The Merits Of Learning Digital Piano

Learning Digital Piano

The piano is one of the most versatile musical instruments ever made. The soothing voice of a piano drowns away the blues and ushers in the sense of peace, joy, and tranquillity. to play a piano is no easy task! Only with regular practice, one can play piano effortlessly. For a better music, you need to select from the best piano keyboard available today. As per, one can learn to play piano effortlessly if they manage to find a good teacher. Through a different kind of musical notes are produced with a digital piano, you get more control over the production of sounds. Digital piano gives the musicians or the upcoming musicians a lot of advantages which a normal piano cannot provide. Here are the benefits if you learn the digital piano.

Comes With A Headphone!
With digital piano, you can easily plug in the device and then start monitoring the sounds that are shown on the screen with the help of headphones. When you use headphones, you will not be able to hear any outside noise as well as any other distractions. The headphones can help you in concentrate more on the sound and also helps you to practice without disturbing others. Some digital piano will have twin headphone jacks which allow both the teacher and student to listen together and it will be easier to correct mistakes and practice better.

Compose, Record And Learn!
Digital piano helps you to compose your music. The learning in a digital piano will allow the development of the mental cognition and muscle memory. With the help of digital piano, you will be able to track down the slow notes and make changes in the tempo and beat wherever you feel in the music. When you learn with the help of digital piano, you can get the advantage of recording your classes or what you have learned and listen to them later. By doing this, you will be able to find out the flaws in your music, and then it can get corrected through continuous practice. You can also correct the timing s of the notes when you record your practice and listen to it.

Try Experimenting With Music!
When compared with normal pianos, digital pianos have got more sounds such as guitar, bass, strings, etc. If you can learn these also while learning the piano, you will be able to combine the music and can make a different music using all the features. If you are interested in experimenting, then the digital piano is the best thing to learn. With the help of modern technology, people have developed many apps which can help in creating great music. You will have to take as much advantage of these apps so that you can improve your music. A person who is well trained in using the digital piano can handle the music apps with ease. Certain music apps such as Geoshred help a pianist to develop new music with the help of the notes available.

A digital piano helps you to practise more and perfect the art of playing it. Daily practice of piano can help you to improve your skills and techniques. Boost up your musical skills and climb up the alps of musical journey with a digital piano!

The Best Adjustable Dumbbells For You

Adjustable Dumbbells

Weightlifting is a passion to many, and there is a variety of weight training equipment available on the market. On one side where it shifts your focus towards gaining strength, it also builds your muscles. Adjustable dumbbells are a great choice if you want to start your weight training. The Best Adjustable Dumbbells Reviews and Ratings For 2018 are here to help you analyze the best one. According to adjustable dumbbells can have their own advantage and disadvantage depending on the person using it. Affordability is a great thing about adjustable dumbbells.

Many experienced weightlifters tell us that they started with adjustable dumbbells because of investment in a huge set of dumbbells, in the beginning, was impossible. Hex dumbbells or the set we are talking about are expensive due to many reasons. Let us understand for now that just like the increasing cost of everything else, its cost is also increasing. Though the cost of items is increasing day by day, adjustable dumbbells will still cost much less than the set of hex dumbbells. Dumbbells are simply great for exercising. One can easily design an exercise routine with dumbbells if that is the way you want the training to go.

You must have heard about squats, lunges and bench press. These are only a few exercises to name, but any of these exercises can be done using dumbbells. Start with small weights of 1 kg or 2 kg in both the hands doing the exercise just the way you do it without dumbbells. Doing these simple exercises with dumbbells increases the impact on your body. With only a few adjustable dumbbells and exercise you can target every part of your body where you want to lose weight. Few exercises you can do with dumbbells are alternate dumbbell curls, incline dumbbell bench press, dumbbell rows, dumbbell squats, close grip dumbbell bench, dumbbell stiff legged deadlifts and pinwheel curls.

You can create your own modified versions of each of these exercises for a change. A good set of quality dumbbells will last for life. Adjustable dumbbells are a onetime investment as these do not get damaged that easily. When you bring home dumbbells, you need a few other sets of support items as well. Things like a good pair of dumbbell handles, weight fasteners and weight plates are necessary and must be of equally good quality.

Adjustable dumbbells are available in different styles and cost around $200 depending on what style you choose. Some people find the time required to load the adjustable dumbbells as a major disadvantage. There are no other major drawbacks of adjustable dumbbells. For a better time exercising with weights you must plan things in advance. As the case is with these adjustable dumbbells, changing it every time you start with a new exercise, it will require a great amount of time. Hence, make some adjustment with weights that makes them suitable for most of the exercises you are going to do. It might interest you to purchase these, as they are helpful in more than one exercise and help increase the impact on your muscles.

Style Your Hair With Heat Protectants!

