Saturday, December 31, 2016

Trump's "Enemies List"--and Mine

I am unalterably opposed to injustice, racism, scapegoating,
violence, murder, wars of mass destruction (--Syria, etc.),
Oligarchies (the Koch Brothers most particularly), cruelty,
ignorance, saber rattling  and...

--Ah. So the above-said is MY enemies list; anything that
disturbs people needlessly and threatens our existence will
land on that list. Anything which demonstrably takes us
further and further away from any putative "civilization" we
supposedly have had on Earth earns a spot there as well.

What of the Don? Rumor hath it he possesses an enemies'
list, presumably peopled by anyone who has roundly
critiqued him or even simply disagrees with him. This bears
further checking, but the Trump's Twitterverse engagements
are strong indicators. "Kelly Kelly" recently publicly "warned",
watch what you say. Will the next U.S. administration spend
most of its time launching libel suits to protect the Trumpster's
already self-tarnished image, largely ignoring the nation's
business? --Stay tuned.

Anything of a negative policy nature will occasion my calls
to various members of our U.S. Congress; anyone of
a frankly unqualified, inimical bent recommended by
Trump heading to the Senate for confirmation must
engender more calls by me to them. Letters from those
of us who object to much of  Donald's agenda may/may
not be effective, depending upon numbers. Petitions,
hundreds of which I have signed over the years, are,
sadly, the least effective means of making change.
--Ditto demonstrations, especially the dramatic,"fun"

Future refinements of my enemies list will also tally
every stupid and destabilizing mistake the Don,
"Kelly Kelly" and crew make.

Questions, objections and suggestions:
Do you want our Republic to be more democratic?

Then act, please. Happy 2017.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Israel's Nitwit Netanyahu Can't Even Count--Witness His Riposte to Secretary of State Kerry

Many of us applauded John Kerry's eminently reasonable account
of why a Middle East "Two State" solution will be fair to all, will
become the linchpin to peace in the region. He made his remarks
shortly after the United Nations censured Israel (yet again) for
the increasing Israeli settlements encroaching evermore into the
Palestinian people's land. The signal vote by the U.S. to abstain
was a first, firmly underscoring what several administrations have
advocated, namely, a two-state solution.

In his swift, accusatory anti-U.S. reaction, the 'Yahoo Nitwit
couldn't count, claiming Israel has existed for "...nearly a hundred
years..." --REALLY?  In 1948 Israel proclaimed its existence as a
state; we are now entering 2017, not 2048. The man can't count!
(69 years is not nearly one hundred.) I wish our current president
had shown his claws even earlier, but better late than never, as the
old saw has it.

Netanyahu has openly often disrespected Mr. Obama. One
egregious example: by going  over his head and addressing our
U.S. House of Representatives with the low-class assistance of
then House Speaker Boehner, quite the boner.  Some in Israel
feel it is their "divine right" to request and accept many millions in
aid from us, yet dictate our Middle East policy. This is a no-go
theorem if I ever saw one. There are always obligatory ties to
any generous purse strings; whoever ignores such reality risks
rebukes and further unfavorable reactions.

--My reaction? It is time to play hardball with Israel, particularly
Nitwit Netanyahu. The USA did not place Jews into internment
camps, has steadily supported the national aspirations of the
Jews. It's clear they are taking us for granted. Were I king, I
would sharply cut back monetary and military aid to Israel, see
just how "self-reliant" they are, which they are NOT. The people
of Palestine had no genocidal role in WWII, were victimized
by imperial Great Britain in the 1921 Balfour Accords, etc.
They are understandably unwilling to be squeezed out of
existence, although Yasser Arafat and others played into their
opponents' victimizing hands by trenchant violent overkill.

Both President Elect Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu are
evincing attitudes reminiscent of Naziism and Fascism.
--Say, boys, are you aiming toward such a legacy?

Meanwhile, Netanyahu, learn to COUNT.

Chicago Cops: New Year's Wishes: We Wanna Have Our Cake and Eat It Too

According to FOP boss Dean Angelo Sr. But my above-said
is an analysis: police union members actually remarked that
they don't wish to be held accountable for "hot mike" mistakes
--rude or inappropriate remarks while at work (Courtesy of
The Chicago Tribune, December 29th, 2016). --REALLY?

Apparently most of these officers have never heard of Marilyn
Moats Kennedy, a job counselor and author. Career Knockouts:
How to Battle Back was one of her most telling works. Among
many good bits of advice, this is the one that applies most
importantly to the police (and anyone working with the public):
I've paraphrased her here: " Your employer does not want the
real you. They require you to be professional, do your job well,
keep your personal proclivities and life away from the job."

Most educated American adults understand that they must
exhibit good manners/behave well in any public setting,
although that number is currently declining; witness the rise in
rioting on airplanes. Working with disturbed and/or out of control
perpetrators or others means keeping one's cool, sticking to
the issues at hand, yet exerting control. This, of course, is hardly
easy, so Chicago's screening test to weed out undesirable police
department applicants who want to be low class like the perps
while on the job MUST be scrapped and re-written, period.
Character counts!

It seems that too many cops haven't risen to the occasion
while at work, feel far too comfortable, "free to be me"
sentiment allowing such officers to say they don't want to
be responsible for their actions... so, quit already! We need
better than that in our troubled  neighborhoods and situations.
Meanwhile, Mr. Angelo quotes such ridiculous complaints
publicly, having had a tone-deaf approach to the public about
his FOP members long since. He attended a forum claiming
he had never been to one before, but I saw him at two different
ones, so....

The holiday celebrations are just about over, including having
one's cake and eating it too. It's high time for all adults holding
responsible positions to resume proper behavior...

Especially the FOP's whining police.

[P.S.: most Chicago police officers are doing a difficult job
well. I'm zeroing in on those who are not displaying the
best attitude to carry out their duties. Sadly, more than
three or four fit my critique; bad behavior by cops then
affects actions on the street and on the beat behavior of
any suspects. Why isn't this realized by everybody??]

Friday, December 23, 2016

Trump's Kelly Conway: Confuse and Conflate?

Kelly, Kelly, Kelly, Kelly....(Wow, the Don's version is no smarter
than the eponymous blond of fame on fictional "Cheers". Too bad
this one serves an unqualified president in a nonfictional reality.)
Evasions, explanations and obfuscations aside, if the safety stakes
weren't so high, I'd have to laugh at the extreme tangents to truth
taken by "Blondie" and her boss...

But she does have one thing going for her, however: Kelly Conway
is the epitome of the "Stepford Wife" (see similar-titled movie)
when queried by the media; cool, calm, collected, nothing ruffles
her composure, never mind that she gives no cogent answers to
questions. It may take some weeks before even those who voted
for and supported Mr. Trump realize how calamitous a choice he
is and will be. --"Maverick", anyone? When that describes Senator
John McCain, he is often praised; for fellow "republican"
Rumpster, it merely means out of control, uninformed egotistical
blundering--of an Armageddon-level threat.

In a recent interview, Ms. Conway rebuked criticism of Trump
as attempts to "confuse and conflate"...which astounded me, as
that is EXACTLY what "Kelly, Kelly" does, utilizing projection
and  displacement (a turning the tables scapegoating), a long
and well-understood phenomenon in Psychology.

..And yet, she holds a B.A., a J.D. and owns her own polling
business, so, on paper, she seems eminently qualified for many
professional posts. Interestingly, she won a Blueberry Princess
Pageant, from whence, I surmise, springs her "Stepford Wife"
public persona.

Sadly, No "Cheers" for this "dumb" blond and her cohorts,
or the Electoral College, whose members cared more for their
own prominent positions in the Republican Party than the nation,
voting accordingly. Her spokes-person cool notwithstanding,
the Don's dangerous plans to build our nuclear arsenal anew
has re-awakened wary and weary fears all around the world
--at an all-time, ill-timed moment on the international stage.

What's next? I can't wait. Meanwhile, I'd better rejoin
the Twitterverse, just to keep up. Can Conway con
her way into America's heart? Citizens, stay tuned.

P.S.: OK, her first name is really Kellyanne, but before
she was so famous, I had seen it simply spelled "Kelly",
which I will (obstinately) keep to..."anne" I ain't kiddin'.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Trump Travails: The Don's DC: Draining the Swamp and Replacing it with a Sewer

As promised in the last post, I checked on Trump's personal
lobbying background, finding that many of his advisers are, in
fact, dedicated  lobbyists. (Thanks, Washington Post, CNN,
60 Minutes, et al.--I was woefully behind the Don info curve!)

If any of you think a swamp stinks, try a sewer, which is about
to be DC, if it isn't already one. --A place where all bets, rules,
regulations, precedents are dumped (Trumped) in favor of
whim, ignorance and greed. Chauvinism's chaos propels us
ever closer to a weakened national reality-- the rest of the
world watches warily as we lurch into one dangerous action
and faux pas after another.

How Trump and others can equate worldwide business experience
with expert diplomacy is beyond me--and anyone else who has
studied history as well as current events...the two skill sets are
NOT congruent! Their missions and goals, diametrically different,
presuppose purposes, policies and approaches at odds with each
other. ExxonMobil  CEO Tillerson now put forward as our next
secretary of state is the best example of this highly dangerous and
mistaken philosophy.

The smelliest stink right now concerns conflict of interest charges
being lobbed at the Don from many quarters; his children are
on his transition team, will, supposedly, be running his far-flung
business interests. What expertise/brilliance do any of the Trump
offspring possess to be on any high-level political transition team?

Training by Trump is not what diplomacy and statecraft require;
apparently, the Electors who gave the next presidency to Trump
in defiance of the popular vote seem to think so...not forgetting
the millions who did vote for the Don, blithely ignoring the many
law suits against his practices, the failed and not accredited
Trump "University", his trashy, misogynistic remarks caught
on video, his anti-Muslim rhetoric, his treasonous urging of the
Russians to hack Hillary's website also captured electronically.
The CIA suggests the exhortation was successful; the Obama
White House claims to have been aware of  the hacks into the
DNC but offers a lame, if purportedly high-minded reason for
not intervening--rubbish!

If any of you decides to play tourist, traveling to DC, be sure
to pack some face masks--you're gonna need 'em....

