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.