Tuesday, August 17, 2010


This post doesn't really fit here but I wanted to post it somewhere.

I was somewhat shocked and then not so much when I read this. . .

Players in Chicago's 60619 ZIP code played $26.6 million worth of lottery games for fiscal year 2008, and $21.7 million in lottery sales came from the 60628. This is the TOP lottery sales zip code in the state.

This zip code includes the Chicago neighborhoods of Chatham, Roseland, and Grand Crossing. The area is 90 percent African American and 50% of the men ages 16 and up are unemployed. A daily look at the newspaper will tell you what life is like in these south side neighborhoods.

I'm thinking that people from the neighborhood are buying the tickets and not tourists.

That's 48 million over two years IN ONE ZIP CODE. If all those people had put that money in a freaking bucket what might they have built for their neighborhood?

685 private security guards at $35,000/year
At 2% interest they could have MADE over $900,000 a year
How many abandoned buildings could have been bought and turned into parks?
How many tutors or teacher's aides could be hired
After school programs?
Music programs?
Art Programs?

Look, the lottery is a tax. You willingly go pay this tax but their is no promise that the proceeds are going to the area where you physically paid your tax. The lottery money you plunk down in Chatham could easily end up in a road project in Oak Park! If you're willing to tax yourself with NO guarantee of ANY return why not just form a citizens group, donate at the same rate of 24 million a year and get a guaranteed return for your neighborhood?

Besides, the lottery is a bad bet. People always say, "Well, someone has to win". Yeah, but it ain't going to be you! It's you against the FIELD! Hell, lots of time no one wins. The odds are that bad. If you laid a special square inch on the grass in the city block where the Petrillo band shell is, blindfold yourself, and whip a dart (no aiming!) into that square block field. You have to hit that special square inch to win lotto. Same odds.

Would it be possible to distribute Lottery proceeds in proportion to lottery sales? Of course this is possible. It's an easy math problem/programing problem. You think the politicians would allow this instead of their own pork barrel projects? The odds of this happening are the same as winning Lotto!

Friday, August 06, 2010

Sad Story from Lake Michigan

In the Chicago Tribune this morning. . . Two women were rescued from the lake this morning. Thy had been treading water for several hours after their sailboat drifted away from them while going for a late night swim. One of the men aboard drowned and the other is missing.

As a sailor myself I can't imagine letting the boat get away! Swim with a tether or leave one person on board. Or maybe not go swimming at 1 in the morning.

The part that interests me is this quote from one of the fishermen who rescued the women:

"It was definitely surreal," said another fishermen, Chad Wasson, a doctor from Naperville. "It really was divine intervention."

Well there Chad I guess that makes you God! YOU'RE the one who saved her. Oh, and was it also divine intervention that had you go out late enough to NOT rescue the two guys? The world of religion is FULL of cherry picking like this where you pick the event(s) that supports a kind and beneficial deity and ignore the unfortunate events. You know that ones that confirm that the lord does work in mysterious ways. . .