Saturday, November 28, 2015

Double Secret Probation for bombers of Doctors Without Borders hospital

Gen. Joseph Campbell, in charge of whitewashing the October US bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan that killed 22 doctors and patients and wounded 37 others, provided a Hollywood ending for his investigation. Channeling Gen. Buck Turgison in Stanley Kubrick's 1964 flick 'Dr. Strangelove', Gen. Campbell deadpanned that the bomber pilots appear to have 'exceeded their authority' when they blasted the hospital and its precious inhabitants to bits, then strafed the folks running out the inferno. Also exceeding their authority were the US forces who entered the destroyed hospital, tampering with the war crime scene. Gen. Campbell then channeled Faber College's Dean Wormer, in the 1978 John Landis epic 'Animal House', handing down punishment for the US perpetrators: Double Secret Probation. Come to think of it, Gen. Buck Turgison and Dean Wormer represent the spectrum of America's endless criminal wars in the Middle East: psychosis and imbecility.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

'At the end of the day' Alverez, McCarthy and Emmanuel didn't do their job.


I watched Top Cop Gerry McCarthy and Top Boss Rahm Emanuel's press conference announcing the murder indictment of officer James Van Dyke for pumping 16 slugs into a non-threatening Laquan McDonald 13 months ago. McCarthy repeated over and over "at the end of the day" to justify his and States Attorney Anita Alverez and Emmanuel's conduct in finally indicting this single rogue cop after obfuscating and dissembling and praying against all odds the truth would never be revealed. Sorry, Chief. At the end of the day you should resign. At the end of the day Anita Alverez should end her re-election bid. At the end of the day, Rahm should figure out, after 5 years, how to protect the public, including the those considered 'disposable' by your police force, for the last 3 years of your sorrowful rule.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Lee's wisdom ignored by McDonald, Van Dyke, colleagues, Chief, States Attorney, Mayor

It's ironic the killing of Laquan McDonald by police officer James Van Dyke came to a head the week Spike Lee's movie of Chicago violence, 'Chiraq' débuted. Lee's presence reminds me of his profound 1989 flick 'Do The Right Thing' which, 26 years later, still resonates with me every day of my life. That's because Lee showed the consequences of folks not doing the right thing, in which a hot day, hot tempers and no turning back from confrontation led to the senseless death of a man and wanton destruction of a neighborhood. After 400 days we're learning tragic details of how virtually no one involved in the McDonald shooting, including McDonald himself, did the right thing. Ingesting PCP and roaming a main thoroughfare with a knife led McDonald to violence prone, trigger-happy cop Van Dyke, who pumped 16 slugs into a non-threatening McDonald. Fellow cops on the scene did nothing except stop Van Dyke from reloading, then likely corroborated Van Dyke's false narrative McDonald was in a death charge against him. Public officials from Police Chief McCarthy, States Attorney Alverez and Mayor Emmanuel all bear scrutiny as likely obfuscating the investigation for political concerns, such as delaying the inevitable day of reckoning and facilitating a re-election campaign. Every political official, every cop; indeed every citizen would be wise to view 'Do The Right Thing' for the wisdom it imparts to navigate the problematic society we inhabit and hopefully lead to more... 'doing the right thing.'

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Brits' Cameron want piece of bombing Syria to pieces

British Prime Minister David Cameron is smarting from the big lead US, French and Russian bomber pilots have piled up in dead Syrian civilians under their deadly barrage of bombs there. He's called for a vote in Parliament next week so Britain can unleash the dogs, opps, bombers, to make up for lost time. Cameron may catch the Yanks, French and Russkies, but he'll never top predecessor Tony Blair, who shares the Nuremburg Prize for mass murder in the Middle East with US war criminal George W. Bush. Collectively they have hundreds of thousands of innocents on their murderous resume.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Biggest terrorists? The ones with the biggest bombs

America appears to be suffering a massive nervous breakdown over the Paris violence. Most presidential candidates have hopped on the Xenophobe bandwagon, demonizing Muslims, calling for 'no-fly' zones, more arms for the folks who launched 911 because they're now fighting the latest target of regime change, Syria's Assad; and demanding US canon fodder be sent to plug the unplugable leak in the dyke of American empire. Cable, network and print news, all in the tank for the US war party, feed us neocon lies, disgracing the profession of journalism. America bombs a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan, killing 22 and all they report is how our government whispers "Opps!" If they dared spend an hour showing the body parts of the women and babies we blast to bits on a daily basis, they'd lose their government access to news and go bankrupt. When we shattered Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and now Syria into ungovernable wastelands of America's trillion dollar military death machine, we put America on a path to ruin. And the end result is a race to the bottom with 15 men and two women vying to lead the carnage channeling Shakespeare's King Lear: "Then kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill."

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Come on, Governor, use those 9 mansions humanely

While we Illinois taxpayers fund Gov. Rauner's digs in Springfield, The Billionaire has nine spacious mansions sitting idle. How 'bout it Gov? Why not let hundreds of Syrian refugees find refuge in those lavishly appointed palaces in a manner to which you are accustomed? There's enough floor space available for you to take in an entire village. You can even use your state of the art security systems to ensure those mostly women and children aren't preparing Paris style attacks in your own back yards.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Rauner checks the Xenophobe box on his governing report card

First newbie Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner checked the 'union busting box' on Day One of his rookie year as Illinois governor. Then he checked the 'end prevailing wage box', in his effort, failed so far, to diminish middle class wages in Illinois. Then he checked the 'no budget box' which allowed him to check the 'reduce help for the needy box'. Not satisfied with checking off every possible box of bad governance, Rauner is using the Paris tragedy to check the 'Xenophobe box', joining 24 other GOP and one Democratic governors in calling for a halt to the reasonable and verified acceptance of Syrian refugees into the US. This opportunity is one box even Rauner didn't foresee having the pleasure of checking off in his urge to cover all the boxes of bad gubernatorial governance.

By checking those boxes, Governor Rauner has boxed himself in to the untenable position of a Freshman Governor scoring a hundred percent in failing to do the right thing.