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Memo to Trump and Putin: We Are NOT the Union of the Russian-American Republics

--Nor will we be, take that to the bank. In spite of the less-than
properly informed public here in the USA, we will not passively,
idly stand by while Russia tries to take us over by sleight of hand,
shrewd hacking into Ms. Clinton's and the Democratic National
Committee's websites, (according to CIA statements, an already
accomplished fact) OR the Don's attempt to pack his cabinet
with arch-conservative business leaders.

For the third time, with feeling:

Trump appeared on network news some weeks ago actually
encouraging the Russians to hack Hillary--how can he walk
THAT back, other than to say he was way out of line? I have
been terming that little performance as treason, and so it is.
He has nominated several men to his cabinet with far-too-
intimate "business" ties to both the Ukraine and Russia,
few of which possess prior diplomatic or legislative
experience, save for former Texas Governor Rick Perry,
not known to be an intellectual heavyweight, and a lone
congressman or two.

Trump himself has had no legislative experience unless one
counts lobbying, which one wonders why more regarding the
next president's actions about his lobbying interests isn't widely
known. He simply has to have had real estate lobbyists to
DC in his employ; I'll check.

We will rise to the occasion and do what must be done
to scotch Trump's irresponsible, blast-to-the past policies
and appointments, to avoid  Russian entrapment as well.
Better late than never, especially given that Russia et al.
perceive the U.S. as weak, ripe for the the taking, obviously.
Back OFF, Ukrainian  Airlines, Putin and any fellow travelers!

Russia is still the largest nation on Earth by virtue of
landmass; the U.S. is the fourth. Isn't being the biggest
enough for you? Really, Russia, why don't you pay more
attention to your own people, problems, territory and
resources, leave Syria and Assad alone, stop smarting with
shame over the demise of the Soviet Union?

Despite trashy Trump and  putrid Putin, two of a kind,
Russia is not annexing our country--we must resist, resist,
RESIST. But to do so requires an awakening America.

--About time, no??

Thursday, December 8, 2016

RiotFest and PTR, Inc. Executive Sean McKeough Dies at 42--No Cowardice on His Set List of Life

How to count the many ways Sean McKeough shined, short
life notwithstanding? He was a polymath: a genius in his options
trading life, his music life, and yes, personally. His generosity
on an individual level was legendary and grand, giving jobs to
many, gifting many with presents beyond any recipient's
wildest dreams, especially anyone hard hit by misfortune.
His kindness was not that of merely writing a check; he put
himself into his giving.

The Chicago Sun-Times, The Chicago Tribune, Billboard,
Rolling Stone and more--over twenty publications, online
as well as hard copy-producing, paid homage to Sean, chiefly
reprising his RiotFest founding and quoting personal testimonials.
These were all touching and inspiring, yet most of those I read left
out his remarkable business acumen, rising through the ranks
from runner at the CBOE to partner in PTR, Inc., a firm in the
S & P pit at the CBOE. The wealth he justly earned fueled
his musical fest promotions, band reunitings and, of course,
the always- mentioned generosity.

Kudos to the Chicago Sun-Times and Maureen O'Donnell
for a more well-rounded obituary... thank you! But it wasn't
until I read one last personal comment that I finally realized the
full measure of  the man: Sean was standing outside his Cobra
Lounge with a  friend when they noticed several guys beating
up on only one other--Sean commandeered a few men from
Cobra and they all intervened, breaking up the unfair fight.
Sean couldn't stand to see anyone suffer, jumping in, even
risking his personal safety.

So, Sean McKeough, here's to you:
No cowardice on Sean's set list of life!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Trump Dumps Decorum and Established Presidential Procedures--AGAIN

So, what's wrong with reaching out to another nation's leader?
Evidently, everything: Not yet in power, Trump jumps the gun
and gives Taiwan's president a friendly little buzz, quite ignoring
the "one China" U.S. policy dating back to 1979, a concept
made possible after President Nixon's historic visit to China
in 1972. (I still have mixed emotions about that one.)

China has formally protested to still-President Obama and
other officials here, stating the incoming president is jeopardizing
relations between the two world giants. Stomping into
power in a tone-deaf, ham-handed manner will not assist
our country on the world stage; it matters, despite all the
bluster of  Trump, his supporters, swaggering ignoramuses,
alt-right aficionados and practitioners among the elected.

China vs. Taiwan gaffes aside for the moment, mistakes
mount up every day for the DON; if knowledge is power,
ignorance and intransigence ruin effective efforts by the
powerful. DT's cabinet appointments, from Defense to
Health and Human Services, are the stuff of the revanchist
delusional. It seems that the USA is blasting back to a
more unenlightened past, say the late 1940s though the
1950s...a deadly error, as this is not a few years after
the U.S. "made the world safe for democracy".  We
no longer bask in the glow of winning WWII--not after
71 years.

I have previously written my opinion of the Donald
as a trashy, super rich blunderer despite his billions
(--Three or ten? He still has not released his IRS
income reporting/tax returns. Hiding his financial
situation smells, period.). He may be shouting less;
he may seem somewhat conciliatory, i.e., sane;
he may even have a good idea or two; but he is still
the same man who said all the things many of us
cannot forget, misogynistic, racist and irrational
things--accompanied by his psychotic-seeming
facial expressions.

The Don dumps decorum and gravitas at every
turn, embarrassing every intelligent American adult.
...Safe and Happy Holidays? Not on your tintype,

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Trump's Happy Holidays for the Rich: Oligarchies Still Popular on Wall Street

Shortly after Trump's "unexpected" win, the financial futures
markets took a steep dive, but then quickly recovered, rallying to
new heights. We are now in historic ~1900 DJIA points territory.
There are absolutely no surprises here, dating back as far as you
like, to even before the Dutch East India Company and other
"greed is good"  groups/corporations/combines.

I wonder how Wall Streeters hold their heads up so proudly
amid their many scandals, seldom escaping from a decade
without a major one; no embarrassment engages them in
any will to change, reform. Probably, they shrewdly note that,
given time, everything blows over for most Americans...but not
for me. Ivan Boesky,  Michael Milken, the Savings and Loan
debacle, dot com crisis, Enron, Bernie Madoff--they all are major
malfeasance felons  fresh in my mind. Wall Street employees
and major brokers are unconcerned with what their policies
and sales strategies do to the average investor, to say little
regarding the macroeconomic implications; their main focus
is on them and theirs, comfort and luxury, bragging rights
(--Welcome to my home! Would you like to take the tour?)
--Ugh. Don't selecting the finer wines, food and decor
ever get old?

Trump's Happy Holidays' better behavior may emanate from
advisors' wake up calls, or simply ensuring his election is
not overturned on December 19th, 2016, when the Electoral
College actually delivers its votes: few "faithless electors"
are predicted to cast a change to Clinton. Maybe the Don
suddenly recalled many other nations possess the atomic
and hydrogen bombs, so treading a bit more rationally on
the domestic and international stage, after all the bullying
bluster, seems sane--after all.

Both Roosevelt presidents are spinning in their graves
right about now, for some of the same reasons as well
as different ones. Oligarchy's dark, devious practices
were not approved economic policy by either TR or FDR,
despite the family wealth...

But let's lift  a glass of Cranberry Juice to anyone who
will keep fighting for reasonable, just reforms and
accountability. Lift another one with a toast wishing
Oligarchy a short season as we stumble into 2017.

--Stay alert, y'all!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Tough Reality Check for The Don's Pledge of Better Heartland Jobs

...and wages, according to Reuters, "Politics",
November 10th, 2016.  I strongly urge one and
all to read this article; its bottom line concludes
that even if Mr. Trump had the ability to change
the trade deals he claims Clinton devised to ruin
America, any improvements "would be at the
margins", would be slight. Several economists
are quoted in the piece, reminding people that
~40 years of automation, technology and
offshoring manufacturing jobs won't disappear;
it's almost impossible to "shift the needle", "...
"to turn back the clock."

Here are a few hard-hitting questions for the Don
and crew, assuming they are actually serious about
effecting such a massive blast to the past:

(1) Where will the money come from to build the
factories required to give the blue collar workers
jobs they used to have? Will the Don tax the
Koch Brothers, et al.?

(2)  These purported products created here at home--
who will be buying them? --Only Americans? What
about trade and debt imbalances?

(3)  Can the U.S. become totally self-sufficient,
insular, thumbing its collective nose at the rest
of the world?

(4)  If the USA could become completely
self-sufficient, as it was well over 100 years
ago, what would the implications be for
international relations (i.e., defense)?

(5)  Has Mr. Trump made any provision to
combat other nation's invading us via hack?
In view of China, Russia and others hacking
our web, the disabling of  our infrastructure
and utilities are real possibilities. For those
who read and view documentaries, such
threats are all too real and potentially

I'll continue to lob hard balls at the media,
the politicians, the addled, uncaring rich and
the desperate/deluded poor, as Albert Einstein
advised: "Never stop asking questions."

--Questions, the best reality check. Let's polish
them up and put them to the elite and the elected
...but the rest of us must review and reflect
as well.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Trump Troops Us Closer to Disaster: the "Win" is a Loss

November 9th, 2016, 2 a.m. Chicago time:

Yes, as I feared for months, back to Summer, 2015, well
before Trump won the Republican Party's nomination, the rabble,
roused, rising, now reigns. The disaffected, the low-class,
uneducated/educated  white males plus their odd minority and
female fellow travelers, they have all won.

So what exactly is the nature of this win? Destabilization has
already reared its ugly head; the financial futures market has
dropped sharply just two hours ago. World leaders who
previously asked our diplomats "Is Trump crazy?" will
now find out.

                    Errors Revealed and Reviled:

(1) Trump's knowledge of our global village only
exists in the arena of luxury hotels and golf courses.

(2) The new president thinks he can return the planet
to pre-President Clinton days, before NAFTA, before
DA-ESH (ISIL), before Brexit, Syria, et al.

(3) Watch for a wave of extreme Executive Orders
and Presidential Directives issued by our new president say nothing of ones on the books, such as
PD 59, which "legally" allows the U.S. the privilege
of a first nuclear strike.

