B12 Solipsism

Spreading confusion over the internet since 1994

Photo Republished at Man Charged in Connection with Loop Bank Robbery – The Loop

Federal Bureau of Investigation Chicago Division

My photo was used to illustrate this post

CHICAGO — A man who was arrested by police shortly after the robbery of a Loop bank Tuesday afternoon has been charged in connection with the incident. Jamal Genson, 28, appeared in federal court Wednesday and was charged with a count of felony bank robbery. A Fifth Third Bank was robbed about 3 p.m. Tuesday after a man demanded money from a teller using a note before running off, according to FBI Special Agent Joan Hyde, an agency spokeswoman.

click here to keep reading :
Man Charged in Connection with Loop Bank Robbery – The Loop

automatically created via Delicious and IFTTT

Written by eggplant

April 17th, 2014 at 9:52 am

Posted in Links

Tagged with , , , ,

Put That Needle Down was uploaded to Flickr

No sound like the sound of a record starting to play…

embiggen by clicking

I took Put That Needle Down on April 15, 2014 at 10:50PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on April 16, 2014 at 07:22PM

Written by eggplant

April 17th, 2014 at 8:43 am

Gentle Wandering Ways was uploaded to Flickr

water tower, West Loop

embiggen by clicking

I took Gentle Wandering Ways on September 29, 2013 at 01:19PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on April 15, 2014 at 09:24PM

Written by eggplant

April 17th, 2014 at 8:42 am

Self Portrait With Nikon 35 mm lens was uploaded to Flickr

Double exposure via Hipstamatic App for iPhone

embiggen by clicking

I took Self Portrait With Nikon 35 mm lens on April 14, 2014 at 01:53PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on April 14, 2014 at 06:56PM

Written by eggplant

April 17th, 2014 at 8:42 am

Patriotism and Taxes: Walgreens Considering Fleeing US

Walgreens Coming Soon

Walgreen Co. is allegedly considering relocating its headquarters from Deerfield, IL to somewhere in Europe, probably Switzerland, perhaps Paris to avoid contributing extra dimes to our national good. Shareholders are more important than schools and roads, never forget.

In a twist on economic globalization less obvious than moving factories overseas, a small but growing number of corporations have relocated headquarters to Europe to escape the 35 percent tax on U.S. profits, the highest in the developing world.

Walgreen Co., the nation’s largest drugstore chain, is under pressure from some shareholders to move its headquarters to Europe, where it owns nearly half of Swiss-based pharmacy giant Alliance Boots.

Deerfield-based Walgreen has called Illinois home for all its 113 years.

Though a move would make financial sense for Walgreen and its investors, it’s an executive decision fraught with political risk for a company as high profile as the pharmacy chain, analysts said Monday after news leaked that Walgreen and investors discussed the possibility.

Walgreen plays an integral role in the U.S. health care system, dispensing drugs to millions of consumers through its more than 8,000 stores. A significant portion of its $72 billion in annual sales comes from Medicare, the federal government’s insurance program for the elderly.


(click here to continue reading Investor group pressures Walgreens to move HQ to Europe – Chicago Tribune.)

Tax Refund Received
Tax Refund Received

Not mentioned in this Chicago Tribune (Republican) article is that most U.S. corporations pay much, much less than the 35% corporate tax rate often cited. Loopholes, deductions add up to reduce corporate taxes in a way that an individual tax filer can never hope to replicate.

The biggest, most profitable American companies paid only a fraction of the taxes they would owe under the official corporate rate, according to a study released on Monday by the Government Accountability Office.

Using allowed deductions and legal loopholes, large corporations enjoyed a 12.6 percent tax rate far below the 35 percent tax that is the statutory rate imposed by the federal government on corporate profits.

The report found that even when foreign, state, and local taxes were included, the tax rate of large companies rose only to 16.9 percent of total income, still well below the official 35 percent.