Heat Protectants

All of us yearns for a stylish hairstyle which makes us look good and perfect! Most of us take hairstyling seriously and is even ready to shell out thousands of dollars to get the perfect look! youngsters with curly hair would go for straightening or people with thin hair texture would often get a blow dry done to add volume. Though these techniques might make you picture perfect on special occasions, the rigorous usage of these heating tools may deteriorate the quality and texture of your hair. It is not your mothers heat protectant would be of any use, but you may need to take medical guidance to improve the situation. Over time, with the increased culture of professional hair styling, hair experts have discovered some innovative ways to restore the quality of hair while keeping up with the trends. You may find some nice hair care tips from experts online on portals and discussion forums like

Get To Know The Impact Of Heat On Hair
To understand more elaborately about the effect of heat on hair, let us learn about the correlation between the intensity of heat applied and its impact on the texture of the hair. A strand of hair has two parts to it. The inner cortex which has water molecules keep the hair hydrated. When constant heat is applied, these water molecules evaporate, and it gives the hair a dehydrated and frizzy look. The second part is called cuticle. It is the outer part and is smooth. The heat of the tool causes cracks in the cuticles, and the hair gets further damaged.
In such situations, a heat protectant can help in protecting your hair while you style it. Heat protectant is available in the form of a solution. It is available in the market as sprays, serum, and creams.

Ingredients In A Hair Protectant
• Humectants which block the moisture and keep the hair frizz free. Propylene glycol and panthenol are the main components which act as humectants.
• Keratin which is a vital amino acid and acts as an antioxidant. It helps in building the strength of the hair.
• Natural oils like Aloe Vera which repairs and protects the cuticles.
It is better to apply the solution to damp hair before the heating procedure. Be sure to comb the hair after application so that it distributes across the skull evenly. Leave it on the hair for 10 to 20 minutes before applying heat.

Depending on your hair type you can choose the product variant suiting the texture of your hair. Always ensure that you review the ingredients before buying it. Some of these heat protectants may contain silicones like Dimethicone or Cyclomethicone. It may leave a layer over the hair and adversely affect some particular hair types. Hence choose a product that adds value and alternatively work as a conditioner or shine enhancer.

Too Late To Realize The Damage?
Although these products may help, sometimes the damage is already done so much so that you can feel the change through the rough texture of hair. You might even face extreme hair falling issues due to repeated use of hair styling products. The right way to tackle this issue is to primarily stop using any styling tools for some time which includes hair coloring processes also. Next is to trim the hair from below to remove the damaged portion. Use sulfate free shampoos and stress upon conditioning the hair on a daily basis using products rich in amino acids, natural extracts, keratin, and antioxidants. If the hair styling is unavoidable, it is better to use the styling tools at moderate temperature and always apply heat protectants before starting the styling process.

What Is A Healthy Diet For Pet Rats?

If you have a rat as your pet, you need to care about the wellbeing of your little critter. More importantly, you need to know its dietary requirements as well as the correct food to feed your pet. As explained by Rat Central a proper diet is mandatory for your critter’s sound health. stresses that appropriate and a healthy diet is vital for pet rats.

Being a member of the rodent family rats are omnivorous as they eat both plants and animal substances. As a rat owner do not restrict your pet to a vegetarian diet as it needs animal protein since protein from plants is not sufficient for its normal growth. Like us, rats are also fond of junk foods. There are innumerable numbers of healthy treats that you can provide to your pet rats. Like us, rats too prefer different types of foods on their daily diets as the same items every day will be boredom.

As a rat owner, you need to know some facts about the commercial rat’s foods that are being sold in the market. Remember, these foods are unhealthy for rats as most of them contain dangerous additives – waste food and harmful chemical preservatives. Rats cannot select their foods and eat whatever is available in front of them.

Commercially sold corns might have fungus and mould on it which are hard for your pets to digest. Instead of these commercial foods, you can try ‘lab-block’ which are completely nutritional and can be given safely to your rats. Brands such as Harlan Teklad, Hagen Nutri-blocks, are found to be good and can be the good staple diet for your pet critters. Such diets also keep the teeth of these rats overgrown.

Fresh vegetables are recommended as a healthy rat-diet which include spinach, collard greens, squash, mustard greens, cucumber, asparagus, carrots, yams, sweet potato and many more. Fruits can be given without seeds which are hard to digest. Too much fruit can cause diarrhoea and few veggies like cauliflower, asparagus are to be given in moderation as they can cause gas formation.

As said earlier, some foods are to be avoided to maintain a healthy rat. Too much of cheese, peanuts are to be avoided, and the items like orange juice, iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, raw banana, poppy seeds, candy, chocolate are to be avoided entirely. Chocolate given in excess can cause immediate respiratory issues.

The above-stated information about the rat diets will help you in deciding what to give and what not to give for your pet. These items in the said list are only the guideline and can be used for general reference. Remember, these items are not to be used as replacement items suggested by your vet.

While buying any commercial food for a temporary period, buy the same from the reputed online stores. Always read the reviews before buying them even for a short period. It is better to read the testimonials shared in these websites to find the reputation of the online stores.

Why Do People Take Care Of Their Skin?

skin care

People give importance to their skin as it is the most sensitive organ of their body. Skin makes you look younger or older based on its appearance. So you need to take care of your skin so that you may look attractive. There are various other reasons on why you should take proper care for your skin. It acts as a protective barrier between your body and the external world. You can visit the site Sample Hime to know about the various beauty products available to take care of your skin. A healthy skin can offer various benefits to your body as per The article below discusses why you need to take proper care of your skin. It also offers some valuable tips on skin care.

