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.