Governor Rauner reminds me of he fabulously wealthy but harmful character Tom Buchanan in F. Scott Fitzgerald's 'The Great Gatsby'. Paraphrasing Fitzgerald, "He was a careless person, Bruce Rauner -- he smashed up Illinois then retreated back into his money or that vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept him together, and let other people clean up the mess he had made"

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Hollande's 'pitiless' war simply pitiful

French President Francois Hollande reacted as anticipated by the Paris attackers, calling for a 'pitiless' war against ISIS. Immediately sending jets on a massive bombing campaign that will do nothing to defeat ISIS but much to inspire many thousands of foreign Sunni extremist supporters flocking to the emerging Islamic State. Alas, Hollande is falling into the same trap as President George W. Bush, wildly overreacting to a violent attack to save face at home, squandering endless treasure and blood in the process. In Hollande's case the endless blood will be many innocents in Syria because French boots on the ground, like American boots, are not an option. The French public knows France can't win this war; there's no real war to win. They just want a lot of Muslim blood to flow in revenge.

Neither Hollande nor President Obama will tell the terrible truths that ISIS is both funded and supported by our Middle East allies including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and Israel. Even NATO compatriot Turkey is using our war on ISIS to smash their real and only enemy, the Kurds. Years ago American and its allies, both Western and Middle Eastern, decided to back the Sunni's in the massive civil war ignited by our failed Iraq war. The region has become ungovernable due to this war-inspired instability, but we mindlessly funnel weapons to imaginary Sunni moderates seeking to overthrow the Shi'ite Assad who then uses them and our training to fight for the Islamic State. If that sounds is.

Not everyone is depressed by this sorrowful turn of events. US defense stocks are on the rise at Northrup, Raytheon, General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin. France's biggest weapons manufacturer Thales is up, up, while the French index is down, down.

Hollande's bombing campaign isn't pitiless; it's pitiful.

Monday, November 16, 2015

It happened on Veterans Day

Checking out at the grocery, the nice cashier asked me if I were a veteran.  Forgetting it was November 11, I inquired "Why do you ask?"
"We're giving discounts to veterans on their Day", she answered.
 "I'm a veteran of the Peace Movement, working to end, endless war. Does that earn a discount?" 

"No, just military veterans."
"Oh well, maybe next year", I said, ending the conversation. 

I revere and respect vets so I choose to use their special day as well as the other 364, promoting peace. The war party uses Veterans Day, and the other 364 as well, to glorify everlasting war around the world. 

Not just Paris, entire West burning from senseless war

The Paris massacre is likely more blowback from endless, senseless warfare of Western powers in the Middle East. Most honest observers of the madness we've perpetrated on Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and now Syria are correct in identifying the US and its allies' role in creating ISIS, expanding al Qaeda and destabilizing the entire region. While we spend trillions to bomb innocents , the monsters we've created spend a pittan...ce for a few Kalashnikovs and grenades to demonstrate the age old proverb that 'violence begets violence.' We kill hundreds of thousands and the nation just yawns and offers "Let's not look back, let's look forward." That files in the face of the Nuremburg Trial edict that criminal war must be punished; no exceptions.

Watch the war party exploit the Paris atrocity to ramp up our utterly futile, doomed effort to control who governs in a currently ungovernable land. After failing in Afghanistan, failing in Iraq, failing in Libya, we assumed we could use the Syrian civil war to remove Syrian leader Assad whom we couldn't control. By so doing we armed thousands who used our weaponry to spread the Islamic Caliphate to Syria, prevent a land sharing agreement, and doomed tens of thousands more to needless death, including now the 150 innocents in Paris.

Instead of using the Paris massacre to promote more warfare, let's use it to engage in an honest discussion of our 15 year, multi trillion dollar failure that brought us this latest tragedy which pales in comparison to the carnage we've unleashed upon four Middle East countries. You will likely not find that suggestion in mainstream media. They are in the tank for the war party, American exceptionalism, and the white hat, black hat narrative. Forget 50 shades of grey. In US foreign policy, there is not a single one.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Speedy Alka-Seltzer never killed anyone

One of my favorite advertising characters from the 1950's was Speedy Alka-Seltzer. He was an antacid tablet come to life, promising 'speedy' relief from indigestion. Speedy, and his cohorts pitching OTC (Over The Counter) medicines were both engaging and harmless creatures; never once needing a sound over voice warning of heart attacks, strokes, internal bleeding and suicide, rattled off by the winner of a fast talking contest. Nor did Speedy extol us to demand a prescription for him from ol' Doc Jones since we simply plunked down our twenty-five cents for Speedy at Friendly Pharmacy.

Then in 1997, Speedy was relegated to the TV advertising back shelf when the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) authorized Direct To Consumer Advertising (DTCA). This was a brilliant and pernicious scheme in which Big Pharma pitched their dangerous and colossally costly prescription drugs directly to consumers, who could only get them by demanding 'ol Doc Jones write them a prescription. It has been a money geyser for America's leading drug pushers, worth many times the tens of billions spent annually enticing gullible couch potatoes to self medicate.
Research shows doctors meet two thirds of patient requests for a specific drug; and nearly half of all patients make such requests. Doctors are businessmen too; why risk losing a paying customer simply because he's determined to get his TV ad induced drug of choice.

Getting back to long gone Speedy. He never killed anyone. Those prescription drugs being hawked by Big Pharma using beautiful people finding health and happiness in an unreal world? They deep six one customer every 15 minutes.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Gliniewicz legacy should be end to 'War On Cops' myth