“Some U.S. multinational corporations like to complain about the U.S. 35 percent statutory tax rate, but what they don’t like to admit is that hardly any of them pay anything close to it,” Mr. Levin said in a statement. “The big gap between the U.S. statutory tax rate and what large, profitable U.S. corporations actually pay is due in large part to the unjustified loopholes and gimmicks that riddle our tax code.”

(click here to continue reading Big Companies Paid a Fraction of Corporate Tax Rate – NYTimes.com.)

Three Thousand Walgreens
Three Thousand Walgreens

Now, if Walgreen Co. pays 35% in tax, and the rest of their competitors pay only 12.6% or similar, than perhaps Walgreen’s should hire a few accountants before moving their entire operations to socialist1 Europe. I’d hazard a guess that Walgreen’s has as good of accountants and tax lawyers as any other U.S. corporation, and thus is not paying 35% of its income in tax. 

Also, I don’t see how Walgreen Co. could depend upon maintaining its Medicare cash-cow if it was a non-US corporation. That would not play well during election season.

  1. kidding, kidding, of course []

Written by Seth Anderson

April 15th, 2014 at 9:27 am

Posted in Business

Tagged with , ,

Frostpocket Still Life – Randy’s House was uploaded to Flickr

evidence of a life lived

embiggen by clicking

I took Frostpocket Still Life – Randy’s House on September 02, 2013 at 04:13PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on March 01, 2014 at 02:58AM

Former Location of Mandels Creamery was uploaded to Flickr

among other things.

29 Baldwin St, Toronto.

Not sure what the Hebrew/Yiddish says

embiggen by clicking

I took Former Location of Mandels Creamery on September 07, 2013 at 04:56PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on November 22, 2013 at 04:46PM

Written by eggplant

April 12th, 2014 at 10:53 am

Shorter Cut Is Quicker was uploaded to Flickr

West Loop (Halsted, I think). Black and white, toned blue in Photoshop.

embiggen by clicking

I took Shorter Cut Is Quicker on December 08, 2013 at 01:18PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on March 28, 2014 at 04:02PM

Written by eggplant

April 12th, 2014 at 10:19 am

Don’t Forget To Dance was uploaded to Flickr

Merchandise Mart and the Chicago River

embiggen by clicking

I took Don’t Forget To Dance on November 30, 2013 at 03:25PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on December 09, 2013 at 04:05PM

Written by eggplant

April 12th, 2014 at 10:18 am

You Finished Before We Were Done was uploaded to Flickr

Metropolitan Correction Center, Chicago.

A Harry Weese joint, 1975


embiggen by clicking

I took You Finished Before We Were Done on November 30, 2013 at 02:55PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on December 02, 2013 at 02:57PM

Written by eggplant

April 12th, 2014 at 10:18 am

Photo Republished at Gangsters & Speakeasies: Buildings of Historic Chicago

Green Mill Daguerreotype
My photo was used to illustrate this post

Green Mill Jazz Club The speakeasy, 1920′s icon. When prohibition began, outlawing the sale of alcohol in the United States paved the way for criminals like Al Capone to come to fruition. And if you think prohibition stopped alcohol, well, then… the word naive comes to mind. Alcohol, if anything, was more rampant in the 1920′s. Want to make something that’s already fun even more popular?? Make it taboo. The “speakeasy” was the slang term for an establishment that illegally sold alcohol during these times. Some were seedy bars, others were extravagant nightclubs filled with the rich and famous. The Green Mill Jazz Club, still open today, was a popular speakeasy back during prohibition and at one point even owned by Jack McGurn, a right hand man of Al Capone.? photo credit:?swanksalot

click here to keep reading :
Gangsters & Speakeasies: Buildings of Historic Chicago

automatically created via Delicious and IFTTT

Written by eggplant

April 8th, 2014 at 11:35 am

zor zor it’s my birthday


zor zor it's my birthday

Graffiti, Lincoln Park somewhere near Fullerton.

