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Global Warming, Space Weather, Fukushima UPDATES

By Carla B.

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Fighting global warming is not just about reducing carbon emissions or promoting alternative energy.  Rather, public documents released by truth-seekers reveal an absolute obsession with population control and a bizarre belief by environmental extremists that population reduction is the “cheapest” way to achieve a reduction in carbon emissions.  You see, the math is simple.  Less people = less carbon emitters.  In fact, a carbon offset initiative launched by the Optimum Population Trust even allows people to offset their “carbon footprint” by making online payments to support “family planning” in poor countries.  In other words, you can now be forgiven for your carbon “sins” by paying for a baby on the other side of the world to be killed. As bizarre as this may seem, it’s actually happening…as is only the tip of the iceberg.

Are Scientists keeping it real?

Yes, there are some…

“Cambridge professor, Peter Wadhams claims three scientists investigating the effect of global warming upon melting Arctic ice may have been assassinated,” for coming clean about what is really going on.

And those that are not…

Former supporter of President ObamaDr. Ivar Giaever, a Nobel Prize-Winner for physics in 1973, declared his dissent on man-made global warming claims at a Nobel forum on July 1, 2015. “I would say that basically global warming is a non-problem.”

Giaever, a former professor at the School of Engineering and School of Science Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, received the 1973 physics Nobel for his work on quantum tunneling. Giaever delivered his remarks at the 65th Nobel Laureate Conference in Lindau, Germany, which drew 65 recipients of the prize.

Global Warming Causes and Climate Change Facts - Image credit: Global Warming Indicators

What does past climate change tell us about global warming?

Science says: Climate reacts to whatever forces it to change; humans are now the dominant force.

A common skeptic argument is that climate has changed naturally in the past, long before SUVs and coal-fired power plants, so therefore humans cannot be causing global warming now. Interestingly, the peer-reviewed research into past climate change comes to the opposite conclusion. To understand this, first you have to ask why climate has changed in the past. It doesn’t happen by magic. Climate changes when it’s forced to change. When our planet suffers an energy imbalance and gains or loses heat, global temperature changes.

There are a number of different forces which can influence the Earth’s climate. When the sun gets brighter, the planet receives more energy and warms. When volcanoes erupt, they emit particles into the atmosphere which reflect sunlight, and the planet cools. When there are more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the planet warms. These effects are referred to as external forcings because by changing the planet’s energy balance, they force climate to change.

MORE Global Warming TRUTH #1. 

A network of politicians, corporations, and scientists have conspired together to promote the fear of “global warming” . . . despite evidence clearly stating no such “global warming” exists.

The Motive:

$22 billion per year??

To be clear . . . that’s $22 billion of taxpayers’ money . . . the amount that our government pays to stop the “global warming” epidemic. {shrugs}

MORE Global Warming TRUTH #2

Another likely truth about global warming is this: Humanity may be in for some awful shit. The good news, There is also still a chance to save our planet!

Save Mother Earth - Save Humanity

The video directly below by Suspicious0bservers shares information on earths vulnerability and solar storm effects.

MUST READ:The Truth about Fukushima Radiation – “slowly killing our Planet….”

SEE ALSO: Cambridge professor ‘claims three leading climate scientists may have been assassinated’

The video below by BPEarthWatch breaks down incoming Atlantic hurricanes forming around Mother Earth


1. Suspicious0bservers

2. SpaceWeatherNews

3. ObservatoryProject

4. BPEarthWatch

5. EarthChangesMedia

6. MagneticReversal

7. FukushimaRadiation

8. Wunderground

RELATED: Earthquake Watch — 2015 UPDATES

MUST READ: Forceful Earth-directed Solar X Flare – Earthquake Watch

Chicago Fema Camp Fully Operational, Report

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(BeforeItsNews) — Countless of brave and selfless reporters risk their lives on a daily basis to bring the public the news on how we are our systematically losing our freedoms as we rush headlong into a police state unlike what the world has ever seen. This is a dangerous profession, just ask the families of Hastings, Breitbart and Clancy. And what are we all risking our lives for? Are we are risking our lives trying to save people who would rather watch the NFL than stand up to the tyranny that this destroying their country and ultimately their family?

If the reporters from the Guardian and Infowars who uncovered the following information were not risking their lives to bring the public this information, then who would stand at the gate? And what did these brave reporters risk their lives for?

