Saturday, October 21, 2017

ColumbuSCrewed: Disillusion and Loathing for American soccer, MLS, and USMNT

It's been a crap couple of weeks for American soccer fans, so if you're not among those, this post may not be for you.

The USMNT's spectacular flameout of World Cup Qualifying was one punch to the gut. Oooof.

Now this from the fevered egos that have been quote "growing the game" unquote, here at the U.S.'s professional level, MLS:

Crew SC exploring new Columbus stadium or potential move to Austin

Columbus Crew SC owner Anthony Precourt announced on Tuesday that the club is looking at strategic options to ensure the long-term viability of the club, including a new stadium in Columbus or a potential move to the city of Austin, Texas.

Precourt Sports Ventures (PSV) acquired Crew SC in July 2013 from Hunt Sports Group, the original owners of the club since its founding as an MLS charter club in 1996.

In the last few years, Major League Soccer had made at least a few strides away from the typical stadium grift that has enveloped all pro team sports in North America, as billionaire owners in the Twin Cities, Orlando, and Los Angeles had (mostly) paid for new stadiums out of their own ends. Now this.

Columbus’s (likely) move looks terrible for MLS, as if to say: “Yes we are just as greedy and short-sighted as all the rest.” Yes the black’n’yellow have had some attendance issues, but so have many teams, ahem, especially the older ones. The Crew are an Original 10 franchise, they have won the Cup, and three Supporters’ Shields, and routinely make the playoffs. Their stadium may be older than others, but it was the FIRST soccer-specific stadium MLS conceived, and it has been a stalwart home for the national team, which has always played well there.

As a Fire fan, I would miss having an organic, regional rival not dreamed up in some marketers’ coke-binge. Every single ounce of coverage from Austin seems to suggest that the glorious downtown stadium Precourt is talking about THERE is little more than a pipe dream, along with a fair amount of: “Okay so wait, what’s MLS now again?” They are clueless, and will at least be NO BETTER than Columbus is as a home for top flight soccer in the US. Sure! Let’s trade a small-market college sports town for another one, and it will somehow be ten times better! Big mistake MLS, and big mistake Precourt. You don’t shit on one of your oldest fan-bases. I don’t care if they ARE so fucking yellow.**

Sure, let’s add some more Texas franchises into the current mix. Those two in Dallas (sort of) and Houston are doing so well building the culture down there, where they are near the BOTTOM of the league in attendance and local relevance. And if Austin officials were really so enthralled with having an MLS squad locally why wouldn’t they, you know, put in an expansion bid like every other city in the whole country did this past year?

I gotta be honest . . . the more I think about this, the more it stinks. They announce this shit RIGHT BEFORE the playoffs begin? Are they DELIBERATELY trying to sink the team’s hopes and hype? It would look pretty shitty to have, say for example, an Eastern Conference Champ packing their bags for a new market. This gets particularly interesting as the Crew is now the hottest team in MLS on the pitch - 6-0-3 in their last nine games. (Just spitballing here, I want the Fire to win the Cup, although I think TFC is a way better squad than we are right now.)

At any rate the PoS Precourt can’t seem to get his lies straight. He’s been saying since he bought the club that he was committed to Columbus, except that now it comes out that when the team was sold to him, he had language inserted into the sale that says the ONLY city the team could move to was Austin, and his marketing of the team - which is tearing up MLS on the field right now, btw - has been absolute shit. Again, this has all the makings of a deliberate, longish, con. It seems everyone who cares to know is aware that one of the Crew's betst players, Federico Higuain, is out this winter. Thus will Precourt be able to claim: “Oh see? No support,” when the Columbus faithful do the rational thing and decide not to show up for this obvious tank job.

Precourt says he wants Columbus to help him build a stadium, but that he’ll join the big boys and pay for one himself if they move to Austin?- like the bigger boys in Minnesota, Orlando, and LaFC did. Sure - real “committed to Columbus,” DICK. I know Chicago is a bigger market than Columbus, but the implication is pretty clear - if this PoS can do it, so can ANY MLS owner.

I want the Fire to win the Cup, let’s be clear. But if somehow the Yellows outlast us in the Playoffs, I will be pulling for Columbus this year, just because of the glorious FU it would be to their asshole owner and MLS brass. Good luck explaining to the world why an MLS Champ has to leave town. Watching that would be delicious.

