Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015: U.S. Anti-Muslim Attacks Call for Shame: Emperor (Christian) Constantine Did Much Better--in 312 A.D. (-!)

--So shameful AND primitive many here have become. So many
calls for forbidding Muslims from entering the country coming
from our elected officials, who really should know better! The
absolutely most embarrassing moment for me came at three a.m.
this morning when I watched a PBS documentary called "From
Christ to Constantine".  After an important battle to decide
who would be the Emperor of the Western Roman Empire,
victorious Constantine created a Christianity-friendly state,
while tolerating every other religion including Paganism,
which was very strong there at the time--312 A.D. Historian
Eusebius, who knew Constantine, as well as Constantine's
many still-extant writings, confirm the tolerant and emancipated
nature of this great man, who was, yes,violent at times, imperfect,
yet a very fine intellect with a large heart.

Fast forward to 2015, soon to become 2016: too many of our
leaders do not have the wisdom and kindness of Emperor
Constantine back in 312 A.D.  I am ashamed of everyone
of you who espouse barring all Muslims from the USA...

Well, you can't. It isn't in your constitutional purview, as
immigration is a FEDERAL matter, ignoramuses! --As in,
our U.S. Congress and our President. Probably political
strutting is all this can really be, but these declamations
disturb the polity, including me. Our reputation's estimation
around the world surely has bottomed out to a new low.

In 2016, as in every past year, I will fight dangerous
errors and stupidities to the very best of my strength
and abilities. Happy New Year and Best Wishes
to all, notwithstanding all the Sturm und Drang.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Recent Study Indicates Air Pollution DOES Cause More Aggressive Behavior...

Just as I said here in my June 12th, 2015 post.  The study,
published by the National Bureau for Economic Research
(Herrnstadt and Muelegger, authors) quote a large data
set from the Chicago Police Department, two million major
crimes between 2001-2012. Apparently there is a strong
correlation between living near a busy street or highway
and aggressive behavior; the study's conclusion didn't
resolve whether the pollutants were acting as irritants or
impairing cognitive functions, like the executive function
which (presumably) moderates behavior.

But this should have been obvious to everyone all
along: Homo Sapiens Sapiens evolved for millions
of years without developing strategies to cope with
these man-made chemicals which only relatively recently
entered our environment, deluging us in subtle
yet serious ways.

--Stay tuned for more disagreeable news about
how our "convenient" and "efficient" lifestyle
is also ruining our society...take evasive action
when possible.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Chicago's City Hall Disappoints Yet Again, Just Before the Holidays, December, 2015

RE: Reforming the Chicago Police Department,
the 12/15/2015 Public Hearing:
I went to Chicago's City Hall on December 15th to present
the remarks I posted here on December 8th; what a disgusting
disappointment THAT was! I arrived at 8:45am, left at 4:45pm
not able to read my remarks, as several of the few alderpersons
present droned on, repeating themselves, grilling and drilling
the new IPRA head, Sharon Fairley, not content after FOUR
HOURS of hearing her repeat, "I don't know". --But why would
she, only holding the job for FOUR DAYS?? Her general counsel,
employed by IPRA (the Independent Police Review Authority)
for five years, also apparently didn't know much, but did present
some interesting answers, revealing regrettable policy practices.

This public hearing went on for about 12 hours; as a 70 year old
woman who would NEVER conceal and carry, I wasn't about
to wait around to comment until 10 pm, then take the the Blue
Line back to my suburb. (For any reader not familiar with Chicago,
the Red and Blue Lines have more on-board and on-platform
crimes than the other local elevated commuter train routes.) MY
suburb of 14,000 allows public comments early in the meeting
agenda, as opposed to mighty Chicago, putting the average
American dead last in the proceedings. Further, my village
allows a three minute comment, vs. Chicago allowing two.
( I might add, there were fewer than 20 members of the
public in attendance from 10am to 4:45pm when I left,

So, it is high time for the City of Chicago to change
its traditional manner of proceeding. For one thing,
any attending alderperson should NOT  be spending
87% of his/her time wandering around the room,
talking to/therefore distracting colleagues who just
may have wished to pay attention. Alderman Cardenas,
you were so rude and heedless! --Quite a different
demeanor from your tv appearances on  WTTW's
"Chicago Tonight". Secondly, allow for public
comment early, not after many hours of tiresome
sturm und drang. I felt some serious sympathy
for the hearing's moderator, Chairman Alderman
Reboyras, who was the most business-like of all.
Alderman Jason Ervin also seated at the head
conference table was patient and dignified, asking
questions to the point, unlike some of his colleagues.

Another suggestion: in a positive blast to the past,
Mayor Emanuel, every six months you should
require ALL 50 alderpersons to attend a meeting
thrown open to public comments ONLY. NO
responses, etc. from the august alderpersons; no,
JUST LISTEN, from 9am to 5 pm, twice a year.
THAT, Mr. Mayor, would be a tangible
demonstration of your much publicly-
vaunted accessibility/transparency...try it!

--AND further incoming ire from me: with respect
to the Amended Agenda, dated December 14th,
the first of the four items, R2015-978, "Call for
...examination of CPD practices and procedures"
(my shortened paraphrase), IT NEVER
HAPPENED between 10am and 4:45pm.

Apparently the Chicago Police Department is not
the ONLY official Chicago body requiring rigorous

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

ISIS, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, Brothers from Another Planet

Or maybe it's merely that Trump, his coffers low, has become
a paid tool of the extremists who want to create a world
state caliphate. Am I joking? --Not entirely. Prominent
democrats AND their republican opponents have denounced
the Donald publicly, pointing out that codified racism, religious
tests, wholesale, anti-immigration, et al., are in direct violation
of the United States Constitution. He seems to be supported by
the more ignorant, intelligence-challenged among our polity...

Enter Ted Cruz, who would like nothing better than to
become our next vice president, should Trump win the
higher office. He too is categorically constitutionally
challenged, barred by being born in Calgary, Alberta Canada.
(--Once again, with feeling: check Article II, Section 1,
Paragraph Five of the U.S. Constitution, which mandates a
viable candidate for our highest elected post must be a
natural born citizen. There are no stipulations there which
say anything about any parental birthplace or U.S. citizenship
as a qualifying factor--just the CANDIDATE'S birthplace.)

Perhaps both bozos are on Isis/Da'esh payrolls; at any rate,
they are Da'esh's best volunteers, shaming and dividing our
country, demonstrating we are in fact NOT exceptional in the
vaunted, best sense of the word, but causing many around the
world to take exception to us.

Let's send these very bad brothers back to the far-out
planet of fantasy and error they came from.

Fixing What Has Ailed the Chicago Police Department for Decades

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

In-Person Remarks to the Chicago City Council's
Police and Fire Committee:

Good morning to you, Committee Chair Reboyras and
the Members of the Police and Fire Committee.
I'm Amber Ladeira, 7820 Madison, Forest Park, Illinois.
(I lived and worked in Chicago for most of my 70 years.)

There are three main areas of policy errors, which, if fixed,
will sharply curtail the too-frequent killings by Chicago
Police officers, particularly of only possible perpetrators,
especially in communities of color:

(1) Carefully and critically scrutinize the psychological
screening test that purportedly weeds out any unsuitable
candidates applying for employment with the Chicago
Police Department. I know individuals who have taken
that test; they claim it is wholly inadequate, can present
a false, positive profile of the candidate, as anyone alert
enough can determine what the test is looking for, then
provide it. After decades of unnecessary killings, it is
obvious to me, at least, that propensity toward bullying
and racism is NOT being eliminated by this test.
Throw it out, compose a new and better one!

(2) Much more time must be spent at the Police Training
Academy on Jackson, honing the correct, split second
reactions so frequently mentioned: drill 'til the probies
can quickly distinguish between a gun and a cell phone,
or a gun vs. any other object. Swift shape recognition
of hand-held objects in this era of gun madness is key
--that is, if indeed all lives matter, which I, sad to say,
do not think many in the white community believe...
as the long history of these shameful incidents plainly show.

(3) Stepping up a much more detailed, thorough
policy of background checks than the department
now carries out would also ameliorate these
scurrilous episodes. Why hire anyone who killed
animals for fun, got into many fist fights, or set
stuff on fire? These sorts are not at heart interested
in serving and protecting; they are, instead, into
power; one way to get it is to become a police
officer. It is a lot more work/effort intensive to
acquire authority (power) by being elected;
I bet most people understand that.

If these three suggestions ever became
committed policy, marked improvement
would be noted within a year or two. Other
suggestions about independent oversight
and after the fact resolutions are fine,
but why not handle matters BEFORE
any more unjustified homicides happen?

cc: Chicago media,
     several alderpersons

Friday, December 4, 2015

"Citizens United": Not the Only Illogical, Irrational Pro Business "Legal" Decision,...

Policy or protected category. LLCs, LLPs and certain
501(c)3s, et al., with boards but no owners, all have
accountability avoidance in common. --How perfectly
symmetrical, societally-speaking! Scapegoating, lying,
denying are all popular pastimes in 2015 America...
now enjoying official, legal and policy protections.

As long as laissez-faire capitalism continues unchecked
and applauded, the more moral among us have hard
going ahead. We, nevertheless, must:

(1) Keep conducting research; don't depend on only
one sort of source, either all liberal OR all conservative...
contrast and compare!

(2) Raise our voices--intelligently, with dignity and
facts while eschewing the bad behavior of a Donald
Trump or the brain dead (pun intended!) demeanor
of a Dr. Ben Carson. More nods to practicality and
reality than we see from Sen. Sanders OR Mrs.
Clinton could prove very effective.

(3) Make calls (electronic and in person) to legislators.
They do not necessarily have to be our own representatives,
whether local, statewide or national. It DOES help if the
elected officials have an interest or concern in  the
subject at hand, however.

