‘Gnats’ / Bench booked / Thanks again

Chicago Public Square will take next week off. But you’ll find periodic news blasts via the Square Facebook page.

And save your pennies, because Square will return with … T-shirts!
Now, the news:

‘Gnats.’ In what The Associated Press calls a signal of new repression to come, Russian President Vladimir Putin dismisses opponents of his war on Ukraine.
CNN: Putin’s warning to Russian “traitors” and “scum” is “a sign things aren’t going to plan.”
But he held a big flag-waving rally today at a Moscow stadium.
 A video address from Arnold Schwarzenegger, calling on the Russian people to rise up and end the war, has been trending on Russian Twitter.

‘So much raw courage.’ Reliable Sources columnist Brian Stelter says some of the bravest reporting in the war has come from photographers and video journalists.
Politico’s Jack Shafer: “Why Journalists Love War.”
The Washington Post surveys the devastation in Ukraine’s second-largest city: “There are no coffins left.”

‘Fight for freedom right here.’ Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg: “Why cheer on the Ukrainians as they die in the name of democracy … while rolling like puppies—many of us, anyway—at the feet of Donald Trump, a weak-tea, wannabe version of Putin?”
A Chicago cop who took a swing at an 18-year-old civil rights protester, knocking out one of her teeth, faces dismissal—over the superintendent’s objections.

‘Note: The following is satire.’ Streetsblog Chicago’s John Greenfield mocks Willie Wilson’s traffic-jam-generating gasoline giveaway yesterday: “Millionaire eases traffic jams by giving away $200K in free CTA tickets.”
Consumer Reports ranks vehicles that cost the most to gas up …
 … and suggests that savings at warehouse club pumps during this war-driven price surge can cover some users’ membership fees. (Photo: Line of cars awaiting fill-ups at Costco’s River Grove warehouse on Tuesday, via the Square Flickr group.)

‘Stop buying from these companies.’ The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank calls out “businesses that continue to fund Vladimir Putin’s war machine.”
The author of Yale’s updating list of companies that’ve pulled out withdrawn from Russia quotes cites Gen. David Petraeus: “I cannot fathom why any of these companies are remaining in Russia helping the evil empire.”

‘It’s not meant to happen this quickly.’ Atlantic columnist Ed Yong warns that the U.S. is zooming through the pandemic panic-neglect cycle.
Moderna wants FDA approval for a fourth COVID-19 shot.
A maternal care expert concludes pregnant women should get vaxxed.
On this date in 2020, Oak Park became the first Chicago-area community to announce a COVID-19 lockdown, and Justin Kaufmann asked your Square columnist to talk about it on WGN Radio that night.

‘Wary, but hopeful.’ The Tribune says community members are pleased California-based Pipeline Health is selling Oak Park’s West Suburban Medical Center and Uptown’s Weiss Memorial Hospital—but the buyer is something of a mystery.
Thanks, (friend of) Obama (2019 link).

Bench booked. A retired Cook County judge from Palos Hills has been arrested in a Florida investigation of human trafficking.
The principal of one of Chicago’s most celebrated high schools faces dismissal—because he reportedly really lives in Missouri.
Ex-Chicago Ald. Ricardo Munoz is off to prison for spending political funding on personal stuff.

Surprised? You weren’t alone. BuzzFeed News says that unexpected unanimous vote in the Senate to make daylight saving time permanent came as a shock to some senators, too.
A Sun-Times editorial: Standard time would be the better choice.
The Onion lists benefits of the change, including: “Easier than trying to deal with that whole voting rights thing.”
Speaking of daylight: This weekend brings the return of Chicagohenge …
 … and an electrical engineering professor explains how a solar storm could knock out the power grid and the internet.

Thanks again.
Here ends this latest roundup of those whose generous support keeps Square coming—including, in no particular order: Mark Edwards, Denise Pondel, Brent Brotine, Jordan Wilkerson, Bob Saigh, Lucy Smith, Randall Volz, Julia Winn, John McClelland, Pavlo Berko, Meghan Strubel, Tom Barnes, Andrea Agrimonti, William Tracy, Keith Huizinga, Bruce Dold, Mary Beth Nevulis, Matt Baron, Brian J. Taylor, Maureen and Jerry Peifer and Kaiser, Ralph Sherman, Jim Parks, Norma Gilich, Bennett Hart, LJ in Arkansas, Bill Oakes, Mary Bunker, Colette Hogan, Elizabeth Denius, Marc Magliari, Mike Trenary, Shel Lustig, Jerry Role, Jeffery Angevine, Barbara Miller, Tim Brandhorst, Robert Clifford, Kathleen Howlett, Michael Kelly, Peter Fuller, H E Williams, Sherry Kent, Judee Barone, Moondog, Lisa McNulty, Joan Berman, Peggy Conlon-Madigan, Gregg Runburg, Lee Greenhouse, Cynthia Farenga, Charlene Thomas, Steve Lee, Linnea Crowther, David Layden, Anthony Caciopo, Crissy Kawamoto, Jerry Wolin, Bob Ely, Wendy Greenhouse, Mark Miller, Barbara Heskett, Suzanne Vestuto, Jerry Delaney, Aris Georgiadis, Stephanie Springsteen, Michael Romain, Martha Intrieri, Suzy Le Clair, Clyde Simpson and Phil Vettel.
Thanks, too, to the roughly 100 or so Square readers who’ve kicked in cash but who—whether out of modesty or shame or something else, who knows?—have asked that their names not be published. (But one of them suggested this postscript!)
Anonymously or not, you can join them all anytime—in any amount—here.
Readers Jim Parks and Mike Braden made this edition better.

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