** - a riff off my favorite anti-Crew pro-Fire chant.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Chicago's Official Decompression: THE OUROBOROS: Sat 9.23 :: 5pm

Bold Urban Renaissance Network Presents

Chicago's Official DECOMPRESSION 2017:


This year, we are returning to our roots. Tickets are FREE and it's BYOE but you need to register for entry. SOLD OUT

Whether you went to the burn or not, we want to bring the entire community together and we are counting on YOU to help make this event amazing. Let's bring all the tribes together!

Help us by volunteering (, bringing your art (, performing (, setting up your theme camp ( dancing and donating if you can. (

Come decompress with our community!

5pm-3am (Kids welcome til 10pm)

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017

At a large outdoor venue in the city. (Event details will be sent with your ticket confirmation.)




Please use your legal name when ordering tickets - we will check ID at the Gate.

Questions? Email

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Open Letter to President Obama, Senator Reid, and Secretary Clinton: STAY PUBLIC.

Dearest Madam, and Sirs:

First, thank you for your service to this country. It's been an intense, yet rewarding last eight years, during the Obama Administration; to say nothing of the tumultuous years that took us to that wonderful night in November of 2008, and beyond. I know that you leave duties in DC, and on the campaign trail, under unhappy circumstances. Perhaps you deserve better, but it was not to be this time. Thank you, regardless.

Speaking of things you deserve, a long and leisurely transformation into the quietude of retired life is certainly among them; for all of you. . . . which is why it so pains me to put you on the spot like this.

I am asking you, pleading really, not to fade away from public life just yet. You all don't need little ol' me to tell you how grave our emerging national crisis in government may well be. Certainly we are entering uncharted waters. This is why it's so very important that the side of decency, sanity, and accountability have leaders of national stature, who can help us fight back against the ugliness of incoming administration.

Mr. Obama, you have withstood the racist, shrieking opposition of the unhinged, with class and dignity, for more than eight years now. You have repeatedly acted as the adult in the room. History will remember your name a million times more than that of even your biggest detractors. Of course you have duly earned a long retirement, but because of your very class and dignity, we need you on the front lines, speaking out against these lunatics. The Anti-Gerrymandering project seems like a wonderful start. Yes, and more please, as far as I'm concerned. Thank you. And I'm so very sorry that you cannot kick back into the luxury of sustained leisure, which you so richly deserve.

Mr Reid, you have made much of your career standing up to bullies. It goes without saying that this particular skillset is deeply needed now. Your speaking out against Steven Bannon on the Senate floor, fruitless though it may no doubt have seemed at the time, was an important entrée. Please continue to speak out as often as possible, from Nevada, from DC, from wherever. We need your voice in standing up to these, the biggest administration of bullies this nation has known since . . . Andrew Jackson? I don't know, maybe EVER . . . . they are the biggest administration of bullies in a long time, at the very least. Yes you deserve a quiet life of enjoying boxing matches, but I'm afraid your country needs you. Please continue to answer the call.

Madam President, in a world of justice and fairness, that is what we'd be calling you in a few weeks, Secretary Clinton. For you, although you have been fighting terrifyingly-aptly named "vast right wing conspiracy" for nearly 30 years, this message may come least welcome of all. I can only imagine what it must feel like to run for national office, and have the results not go your way. I have to imagine that you will want a break, at least, from public life, and it seems only fair, and perhaps reasonable you should get one, in the at least in the short term.

In the long term, and I'm sorry to say this Madam Secretary, we need you. We know you are made of steel, and your resolve to work for the American people is great. Of course you still must have a role to play. Please keep speaking out, even as a private citizen, against the forces of hate and ignorance.

The American people get it, I think - you deserve some peace and quiet. But in times like these, people of good will cannot sit in peace and quiet. We must activate, energize, organize, and fight like never before. From the grass roots, and at the very top. Please join us down here on the ground, and fight to save tomorrow. We need your considerable "bully pulpits."

Downtown Dave aka daveinchi

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Unify now! ALL HANDS ON DECK! #MyFiveThings


I really . . . REEEEEEAAAALLLLY didn't want to be right on this one. For about seven months there, I thought I would read this post, and look foolishly upon my gloom and doom from Winter 2016. Along with, well pretty much everyone in America, perhaps even El Drumpfo himself, I was pretty sure that my "Oh Trump Could Win It" phase was just a phase, and that that piece-of-shit-in-shoes would go down handily to a flawed, but eminently more qualified Secretary Clinton.

But I was wrong to change my mind from its pre-ordinance. The unthinkable has happened, and now, as though our presidential elections were a "Who's the Biggest Asshole" Competition, that turd-breathed sleaze, El Drumpfo, is President-Elect of the United States. That happened 12 days ago. I am still somewhat in shock, as Herr Hair lines up his cabinet with the biggest collection of fringe right lunatics you'll find outside a Klan rally, although who knows, perhaps some of these jackals will attend the Klan's victory celebration December 3rd.