I am ashamed of everyone who voted for the Donald
and supported him in any way. It is clear now,
inescapable, really, that this is STILL a racist,
insular, sexist, trashy and delusional country, an ever-
accelerating reality here since the Allies won
WWII...a denouement which has brought
us to this travesty of an election.

This Trump win troops us ever closer to disaster,
a downward spiral in a nation not willing to admit
it must relinquish its former "number one" status,
or show the proper respect to the rest of the
planet--which DOES, by the bye, possess
very effective means to retaliate, through
trade, through military realignments and
other international mechanisms.

This world and this country have lost in
the early hours of November 9, 2016.
May God help us, as we were unable
to help ourselves.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Trump's September Survey: No Wriggle Room, Here He Stands

A "Make America Great Again" survey dated September 30th,
2016, graced my mailbox. I've kept it to demonstrate Trump's
positions and opinions, literally delineated  in black and white
which he can't deny or walk back, as he tried to do during the
three debates:

(1) In question 1, the Donald attempts to be all things to all
people, claiming he'll create jobs, boost business, while
castigating Mr. Obama, who handled the Great Recession
(2007-2010) very responsibly. Mr. Trump, with FOUR
bankruptcies, seems scarcely a business model to emulate.

(2) Trump makes promises like traditional conservatives,
pledging to reduce the federal debt and downsize
government.   Naturally, no specifics are offered here,
as usual.

(3) The Donald,  swaggering strongly, states he will take
on China, Russia, ISIS and North Korea-- all by
himself. Again, the plan to accomplish making the USA
great again (number one) is absent.

(4) RE: the Supreme Court: Mr. Trump admires Scalia
and Alito, saying he'll nominate similarly inclined judges
who  enforce, not make, law, quite conveniently
forgetting every SCOTUS  decision DOES "make"
law, one way or another.

(5) Now to our nation's borders: he'll build a Wall,
but in the survey, he omits his impossible demand that
Mexico pay for it. Don didn't get any acquiescence when
he visited Mexico-- the Mexican president, exercising  his
understanding of national sovereignty, said "no", televised
to the world.

(6) He brags that he has earned the approval of the NRA,
reassuring them he'll support their Second Amendment
freedoms. As always, he has no details.

(7) Donald Trump, clearly knowing nothing about the
environment, toxicities to humans, and/or medicine,
promises to weaken the EPA, implying he denies the
reality of Climate Change. Donald, read a book!
You might then learn business and job creation is
possible pursuing environmentally sound policies.

(8) Regarding the ACA ("Obamacare"), Trump
trumpets he can and will  immediately rescind the laws
that made it national policy. Presidential Executive Orders
can only go so far; this is probably a bridge too far, even
for him. Yes, the ACA has its flaws, but now people can
get insurance who were ineligible before, an important
humane accomplishment that Donald ignores, of course.

(9) This item merely asks for donations to the Trump
campaign. Further down, the survey taker is asked
to supply phone numbers and email addresses; there
are privacy issues related to such requests, which I
would never honor.

All nine of the "questions" pillory Ms. Clinton, frequently
positing that she had the authority to make law and/or policy
all by herself either as Senator or Secretary of State or as
the next president, which is just plain wrong; there are 100
U.S. Senators, 435 U.S. House Reps, all of whom possess
a vote. Secretaries of state carry out a president's policy
directives, period. The accompanying pix  are flattering to
Trump (--a difficult task to be sure) while Secretary Clinton's
is one of the worst of her I've ever seen.

Finally, whoever wrote this piece certainly writes in a cogent,
grammatically accurate manner. Trump couldn't have composed
such prose, if  one recalls the few tired, repetitious phrases he
beats to death at every opportunity. We HAVE had presidents
who were capable of distinguishing themselves  with the written
word; President Eisenhower, a moderate Republican, comes to
mind, not ever forgetting another Republican, President Lincoln.

Candidate Trump, here he stands, with no wriggle room, in black
and white on a cardboard flyer. I think I'll hold on to it; someday
soon he'll be called to account, and I'll be ready.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Wells Fargo's CEO Stumpf Steps Down, Platinum Parachute Intact Despite Some Givebacks

--after the scandal about ethics-plagued "sales techniques"
utilized by employees burst over the media world wide.
Mr. Stumpf, haled before the U.S. Congress, shamed and
exposed, could not remain CEO of the nation's largest
mortgage banker, especially after his sales staff fell on their
swords, 5,300 of them summarily fired. Either way, these
hapless workers were doomed, obeying OR disobeying
orders to carry out the massive illegal scheme.

The disgraced CEO walks away with ~130 million big
ones, reported by He can presumably
avoid the nation's righteous indignation/opprobrium by
coloring his hair and flying to another nation, retiring
from American business altogether. Will he?

Platinum parachute at the ready, anything is possible;
problematic indeed, however, is the restoration of his
good name. Only  "objectivist" followers of Laissez Faire
(the Ayn Rand version) can  approve of this man's
method, therefore, him.

The Trumps' Anti-Women War: Ugly Americans are Legion

The latest reveals re: the Trumps and their anti-women
wars plainly show two sad, salient facts:

(1) The Donald Trumps, pe're et fils, do not respect
women; both are on electronic record bragging about
their right to demean, insult, intimidate, objectify and
rate females in the workplace where employees are
trapped. Such toxic behaviors ought to be permitted,
opined several males including DT JR. broadcast over
a recent Buzzfeed "bull session".

(2) Apparently, American men share the Trumps'
misogyny, shown via a very recent poll: men will
vote for Trump overwhelmingly on November 8,
while a majority of  women are voting for Clinton.
--The gender wars continue, down the centuries to
today! (England's Queen Elizabeth I was wise to
remain unmarried, wasn't she, girls? Henry VIII's
daughter, she lived long, prospered, remaining large
and in charge for decades....)

Even with better laws and the "civilizing", tempering
effects of education, far too little has changed. The
Trumps, father and son, are actually to be thanked for
exposing their own contempt for women so openly--
while allowing all to see support for the anti-women
wars is far from minor.

Ugly Americans in 2016: they are legion.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The USA's Favorite Ferengi, Donald Trump

If you've never seen the TV free series "Deep Space
Nine" ( a Star Trek franchise) you'll not know how
apt this "Ferengi" comparison really is. The several
hundred "Rules of Acquisition" (distilled down to
anything for a buck, no holds barred) are ruthless,
immoral and amoral, actually criminal in many
places boasting a concerted rule of law, to say
little of plain consideration of others.

I imagine the Donald watching Quark, the most
ambitious and greedy of the lot, largely sympathizing
with the Ferengi bar owner when many of his nefarious
and ill-thought out schemes come to naught. Like
Quark, Trump experiences many failures, but manages
to scramble up from them employing every tactic
available on Earth (legal loopholes). Quark utilizes
his planet's "rules", which are simply more hidey
holes and justifications for the rich and aspiring.
Peals of laughter accompany any successful gambits,
never any remorse. Ruinous or harmful fallout  (AKA
collateral damage) seems so much sweeter AND

Trump and fictional Ferengi Quark both say it's
smart to get a leg up on everybody else;
witness the first face-to-face a few days
back between the Don and the Hill. Lies,
obfuscations, deleting relevant facts, denials--
all to get rich quick, buy ostentatious but
tasteless property to regale friend and foe
alike, hosted in a semi-social setting.

Trump has strange facial expressions many
have noticed; Quark's are actually more
normal, alien physiology notwithstanding.
Both are amusing and amused in one stroke,
if one can shunt aside the dangers to the
rest of us, unwary or not...

Wait, wait, I've got it! How about a
"Saturday Night" TV episode with Quark
and Donald, sitting side by side, relishing
all their canny, money-making tricks, busily
applauding each other on their splendid business
acumen. I might just call the producers there in
NYC and forward a suggestion for just such
a skit.

The USA's favorite Ferengi, Donald Trump:
oblivious to the obvious as well as to the
profound, or to what's generally deemed
decent. May he never gain the White House.

October 3rd, 2016: Sen. Kirk and U.S. House Rep Duckworth--A Civilized Debate at Last!

The hour and a half spent watching the candidates
vying for the Illinois U.S. Senate seat via the
Chicago Tribune's video was well worth it. The
only flaw occurred with the Trib's mike placement;
the two candidates' comments were adequately
audible, whereas the Tribune editorial board's
interviewers could barely be heard.

What I wished for so ardently but failed to see
during the 2016 Presidential Primaries DID
happen at the IL state level: the two U.S. Senate
candidates behaved with dignity, largely steered
clear of personal attack, sticking substantially to
the issues. Yes, Tammy hammered hard on "wrongs"
she identified in Kirk's record, but kept it a civil
critique all the same.

I'll be voting for Ms. Duckworth, as she appears
more capable; she's younger, survived being shot
down and captured in Iraq, while Sen. Kirk sadly
shows hallmarks of his physical and mental challenges.
His survival and progress toward normalcy is quite
remarkable indeed, yet the stroke adversely affects
him even now, which the Tribune video plainly
illustrates. Tammy could speak at length, cogently
with detail and extempore'; Mr. Kirk seemed far
more subdued...still, he acquitted himself admirably.

We would have seen a similarly civilized exchange
between Gov. O'Malley (D) and Gov. Kasich (R)
if the media and our electorate had allowed it--
to our detriment, we've gotten circuses and
scandals instead.

Thank you both, Mark and Tammy, for letting
us see sanity, dignity, demeanor and respect
resonate with you--as it does with some of us.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Identity Thief Wells Fargo Hits Rock Bottom

Have others put it so baldly? The shocking scenario
at Wells Fargo, with unauthorized accounts opened,
complete with fake debit cards, etc. is identity theft,
PERIOD. Execs Stumpf and Tolstedt are forced to forfeit
millions of their inflated salaries/bonuses to recompense
robbed customers. 5,300 employees have been fired in the
wake of these allegations, which sadly appear accurate.

This is a frightening expose' of the USA's largest mortgage
lender, and a black mark on our national reputation--
ruthlessly reflecting shame on us all. Who in the business
world can we trust these days? My answer right now is:
do business locally, with people in your community you
know, not some faceless corporation giant long distance.
My bank is NOT a big, "prestigious"  bank, i.e., Chase,
which has had a number of scandals internationally and
domestically. But pride goeth before a fall, and banking
on prestige with "premier, historic firms" like Wells Fargo
is proving to be ruinous.