I Do Not Recognize America

America has lost her soul because it has lost Jesus. As a result, America has lost her sense of morality. Our nation has but a few who possess true courage! As a people. we stand for nothing. We accept tyranny as if it is normal and that is the way that it is supposed to be. When CIA rendition camps are exposed in the news, the public does not pay attention as they fast forward the DVR to the weather and the sports. And now that these same camps have come to roost on American soil and are run by local law enforcement, Americans collectively turn the page and pretend it does not matter. Only this time, it is Americans that are being tortured, not foreign terrorists.

SEE ALSO:Alarming Numbers of Baby Sea Lions dying off California coast: Fukushima Fallout

What did we Americans think was going to happen when we allowed DHS to militarize the police under Program 1033? If we allow the Federal government, in the name of the CIA, to torture suspects, how long did we think it is going to be until the militarization of the police would lead to the same thing at the local level. America? That day has arrived as we have the Gestapo,in the form of local police running concentration camps inside of our cities.

Police Torture Center In Chicago

With regard to law enforcement in Chicago, we are acquiescing in the face of tyranny. We are accepting thuggery and the existence of torture programs which are supported and funded by our locally elected leaders. For those of you that do not think that FEMA camps are not real, you may want to pay close attention to the rest of the contents of this article. To those who are blinded by cognitive dissonance, we have operation FEMA camps torturing and killing Americans today. The proof resides in the following paragraphs.

In an investigative report, The Guardian boldly alleges that rogue units of the Chicago Police Department maintains a secret interrogation compound in Homan Square. Citizens have accused the Chicago police of having subjected Americans to rendition. Victims are unable to be found by family or attorneys while undergoing enhanced interrogation similar to the CIA.

Take the case of Brian Church. He was not processed and shackled to a bench for a day. Nobody knew where he was at and he was not allowed to speak with anyone. However, Brian was luckier than many, he came out alive.

Of course, the police deny all claims. However, if the Chicago police are innocent of the charges, then why did the harass Infowars reporter, Joe Biggs, for attempting to investigate the alleged scene of illegal detention and torture?

In the following two videos, Infowars reporter Joe Biggs, describes  how he was harassed by Chicago undercover police and kicked off of a public sidewalk outside of a secret black torture site in Chicago. If the police have nothing to hide, then they should have opened the doors of this alleged “black site” and allowed Mr. Biggs the right to investigate the allegations with the full cooperation of the police. Secondly, Biggs summarizes his findings with regard to this facility. A tip of the hat to Mr. Biggs and the Infowars team for some very “gutsy” reporting. I just cannot help wondering if this kind of quality reporting isn’t wasted on a soulless nation of sheep who will likely deny the content of the reports because it is easier to stay in denial than it to actually do something.

Stunning Revelations by Alex Jones

If you fit the definition of a sheep, you may not want to watch this stunning and informative report prepared by Alex Jones and Infowars because the following 13 minute video clip contains court documents which shows that the Chicago PD denies due process, tortures subjects and suspects and prisoners have died while inside of the Homan FEMA camp facility. Alex’s report is not for the faint of heart. Do you realize that, like so many other people in the Independent Media, that Alex Jones and Joe Biggs are risking their lives to bring you this information. America owes them the respect of watching every minute of their report. Then you need to ask yourself why you are not doing anything about this?

The fact that this is out in the open with irrefutable proof, makes it impossible to deny the truth. Gone are days the days when the brave colonists at Lexington and Concord would oppose a superior military force. Gone are the days when the defenders of the Alamo fought to the last man in defense of their liberty. Gone are the days when young college students would be dragged off to jail as they protesting an illegal war in Vietnam. If Americans do nothing, then they are accomplices to this tyranny. If you are unwilling to stand up to the Chicago PD and all like them, then you may as well as dawn Swastika armbands because you are a thug through acquiesence. For those of you who are reading these words, have watched the evidence be presented and you continue to do nothing, you are a willing accomplice to torture and murder.

It has always been the policy to not be drawn into posture of advocating violence. But that does not mean that we should not act. And like the Nazis, the KGB and the Stasi, if they start coming to our homes to drag us to these facilities, then the prohibition to violence will be lifted.
The Public Has Options

One does not have to be a man’s man to confront the beginning of the use of the NDAA. Even a sissy can become an activist. Even the 98 pound weakling has viable alternatives. First, they can unelect all incumbents and subsequently fire the Chicago Police Chief. Secondly. Chicago activists can keep this site under surveillance and videotape all who enter and leave. But if we do not have the guts to stand up to this tyranny, then we can at least protest passively and in a manner that will exact a cost against the thugs running the city of Chicago.