The 'Black Lives Don't Matter' claque that used the initial report of Police Lt. Charles Gliniewicz's murder to demonize President Obama and the entire 'Black Lives Matter' movement, have suddenly lost their voice. Gliniewicz was hoisted up as the poster cop targeted by lawless lowlifes being egged on by a black president and the folks protesting against excessive police violence against unarmed citizens. These weren't just fringe lunatics spewing hate fueled by G I Joe's alleged murder. Mainstream political leaders like presidential contenders Gov. Scott Walker, Gov. Chris Christi and Sen. Ted Cruz; police officials like San Bernadino Police Chief Rodney Jones, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, and International Association of Police Chiefs President Richard Beary; and media stars like Fox News Megan Kelly and the Chicago Tribune's John Kass have all piled on the president and the Black Lives Matter movement using Gliniewicz as a prop.  
Once Gliniewicz was exposed as a suicide covering years of theft and bad behavior, and possibly trying to frame 3 hapless passersby for his faked murder, these critics avoided any mea culpa whatsoever. The only one to speak out was Trib columnist John Kass who used his 'Gliniewicz was just a Bad Lieutenant' column to continue his vendetta against true police reform critics. He reiterated how cops justly called him after the report of Gliniewicz's murder moaning about how recent cop killings like Gliniewicz was promoted by 'death to cop' chants at Black Lives Matter protests. His most flimsy acknowledgement of bad cops was that they protect drug dealers or the mob, not gun down unarmed minorities. Kass still compares the dead cops as real as opposed to his belief that anti police protests are simply 'political' or 'hash tags for Twitter wars'. That was no apology; merely another shot across the bow.
Every one of the pols, cops and pundits like Kass promoting the myth of a War On Police to stifle Black Lives Matter should admit they got it wrong, wrong, wrong. If stripping away the mask revealing the anti hero Gliniewicz helps them get it right, that will be a fitting legacy for GI Joe.  
Walt Zlotow
Glen Ellyn

Friday, November 06, 2015

US leads Germany in gun ownership 300,000,000 to 3

I worry about a lot of things all the time. But one thing I don't worry about strolling around Munich these past 2 weeks is gun violence. Why? There is virtually no private gun availability, much less ownership. The German Weapons Act of 1972 makes Germany one of the strictest gun control places on earth. When Germans ponder our tens of thousands yearly turned into walking (or horizontal) pieces of swiss cheese, they shake their heads in bewilderment. On re-consideration, my numbers may be off a bit. There are likely more than 3 guns in German private hands. It's just as likely the number in the US is many millions higher.

2015's Dorothy, Toto would pass on Kansas, stay in OZ

In Frank Baum's 1900 fantasy 'The Wizard of OZ', Dorothy and pal Toto spent the entire story braving great dangers to get back to her home in Kansas. Alas, if Dorothy were trapped in OZ today she'd be content to remain forever rather than step one magical shoe in in a state that would make OZ livable.
Let's start with the poster governor for bad leadership, Sam Brownback. As Governor, Brownback bragged he'd grow Kansas economy with one of the largest income tax cuts in Kansas' history, favoring mostly the wealthy. It busted the Kansas economy and budget, wrecking havoc on programs to help the needy. Not satisfied with that pain, Brownback turned down a $31.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to set up an insurance exchange as part of the Affordable Care Act, signed a bill that blocked tax breaks for abortion providers, banned sex-selection abortions, and declared that life begins at fertilization. Apparently for Brownback, a decent life never begins at any stage in life. 

But Kansas' Secretary of State Kris Kobach may be even worse. On October 25, he was featured speaker at a writers' workshop put on by a white nationalist group The Social Contract Press (TSCP). It is a Michigan-based publishing house that puts out race-baiting articles authored by well known white nationalists. The press is a program of U.S., Inc., the foundation created by John Tanton, the racist founder and ideologue of the modern nativist movement and TSCP’s publisher. Tanton cultivates relationships with Holocaust deniers, eugenicists and other extremists, and is proud of saying: “I’ve come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that.” Kobach has also been working with Federation of American Immigration Reform (FAIR) for almost decade. The Southern Poverty Law Center has listed FAIR as a hate group since 2007, because among other transgressions, its president Dan Stein has said,  “Immigrants don’t come all church-loving, freedom-loving, God-fearing … many of them hate America, hate everything that the United States stands for.” Given Kobach's relationship with these groups it no surprise he's used racially charged  efforts in recent years to restrict voting rights and curtail immigration

Getting Back to Frank Baum, Dorothy and Toto; their fantasy has nothing on the fantasy of Brownback and Kobach, channeling the Wicked Witch of the West in Midwest Kansas. 

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

When US says 'regime change' thousands die

Sixty years ago Groucho Marx presided over comedy quiz show 'You Bet Your Life'. It's featured gimmick was the 'Secret Word', a common word revealed to the audience at the show's outset. If a contestant said the word, a toy duck resembling Groucho—with eyeglasses and mustache - descended from the ceiling to award a $100 bill.
I'm reminded of Groucho and the 'Secret Word' whenever the current leader of the US war party announces one of our imaginary enemies is designated for 'regime-change'. This not so secret word brings down on the unfortunate peoples who provoke it, deadly US bombers, dropping not 100 dollar bills, but 100 pound bombs of death. Just ask the relatives of the hundreds of thousands of dead Afghans and Iraqis we've slaughtered over the last 14 years...and are still slaughtering. 
But that carnage wasn't enough for America's bloodlust. In 2011, the US saw a chance for regime change during the Libyan civil war. Leading a coalition of friendly regime changers, we mounted 26,000 air strikes, butchering thousands of Libyans to prevent what we fanaticized was an impending butchering by Libyan leader Gadhafi. Current contender to take over the war party Hillary Clinton laughed as she exclaimed "We came, we saw, he died", surely one of the most disgusting utterances of an American war proponent ever.
The current Syrian bloodbath, north of 350,000 dead with little hope for resolution, is our current regime change catastrophe. This one, to topple Syrian strongman Assad, has been in the works for 2 decades. The Afghan and Iraq regime change were trial runs against pushovers to prepare for Assad's ouster. The 2009 Syrian civil war put regime change for Assad into play. Two years ago, the US was within hours of unleashing the Groucho duck, oops, bombers, when the American people rose up and forced Congress to tell Obama to stand down. It seems the 'red line' Assad crossed when he gassed his opponents, was unprovable; possibly being a false flag attack by the rebels themselves. In January, 2014, Russia's Putin and Obama brokered a plan to bring Iran into the peace talks to extract concessions from Syria's Assad and the rebel groups. That effectively eliminated regime change so it was sabotaged by the US war party. The result was tens of thousands of additional unnecessary deaths simply to oust Assad. Now, 22 months later, Russia's entry into the civil war on Assad's side, has pretty much squelched the US's plan for imminent regime change. Even Obama has acknowledged that Russia and Iran have valuable roles to play, likely leading to a land sharing ageement for Assad and his foes.

