Saturday, June 29, 2013


The recent Supreme Court decision overturning DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) grants legal same sex marriages in 13 states and District of Columbia the same rights under federal law as opposite sex marriages. Married same sex couples and their children will no longer suffer discrimination and second class citizenship at a federal level that was codified in the mis-named 1997 law more appropriately titled: Defense of Homophobia Act.

Hopefully, the 37 states that still bar marriage equality will realize that the homophobic dinosaurs preventing it are either dying out or incurring an epiphany, leading them to shed their homophobia. It's nearly impossible for them to recruit new homophobes in our modern era. Alas, Illinois has a way to go as homophobic dinosaurs still dominate in the HOP (Homophobe Only Party, a.k.a. GOP) preventing Illinois from joining the ranks of the enlightened.  Having dialogued with these folks for years, I almost, but not quite, feel sorry for the disordered state of mind that would possess someone to discriminate against and hurt loving folks who cause them no harm other than to challenge their lifelong prejudices and hatreds. Do they lie awake at night or have nightmares about the fact that the world has passed them by and their beliefs are utterly irrelevant and out of step with humanity and the march of human progress.

Every day Illinois HOP leaders like Senator Kirk Dillard, Treasurer Dan Rutherford and financier Bruce Rauner grovel before the homophobic cult controlling their destiny in the HOP gubernatorial Primary, the HOP takes another step backward to oblivion.

Not only is DOMA, DUMMA, the Illinois HOP is DUMMA.

Jazz Pick Of The Week: Jabbo Smith

Cladys (Jabbo) Smith, 1908 - 1991, is virtually unknown today but for a brief time in the late twenties when he was a serious rival to Louis Armstrong as the hottest jazz trumpeter. His twenty sides for Brunswick Records in 1929 demonstrate his high note trumpet virtuosity and like Pops he could be an engaging singer. This selection, "I got the stinger" showcases both talents. But in 1929 Pops crossed over from black to mainstream culture spending the next 42 years first as a nationwide and then a worldwide superstar while Jabbo faded fast, disappearing for decades till being re-discovered in 1965. Then in a neat twist of fate, Jabbo spent the next 20 plus years back in the jazz limelight, recording and touring Europe, long after Louis died.
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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Dubious Achievement Award: Texas murders 500th prisoner

You've got to hand it to the state of Texas. They try harder to be the most regressive, inhumane American state. Case in point is Kimberly McCarthy who on June 26th became the 500th condemned Texan to die since Texas resumed the despicable practice of state sponsored murder in 1982. McCarthy was addicted to cocaine when she committed three murders attributed to her. We can presume that the murderous gentlemen of the Texas judicial system were not addicted to cocaine but were instead, addicted to the blood sport of killing defective human beings responsible for heinous acts. Unlike 18 states and 140 countries who abolished this barbaric practice, Texas still loves to kill them instead, even if at least one, Cameron Todd Willingham, was deemed innocent after he began pushing up daises. In 2009, sensing that his 2004 OK of Willingham's execution was about to be discredited by the Texas Forensic Science Commission, Texas Governor Rick Perry hastily removed 3 key members who were about to exonerate Willingham and replaced them with loyalists who immediately cancelled the meeting. Voila! Perry's perfect record of only killing really bad folks was kept intact.

If Jesus could come back and spend one day in one state it would certainly not be Texas. But if he did he'd give his first blessing to the 357 condemned souls waiting their turn to face their state paid killer. And the folks turning the wheels of death would not get a single glance or word other than a shrug, as if to say, "Where did you go so wrong".

Recently, the aforementioned Governor Rick Perry came to Illinois trying to entice Illinois businesses to relocate to the Long Star State. He should have begun each sales pitch with this intro: "Come do business in Texas...where we kill people... legally".

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wendy! Wendy! Wendy!

Until yesterday few Americans outside of Texas knew about Texas state senator Wendy Davis. That changed in an incredible 13 hours Tuesday when Davis staged her marathon filibuster to prevent passage of a Texas anti abortion bill so restrictive Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards said would virtually ban abortion in Texas, leading the Lone Star State back to the back alleys and knitting needles.

Wearing a back brace and being required by senate rules to speak non-stop, stay on topic and not sit down or even lean on her desk for support, Davis persevered for Texas women and all decent human beings till just before the midnight adjournment hour. As midnight approched Lt. Gov. Dave Dewhurst ruled she had strayed from the topic for a third technical violation and shut her up so he could hold the vote before the legislative session expired. Then the "peoples filibuster" gallery of abortion supporters took charge and caused such a ruckus that the 19-10 vote to pass the draconian law was pushed back till 12:03 AM. Dewhurst thought he'd won but the time stamp proved him wrong causing him to rescind his high fives to the forces of regression and ignorance for and about the gentle sex.