If we act, we will proceed and progress. Teddy Roosevelt
and Lord Edmund Burke will be proud of us, wherever
they are.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Racism and Denial by Family, Community, Caused Tyshawn Lee's Murder

Chicago, November 2015:
Oh, so much blame to hand around, I feel quite dizzy...
when all is said and done, it all starts at home, with parents
who are charged, morally and legally, with protecting their
young--even animals in the wild do this! --Gangbanger dad
did not know he was endangering his boy? How did he
not escort  Tyshawn to the park during daylight hours?
How did he not explain to his children that they all live
in a dangerous neighborhood? It is not possible to  long
maintain a child's innocence in an area of bad blocks,
period. It really isn't happening in the less violent areas,
either, but adults can continue to sugar-coat explanations
there a bit longer--say, to about age 11 or so.

Dad didn't have to be a thug; of course, it is demeaning
to such a man's "pride" to take humble jobs if such a man
didn't do well in school, take college courses or even finish
high school. People strapping on a gun feel so powerful--
how is it that some of us without them feel confident just
the same? I am convinced many like the thug life--no rules,
just do as you please, see who's left standing--often, it isn't
an innocent, deserving child.

Relentless racism, always in the background, often out front,
plays a major role. Maybe more minority kids would be
inspired to truly tackle academics if they felt equally cared
about, respected, home, in public, and
of course, at school. But it is almost always a case of
"the tribe", "I feel more comfortable with my own", etc.
The Ivory Tower tells us that the formation of the tribe
has gotten us to where we are today, great architecture,
art, music, culture, language, etc. Yet...

The better survival strategy now is to go beyond the tribe;
that is, if we want a world without war, death, and
destruction of the above-mentioned art. We can still
honor our antecedents without worshipping them,
without being limited to circling the wagons around
our tribe's members. Isn't it about time to be more
inclusive? This "peace prescription" applies on the
smallest as well as the largest scale--as the block
goes, so goes the planet.

Happy Holidays! Here's to a more loving and
understanding Earth--while there's still time.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Hey, Hey, Ho Ho, Anita and Gary Got to Go: Chicago's Prosecutorial Indiscretions

Shame on Chicago: Finally, over a year later, the "authorities" are
now "handling" the murderous incident of a white cop killing a
young Black male in a completely unjustified  homicide. It is
appalling and galling to realize this thug took taxpayer-paid
salary for most of the past year, as this shocking crime was
suppressed by Mayor Emanuel, Cook County State's
Attorney Alvarez, and Police Chief McCarthy.

All the education and experiences these three have accumulated
are, finally, for naught: they have no humane responses to most
of us ordinary citizens; no, they couch their official behavior in
terms of "what's good for Chicago, our reputations, etc." Who
needs them? Are they in  fact "good for Chicago"? Hell no:

Hey, hey, ho ho, Anita and Gary got to go. (Chicago could
use a new mayor too; let's have no more lifetime sinecures
on the Fifth Floor of Chicago's City Hall.)  Where was the
discretion demanded in this case, the rigorous, seasoned
blend of  law and humanity? Last night's televised preamble
to the video release of  Laquan's murder fooled few of us
indeed. Awkwardness and disorganization were painfully
apparent, Anita more made up than I've seen her in months,
the video continuing to be held back until very late last
night (why, to outlast any demonstrators?)

Prosecutorial discretion: Chicago can sure use some.
Let's make that happen, shall we?

Laquan McDonald: Justice Delayed Was Almost Justice Denied

Last October 2014, while Ferguson's firestorm still raged there
after August's shooting of a young Black male by a young white
cop, a Chicago cop gunned down another young Black male
who was absolutely NO threat to the WONDER
the cop-cam video of this obscene murder was suppressed
for over a year! Authorities here feared a race riot, so "officer"
Van Dyke was allowed to remain on the Chicago P.D. payroll
for over eight months.

In Ferguson, when the white establishment finally had to own
up to their racist response publicly, the white mayor rambled
on and on before releasing the decision not to indict that Missouri
policeman...yesterday (11/24/2015), the same scenario: Chicago
Mayor Emanuel and Chicago Police Chief McCarthy droned on
and on, appealing for calm, promising to release the video which
clearly shows Laquan as a danger only to himself, as he walked
down the middle of the street, his back turned away from police,
shot down and bleeding out, none of the several other officers
trying to help him.

Official records revealed Van Dyke volleyed 14 more bullets
into Laquan after two shots put him on the ground. I had to
sneer when Van Dyke's attorney claimed his cop defendant
feared for his life--oh yeah, how, exactly?? The video filmed
Laquan McDonald as being alone in the middle of the street
at all times during this sad, outrageous incident, near no one;
Van Dyke kicks the three inch blade away from Laquan's
hand while Laquan bled to death...NO GUN.

Finally fired and indicted, Police officer Van Dyke will face
a  bench trial, not "a jury of his peers". (-?!) What peers, police
ill-equipped to do an admittedly difficult job, ill-screened,
ill-trained? Relatively few as these may be, too many have
taken troubled young Black lives, never paying the price
for murder. In Chicago, justice delayed was almost denied...

But stay tuned. Until this thug is sentenced and put permanently
behind bars,  the cynic in me makes me watch this case
oh so carefully....

Monday, November 23, 2015

Terrorists Tarring Those in Their Midst: Tribal Tribulations

Yesterday I watched controversial but brilliant Entomologist/
Sociobiologist Dr. E.O. Wilson, Harvard Emeritus, courtesy
of PBS.  The lengthy program, with fascinating footage and
narration by the sage posited the many advantages of
working within a group, one's tribe, clan, etc. Wilson writes
poetically about his thesis that not only does Darwin's
natural selection work on individual evolution, but on the
group as well. For his model he takes the ant, a highly
social animal, doing the old "contrast and compare" so
familiar to students of my generation (60 years ago) with
another also highly social species--us. This school of thought
has a term, eusocial, and only homo sapiens, ants, termites
and bees are accorded that honor. (I suspect the good
doctor has overlooked and omitted a few others,
like dolphins.)

The advantages of group cooperation are too obvious
and numerous to detail here, but Dr. Wilson reminds
us that everything now alive on the planet has "grown
up" together through time...which includes firm formation
of the tribe or group dynamic. It is striking and for me,
irrefutable, how homo sapiens resembles ants: the
way we both go to war, having scouts forge ahead to
inform the waiting group, divisions of labor, leaders
and self-sacrificing troops. Cooperation in all aspects
of life are common as well.

Lest we float into a self-satisfied, dream-like trance
re: all the positivity associated with tribal existence,
Wilson does give the nod to the eusocials' dark side,
where/when the balance tips too far over into the
wildly/widely destructive carnage emblematic of
WWI and WWII (--Not to mention whole colonies
of thousands of ants and termites).

Thinking about our latest strange, murderously
chaotic terror era, I realized that the tribe now
heavily harms its individual members with guilt
by  association. The furor over taking in refugees
from Syria is the current dramatic denouement.
All Arabs are looked at askance, here at home
and abroad; mention Syria as your background
at your peril. Texas, not known as a particularly
intellectually emancipated state, was shamed
last week by a Houston mosque set ablaze,
a library section, with the loss of priceless
antiquities. (Hello, cretins: all mosques are
not terror-training  madrasas! I don't know
how such stupid people can continue to exist.)

So, sadly, dear Doctor Wilson, here is food for further
study and programming: these terrorists are tarring
members in their midst, the innocents in the tribe,
who, like most rational humans around the world,
simply want to do little harm and just live. I've long
said spreading chaos is real: tribal tribulations
are merely one dangerous part of human society's
descent/disintegration before we have achieved
true civilization.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Today's Terrors: France, Limiting Large Gatherings; The U.S., Limiting Good Sense As Well

November 21, 2015: In the wake of the two terror tragedies,
Paris and Mali, inevitable, inaccurate proscriptions emerge:
France has banned many public gatherings, remaining on
high alert status for the next three months. Here at home,
many prominent politicos prescribe racism, religious tests
and tarring all refugees from Syria with the same invidious
brush...this time, all political stripes, Democrats and
Republicans, have thrown their fear-mongering, uber
security-promising hats into this hateful ring.

Hey, have some balance here! No indeed, we can't
fling open our borders to any and all, always, but
let's recall some relevant history: the U.S. has had
immigration quotas for over 100 years, different
groups being assigned different numbers; perhaps
the judgement for these quotas was not always
practical or humane, but the point is, we've always
done it. Interestingly, just as foolish forbiddings
have emanated from both Democrats and
Republicans, reasonable restrictions and positive
proposals are coming out of both camps now:
Republican Jeb Bush, Democrat Rahm Emanuel,
merely two examples...may the most effective
policies win!

ISIS/ISIL, now, pejoratively, Da'esh, really
can't win, we must know that. As has long
been quoted in the Civil Rights movement,
"there are more of us than there are of them".
The Caliphate dream won't work in the current,
modern world; its time has come and gone.
The bitterness and ego unmarried to a firm
grasp of history and reality fuels Da'esh and
all allied terrorists, including Boko Haram.

They can't win, believe it. Let's not limit
good sense by panicking, fielding fright
for political hay and gain. The Donald
will fall from being trumped by simple
reason--unless the USA harbors millions
more ignoramuses than we previously

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Paris, France: Inhumane Horror: Here We Go Again, November 13th, 2015

The sadness, chaos, fear, denial and death are all too real, all
too familiar. Once again, the ignorantly disaffected, dreaming of
resurrecting their Caliphate past, dealt death and destruction
on this Friday night, to people who were simply out to relax
after their work week. All this tragedy has done, however,
is unite the West in a reaffirmation of its historic bonds,
particularly those between the U.S. and France; without
France in our revolution, we would not be here now.
President Obama reminded us about our intimately
connected mutual past and present last night, followed
by the U.K.'s David Cameron's solidarity statement and
quick police work in Germany.

Commiserations and support have been pouring in from all
over the world. France 24 TV has remained on the air since
yesterday, detailing the murders of at least 128 confirmed,
including a threat to French President Hollande, present
at the stadium when attacks began there. He has stayed
strong, vowing to capture all involved. Some of the
terrorists killed themselves, ISIL taking responsibility
once again.