Nationally, the public can boycott Chicago. Yes, that’s right. If you are planning a trip to Chicago cancel your trip. Even a sissy can do that. Even a sissy can write a letter and not travel to Chicago.
Chicago Tourism

I am not proposing that that boycotting Chicago is the final answer to their police department operating FEMA camp.However, I am pointing out that even the weak in body and mind can do something to oppose this tyranny. Please allow me to provide you with an example.

The public can be outraged all day long. Until the Chicago officials are made to feel the heat, they have no motivation to change. The opportunity to have an impact on Chicago tourism is great. If the traveling public stayed away and made their reasons known, the merchants would be screaming at city government to do something. The public holds all the cards.
Chicago Tourism: 2013 VISITOR VOLUME

The Chicago tourism industry is flourishing and is a mainstay source of support for the people and businesses of Chicago.

Total visitation in 2013 was 48.48 million, an increase of 4.2% over the previous record of 46.51 million, achieved in 2012.

Domestic visitation in 2013 was a record 46.96 million, an increase of 4.4% over 2012 levels.

Overseas visitation for 2013 achieved a record 1.378 million, a gain of 0.7% over 2012 levels.
A plan so simple and risk free that even a sissy can do it. And when does something like this, they are no longer a sissy because they have done something.

Turn’em In

There is one more thing to consider. We have a civic duty to report criminal behavior. To report these despotic actions on the part of the Chicago Police Department, we can all report this gang activity to the following phone number: Gang Hotline Telephone:312.746.GANG (312.746.4264) ; TTY: 312.746.4276. In other words, you can even put their tyranny back in their face.

This is activism for sissies, yet it could be effective if we made it our mission to punish Chicago for this thuggery. Write one letter, make one phone call and encourage others to boycott Chicago. How hard is that? One doesn’t have to have courage to do that!

Read more via now.

Chicago Bears Report – NFL Updates

By: Cain Cawthon

CHICAGO – Another talented Chicago Bears team is in the midst of another disappointing season. With the exception of the vaunted ’85 squad and a handful of other deep playoff runs, disappointment is often the norm in the Windy City.

(Photo: Jonathan Daniel, Getty Images)

Just ask Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers, Hall of Fame Bears who never once played in the postseason despite legendary careers that ran concurrently.

“Butkus and Sayers were cheated. They were cheated,” their former Chicago teammate, linebacker Doug Buffone, says in A Football Life: Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers. “They were cheated because they (did) not put ballplayers around them. They expected Butkus and Sayers to take ‘em to the championship. You can’t do that. Shame on the Chicago Bears. Shame on them.”

Hard to believe that such a pair of luminary talents who played together for seven years only finished above .500 twice with their 9-5 rookie campaign the zenith of the Bears’ collective success with Butkus and Sayers.

Landing two Canton-bound players in one draft — Butkus went third overall in 1965 and Sayers came off the board one pick later — usually translates to Super Bowl success as the Pittsburgh Steelers (four Hall of Famers in 1974 draft), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks in 1995 draft) and Baltimore Ravens (Ray Lewis and Jonathan Ogden in 1996) can attest.

But maybe Chicago’s struggles only serve to illustrate the greatness of its famed dynamic duo. In 1969, the Bears’ 1-13 record was tied for the worst in the NFL. Yet Butkus was honored as the defensive player of the year while Sayers, who was coming back from his first major knee injury, won the rushing title with 1,032 yards.

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As it typically does, A Football Life does a nice job adding new layers to well-known NFL legends.

Butkus, known as one of the league’s most ferocious players in his day — the late Deacon Jones called him an “animal” and “stone maniac” — squirms when asked about some of the stories that have followed him.

Question from NFL Films producer: “Did you ever hit a guy out of bounds?”

Butkus: “Maybe.”

Q: “Did you ever give a guy a little extra (on a tackle)?”

Butkus: “Yep.”

Q: “Did you ever spit on (Vikings center) Mick Tingelhoff’s hands?”

Butkus: “No way. I spit on the ball.”

Q: “Did you ever bite an opposing player?”

Butkus: “I think it’s just another one of those stories, grows after the years. … I had a ball.”