Appears Good
Proper maintenance of your skin make you appear good and appealing to others. You may feel confident when your skin looks young and attractive. So if you wish to attract others with your physical appearance, then you should take proper care of your skin. Improper maintenance may lead to a dull and attractive skin. Your skin may also look dry, and wrinkles start to develop at an early age due to lack of care to your skin. Unhealthy skin loses its elasticity and looks dehydrated. Thus if you wish to look good with healthy skin, then you need to take proper care of your skin.

Good Health
Healthy skin is not only related to beauty and appearance, but it is also responsible for your body health. You need to maintain your skin or else it may lead to infections and affect the inner organs of your body. People with skin allergies should take proper care of their skin so that they can prevent the attack of serious diseases. An unhealthy skin is prone to infections and scar after injury.

Proper Skin Care
Skin care is not a challenging or an expensive task. You need to follow some simple routine so that your skin remains young and attractive. You need to drink lots of water so that your body and the skin stay hydrated. Moisture is important for the survival of your skin. You need to eat a healthy diet like fruits and vegetables so that your skin gets the essential nourishment. Include a lot of whole grains and protein-rich foods in your diet. You also need to protect your skin from the harmful radiation of the sun. So do not forget to use a good quality sunscreen lotion before you step outside.

You need to cleanse your face daily so that you can remove the dirt deposited on your skin. It is good to use cold or warm water for cleaning your face every day. Hot water removes the moisture content in your skin. Always prefer organic beauty products as in-organic beauty products contain a lot of harsh chemicals and can damage your skin. People suffering from dry skin can make use of oil-based lotion on their skin after a bath to prevent dryness.
The above are the reasons for why one should give importance to skin care.

7 Factors To Look For In A Sign Company

A signboard is a reflection of your brand’s identity and is the first visual thing that your customers or clients notice. This implies that finding the right sign company is necessary to avoid future disappointments. Take a look at the signs perth has, to find if the design meets the stipulated budget and your company’s core values. You will be interested to know that lists marketing tools for the growth of the business.

Take a look at some of the tips to help you find the best sign company.

Number Of Years The Company Has Been Around

Most of the signage displays are designed to last for ten to 15 years. Even when the highest grade of materials are used, they will require servicing and maintenance at some point. If a sign company has been in business for a decade, it will naturally be around for a long time.

Make sure that the company has a proven track record of success and they have all the essential components during the warranty period.

Members Of Any Associations

Find if the sign company is a member of any local or international associations. This indicates their credibility and is a sign that the firm is actively involved in other industries as well.

Tricks Of The Trade

You might be of the opinion that designing and manufacturing sign boards are a simple task. On the contrary, they require extensive knowledge about the latest trends in the industry, best-practices, and other skills to produce good quality display.

For instance, designing a Pylon sign board requires plastic, CNC routering, wiring, vinyl application wiring, and installation. Your sign company must possess the necessary training, certifications, and experience to come up with a good quality sign.

Project Management

When designing a display board, a project might coincide with other renovation projects where different trades might be working in parallel with each other. Is your sign company capable of working in a shared job site or do they face issues regarding the same?

Take A Tour Of The Unit

To understand how your sign company works, take a tour of their company and meet the team who are responsible for designing your signboard. The staff will be more than happy to show you around the unit and explain to you all the processes and methods at work. This is a good opportunity to find out how the team works on a daily basis.

Check For Their Online Presence

There can be no denial of the fact that illegitimate companies are looking at making a few quick bucks. You should check their authenticity by visiting their website. An aesthetically designed website indicates that the company is in tune with the times, while an outdated website indicates that the sign company is struggling to find its foothold in the market.

In addition to this, BBB offers an overview of the company and is a good reference source.

Verify Their Credibility

You can contact their clients or ask their customers for reviews about the company. Ask them:
• Did the company complete the project within the stipulated time?
• What is the level of customer service?
• Were there any additional costs or was the project completed within the allotted budget?

Finally, remember to take a look at their latest work. Is the paint fading or vinyl peeling after few years? The sign company may talk using jargons, but everything will fail when the quality of work is not as expected.

Health Hazards Of Swimming In A Dirty Pool

Dirty Pool

Undoubtedly swimming is one of the most effective ways to stay in shape and fit. It’s a fun way of spending your time on a hot day with your family and friends. Swimming helps in building up physical strength and endurance, as well as relaxes the mind. But these benefits can only prove to be fruitful if we maintain the cleanliness and hygiene in our personal pool as well as be careful about prospective health hazards caused by using a public pool. The medical consequences of any diseases or allergies caught up through infected water can prove to be serious sometimes.
There are many pool cleaning options available in the market like vacuum heads and hoses, skimmer nets, leaf baggers and trappers and certain sophisticated high-end equipment’s which can be used to avoid falling prey to such diseases. Robotic pool cleaners are a new age fast and efficient machines which can clean up the surface, dust, and debris in water within a fraction of the time. To know more about its functionality and pricing you can visit