These outraged, offended Islam-hijacker attackers
have their grievances. The West has dominated the
globe in recent centuries, creating resentments and
resolve, twisted though some of them may be.
What distinguishes these faux Islamists from others
opposed to each other in wars is ISIL's inability to
forgive, attempt reconciliation and rapprochement.
The Allies from our two World Wars are now
fast friends with former foes. But when you want
to rule the Earth, inspiring, ennobling examples
will not resonate.

Be clear: this is a threat to the West and the
world, which will include Russia and China
if left unchecked. We are at an unending
war which we will lose without firm,
concentrated, concerted action at all times...

Here we go again.

Monday, November 9, 2015

November 2015: Ben Carson Takes a Page from Bush II's Political Playbook

But the page he's taken is an unfortunate one for himself and the
USA as well: Lie about your background due to an unholy
marriage of ego and inferiority complex, that page where "the
Shrub" bragged about his military service which was never out
of our country, and on the next page, pronounced "mission
complete", embarrassing everyone including him, in view of
subsequent, massive death toll events, mostly Iraqi, but also
plenty of our own. Similarly, Carson lied: West Point never
offers  any scholarships, read up on how one gets into West
Point, BEN.

Ben Carson indeed had talent and accomplishments in neuro-
surgery, which  accounts for his staff positions at major medical
institutions and various related awards. Around about this time,
his ego left the planet, which explains what I read regarding a
serious breach of medical ethics AND a failed tragic technique,
making a nine year old girl diagnosed and previously treated for
serious neurological difficulties even worse--operating on the
brain stem when B.C. (ah, Before Christ, is he??) promised this
child and her mother he would NOT do so. You can find the
particulars of this case as a pdf document, search "nine year old
girl suing Dr. Ben Carson for malpractice". Shit shortly hitting the
proverbial fan, Dr. B.C. conveniently "retires"...oh please!

Again, also resembling Bush II, Ben is inarticulate, or perhaps
off his meds: how to otherwise explain he'd be "honored" if  Puerto
Rico achieves statehood? Is he from Puerto Rico? He visited
there, but he is NOT Puertorriqueno. There are many other
malapropisms, misstatements of fact, and an arrant appeal
to the Religious Right, with his promotion of his religious views,
"Joseph built the pyramids." (Carson and Huckabee should
form a club.) The doc may well know how to engineer/execute
a life-saving brain surgery, but obviously knows zero about
Archaeology, the History of Egypt, Geology, Structural
Engineering, et al. This  past Sunday I searched the "Joseph,
son of Jacob" chapters in Genesis, finding no support for
Ben's thesis.

I will reprise more of  this current clone of Bush II in future
posts, bank on it. Meanwhile, I can't wait to read Bush I's
recent book, where he castigated both Rumsfeld and Cheney,
exposing  informed regard of his son's subordinates. I had the
exact same misgivings back in the early 1980s.

We usually don't do dynasties or aristocracies in the U.S. for
many reasons-- here's just one example: everyone in the same
family are not equally gifted; note Bush I, who was a pretty good
president. His sons' executive resumes, however, do not meet
their father's accomplishments.

It was ever thus; anyone wishing to emulate a Bush better
pick the right one.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

October 28, 2015: No Candidate "Get Well" Prescriptions for Our Sick Society and Economy

Deutsche Welle reported tonight (October 29th) that U.S.
economists are surprised at the anemic 2015 Third Quarter
figures of a slim 1.5% overall growth rate. Why the surprise?
Our so-called recovery is really just what old authors used to
term a "creaming over" of an intractable reality. U.S. salaries
are mostly flat, with service jobs like social work requiring
degrees seldom realizing anything but modest pay gains even
after extra education is acquired.

Meanwhile, the October 28th Republican Debate hosted by
CNBC was a dismal failure in every sense of the word, with
only two candidate sentences hitting the mark, one by Ted
Cruz, the other by Chris Christie, both strongly suggesting we
get down to cases and deal with the economy here--which,
while previously promised, certainly did not occur last night,
with CNBC NOT putting serious, specific economic questions
...oh, they did ask about Fantasy Football, which occasioned
Gov. Christie's umbrage.

Otherwise, it was political theater as usual, the moderators
attacking the candidates, who fought back, but remained civil
to each other. CNBC attempted to restrain the presidential
hopefuls from raising  real issues; the candidates had to outshout
the panel in order to get their policies, views and concerns
broadcast. Unfortunately, I had to agree/applaud that tactic as
a necessity. The audience, as primitive as those back in Ancient
Rome being entertained at the Coliseum, roared their approval
at every outburst. Spectacle over substance, that is the average
American, apparently.

As to substantive, important issues which WERE actually raised by
the candidates if not by CNBC moderators:  Carly Fiorina  was
dead wrong when she stated categorically that tax reform has
been bruited about and ballyhooed for decades, but nary a reform
was ever enacted. Carly, go back to the Reagan/Tip O'Neil Tax
Reform Act of 1987, presaged earlier by tax acts in 1986 and
1982. These were bipartisan, successful reform efforts put into
law...--TSK! Carly, I take back the previous estimation I had of
you as being research-minded.

Where are the candidates' "Get Well" prescriptions for
our sick society and economy? Few found and none
now peeking over the horizon, I fear.

[P.S.: Every current presidential debate has included
at least one female blond moderator. Apparently this is
a requisite qualification. Why? To cynically attract male
viewers? The Oct. 28th CNBC blond moderator fulfilled
the dumb blond stereotype, asking a candidate where
SHE had read some pejorative fact about him. She
expected him to help her castigated HIM?  --Really??]

Monday, October 19, 2015

October, 2015: Stay Away from the Middle East, If You Value Your Life

I will never go to the Middle East, especially Israel,
especially since a stupid security guard mistook a man
from Eritrea for a terrorist, shot him, and the gathering
mob kicked him, after which (what a surprise) he died.

Tensions, shootings and stabbings are escalating between
Palestinians and  Israelis, to the point that it has become
largely irrelevant who started what incident. More people
have begun to whisper we are in the third Intifada; simply
speculating such a situation exists may make it so.

If I wish to see new places and visit others far from home
I'll go online or turn on television...chances are excellent I'll
avoid gun or knife violence.  If the tourist trade ever dries
up in these violent, exotic locales, perhaps money pressures
may drive these places toward stability--a slender hope at

If you value your life, and can avoid traveling to the
Middle East--any area between Egypt and Jordan,
well, wisdom is the better part of valor, the saying
sort of goes.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Chicago: How Is Rahm Emanuel Much Different from Disgraced Barbara Bennett?

First, Mayor Emanuel:

If any reader likes/loves Chicago for all the intellectual,
cultural and scenic offerings it indeed possesses, perhaps
many of you have already experienced a "cringing moment"
while viewing the artistic renderings via media of the George
Lucas proposed lakefront museum. Here are more aspects
to make anyone cringe yet again:
(1) Chi's mayor has involved his Hollywood brother, super
agent Ari, in this pathetic project: Ari has a ten percent $$$
interest in it.
(2) The architectural renderings are as hideous as they are
unimaginative: the exteriors look like tents from Hell or outer
space, take your pick.
(3) This project is highly unnecessary: we have many fine
museums, even one dedicated to broadcasting. Hollywood
has massive and effective PR right now, why should Chicago
build this monstrosity, even if (purportedly) no tax monies
will fund it?
(4) Various pundits have wisely speculated that this is a
double nepotism/vanity attempt: It is an homage to Lucas'
prominent Chicago wife, as well as aforementioned Ari,
no angel even if he operates out of LA.
(5) FINALLY:  this "thing" trashes the Burham Plan,
which was wise, forever fine and truly visionary. But
then, we DO live in an ugly era of McMansions, etc. ...
which I earnestly hope is a passing phase.

Second, Barbara Bennett:

She is so like Rahm E, in insider deals and parceling
out funds and perks to family, it is utterly unsurprising
he had picked her to run the Chicago Public Schools.
B is probably less intelligent than E is, I suspect, as she
left an e-trail: even Bush II stopped emailing family after
being told how easily emails are hacked.

Next time I see/hear Chicago's Mayor at a press
conference, I'm only giving him a provisional
"maybe" re: his "truthiness". After all, the ghost of
Daley I surely still hovers over Chicago, with his
unapologetic, defiant statement that OF COURSE
he helped family--whatever's wrong with that??

Oh let me count the ways....

Monday, October 5, 2015

Doctors in Afghanistan: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

October 3rd, 2015: (Alledgedly) American airstrikes in Kunduz
killed 22 at a medical charity clinic, injuring many more, even
though the doctors there had warned the Afghans and Americans
they were coming close to their clinic's location, which the docs
described to them...well in advance.

Plain and simple: hubris married to incompetence caused this
tragedy. Stop bragging about surgical strikes, precise targeting,
etc. In this incident, patients perished, doctors died-- so much
for precision. Minimizing the horror, authorities term such an
event "collateral damage". --Hogwash! It's nothing more than
murderous stupidity, callously called something else.

Perhaps Doctors Without Borders should set boundaries
and limits--for themselves, go to places where their good
deeds AREN'T punished by death. The lives they save
will be their own.

[UPDATE: the survivors of the Kunduz airstrike have
left the bombed-out clinic, relocating to a safer area.]

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Latest Carnage at a School: When Nimby Becomes Imby

A small town makes map fame for a sad tale of murder--yet
again. This time it's Roseburg, Oregon, at a college with a
student population of about 3,000. According to tonight's
NBC TV news report, (10/02/'15) nine people died
yesterday morning, including one professor. Initially, and
predictably, the death toll was exaggerated, breathlessly
broadcast to be 13, but local authorities released an accurate
list with photos;  the number is nine. The assassin died during
gunfire exchanged with police, but he managed to injure
between seven and nine others in addition to his kills. One
hero, a former soldier, managed to stop further fatalities
even while being shot himself; he is recuperating, his pix
showing a smiling survivor.

When Nimby (not in my backyard) becomes Imby (IN my
backyard), the reactions and statements are always amazed,
pained, predictable. "Nothing like this has happened in our
area before", etc. ... shock, sadness, but not awe.

Lester Holt quoted the CDC, saying there is one murder
every 16 minutes in America. Another report I saw last
night claims there have been 294 school shootings (not
killings) in the USA in the past eight months. What the
Hell is going on? YES, tragic and senseless violence is
part and parcel of human history, but something evil is
now afoot, accelerating, something that began with
Columbine and earlier, with the Unabomber.