I’m old enough that I don’t want presents from people, unless they are genuine surprises, I find it much better to buy my own presents. I’m torn between purchasing myself a NAS drive to replace a Drobo that I don’t really like, or a quality, direct-drive USB-enabled vinyl turntable. I also considered getting a zoom lens, but I wouldn’t use it that often, so it’s lower on my list.

I’ve heard good things about Synology, such as this machine or similar:

and this Audio-Technica turntable looks pretty nice:

My quick thought is that the NAS drive is a more practical purchase – I do need a better storage device for backups; the turntable would mean I’d have to have space for some vinyl records in an already bursting-to-the-gills office.

Hmmm. What do you think?

Written by Seth Anderson

April 7th, 2014 at 11:14 am

Posted in Personal

Tagged with , , ,

Fulton Randolph Market District Plan Presentation First Draft

 Cleaning Up

Cleaning Up

There is a new proposal to turn the Fulton Market corridor into an historic district, meaning that real estate developers would not be able to tear down existing structures here willy-nilly to put up cookie-cutter condos or boring square box stores. No more McDonald’s, in other words, unless they are put in an existing structure.

In general, I’m for this idea, I think it is intriguing, but the details are always key, of course. How heavy handed will the City be? Where is the money going to be coming from? Who will be the decision maker? How soon will the National Register of Historic Places act if asked? 

Dozens of buildings along major stretches of Randolph Street and Fulton Market — including ones that house some of the city’s best-known restaurants — would become part of a historic district under a city proposal that the Commission on Chicago Landmarks will consider Thursday.

The proposal — presented at a community meeting Tuesday night — calls for granting historic designation to a six-block stretch of buildings on Randolph between the Kennedy Expy. and a property just west of Carpenter Street and along Lake Street from Peoria to Morgan streets. An eight-block stretch on Fulton Market between Halsted Street and Racine Avenue would also be landmarked.

The 75 buildings that would be affected by the historic designation currently house restaurants including the Girl and the Goat and the Publican and multiple restaurant supply businesses and butchers.

The proposed historic district is part of a larger land-use plan that would regulate building construction and designs in the area and also bring streetscaping and other improvements to create a “distinct sense of place,” documents say.

The proposal stated the plan would help preserve “an area of historic buildings occupied by new and traditional food business that showcase Chicago as the culinary epicenter of the Midwest.”

It’s also an area that “has attracted innovative industries” — including Google — which the city believes will continue.


(click here to continue reading Randolph Street, Fulton Market to Become Historic Districts Under City Plan – West Loop – DNAinfo.com Chicago.)

I’ve taken a few photos of Fulton Market over the years, click here for some of them…

Technicolor Haze over West Loop
Technicolor Haze over West Loop

Fulton Street Wholesale
Fulton Street Wholesale

Fulton Street Nocturne
Fulton Street Nocturne

If you’ve ever visited Pike Place Market in Seattle, the River Market District in Kansas City, or the Gansevoort Market District (Meat Packing District) in New York, you’d have an idea of what the City of Chicago is thinking about.

Lets Make a Deal
Lets Make a Deal

Here’s the presentation itself if you are interested.

Fulton Randolph Market District Plan (Presented 4/1/14) from Neighbors of West Loop

(via Neighbors of West Loop – West Loop News: Fulton Randolph Market District Plan Presentation (April 1, 2014).)

The presentation mentions the transformation of the CCP Holden Building on W. Madison as an example of what could be done, and it is true, there are several older buildings left on Fulton Street that could use a little loving care and restoration after years of neglect.

Written by Seth Anderson

April 4th, 2014 at 9:06 am

Emanuel ordinance grants exemption for petcoke

Mayor Emanuel
Mayor Emanuel

Gee, Rahm, did you think that nobody would notice this? Not a good way to win re-election, environmentalists are motivated voters, with long memories…

Faced with public outrage about gritty black dust blowing through Chicago’s Southeast Side, Mayor Rahm Emanuel talked of forcing towering mounds of petroleum coke out of Chicago and outlawing new piles with costly regulations.