As per the study published in, the contamination in public pool waters may cause certain fatal respiratory, skin and neurological illnesses which can majorly affect the life of the sufferer.
Some of the common infections primarily caused by bacteria and invisible germs in the impure water which you can catch from the dirty pool are:

1. E. coil: People who do not take a shower before getting into the pool, may bring in infectious bacteria into the water. The contaminated water can then cause ailments like diarrhea.
2. Hepatitis A.: Considered to be from the family of fatal diseases, this is usually caused because of an improper level of chlorine in the water.
3. Giardia: This is caused due to unintentionally swallowing a lot of water in the pool. Due to impurities in the water, one can experience stomach infection, prolonged diarrhea, and cramps.
4. Hot Tub Rash: These itchy, reddish, inflamed rashes on the skin are caused due to contaminated water. Also called as ‘hot tub folliculitis’ in some serious causes can take the shape of pus-filled blisters.
5. Swimmer’s ear: Also called as Pseudomonas, is caused when water gets trapped in the ear canal, causing bacterial or fungal infection. This causes swelling, pain, discomfort, and itching and is more common in kids than in elders
6. Respiratory stress: Known with the name bacterium Legionella, this is more common in warm or hot water pools. A lung infection which causes pain, shortness of breath, temperature, and coughing may prove fatal for people already having a chronic lung infection, low immunity, or are smokers or elders above 50 years of age.

Certain basic practices like regular cleaning and once a weak change of water is critical. Using various equipment and manual tools to clean up the visible dirt like dry leaves, sticks, etc. A fundamental health hygiene necessity is to keep pee, sweat, and other dirt away from the pool. One should avoid getting into the pool without a shower. In case little kids have an upset stomach, better not to venture in with them. Taking small pee break in between of extended time in water etc. Keeping the pool covered for emptied if not in use for long, so that it does not become as a breeding ground for various germs, bacteria, and fungus. By following these step, you will make the swimming experience safer and thrilling for you and your co-swimmers.

Personal Aside: How The Chicago Way Moved to Washington.

“The Chicago Way”-a method of bamboozling and backstabbing-is leading to disillusionment by significant portions of the Left with Barack Obama, the man it hailed as supposedly the most inspiring Democrat since Bobby Kennedy. Here how The Chicago Way works.

Hiding the Truth.

Hiding true facts from voters is a hallmark of how Mayor Richard M. Daley runs this city supposedly “The City that Works” and which has been adapted by the Rahm Emanuel-David Axelrod-Valerie Jarrett team for Obama.

This from an outstanding reporter who has done great work uncovering the story of TIFs, Ben Joravsky…aided by his colleague Mike Dumke…of The Chicago Reader:

Last Oct. 15, Daley held a news conference to give the city what he said was bad news. He said he would have to erase a $500 million deficit for 2010 by cutting jobs, services and tapping the reserve funds generated by leasing the Chicago Skyway to a private company, the 8.7 mile toll road connecting the south-side Dan Ryan Expressway to the Indiana toll-way. But privately he and his aides were involved in sneak-thief politics: keeping from the public the fact that they were hatching a plot to spend millions of taxpayer dollars on a rehab of Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) and subsidies for privately-run hospitals and Fortune 500 companies, not included in the city budget.

These special projects would be funded by the mayor’s private piggy bank, funded by property taxes diverted into the city’s tax increment financing program (TIF). It involves property tax dollars in designated areas squirreled away in special accounts which are supposed to eradicate blight and promote development but which are often used instead to reward big shots for investing in Chicago. A portion of Willis Tower, the tallest building in North America on South Wacker Drive, has been leased by Willis Group Holdings, a London-based insurance broker when Sears moved its HQ to the suburbs.

Part of the dough will be used to paint the gloomy, 108-story (1,460-feet) tower silver. Already some of the money has gone into building a futuristic all-glass box on the 99th floor which enables visitors feel they’re standing on air while gawking at one of the most magnificent skylines in the world. Daley opened the glass box last July 2. I haven’t been up there (stratospheric heights make me queasy) but as a lifelong Chicagoan, I’m told it’s really something: a tremendous tourist attraction.

All that may be well and good. It can even be argued (though not by me) that while the money is used to reward the rich it could eventually trickle down to assist the poor. Could be argued but a tough sell. Still, that’s immaterial: what is material is that for years details like this have been kept off-budget in a second budget: a shadow budget. Daley and his allies in the Squid-controlled city council have fought like tigers to keep the shadow budget secret.

Squid bureaucrats offer selected aldermen peeks at city-wide TIF projects which are marked “for internal use only.” Of the 11 aldermen who sat in on the sessions, none have seen the whole TIF plan. And the public is largely in the dark on the entire TIF concept.

The two newsmen from The Reader filed a Freedom of Information request for the info. The city has been fighting it steadily. It has somewhat relented and posted everything on the Internet but the maze of numbers and terminology is so complicated, you have to be a CPA and Ph.D in math to understand it. The major news media shake their heads and go to sexier issues. But the best guess is this: of the total $6 billion city budget, Daley’s TIF kitty contained $1 billion at the start of 2009.

