on television and radio as “military analysts” whose long service has equipped them to give authoritative and unfettered judgments about the most pressing issues of the post-Sept. 11 world.

Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance, an examination by The New York Times has found.

The effort, which began with the buildup to the Iraq war and continues to this day, has sought to exploit ideological and military allegiances, and also a powerful financial dynamic: Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air.

Those business relationships are hardly ever disclosed to the viewers, and sometimes not even to the networks themselves.

It was a crushing and beautiful piece of writing. The NYT had successfully sued to government to get detailed meeting notes. They got some generals to cop to their coordination. They managed to keep the lid on the entire investigation until one morning it showed up on my doorstep. They took what seemed obvious to some -- that these people were mouthpieces -- and made absolute, date & time, direct lines between the Pentagon, the generals, the networks, and military contractors.

The story is an enormous blow to everyone and anyone involved in the run-up to the war. We're talking about people who traded mid-level Virginia mansions for thousands of dead Iraqis and Americans. Traded people for money.  Treason-level activities. Things that may have them end up in hell.

And still the story is buried.

311 Call Leads to Closing of the Lawrence Grill

Similar to the Quizno's closing of last month, debacle, here's another 311 call about sewage leading to the shutdown of another restaurant.

Northwest Side Restaurant Shut By City Health Department Raw Sewage Backup in Basement

A Northwest Side restaurant was ordered closed today after Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) inspectors discovered a critical violation of the City Health Code.

Lawrence Grill, 4461 W. Lawrence, was shut down after CDPH inspectors discovered a backup of raw sewage in the restaurant’s basement.

The restaurant also was cited for failing to have a certified food manager on premises.

The inspection was triggered by a customer who called 311 to complain of a foul odor in the restaurant. Inspectors also noticed the odor, which was traced to the plumbing problem in the basement.

The restaurant will remain closed until its management has taken corrective action and passed re-inspection.

The enforcement action was the 61st time in 2008 that Health Department inspectors have shut a food establishment for health violations.

Representatives of Lawrence Grill will have to explain themselves at an administrative hearing on May 29 and pay a fine expected to total $750.

Chicagoans who believe that a restaurant or other food establishment is operating in an unsafe manner are encouraged to dial 311 and report it.

Mexico's Virtual Kidnappings

Now that's a telephone threat.

Exploiting Real Fears With ‘Virtual Kidnappings’ - New York Times.

The twist is that little Pablo or Teresa is safe and sound at school, not duct-taped to a chair in a rundown flophouse somewhere or stuffed in the back of a pirate taxi. But when the cellphone call comes in, that is not at all clear.

This is “virtual kidnapping,” the name being given to Mexico’s latest crime craze, one that has capitalized on the raw nerves of a country that has been terrorized by the real thing for years.

Steve Walters / Screwball Press > Daley Posters

I love the work of Steve Walters. When they write the books about the (continuing) silkscreen poster movement in Chicago, he is Chapter 1 in all of them.

I have three pieces of his that riff on the same big fat theme of Richard J. Daley's face. They are special to me for a couple of reasons:

  • They are variations on a theme. Variation in the context of machined (no pun intended) sameness is a foundation for a lot of what I try to do as an artist (see North Park Nature Center Panoramas and Wide Right Turn)
  • I have three of them, so I can see them all lined up
  • There's no band advertised on them. Pure art
  • They tweak Daley

All hail Steve W.

Steve Walters / Screwball Press > Daley / 1968 / Holiday with Aden

Steve Walters / Screwball Press > Triple Daley / 1968

Building Permit 100009284

Building Permit 100009284, originally uploaded by juggernautco.

417 S. Dearborn. Renovate existing office building into 30 dwelling units with retail space at first floor.

Community Alert: Wanted for the Serious Injury - Hit and Run Accident

On Dec. 28, 2007 at 1:00 A.M. at 1344 W. 87th St. a pedestrian was struck by an older model conversion van with rear ladder rack, dark in color with silver stripes. The wanted vehicle fled the scene east bound on 87th St. Vehicle may have a broken windshield and/or front end damage from the accident.

If you witnessed the accident or if you have any information regarding the vehicle, please contact the Chicago Police Department Major Accident Investigators at (312) 745-4521.

This crime led to the death of Craig M. Willis on March 14, 2008. There is a $5,000 reward for information in this case -- see below for more information.

See more details on this crime on EveryBlock Chicago.



Andy Kane at Queen of Angels

Andy Kane at Queen of Angels, originally uploaded by juggernautco.

A couple weeks ago Andy Kane met me over at Queen of Angels after CCD. We got some lunch and worked on his Web site, where we added a slew of new paintings that he's completed recently. he is a working artist, always making new things, always thinking, always completing thoughts. I really admire him for that.

Purple Line Train Derailed North of Howard

Users on CTA Alerts are reporting that a Purple Line train derailed north of Howard this evening. Purple Line service is suspended, with shuttle buses taking its place. As of 11:16 PM, this information is not confirmed by the CTA.

UPDATE: Story confirmed: Red Line Back To Normal After Overnight Derailment. Derailment occurred at about 10:50 PM.

New Posters from Dan Macadam / Crosshair

I got 11 new posters while I was at CHIRP Record Fair last weekend from Dan Macadam of Crosshair. Really great stuff. More on Dan here. His latest work, focusing on monumental architectural images of factories and other industrial buildings -- is greatly influenced by Bernd and Hilla Becher. Great stuff.

More of my poster collection here.

Herrick Lake > Clouds in Water with Two Wisps

Perhaps the best nature photo I've ever taken. Entire set is here.


Daniel X. O'Neil: Chicago-based writer and internet developer. I am a co-founder of and the People Person for EveryBlock, a site that pulls together local news and public information. I run dozens of personal projects and websites for clients, and also own half of a poetry book company.


EveryBlock: A news feed for your block.
CTA Tweet: Unofficial Twitter tracker for the Chicago Transit Authority.
CityPayments: Database of all vendors, contracts, and payments that have been posted by the municipal government of the City of Chicago
Wesley Willis Art: Site dedicated to the fact that Wesley Willis was an artist.
Wide Right Turn: An incomplete look at the role of variation in a capitalist society.


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    • Wesley Willis Art
      Site dedicated to the fact that Wesley Willis was an artist.
    • CTA Alerts
      Wireless notifications about service on the Chicago Transit Authority.
    • Wide Right Turn

      An incomplete look at the role of variation in a capitalist society.
    • Derivative Works Art Manifesto
      Humans own their experience of copyrighted content.
    • Y!Q Link Generator
      Simple form for creating Y!Q links to add relevance, annotate text, and provide more sophisticated layers of meaning to web content.