Bipartisan outrage has haled WF CEO Mr. Stumpf
before the U.S. Senate's Banking Committee; Senator
(R) Bob Corker's indignant ire is especially heartening
to see...more hardline penalties presumably to follow.

Morality may have sunk to a new low in American
business; where's Teddy Roosevelt when you need
him? Even though wealthy, he revered his father, who
imbued him with concern and values sadly lacking
in this era. His trust busting, ending egregious
business combines, still childhood required reading.

Wells Fargo: let's let 'em have it, identity thieves
now at rock bottom.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Texas, a Shooting Gallery Yet Again: Nihilism and Chaos Today in Houston

Before 7 a.m. today (09/26/'16) a run-amok attorney
shot at least six people in Houston TX. Our gun-crazed
society has one of these outrages now at about a daily
clip. This "lawyer" with his car full of weapons is believed
down, "pronounced dead" (per CNN), yet reporters
at the scene still referred to this sad scenario as active,
with police officers being shot at as well as firing back,
complete with dated film footage. --WHAT?? How about
broadcasting events and official statements in possible
(chronological) order?

This is what lack of leadership and cynical, staying in
office at all costs, pandering to the ignorant, desperate
and disaffected has brought us: Gun Carry, legal now
in all 50 states, whether open or concealed, has pushed
the danger dial firmly into the red right zone. No one
is safe, no amount of "formal education/credentials"
is any guarantee against future shock, death and chaos.

How many years have I warned about this, how many
decades have the even more studied tried to explain
to American adults just what is required for a people to
attain reason, justice and peace?  Check historians of
note, journalists of probity; you will see all that I have
described in various screeds has come to pass.

If fun and material possessions were not the greatest
foci of time and passion, the USA would be far better
off, but the epidemic has morphed into new/now normal.
TV free and cable, online, etc. prove observant others
all too correct. Texas is one of our country's worst
exponents of  reality-evading, dangerously demented
denying and lack of sustained, serious effort. Beef and
oil profits still constitute prestige and royalty there even
in 2016, a very wise woman from there recently
reminded me.

Here we are, "once again, into the breach", with
nothing more than some sweet hopes to sustain us
...come ON, America! Get sense, buckle down,
NOW is the hour.

Texas, meanwhile, did it again, Houston a shooting
gallery of nihilism and chaos.

Donald Trump's Supporters Have Weakened World Confidence in the U.S.

--A dangerous development, especially in this
destabilized, "Post Cold War" world era. When
representatives of our country meet with other
nations' officials, some have asked about "crazy"
Trump, with worried misgivings. Stability in the
international political arena is as highly sought as
it is in the economic sphere; when it begins to
teeter, international relations, wars and trade will
surely deteriorate. Obviously, our overseas opinion/
reputation suffers when we can't really be counted
on in former, reliably positive ways.

Beyond the shallowness, lack of experience, oddities
and meanness ad infinitum Trump blithely broadcasts
around the world, a deeper, even more troubling
phenomenon exists: the stupidity married to arrogance
of much of the USA's electorate is now regarded as
proven, whereas before the Donald's ascendancy,
that was mere suspicion. Other countries, friend and
foe alike, will be aiming for an advantage at our expense.

Donald Trump and crew, irony supreme:
"Make America Great Again"--?? They have
weakened others' confidence in us, NOT

OR better, sadly.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Syria in September, 2016: Nothing's Fair in Love or War

...but plenty of woe in warn-torn Syria, five years
and counting. CNN, September 21st, shows more
"disputed " collateral damage, denials and accusations
by America and Russia, while humanitarian aid is
impossible to get through to civilians in Aleppo or

The "Big Two" powers have failed, have caused
bloodshed of the innocent and the young over time
along with Bashar al-Assad, evil as he is, utilizing
chemical weapons, his forces firing on residential
areas, etc. International meddling has NOT helped
the ordinary citizens of Syria, only exacerbating and
extending a fiendishly complex and violent situation.

"All's fair in love and war". (--?) Whoever wrote that
cliche' way back when is entirely wrong; witness
the establishment of the Hague to punish war crimes,
and the granting of grounds for divorce in  failed
marriages. Lately, nothing's fair in love OR war--
logic long gone, caring and manners out the metaphor-
ical  window at about the same time. Yet there are
those of us who keep trying for justice and peace,
as we do know those are worthy goals.

Assad may have been voted into high office, but
it seems clear he has lost the support of his people.
How unmanly and pathetic of him to insist on
maintaining his putative "leadership", no matter
the cost, due to ego. No human is worth all the
suffering this monster of a man has rained down
on Syria--not forgetting the destruction of so many
historically irreplaceable, beautiful structures.

But Bashar Assad is only the most recent Syrian
despot to outrage civilized sensibilities. Lebanon,
let's not forget, was wholly owned by Syria for
decades, may still have an overweening controlling
interest there. Syria as a nation did not arise as
an internal, organic process. Again, France and
Great Britain (AKA the West) intervened militarily
and politically, drawing new national maps. Middle
Eastern tribalism is still alive and well;  imagine its
importance over a hundred years ago, a condition
convenient indeed for foreign powers to take control.

The same tired, uninspired diplomatic overtures
greet our TV and online screens day after day--
nothing new guarantees the same lack of closure
and stability...

No justice, love and peace without new approaches,
so for everyone's sake, invent some NOW,

Monday, September 12, 2016

Charlie Hebdo: Unkind and Tone Deaf In France

After Charlie Hebdo re-created a Danish-drawn newspaper's
cartoons of  the Prophet, one  with a mushroom cloud in his
headdress, radical, violent "members" of the Muslim faith reacted,
murdering 12 staff at "Charlie". The world rushed to sympathize,
citing free speech ad nauseam. There were outcries of "I am
Charlie Hebdo"--which sentiment I did not share, saying so in a
past blogpost.

I am unalterably opposed to murder for any reason; it is NEVER
acceptable, even if killing is justified on occasion to save a life
or lives. That doesn't, however, excuse the insensitivity shown by
these cartoonists on more than one occasion, exhibiting a
penchant for the philosophy of "anything's all right on our altar
of humor". --NOT SO, say I!

Demonstrating the inhumanity, coarseness and cruelty the
paper is so famous for, Charlie Hebdo lampooned the ~300
victims of  the recent earthquake in Italy's Apennines Region,
going so far as to draw lasagna layered by prone legs of the
stricken sticking out feet first. Such "outspokenness" outdoes
Howard Stern, making him look like a choir boy in comparison.

Even worse, Charlie responded to earned criticism via fb,
" Italians, it's not Charlie Hebdo who has built your homes,
it's the Mafia". (--Proving that this "newspaper" lacks  English
excellence, since they substituted "which" with "who", the paper
not being a human being, also referring to itself in the third
person, ugh.)

I'll repeat the following until I die:
Because one can do a thing, should one do so?
Often, the wiser way would be to refrain/abstain.

Charlie Hebdo: Coarse, crude, and definitely defiant,
still unkind, ugly and tone deaf in France.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Secretary Clinton's Executive-Worthy Performance at "Commander in Chief Forum"

Yes, I will still actually hold my nose November 8th when I walk
into the polling place, voting for Hillary Clinton as the next U.S.
President. But no attentive student of public affairs can fault her
excellent handling of all comers the other night, broadcast  on
NBC TV.  From skeptical audience members of all stripes
as well as Matt Lauer, she had her integrity and experience
challenged. Yet she remained measured, cool AND warm.
(You can figure that only an apparent paradox out.)

She DOES POSSESS the requisite temperament and
experience to hold our nation's highest office. Her possibly
serious missteps should have advanced her steep learning
curve with respect to studied judgement--which I hope
she will employ if she does become the next Chief Executive
come November.

Trump, meanwhile, continues to spout ludicrous and out
of control statements. He clearly has misogynistic views,
recently revealed yet AGAIN. Should a mere woman
hold high office? The Donald strongly implied "NO" just
a few days ago. His campaign sent me a survey which
I will dissect in subsequent posts; I can't wait to trash
this embarrassing example of a "man"!

Meanwhile, thank you, Secretary Clinton, for your
entirely executive-worthy performance on NBC.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Chicago, August 2016: Shootings and Killings off the Charts, Hopes Still Float

...going back to 1997. The local papers, Tribune and Sun-Times,
differed widely on the numbers: The Chicago Tribune quoted
some 60 died in Chicago shootings, whereas the Chicago
Sun-Times claimed about 49. All sources I've checked say
this is the bloodiest month since 1997.

But hopes still float, to recur back to 2008 and the first
Obama for President campaign. Lori Lightfoot, a heavy
weight attorney at Mayer Brown and head of the Chicago
Police Board said on PBS Channel 11's "Chicago Tonight"
she believes Chicago's City Hall (--Emanuel) does care
about the woes wending their way through communities of
color. Activist Pastor Jedidiah Brown, appearing with her,
respectfully disagreed. (--However, I don't support the rev's
acting out this past March when he threw punches at an
attendee during a Chicago rally for Trump.)

I back the Pastor's view: if the city as a whole cared more
about the South and West Sides, we would see more and
better efforts emanating out of the  Mayor's office. A few
appearances after tragedies and "heartfelt" remarks in front
of the press don't do it for me. Results count; the rest are
excuses, drivel, and obfuscation.

Any solution is complicated, must occur on many levels:

--Bring back CAPS (Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy)
to ALL CPD Districts, as only about half still hold Beat
Meetings where police directly interact with locals;
--More police deployed to known hot spots and troubled
areas, particularly on foot;
--More libraries and parks for the young in such areas;
--More official (and helpful) interaction with parents,
especially with those known to be troubled and IN

Then there are the parents, teachers and neighbors:

You all must do your part as well. I am not certain
you actually ARE, being distracted by money and
relationship problems. The kids must come first!

Meanwhile, the November 2016 Election's
"unique" hijinks roll ever forward, to the
detriment of ALL...

But I too will float some hopes.