The Same Number-Fudging in D. C.

Now take a look at how Obama’s biggest project, ObamaCare is being worked through the Congress. It bears all the earmarks of the Chicago Way’s hiding the truth from folks who are expert at doing it: Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett, graduates of The Chicago Way.

Consider the outlandish claim that 640,000 jobs were either produced or “saved” through the $787 billion stimulus. When Republicans asked for a breakdown, the administration produced one by congressional districts. There were several districts invented out of whole cloth that don’t exist-and in one town that does exist, 64 jobs “saved” were credited to a power lawnmower that was provided by the stimulus.

The next example is far more important for the country.

Almost everyone knows that for a country in recession, with 10.2% unemployment, piling another huge entitlement on top of a huge debt is folly: except that the Chicagoans want to nationalize health care. Almost everyone knows that doing so would be a huge mistake for the country and health care: 8 out of the 10 latest medical innovations ranging from MRIs to hip replacements have come from the U.S…. that Americans have access on a per-capita basis to 3 times as many CT scans as Canadians, 4 times as many as Brits…that in Canada the average wait for a treatment by a specialist is 18 weeks…that British women face an 88% greater risk of death from breast cancer than U.S. women…that British men face a 604% greater risk of death from prostate cancer than U.S. men.

All of these things mean nothing to Obama and his Squid-trained Chicago operatives (51 of whom work in the White House alone). because Obama must have something to point to in the off-year congressional races of 2010 and his reelection contest in 2012. So enter the Squid way of hiding the truth.

Just as Daley hides TIF and rewards for big corporations in a shadow budget, Emanuel and Axelrod juggled the Harry Reid bill to look like it will actually reduce the deficit-by $127 billion over 10 years. To accomplish this rabbit-out-a-hat trick, they took out the money for the “doctor fix” and moved it to another bill. The “doctor fix” requires $215 billion to be borrowed to keep doctors who treat Medicare patients from experiencing severe cuts on their patients’ reimbursements. Their “doctor fix” landed an endorsement from the AMA for ObamaCare.

But not told to the public is this: Over the long haul it will add nearly $2 trillion to Medicare’s long-term liabilities, now estimated at almost $40 trillion. So thanks to Axelrod’s influence with the mainstream media, all we hear is that the bill will save $127 billion-not the $215 billion it will cost that’s in a separate bill.

Next they jiggled the numbers so they’re back-loaded. The tax meter starts ticking with passage but the benefits don’t kick in until 2015-so in the early years there won’t be deficit increase but after 2015, every succeeding 10 years will see $1.5 trillion added to the deficit. They figure the Congress will cut $400 billion in Medicare cuts (which if politics continue as they have since FDR, the Congress won’t).

Destroying Reputations.

Call it the delicate art of personnel removal by destroying the employee’s reputation.

The Democratic Squid here gets rid of embarrassingly honest public officials in a slightly more decorous way than dumping them in the river. Take the case of Paul Vallas. An outstanding Democratic public official he served as chief budget adviser to the president of the state Senate, chief budgeter for the city of Chicago under Mayor Daley. Daley took over the job of running the city’s public schools by legislative fiat to replace a system where the schools were run loosely by a board of education not directly under the mayor’s control.

The Chicago public schools had been called the worst in the country by William Bennett, Ronald Reagan’s secretary of education. This led Daley to name Vallas, a no-nonsense administrator, as superintendent of schools. Vallas decided to let nothing stand in his way to improve the condition of the schools. During his tenure from 1995 to 2001 he led the way to reform the school system, his work being cited by President Bill Clinton for hiking test scores, balancing the out-of-kilter schools budget, developing new programs including mandatory summer school, after-school programs and expanding charter, alternative and magnet schools. Devoutly Greek Orthodox Vallas favored vouchers but was powerless to implement them. Nevertheless he achieved a national reputation for his reforms.

He was particularly welcomed by African Americans who were enthusiastic that their kids were showing all kinds of improvement. He was a veritable pop idol in the eyes of many blacks.

But in trying to improve teaching standards, he trod on the toes of the powerful teachers’ union, a key source of voter nutrients for The Squid. The union commanded that Vallas had to go. It passed the word to Daley and The Squid. Daley was mum-and stayed mum.

But the next thing Vallas knew, he was being nibbled to death by ducks-wounded by unfavorable anonymous leaks to the compliant media which seemed to be coming from various directions including City Hall. But all the while, Daley was mum. Sly leaks that said that Vallas was hard to get along with, then that he was “insensitive.” The leaks turned into a gusher. They insisted Vallas was on the verge of resigning. All through this, Daley stayed mum. Then Daley allowed himself to murmur publicly that while Vallas was outstanding, he might need to improve his disposition. Vallas called Daley; Daley laughed it off. But the leaks continued. Vallas couldn’t fight the leaks that seemingly came from nowhere nor now could he get in to see the mayor.