Sayers did for a while, too. His 22 touchdowns in 1965 remain a record for rookies. But his career is as noteworthy for the knee injuries that derailed it prematurely — Sayers only played four full seasons — as it is for his slithery moves and breakaway speed.

Sayers blew out his right knee for the first time on Nov. 10, 1968. The emotional scars remains.

“Sometimes I cry about it because I didn’t get a chance to play the game,” said Sayers, his voice still dripping with pain and emotion.

“I wish they had better doctors back then.”

Sayers was forced to retire after the 1971 season while Butkus was done in by his own creaky knees two years later.

Yet four decades later, these close friends remain the standard bearers subsequent Bears are measured against.

A Football Life: Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers premieres Friday night on NFL Network at 10 p.m. ET.

News Source: USA Today

1 dead, 1 taken into custody 6 hours after police captain shot

(Chicago Tribune) — A police standoff that began in Englewood with the attempted arrest of a shooting spree suspect ended six hours later with one man dead, another wounded and a high-ranking officer recovering from a head wound, officials said.

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy walks towards the press outside the ER at Stroger Hospital after visiting a Chicago police officer who was shot earlier in the day by a gunman in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. -- Image credit: Abel Uribe/ Chicago Tribune

Capt. Edward Kulbida, 58, and with the department for nearly 30 years, was in serious condition after being shot in the shoulder and grazed in the head. He was expected to survive, according to hospital and police officials.

He was hit as Chicago police and federal agents attempted to arrest a suspect in a shooting and carjacking over the weekend in Indianapolis that left three people injured. Gunfire was exchanged and police finally stormed the apartment in the 7200 block of South Lowe Avenue around 11:30 p.m., finding one man dead from an apparent gunshot and another man wounded.

The identity of the 42-year-old dead man was not released, but the wounded man was identified as the suspect from Indiana, Daniel P. Brown. At least one gun was recovered, police said.

As police Superintendent Garry McCarthy announced the end of the standoff to reporters huddled along 71st Street, a group of three or four women broke into sobs.

“They … killed him!” one of them shouted.

Authorities said it was unclear how the man inside the apartment was killed.  McCarthy told reporters officers did not fire their weapons when they raided the apartment, and added that he did not know the relationship between the suspect and the 42-year-old man.

Chicago police had been asked to assist in Brown’s capture after he had been traced to his sister’s apartment in the Englewood neighborhood on the South Side.

“It wasn’t a blind thing they went into,” said Detective Chuck Benner of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. “They were actually looking for us.”

Authorities said Brown shot his fiancee’s friend Saturday after she intervened in a domestic dispute while they were riding in the same car. Brown allegedly chased and continued to shoot at the friend when she fled the car, police said. He then fled on foot from the scene, stopping a short time later to hijack a car in a nearby hotel parking lot, according to Indianapolis police.

Brown then returned to his fiancee’s apartment, where he grabbed his dog and left in his 2009 Nissan Altima, police said. Authorities said he then shot two more people at separate locations, though they say they don’t know the motive for either shooting.

“The suspect and victims know each other, and this was not a random act,” Indianapolis police said in a statement.

Authorities said they tracked Brown to the 7200 block of South Lowe Avenue, and a semitrailer he allegedly had stolen from a Marion County truck yard Sunday was found at Tuesday’s crime scene.

Members of a fugitive task force which included U.S. marshals knocked on Brown’s sister’s apartment door to serve the arrest warrant around 5:30 p.m., police sources said. A gunman opened fire from a window of an apartment as several Chicago officers were walking up to the door, authorities said.

Police returned fire, McCarthy told reporters. Officers pulled the captain — who was hit in the side of his head and clavicle — into the apartment building’s vestibule to escape the gunfire. In seeking refuge, how, police were essentially pinned inside the building.

Authorities at the scene called a 10-1 for an officer needing assistance, and officers from the Englewood police district and across the city quickly converged on the area. The captain was taken out the building’s back door and transported to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital.

Hours after the shooting, as the gunman remained barricaded in the apartment, police spotted him peering from windows several times during the evening and believed that he was crawling on his knees from room to room.

Police used a bullhorn to urge the shooter to give himself up while dozens of officers occupied 71st Street and south along Lowe Avenue. By 9 p.m., three hours after the shooting, marked and unmarked squad cars lined 71st Street but few blue lights flickered. Chicago Fire Department ambulance 24 remained on scene.