P.S.: As of September 1st, today, NBC TV
local Channel Five quoted 90 homicides
this past horrifying! Even though
I've lived west of Chicago for eight years, I
care a great deal about Chi Town, where I
spent more years than anywhere else.
Please resolve this complex social dilemma
and fatality-prone violence.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Trump, "Treason" and Republican Members of our House and Senate

Apparently, treason is what you can make of it:

(A) Some U.S. members of Congress have released
some of Hillary's email documents containing the
notation (C), meaning said document is Classified,
which I question, as I'm familiar with a large stamp
clearly, fully, stating "Classified" across the first page
of any such document; BUT if that is true, why on
Earth would such Republican officials release supposed
Classified materials to the world at large?
That, to me, IS treason, not forgetting STUPID.

(B) Donald Trump has asked Russian hackers to
delve into our national affairs, particularly purported
"missing" thousands of Ms. Clinton's emails formerly
on her private server at her home in NY. THAT,
unambiguously, IS TREASON--requesting another
nation's criminals to inspect our private documents.

There is no doubt more I could cite and recite, but
all this dangerously illegal ignorance/stupidity just
shows the psychotic nature of  Trump and his rabble-
roused/aroused. Yes, I'll stick to my guns employing
this term, will continue to do so unless/until the behavior
of these people changes.

Meanwhile, the charge of Treason will be bandied
about, betraying the savage lust for power at any
cost certain U.S. right-wingers readily display.

Monday, August 15, 2016

All About the Money, Honey: The Authorites Allow Faulty Ferris Wheels to Turn Again

According to the Chicago Sun-Times' USA Today's August 14th
inclusion, the State of Tennessee allowed an amusement ride
company to move on to four other county fairs there, even after
an accident caused by said company's equipment failure, which
can't have had time to be adequately inspected OR repaired.

At least Greene County, where the accident occurred, canceled
the contract for this amusement ride operator; meanwhile, the
Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development
last Friday renewed the operating permit for Family Attractions
shortly set to expire.

Family Attractions and the state obviously care more about the
rides bringing in the bucks than they do about children's safety.
Briley Reynolds, 6, and her sister Kayla, 10, along with a 16
year old unnamed girl were injured last Monday by the ride's
bucket tipping, tossing the girls 25 feet to the ground. Their
injuries ranged from serious head trauma to a broken arm.

Thumbs up to Greene county, thumbs DOWN to the state
for their telltale actions in this sad scenario, which is
not unique in the USA...

--"Family Attractions"? Sure, if a real life horror show is
what you're after, and if risking a child's life and/or limb
is an acceptable trade-off in the ever-frenetic search
for fun.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Donald Trump: Long Gone Over the Hill, Hasn't He, Asking "Why Can't We Use Our Nuclear Weapons?" But DID He Actually Ask?

As one retired general has commented recently, the military
probably would not allow Trump to detonate a nuclear bomb
without an EXTREMELY compelling reason. But Donald,
obviously as abysmally ignorant as he is undeterred, reportedly
asked, why not? This alarming story involves an amount of hefty
hearsay, as MSNBC's Joe Scarborough won't reveal the name of
the person who "heard" Donald Trump ask, not once but three
times, we have nuclear  weapons, why can't we use them?
The unnamed security expert was queried with these questions
a few months ago, but "Morning Joe" brought it to the public
only on August 3rd.

Trump has denied the story, which won't gain credibility without
the "anonymous" source coming forward. Anyone can cowardly
hide while making accusations; where exactly IS this security
adviser? P.S.: why won't the media stop using anonymous
sources? They really don't contribute to any of us becoming
reliably informed, but inflaming us IS working, while increasing
media anchors' bank accounts. (Many TV stations are doing
quite well too.) Still, the Donald has made similar remarks in
public, so Joe's expose' might be right after all.

A psychotic, egocentric individual whose business acumen, in
spite of his three billions, is seriously open to question (four
bankruptcies, a NOT-accredited Trump "University", etc.)
has snared the Republican Party's nomination for president
in 2016. The moderates in the party didn't know how to rise
up forcefully or articulately enough to counter the ignoramuses,
hence, here's Trump.

The rise of the rabble is a current scenario predicted by renowned
psychiatrist Carl G. Jung in a little paperback, The Undiscovered
Self. From page 93: "... The accumulation of individuals who have
got into this critical ( upset) state starts off a mass movement
purporting to be the champion of the suppressed...the cry goes up
for political and social changes which...whenever this demand is
fulfilled, political and social conditions arise which bring the
same ills back again in altered form." Published in 1957, the good
doctor's context is a larger admonishment, advising each person
to try to deal honestly with his or her true nature (instincts), not
just the one constructed via the strictures of society ("civilization").

For those belatedly attempting to dethrone Donald from the
ticket before November 8th, I have an encouraging note:
The U.S. Constitution is silent regarding political parties,
even if the Federalist Papers isn't, warning everyone about
the "dangers of factions" --parties. (Yes, political parties
existed well before 1776.) Whatever mechanism can be
brought to bear to unseat Trump should shortly engage...

Unless the rest of us are willing to follow Trump and his
rabble over the hill into oblivion.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Making America Great Again or Unvarnished, Heedless Chauvinism?

The last day of the campaign in Cleveland marks the end
of the highly contentious beginning, and the ramping  up of a
dangerously, carelessly euphoric General Election season.
Today's close of the primaries also marks an odd symmetry
between the Don and the Hill, careering toward chauvinism
as they both are, never mind the chasm of differences between
them otherwise.

Patriotism is one thing, healthy and necessary: love your home,
your native land, your people, your accomplishments,
defend THEM, YES, by all means. Chauvinism is when
patriotism descends into an aggressive "we are the best",
"we are the most important", "we are exceptional", "everyone
should emulate us", "we should decide", etc. Chauvinism over
the centuries has only had a limited efficacy and has proven to
be a major cause of empires' eventual end; witness The U.K.,
France and Russia, merely three recent examples from the West--
are we bucking for fourth??

A thumbnail listing of where they went wrong:

(1) In Great Britain, Rudyard Kipling exhorted, "...Take up
the White Man's burden..." meaning, whites were always superior
to the Indians, the Chinese, etc. whom they conquered. The U.K.
exacted a massive price for conferring the "joys" of  Imperialism
and the West upon these older nations.

(2) France continued to exclaim as we do now how great
they were, how essential to Western culture, how civilized,
they are and were, even while they diligently deployed racism
of every stripe and well after being utterly humiliated by
the Nazis in WWII. The second language of planet Earth
is no longer French, (--or German or Russian) but American
English; if you wish to promote your culture, business acumen
and scientific discoveries world wide, you publish in English
as well as your native tongue, period.

(3) The U.S.S.R. is no more, hasn't really existed with
teeth since 1989. The great socialist/communist "dream"
was/is notoriously nightmarish, one which many Socialists/
Communists were/are quite willing to impose via fiat,
bloody and controlling, codified in at least one version
of their constitution, which began, "The Classes of Society".
Totalitarianism has plagued Russia for many centuries, the
Commies  merely replaced the Czars. In the marketplace
of ideas, this one has failed; even if resurrected down
the road, it will fail again, as it is not emblematic of what
is true about most people.

The foregoing strict critique in no way diminishes my
admiration for the marvelous, world-class writers from
each of these nations, their scientific contributions, their
visual arts, or music. I AM, however, issuing a timely warning:

Chauvinism is the defense from decline, a shout from behind,
not a statement of strength. It is especially stupid in 2016, living
in a global village as we do. Respecting other countries' humanity
and accomplishments is the way forward toward world peace
and the prosperity which well might travel with it...

Heedless, headlong posturing and postulating is only a 60
second feel-good proposition, not leadership, not diplomacy,
not even "exceptionalism", which I hope I have shown here.

Let's stay very wary while avoiding the trap of unwise,
unvarnished folly, please.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Your Nation Needs You: Now Is the Hour--Register to Vote if You Don't Own a Current Voter's Card

After the Antics in Clevland:  Since we heard Donald Trump make
promises he cannot legally or logistically keep, it is more urgent
than ever to have all adult citizens of this fractured land registered
to vote. The polls (some of which, like Quinnipiac, are not accurate
due to missing the young with cell service only) show Trump and
Clinton in a dead heat; some days, one is a bit ahead of the other.

It is a disgusting disgrace and an embarrassment that we are
offered these two as our most successful candidates to lead this
large country; other, less flawed contenders were shouted down
or dismissed. This is a dangerous, chaotic era we find ourselves
in, requiring a truly talented, moral, experienced leader  who is
comfortable and conversant with the levers of power and
process. Mrs. Clinton does have ample requisite experience,
but plainly proves she is deficient in ethics/morality, with her
private server in her home conducting the U.S. State Department's
business, subsequently deleting thousands of her emails--but not
before some of them (well over 100) were released, showing
her disregard for legal process and security. As an attorney she
should clearly know and do better.

Right now there should be serious voter registration drives
all across America, as close to 100% of all eligible to vote
registered before November. Let's be adult about it:

Your nation needs you now, this is the hour--
Register to vote!

Monday, July 18, 2016

November 2016: Will We Get There With Some Semblance of Order?

Judging by the past few months, with mind-numbing acts
of folly, violent vendettas, and race-motivated murders, we
won't/don't/can't possess the required gravitas, intelligence and
knowledge to gracefully, morally and legally segue into a
civilized country, one with differences which can be discussed
rationally rather than with insults, threats, shouts and physical
attacks at times leading to deaths.

Again, for the hundredth time: I am ashamed to be a human
being in this era. The lawlessness, meanness, ignorance,
arrogance, lying and denying are destroying lives here at home
and around the globe. Today's opening salvo at the 2016
Republican Convention in Cleveland had the anti-Trump
forces defeated by a Southerner presiding over floor votes
to authorize a roll call, totals for and against toted up
casually, probably not accurately; many delegates walked out.

Oh, Newt Gingrich will stay the course, his hunger for
lasting fame and his ambitions never die, others of his
stripe too. I wish Gov. Kasich had attended, but he
served 18 years in the U.S. Congress, so he must have
calculated his voice could not be heard or heeded
during this pathetic, embarrassing scenario. I found him
to be the only republican candidate with the necessary
breadth of bipartisanship and experience to serve as
our president, but that ship, regrettably, has sailed.
Still, I'll likely write his name in on the November ballot.