The apoplexy on the Left is palpable. We are defeated, and pretty badly. The America we thought we knew turns out to be ephemeral and pretty fucking hateful and irrational, when the mood changes. It's entirely understandable that the nice people at DailyKos are re-litigating the primaries, blaming Hillary, blaming ourselves, blaming the idealists, blaming Bernie, blaming the pragmatists etc.

That's all normal and all that, but it's time to wake the fuck up, get up off the ground, and unify now. We don't have time to kill on blame-games, infighting, or even drawn-out, navel-gazing autopsies. I have my own theories on "What Went Wrong," but I am MUCH more interested in forward-looking solutions, than putting November 8th's horror show on repeat. We lost. Time to get over it. There is work to be done, immediately. We've been badly knocked down, but we ain't dead, not even close to it.

We need to unify now to stop El Drumpfo. Period. We have TWO YEARS until the 2018 midterm Elections. We must organize and RESIST NOW.

Stopping Fascist Trumpblicans (and I don't use the word Fascist lightly) will require both outsiders and insiders; street protesters and those familiar with the halls of power; those living on the margins, and those rational power-players of good will, who are horrified about what Trump represents; community organizers and legislators; black/brown/white/yellow/red/gay/straight/queer/trans and all in between; outsiders who never claimed a political party, and fed up Republicans who have watched their party morph into something unrecognizable; those who voted Democrat, and Green, and Libertarian, and the PLURALITY of voting-age Americans who simply didn't vote in 2016.

Fuck whether you pulled for Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton, or Jill Stein, or Gary Johnson, or just weren't motivated enough to vote in 2016; doesn't matter now. Who cares? If you think Donald Trump's brand of proto-fascist, hate-based politics is wrong, you are welcome aboard the U.S.S. Resistance as far as I'm concerned. Mobilize now. We are putting a stop this insanity.

We ALL have a role to play. For my part, I decided to come up with five actionable things I could do to, in my own small way, to stop the Fascists.


1) I will talk more about current events, and just generally "get more political" in my classroom

2) I will encourage my student poets to get into a more political mode in their art

3) I will engage more with my local Democratic party . . . yes, even in Chicago

4) I will start giving monthly contributions to two organizations who are going to be facing budget axes, or resisting Team Drumpfo and his horde of orc-people - the ACLU, and the Stone Belt Center in Bloomington, IN

5) I will encourage EVERYONE I KNOW to come up with #MyFiveThings lists themselves.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

My hero Bernie Sanders may have boxed himself in. :-\

**Still my guy

Like so many people, I've been inspired and thrilled to see Senator Bernie Sanders really challenging Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party establishment in this election cycle. This has got to be my favorite image of the campaign so far:

That said, despite winning six of the last seven states, and a likely blowout in Wyoming today, Bernie is still pretty far behind in the delegate race, and much of the recent on-line "horse race" discussion in progressive circles seems to be as to whether Bernie has no chance at all, or merely only an outside chance of surpassing Team Hillary. To that end, I'd encourage everyone to toss in a little something so an outsider and underdog who wants to change the world, has a chance to. (I believe we still could pull this off. Not him, us).

So Bernie supporters are currently stuck trying to build on the Still Has a Chance, side of the argument, as opposed to the No Chance side. Meanwhile, it's clear in the last couple of weeks that the campaign has taken a predictably nastier turn, as Sanders probably gaffed in calling Hillary "unqualified," although, of course, all candidates virtually always do that to their opponents, and both candidates have had some testy moments in the media lately. In the context of a national campaign, I would think of these as "forced errors," practically inevitable at some point. Any presidential candidate, who makes it this far, is going to have to walk something back, or gaffe, or fire some screw-up staffer, at some point. This is a real primary, after all, and not a coronation, and the only foregone conclusion is that the spotlight is going shine brightly and incessantly, and the typical ugliness and stürm und drang of a national campaign are going to emerge. The non-stop back and forth over whether Bernie lied, in saying that Hillary was taking money from fossil fuel lobbyists, the fairly ridiculously "into the weeds" tit for tat raging on DailyKos over Who invited Whom with regards to Sanders' trip to the Vatican next week; all of this is "the usual," in my opinion. This is the rough and tumble. As they say, politics ain't beanbag.