'You Bet Your Life' ended its 14 year run in 1961. America's deadly version, 'You Bet Your Country' has been going on for 117 years, beginning with regime change in Cuba and the Philippians during our first imperial war in 1898. The next time a president announces 'regime change', the Groucho Duck should drop down with a sign that says, "You're impeached"!

Sunday, November 01, 2015

American Psychological Assn. finally get it: No more torture for us

One of the sorrier chapters in the humanitarian crime wave of the George W. Bush administration following 911, was use of the American Psychological Assn. to assist and sanctify government torture of undesirable detainees. Besides allowing member psychologists to participate in 'enhanced interrogation' (Uncle Sam's word for torture), they even relaxed their ethical standards to condone it. The American Psychiatric Assn. and American Medical Assn. said 'Nyet' to such disgusting moral lapse by a group and professionals who knew better.

The good news is a full decade later the APA has tightened its ethical standards to prohibit member participation in torture. They also fired off a letter to their renegade Uncle telling Him that not only are psychologists prohibited in participating in such barbaric practices, detainees should be given all the protections against torture under international law.

Don't assume the US government will refrain from torturing folks without the APA's continued cooperation. When you're blowing innocent civilians to bits in the Middle East every day and then bragging about it, what's to prevent a little friendly waterboarding in secret.

Kloster jousting at imagined political correctness in District 211 transgender case‏

Comments from folks like Andrew Kloster ('Dist. 211 puts safety above political correctness', Daily Herald, Nov. 1) are consistent in that they never reveal a single specific harm inflicted upon a single person from a transgender student using the correct sex (for them)  locker room. Klosner also uses the meaningless term 'political correctness' to support District 211's push back to allowing transgenders to use the locker room of their choice. In fact, it's policy, not political correctness, that hurts the transgenders to satisfy the imaginary concerns of the parents and straight students. Federal policy, which has been successfully implemented in many school districts and public restrooms, allows voluntary privacy areas for those seeking such privacy whether transgender or straight. District 211's 'requirement' transgenders use such spaces is the rub which is jeopardizing the district's financial support because it's jeopardizing the legitimate rights of the transgenders.  
If Klosner would visit his Schaumburg alma mater and quiz the students, he'd likely find them puzzled by his ludicrous concern over an issue that's simply doesn't exist for them. They know who their transgender classmates are, and likely support their living out their lives as their brain and their soul, not their body parts, direct. They also know the only fool who'd like to fool the non transgender girls at school is ludicrous presidential candidate Mile Huckabee, who joked he'd like to time travel back to feign his transgenderness to ogle the girls in his long ago Arkansas high school. We're universally better than Huckabee, and the crusaders jousting at contrived LGBT political correctness.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Ferguson Effect had no effect on Ben Fields

Some big city mayors and even FBI head Jim Comey theorize the Ferguson Effect, passerby videos of cops behaving badly, including murder, has inhibited arrests in high crime areas, spiking crime rates. The data is mixed; some big city crime rates are up; some are down, with no definitive connection between videotaping and crime rates possible. But if there is a Ferguson Effect, it certainly didn't inhibit high school cop Ben Field from going violent with a teen girl in Columbia, SC, flipping the chair bound troublemaker upside down before tossing her across the room. The lesson here is that when bad cops go berserk, their rage makes them oblivious to the ubiquitous cell cameras recording their violent outbursts. The vast majority of cops who are capable of controlling their non professional emotions or character flaws, likely view the taping of their citizen interactions positively; they damn the unruly citizen, not the professional gendarme. But seeing the near weekly stomach turning videos of brutal cops traumatizing, injuring and sometimes killing unarmed, not violent citizens, makes one wonder how many thousands, millions maybe, have been victimized without any means of redress whatsoever before the video revolution. 
I revere and respect the police who have helped me several times including once preventing an imminent mugging while sitting on a Chicago park bench with a friend decades ago. But being white and affluent, I neither experienced nor fretted once about being victimized by a renegade cop. The solutions are many, including weeding out psychologically unfit applicants, promptly dumping the unfit once they demonstrate incompetence or worse, and alleviating the joblessness, despair, blight and institutional racism which continue to plague our minority and poor communities. And how about if the vast majority of good cops stop following the 'blue code' which prevents them rating out the bad cops whose disgusting conduct jeopardize the safety of the citizenry they're sworn to protect, and well as making the good cops' work much tougher and dangerous?

Daily Herald's false equivalency between old and new COD Board's governance

The Daily Herald October 27 editorial 'It's leaders' responsibility to 'move forward' at College of DuPage' is misleading as to the extent of wrongdoing that led to the firing of President Robert Breuder and two financial officers. If one wasn't cognizant of the rampant waste of millions of dollars in corruption, mismanagement, ego mania and fraud that has plagued the College of DuPage during the 2009-2015 Breuder administration, one would gather from the Herald that the new 'Clean Slate' Board is just as responsible for COD's current stained reputation as the old Board that enabled all the shenanigans. Nothing could be further from the truth. The primary complaint from community folks opposing the Clean Slate majority correcting unconscionable abuses of power and citizen tax money, is that they are 'Tea Partiers' using the governing crisis to take over COD, privatize it, wrecking havoc on the educational process. I've heard that directly from old Board members and their dwindling supporters in the community. The Herald almost totally glosses over the abuses that led to the citizens' retiring two old Board members in April, and the new Board's prompt and dramatic reforms that have swept away the Waterleaf Restaurant and the House accounts used by President Breuder and his enablers to gorge at the public trough, among other abuses. My wife and I have attended every Board meeting since the Breuder gravy train was derailed by his own hubris in sending a damning email to the Board revealing his cynical 'pay to pay' hustle to grab millions in tax dollars for his Xanadu edifice. Never has the new Board wavered from a laser like focus on substantive reforms. Divisive interaction indeed occurred, but considering the 100% stonewalling of reforms by the three holdover members, we're surprised the acrimony was not significantly greater.