"Remember in November"? Neither Donald nor Hillary
are my candidates, for reasons I have posted previously
on this blog and elsewhere. Being merely rich doesn't do it;
being merely experienced doesn't do it; intelligence,
character, judgement, morality, compassion and strength
could do it, but I do not see these attributes coming down
the presidential pike anytime soon.

Will Summer explode in many-faceted tensions and
disorders? It already has; wonder what Fall and Winter
will bring. If only we can arrive at the General Election
with some semblance of order, I, along with many, will
be able to relax and rejoice.

Friday, July 8, 2016

The USA in 2016: A Shame and a Sham

Everyone now knows what a sad shame our nation
has become, with all the white cop on black male
executions, and just last night in Dallas, sniper rifle
revenge killing five Dallas Police Officers,
wounding others...

But a sham? Yes, a sham. We tout ourselves as
as City on a Hill, orderly, prosperous, advanced,
a beacon of hope to millions around the world.
Yet, the world can plainly see that we are no
City on a Hill, that prosperity, justice and even
life is denied to many, and as to order, well,
WHERE is it??

I see an incipient race war fulminating, one
currently carried out in serial fashion, but war
it is nevertheless. Denial will only exacerbate
the conditions causing our very complex
national human relations dilemma. Doing
what we've always done, leaning heavily
on "tradition", is one of the grave signal
errors of this scenario, a torn tapestry
which should be discarded and woven anew.

A  federal think-tank task force must be
quickly created to erect new, effective
policy guidelines for admitting applicants
to our police departments, with extensive
background checks dating back to high
school, with new psychological screening
tests and better, more intensive role-play
training. Ignoring imperatives along these
lines insures more and escalating tragedies
of every stripe, new ones like the Dallas
sniper incident our future, I fear.

Stop bragging about how great our country
is or was, and 86 the term, "exceptional".
We are merely humans here, heir to every
frailty and flaw ever known to plague
mankind throughout history. Getting down
to brass tacks, rolling up our sleeves and
doing the serious work required to restore
trust and order is the only way out of our
national turmoil and disgrace.

Meanwhile, the USA in 2016 remains
a shame and a sham.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Sexual Perversity in Chicago: A "Third Brother Darrell" Bob Newhart Never Knew

An entire eleven pages in the Chicago Reader
(June 9th, 2016) and a follow-up two pages
(June 16th, 2016) were devoted to Profiles,
a non-equity theater specializing in REAL
on-stage violence and sexual violation--this is
NOT acting, any more than the gladiators'
performances at the Roman Colosseum were
acting OR "Art". ( The lions likely would agree.)

What can be said about all the actors and the
others at this small space who put up with
former Texan Darrell Christopher/Cox's
physical, sexual and verbal abuse? What were
the women thinking who allowed this behavior
to continue? Most of them had other jobs, so
Profiles was not necessary to life. --Did they
hunger to be watched THAT much??--EEW.

Don't get me started on the fools (AKA critics)
at the Jeff Awards, which honored Killer Joe
with three awards. They should take a time
machine back to the past, about 160 years or
more, and join the Know Nothing Party-they'd
fit right in. Along with the audience, they too have
trouble distinguishing reality from "realization".
Real people really acting, NOT acting out, deliver
important performances; anyone can be a brute, a
misogynist, etc. without a Hell of a lot of prompting
OR skill. P.S.: that tiny theater has space for 50; how
could anyone miss the mayhem? --"Intimate", indeed.

Some of the actors who knew Cox well declined to
be interviewed for the Reader's expose' is easy
enough to discern why: Darrell, who appears to be
a psychopath and a sociopath, is a large male, capable
of maiming or killing with his bare hands. These victims
now realize they were complicit in the crimes against
them on and off stage, never reported, very much like
abused spouses. Cox's Profiles peers felt mollified by
a full house night after night? That reminds me of the
gapers' block phenomenon, not art appreciation by
an audience of the cognoscenti.

One former Profiles employee described the whole
ensemble as resembling "a little bit of a cult" mentality.
--Try a LOT. Profiles should be closed. This much
perversity (craziness) must not be admired or desired.

Sexual Perversity in Chicago, originally a play by David
Mamet, later a  movie, has now become "a thing". If you
want to avoid such a seamy, degrading experience,
boycott Profiles and its ilk elsewhere in the theater world.

Darrell, a third brother Bob Newhart never knew.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Public Apathy: "We have met the enemy and he is us" Immortal cartoon Is STILL Right...

Back down the decades, Walt Kelly, creator of "Pogo" comic strip
wrote this immortal line, regrettably still true. Here's my latest

Dateline 06/22/2016: CBS Radio (Chicago feed, 780 am)
this morning informed us that last evening's Chicago public
meeting hosted by a panel of suitable experts from the City,
Chicago Public Schools, and environmental quality staff
regarding lead in drinking water at Chicago's schools
was attended by--the panel.

--Shocking? Not to me; dispiriting, Hell yes. Our somewhat
broken system still affords adult citizens here opportunities
to participate meaningfully in the public square. How does
anyone expect positive policy changes to occur without
more citizen input? The first step is voting, yes, yes, but the
requirements for our republic's continued existence and
health putatively posits participation at far greater levels:

(1) Call your elected officials with your questions, concerns
and improvement ideas. Call legislators anywhere in your
state and nation as well--why not? Are you not an adult
citizen, voter and taxpayer? If so, you have every right
AND obligation to do so,  SO, DO SO.

(2) Find groups and organizations which deal with your
matters of concern. They exist, check the web... haven't
got a pc, laptop, smart phone? Your local library likely
does, use them for free.

(3) You say, "I don't have the time, I have two jobs and
three kids", etc., ad infinitum. Make the time, if you truly
love your children, your city, your country, somehow,
make the time. It matters.

Stay tuned for more Amber nags; nattering nabob of
negativism (thank you, V.P. Spiro) signing out...

But first: public apathy enables the Trumps, Cruzes and
all others that would walk back our dearly-won rights
and freedoms to a previous era of slavery to the uncaring
super-rich and super ignorant. --Never forget this!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Murderous Mateen: Twisted Terrorist and Homophobic Hater, Enabled by Insane Gun "Laws"

Dateline, June 12th, 2016, Orlando Florida:

Dear readers, how often have I said chaos is spreading, that
our frequently vaunted "system", society, shamefully approaches
a shambles? I want to be wrong about what we have seen;
sadly, regrettably, with much anguish AND anger, I am  still
correct, with no end to the horror in sight.

Orlando, site of happy, fun fantasies for young and old, will be
remembered now for the 50 dead and 53 wounded; the kind,
uplifting, unifying speeches by one and all, from Obama down
to the ordinary citizen cannot quell the fear and overreaction
spilling over after this nightmare episode. Several mosques have
been threatened, as has happened after other mass deadly-violent
episodes, some of the language attached to those threats
incomprehensibly irrational--surprise, surprise.

There is no rational, reasonable support for allowing anybody to
purchase military grade weaponry, from AR 15s to AK 47s.
This "legal" abuse of the Second Amendment MUST END.
The arms dealers and manufacturers should be supplying
these mass engines of  death  only to our military, period.
Memo to those who fear a government takeover of ordinary
citizens: you would never win in such a struggle, which hasn't
happened here in all our 229 years as a nation. Never forget
Ruby Ridge or Waco;  the past pretty much predicts the future,
as many psychosocial experts have long said regarding
human behavior...

So what's behind the wish to possess such dreadfully
deadly machines?

--Intent to kill, period. One rifle and one handgun
seem sufficient to defend/protect one's person, car,
home, military-style automatic weapons not needed.
--Illusions of power, a power such people DO NOT
possess --most die shortly after committing these
murders, by their own hand or that of others.
--Making a statement? Yes, of insanity, hatred,
horror, pain,  and outrage, little else.
--Unless the theory is to wear the West down, a la
the slow, inexorable Chinese water tortures of old,
we weakly, helplessly succumb, then, voila! a world-
wide caliphate is installed.   Memo to the ignorant/
inhumane: you are operating under a NO-GO theorem.
We will never surrender to your primitive, failed past
"system" of society/governance.

"We will not be ruled by fear", etc. Stay strong, yes,
but better be safe than sorry--I AM feeling a very
sensible fear, so will shun large, crowded events,
especially in Chicago, near where I live. I have
risked my life on many occasions, stopping certain
crimes on the street, but such incidents were one-
on-one propositions, not dark, crowded, confusing
conditions. Large, densely populated crowds are not
a place for a 71 year old, period; my crime-fighting
days are (mostly) over. Opportunities to participate
are still available at other than arena-type settings,
street parades, or dramatic, disorderly demonstrations.

Back to the "legal" abuse of the Second Amendment:
Right-wing republicans serving in DC better be careful:
many of you are up for re-election, have recently been
unmasked as the stumbling block to re-authorizing the
since 2004-expired automatic weapons ban. It is
obvious to most of us you are only interested in
YOURSELVES, not the safety of the nation. Many
powerful voices are being raised broadcasting this fact
--the drumbeat will continue; remember in November!

Murderous Mateen, twisted terrorist and homophobic
hater may have been a lone wolf, but he is scarcely
the only one. Only a determined, sensible legal system
can stop them and others--can we please create one,
since it does not now exist?

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Have Establishment Republicans Come too Late to the Party?

Let's list the recent arrivals to the newly configured, We Are Sane
Republicans Party; their membership is impressive:

* U.S. Senior Senator (R) KY Mitch McConnell
* Former U.S Speaker of the House (R) GA Newt Gingrich
* U.S. Junior Senator (R) IL Mark Kirk
* Current U.S. Speaker of the House (R) WI Paul Ryan
* U.S. Senator (R) SC Lindsey Graham
* U.S. Senator (R) FL Marco Rubio
* Gov. (R) OH John Kasich
* U.S. Senator (R) NE Ben Sasse
* U.S. Senator (R) ME Susan Collins
* U.S. Senator (R) OH Rob Portman
* U.S. Senator (R) SD  John Thune
Thanks to the Chicago Tribune, June 3rd, 2016
for fleshing out this list and the statements from
these pols. I'm certain there are more (-ad infinitum?)

