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.