For the Herald to say "the impression any reasonable observer of COD's recent affairs would have -- is that the college cannot continue to be run the way it has been for the past several years, up to and including the present day" demeans the hard and sometimes contentious process of reform. An overwhelming majority of the faculty and the COD taxpayers would certainly disagree with that conclusion. Regarding COD, the Daily Herald is simply not a reasonable observer.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Creative punishment for Triple B means no prison time

Convicted bribe taker Barbara Byrd Bennett faces up to seven years in prison for her scheme to enrich herself at the public education trough. But spending a single dime on her incarceration is a waste of public money. Bennett's criminal career is over; she's non-violent and no longer a danger to society. How bout a punishment that will weigh on her every one of those 2,555 days much more than the slammer? I'm referring to home confinement with the stipulation that she spend every school day tutoring needy kids in the schools she sold out to the fake principal consulting company.

She could spend each month in a different school, starting off with a public apology to the entire student body, before setting up in her own classroom tutoring and mentoring the neediest students one on one. It would save we taxpayers a hunk of loot; offer help where it's sorely needed; and allow Bennett to expiate her societal transgressions in a uniquely constructive manner. She should also be paid for this valuable work at the nominal rate for any convict doing prison work. If we do this, everybody wins except the hard time dead-enders who think nothing of adding to our No. 1 world wide ranking of incarcerating our citizenry.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Decency biggest casualty in Roskam's grilling of Clinton

It was painful to watch my Congressman Peter Roskam question Hillary Clinton Thursday at the sham Republican Benghazi hearings. Not having even a toy gun, much less a smoking gun, to smear Clinton's presidential bid, Roskam simply made stuff up to portray Clinton in the worst possible light. He used a standard Roskam rhetorical devise, a 'theory' in which to expound on how Clinton was responsible for the deaths of four state department employees stationed in Benghazi. His theory was just that; Roskam's worst possible interpretation of Clinton's motives as the attack unfolded in which to discredit her. He even used a shabby theatrical devise, dramatically ripping up what he purported to be critical communications, to demonstrate his imagined lethal insensitivity on her part. He constantly interrupted and disparaged her. Clinton didn't lash back as any fair-minded viewer would want her to. She coolly looked at him in disgust as if to say, 'I sure feel sorry for the residents of Illinois' Sixth."

Clinton didn't have an attorney to assist her in refuting Roskam's fantastic 'theory' of her wrongdoing; she responded effectively on her own. But had one been present, he might have channeled Joseph Welch at the June, 1954, Army-McCarthy Hearings and responded: "You've done enough, Congressman Roskam. At long last, have you no sense of decency?"

Friday, October 23, 2015

Duck and Cover

If, like me, you learned the 3 R's in 1950's America, you surly remember that bit of advice from Miss Pringle: if you see the mushroom fireball, 'Duck and Cover' under your desk to survive the nuclear attack. And we damn well practiced it.

'Duck and Cover' is also the title of the talk last night at the Milton Township Democratic Party's monthly meeting in Wheaton. Subtitled, 'Nuclear Weapons: A Pictorial History, it was presented by Bob Farquhar (USAF Ret.), a life long expert on nuclear weapons, including the need to prevent their proliferation and use. Bob held Milton Democrats in thrall as he raced through the last eight decades of nuclear development, successful testing, mass murder in Japan, unconscionable testing and proliferation around the world, near misses from accidents and human idiocy, and Uncle Sam's plan to blow a trillion dollars over the next decade to keep our No. 1 nuclear power status.
The pictorial history wasn't pretty. In 80 slides, Farquhar showed us scenes of human devastation truly difficult to view and comprehend. The 70,000 nukes man has built have been reduced world wide to about 10,000, with 1,500 in the US still armed and ready to fire from planes, subs and missiles.

Farquhar emphatically scoffed at the nuclear renegades North Korea, India, Pakistan and Israel, who all refuse to join the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty or cooperate with any concerted efforts to reduce the nuclear threat. Israel and South Africa developed their nukes cooperatively. Israel now has 80 and won't even admit to their existence. And South Africa? They built two and got rid of both, being the only nuclear power to quit the club.

He also re-enforced my long held belief that the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings were totally unnecessary. In his words, "The guys who spent $2 billion building the bomb were not going to be denied the thrill of seeing it work on the enemy." Farquhar also scoffed at the hysterical 'bomb Iran' crowd's endless lies about the non-existent Iranian nuclear program.

Back in 1951, my folks informed this inquiring 6 year old about WWII, the Japanese bombings, and the new threat from a nuclear armed Russia. That was a tough burden to shoulder and it caused its share of nuclear nightmares along the way. In 1962, 53 years ago this month, I woke up ever day for a week or so thankful we still had a world to savor during the Cuban Missile Crisis, caused in part, by America's obsession with destroying the Commie Castro. Since then, there have been enough nuclear near misses (near hits, actually) to start up the nightmares again had they been publicized at the time.
Farquhar concluded with his biggest worry. He preaches today mainly to folks like me who grew up with an understanding of and concern for riding mankind of the nuclear threat. The younger generations are largely unaware we even have a nuclear stockpile ready to vaporize their cell phones and frantic lifestyles. The masters of war worldwide largely pull their self destructive strings in secrecy due to our abysmal ignorance.

Bob Farquhar's mission, in the fine spirit of Don Quixote, is to tilt that nuclear windmill.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Whistleblowers beware: Don't blow on war party

America loves whistleblowers. Jefferson Smith ousting the mendacious political boss Jim Taylor and his lackey, Senator Joseph Paine, by publically revealing their corruption in 'Mr. Smith Goes To Washington', comes to mind. Jimmy Stewart's Smith is a perfect model for the idealistic whistleblower whom America rallies around against evil to improve society.

But there are no Hollywood endings for the courageous whistleblowers who ...reveal the murderous secrets of the war party. They destroy anyone who dares interfere with their endless crimes against humanity for power and fame and wealth. During the Iraq war, they couldn't prosecute former ambassador Joe Wilson for his op-ed revealing the false evidence used to launch the war. He was too important. But they nailed him by outing his CIA operative wife, ending her career.
John Kiriakou, a CIA counterintelligence officer, didn't fare as well. He was the first US government official to confirm in December 2007, that waterboarding torture was used to interrogate Al Qaeda prisoners. Instead of a hero medal, Kiriakou, got 2 years in jail, pleading guilty to a minor charge to avoid 30 years if he wanted to channel Jefferson Smith.

