Saturday, May 06, 2017

Perpetual war claim US canon fodder in Somalia

A US Navy Seal was killed and two wounded 'advising and assisting' Somalia troops near the capital of Mogadishu. The Pentagon retracted its initial fib the casualties resulting during 'training' when it was revealed they were involved with Somali troops attacking an al-Shabaab complex. Doesn't it make you feel safer we're spilling precious US blood and treasure to ensure Somalia's al-Shabaab bad guys stay pinned down in Somalia so they don't come across in row boats to murder us in our beds? Somalia is simply more US perpetual war, ensuring the war party remains in power, glory and blood money.

Friday, May 05, 2017

Roskam apologizes for delay in eviscerating Affordable Care Act

My congressman Peter Roskam (IL-6) issued this press release yesterday following his vote for the American Health Care Act:
"I sincerely apologize to my wealthy and heartless base for the delay in bringing an end to the taxes you suffered from to help insure the 20,000,000 deadbeats covered by the Affordable Health Care Act. Our seven year battle to give back to you the treasure your talents earned simply to prevent 50,000 deaths caused by no health insurance, as well as the millions avoiding bankruptcy and diminished health have been rewarded. You were wise to succeed on your own and not have pre-existing conditions, the only true way to afford health insurance which once again will become a privilege of success rather than a right of citizenship. Yesterday's vote puts the first nail in the coffin of the Nannystate. And I'm thrilled we added a one year ban of Planned Parenthood funding to stop nonsensical government support for contraception and cancer screenings; as well as ending subsidies for insurance plans that cover abortions. Once again America shows its greatness among industrialized countries on the benefits of limited government. Now we can shift more government treasure back to the people whose industriousness and hard work built this great land, rather than the takers whose grasp for our hard earned wealth never ceases. I pledge to continue working with Trump to make the Illinois Sixth great again.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Trump: the projectile vomit of a sick society

Trump did not become president sui generis. He was nurtured for decades by a sick society. No later than the 80's the emerging billionaire class began its inexorable lust to fleece all wealth from middle class and further degrade the poor and powerless. Politicians were bought up like baseball trading cards. Congress became their flunkies to lower taxes, cut regulations, create slave labor from unsupportable wages, regardless of irreparable damage to a thriving society. The war party decreed perpetual war to bring endless profits getting millions killed, damaged or dispossessed far from our gaze. Glorification of the hired canon fodder fulfilling this mission became part of every public event. The media became corrupted and co-opted, either part of this mendacity or simply intimidated to never tell the truth. Education was reviled as it was underfunded. History in school simply became history. Is it any wonder Trump doesn't know Frederick Douglas is dead or that Andrew Jackson couldn't have prevented the civil war? Religion was used as a club to browbeat secularists seeking social progress and reinforce the utterly false greatness of American civilization. The greedy 1% continue their endless pursuit of endless wealth oblivious to the harm that will engulf them from a poisoned planet, crumbling infrastructure, drug and crime ravaged pockets of poverty that expand daily. A society that funnels much of its dwindling treasure on a bloated military that loses every criminal venture it launches is doomed to fall like every war obsessed empire in history.
Trump embodies every venal and self destructive impulse in our sick society. He gauged that spewing racism, Xenophobia, sexism and hate of government would promote his narcissist brand. Surprised that a fluke of the electoral process allowed a minority vote to propel him into the White House, Trump feverishly set out to unravel every sensible, decent and humane element remaining of our rapidly disappearing greatness. To keep the ignorant, fearful and hate filled base satiated he holds vile rallies reminiscent of small scale Nurembergs, coating the faithful with the regurgitation of the plague affecting us all.
We of good will must arise every day, wipe off the slime Trump heaped upon us yesterday and resist, resist, resist.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Breen's voice only heard by Governor

The Lombardian publishes a weekly column by District 48 State Rep Peter Breen titled 'Your voice in Springfiled.' After two years of reading his columns I pose the question, Whose voice does he represent? On Day One of his legislative career in January, 2015, Breen signed on to Governor Rauner's turnaround agenda which told the legislature there would be no state budget till it passed his wish list of pro business items designed to please his affluent base. That was an unprecedented and unconscionable departure from every governor, Democrat or Republican, in Illinois history. The budget process is and must be about determining state needs: education, infrastructure, criminal justice resources, assistance for the poor, working moms, the disabled, the mentally challenged; then determining how to fund those critical needs. Rauner, with Breen and GOP caucus support, essentially put entire state governance on hold trying to get an agenda through gubernatorial extortion; something the legislature rightly resisted. As a result, every measure of state governance as suffered in comparison to Rauner and Breen's predecessor. 