When the election of the teachers’ union came up a candidate ran on an anti-Vallas platform. No defense of Vallas came from the mayor or his office. Unable to see the mayor, unable to respond to the leaks authoritatively, Vallas passed the word to City Hall’s 5th floor that he would resign. Daley was mum. Vallas resigned. Then suddenly the mayor’s office door swung open and he was taken by the arm by Daley, showering praise. He had invited the press to hear him extol Vallas as a great superintendent and administrator. Then Vallas was out on the street with Daley’s praise ringing in his ears.

Immediately, the mayor chose as his next superintendent Arne Duncan, Vallas’ assistant, who made a point of getting along with the teachers’ union. The reading scores went down, of course-but the teachers unions were happy. (For his fidelity to The Squid, Duncan is Obama’s secretary of education and plays bucket-ball with the president every week). Now as legacy from Duncan…and not improved by his successor…the graduation rate at Chicago public high schools is 54%. But the teachers’ union has been politically mollified.

With time to reflect, Vallas decided it couldn’t be true that Daley pushed him off a cliff. So as a private citizen, he went to see the mayor. Again, the mayor greeted him with open arms. Vallas said he was thinking of running for the Democratic nomination for governor of Illinois in 2002 and hoped Daley would support him. Daley said: That’s terrific: what a terrific candidate he would make! But no endorsement.

Vallas left Daley thinking that while there was no endorsement, things still looked good. The incumbent, George Ryan, was a Republican crook who was awaiting indictment for malfeasance as secretary of state and decided not to run. Vallas thought everything was okay with Daley in the weeks leading up to the Democratic primary-until a goofy congressman with a mop of black hair and the unpronounceable name of Rod Blagojevich entered the Democratic fray. Leaks sprung up from all over that Blagojevich, the son-in-law of a powerful Squid ward boss, Dick Mell, was the favored one.

Not a peep from Daley but the leaks resumed: Blago, not Vallas, is the one. Vallas was mad with Daley but not too concerned because he knew he could beat Blago who was an Elvis Presley-loving kid with no resume or beliefs at all. After all, Vallas had won immense good will from Chicago’s black community.

Then a well-known African American entered the race to suck up votes from the mammoth Democratic black voter pool. He was Roland Burris, a definite hack but still the first black to be elected statewide first as comptroller, then as attorney general. Burris was a buffoon who had ordered a tombstone for his cemetery plot with his resume on it. The state laughed at him not just for his egomania but his hyperbolic tendencies. Vallas still wasn’t all that concerned: Earlier Burris had even run against Daley for mayor but got zilch.

But then all of a sudden, the highly charismatic State Sen. Barack Obama endorsed Burris. Here was a formidable endorsement. The media had extolled Obama as a model “independent,” a man of the future-maybe even a future black president– a Harvard intellectual with a “mind of his own.” And Obama was thumping for Burris! Now Vallas knew the fix was in. It meant the Chicago Squid was deeply involved on the side of Rod Blagojevich and Burris was the pigeon to siphon off enough black votes to nominate Blago and Obama was running the siphon for The Squid. Still, Daley said not a word.

Even with The Squid on Blago’s side, in the March, 2002 primary Blagojevich eaked out a bare 37% of the vote against Vallas’ 34%. If Burris hadn’t been in the race, Vallas would have won easily. Daley turned surprisingly enthusiastic about Blago, said Blago was a very fine young man and he’d back him in November.

That was all she wrote. Vallas packed up and moved to Philadelphia to become its school chief. He scored a national reputation there. Then after Katrina, he moved to New Orleans, first as city schools superintendent, then becoming Louisiana state schools chief reporting to Gov. Bobby Jindal. Vallas is now a Republican.

Thus thanks to The Squid, Illinois…

1. Lost a chance to elect a Democrat who would probably have been the greatest governor in the past 100 years…

2. Got the second worst governor in its history (Republican Len Small of Kankaee was the worst, having taken bribes from Capone to pardon his buddies and bribed the jury that acquitted him)…

3. Suffered the humiliation of seeing its governor impeached and

removed from office for the first time in its history, a governor who may well go to jail: becoming the fourth Illinois governor be convicted.

4. Was handed, along with the nation courtesy of Blago’s appointment, U. S. Senator Roland Burris who lied to the legislature to get where he is now recognized as one of the most devious liar- senators in modern times who only due to the compliant Ethics Committee was spared from being ousted (as he should have been) in the same way Republican Billy Lorimer was in 1909.

All of which demonstrates that The Squid cares not a fig about government: it cares about The Squid. That’s all.

Now Emanuel and Axelrod have taken The Squid’s Chicago Way to Washington.

Greg Craig is a non-Chicagoan…and because he didn’t fit in with The Chicago Way got skewed with the Chicago Squid: Emanuel, Axelrod and Jarrett. Obama made Craig White House counsel and gave him the tough job of closing down Gitmo to square with the pledge Obama made during the campaign. When the unpopularity of that move caught on, it was decided that somebody had to pay– and the Chicago trio decided it wouldn’t be them. Craig was picked as the tar baby…the guy who was all thumbs on Gitmo’s handling. Immediately a torrent of leaks sprung up in the media that the transfer from Gitmo was being bollixed up by Craig.