Chelsea Manning, who also pleaded guilty for revealing US war crimes in Iraq, fared much worse. Tortured with a year of solitary confinement till world public opinion obtained better conditions, Manning is now serving 35 years in prison for honoring the Constitution when his superiors weren't.
When the antiwar whistleblower is a foreigner, Uncle Sam enlists his lackeys, just like Big Boss Jim Taylor in 'Mr. Smith', to destroy him. Aussie Julien Assange had to pay for his Wikileaks revelations of American warmongering, but he was outside our jurisdiction. So they arranged for our Swedish puppets to slap him with a false sexual assault charge so they could get the Swedes to fork him over to America when he came calling to answer the phony charges. Assange avoided capture by securing asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he's been a fugitive from our Western lackeys for five long years.

JFK's papa, mogul Joe, hated 'Mr. Smith' when it came out in 1939, because it revealed the venal underbelly of American democracy. Seventy-six years later its warnings about the reality that refutes our democratic principles is more relevant than ever. Back then we weren't rampaging around the world, smashing countries we don't like, destroying millions of lives in the process.
Today there are no Jimmy Stewarts and Jefferson Smiths to save the day. There are just simple heroes like Wilson and Kiriakou and Manning and Assange whose lives are destroyed for daring to expose criminal torture and war. They represent the best of America.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Gun lover Breuder provided 'smoking gun' for his termination


After 16 months of endless scandals, allegations of impropriety, and a faculty no-confidence vote against him, suspended College of DuPage president Robert Breuder faces a Board of Trustee meeting tomorrow with one agenda item: his termination. Last week's release of the Higher Learning Center (COD's accreditation agency) report detailing failures of the college which will require prompt action to prevent loss of accr...editation, may give the final push to cement his ouster.
It's been a long hard slog, but I felt Breuder needed to go 16 months ago when his May 9, 2014, email to the Board of Trustees was released, in which, inexplicably, Breuder provided the ammo for his eventual dismissal meeting.
To Board of Trustees
“I needed to identify a project that would help release our state funding. My idea: a Teaching and Learning Center. Several Board members want to weigh in on the need for such a facility. I have no problem with that; however, not being able to say how we would use the state’s money (perhaps no real need) could lessen our chances to break the money loose at this time (the political moon is rising).”
“When I introduce Governor Quinn at commencement, I want to help our cause (getting the $20 million released sooner rather than later) by thanking him for his commitment in front of 3,500 people. There are many voters in our District. Please keep November 4 in mind.”
“Bottom line: I need some room to breathe on this matter so I can enhance the likelihood we get the $20 million, soon.”
Thanks, B.
Maybe Breuder never figured his email would go public. Maybe he truly believed what he was putting in pixels was perfectly justified in 'pay to play' Illinois. Regardless, if he is terminated tomorrow he can look back for years and lament how he began his decline with one stupid, cynical and damning bit of self destruction.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

War party parties on

Try as he might, President Obama cannot entirely escape the treacherous, bloodthirsty hands of the war party. The military war lovers, their media sycophants, congressman and presidential contenders, and of course, the murderous weaponry makers, have their clutches around him; he simply can't end the carnage begun by his predecessor in Afghanistan in 2001. This in spite of his seven year promises to end the Afghan war before his successor arrives in 15 months. Last week's announcement our 9,500 soldiers there will not be coming home by the end of next year rings hollow. The media is dutifully trotting out war monger spokesmen to claim, falsely, the Afghans puppets we've bought off with untold billions are getting ever so closer to becoming independent. In fact, they run and cough up our weaponry to the insurgents in every major battle.

The only sop to us sheep that serve as the American electorate is that we don't have massive amounts of canon fodder to get blown to bits in a futile and criminal venture. We have substituted endless bombing that kills thousands of innocents, which only gets our and the world's attention when we wantonly and recklessly burn up 22 doctors and their patients in Kunduz because our Afghan puppets beg us to.

The only time the President looks depressed and insincere is when he announces more endless war, whether it be in Libya, Syria, Iraq and of course, Afghanistan. He cannot hide his weakness and shame at not being able to tell the war party to go straight to Hell and to tell us sheep the truth about our despicable wars.

Presidents come and go, but the war party parties on. In America, war is truly the health of the state.

Walt Zlotow
Glen Ellyn

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Hillary's big fib in Democratic debate

Hillary trotted out a whopper in Tuesday's Democratic debate when she said this this about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: "He stole very important information that has unfortunately fallen into a lot of the wrong hands," implying he cache of government documents exposing massive and illegal government surveillance on all Americans may have fallen into Russian or Chinese hands. That wasn't true...didn't happen. But in one sense she was... right. Snowden's revelations of illegal government spying did fall into hands of folks Uncle Sam never intended: THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

And Bernie Sanders's position on the Le Affaire Snowden? He told a truth Clinton would never dare utter least she offend her friends in the war and surveillance party: “Snowden played a very important role in educating the American people to the degree in which our civil liberties and our constitutional rights are being undermined.”

One more reason I'm supporting Bernie Sanders for president.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The national security threat not mentioned

The Democratic debate last night exceeded expectations. The five candidates showed why they are the only ones who should even be running IN BOTH PARTIES. Many fascinating moments but one big disappointment. Though not unexpected, when asked what the biggest national security threat to US was, no one mentioned the obvious: the US war party, composed of civilian and military government officials, both elected and appointed; media war party propagandists, and those ubiquitous makers of US weapons of mass murder like cluster bombs and depleted uranium. They have all dragged US into a half dozen plus military interventions in the last 15 years that have squandered trillions while America crumbles, killed, maimed or displaced millions of innocents, and oh yes, all failed. To a greater or lesser degree, all five remain beholden to the American war party. Being anti war is a non-starter for presidential contenders, even Democrats.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Carson channeling Chauncey?