The writings of these defective, murderous malcontents
generally equates to: "I'm alone, disrespected, marginalized--
I'll show 'em, I'll show 'em all... I'll kill a few people and
get on the news, in the papers, online...".  There is much
more to this horrific scenario than simple mental illness
married to the ridiculously easy availability of weaponry.

Our superficial society, with our envy of and wish for
celebrity, unwillingness to understand and accept the
vicissitudes which come to every life, lacking in studious-
ness--these all greatly create a climate of frustration, the
"ire in desire", if you will. Everyone is NOT equal: all are
not equally lucky, talented, agile, brilliant, beautiful,
innovative, inspiring, studied,  focused, ambitious or driven,
ad infinitum. It has been ever thus; these inequalities will
continue to exist. Unfortunately, we are all told all too often
that anyone/everyone can become the president, a quarterback,
a  sexy singer/dancer, a best-selling author, a guitar hero.
Sorry, S'ain't happening! Some will, most won't.

...But yes, do try. If you fail, at least you've tried; you'll
know where you're at. This is a good thing, because
you can conquer your disappointment by trying something
else. Eventually, you will find a good spot, as this is
indeed a nation famed for its second chances and
comeback "kids".

That's when the good "imby", success, occurs.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The USA: More Stupidity, Superstition and Suspicion Than Sense, September 2015

I can't decide whether to laugh, cry, or fling myself out of
my third story window, so I'll rant righteously instead:

o  A U.S. congressman nabs Pope Francis' still filled water
glass, drinks out of it, shares with his BFFs, and plans to bless
others with it. (?? Congressman Brady, if a Catholic, doesn't
deal from the Catechism; instead, he has his own brand of religion.
Who is he to pass on any blessing as a rep of the Pope? Generally
one must be a priest to so represent. One can always bless
someone or something on their own recognizance, not
anybody else's.--Whew!

o  Rush Limbaugh doesn't believe the latest scientific
evidence confirming running water on Mars--but that's
not all. He posits this exciting news is actually a leftist
plot! (Oh brother, father, sister, mother!)

o  Pastor John Agee claims the "Blood Moon"
(which was actually more a rusty red) signifies
the End of Days. OK, Pastor A., why didn't the
Earth "end" 33 years ago when the same conditions
occurred? (Bet ya can't comment with a witty riposte
to THAT one, can ya??)

No doubt there is much more superstitious, suspicious
stupidity out here, but I'll keep it short. The more examples
of such outrageous ignorance we see, the less it's possible
to believe the U.S. is still the greatest nation in the world.

But we still have the greatest number of functioning
nuclear bombs, so that must be the key criteria...

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

"This Country Doesn't Deserve Scott Walker", A Passionate Panelist Proclaims on CNN

An unintentional gaffe by a Walker supporter on a panel in
Wolf Blitzer's Situation Room (09/21/2015, CNN) has
largely been overlooked by most media. Inspirationally
ironic, it actually can be read two ways, each opposing the
other in meaning. After laughing, I seconded the idea
that America is better off without a Scott Walker
presidency in 2016 (or any other year). Some of the
other panelists' facial expressions hearing this passionate
declaration were priceless.

The young woman, whose name escapes me, defended
a governor who never finished college, who by some
accounts has contradicted himself several times on the
same issues in the past seven days (similar to Trump),
who wants to turn back the clock marking humane
progress and abolish all unions, etc. He and Trump
do manage to energize ignorant, disaffected right-wing
extremists, while offering NOTHING constructive in the
way of solving our nation's many seemingly intractable

But why should they be any different than the remaining
Republican field? Bit by bit these candidates will fret their
little hour upon the stage, full of sound and fury (apologies
to Shakespeare here), then fade into some obscurity as
polls, however limited in scope and accuracy they may be,
continue to drive us inexorably toward a narrowed field
in time for the Republican Primary in 2016.

My desire was (and is) that a moderate republican
would be pitted against a moderate democrat in
the 2016 General Election for President. I seem to
see a tall ship sailing into the distance disappearing
into the horizon with my now forlorn hopes.

What, exactly, does our nation deserve in the way
of effective leadership?  Stay tuned, if only for more
episodes of gaffes and gallows humor.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Our Broken System: Foxes Guarding Henhouses Must Go

There are so many flaws in our multi-varied legal/official
systems--which to attack today? Let's start with start with
officials in DC and NY who are their own oversight; how does
that serve anyone other than these authorities themselves?
"Trust me" will never work: there have been far too many
scandals and incompetencies for "trust, then verify" to be
accepted across the board.  Really, reverse it--verify,
THEN trust.

Hillary Clinton and Jamie Dimon are two prime examples which
come to mind here. Ms. Clinton and her infamous, private email
servers during her stint as Secretary of State, and Mr. Dimon,
who serves on the NY Fed while helming Chase Manhattan
Bank. I can't believe either of these two, as Hillary has been
shown in recent weeks to have had four classified documents
out of 40 reviewed--many more, thousands more, to go. Jamie's
two hats need not require documents as smoking guns; the NY
Fed presumably polices NY banks, Mr. D. runs the largest
one there...

Yep, that's just what we need, to continue the hot mess the
USA currently enjoys--foxes guarding the henhouses.

When will we work smarter, eliminate RHIP from the
significant positions in government and elsewhere?

In my lifetime, possibly, please....

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The 2016 U.S. Presidential Quest: Lessons--But Not Prescriptions--from the Extremes

Be sure to sharpen your pencils AND analysis on
Wednesday, September 16, when CNN hosts the
next Republican Debate; don't get caught napping,
DO expect Trump to be allowed any manner of
misbehavior, as Jeff Zucker, director of  the
proceedings, also helped launch Trump's TV
triumph, The Apprentice.

If it is objectivity you're after, you can forget it:
that ship sailed after 1988, when the League of
Women Voters declined to host the major party
debates, essentially announcing the fix was in, being
pressured in many ways by both the DNC and the
RNC--which now run the final debates for the
top prez prize. RE: Republican party control:
just peruse the GOP website, wherein you will
see what the women of the League predicted
would occur, way back in 1988. Beginning in
January, 2015, the "sanctioned debates" involve
RNC-approved locations, venues, forcing a more
conservative media presence, times of the debates,

--Are the Democrats any different? NO, might be
Candidate Mike O'Malley's putative guess; he has
blasted the DNC leadership for only sanctioning six
debates, just four of which will occur before the Iowa
Caucus (see the Washington Post, Aug. 28, 2015).
Former Gov. O'Malley made one mistake in this article,
however, saying that the Democrats had never done this
sort of  thing previously...alas, sir, the collusion between
the RNC and the DNC, that's right, in concert, goes back
to 1988, which is the principal reason the League backed
away--out of outraged principle.

So now we've witnessed the extreme of political control, to
the detriment of our public good. There are other extremes,
examination-worthy. The extremes of the Left are just as
unrealistic as the extremes of the Right, yet there are learn-
worthy lessons even here. What Mr. Sanders, an avowed
Socialist, dreams of, a federal $15 an hour minimum wage,
is neither practical OR just in 2015 America. The nation's
smallest businesses would close, scale back their employees
(re-read: fire plenty) and/or raise their prices. Those remaining,
already overworked, would  have even more tasks piled on.
But this demand has created an important lesson buried by this
movement: We'd better do as President Obama has endorsed,
enact a $10.10 an hour federal minimum wage, probably a
practical and just solution.

Trump, for all his rude Right-Wing "Republican" rants, has a
point about illegal immigration: look no further than today's
Middle-East/Europe refugee crisis, about which Europe, still
struggling after the Great Recession of 2007 (and counting), is
apparently singing songs from the same scores--"we must
control our borders". Sadly, I must agree. But the lesson I've
learned is that this dilemma of tragic proportions really should
be urgently prioritized  by the UN--IMMEDIATELY. Clear
the United Nation's agendas to deal exclusively with this world-
level crisis--now.

Let's watch these debates, overly orchestrated though
they may be, and take away whatever salient points may
be garnered. Let's then turn lessons into intelligent action,
making America better, if not number one, again.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Our USA Today: A Lawless Land in a Silly Season

People like Sen. Ted Cruz and Kentucky Clerk  Kim Davis
want what they want, when they want it, never mind how unjust
and/or illegal their wants are--to Hell with the U.S. Constitution,
so to speak (these two don't dare to state such an absurd
action as allowable, yet they clearly imply deep disrespect
of the highest law of our land).

Ol' Ted in his quest for the presidency in 2016 defies Article II,
Section 1., Paragraph Five, which plainly disqualifies him, as he
is Canadian born. "Little" Miss Kim has denied marriage licenses
to gay couples, citing "a higher authority". The Supreme Court,
the highest authority on the highest law of the land, granted gays
equal marriage rights across the U.S. The Holy Bible, King James,
does not forbid gays from marrying; it does disapprove of
homosexuality, an admonishment not repeated very frequently
at all throughout both Old and New Testaments, but many other
concerns about man's inhumanity to man are repeated and
abjured often throughout the Good Book. (I possess five Bibles,
have read my King James FIVE TIMES, certain sections again
and again, so I am in a good position to refute White "Little" Kim.) 
She should obey the law or step down, as her elected position
represents the God-fearing and any Agnostics or Atheists as well.

--As to the Silly Season? We have Donald Trump and
Kanye West, not to mention many unsuitable others,
angling for the top job in the U.S. Entertaining egos
these are, but we need real effort and expertise to
run the largest economy in the world, the fourth
largest country on Earth, a nation with involvements
in almost all of the 200+ other countries, etc., etc.

