‘I am not suicidal’ / ‘Leap into the unknown’ / Free TV

‘I am not suicidal.’ Actor Jussie Smollett told that to the judge yesterday after he was sentenced to five months in jail for lying about a racist and homophobic attack he orchestrated on himself.
The judge told Smollett, “You have destroyed your life as you knew it.”
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, whose office bobbled the case before it went to a special prosecutor, bemoans “millions of dollars for the criminal prosecution of a hoax.”
A Sun-Times editorial: “Those who have a distaste for Foxx’s excuses … are rightly troubled.”
Kanye West may be called to a witness stand in Chicago for a fraud case against one of his former employees.
Wanna be a Chicago cop? You might not need a college degree anymore.

‘Leap into the unknown.’ The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson sees the economic blackout imposed on Russia for its war on Ukraine as a global experiment that could accelerate the green-energy revolution into warp speed.
A Tribune editorial considers those record gasoline tabs “the price to protect freedom.”
Americans are volunteering at Ukraine’s U.S. embassy to fight in the war.
Facebook and Instagram temporarily revised their rules to allow violent speech such as “death to the Russian invaders.”
U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn—you may recall him as a Capitol insurrection cheerleader (October link)—calls Ukraine’s president “a thug.”
In what The Conversation describes as a delicate position, China offered to help achieve peace—but still failed to criticize Russia or use the word war …
Instant history: The Conversation has assembled a free downloadable ebook, The Historical Roots of the War in Ukraine, comprising articles filed over just the last two weeks.

‘The day that the COVID crisis became real.’ CNN’s Brian Stelter recalls all that happened March 11, 2020—including the World Health Organization’s declaration of a pandemic and suspension of the NBA season.
Two years later, experts tell The Associated Press that omicron infections and vaccinations have left enough people protected against COVID that future spikes will disrupt society much less.
Federal requirements for masks on public transit have been extended for at least another month.
United Airlines says unvaxxed employees can return to work later this month.
A movement’s on to create a national pandemic memorial day.

‘The Long COVID of American democracy.’ Esquire’s Charlie Pierce says the Trump administration’s effort “to ratfck the 2020 census, so as to use it to ratfck the presidential election” worked …
 … because the Census Bureau concedes it missed almost 19 million Americans—undercounting minority people and overcounting white and Asian populations.
The Chicago Public Schools admissions policy for selective-enrollment schools is in for an overhaul to make it fairer for “under-resourced” minority kids.

Daylight saving, schmaylight schmaving. A neurologist contends daylight saving time is unhealthy.
And yet, there’s no stopping its arrival early Sunday.
Here’s a hoary and ridiculously detailed guide to making the switch.
Spring also will feature Major League Baseball …
 … but Tribune columnist Paul Sullivan warns that it may never be the same.
Columnist Lyz Lenz’s Dingus of the Week honors go to parachuting, palm-sized spiders headed to the East Coast: “I’ve never been more happy to live in the Midwest.”

Free TV. If you’re flirting with dumping cable, Cord Cutter Weekly (middle of today’s edition) reports you can try YouTube TV at no charge for two weeks.
Disney’s move of its adult-themed Marvel shows from Netflix to Disney+ is drawing parents’ ire.

42 + 28. Today would have brought the 70th birthday of the late Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy creator Douglas Adams, the subject of two memorable Chicago radio interviews …
 … in 1997 …
and in 1992.
Sesame Street’s “Luis” for 45 years, Emilio Delgado, is dead at 81.

That’s what the average Chicago Public Square supporter pitches in each month to keep this service coming. But you can join the ranks of The Legion of Chicago Public Squarians—including Kathy Catrambone, Debbie Becker, Melanie Minnix, Jean Remsen, Daniel Horvath, Mike Dessimoz, Paul Kungl, Bill & Laurie Bunkers, Stephanie Textor, Phil Huckelberry, Maureen Gannon, Tim Colburn, Becky Brofman, Heather O’Reilly, Pat Albu, Don Moseley, Mark Thurow, Neela Marnell, Sam Hochberg, Carmie Callobre, Jeryl T. Smith, John Jaramillo, Victoria Engelhardt, Judy Karlov, Craig Kaiser, Jan Menaker Brock and Eric Zorn—for as little as $1 a month.

Square mailbag. Reader Garry J. has a few bones to pick with a development linked from yesterday’s edition (link corrected): “The crackpots at Preservation Chicago have once again managed to list something[s] they want saved that absolutely no sane person wants saved [including] … the Moody Church, a giant hall of 3,300 uncomfortable narrow-molded plywood seats, just like that in every uncomfortable assembly hall of a Chicago Public School.”

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