Category Archives: Hoffman

Farewell to the late, great Ted Kennedy!

By Jack Hoffman

The late US Senator Edward Moore Kennedy was a true, stalwart liberal. He defined the meaning of liberal in its truest sense: a philosophy of the people and for the people. Whether it was protecting unions, jobs, education or health care, he stood for those whose voices were silent among the corporate and congressional power brokers who cared more about the bottom line and the slush funds they garnished.

He was there against an unconstitutional war in Vietnam, a trumped up war in a country no one hardly knew, Granada and an invasion in Iraq to save the despots of Kuwait and sanctioned by our own government. Most importantly, the greatest blunder in this nation’s recent history – Iraq. Continue reading Farewell to the late, great Ted Kennedy!

Happy 8’th Birthday, InCity Times!

(editor’s note: While our website (this website!) is a year old, we’ve been publishing InCity Times, the newspaper, for more than 8 years. (It’ll be 8 1/2 this December!) Jack Hoffman, our columnist, wrote this piece for our 8’th anniversary issue.)

By Jack Hoffman

It’s Wednesday and seven days before deadline, and the call I didn’t want to get arrived as anticipated. It’s a call I’ve gotten every two weeks, about 20 times a year, for at least the last five years. It shows up “restricted” so I refuse to answer and just let the answer machine lessen the pain. Sure enough, it’s Rose, our C.E.O. (Chairwoman of Everything Officer) here at InCity Times.

“Jack, how’s your column going?” she asks. I tell her: “Rose, you won’t believe this! I got a hamstring pull from falling through a pallet. I just got home and I’m filthy, blood still pouring down my leg from the fall and I haven’t eaten a thing.”

She asks again: “So how’s the column going, Jack?” Continue reading Happy 8’th Birthday, InCity Times!

Can President Obama deliver the goods?

By Jack Hoffman

At first glance I got the feeling I was at some local Odd Fellows group. The difference being the audience was not made up of worshipers singing Onward Christian Soldiers. These people were the soldiers of peace and social change. These folks were the veterans, the vanguard of change that drove in freedom buses through the South in the 1960s, registering black voters, marching in the main streets of America protesting an illegal war. And in a last bit of breath they marched again against an invasion of Iraq. We were gathered to hear the words of famous anti-Iraq War protester Cindy Sheehan, an inspirational leader of the movement that refuses to give up the good fight. The big difference was that at this lecture, there were only three people out of 150 under the age of 25. Continue reading Can President Obama deliver the goods?

Intolerance

By Jack Hoffman

When I heard the news of the fatal shooting of the security guard at The Holocaust Museum in Washington DC, it wasn’t a question of “why.” It was a question of “when.” Angry? Surely. But surprised? Hardly.

The museum directors, and just about every law enforcement agency, knew the museum, like no other in the Washington area, was a prime target for the misguided: especially for people who could play out their anger in real time.

In the words of its architect, James Freed, “The building is not meant to be intellectually understood. Its architecture of sensibility is intended to engage the visitor and stir the emotions, allow for horror and sadness, ultimately to disturb.”

But to many others, its meaning is clear and definable: its meaning waves the red flag of intolerance that existed and still does today. Let’s not be naïve. Intolerance has existed for centuries. It’s alive and killing every day of our lives. Continue reading Intolerance

Responding to a reader

By Jack Hoffman

Many of the critical letters I get from my InCity Times readers are from people who misunderstand my role as a columnist. A columnist is not a reporter. A columnist opines.

A reporter attempts to write an objective piece based on certain information he/she may have. The story’s objectivity and facts are overseen by an editor and sometimes the publisher. Don’t think for one second I have a free hand without Rose looking over my shoulder, making me prove certain information.