A dose of doubt and a splash of cold water are long
overdue--perhaps the advent of Fall will extinguish
this lawless, silly season.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Governor Rauner: Robbing the Poor to Save a Radical Right Theory

The hard-hearted and the tone deaf have another
advocate, Governor Rauner of Illinois. Shock
and awe after the Chicago Tribune's McQueary
publicly pined in print for a "Katrina" to hit Chicago
has subsided; less talked about is the earlier
attempt of Gov. Rauner to take some $265
Million in winter energy funds for the poor
to plug the giant $6 Billion budget hole here.
(See Crain's Chicago Business, February 23rd,

There are so many reasons to hate this "plan",
but I merely submit a telling few:

(1) How significant an accounting coup is
$265 Million vs. a $6 Billion debt? The
math is less than compelling.
(2) How realistic is the guv being, facing
a veto-proof, Democratic two house
majority in Springfield? The Democrats,
even if relatively modestly paid, dearly
wish to retain their seats; the poor, unions
and seniors generally vote Democratic.
The math HERE is quite compelling.
(3) Rauner, being philosophically in
lockstep with the likes of the Koch
Brothers, et al., shows his true bent.
The elderly and the poor can freeze
this Winter, all to show Rauner's rich
cohorts he is serious about adhering
to their radical right theories--there is
little other impetus for such hard-hearted

A reverse Robin Hood does no one
good--unless you happen to be as rich
as Rauner...if not, why, you are unworthy,
not to be considered, cared about, cared for.

We will wait to see the decline of this one
term wonder. How did he get elected, anyway?

Friday, August 14, 2015

@ The Chicago Tribune: Weary of McQueary--She Extolls Hurricane Katrina as a Good Thing

Where to begin, what to decry?? I'm weary of
reporters like Kristen McQueary: too young
AND unstudied to restrain her enthusiasm for any
error, any time, about any subject. Let's examine
her article in said paper, dated August 13, 2015:

(1) Kristen, from where do you derive your assertion
that "Chicago is so good at hiding its rot"?? Much of
our world, in particular, our whole state, knows about
most of it: TIFs, nepotism, cronyism, corrupt or illogical
deals, racism, ad infinitum. Readers reading exclusively,
narrowly, perhaps may still harbor a few illusions, but most
of us, alert, aware, and past the age of 40, do not.

(2) About your extravagant praise of Paul Vallas:
--WHAAT?? --Are you a relative, Ms. McQueary?
You must be too young and unstudied, or you would
recall Vallas exiting Illinois oh so swiftly after his glowing
students' scores/statistics showing how he improved the
Chicago Public Schools were found to be "rounded up".
His more recent  reinventions and high-level positions
do not impress me--he is very like that extremely
ambitious "wonder woman" in DC who became
disgraced after HER district's "improved scores"
were ALSO discovered to be false. Then there was
the personally revealing episode at the end of an
appearance with about ten others; as the Channel 11
camera panned from the viewer's left to right, Vallas,
the last on the viewers' right, leaned over further,
attempting to remain in the frame...tsk! I know there's
more dirt, but we will move on.

(3) There is nothing amusing, uplifting or inspiring
about KMc's desire for a Chicago catastrophe:
if she is trying to "artfully", outrageously observe that
significant progress usually only occurs after a crisis,
for my money, she fails. Gallows humor is NOT her
metier. The suffering, death and destruction dealt by
Katrina to New Orleans was/is not funny; I knew the
storm would go beyond a Category Three, three days
before the hurricane hit, as I follow NOAA, PBS, read
science articles, etc. Therefore, the federal government
under Bush II, FEMA, Louisiana officials, etc. are
completely culpable. (I knew, and I'm not even a
college graduate; so what was wrong with all "the
deciders"? Apparently the idiots were running
the store, YET AGAIN...and the innocent paid,
yet again.)

(4) Kristen follows with a fairly factual wrap up
of Chicago's financial fiddling and fiduciary shame,
yet she doesn't suggest substantive solutions in the
realm of the possible. (At this point I'm channeling
Chris Matthews, thinking, tell me something I don't

(5) Kristen Mc takes to task people who lack
understanding of her purportedly pithy
prescriptions/proscriptions. She says they should
"have their heads examined". I say she should study
more, opine less. Adam Johnson at AlterNet accuses
ol' Kristen of Ayn Rand sympathies...quite likely.


Memo to the Tribune Editorial Board: All of you
should have had YOUR collective heads examined,
allowing this twit on your board, once a brilliant
board on a once very fine paper.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

20 Want to Win the USA's Top Job--18 of Them Deeply Disappoint--This Is No Field of Dreams, But a Nightmare

Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are both too old to serve
in 2017 as president:

(1) She is too secretive, seems to take for granted that she
is entitled, as her last name is Clinton. As of today (08/11/'15)
PBS, CBS, et al., announced ol' Hil (--OVER the hill, if anyone
asks me) is giving up her private server to be scrutinized by the least four of 40 of the ones she'd previously
submitted turned  out to be classified. She originally had
60,000 "private" emails at her home on that server; no one is
that personally popular!

(2) Mr. Sanders apparently acts for the greater good, seems to
be a fine person, but believes our economy, especially small
businesses, can afford to pay a minimum of $15/hr. to one
and all, regardless of their skill set. He thinks he can take us
back to the 1930s, when being a Socialist, or at least very
lefty, was a realistic alternative to Democratic and Republican
philosophies and candidates. This won't fly in 2015, 2016 or
2017, despite the large crowds populating his rallies, mostly
composed of very young adults, the old, and service workers.

That is 66% of the Democratic Party presidential candidate
field. I still hold hopes for former MD Governor O'Malley,
(D),who isn't too old, doesn't have too much baggage, and is
a moderate...but the media isn't doing its job, so we don't
see much from him yet.

As to the other 17 (the Republicans):--well, what can you say?
Most of them are too right-wing extreme, one isn't a natural
born U.S. citizen, another is clutching the coattails of a famous
family name, one is a crude, loudmouthed boor with no manners,
is ugly, makes strange facial expressions in public...perhaps
Kasich of Ohio is qualified and a moderate--he got good
reviews after the first real Republican Candidates debate.

This field of dreamers are a nightmare crop of embarrassment,
prompting scorn and concern around our nation and the rest
of the world. The 2016 Campaign will get serious after Labor Day,
so keep watching.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Hippocratic Or Hypocritical Oath? Two Late July Expose's Prove Doctors Are Corrupt Too

According to NBC Chicago TV, July 27, doctors
will sign a letter stating an airplane passenger can
require the presence of his/her ESA--an animal to
provide comfort to the vaguely (read: unspecified)
health-challenged person. These doctors are paid
for this "certification", naturlich. ESA is the acronym
for Emotional Support Animals, which have included
cats, dogs, chickens and other species. The ESAs are
not trained as are seeing-eye dogs, which can offer
effective assistance in an on-board emergency, as
ESAs cannot. There are reports of planes returning to
the tarmac for "sanitary reasons", delaying flight
schedules. What ethical doctor facilitates this madness?
(Third World nation status, here we come.) The sad
answer is--many doctors are corrupt, just as teachers,
priests, others often are, ad infinitum.

--But wait! A mere three days later, on July 30th,
The Chicago Sun-Times carried a story about
doctors serving at a West Side hospital called
"Sacred Heart". Ed Novak, the substandard
hospital's owner, bribed doctors to send patients
to Sacred Heart, a site infested with maggots
on occasion. Hmmmn..."Sacrilegious Heart"
would be the more accurate moniker. Good ol'
Ed will spend some four and a half years behind
bars for his tape heard in court; he claimed to have
no concern for the community, an acknowledgedly
poor one. For shame, doctors, demerit pages,
participating (if you have) in this kickback conspiracy,
e.g., corruption.

Carefully check out your doctors before accepting
diagnosis and treatment: the life you save may be
your own. Make sure the physicians in question
know and accept the difference between the
Hippocratic Oath (do no harm) and any
hypocritical one, which may mean you
harm indeed.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

An Ugly American Strikes Again--and an Innocent Lion Pays

This pointless killing even brought Jimmy Kimmel
to a halt, choking up when discussing Cecil's death.
The Los Angeles Times article, reprinted in July 30th's
Redeye, described the twisted tale: Cecil, a collared
male lion, part of a pride, was shot on July 1st by an
American hunter in a Zimbabwean conservation
park area. The hunter, Walter James Palmer, paid
~$55,000 to participate in this trophy safari. He
claimed everything about this trip was legal, properly
handled and conducted, via  a written statement.

Zimbabwe officials think otherwise. They have
already detained and arrested the local "professionals"
who guided this pathetic and illegal private safari. None
of these three men had permission to kill any lions.
All three, the two locals and Palmer, a dentist from
Bloomington, Minnesota are being charged with
poaching, a serious infraction in parts of  Africa,
including Zimbabwe. Officials there want Palmer
extradited back to Zimbabwe.

The essential point is that much of the world's
wildlife is disappearing, mostly due to human
activity, ever-increasing overpopulation and
destruction of habitat. The relatively few rich
and entitled Americans who take trophies
from endangered species like big cats and
elephants really contribute heavily in an inverse
ratio to the depopulation of  these magnificent
animals...but hey, a dentist's life is a boring if
unpleasantly smelly one, so--on to an adventure,

Certain apologists across the web have decried
the vilification of hunter Palmer, in view of far
worse inhumane activities perpetrated daily.
I understand their emphasis, that human murders
outrank outrage concerning this sorry saga. Yet
it is ALL WRONG, always, killing anything/
anyone for no defensible reason--and pleasure
AIN'T no good reason. (-!)

Burdick and Lederer are probably "tsking" and
tut-tutting in their graves right about now. Their
masterwork, The Ugly American, published in
1958, characterizes the many ignorant, arrogant
Americans millions around the world
(--and here at home) have come to know
but not to love.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

"Family" Values? Who Holds Them Here, Exactly? Not 37 Million Married, Apparently

In an era erratic enough to suppress surprise and shock, it was
nevertheless astounding to learn about the approximately 37
million married in the USA who want to cheat on their spouses,
according to the now-hacked site, Ashley Madison.  This is a
breathtaking, sobering statistic in view of our total population
of some 317 million, not all of whom are sexually active, many of
whom are in the too young or too old portion of the demographic.
Bear in mind that those who beat their breasts the loudest,
exclaiming the importance of family values, exhorting audiences
to live a wholesome life,  including now-disgraced pastors and
politicians, are adulterers, all too often.

