‘My God’ / Naperville, sued / Google, disenshittified

‘My God.’ Gobsmacked by fresh New York Times reporting that Samuel Alito’s beach house displayed a flag associated with a push for a more Christian-oriented government, law professor and former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance writes: “When you’re a Supreme Court justice, you’re supposed to avoid giving off even a whiff of partisan bias. Or religious favoritism. … Alito flunks the test and flunks it badly.”
 Law Dork columnist Chris Geidner: Alito’s a problem Chief Justice John Roberts must solve.
 Today: Justices rejected a lower court ruling that found a South Carolina congressional district discriminated against Black voters.
 An Illinois judge has temporarily blocked an election law that could favor Democrats in November.

Ticketblaster. The Justice Department and dozens of states are suing Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation Entertainment, accusing them of an illegal monopoly over live events.
 The news conference was set to stream live on the web at Chicago Public Square’s email deadline.

‘The only thing more shocking to find in Donald Trump’s bedroom would be a current wife.’ That’s Stephen Colbert on revelations that the ex-president still had classified docs in his Mar-a-Lago bedroom four months after an FBI search.
 ProPublica: “For the women who accused the Trump campaign of harassment, it’s been more harassment.”

‘For the security of Israel and the sake of innocent people on both sides, this war does need to end.’ One of Hollywood’s most outspoken Jewish leaders, super-agent—and brother to Chicago’s ex-mayor—Ari Emanuel, split the audience last night as he accepted the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Humanitarian Award with what The Hollywood Reporter calls a fiery speech slamming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
 Northwestern University’s president was to testify today before a Republican-controlled House committee hearing billed oh-so-objectively as “Calling for Accountability: Stopping Antisemitic College Chaos.”
 See the proceedings here.
Naperville, sued. ProPublica: “It took four years and a jury trial for Amara Harris to beat the ticket that accused her of stealing another girl’s AirPods. Now she’s heading back to court in the hope of stopping schools from using police to discipline students.”
 On its way to Gov. Pritzker, a bill that would change the term “offender” to “justice impacted individual” …
 … a shift that columnist Eric Zorn says suggests “the law has impacted the person who broke that law, which is Orwellian.”
 The Chicago City Council’s voted to give itself a bigger say in the deployment of safety tech, including the controversial ShotSpotter gunfire detection service.
 CWBChicago’s spin: “Most aldermen voting in support of Johnson’s cancellation of ShotSpotter represent areas that don’t even have the devices. Meanwhile, aldermen who represent neighborhoods with the most ShotSpotter activity largely voted to keep it.”
 Chicago’s inspector general wants to know how government can serve you better—via a survey you can take here.

Google, disenshittified.
Tedium columnist Ernie Smith has built what he calls “a pseudo-search engine” that connects you directly to “essentially Google, minus the crap” …
 … a shortcut to Google’s own newly deployed “web” filter, which delivers only text-based and AI-free results.
 Try it here.
 Coincidentally, Google competitors Bing, DuckDuckGo and ChatGPT all went down for a time today.

More mailbag. Treatment in Tuesday’s Chicago Public Square of—and reader comment in Wednesday’s edition on—coverage of Red Lobster’s bankruptcy continued to draw feedback:
 Michael Rosenbaum emailed: “It’s interesting that the same people who complained that you couldn’t just blame one thing—endless shrimp—… are also blaming just one thing—land sales. The Business Insider piece emphasized property sales, but also listed a long array of problems that Red Lobster was facing. … If a restaurant cannot make enough money to pay rent, it isn’t making enough money to survive. Yes, Red Lobster probably had some advantage from paying only a portion of their ownership cost for real estate, but you have to cover your full costs long-term or you don’t have a business. I don’t know all the details here, and neither do most commenters, but the company simply couldn’t draw enough traffic to survive and a disproportionate share of revenue generated a loss for them. If they had more traffic, they would have failed faster. I know a lot of restaurants that made it through the pandemic and are still in business, even though they always had to pay rent. Putting the blame on rent payments is simplistic at best.”
 Chicago Reader columnist Ben Joravsky texted (links added): “The CNN article that you linked to did have a few paragraphs dedicated to the role of private equity and leaseback in Red Lobster’s demise. Which is more than The New York Times coverage had. I don’t think you made a mistake. I think all in all you and your readers did us all a service” …
 … and then he extended an invitation to talk about this and more on his podcast—which drops here Saturday.
 One more from author and “[dis]enshittification” coiner Cory Doctorow: Businesses like Red Lobster “are easy pickings for looters because the people who patronize them have little power in our society—and because those of us with more power are easily tricked into sneering at these places’ failures as a kind of comeuppance … to tacky joints that serve the working class.”

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