In true Chicago Daley style, Obama turned mum and took on a thoughtful air, his forefinger stuck in his cheek to look deep, Greg Craig found he was the heavy. After a fountain of leaks maintained that Craig was inept, incompetent and “insensitive,” which doesn’t help his future legal career, Craig decided he had to resign.

Last week, upset with the shabby way Craig has been treated by the Chicago Squid in the White House, iberal journalist Elizabeth Drew, wrote that she herself is finally getting wise to The Chicago Way. And she didn’t level her criticism on Emanuel, Axelrod or Jarrett: but on the Dear Leader Messiah himself.

“A critical mass of influential people who once held big hopes for [Obama’s] presidency [have begun] to wonder whether they had misjudged the man,” she wrote. She added this:

“The Craig embarrassment gives these people a new reason…to conclude that he wasn’t the person of integrity or even classiness they had thought, and, more fundamentally, that his ability to move people and actually lead…is not what had been promised in the campaign.”

Elizabeth Drew has figured it out. Also last week, Chris Matthews of MSNBC discovered that he no more feels the same tingle up his leg anent Obama.

Stay tuned. More liberal dissatisfaction is coming.

Thoughts While Shaving: Recycling Old Journalistic Liberals Nicholas Lund-Molfese Explains It All for You Liddy the Gold Spokesman.

The Recycling Job.

Now that Save the Whales has achieved its goal, we embark on another crusade that touches liberal hearts: Save old liberal journalists who have been either fired or let-go-without-tears by their former newspaper haven. That’s the spirit behind The Chicago News Cooperative which was created last month with old-Lefty foundation money. Ask what happened to Jim Warren, the Trib’s ex-Washingon bureau chief and ex-managing editor and you’ll find him on the advisory committee of the CNC. He’s also editor of The Chicago Reader which co-mingles obscenity (a scatological column that advises readers on the latest kinks in sexual perversity) with really innovative reporting (Ben Joravsky’s brilliant ongoing probe into TIFs which recently he has shared with Mike Dumke).

Remember Ann Marie Lipinski, the status quo Trib editor who sees the news is a conventionally fashionable left focus? She’s been reclaimed and is at CNC. Ever wonder what happened to James O’Shea, the former managing editor of the Trib and later editor of its auxiliary The LA Times…and who was canned there? He’s with CNC. Laura Washington in the Sun-Times called it an all-white venture-as indeed it is thus far. But assuredly they’re holding a place for Marcia Lythcott the ex-Trib cookbook editor.

The CNC recently started a venture with The New York Times. Now that’s a match for you. The venture started last week with the CNC churning out so-called Chicago news for the NYT. You know what crisp, fresh stuff Warren turned out on his first venture for the NYT? Get this!

A really zingy interview with David Axelrod while the two were huddling at Manny’s deli. What’s in store for next week at the NYT-CNC? O’Shea doing a real insider job on Valerie Jarrett, writing that she is indeed as powerful as the liberal dailies say she is? Lipinski ought to be good for really probing Michelle Obama. Can’t they think up a new angle on the late Studs Turkel? How about rolling the stone away from the crypt at Mount Carmel to see if Joe Bernardin…the idol of the Catholic Left…has risen? Leaving behind his seamless garment that links nuclear freeze, anti-death penalty and, oh yes, abortion which helped justify numberless Democratic candidacies.

Just the kind of fresh, inventive and innovative stuff the New York Times needs.

Recycling old lefty journalists via 501c 3 to shore up The New York Times’ already ample liberal coverage. Just what the world needs now.

Nicholas Lund-Molfese Explains it All For You.

Archdiocesan executive Nicholas Lund-Molfese has this to say about people who have criticized the left-wing Catholic Campaign for Human Development which in the past has funded ACORN (indeed at one time young Barack Obama was paid as a community organizer partially by funds collected from the CCHD–under the pretext that the money was going to the equivalent of soup kitchens).

Writes Lund-Molfese, who heads the Peace and Justice department of the archdiocese: “Those who are trying to destroy the Catholic Campaign for Human Development deny the legitimate and pressing need for a faithful response to poverty in our communities. We must not allow the deceitful cries of these detractors whose partisan agendas supersede their faith to weaken our commitment to living out the message of Christ and the ideals of Catholic social teaching.”

In other words: Our way or the highway.

G. Gordon Liddy Here-for Gold!

Can anyone enlighten me on why the scowling, angry, frenetic G. Gordon Liddy is seen as a credible spokesman for anything on TV? Especially for investing in gold? Write me at

Personal Aside: This Mornings Remarks at the Haymarket Breakfast Benefit.

This morning, at 8 a.m. 150 or so gathered at Maggiano’s to launch the first annual “Father Mac” breakfast, honoring the co-founder of Haymarket Center, one of the nation’s finest refuges for those afflicted with addiction…of drugs, alcohol, gambling and other vices that wound and petrify the human spirit. He was, as many Chicagoans know, Msgr. Ignatius D. McDermott who died on New Year’s Eve, the date of so much alcoholic revelry, 2004. This year is his centennial (1909-2009) and the organization he founded gives the poor the highest level of treatment, equivalent to what multi-millionaires pay at the Bette Ford Center in California. Although, thank God, not afflicted with the disease of alcoholism, I’m proud to be vice chairman of Haymarket Center.

