Kathy Posner


Unless one lives downtown in the Michigan Avenue area they don’t know about the “Bus People.” They are hordes of shoppers, mostly from Wisconsin, that arrive in the “big city” on tour buses to do their holiday shopping. They create a lot of problems: they don't know how to walk on sidewalks (guess they are used to cow pastures,) they block other pedestrians as they look up at the tall buildings, they don't pay attention to the 'Walk' and 'Do Not Walk' traffic signals and their buses clog up the side streets because they have no place to park and at the end of their shopping journey, when they are waiting for their bus pick-up, they sprawl on the sidewalks with all their shopping bags strewn about)

I should be happy that these people are spending their money in Chicago so we can take advantage of their 11% tax dollars. But what drives me most insane about these people? Their full shopping bags are always from The Gap, The Express or some other mall chain store! These are stores that exist in just about EVERY city in the world! Why would someone take a bus for a multiple hour round trip and shop at a store that is probably within two miles of their own home? Does anyone have an answer for this? The paraprosdokian answer is ,“Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.”


Last week, The Bureau of Labor Statistics, reported that work-related injuries went down about 9% nationally last year. The unemployment rate for the same reporting period was about 9%. Do we see a trend? If everybody stops working, there will be no work-related injuries! With that kind of thinking, I am qualified to work for the government!


On Saturday, the media-appointed future King of the World, Rahm Emanuel, announced his first step in ruling the world by announcing his candidacy for Mayor of Chicago. He did this announcement at the Coonley Elementary School on the North Side. According to the Sun-Times, “Coonley, a Chicago public school, is a notable one for Emanuel. He helped get the school designated as a regional gifted center after a family raised concerns it would not meet their children's needs, sought federal funding for it." I don’t understand how a “regular citizen,” (he currently holds no office) could use public property for politicking? That seems illegal to me. Or at the least, unethical.

The principal opened the school on a Saturday to accommodate Emanuel. Who paid for the security, electricity, heating, etc. and other costs related to this event? I, for one, would like to see the check his campaign wrote to CPS to cover the expenses. Once again, clout rears its ugly head. I guess change is not inevitable, even from a vending machine.

The fact that Emanuel sends his own children to private school makes his choice of the announcement venue even more ironic.


More than three years ago, the divisive Chief Illiniwek was “retired” as the symbol at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus. There has been no official mascot since then. The Sun Times reported, “The Illinois Faculty Senate and the Illinois Student Senate both called for the creation of a new mascot. Twenty student groups organized as Students for a United Illinois picketed outside a recent non-university sponsored Chief event. And the university formed a committee to study the school's values and find a new symbol representing it. “

Apparently, education is not of foremost importance to the students, but a mascot is. That is obvious by what David Olsen, the student body president and a senior in the College of Business said, "I think the students and members of the university community believe having a new mascot will help our campus move forward."

Want to “move forward” out of downstate Illinois? Hop a charter and go shopping on Michigan Avenue! One of the "Bus People" can be the new mascot.


There were two big Metra stories last week.

The Tribune reported that,” The air trapped inside the rail cars is often far worse than the air on the platform. Levels of lung and heart-damaging diesel soot pollution inside the cars soared up to 72 times higher than outside.”

A few days later, the Tribune also reported, “Prodded by Sen. Dick Durbin's call for a federal probe, Metra officials this week formed a task force of transit officials, union reps and environmental health regulators that is supposed to figure out how to clean up the toxic exhaust in the station and on the trains. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says diesel exhaust is one of the most dangerous types of air pollution. It has been linked to cancer, heart attacks, respiratory diseases, diabetes and brain damage.”

That information would scare me away from taking any Metra train!

So in an effort to bolster their public mage, Metra announced that, starting in January, during morning and evening rush hours, Rock Island riders get two “quiet” cars per train. In these cars, cell phones will be banned, along with loud conversations, leaky iPod earbuds and all high-decibel emitting games or music. This will be a two month test to work out the kinks and then expanded to other Metra lines.

I expect we will hear from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) about this. People with hearing problems (covered under the American With Disabilities Act) speak loudly because they cannot discern what their audible level is. Since loud conversations are banned in these cars, it is discriminatory to prohibit their using them. Does this remind you of bathrooms and drinking fountains in the South before the Civil Rights era.

Editors Notes Part 1:

Try living in Times Square instead on Planet Posner. Buses do not care where they park here, even ones from Wisconsin, which believe it or not, we get plenty of here. With tons of signs that say no parking and no horn blowing, they just continue to park and blow all they want. Cops walk up and down our streets and just ignore every law of the street being broken, and if you say something, they say they are fighting terrorism or just look at you like you are nuts expecting them to do their jobs. Two years ago, we asked a bus driver to move from in front of our building as we have many elderly people here that need their handicapped transport and many times a ambulance, and not only did he refuse, he came after us with a crow bar. Signs everywhere stated, No parking or standing anytime. He only left as we started calling the police to have him arrested for coming after us with a crow bar. As for the tourists, we too have to deal with them looking up at the sky, ignoring laws and worst of all, they brought bed bugs to our city, which have now been found at almost every hotel, the Empire State Building as well as movie theaters. In New York City, we let the bed bugs bite, we have no choice.

Editors Note Part 2:

As for the lower injury rate, of course it is down, people are not working. Reminds me of a well known television Network. They got rid of one of the best publicists for two of their shows and hired a firm that does just about nothing. Their show ratings are up and they think its from this do nothing publicity firm. Could it be that so many people are un-employed that they are staying home and watching TV? Just think how high the ratings would be if they kept this talented person.

Editors Note Part 3:

I think it is a great idea for two quiet cars on the Metra. I don't think anyone can sue, they are welcomed to go to the noisy cars. I wish they would do that here not only on the subways, but the buses too. Instead, the pin heads at the MTA are adding cell phone service in the tunnels, because they will make a buck. I also think Metra bosses should concentrate on their conductors. A few years ago, I got attacked for no reason from some nut case conductor. The brass at Metra claimed the conductor admitted it all and was disciplined, but how do I know that for sure. They told me union rules prevented them from telling me what action took place. I now think twice about riding Metra.

Editors Note Part 4:

I think Kathy Posner and her lady in waiting Lady Shafran, should be the new school mascots. At least they could bring brains to this alleged brain-dead student body. And they could even help the school buses park on Michigan avenue!

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