--Aaaand the number of names will just roll on,
disavowing the Donald, courtesy of the newly-
awakened realization republicans of note have arrived
at--minorities vote, there are a LOT of them, most voters
are probably not racist, the democrats COULD
continue to keep the White House after November,
etc. ...Oh, yes, such racism, intransigence and ignorance
COULD cost some of these powerful republicans their
cushy seats in DC. How they howl as they scurry away
from Trump--is a "dump Trump" in the offing come July?

Regrettably, I am forced to conclude this latest spate of
scoldings (posturings) are attempts to align with the sane
side (right side) of history at last, at least apparently.
The few early exceptions to republicans supporting
Trump weren't numerous, influential, vocal or powerful
enough, sadly.

Memo to establishment republicans late to the party:
I can't/don't/won't believe you--where were you last year,
last month, last WEEK?

Friday, June 3, 2016

The USA: Undone in 2016: Rule by Rioters Rousing the Rabble?

(1) It would seem so, a sorry spectacle of a ghastly "new normal";
humans run amok, foul language, punching, etc. outside yet
another political rally, Trump's latest. The mayhem occurred
Thursday night (06/02/'16) in San Jose California. Anti-Trump
protesters ran wild, doing no good to their cause. Why/how did
any of them think their fear and dislike of  the Donald trumped
lawful behavior?
(2) A prominent gun lobbyist claimed that "rule by the ballot box"
can be undone "by the bullet box to support the Constitution".
--What?? I have re-read the U.S. Constitution numerous
times over the decades, therefore must firmly stipulate that its
original Seven Articles and subsequent 27 Amendments do not
sanction any arbitrary kind of overturning of laws, looting, mob
action, murder, etc. The rule of law's primacy married to the
regular rights, human and civil, of all are specifically enshrined
in our highest document.

Every year since 1787, however, there have been actions and
attacks ad infinitum against the Constitution. The Founders,
wise and knowing, installed a Supreme Court to interpret the
constitutionality of cases that wend their way to the top of the
legal ladder. This system too has failed occasionally: witness the
infamous Dred Scott decision, overturned by a later Supreme
Court, thank God.
(3) This gun nut, a Mr. Larry Pratt, seems to think any outcome
he opposes can be overturned by force--legally!  He is as stupid
as he is dangerous, two characteristics often disastrously paired.
Anarchy is not viewed favorably by followers of the U.S.
Constitution, obvious to all but oblivious Pratt--order, process
and respect, NOT "because I'm aggrieved anything goes", i.e.,

Will rioters rousing the rabble run the Summer Conventions,
ruining  the November 2016 election?  Are we about to
become as crazy as North Korea? Stay tuned, do what you
can/must/should to stop such rule by rabble.  

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Fair or Not, Judges Run the Room--Zohra, Baby, You Cannot Interrupt a Judge

Re: the Huffington Post, last week of May, 2016: I'm sorry,
but in no USA courtroom can any attorney run the room.
It is the Sitting Judge, or the Hearing Officer, etc. who
authorizes attorneys to speak, object, make closing statements/
arguments, approach the bench. Public Defender Zohra
Bakhtary WAS out of line, period, overtalking and interrupting
the judge. Even if she is correct in stating the judge interrupted
her first, too bad, baby, but in the courtroom, the judge CAN
do that--attorneys are NOT equal to the sitting  judge!
YES, they can:
(1) remove attorneys and defendants or others,
 anyone not observing the judge's authority,
(2) even employ duct tape,
(3) close the current docket session and reschedule...
YES, even in Las Vegas, where this incident occurred.

While handcuffs administered to Zohra seems draconian
practice, Atty. Bakhtary refused to accede to Judge's Hafen's
order to be silent. Is she being "passionate" in defending her
client, or arrogating authority she simply does not possess?
--I vote for the latter. As to these others who backed her up,
they should have any official credentials they possess withdrawn,
because they fail to understand our system; I'm not asking anyone
to like it, just obey it until we institute a better one.

As an Officer of the Court, Zohra's "Zealously defending
her client" (her statement) smacks instead of zealotry and
entitlement drama. She IS young and pretty, which
often results in such an attitude. She should have
immediately stopped talking when instructed, waited
for a subsequent, more opportune moment, then
attempted again to make her point. Talented, shrewd
attorneys do EXACTLY that. When  Judge Hafen
admonished her, finishing his sentence with "...OKAY?"
Bakhtary took this for her opening, but he hadn't
concluded, cue to Zohra misapprehended, unfortunately.

As to the " persecuted woman whine", please! Women
in this setting must obey the rules, as must the men. Zohra's
friends are not serving her by playing the "aggrieved
female" card. What, she should interrupt all she wishes
because she's a girl? --PLEASE.

I think the relatively untutored of this world, including
lawyers who have observed the Clarence Darrows
of jurisprudence monopolizing a courtroom, miss the
key reality--it is the JUDGE ALLOWING the spectacle.
He or she is absolutely under no obligation to do so.

Back to Criminal Justice 101, everyone! Especially
you, Zohra baby.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Trump in New Mexico: Mob-Made Mayhem, the Rabble Strikes Again

Albuquerque, New Mexico, May 24th, 2016: Trump's tension-
tussle caused chaos and some property damage. Protesters
understandably reject being called rapists and murderers by the
Donald--but their conduct here is unsupportable, nevertheless.
Rocks and bottles were thrown at police horses--what do the
poor animals have to do with any sort of politics? This shameful,
sorry spectacle, among others, deserves the pejorative term,
"rabble"; mob-made mayhem seems accurate as well. How is
mindless destruction going to advance anyone's cause?

We DO have a system, broken in places though it may be, so
we should exploit every legal means to correct injustices and
vote out bad leaders. Again, tiresomely enough, I must add--
do your damn research; stop wishing, without any effort from
you, for miracles which will resolve ANYTHING! Speak out,
organize, interact with legislators, run for office, VOTE.

Nothing worth having has ever come easy. Did these rabble-
rousers' parents teach them that? If so, the lessons obviously
failed to stick. Instead, we see dangerous behavior which
embarrasses everyone and enlightens no one. Money and
media frequently frittered away, wasted, to say nothing of

The arrow of time moves ever more swiftly toward
November--is it too late to create an atmosphere of
reason, producing a president worthy of the name?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Yellow Journalism Which Never Ended Here: How It Enables the Rabble and an Outbreak in Nevada

--Yes, the rabble. Others won't/don't/can't call it, but I CAN:
No major media outlet will simply say, the unthinking mob
disgraced itself and us, yet again, this time in Nevada,
Tuesday, May 17th. Sanders supporters aped the worst
Trump supporters, using threats, web insults, calling a female
politician the "c" word, etc. ...and chairs were thrown, a' la
the dangerous stupidities one sees in South Korean politics.
(See Chris Matthews' "Hardball" for interviews and video
views of the shameful Nevada convention mayhem.)

--UGH.  I am officially now ashamed to be an American,
yes; and I won't/don't/can't care to walk that statement
back, either. This isn't disloyalty, just frank disgust, that
the greater preponderance of the sensible aren't rising up
to loudly, prominently decry such actually illegal, ignorant
behavior...whatever HAPPENED to "disagreeing without
being disagreeable?"

In the previous post I compared the current crop of
journalists/reporters unfavorably to the likes of Walter
Cronkite et al., who were thorough, dignified, accurate
and therefore admirable. Yellow journalism, I learned in
the 1950s, had been a bane of our national existence,
yet NOW had largely left the landscape, ostensibly,
observably. But wait, I say NO: just recall how an
experienced, moderate, bipartisan like Gov. Kasich
got/gets short shrift, while the Trumps and Teds get
whatever coverage they'd like. Violence at these
important events takes valuable time and pride of
place at the expense of dealing with the USA's
many serious problems; do the big media outlets
care??--Hell no.

Big media, be responsible, DO YOUR DAMN
JOB, STOP enabling the self-important crazies
who are ruining our country--DO IT NOW!

Monday, May 16, 2016

The New York Times: Megan Kelly Media Madness Sinks to a New Low

--Whaaat?? The New York Times, once a very vital, vaunted source
of (--ahem!) important news has dedicated one and a half pages
to Megan Kelly, (May 14th) who apparently never asks questions
most of us actually SHOULD obtain answers to. So, et tu, NYT??
You have now joined the ranks of the ignominious and irrelevant.
But hey, that moves our local papers, the Chicago Tribune
and the Chicago Sun-Times up a few pegs, yay!

I knew the end was coming when the NYT allowed
a huge typo, "billie oils" (for billions of miles) into print,
proofreading be damned into non-existence, early in the
millennium.  Even earlier, (~1983) I had called editorial
over there to discover that the famous paper had fired all
its proofreaders and most of its copy editors...

And now the New York Times has sunk to the infotainment
level, simply because this chick wears low-cut clothing
and has blond hair? --Please. She is as trashy as Trump,
not minding being part of such  sexual crudity, participating
wholeheartedly on the Howard Stern Show. I don't subscribe
but am related to family who do; I heard her exchange with
Howard months ago--innocent, intelligent (or even decent)
she is NOT. No sympathy is necessary for her as the object
of the Donald's attack--he was wrong and so is she, even if
for somewhat different reasons.

The days of Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite,
Peter Jennings and Tom Brokaw are clearly eclipsed.
This nation is much worse off while the media panders
to such low tastes when real problems proliferate.

To the New York Times:  DO YOUR DAMN JOB,
shame on you!

Ted Cruz Down, But Don't Rule Him Out

May 3rd, 2016: Ted Cruz has bowed out of the USA's presidential
sweepstakes, but he could be offered the VEEP consolation prize
in July at the Republican National Convention...ugh.

It WAS odd, though, methinks, for him to leave the intense fray
simply because he lost Indiana's primary. He vows to keep on
"fighting" (for what, exactly, who can tell?). Some of us wanted
both parties to host brokered conventions this Summer, as the
potential for a messy but actually democratic process existed
as long as Ted soldiered on.

I had fantasized that the rank and file would ask for Governor
Kasich to take the nomination as a  moderate, grass-roots
compromise--not that the media mavens moved forward
toward such an eventuality...but who cares? Even some of
THEM admit, every week, that they had not foreseen the
staying power of the Donald, with  "charmingly" self-
deprecatory chuckles; have they ever owned up to the
irresponsible, irrepressible mess they've helped to create?