Just don't use the word "gentle" around Senator Wendy Davis. She is one tough Texas lady. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Ed Show

The government and media campaign to discredit NSA whistleblower Ed Snowden has reached a new low. It was bad enough he was slimed as a high school dropout, narcissist, glory seeker, Chinese spy, Russian spy and disturbed loser. Now the big story is that he lied his way into his high security NSA job specifically to steal and reveal classified information. Once again, the entrenched powers seek to keep the spotlight on Snowden rather than the terrible wrongdoing he has exposed. When a good and decent citizen infiltrates a criminal gang or a terrorist group to expose them, he's hailed for his bravery and service to society. When someone like an Ed Snowden infiltrates an organization to expose American governmental wrongdoing he is called every vile name possible to hide their skullduggery.

Whatever his methods, like Daniel Ellsberg who swiped the Pentagon Papers back in 1969, and leaked them to the Glenn Greenwalds of his era in 1971, I call Snowden what he really is: a patriot and a hero.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Run, Ed, Run

God speed to NSA whistleblower Ed Snowden in his odyssey to escape the clutches of Uncle Sam for revealing the massive surveillance program that has obliterated our 4th Amendment right to privacy. Everyone of us patriotic, loyal Americans owes him a debt of gratitude, not a ten by ten prison cell for the next ten years. Hong Kong said no dice, Uncle, and allowed Snowden to flee Hong Kong for safer climes.

I can still remember cheering on Daniel Ellsberg forty-two years ago when he leaked the Pentagon Papers which exposed the vicious lies which doomed thousands of human canon fodder, US and Vietnamese, to needless death in the Vietnam War. If we'd had a whistleblower like Snowden in the George W. Bush administration back in 2002, exposing the lies Bush and his criminal war cabinet concocted to launch their senseless and failed war, 4,422 GI's would be alive and hundreds of thousands of others wouldn't have been wounded, injured or broken in mind and spirit. Iraqi casualties? Millions have been killed, wounded or forced to flee for their lives from the carnage Bush visited upon them.
The murderous criminality of Bush gets a pass, but Heaven forbid if a decent human being tries to expose wrongdoing. Then the full weight of the war party is brought to bear for daring to take on the Goliath of senseless war and senseless surveillance. Read and listen to the mainstream pundits and they're all of one mind to discredit and demean Snowden so they can retain their credibility and standing with the government who really controls their careers.
Uncle Sam may eventually get his mitts on Snowden and imprison him. But thankfully, there will always be others who will risk all to pull the veil off governmental wrongdoing.
Thank you, Ed Snowden.

IL HOP to IA, MN; take our gay wedding money, please take it!

Having just married off my second daughter, I have an inkling of the tremendous spending involved on dozens of Illinois businesses, not to mention the substantial sums spent in Illinois by hundreds of guests, both local and out of state. The total could easily average $50,000 or more per. Since no legal gay wedding can be held in Illinois, gay couples and their guests must spend that dough in nearby states Iowa or Minnesota, or one of the ten other civilized states not governed by their version of the Illinois HOP (Homophobe Only Party) that currently blocks marriage equality in Illinois. That's $50 million in lost revenue to Illinois for every 1,000 Illinois gay marriages that could take place right here in the Land of Lincoln.

It's ironic that the 3 HOP candidates for governor; state senator Kirk Dillard, state treasurer Dan Rutherford, and mega millionaire money mogul Bruce Rauner, all claim to be the financial savior of Illinois if they can only get elected next year. But their cowering in cowardice before the virulent homophobes who control their Primary destiny prevents them from tapping a needed and valued revenue stream to Illinois businesses. We know they do not possess a conscience or a soul when it comes to treating  fairly the 3% of Illinoisans they seek to govern beginning in 2015. But why would they utterly discredit their imagined fiscal acumen by letting the worst elements of the HOP dictate their beliefs simply to remain viable in the gubernatorial race.

Dillard, Rutherford and Rauner need a "sit-down", Mafia style, to form a united front against the ignorant, the fearful and yes, the haters, who call the shots in the Illinois HOP. They could hold a joint news conference to unveil their peace pact which will mean whoever wins the primary will campaign to govern 100 % of Illinois citizens. And they needn't worry about the HOP's chief ideologue Rep. Jeanne Ives (HOP, 48th), calling them "disordered" and "weasels" for breaking the HOP covenant of prejudice. She has proven over and over that she ain't ready for Prime Time