Breen's record certainly isn't the voice of Illinois' college students, losing out in schools cutting programs and services due no state budget. It doesn't include state vendors waiting months for payments from a state that stiffs them.  People in need certainly don't consider Breen their voice since fully a half of state welfare agencies are cutting services and laying off valued workers, to their great distress. It is not the voice of potential entrepreneurs unwilling to invest in a state not funding essential services. 

Breen ends his latest piece with the meaningless bromide that Illinois can be fixed if only we work together. After 27 months it hasn't dawned on him that holding the legislature hostage for a non budgetary wish list as the price of a budget is the furthest thing from working together one can imagine. Breen's voice speaks loudly and often, but the only one it represents is the Governor.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Shaller's Pump runs dry..but Woodlawn Tap's still flowing

I love old neighborhood bars. That's why I was saddened by closing of Shaller's Pump, 3714 S. Halsted after after 136 years yesterday, tho I never drained a stein there. But I have downed quite a few at another historic Chicago dive bar, The Woodlawn Tap, a.k.a. Jimmy's (Est. 1948), at 1174 E. 55th Street over the past 51 years beginning with my first legal drink on March 10, 1966. Truth be told I was a fervent underage scofflaw in the days when Chicago bars were oblivious to my cherubic appearance. Don't frequent Jimmy's, or any bar very much these days, in a futile attempt to hold back the aging process. But I'll make an exception this June 3 at High Noon when I re-unite with about a dozen UChicago fraternity pals at Jimmy's to celebrate our 50th UChicago Reunion. The joint is unchanged a half century on...but our joints sure have.

Monday, May 01, 2017

Arkansas' Midazolam Madness

Between April 20 and 27, Arkansas committed state sanctioned murder on four men who had been languishing on death row for decades. But state officials were furious the Supremes blocked four more such senseless killings in the final three April days. Why? That's when the Razorback State's supply of Midazolam, one of three drugs used in the killings will run out; and lethal drug makers are loathe to supply any more to states for such barbaric and senseless killings. One manufacturer even sued Arkansas claiming they were duped into selling Arkansas one of the other drugs used. That suit didn't help Marcel Williams, Kedell Lee, Ken Williams and Jack Jones who rolled down Arkansas' killing assembly line with splendid efficiency. Newbie Supreme Neil Gorsuch cast his first Supremes vote after accepting his appointment of the seat stolen from Merrick Garland by the death penalty loving GOP, to deny Ledell Lee's final stay. A few minutes later Lee went poof!

The South loves killing sorrowful souls no longer a threat to society due to their lifetime incarceration. Since 1973 they've whacked 1,184 compared to just four in the north. Yet, in 2015, the murder rate in the South was 70% higher than the North and that doesn't include all those state sponsored murders. State executioners are oblivious to the 158 lucky condemned who were exonerated in the last forty years before the drip was dropped into their veins. One dude languished 39 years before a key prosecution witness sputtered, "Opps, I lied".

Capital punishment in America...a capital offence against humanity.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Trump's tax cut editorial pure delusion

In 'Trump's tax reform challenge' it's disappointing but not surprising the Trib accepts the premise that Trump's tax reform proposal is designed to increase overall American prosperity. The Trib knows full well Trump knows nothing about governing, much less improving US prosperity. Trump's proposal is simply to put Reagan style GOP tax cutting on steroids so wealthy corporations and individuals can grab as much middle class wealth as possible before the next collapse. We've been fed this tax cut kool aid by the Republicans for 36 years now since Reagan became president on the mantra 'Government is not the solution, it's the problem'. Then he cut taxes, stopped investing in jobs, infrastructure and people in need to begin the great funneling of wealth to his rich base. Oh yes, one sector of big government did get more...the military, squandering trillions to wage perpetual war while the rest of American crumbles and the non-rich get poorer. Except for the 16 years of Clinton and Obama, this has been the American story since 1981 and with Trump and the Trib promoting more tax cuts, it won't end well.   

Give already wealthy individuals and corporations more tax cuts and other economic incentives and they act against the public interest every time. Spend America's treasure on perpetual war that slaughter's hundreds of thousands of innocents instead of rebuilding America and uplifting the unfortunate and you've created a self destructing society. The Trib calls Trump's boast for the most massive tax cuts ever "exciting and dangerous." No, it's just dangerous. On second thought, make that 'suicidal'.