Friday, June 16, 2017

No jail time for suicide abbetor

Massachusetts Judge Lawrence Moniz tipped the scales of justice upside down in finding Michelle Carter guilty of involuntary manslaughter for encouraging her severely depressed teenage friend Conrad Roy III to commit suicide three years ago. He and Carter exchanged thousands of text messages over time; with Carter first trying to get Roy to embrace life, then acquiescing to his demand to die. "I'm trying my best to dig you out" to which Roy replied "I WANT TO DIE". Carter eventually embraced Roy's plan saying "If this is the only way you think you'll be happy, Heaven will welcome you with open arms." That sure doesn't sound like involuntary manslaughter to me...actually sounds more compassionate than criminal. Both Carter and Roy were extremely troubled teens; Carter just 17 at the time. She needs psychological help, not a cage for up to 20 years the legally confused and heartless judge can impose. Let's hope the appeals court has more sense than Judge Moniz He's the one who should be remedial judicial thinking.

Time for US to officially 'lose' Afghan war

News that Delegator-In-Chief Trump has abdicated his Constitutional control over military troop deployments should concern every American. Trump looked at our failed 16 year Afghan war and basically turned over responsibility for the failure to Defense Secretary James 'Mad Dog' Mattis. As early as next week Mattis will increase US canon fodder there by nearly 50% to 12,500, to counter Taliban territory gains. My reaction to Taliban success? So What? It's impacts US national security interests not a whit. The only reason for the new canon fodder there is to pretend we haven't lost...something we did on October 7, 2001, when we started bombing the designated scapegoat for Bush administration failures that led up to 911, likely funded and encouraged by our best Middle East buddy Saudi Arabia. In the 16 years since, 2,703 coalition troops died for nothing except the fiction the war was necessary and winnable, neither of which is remotely true. And speaking of scapegoats, Mad Dog will morph into one when his latest troop surge fails faster than you can say 'You're fired.' Trump pulled the scapegoat trick on his generals when his insane Yemen raid, a week into his collapsing presidency, got a lot of innocent Yemeni civilians and a Navy Seal killed. Officially 'losing' a war would be bad for the war party...good for everyone else.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Ryan's A+ NRA rating portends more violence, call for unity notwithstanding

I'm not one of those lauding House Speaker Paul Ryan's impassioned call for unity and calm after the congressional mass shooting yesterday. Ryan didn't get an A+ rating from the NRA by working to keep high-powered weapons, any guns for that matter, out of the hands of unstable folks like James Hodgkinson, who had a history of contact with police in Illinois over improper use of our ubiquitous WMS (weapons of mass shootings). 

Cheap talk by patrons of the gun and ammo lobby like Ryan will never make a dent on the daily carnage debasing our society while our lust for perpetual war overseas is killing too many thousands of innocents to count. Ryan, like many members of Congress, simply pockets the gun lobby's money in return for keeping the blood money pouring into their coffers; offering bromides to calm the masses after a mass shooting hits his workplace. Unlike Obama, who used every mass shooting to plead for effective gun control, Ryan uttered not a word of substance for such sensible action. That, not feigned outrage, should be the takeaway from Ryan's plea. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Trump infrastructure plan: think Chicago parking meters

As a 42-year vet of the logistics industry, I fret over Trump's infrastructure plan. It's a crony capitalist's dream... privatizing infrastructure rebuilding since Trump's budget won't fund it. If you want a glimpse of what privatizing the highways and waterways will look like, check out Chicago's parking meter meltdown. That's meltdown for Chicago, Gold Rush for the parking meter folks, led by Morgan Stanley. To avoid a needed property tax increase, Daley the Younger sold off the revenues for the next 75 years so he could pay down the budget deficit without upsetting Chicago voters. The selling price evaporated faster than you could say 'capitalism works.' Our roads, bridges and everything else that goes into world class infrastructure may be heading toward third-world status. But to Trump and his oligarch buddies, 'There's gold in them dar' highways.'

Monday, June 12, 2017

Roskam's 'wild card' becoming albatross around seventh run at lifetime seat

My congressman Peter Roskam uttered a most insensitive and cynical endorsement of Trump last year with this bit of sophistry:
"I do think time is Donald Trump's friend. I think people are saying... alright, I'm ready to hear this guy out, see what he has got to say with the flash and dash aside. Trump's comments (on grabbing women's genitals) are disgusting and corrosive....they fly in the face of every lesson wife Elizabeth and I taught our daughters and sons about how men and women interact. However, this election is a binary choice in which I am choosing to vote for a wild card over an unworthy candidate."
After 5 months of endless lying, disgraceful insults of world leaders (Russia excepted), congressional investigations and a special prosecutor closing in on possibly treasonous election collusion with Russia, endless pandering to a racist, xenophobic base, and an agenda tossing aside every decent accomplishment of Obama, we're witnessing with horror the result of Roskam's wild card.
Sixth District voters are coming out in droves to push back against Roskam's choice...and Roskam himself as he gears up for a seventh run at what he surely considers a lifetime sinecure promoting ultraconservative causes. He can no longer appear publicly in the Sixth without drawing outraged protesters. Terrified of hosting a Town Hall here, Roskam has abdicated that role to a decent Chicago area congresswoman who treated the large gathering with the respect they've been craving for over a decade.
Roskam loves to tout his conservative credentials. But helping his wild card toss 23 million needy of the medical insurance roles is not conservative; it's radicalism destructive of a decent, caring society. Roskam's wild card has turned into an albatross that may yet turn his seventh congressional run into a swansong.