Monday, September 11, 2017

Memo to Jeff Bezos: We're not all like Rahm Emanuel

City Hall bas relief


Dear Jeff Bezos:
     Before we begin, I have to thank you for two things. First, for all the books. Volumes I could comb 100 used book shops — back when there were used book shops — and never find.
     And second, thanks for the Washington Post. I subscribe online, visit several times a day. With Donald Trump president, I would go insane if not for the Post letting loose a fact-based broadside in his direction every day.
     Enough dilly-dallying — I know you billionaires hate to dilly-dally. The country is abuzz about Amazon's competition for your new second headquarters — dubbed mellifluously "HQ2," a reminder of just how wrong "Tronc" really is. Some 50,000 jobs and $5 billion in investment go with it. Quite the prize.
     My inclination would be to not interfere. But this paper reported Friday that our mayor has been courting you, directly, and I thought I had better step up quickly and say something before he completely wrecks our chances. Let me assure you; Chicagoans are not all like Rahm Emanuel — in fact, it's just him. I've seen our mayor turn on what he considers charm: a high-pressure, in-your-face rattling off of statistics that prove, prove, by scientific method that the only rational decision you could make is to cave in to whatever he wants. I can just see you pressed back in your chair, eyes widening, brushing Rahm's spittle from your cheek with one hand while the other reaches for the buzzer under your desk, thinking, "We gotta pick whichever city in the continental United States is furthest away from this guy."
     Don't do that. Most Chicagoans are much more, ah, human. Rahm notwithstanding, Chicago certainly meets all your criteria regarding size and public transportation and universities and such.

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14 comments:

  1. The L might be $2.25 from The Loop to O'Hare, but it's $5 from O'Hare to The Loop.

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  2. Cleveland with mountains. That's good. That's very, very good (is it yours?).

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    1. It is good. A riff, perhaps, on the well known ironic description of Detroit as Cleveland without the glitter.

      Tom

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  3. Metra is $7.50 Barrington to Ogilvie. A couple years ago, I paid $4.00.

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  4. This is very close to being off-topic, but the best used book store in the area is "The Frugal Muse" in Darien. A large, diverse selection in nothing less than "very good" condition. Their prices are right, too.

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  5. Could use a "for" in this sentence:
    "Volumes I could comb 100 used book shops — back when there were used book shops — and never find."

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    1. I disagree. It works as is. Remove the hyphenated portion, and read it. That's the test.

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    2. As Freud says, there are no mistakes.
      Hear the al·lit·er·a·tion:

      could comb = catacomb

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    3. I misspoke. It's not hyphenated, it's dashed.

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  6. Yes, if Amazon wants to set up shop in Chicago, it should be motivated by the inherent attractions of the City, not by tax incentives and discounted prime real estate. Though I'm no economist (in any sense of the word), I venture to say that no one but the big shots (such as Rahm Emanuel) gain anything from these mega deals with mega companies -- the cities and states that bribe them to come get only what they pay for, if that.

    john

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  7. Don't know about the Rahm bashing. Maybe Neil knows better because he spends much more time in the city than I do, but given the impossible nature of the job, I think Emanuel has been a decent mayor.

    Tom

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    1. Compared to Daley, decent indeed.

      john

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  8. From someone who spends nearly all their time in the city. Rahm deserves to be bashed . A decent mayor? For the wealthy maybe. For us working folk and the poor not so much.

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  9. Not to mention, the city that works. Folks here will work with a capital W. They want to work, they take great pride in their work.

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