The related websites, Ashley Madison, Cougar Life and
Established Men  are all under the umbrella of Canada's
Avid Life Media (--Sigh, if only most were "avid" to be
informed....). Our neighbors to the North are not much
more blemish-free than we are, I suspect, as I see,
recently toting up the various egregious doings there.
(--Yet their great expanse of land vs. their vastly smaller
population continues to sedulously appeal.)

Hypocrisy is the order of the day, today, tomorrow,
yesterday. Of course there are many faithful couples,
married happily here at home. But family values as
presented in churches and on media outlets, well...
who holds them, exactly? --Not those many millions
trolling for others to "hook up" with.

Kinsey, who blew the lid on America's sexual ways and
morays many decades ago, is, sadly, still right, even if he
too was later proven to be a satyr and a sex addict,
encouraging even his own female relatives to copulate
with any and all comers. (This included his wife and

When will this culture settle down and spend significant
time and effort on serious matters, focus less on how
sexy everyone is/is not, etc. ? I despair, knowing it won't
be anytime soon.

But thanks to the hackers, hypocrisy won't be going
down quite as easily as before.  This is a rare instance
where they have performed a valuable service. It
may not be pleasant, but it's important to see
just what and who is behind the curtain.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Unconditional Love: Wishing Won't Make it So

I've grown weary of all the untutored, online woman-to woman
exhortations about self-love, unconditional love, ad nauseam,
ad libidinum, etc.  In particular,  teaching people to love
themselves unconditionally is a really bad idea; I'm certain
criminals, the always entitled, gigolos and gold diggers think
they deserve all the riches life and other people can afford them
without their having to produce anything of value themselves.

OF COURSE there must be conditions and expectations,
except if one is helpless, very young or very old. All the
rest of us must pull our weight, one way or another. We
really must be decent to each other, not make messes for
others, not lie, cheat, kill, etc. ...or else what are the Ten
Commandments all about, those rules that all of Western
"Civilization" is based on?? That same "civilization" imitated
eagerly, shamelessly all around the world? (-Even while
juxtaposing Western economics to antithetical political

My ire increased, waxed, watching a young single
mother pole dancing with her infant secured to her
body in an online video today. What is she trying to
 prove? --That she's sexy? The accompanying article
claims she is demonstrating unconditional self love,
that  mothers can be sexy.--Yow!

I DO have conditions for myself AND others,
you bet. I DO possess a healthy conscience
and a sense of guilt, shame and remorse, and
attempt to make amends when I have erred.
Arrogantly as well, I strongly suggest the rest
of the planet better acquire such strictures
against bringing harm to others or we will
not last, period.

Sure, we all yearn to love ourselves and others.
But respect, admiration, fondness must be
earned, can't be realistically, automatically
handed out...

Unconditional love: wishing won't make
it so.

Monday, July 6, 2015

July 4th, 2015: Our Founding Fathers Would Be Ashamed About Our Society's Lack of Civility

No one, it seems, utters that now unusual word "please" when
placing orders for food, whether at McDonald's or Dunkin'
Donuts. Then there was the person who insulted the baked
goods, saying, "Those donuts are from this morning? They're
no good." I was ashamed of my fellow American, and
instantly decided to be especially kind and sensitive to
the staff and other customers. I asked three of them,
"Are you in a hurry?" When they nodded, I let all
three check out ahead of me, even though I had  ice
cream waiting.

What would our Founders make of our uncivil society
in 2015? Very likely they would be chagrined and
ashamed, especially George Washington, whose
manners, by all accounts, were without peer. If you
read books about any of our principal Founders,
read works written by them.  Ben Franklin, George
Washington, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton,
John Adams and others were products of the
Enlightenment, acted and wrote accordingly.
Of course they erred now and then--who hasn't?
But their commitment to higher standards for one's
own behavior clearly produced excellence in these
men--and gave us a country.

I look forward to a revolution in manners, civility,
humane treatment of others, and acting with no
malice of forethought. Will I see that day?--No,
I doubt it. but I have some hopes for/of the
younger ones.

Monday, June 29, 2015

WHAT "Post Racial" Society?

The euphoria many of us enjoyed at the election Barack
Obama in 2008 (--and the happy tears!) never destroyed
racism here or anywhere...have we progressed from bad
old days? Yes, because lynching is a hate crime now, and
many other atrocious anti-Black crimes formerly allowed/
ignored are taken seriously in all ethnic communities and
are legally prosecuted.

This past year, though, has been an alarming retrenchment
highly reminiscent of those bad old days: several churches
being set on fire, white cop killings of young unarmed
African American males, the mass murder of Black
church goers in South Carolina by a violently deranged
white youth, and other, if less traumatic incidents too
numerous to list here--What a tragic disgrace!

I have often attended services as one of only two
"white" persons at an AME denomination church.
The kindness and welcoming there can't be beat.
The musical energy and joy the regulars and the
choir exhibit are without  parallel--the musicians
are terrific, inspiring as well. Only one motivated
by the Prince of Darkness would intrude upon
such a setting.

I'm asking America:  WHAT "post racial" Society?
Where is it to be found? It exists in no nation, not
ours, or others, I'm certain. The dark, tribal-primitive
survivalist emotions of the human "family" going back
six million years is still very much part of our psyche.

But in those six million years of evolution, we HAVE
developed our pre-frontal cortex (that highest center
right behind one's forehead), the brain's capacity for
rational thought, studying the arts and sciences, will
power, controlling/modifying our behavior, etc.  By
actively focusing from this most important of all our
bodies' systems, we are better humans, less prone
to evil or thoughtless hurtful harm against others.

Meanwhile, in my alter ego as the Safety Monitor,
I strongly suggest Black churches install metal
detectors in their entrances and exits. Doesn't God
help those who help themselves?

The Month That Was: June 2015, Ugly and Beautiful

What a month this has been! We had horrors of
violent, murderous racism (-the ugly) and decisions
by the Supreme Court to be proud of, passing
Marriage Equality, and re-confirming the ACA  as
federal health insurance law (-the beautiful). It will
be hard to forget June, 2015.  The contrasts are the
yin and yang of our society.

The last week of June will bring more momentous
rulings by SCOTUS, so stay tuned.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Nine Mudered While in Church: Blasting Back to a Bad Past--Again

If any reader rejected my frequent, earlier contentions, namely,
that we've been entering into a new Dark Age, seeing evil events
many of us had hoped were safely cast onto the dustbin of
history--you were resoundingly proven wrong yesterday:

Remember the four little girls killed in a southern state's church
years ago? A hauntingly similar scenario occurred Wednesday,
June 17th, when a young white lunatic entered a church in South
Carolina, fired his gun, killing nine people. (It's as if he read
American History and decided to recreate the horror, going
one better.) There is a clear photo of him, as yet unidentified.

When I add all the retrenchment from humane and sane
policies enacted in the twentieth century together, the
appalling, terrifying conclusion is inescapable--we have,
bit by bit, returned to bad old days. But this disastrous trend
is in its infancy, so we still have time to unite, gird ourselves
for the fight. --So let's fight! Let's organize, not as Occupy
did by having a giant, messy party, without any sustained,
legislative follow-through; instead, let's get serious.

Isn't it high time?


UPDATE:  Per CBS Radio, 21 year old Dylan Roof, the
alleged perpetrator has been caught, found in North Carolina
by Debbie Dills, a woman driving near him who took down
his license plate number, then called 911. Our nation owes her
our admiration and gratitude for her quick thinking, her
public-spirited actions.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Why Is the World Crazier Than Ever? Lead with Lead for an Answer

While visiting the University of Chicago recently
with my alum daughter, I picked up a free
publication put out six times a year by the U of C.
The University of Chicago Magazine is a serious,
scientific and cultural institution for, by and about
students and alums of this great school boasting
more Nobel Laureates than many entire nations.

The May/June 2015 issue of  the magazine includes
a must-read article entitled "Immeasurable" in their
regular Legacy column. U of C alum geochemist
Claire C. Patterson was instrumental in waging war
against lead pollution. Without his research and
concomitant fearless grit, cars would still spew
out this tragically dangerous neurotoxin into our air.

Lead pollution is still, sadly, being produced by
utilities, factories, mines and smelters.  As Newton
Second Law theorist chemist Henry Bent has pointed
out, there is no "away". Whatever we have created
on this planet remains here, even if in a different form
...So what are the results of exposure to lead, whether
through the respiratory ingestion pathway or through
the G.I. tract?

(1) Because lead is toxic to every organ system in the
human body, particularly childrens', extra exposure is
to be avoided at all costs. The brain's prefrontal cortex
and the brain as a whole are primarily vulnerable. The
damage includes deficits to learning, judgement and

(2) Now for my supposition:  All this lead accumulating
in our brains (-along with all the other assorted poisons we
routinely ingest) MAY WELL account for all the increase
in insanity/violence we observe on the news and in person.
How can anyone escape this horrifying conclusion?

Our ourselves and our world: more poisoned than ever,
crazier than ever.

P.S.: my sources: The University of Chicago Magazine,
May/June 2015; the National Institutes of Health,
Neurotoxic Effects and Biomarkers of Lead Exposure,
January 2009; The EPA, "Learn about Lead".

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Presidential Candidate Sen. Ted Cruz and The Way Back Wing of the Texas Polity

The Way Back Wing of the Texas Polity is ignorant and
strident, yet politically vigorous enough to get  Senator
Ted Cruz to DC with his hideously inappropriate desire for
higher office. It is shocking indeed to do some checking
and find he has actually argued cases before the Supreme
Court. (-!) He, however, has not studied the United States
Constitution itself, or the Federalist Papers, or a very telling
essay by Founding Father and chief constitution author,
Former President James Madison; had "TC" (Cruz) done
so, he would not have bothered to try to renounce his
Canadian citizenship (where he was "natural  born")
in favor of his American citizenship.