Here's the problem with which Team Bernie, and by extension his supporters like me, will ultimately have to come to grips: Bernie has predicated his campaign on being "different," "transformational," and above the pettiness of our tabloid-driven, 24-hour news cycle and personal attack style of politics. The rub is that our political system is still widely based on 24-hour news cycles, and tabloid hysteria. Personal attacks are salt on the dinner, in this climate. Bernie's strength as a Different Kind of Politician, now, becomes a problem. I believe Bernie is FINALLY Playing the Game, but inevitably, he now has to come down off his proverbial high horse, and immediately, he becomes "just like the rest." Team Hillary, can, has, and will continue to gleefully point out that Bernie's now attacking her, when he said he wouldn't . . . and if you think they or the media will be even one iota concerned, that she and her surrogates have been doing the exact same goddamned thing for several months now, I've got a bridge to sell you.

Unfortunately, I'm not enough of a political genius to see a way out of this. I think Bernie's boxed in, on the particular line of attack. He HAS to "punch back," yet it makes him vulnerable when he does. The narrative of the transformational dreamer is somehow going to have to ALSO be the narrative of the tough fighter. That is not an easy transition, and the typical stürm und drang of a national campaign is very likely to be the type of terms that are more favorable to Hillary. Of course Hillary's been "playing the game," the whole time, but she can take Sanders to task, very easily, for doing the same.

On the upside, there are MANY media narratives that come into play in this type of long national campaign. Other narratives may emerge, which could upend this dynamic, or even just change the subject. As long as he keeps winning, his candidacy his still alive. And the movement he's tapped into will keep organizing in other ways, regardless.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Did vote suppression in Illinois swing the Democratic primary to Hillary?


I have to say that this just doesn't look good. If the implications of this story by Tom Cahill at, are even remotely true, then I am about to find my local Hillary office, sign up as a new volunteer, and then take a piss in the storage closet . . . I am that outraged by it.

New Details Reveal Possible Voter Suppression in Illinois Primary

Tom Cahill | March 25, 2016

Thousands of Illinois primary voters turned away from polling places due to lack of ballots have been denied their vote after a recent court ruling.

In six counties across Illinois — Adams, Champaign, Effingham, Madison, Sangamon, and St. Clair — polling places ran out of ballots amid higher-than-expected voter turnout, meaning thousands of voters were sent home after waiting in line. On March 17, Adams County state attorney Jon Barnard went before Adams County circuit judge Chet Vahle to ask for an injunction that would grant those voters the ability to vote late due to ballot issues.

The next day, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, an ardent Hillary Clinton supporter who has introduced her at campaign rallies, filed an appeal in Illinois 4th District Appellate Court to prevent late voting. On March 23, the appellate court issued a stay on Judge Vahle’s injunction, meaning those voters won’t get a chance to cast ballots in this primary. Hillary Clinton won Illinois by roughly 35,000 votes, or a slim 1.8 percent margin, effectively splitting delegates with Sanders.

Maybe there's some kind of less-damning explanation for this, than Lisa Madigan making a decision to "'shut 'em down' since they're Sanders voters." But the proverbial money shot in this particular version of the story, is that in four of the counties where peoples' vote are being denied - like Champaign County, for example, where the University of Illinois is located - SANDERS WON. Another under-represented county in Illinois is Effingham - a very demographically white, working class area of the sort that has been friendly to Bernie in the polls. In a couple of these not-entirely enfranchised counties, Sanders won by A LOT.

Now I know that rural, western, Quincy, Illinois, is a notorious redoubt of far left conspiracy paranoia. But since Hillary just barely eked out a victory here in Illinois, by 1.8%, at least someone has suggested that the under-enfranchised counties may have changed the outcome of the Illinois primary. That person is Adams County State’s Attorney Jon Barnard, who filed a motion to have those counties' voting process extended, so that those denied the ballot due to shortages, could participate.

So, the question is, just who the fuck are these people that are willing to go to the mat for Team "You Shouldn't Be Allowed to Vote Because We Conveniently Ran of out Ballots So Sorry Better Luck Next Time in the General" - anyway? Who are the folks ready to lead the charge against folks' getting the ballot? Oh right, my Attorney General in the great state of Illinois. You can put me in the tinfoil hat brigade if that suits your world view, but the implications of this story are clear: that well-known Hillary surrogate, and probable future Governor of Illinois, Attorney General Lisa Madigan - whose last names sounds like a loud, wet fart to anyone with an Illinois address - may have used her position to fight against those denied the ballot . . . like, literally . . . from actually getting one. The further implication . . . you don't need to be a frickin' Einstein-level genius to connect these proverbial dots . . . I mean it's a pretty basic little string-pattern collage on the lighted wall at the end of the Conspiracy Parlor . . . is that she did this so her buddy Hillary Clinton could barely eke out her very small win in the state of Illinois.