Here are my remarks:

There’s only one reason I’m here today…and that’s because when I retired from Quaker Oats, my wife sat me down and said this:

“You’ve had a grand and glorious time lobbying for Quaker Oats…and it was fun. But you’re retired now and it’s time you thought of doing something for others…and I mean others who can’t do things for themselves. You know what I mean? You’re in the last chapter of life now and when you show up to stand before the Just Judge, you better have something more in your repertoire than having lobbied for Oatmeal, Cap’n Crunch, Puffed Wheat and Puffed Rice.”

Well, I said to myself, she’s right as usual. But what shall I do? Though in retirement, I was doing a regular radio talk show on WLS between 10 pm and 2 a.m. Before I went to the studio one night, I grabbed dinner at the Chicago Athletic Club. And afterwards…after visiting the Men’s Room and washing my hands…a guy came up to me and said:

“Pardon me, but Father Mac and I were having dinner upstairs where you were and Father said `That’s Roeser, isn’t it?’ I said yes. `Well,’ said Father Mac, `he looks like he doesn’t have much to do. I hear he’s retired. Why don’t we ask him if he’d like top help us out at Haymarket?’ Father Mac is outside now. Would you want to meet him?”

That man was Jack Whalen. And that’s the way it worked out. From that day on and for some years after I worked with one of the most fascinating men I ever met. Hobbled by age, well in his `80s, walking with difficulty, with wisps of hair that stood carelessly on his bald pate…long overdue for retirement himself…with a voice that came out as a rasp…he was a stirring anomaly of virtue and human frailties…with a South Side Irishman’s grit…a passion for sports…a lineage that went back generations in the Democratic party…he had all these things rolled up into one: a blowtorch temper which he would assuage by immediately running out and bringing chocolate candy for those whom he had earlier berated…and at the same time a magnificent toleration for humans with faults-all this wrapped up with a gift of excellent humor and storytelling.

I signed up as a volunteer, joined the board and agreed to do a book of his life…a book that took years-because whenever I was ready to send it to the printer’s …he told me more stories-including the story of an Irish priest named Malloy whose Bingo games were the most successful in the archdiocese because they were heavily patronized by the Outfit. One day Malloy was having breakfast with the Cardinal when the Vicar General rushed in and said, “You know what? Our new car has been stolen! The one we just bought! Right out here in front of this building1! Vanished in thin air! I think we’ve got to report it to the police right away!”

Malloy said; “Not so hasty now. What kind of car was it?”

A brand new Packard.

“What color was it?”

Gray but it needed a washing so it looked black.

“What year was it?”

This year!

“A four door?”

Four door, yes.

Father Malloy went to the phone in another room and the Vicar General said to the Cardinal:

“Well, at least I can pray to Saint Anthony, the patron of lost articles.”

The Cardinal said that would be a good idea.

That afternoon, the Vicar General looked out the window and there it was…his gray Packard…freshly washed…full of gas. He burst in on the Cardinal in his office and said “A miracle! My prayer to Saint Anthony has been answered! The Packard has been returned! Don’t you think it’s a miracle?”

The Cardinal said: Yes, indeed. And now if you’d do me a favor and see if you can get Father Malloy to stop in here, will you?”

This story and many more are contained in the book I wrote as told me by Father Mac. And to paraphrase a more distinguished author named John “There are many other things he did which if they were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain them.”

Did I do right in deciding to spend much of my retirement in service to Father Mac and Haymarket? I found the answer some years ago at a City Club of Chicago Christmas party hosted by Jay Doherty in his office. I came to it with Father Mac. He was then ninety. A piano was there and a guy was fooling around on it, playing chords…and suddenly he swung softly into a rendition of a song which was originally known as Londonderry Air…but which since 1913 has been considered by all the Irish-including my own mother-as their unofficial signature song…Danny Boy-the song of a young woman to her love.

As Father Mac and I sat there enjoying the music, he began to recite it…not sing it…from memory:

Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling/

From glen to glen and down the mountain side/

The summer’s gone and all the roses falling/

`Tis you, `tis you must go and I must bide/

But come ye back when summer’s in the meadow/

Or when the valley’s hushed and white with snow/

`Tis I’ll be here in sunshine or in shadow/

Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so.

Days later when he was at his desk, I asked him if he could recite the last verse that caused my mother often to weep. He put his head in his hands to think…a common gesture…and then raised his head and said:

But when ye come and all the flowers are dying/

If I am dead as dead I well may be/

You’ll come and find the place where I am lying/

And kneel and say an `Ave’ there for me/

And all my grave will warmer, sweeter be/

For ye shall bend and tell me that you love me/

And I shall sleep in peace until you come to me.

It was then I knew I had made the right decision to spend the last chapter of my life following him and serving Haymarket as he would wish me to. Now…as I am myself in my `80s…I am sure of it.

Well, here this morning we have celebrated his near-100 years of life…a life that resembles the one described by Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet:

“When he shall die, take him and cut him out into the stars…and he shall make the face of heaven so fine…that all the world will be in love with night…and pay no worship to the garish sun.”