If Cruz WAS up on his American History, most
significantly, between 1783 and 1787, he would
know dual citizenship is no bar to a U.S. presidency
(unless the second country is declared an enemy state
by our State Department). A "natural born" citizen of the
U.S. who has additionally acquired a French citizenship is,
under certain circumstances, allowed to hold the office of
U.S. president, for example. The constitution doesn't
stipulate any consideration as to where either parent was
born, ONLY the person who dreams of attaining
that highest of our offices. (--WAIT--he IS qualified to
lead Canada as Prime Minister...go bother THEM, TED!)
To understand Ted's problem, see Article II, Section 1,
Paragraph Five of the U.S. Constitution.

But this dopey denizen of Texas, who represents
the way back wing of the Texas polity doesn't
care, or doesn't care to know, what the highest
law of our land in fact does stipulate, bar or
require. Since I do, I think I'd be a better attorney
than Ted, who well may have memorized many
case precedents with only the shallowest of

No matter what acts or judicial decisions have been
rendered since 1787, the federal constitution can
only be amended in two ways:

(a) by another runaway, open constitutional
convention, just like the one that established our
nation, or;
(b) by individually passed amendments, the only
way we have acquired any changes to our founding
document since 1787. The Naturalization Act of
1940  can confer citizenship upon an aspirant,
just not the "natural born citizen" category.
(My parents both legally qualified to become
citizens under that 1940 act, but they were
never eligible to become president--whereas
I am constitutionally allowed, born in NYC,
NY, USA.) Please see Article V, not the Fifth
Amendment, the U.S. Constitution.

There will be more errors revealed about
The Way Back Wing of the Texas Polity,
right here, soon....

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Bernie Sanders, China, Isis, et al.: This World Isn't Working Well

I'm chagrined at Bernie Sanders' lack of realpolitik:  he has
proven he is too old to hold high office by declaring himself
a democratic socialist. That philosophy won't fly here in 2015.
The United States in the 1930s did seriously entertain a swing
toward Socialism, as the unions were forming and gaining
political strength, set during the Great Depression largely
created by the irresponsible rich. But by the 1950s, post war
prosperity and the G.I. Bill dialed down super left fervor,
which only briefly reemerged in the 1960s, a very humane
and progressive era which finally, formally recognized
African Americans as full citizens.

Sen. Sanders has his humane dreams, and bully for them,
but he simply should have shut up about his self identified
democratic socialism. The U.S. is a mixed economy, having
some "socialistic" features such as libraries, schools, police,
fire departments, etc. It is also the home of arrant capitalism,
where rules of law and decency are broken every day. The
good senator should have merely pushed  his progressive
agenda, NOT labeling himself with a radical left term,
ruining any chance he might have had to become president.
He is, sadly, too old; attempting to resurrect the 1930s
proves the point.

China, in increasing its military goals and  driving her
hegemony over increasingly large areas is cruisin' for
a bruisin'--the U.S. is flexing its South China Sea
muscles even as I write, via the TPP and some "much-
needed military exercises".  Our nation doesn't realize
we no longer run the planet, which creates foolish,
dangerous, deadly and costly failed foreign adventures.
China, though, thinks she has a shot at  world
domination, will pursue it, spurred by her
overpopulation problems...stay tuned.

Isis, a la Sen. Sanders, is conducting a blast to
the past--the far past, where caliphates ruled
vast swathes of the Middle East. Murder is the
fast track to ultimate rule, and Isis is making
some impressive headway there. Again,
stay tuned.

I feel keenly for the young, the other animals,
the plants. Even beyond natural disasters,
humanity is the chief planet killer. The dark
side of our natures predicted such sad doings,
occurring currently and previously. But as
Professor G. Tyler Miller in California explained
in the 1970s, Earth has reached a tipping point
(also agreed to by demographer Paul Erhlich)
which won't be easy to back away from without
a massive, concerted effort, which I don't see
on the horizon or at the end of any tunnel.

This world isn't working well: where is the
help and grit we need?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Big, Bad Banks' Billions Breaking News Stories--Again

PBS, May 20, 2015: The usual suspects have now been fined
more heavily than previously, billions of dollars this time, for
manipulating international currency markets, according to
a young reporter for Bloomberg this evening. She also
reminded us that, as impressive as the amounts are, this
spate of fines will ostensibly not impact these mega banks'
bottom lines; indeed, execs at these institutions have known
the ax was about to drop and have had funds allocated and
accumulating for several years to pay said fines...whew!
No one has been arrested yet, which is par for the course,
although a FEW wretched Wall Street miscreants have been
jailed in the past.

The current financial scandal, serious and sinister as it is,
isn't new. The rigged trading involving five of the world's
biggest banks occurred from 2007 to 2013. Corporate
units of Citicorp, JP Morgan Chase, Barclays, the Royal
Bank of Scotland, and indefatigable UBS have been cited
by the DOJ, the FED and other U.S. and European
authorities, hence the hefty fines, which won't, sadly,
badly hinder these behemoths by much.  As Simon
Johnson at MIT has so memorably said in his books
and all around the media venues, breaking up the
behemoths is the only real way to reel in most of the
detrimental behavior...or resurrect  regulatory walls
between investment, commercial, savings and checking
accounts, a la Glass-Steagall. (Dodd-Frank, a mildly
corrective palliative, passed only after most of its
important enforcement provisions were gutted.)

Just thinking about it takes my breath away--free
trade, anyone? What say you, Laissez Faire devotees
out there? For SIX YEARS the foreign exchange rates
(via the foreign exchange spot markets) between U.S.
and European currencies weren't real reflections of
the ebb and flow of that sainted monolith, the market.

I'll direct my special institutional ire at two of these
big boys, Chase and UBS, both of which are run by
two Americans: Chase's NYC giant Jamie Dimon
who also serves on the NY FED (hello SEC, do your
damn job, stop that) and UBS in Switzerland's Phil
Gramm, former Texas Senator and architect of
Glass-Steagall's demise. Both of these men should,
in my estimation, be in prison, as they contributed
materially to the Great Recession of 2007.

"As long as I got mine, don't care much for anybody else"
is the Wall Street Titans' credo, as well as their acolytes'.
Is such a sentiment worthy of the City on a Hill (per
Reagan, St. Augustine, St. Matthew)? It would seem
not. The United States is really little better than the
usual run of nations, although some of our PR is
inspiring, particularly evoked by our Founders.

To actually deserve such vaunted visions,
the U.S. could:

(1) Fix the SEC
(2) Fix the big banks but GOOD
(3) Stop hiding massive off-budget expenditures

Those three items realized equate to a tsunami-swept
revolution in the financial world, but everything the big
banks' boys do affects every one of us, even isolated
indigenous tribes let's revolt to a new,
more honest day, shall we?

Meanwhile, the banks' nine billion in fines appears mere
slaps on their collective wrists. Today's breaking news
DOES, however, have the value of raising resolve and
creating more questions...

I'm all for that.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Voila! Here is THE Solution to Pension Problems

Simply stop having, issuing, contributing to them:
Pensions should, by all logic and humanity, wind up
on the dustbin of history, in the tatters and ashes
they already are right now...

Are they working? Do states and counties across
the U.S. fully fund them? Check with Illinois,
Indiana and New Jersey to understand me; two
of these states fund ~45% of the contractually,
legally mandated amounts. Some of these pensions
are partially paid for out of the workers' pockets,
so there is a greater moral aspect (reread: cheating,
lying, etc.) to the various states' bureaucratic,
budgetary bunglings.

If pensions didn't exist, state budgets would be more
in the black than residing in the red; retirees would
not rely on them for future income; people would have
a more realistic, accurate awareness of  just what
their situations are so as to better plan, accordingly,
spending less as the decades pass, saving more.

Since economic dislocations have always occurred
(called "contractions" by economists), how can contracts
like these even make money or logic sense? Unions,
politicians, attorneys, accountants and judges better snap
to attention here: chaos is coming, if it hasn't already
arrived.  This situation is, has been, impossible for a
very long time; apparently, negotiators get caught up in
minutiae (political power plays, rivalries, ego, etc.) at the
expense of fundamental realities, so such contracts,
completely untenable, are written--and taken seriously!

Individual investments and savings, along with a revitalized
social security system, make more sense than over-generous
pension benefits predicated on an economic future which may/
may not ever exist, burdening the tax payers twice, through
government-funded pensions and social security.

My solution:

Make the greatest, most just payout amounts
now for those with pensions; then pass a
federal fiduciary act abjuring the entire U.S.
pension system from that point forward.

Stop the insanity; understand historical,
current financial reality, explain this carefully
to our people--THEN ACT.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Formaldehyde: From China, With Love

Do any of you recall the news some 30+ years back, when
formaldehyde was implicated in negative health effects from
being included in flooring, walls, and--Palmolive Face Soap?
Various infotainments recently blared more "formo" news in
our products, but this time, sent from our creditor China.

Frankly, I don't trust China's intentions. She is a very old
society, distinguished chiefly by her fecundity and very
violent, authoritarian "solutions" to internal/external
problems...over millennia. That is not what I'd term true
civilization: kindness, caring, willingness to negotiate, having
respect for life, especially children, is advanced behavior,
worthy of  the description, civilization. (--Granted, by my
definition there, civilization never has had a significant run
on the planet anywhere.)

Why did the United States allow itself to become so
indebted to such a suspicious society? Because Nixon
opened communications with China back in 1972?
Communicate, yes, negotiate, yes--but not the inextricably
intertwined, intimate relationship we now "enjoy" with

Hark back to 2007, when China imports included such
friendly items as the Emerald Ash Borer, lead in baby bibs
and cat food, ad infinitum. With "friends" like these,
who needs enemies? China may well be playing the
patience game, wearing us out slowly via economics
and harmfully defective imports...then, voila! China
rules the world, to everyone else's sorrow.

Ah, their latest gift, Formaldehyde: From China,
With Love.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

@Carl Stokes: No, the "N" Word Is NOT Synonymous With Thug

I'm sorry about it all: the more than a few wrongful killings
of young African Americans by white police, about Baltimore
aflame, about the necessity and embarrassment of calling in
the National Guard to restore and maintain order there.

But I do have a serious bone to pick with you, sir:
you were wrong to use the "N" word on CNN when the
young white interviewer asked you if "thug" isn't the proper
word to use regarding the rioting and looting there. She may/
may not have had an agenda, as you very confrontationally
and defensively implied, inflamed by being lectured to a
bit about right vs. wrong, impelling you to employ that
nastiest of racial expletives...and it wasn't OK because you
also are "Black".