But Bernie Sanders seemingly steams ahead to a Democratic
contested show in July; I'm all for it--why not? Bill's Hill
is not a dream candidate for several hard-to-hide-from
reasons, Benghazi not being a major one despite all the
reverberations from the right, in and out of our Congress.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, "Texas" Ted must be darkly
plotting, probably with Grover Norquist, Glenn Beck et al.
Brothers and sisters, let's keep an aware eye on the guy...

He's down, but scarcely out.

Monday, May 2, 2016

An "Exceptional" USA: --Really?? Not quite: government authorities routinely break laws

...And here is merely one case in point: the U.S. Forest Service,
which I have mostly admired, has allowed corporate giant Nestle
to violate laws regarding public lands (i.e., putatively owned by
the people) for TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS. Now Nestle
wants a five year extension. What IS this??

Nestle, according to a USA Today article from October 2015,
is the world's largest food and beverage concern--I'm not
certain if this means by volume of sales or net profit. Nestle's
American division taps into Arrowhead Springs in the San
Bernardino Mountains (CA). Former foresters and several
environmental organizations have sued, protesting this long-
standing practice, as no rigorous scientific studies seem to
have been done to gauge any environmental degradation.
Considering California's lengthy drought, how does this pass
the smell test? The U.S. Forest Service in California issues
permits which allows Nestle to take great amounts of water,
but federal law has been broken by not requiring Nestle to
officially renew its permits; this shocking laxity has continued
for the above-mentioned 28 years. (!)

Dear readers, this outrage, others as well, greet me daily
in my Yahoo inbox. How can we be "the city on a hill",
"exceptional", "the best nation on Earth", etc., ad nauseam,
when laws are so often broken by government authorities as
I'm routinely aware of?  --Really?? Isn't the United States just
another nation wallowing in an all-too predictable chauvinism?
I love this country because I was born here, a compelling
indication of loyalty as President James Madison said in
Marbury vs. Madison. Everyone I love is here--but I am not
blinded by all-too human flaws in its actions nevertheless.

The disgusting, disquieting tragedy is that much of what's wrong
here at home is not necessity or inevitability. We could become
a mature society, defying at last, the analysis performed by
Alexis de' Tocqueville in his world-famous Democracy in America
(~1835), wherein he describes us as being shallow, too restless,
hungering after novelty. --The prescription for this malady?

"Drink deep or taste not the pierian spring" (--fount of knowledge)
by Alexander Pope, poet from the UK.

[P.S.: For more details, anyone can check Case 5:15-cv-02098
Document 1, filed 10/13/2015. Kudos to the USA Today
for providing the full 15 page legal and source document
in its online version.]

Thursday, April 21, 2016

--Hurray! Heroine Harriet Tubmann Gets Her Overdue Symbolic View

--On the soon to be issued new $20 bill. This is one of those
rare times when policy proves perfect--at least, in my opinion:

(1) She will be on one of  the most used currency denominations
we have, when you think about ATM withdrawals, etc.

(2) Alexander Hamilton, one of our key Founding Fathers,
is left alone to reign over the $10 bill. --Here's to Hamilton
as well!

(3) BUT MOST OF ALL, the U.S. president I have hated
most continuously, murderously racist Andrew Jackson, will
be gone...whew! I did not expect this happy happenstance to
occur in my lifetime, but here it IS.

Harriet Tubman was indeed a true hero; she follows the
definition of risking her life for others many times over.
The clarion call for acknowledging her in this way finally
reached those that matter, those who would be able to
make momentous decisions/policy changes.

My other personal currency and history hero, Alexander
Hamilton, was an actual hero as well, facing death many
times to help Washington wrest us from the British; later,
as a Founding Father, Hamilton (along with others) created
an actual nation with his contributions to our U.S. Constitution,
the Federalist Papers, and as Treasury Secretary.

Here's to heroes, then: Tubman and Hamilton, both of whom
made our country great...hip, hip, hooray!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Memo to the 50 States--STAY IN YOUR LANE

Arrggh, here we go again; democracy is indeed messy,
even when what we actually have is a republic. Our
president is trying to be humane AND, attempting
to be logical as well, he is busy crafting laws that
would trump the Donald's irrational wish to deport
~11 million undocumented workers. Mr. Obama's
plan seems to be simple: let them stay, get workers'
visas. This would allow immigrants to be traceable,
just like the rest of us are ( via Social Security), yet
avoid the incredible expense removal requires
(which we have no funds for) and a  massive,
logistical, strategic nightmare.

Boy, would I ever love to discover the chest
of drawers Donald Trump keeps his magic
wand in...because only a supernatural source
could effect his idiotic, xenophobic "plan".
Ditto for "the Wall" and the "Hairy Whaaat's"
confidence he could force Mexico to pay for
it. --Yow! We are still benefiting from our
two coasts and two friendly neighbors--why
would we risk ruining that?

Meanwhile, several states governed by below
the waist motivations are also urging reactionary
support for these impractical (insane) ideas.
Memo to you states' rights enthusiasts:
Y'all should summarily be thrown out of
office if for no other reason than  you have no
knowledge of or respect for the U.S. Constitution,
putatively the highest law of our land. Governors
and state senators do NOT overrule a president--
consult the document...

(Y'all are embarrassing me and any other
smart person; bank on it, which will inspire
us to act against you--IN NOVEMBER
when we vote. Before then we DO possess
our powers of persuasion.)

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Even with Jamie Dimon Gone, the New York Fed Still Lacks Credibility

--Yippee! Jamie Dimon stepped away from the NY Fed, an
apparently very quiet relinquishment of power, according to a
January 2013 issue of the Los Angeles Times. Mr. Dimon wasn't
solely felled by appearing before the U.S. Congress regarding
the $6.2 bn stunning losses at J P Morgan Chase racked up by
a single trader, "the London Whale" in 2012. So serious and swift
a loss in that relatively unregulated investment portion of banking
raised the hackles (-finally!) of the SEC, the Fed, and the FBI

No, a high-magnitude world-wide financial scandal alone
wouldn't have tempted JD to leave his Board of Directors'
post at the New York Fed, but his throat cancer around
the same time period certainly added its own version of
a "stress test". Jamie also resigned  from a subsidiary post
at his own bank, but remains the CEO...

And very likely, retains all his board memberships, which
are formidably numerous, prestigious and powerful indeed:
Bloomberg's web page, 04/07/2016, lists Mr. Dimon's
connections to no fewer than 284 board members across
six different industries. Many of the most troubling are
through an entity called "The Partnership for New York
City, Inc." This is a select coterie of ~300 CEOs of that
city's top private sector heads, corporate, investment,
entrepreneurial, etc. The PFNYC is a not for profit,
pro NYC organization, but I'm sure it does more than
act as a ceremonial, cheer-leading "I Love New York"
group. It wields enormous influence in donation decisions
with a purse totaling well over $110 million.

Checking Wikipedia, the writers there claim the
PFNYC is dedicated to keeping NYC's status
as the global center for culture, commerce and
innovation. Looking at a very small, partial list
of interlocking directorate colleagues/members,
associated through this PFNYC, I have to
wonder if the Clayton Act and Dodd-Frank
are routinely being violated.

Meanwhile, mea culpa, as only today did I
learn that Dimon had left the NY Fed...three
years ago! The larger objection still remains,
irrespective of Dimon, et al.: the system is still
substantially broken, deliberately requiring major
bank CEOs as Class A directors, sitting CEOs.
Sen. Bernie Sanders and Economist  Simon
Johnson (MIT) both cautioned against this
back in 2012; Dodd-Frank only partially
alleviated "rule by the foxes" by giving more
power to the Class B and C directors.

Memo to the U.S. Congress: The whole federal
reserve system really should be made more
accountable and transparent, firstly, by reinstituting
Glass-Steagall, secondly, by not allowing any large
bank's current head to serve on the NY Fed--or any
of the other 11 regional feds.

Take THAT, Jamie!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Panama Papers, Eh? Where are American Names? Share the Shame

Dear Teddy Roosevelt, you had no idea about ugly, unintended
consequences when you opened passage from one ocean to
the next with the Panama Canal project. Now a massive,
money laundering or hiding or obfuscating reality has been
exposed, revealing the greed, sense of entitlement that too
many of the powerful, the famous, the athletically talented
possess--and act on. Many nations' top people are implicated;
one head of state, the president of Iceland, has resigned,
supposedly temporarily. Imagine a head of state so
unsupportive of his/her country's good that he/she is
quite unwilling to pay taxes to benefit the very nation
which catapulted said head to fame, fortune and power.

My chief interest is here at home, naturally. This scandal,
reported worldwide days ago, has yet to release/reveal
any American why is that? One news report
blames the lack of U.S. participants in the scandalous
scheme on the huge amount of material  to examine.
I don't buy it--so many other names and nations have
already been published. --Where are ours? The veils
over the evils of homeland humanity, effective so far, will be
whisked away soon, bank on it.

We won't be exempt from this sadly revelatory embarrassment;
why should we be? --Exceptional, my foot. When a country
can't even understand or honor the one entity that might
MAKE it exceptional, the U.S. Constitution,  allowing Sen.
Ted Cruz (Canadian born) to get so far in his presidential quest,
violating the key stipulation of Article II, Section 1, Paragraph
Five, THAT is a serious situation indeed. It is indicative of
ignorance married to an uncaring chauvinism buoyed by
belligerence and a needy, whining disappointment brought
about by an arrantly arrogant salesmanship selling "you can
be anything, do anything you want" to a population of dreamers.

When people here finally find out they will not be the next
rich CEO, the next beauty queen/movie star, senator,
president, astronaut or athlete, many won't take it lightly.
Casting about for a scapegoat/problem-solver, promptly
enough,--voila! "The government is to blame, but we can
fix everything (and ourselves) by electing someone who
promises everything, even the impossible." Can we not get
real, is it even possible at this late date?

Where are American names in the Panama Papers? We
belong on the wall of shame, surely, along with already
outed others. Share the shame, share the blame; now
THERE might be a democratic turn I could be proud of.