Talking Heads' heads continue spinning around trying to decipher the 14% poll numbers which have propelled Dr. Ben Carson into second place for GOP Prez contender, trailing only The Donald's 34%. The spinning stems from their astonishment over Carson's rising appeal every time he deadpans another idiotic nugget of imagined wisdom about handling the most powerful job on the planet. They would be wise to pop in the DVD 'Being There', the 1979 flick staring Peter Sellers as simple minded Chance, the gardener, who morphs, through truth starved elites into 'Chauncey Gardiner', a profound but mysterious guru who offers refreshing allegorical insights into our twisted and tangled world. Carson may have a stranger brain than any of the thousand or so he operated on, but for millions of angry, frustrated Republican dead-enders, he's the brilliant truth teller they've been waiting for.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Roskam speaks leadership; votes shutdown

My congressman Peter Roskam (IL-6) is shocked, shocked that colleague Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) dropped out of the race to replace John Boehner as GOP House Speaker Thursday. That implies Roskam both supported McCarthy and expected his easy ascension to second in line to become President, behind VP Biden. But Roskam was fully aware McCarthy was doomed to drop out for two obvious reasons: he was not radical enough for the Tea Party House Freedom Caucus determined to paralyze government with shutdowns over their ideological lunacy; and McCarthy's dyslexia in putting coherent spoken statements together, including a virtual admission the Benghazi Special Select House Committee was truly a 'Stop Hillary' kangaroo court.

Roskam claims he's not seeking a second House GOP leadership position (he was removed as No. 4 Republican last year), but continues to offer soothing leadership bromides that bely his claim he's not running.

"I truly believe we can have a transformative and impactful majority, but it will require us rethinking how we have been operating individually, collectively and structurally." That's Roskam's way of stating he's capable of corralling the radical herd of House Tea Party cats who forced the untimely resignation of House Speaker John Boehner and sent McCarthy fleeing for his sanity because both we're not extreme enough for them.

Like McCarthy, Roskam, too, has a bizarre way of speaking about the unspeakable. Hinting at the intractable GOP House dysfunction, he offers, "I hope to continue to work at driving themes to empower our leadership and our members. I truly believe we can have a transformative and impactful majority, but it will require us rethinking how we have been operating individually, collectively and structurally." That's a kind way of lamenting the virtual meltdown of the House GOP to provide responsible governance.

But least you think Roskam actually deserves the opportunity to corral the Tea Party radicals, remember this: he never utters a word of disparagement to their disgraceful conduct; and he votes with them every time, including shutting down the government when their tantrums go unheeded.

You bet your dupa Kunduz bombing a war crime

“We tried to take a look into one of the burning buildings. I cannot describe what was inside. There are no words for how terrible it was. In the Intensive Care Unit six patients were burning in their beds.” Lajos Zoltan Jecs, nurse at Borders Without Doctors hospital destroyed destroyed Tuesday in US bombing.

When the bombing started, Doctors Without Borders, which operated the hospital, immediately contacted their US sources pleading for a ceasefire to no avail. A half hour later the hospital was destroyed and 22 were dead. The Afghan government did high fives all around having targeted the hospital with their US puppet masters because they objected to DWB treating insurgents and Afghan soldiers alike, as required by international law.

While war crimes against US officials are unlikely, that doesn't lesson the reality of their criminality. We blast civilians to smithereens all the time but they are usually Afghans or other Muslims with no clout and no worldwide credibility. Borders Without Doctors is a different story, causing the President to issue a rare public apology directly to the group slaughtered, and prompting an internal investigation that will no doubt holler 'MISTAKE' and result in new rules of engagement. If it was just another Afghan wedding party, US officials would simply yawn and look for the next juicy target.

I don't comment about war crimes and atrocities other countries commit all over the world because my tax dollars aren't paying for them. But when they're financed on my dime and legitimized, laughably, as necessary for my security, I'll keep shouting out load till my voice is stilled.

Friday, October 09, 2015

Trib on Kunduz massacre: 'Stuff happens'

To: Chicago Tribune Editorial Board

It's understandable the Trib Editorial Board would offer yet another editorial defending; promoting, in fact, our criminal and failed 14 year war in Afghanistan (Tragedy in Kumduz, October 5). But to defend and promote it over the dead bodies of 22 medical professionals and patients at the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz is truly reprehensible. Incredibly, The Board is still disseminating... the lies and myths used by the Bush Administration to launch a war of conquest against Afghanistan in 2001, instead of taking the sensible, legal and moral course of killing the terrorists and getting out. But, no, the US government and sycophantic media supporters including the Trib, had to conflate the entire Afghan government with the terrorists in order to make a 'trial run' for further criminal regime change in Iraq, Iran, Libya and Syria. And what have you enabled dear Tribune Editorial Board? Failed regime change in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya; a near war against Iran, and a grisly and failed proxy war against the established Syrian leader Assad. And what have you helped give the world? Hundreds of thousands dead, millions maimed or displaced. and trillions squandered while American infrastructure crumbles. Nice going, guys and girls. Why don't you just stick to local stuff like helping Governor Rauner's agenda of busting unions, withdrawing critical services from the needy, and degrading the purchasing power of working people. Given your track record promoting victorys in unwinnable criminal wars, that effort will surely end in failure as well.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

US channels comedian to excuse DWB massacre

US planes dropped bombs on a Doctors Without Borders (DWB) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan last weekend, killing 10 doctors and 12 patients. DWB called it a war crime. US Afghan Commander, Gen. John Campbell, said "No way. Our Afghan puppet government called in the airstrikes." Doing his best Flip Wilson impersonation Campbell concluded, "The Afghans made me do it. "

Monday, October 05, 2015

It happened at the Fast Lane

As always, I was in a hurry. It was 9:15 AM and I had just 45 minutes to pick up my Suburu Forester from the Quick Lane car repair, drive home, change, and drive 3 miles to my tennis match. I grabbed my paperwork from the attendant and started zooming toward the cashier window. A slow moving elderly gent blocked this fast moving elderly gent. I started to pass Mr. Slowpoke; but just as I did, I noticed his bomber jacket with an air corp insignia.
I wheeled around and asked, "Were you in a war?"
"A war?" he roared. "I was in THE BIG ONE."
"Were you a pilot or mechanic?"
"Flew single and twin engines planes".
"Were they fighters?"
"P-38 Lightnings and P-51 Mustangs. Also C-47 transports."
"Did you do any flying after the war?"
"No, I was grounded"
"What happened".
"I made three crash landings, the third one with an engine on fire. I was in the hospital for a year. Had to learn to walk all over again."