First, a little lexicography: the original "thugs" (thugees) were
roving bands of indigenous gangs engaged in murder and
mayhem in the India of the 1800s. The modern meaning of
"thug" has come to define criminality perpetrated by young
toughs wearing hoods, as well as mob enforcers. Short of
murder, "thug" does describe the riotous, arson fire-setting,
property-smashing behavior by Baltimore's bad boys of the
week. (--Yes, "boys" are any human males under the age of
18  in my book.) Mr. Stokes, if you don't have an adequate
understanding of this well in hand, you ought to resign from
the Baltimore City Council.

The "N" word is a degrading, unjust pejorative branding
anyone of color, whether law-abiding or not, male, female
or child.  Only a racist (and yes, there are still very many
here at home and elsewhere) would use such a term to
explain what went wrong this April in Baltimore.

Thugs, though, can be Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian
(let's not forget China's infamous Tongs), African and
African American; they are usually under the age of 45
and reasonably physically fit. Whether the mob action
happens after a major sports event or any other occasion,
it's always wrong, irrespective of the racial makeup
of those involved.

But I see you do understand, Mr. Stokes, a sad truth
about our society: we never left the Civil War, trading
troop action for uncivil, unkind  behavior of every
stripe: murder, trafficking, kidnapping, sexism, racism,
ageism, class warfare/elitism, etc. Ancient atavisms
antecede even the days of officially-sanctioned slavery,
which still occurs.

Only when almost all of us unite to do away with
all injustice will we truly achieve Civilization.

In the meantime, please do not equate thug behavior
with the "N" word--you aren't helping; you're
just plain  wrong.

Friday, April 24, 2015

A Guy's Gyro Copter Caper Gives New Meaning to "Going Postal"

Here we have a little paradox: an aging guy, Doug Hughes,
modest, self-abnegating postal worker, conceives a splashy
caper. He puts himself and 535 letters into his tiny gyro copter,
flying it from Gettysburg, PA over state lines into Maryland,
into restricted airspace, below the radar, landing on Congress'
lawn, where he produced the building's evacuation and  a
whole media and security kerfuffle...

But dear Douggie, he is modesty personified--it's not about
me, he insists; it's about all this big money controlling what
comes into and out of Washington, DC. --WHAT??
He can't be so unaware as all that. He knew he'd be
getting at least five minutes of fame, which must matter
to him, stunt-spending, planning and executing as he did.
With all the hoopla, most of his message went unremarked;
how had he missed that?

Most of us also think the many millions of dollars showering
unchecked over DC and NYC are a disaster--a second
Gilded Age more dangerous than the first. But Mr. Hughes
has been bitten by the celebrity bug, that's plain enough.
He would be better advised to take care of his bankruptcy he still employed by the U.S. Postal Service?

Meanwhile, the unconscionable political spending by the
Koch Brothers et al. continues in a ruinous, rushing river
flood, taking all of us with it. We've never had a democracy,
but the Republic we do have has almost capitulated to
an Oligarchy--so unnecessary if most adult Americans
would just do their damn job, read, speak out and vote.

Now, however, "going postal" has acquired a new meaning.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

How Americans Anywhere Demonstrate Their Values with Discretionary Spending

Watching the news today (04/22/'15) on Chicago's
independent TV station, WGN, I was struck yet
again by the vapid spending choices too many make
here in the USA:

Lady Gaga came to Chicago yesterday to raise
funds for her charity Born This Way. For $2,500
someone could bike alongside the entertainment
diva on stationary cycles at a local bike shop. TV
file film showed a respectable turnout for this
event, but raises some telling questions:

(1) Why is it necessary to have celebrities rub
shoulders with fans to persuade them to part
with contributions for worthy causes?  Can't they
simply send a check? ( Or pay via the electronic
equivalent thereof.)

(2)  What's the  motivation here? Are these
fans philanthropists, or are they shelling out
kale for later bragging rights? (--I seriously
suspect the latter.)

This brings to mind most of discretionary
spending in the United States; how do
relative amounts between spending on
entertainment vs. donating to the needy
and/or unfortunate compare?  I'll wager
much more is spent on sports tix, movies,
concerts, cds, dvds, etc. (-Time for more
research just to be certain....)

Whatever the true figures, imagine how much
more aid work the American Red Cross,
the WHO, the United Way, the ASPCA and any
other charitable organization could accomplish
--but worshipping at the altar of fun will sharply
militate against such sharing.

Attempting to demonstrate discretion,
Donna Quixote signs off for now.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Abolish American Aristocracy in Time for 2016

--When we'd better have better choices than the same
ol', same ol' names, namely, Kennedy, Clinton
and Bush. (--An aristocracy by any other name
STILL stinks, methinks!)

Regarding all these three families: Is our nation a
joke, or do we truly wish to give every qualified
person a chance to reach the top, elected-leader
wise?? That we don't call the Clintons lord and/or
lady doesn't disguise their presumption in handing
down their political power to spouse and  offspring.

Check Parliament in England, where you and yours
are awarded a seat in the House of Lords into
(-practically) perpetuity. Aren't both nations
aristocracies, yes or no?? Bill and Hill have publicly,
proudly proclaimed their only child, Chelsea, as
qualified to make a run for president some day.
In my book, in the USA, that's a no-go theorem...
along with the Bushes' desire to have THREE
U.S. presidents in one family, beating the Adams
and Roosevelt clans.

Chicago, Illinois: The Berrios family has taken
every political job except, perhaps, dog-catcher.
Ditto Daleys and Mells, to a fare-thee-well. (!)
This is NOT an inevitable  succession due to
fine family talent, civic-mindedness, etc. It IS
slurping up every last available public penny in
the taxpayers' trough--with so little shame!
Greedy ambition, a lust for fame, automatic
entrance to the game (entitlement), propel people
like these...then the nation, and the world, pay.

If fortune favors the bold, I'll just say it:
Abolish American aristocracy in time for
2016. Plenty of principle, political prowess
and acumen resides in others of our country
not named Bush, Clinton or Kennedy....

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The U.S. and Around the World: Good News This Week, April 1-8, 2015

First and foremost: Ferguson, Missouri has elected two
African-Americans (they now constitute the majority) to
its council. There was only one African-American serving
there previously, too frequently outvoted when it came to
concerns affecting the 67% Black population there, clearly
a travesty of purported fairness. How will the White minority
react to that? Are we seeing the last of South African-like
Apartheid in Missouri? Perhaps peace and equity will now
arrive there, perhaps last for a good while.

A White policeman has now been charged with murder in
South Carolina after killing a Black man during a routine
traffic stop in North Charleston...FINALLY! Better late
than never, I suppose, but cool comfort to the many families
tragically altered after their loved ones were murdered
in the same or similar scenario. More charges like this
may follow, forcing less-than stellar cops to up their
game and use intelligence, humanity and other skill sets
when dealing with other races or ethnic groups.

Even amid all the uproar and varied interpretations, a
seemingly workable deal was struck between Iran and the
U.S. re: No new nukes of a weapons nature. There will be
much ado still, but this is a significant step, one legally taken
by President Obama and the White House according to the
United States Constitution, despite the clamoring of the radical
right in Congress, each wishing to out-power and actually
BE the president.--Stay in your lane! Self-important radicals,
reread our highest law of the land once a week, and respect it;
you'll then be doing a superior job, rather than the inferior one
you're doing now, to the embarrassment of many millions.

It's a big world, apologists for the small world theory to the
contrary, so I've missed some positively inspiring news here,
I'm afraid. These three examples may make for some
good news to celebrate--and I, at least, will.

Best Wishes, everybody, and Happy Spring!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Nigeria's Good News: Good Luck, Jonathon, You'll Need It, Now

I hope Nigeria's new regime, a history-making first,
will eventually rid Nigeria of Boko Haram... at least
the new president, Muhammadu Buhari has vowed
to do so!  We will no longer see Mrs. Jonathon try
to run the nation by ill-advised fiat, now that "Good
Luck" has been voted out of the presidency there.

This is today's (04/01/'15) best news, for my money-
more to follow? Maybe we can also permanently bid
Charles Taylor bye-bye from the African political
scene as well, a fond future forever wish...even though
he's currently serving a prison sentence in England,
escapes are a part of his history, so I'm not betting
anyone's farm on a certainty here--recall that Napoleon
escaped at least once before he was done, and Taylor
did too, TWICE.

Good luck, Mr. and Mrs. Jonathon. Play it straight
in your retirement--you'll almost have to, no??              

Saturday, March 28, 2015

March 27, 2015: Chicago Transit Authority Literally Dead Wrong About Double Shift Safety

Because the same stupidity that denies proper sleep to doctors
and CTA workers works to everyone's detriment. Humans
require between 6 and 9 hours of sleep almost every night
to function cogently, optimally, etc. Consult every recognized
reputable medical and psycho/social organization to verify this.

Medical students and residents that work 36 hours straight
are professionals I'd avoid...CTA train and bus operators,
double-shifted? I'd want to stay off their equipment--which
I'm fortunate to have done when that Blue Line jumped
off its tracks and obliterated an escalator at the O'Hare
Station in 2014.  Thirty passengers were hurt; nine million
dollars were racked up in damages. It's 2015, and that
escalator hasn't been replaced, although the "up" escalator
wasn't wrecked, thankfully.

After reading the Red Eye, March 27th, yesterday, I'm
irate at the CTA official position stated there that double-
shifting and assigning erratic work schedules shouldn't
have impaired Ms. Haywood, the CTA operator who
dozed off as her train entered and crashed at the O'Hare
station. I agree that she was fired justifiably, but that
might not have been necessary had the CTA changed
its scheduling practices BEFORE this accident. Ah,
methinks the powers that be over there speaketh
out of both sides of their respective mouths, eh?
If the scheduling had no bearing, why change it?

The CTA was/is literally dead wrong about
operator double shift safety. Let's hope this
is one of the areas they've now altered-
always safety first!