I'm not too familiar with, so I suppose this story could and should be taken with a grain of salt - it's pretty clearly a partisan site. But the flaming radicals at the Quincy, Illinois-based "Herald-Whig" newspaper were covering the story, and Adams County's State's Attorney Jon Dunbar doesn't exactly have that Alex Jones-y, paranoid conspiracy aura about him. The implications of this story are extremely troubling, and if true, need to be publicized in a big huge way, hopefully before the election is certified on the 29th - that's just two days from now. It would certainly be a long shot to prevent that from happening, as Barnard's lawsuit has already been successfully challenged by Madigan's people, and he's not pursuing it further. It would take titanium gonads for someone to take on the Madigan machine in this state, as almost anyone who is politically aware knows.

I've seen some treatment of this story on the Democratic mega-site, but it didn't get a lot of traction

If this story turns out to be true, whether it "has legs" in the media, or not, a part of the something that makes me want to go to bat for Team Hillary in November, should she be the nominee, has died . . . painfully.

For my part, I only want to say this: you don't fuck with the ballot in the Land of Lincoln. This matter needs to be fully investigated, and explained, to the citizens of this state. They cannot be allowed to get away with this, if their efforts against Illinoisans' right to vote, did indeed swing the primary to Team Hillary. If there can't be a price to pay in terms of delegates, which would of course be small anyway, the price of Madigan's political career SHOULD BE. You don't get to be Governor, if you use your influence to deny Illinois citizens the right to vote, so your friend can be president. Hell, the fuck, no.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

El Drumpfo retreated last night. Thoughts on what I saw at the UIC Pavilion . . .

The Big-Hands Pope was too much for Donald Drumpf.

So I was lucky enough to participate in the protest that shut down El Drumpfo's would-be rally last night at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago's west loop.

The event has officially become "Big News" for some of "skirmishes" and/or small-scale violence that occurred, some of which I witnessed outside the rally. (I couldn't get in, I had arrived too late.)

While I’ve no doubt that Trumpeteers were more responsible for most of the “skirmishes" or whatever, I do have to say that I saw a demonstrator or two behaving badly, which isn’t acceptable, and needs to be reigned in on the side of the good guys. However, the overwhelming majority of the protesters were peaceful. Watching stunned Trump-supporters do a kind of perp-walk out of the pavilion, through a throng of jubilant protesters was absolutely delicious. Those memories will get me through the hard times in the future.

The alleged “safety concerns” El Drumpfo used as en excuse to cancel the event are just another bullshit lie. While the media has predictably hyped the so-called “skirmishes,” because that’s what sells, the police presence was professional and had things mostly under control. The greatly overwhelming majority of both protesters, and . . to be fair . . . Trump supporters that I saw were peaceful.

Big Tough Guy El Drumpfo cancelled because he wasn’t tough enough to withstand being INTERRUPTED, which he certainly would have been, by the protesters . . . as he was in St. Louis yesterday morning. Some tough guy indeed — he’s afraid of being interrupted by the mean protesters.

No doubt El Drumpfo figured he could capitalize on playing the victim card with the whole “They were stomping on my free speech,” card, but that is of course horse shit, again, as is everything else that drops from the mouth of that turd-breathed sleaze. Chicagoans’ collective right to ASSEMBLE . . . ahem . . . trumped his free speech last night. At any rate, Trump isn’t wanting for free speech, he wants freedom from CONSEQUENCES of whatever he says. That freedom does not, and should not exist, anywhere. But make no mistake, his non-appearing act last night was definitely a hastily thrown-together RETREAT, that he himself chose, when he decided that he couldn’t take the pressure.

Trump’s probably right that he could mewl up to the RepubliCon electorate in some ways — at least for a 24 hour news cycle — as we all know the GOoPers’ ubiquitous hard-on for playing the victim. But I have to wonder if ultimately his bogus Potemkin-village-like “Alpha Male” Image isn’t going to take a hit in some circles, and after his nationally televised loss-of-nerve last night. It has been pointed out, worrisomely, that such a narrative could cause Trump to double-down on his "get 'em" rhetoric, which could certainly have unpleasant consequences down the line.

At any rate, being a part of the scene at the UIC Pavilion last night was one of my prouder recent moments. Even though I was late, it was a wonderful thing to see.