Police called out their locations to make sure officers were not hit by friendly fire. There was an unconfirmed report on the police radio that one shot was fired inside the building that was not from  police.

Several residents of the apartment building refused to leave their homes, including a woman with three young children. It “took us a while” to clear everyone from the building, McCarthy said.

Officers kept a throng of reporters and TV camera operators in a vacant lot on the north side of 71st Street, where children tossed around a football at dusk.

Passersby with cameras snapped pictures on their cellphones of the police officers, who walked past the large crowd and hurried to the scene. This included cops in uniform, plainclothes and some in military-style fatigues carrying high-powered rifles. Illinois State Police troopers also walked around the scene to lend some support.

With a full moon to the east, police and TV news helicopters hovered overhead as the standoff dragged on. Two armored Chicago police vehicles headed to the scene along 71st. One camouflaged vehicle headed south on Lowe while the other remained ready along 71st

Suddenly, a loud “boom” sounded around 11:30 p.m. from a flash bomb tossed into the apartment, prompting a few officers to take brief cover behind a tree and fence. Police then ushered a crowd of about 30 people, including reporters, into a vacant lot north of 71st Street.

At Stroger, meanwhile, dozens of officers gathered into the night to await word of the captain’s condition. Kulbida is the highest-ranking officer shot in the line of duty in years. He works as the top assistant to the Englewood District commander.

“The most important thing is that he’s in great spirits. He’s surrounded by his family and he’s going to be okay,” McCarthy said. McCarthy said the captain may not even need surgery.

This isn’t the first time Kulbida has been injured in the line of duty. In 1998, he and a partner were seriously injured when an allegedly drunk driver crashed into their squad car. Both had to be extricated from the wreckage. Kulbida sustained a broken ankle and pelvis.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Chicago Police Department, their wounded officer, Superintendent Garry McCarthy, and to the officers still on the scene dealing with this volatile situation,” Indianapolis police Chief Rick Hite said Tuesday in a statement. “We encourage all of our citizens to pray for a peaceful conclusion, but justice must be served.”

The suspect’s sister was being questioned by police overnight.

The shooting shut down the neighborhood, as a SWAT team and armored cars descended on the block. CTA and Metra service through the area was disrupted.

Metra trains stopped operating on the SouthWest line shortly after the shooting, according to Metra spokesman Michael Gillis. The last outbound train on the tracks Tuesday evening left Union Station around 6:15 p.m. and was stopped about an hour before returning downtown. The last inbound train turned around at Wrightwood. It was unclear when service would resume.

Read more via Chicago Tribune

Severe Weather Forecast: Heavy storms, wind batter Chicago area

Published by EOTM News Editor on June 30th, 2014 - in Breaking News, Chicago Breaking News, Weather

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A violent line of storms late Monday brought a tornado warning, hail storms, torrential rains and high wind gusts across Chicago. Our weather affiliate is updating readers around the clock. Important weather updates below, courtesy of

(MORE: What is a Derecho?)

This derecho produced wind gusts over 80 mph along with significant wind damage to trees and houses in eastern Iowa, particularly around Cedar Rapids. In nearby Fairfax, Iowa, a man died when a building collapsed during the derecho around 2:42 p.m. Central time, Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner told The Weather Channel.

At least six other people have been injured by falling trees or flying debris in the Cedar Rapids-Iowa City corridor of eastern Iowa.

(MORE: Latest Damage Reports and Storm Aftermath)

The derecho began falling apart late Monday evening as it moved into the eastern half of Lower Michigan.

Still, powerful storms continued to fire in its wake, and a second round of storms crossed the Chicago area late Monday evening, bringing winds up to 85 mph to the city’s southwestern suburbs.

Flash flooding has been a major problem across the eastern half of Iowa, with numerous flash flood warnings posted.

(VIDEO: Serious Flooding in Eastern Iowa)

Breaking severe weather information and storm reports are available in the live blog below. Scroll down to view forecast information regarding upcoming severe weather.

Severe Weather Live Ticker: Latest Updates

All tornado warnings, along with other relevant tweets from The Weather Channel and local National Weather Service offices in current threat areas, will appear here.

Information updates automatically; no need to reload or refresh your browser. Time stamps on the left are in Eastern time; subtract one hour for Central time and two hours for Mountain time. For complete warning information and radar links, scroll above to see the radar imagery and click-able severe weather alerts links.

