In 2009, after a successful public records lawsuit, the Invisible Institute received data on complaints against Chicago Police Department officers since 1988 -- the complaints often list multiple officers, and by tracing the social graph of dirty cops over time, The Intercept's Rob Arthur was able to show how corruption spread like a contagion, from senior officers to junior ones, teaching bad practices ranging from brutality to falsifying evidence to torture to racism to plotting to murder whistleblowing cops.
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Matt Chapman used the Freedom of Information Act to get the City of Chicago's very mess parking ticket data; after enormous and heroic data normalization, Chapman was able to pinpoint one of the city's most confusing parking spots, between 1100-1166 N State St, which cycled between duty as a taxi-stand and a parking spot with a confusingly placed and semi-busted parking meter.
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It's wedding season, y'all. Time to get dressed up, drink too much and do something regrettable at what should be the best day of your best friend/sister/mother/father/hairdresser's life. Around since the 1990s, Chicago paddy punk band The Tossers are the perfect soundtrack to any special occasion you'd care to ruin. Read the rest
Four Democratic challengers backed by United Working Families (linked with the progressive Working Families Party) have successfully challenged establishment Dems backed by Chicago's legendarily unassailable "Democratic machine," effectively winning their offices at the same time, because the Democrat candidate always gets elected to those offices, thanks to Republicans not bothering to field candidates (leaving a vacuum that is sometimes filled by Holocaust-denying Illinois Nazis).
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Arthur Jones is standing uncontested to be the GOP's candidate in Illinois's 3rd Congressional District, representing suburban Chicago; he has run for office several times on a white-supremacist, Holocaust denial platform, calling the Holocaust "the biggest blackest lie in history."
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On December 15, Ars Technica ran a story by veteran security reporter Dan Goodin in which Goodin reported on a disclosure by Google researcher Tavis Ormandy, who had discovered that Keeper Security's password manager, bundled with Windows 10, was vulnerable to a password stealing bug that was very similar to a bug that had been published more than a year before.
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Two of the four Chicago Department of Aviation Security officers who beat United Airlines passenger Dr David Dao until he was unconscious, concussing him, breaking his nose and then dragging him off the plane, have been fired -- but not for administering the beating. Rather, they were fired for lying about it. One of the other two officers involved has quit and the final one got a two-day paid holiday ("suspension"). Read the rest
A visit to Chicago in 1966 to interview activist and comedian Dick Gregory.
The Walkaway tour is in its literary festival phase now, and my next stop is an appearance this Sunday at the Printers Row Lit Fest in Chicago, where I'll be talking Walkaway with the incredible Mary Robinette Kowal at 11:30 (free tickets here). Read the rest
Cheryl writes, "The sole African American librarian in Evanston Public Library (population ~75K-- first 'burb north adjacent to Chicago) faced a termination hearing today related to social media posts she made in protest to the library's lack of action related to addressing racial equity in library services." Read the rest
On Sunday, I'll be appearing at Chicago's Volumes Books with Max "Cards Against Humanity" Temkin, as part of the Walkaway tour (which includes stops tonight in Chapel Hill at Flyleaf Books with Mur Lafferty; tomorrow in Cincinnati at Joseph Beth; and more dates in Winnipeg, Denver, Austin, Houston, Scottsdale/Phoenix, San Diego, Portland, Seattle, Bellingham, Vancouver and Burbank, before I head to the UK). Read the rest
My publicist just found an extra box of the cool promotional Walkaway multitools, and she's generously offered to give them to the next 100 people to reserve tickets to the May 7th Walkaway event at Chicago's Royal George Theater, where I'm presenting with CARDS AGAINST HUMANITY creator Max Temkin (current ticket-holders, don't worry, you get one too). Read the rest
Dr David Dao's lawyers have revealed the extent of his injuries as part of his pending lawsuit: "a broken nose and concussion and lost two front teeth." Read the rest
United Airlines is already dealing with intense public backlash after a doctor was beaten, knocked out, and dragged off one of its plane for refusing to give up a seat he'd paid paid for because United wanted his seat for one of its employees. Now, the LA Times is reporting that another man, who'd purchased a full-fare first class ticket and was sitting is his seat on a United Flight, was threatened with handcuffs if he did't give up his seat for a "higher-priority" traveler.
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[Geoff Fearns] boarded the aircraft at Lihue Airport on the island of Kauai, took his seat and enjoyed a complimentary glass of orange juice while awaiting takeoff.
Then, as Fearns tells it, a United employee rushed onto the aircraft and informed him that he had to get off the plane.
“That’s when they told me they needed the seat for somebody more important who came at the last minute,” Fearns said. “They said they have a priority list and this other person was higher on the list than me.”
“I understand you might bump people because a flight is full,” Fearns said. “But they didn’t say anything at the gate. I was already in the seat. And now they were telling me I had no choice. They said they’d put me in cuffs if they had to.”
As the scandal over a United passenger who was beaten unconscious and dragged off a plane when he refused to give up his seat for a deadheading crewmember unspools, there's a predictable torrent of bullshit about how United was in the right because something something private property, and let us not forget the great American sport of victim-blaming. Read the rest
Enjoy this simple and surprising tale from The Games Room Company, who were tasked with restoring a roulette table operated in Chicago throughout the 1930s: "we found that it had been completely rigged to defraud people and increase the odds of the house during play."
A button disguised as decorative screw, accessible to the croupier, would cause tiny pins to emerge from the ball track's surface, deflecting balls toward house-friendly ball pockets. Powered by batteries hidden in the legs (and dated by the newspaper used as dampers) the mechanism and its results would be undetectable at speed. Read the rest