But the fine print of a zoning ordinance unveiled Tuesday by the Emanuel administration opens the door for greater use of the high-sulfur, high-carbon refinery byproduct in the city.

Under changes outlined at a hearing of the City Council’s powerful zoning committee, companies would be allowed to store and burn petroleum coke in Chicago if “consumed onsite as part of a manufacturing process.” The special exemption also would allow companies to burn stockpiles of coal.

KCBX Terminals, a company controlled by industrialists Charles and David Koch, already is defending a lawsuit filed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan that accuses the company of violating air pollution laws at its facility off Burley Avenue between 108th and 111th streets. Another Madigan lawsuit urges a Cook County judge to cite KCBX for violating water quality and open dumping laws by failing to prevent petcoke and coal from washing into the Calumet River at its 100th Street storage terminal.

A separate state order required Beemsterboer Slag Co. to remove petcoke and coal from its 106th Street storage terminal.

KCBX has a contract to store petcoke generated by the BP refinery just over the Indiana border in Whiting. To process more heavy Canadian tar sands oil, BP recently completed an overhaul of the refinery that will more than triple its output of petcoke to 2.2 million tons a year – a figure Emanuel has frequently cited when vowing to crack down on the dusty piles.

“It’s unfortunate the city is undercutting the mayor’s very clear statements,” said Henry Henderson, a former Chicago environment commissioner who heads the Midwest office of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “This is a retreat.”

(click here to continue reading Chicago Tribune – Emanuel ordinance grants exemption for petcoke.)

Presidential Towers with a Benjamin
Presidential Towers with a Benjamin

I wonder if there were any Koch-Dollars involved? Sounds suspiciously like there was some back channels being worked here by somebody…

Yesterday, a hearing on Chicago’s proposed ordinance to ban new and expanded petroleum coke operations gave us a good example of why this town often deserves its international reputation for political shenanigans.

The City Council’s Zoning Committee had set a hearing to move on the ordinance that would significantly restrict transportation, disposal and use of petroleum coke in our communities. Based on weeks of discussions with the City authorities, and the stated goals of the Mayor, everyone thought they were coming to a hearing in the City Council’s zoning committee to weigh in on new rules on the handling and usage of the ashy oil refining waste (as well as coal) which has appeared in massive mounds on the Southeast Side.

But instead, John Pope, sponsor of the ordinance and Alderman of the 10th Ward where the piles reside, tried to pull a switcheroo.

But the Alderman’s new version eliminates the prohibition on petcoke and coal users. That means big facilities that burn the stuff, like cement manufacturers and dirty energy producers, are free to open and expand across many city districts.

Given recent maneuvering in the area, it is likely that he has a couple of users clearly in mind: a cement plant and the formerly aborted Leucadia coal gasification plant.

(click here to continue reading Chicago Petcoke: Alderman’s Shameful Switcheroo Undercuts His Neighbors, the Mayor and the Entire City | Henry Henderson.)

and this tidbit is troubling:

And it opens the door to expansion of the blight. While the oil refining waste has largely been seen along the banks of the Calumet River on the Southeast Side, it is important to remember that there are plenty of other potential destinations in town. In our testimony at the hearing, my colleague Meleah Geertsma noted that under current law, facilities in almost any of Chicago’s “Planned Manufacturing Districts” have the right to bring big piles of petcoke and coal. The City has 15 of these zones, which include places like the Clybourn Corridor, Goose Island, the Chicago/Halsted Corridor, Pilsen and West Pullman.

Written by Seth Anderson

April 3rd, 2014 at 4:59 am

Oscar Mayer Wienermobile – driftdog was uploaded to Flickr

W. Randolph St

embiggen by clicking

I took Oscar Mayer Wienermobile – driftdog on August 01, 2013 at 04:19PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on August 01, 2013 at 09:37PM

Written by eggplant

March 31st, 2014 at 11:05 am