Shaded areas underneath any radar returns are watches, and small hollow outlines are warnings. Red shades (outlines) are tornado watches (warnings). Yellow shades (outlines) are severe thunderstorm watches (warnings). Flash flood warnings are shown as green outlines. The links below have radar and watch/warning information for the entire contiguous U.S.



Los Angeles Kings turn tables on Chicago Blackhawks, tie series at 1-1

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 21:  Kyle Clifford #13 of the Los Angeles Kings vies for the puck between Brandon Saad #20 and Corey Crawford #50 of the Chicago Blackhawks in the first period in Game Two of the Western Conference Final during the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at United Center on May 21, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Carter scores three as Kings rout Blackhawks in NHL series (via AFP)

Jeff Carter scored three third period goals as the Los Angeles Kings rallied to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 6-2 in game two of their NHL semi-final playoff series. Carter scored three of five third period goals on Wednesday for the Kings, who trailed…



Chief Keef Involved in Shooting North of Chicago: Reports

Chief Keef - Photo credit: Jeff Forney

Chief Keef Involved In Early-Morning Shooting (via Block Jams)

Police in suburban Chicago are investigating an early-morning shooting involving rapper Chief Keef. According to a WGN report, a man was shot in Northfield, Illinois, and was taken to the hospital early this morning. WGN also reports that someone called…



TV pitchman Kevin Trudeau Sentenced to 10 Years In Prison

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A federal judge sentenced TV pitchman Kevin Trudeau Monday to 10 years in prison for bilking consumers through his infomercials.

In November, jurors convicted Trudeau of defying a court order barring him from running infomercials that made false claims about his book, “The Weight Loss Cure They Don’t Want You to Know About.”

Kevin Trudeau speaks to the media after leaving the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago, Oct. 28, 2013. Michael Jarecki/Sun-Times Media/AP Photo

Prosecutors say he aired the infomercials anyway, at least 32,000 times.

Before sentencing, Judge Ronald Guzman described Trudeau as “deceitful to the very core,” and said he “requires a sentence that will deter him from future conduct of the same type.”

“Since the age of 25, he has steadfastly attempted to cheat others for his own individual gain,” Guzman said in court. “He has treated federal court orders as if they were merely suggestions … to be mistreated, side-stepped or ignored.”

Trudeau asked for leniency in court, promising to be a “better person.”

“I had a true awakening since being incarcerated four months ago,” Trudeau said. “I’ve been stripped of ego, defiance, arrogance and pride. It’s made me a better person. I’m not the same person I was seven years ago when I made the infomercial.”

“I wish I could turn back the clock and never made the statements I made in the infomercials. Making those statements were a mistake and I am sorry.”

Trudeau also apologized to anyone who bought his book and felt misled.

The 10-year sentence was requested by prosecutors, while defense lawyers contended Trudeau should serve less than two years for his criminal-contempt conviction.

“There is no doubt that along the way some people have been helped by what he’s done,” Guzman said. “But this case is about his refusal to follow court orders. To tell people the truth. That’s just not that hard.”

News Source:

The 33rd Taste of Chicago | The Highs and Lows

Published by EOTM News Editor on July 10th, 2013 - in Chicago Breaking News, Hospitality, Trending

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News Source: The Chicago Tribune

The 33rd Taste of Chicago opened under near-cloudless skies and temperatures in the 80s, perfect  conditions that are predicted to last throughout the festival’s five-day run (which ends Sunday). If Taste is going to have a comeback year, a successful season that demonstrates this event’s viability, this would seem to be the year.

People entering the main gate for the first day of the Taste of Chicago (Credit: Steve Miller)

And if people were to pick a time to support the event, to keep it from the slag heap of unaffordable and thus abandoned city events (remember those July 3 fireworks shows?), well, this would seem to be the year to do that, too.

The boilerplate: Admission to Taste of Chicago is free; purchase strips of 12 tickets ($8) to exchange for food and drink items, which are priced from 3 to 14 tickets. Cheapest strategy is to buy Taste portions, small nibbles that cost 5 tickets or less; every vendor is required to offer at least two Taste-portion items.