Which brings me to a certain InCity Times reader – Tom Whalen. At first I was intrigued with his point of view re: certain talk show hosts being a bunch of haters. He wrote to me: “The problem is, Jack, you still refuse that it goes both ways and spew venom from the left … .” Continue reading Responding to a reader

Pet peeves

By Jack Hoffman

I was sitting alone in a restaurant not so long ago when I noticed two lovely co-eds next to me conversing at a speed faster than Don Garlitz’s dragster. What was unusual: both were gabbing away at each other while one girl was text messaging. My curiosity got me to ask the texter: did you understand anything your friend just said? – No – “In any case, if she wanted to say something to me, she could have text [ed] me,” the co-ed said.

Next puzzling incident: I’m standing in a bakery, hoping to be waited on soon. The salesgirl was too busy texting away while I tapped my nails away. May I ask you: what’s more important than waiting on a customer? Continue reading Pet peeves

Talk show haters may become dinosaurs

By Jack Hoffman

So now, in addition to venereal disease, and the other leading exports of Mexico – women with mustaches and VD – now we have swine flu.” These are the words of New England’s number-one (after “Rush”) talk show host Jay Severin. But he didn’t stop there. He went on to describe Mexicans as “the world’s lowest of primitives.” Finally WTKK 96.9, home of such luminaries as Limbaugh, Michael Graham, Imus and the ever so sweet Laura Ingraham (did I leave anyone one out? Ooops! Michael Savage – he got booted from MSNBC), said they had heard enough. They suspended Severin from the radio station indefinitely.

Why did they wait so long? His misogynist outbursts about Hillary Clinton as “a whore with a fat ass” and diatribes against other women who didn’t fit his description of “the perfect woman” always got him a pass with management. These are the comments that his “brightest of the bright” couldn’t wait to hear every weekday afternoon, 3-6 p.m. He wasn’t the only one who captured all those vacuum heads who love hate talk. No doubt 99% of them voted for Palin – yes, Palin, not McCain. Continue reading Talk show haters may become dinosaurs

The Corporation of America

By Jack Hoffman

When the Founding Fathers sat down to draw up how the new nation – America – would be governed, they settled on a form of government (a republic) that would be guided by a document that would protect all rights of its citizens. When the Constitution and Bill of Rights were finally signed, we became the Republic of the U.S.

Contrast the framer’s vision of a republic with that of a democracy. In a democracy, the majority rules, either directly or through its elected representatives, with no oversight. Thomas Jefferson feared that law written by the majority under a democracy in power would lack any regard for the basic rights of all citizens. That, in turn, could lead to what the framers feared most – a monarchy. Continue reading The Corporation of America

Can America be saved?

By Jack Hoffman

It seems everywhere you turn now a day – whether on the street or  on the radio or in the papers,  everyone seems to be asking the same question: When is this economic crisis going to end?

Hardly a newscast or headline doesn’t include some opinion of the same usual expert on the subject.  The bottom line is no one knows the answer.

Strange how sometimes some of these so-called experts are some of the same folks who have put us in this mess in the first place. And they are also the biggest critics of President Obama.  Take Allan Greenspan, who now admits that some of his decisions were wrong.  Allan, the horse just left the barn.  Today he has recanted some of his previous testimony, saying it wasn’t the Federal Reserve’s problem. Continue reading Can America be saved?

President Obama is doing just fine, thank you!

By Jack Hoffman

It seems that only yesterday our new president – Barack Obama – was inaugurated. But already the media is clamoring for a 4-week report card – at one time it was the first 100-days. Why should all of us at InCity Times be any different?

From the beginning of the primary season the greatest criticism of Obama was his inexperience. I wrote in my column that for someone who lived in Illinois and learned lots about the Chicago political season I kept reminding readers to beware of the Chi-Town politics. For those who read Obama’s autobiographies, and those that did not, you missed out on one of the most important political moments in Barack’s political life. In order to go from an Illinois State Senator to a U.S. Senator Obama had to knock off a distinguished two-term congressman. He did – overwhelmingly.

Since his first day in office it’s been a roller coaster ride that seems to have never slowed down. At least we got the Boss and Stevie Wonder to give us a people’s party. (Ok, so I’m always thinking socialism. Did you see any Repugs (Republicans) at the concert?) Continue reading President Obama is doing just fine, thank you!