Now I felt guilty as I had silently cursed him for being so slow.

"How old are you if you don't mind my asking?"

I never heard an age stated with a decimal point before.

"I love War Birds. How was it flying those babies?"
"The ground pounders got nothing but dirt. We flyers got sunshine and fresh air".

Great word picture, I thought.

"What's your name?"
"Chester Sowinski"
"Hey, I'm Polish, too. You sure are doing great for 90.8"
"Well, whenever I get checked out at Hines VA Hospital, they always say they take good care of me cause they don't want me complaining about them when I get up to St. Peter".
You won't hear that on the evening news when some pol scores points bashing the VA.
I remembered my tennis match and said, "Chester, it was a pleasure meeting you".

Chester smiled. I don't know who felt better; Chester Sowinski, appreciating a stranger inquiring about his effort as a member of the Greatest Generation; or me, appreciating what's really important. I already forgot today's tennis scores. Don't think I'll ever forget Chester Sowinski.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Doctors Without Borders slaughtered by nation without morals

One day after it warned Russia against using their murderous bombs in Syria against civilians, the US proceeded to bomb a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, killing 19 civilians and wounding 37 others. Thirty more civilians are unaccounted for. Doctors Without Borders operates the hospital. They contacted the US after the first strike near their hospital to warn them it was so too close. American forces continued sustained attacks against the hospital for over 30 more minutes. The US routinely slaughters civilians in their endless and futile mission to dictate who runs our colony in Afghanistan. Back in 2009, US soldiers burst into an Afghan hospital run by the Swedish Mission for Afghanistan, tied up the staff and smashed up the hospital. The Pentagon issued their form letter apology for this latest atrocity and promised an investigation. Once again it's a case of the US telling the world: "Do as we say, not as we do."

Gliniewicz death investigation troubling on several levels



It is completely understandable the widow of deceased Fox Lake Policeman Charles Gliniewicz would characterize talk of his death being a suicide rather than murder as 'hurtful'. But she went further and said it was 'irresponsible and disrespectful'. What would be irresponsible and disrespectful is for investigators to consciously avoid considering suicide out of concern for Gliniewicz, his family and the entire police... fraternity. Some, including members of that fraternity, have raised the specter of doubt, one even being arrested for threatening authorizes for an alleged cover up. The issue first surfaced when the coroner went public with suicide as one of several possible death causes along with murder and accident. Lake County authorities went ballistic over his valid professional assertion which led to public doubts about the their trustworthiness.
Much is at stake is getting the Gliniewicz death investigation right. Initially, his death became a nationwide story connected to the 'Black Lives Matter' movement as it was used by some in the 'push-back' movement to argue the problem is not cops killing unarmed minorities, but lowlifes killing cops. Some even postured that no comment from the President about Gliniewicz showed he was on the side of the cop killers.

Then there is the denial of the universal suicide problem which affects every human who understands that all life is ultimately futile and ends in death. How many, like me, still can't accept that funnyman Robin Williams would commit suicide. Afterwards we learned that besides his lifelong depression and drug/alcohol abuse, he suffered from Parkinson's Disease and an early form of dementia; a potent recipe for checking out early. Yet, the media completely accepted and transmitted the portrayal of Gliniewicz as the perfect police/family man who would never kill himself. Suicide stalks the mighty, the rich, the loved, the elite; just as it does the beaten down.

While Lake County authorities now state that suicide or even accident haven't been ruled out, they are still treating his death as a homicide. Many, myself included, are skeptical they can be impartial given both their love of a police family member and the economic pension benefit which would be significantly diminished if Gliniewicz's death is ruled suicide rather than on the job homicide. The reaction to suicide even initially being brought up, the curious disappearance of three racially diverse suspects from the planet, the unacceptable prevalence of police cover up of internal police misconduct, and the economic incentive to rule out suicide, all fuel legitimate doubt.

Maybe it's time for some outside folks to get involved in the Gliniewicz death investigation. It certainly cannot hurt; might not only aid a timely resolution, it might quell some very troubling but healthy skepticism that hovers over one of the most bizarre death investigations in memory.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

America in 12 words

 Insane man kills 9 in Roseberg
 Insane country kills 19 in Kunduz

Students, taxpayers gain from new College of DuPage Board reforms

I'm gonna save about $25 next year because the reform COD Board of Trustees just cut my COD taxes 5%. That's money I don't need so I'll probably donate it to my favorite 2016 candidates. But what's really significant about the 2016 budget passed Monday was the $5 per hour drop in hourly tuition, from the current stratospheric $140, which will put a cool $150 per year in cash strapped student pockets. That's m...oney saved by ending the gravy (actually lobster and wine) train enjoyed by suspended President Robert Breuder, his administrators, and incredibly, the former Board members, at the money pit vanity restaurant Waterleaf, and other horrifically wasteful practices of Breuder and his enabling Board. One of the three holdover Board members voted against the streamlined budget; the other two didn't even show up to vote. But when Breuder was spending like Charles Foster Kane at Xanadu (or was it William Randolph Hearst at San Simeon?) they showed up with bells on to feast at the students' expense before enabling more goodies for their money obsessed employee who played them like a symphony. It's been six months since the voters said "Enough" to the gluttony of Breuder and the old Board. The three holdovers need to consider their legacy in their remaining time on the Board. Their endless "NO" votes to reform measures are purely symbolic at this point. Participating in further reform will remove some of the tarnish they leave behind from the sorriest chapter in COD's history.

Come to think of it, I may donate my $25 to Bernie Sanders, since one of his loftiest goals in $0 per hour tuition at public colleges. Come on new Board, only $135 to go.