If you’re planning to venture out to Grant Park this week, here are my observed highs and lows, the best and worst places to spend your money:

Chicago classics

Bobak’s Sausage Company (booth 1): Though few Taste participants these days could locate Maxwell Street on a map, let alone explain its cultural significance, Bobak’s “Maxwell Street Polish Sausage,” served on a sturdy bun with or without grilled onions, is big, meaty and juicy, worthy of its name. Eight  tickets for full-size, 5 tickets for Taste portion (half).

Eli’s Cheesecake (booth 16). It wouldn’t be Taste of Chicago without Eli’s Cheesecake, which has participated in all 33 Tastes. The Key Lime Skinny cheesecake, 3 tickets, gives you just the right amount of cool sweetness and so, even given its tiny size, is one of Taste’s best bargains.

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria (booth 21), which drags 24 pizza ovens (well, four ovens with six doors each) to its site, manages every year to produce off-site pizza (cheese or sausage, 6 tickets) equal to the pizza sold in its brick-and-mortar restaurants. Why don’t these guys have a food truck yet? (Taste tip: Malnati’s will split your pizza slice in half on request. Easier to handle, easier to share.)

Other great Tastes

Carbon (booth 11), sometimes overmatched by the Taste crowds its first couple of years, has its act together this year, staffed with a mini-army of workers who dish out Carbon’s terrific steak, chicken and fish tacos (4 tickets). My favorite is the tilapia, fried in a crushed-tortilla crust and doused with tequila-lime sauce (the counter person will ask if you want the sauce; you do).

A big “welcome back” to Wishbone (booth 6), making new friends with its Lexington-style (i.e., vinegar sauce) pulled pork sandwich (7 tickets), topped with chopped coleslaw (it’s a Southern thing). The sandwich is big enough for two, easy. Consider also the very refreshing watermelon-lemonade salad (7 tickets), essentially watermelon cubes covered with ice-cold lemonade in a tall cup.

Bombay Spice (booth 37), a Taste rookie, puts out a very nice bhel puri (5 tickets), crunchy puffed rice topped with a cold mix of tomatoes, diced potatoes, onions and spice. A great dish for a hot day.
Stock up on food, your greatest dependency and rest easy.

Inspiration Kitchen (booth 26) is worth visiting for its terrific ice-cold salad of watermelon, cucumber, feta cheese and mint (8 tickets, 4 tickets Taste portion), served in a lidded cup. Sadly, Inspiration Kitchen is one of the two-day pop-up restaurants, and its last Taste day is Thursday.

Not bad, but…

The empanadas at Beat Kitchen (booth 36) are big and puffy and only 5 tickets each. Not bad, but I’d like them better with a little more filling.

Seriously spicy

You only think you have Teflon tonsils; prove it by downing one or more of the hot-pot meats offered at Lao Ma La (booth 12). Priced at 5 to 8 tickets each (varying with the protein; the Taste-portion is 4 tickets), these pepper-flake coated meat skewers live up to their name (ma la means “numbing spicy,” an effect that’s pleasurable to some) and are plenty spicy. Lao Ma La should be getting a kickback from the water vendors.

Best justification for spending 14 tickets

The quarter-rack of ribs at The Smoke Daddy (booth 39) may seem extravagant — 14 tickets for three meaty bones — but the price is very much in keeping with the cost of ribs these days and is the reason that barbecued ribs have virtually disappeared from Taste the last dozen or so years (even Robinson’s No. 1 Ribs sticks to rib tips and pulled pork at Taste). And Smoke Daddy does ribs right. (If you’re economizing, the 5-ticket Taste portion of pulled pork will keep you happy.)

Worst justification for spending 14 tickets

Oak Street Beach Cafe (booth 22), whose home is Midway Airport and not Oak Street Beach, requires 14 tickets for a scrawny lobster tail fragment that is dwarfed by the potatoes that accompany it. The lobster may be small, but it’s also overcooked and salty. Avoid.

Best stuff on a stick

Back to Eli’s Cheesecake (booth 16) for the chocolate-chip-crunch dipper (6 tickets), a crunchy-chocolate-encased cheesecake wedge served on a stick, is the way to go. Hearty Restaurant (booth 24) is serving a wonderful take on the corn dog, using a delicious rabbit sausage instead of a run-of-the-mill hot dog; available in full (10 tickets) and Taste (5 tickets) portions, this item is so good you should splurge on the full-size version. But, tragically, Hearty is another of those two-day pop-up restaurants, and its last day at Taste is Thursday. Reason enough to head to Grant Park today.

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