Thursday, March 15, 2018

Trump proves torture bonafides with CIA pick

Donald Trump says he supports torture of suspected bad guys because "It works." On waterboarding he's even more emphatic. "Waterboarding in your minor form" (of torture). "It's absolutely fine...but we should go much stronger than waterboarding."
It should not surprise us that Trump nominated CIA waterboarding specialist Gina Haspel to take over CIA in the latest administration shakeup. Trump called her a "terrific person", though we aren't sure whether that relates to her overseeing waterboarding at a black site US prison in Thailand or her destruction of video tapped evidence of the waterboarding that White House counsel ordered her not to do.
It there were justice, Gina Haspel would be sitting in a prison cell instead of the Director's chair at CIA. The media is focused on mentioning Haspel would be the first women to run CIA, if confirmed (and that's not certain). They should highlight she would be the first proven torturer to hold that august position.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Will Roskam meet with Barrington High gun massacre protesters?

Tomorrow may be a watershed day in US history in the campaign to ban machine guns, reducing incidence of mass shootings, some in churches and schools. That's because at 10:00 AM thousands of high school students will walk out of schools nationwide to protest the NRA's stranglehold on Congress. They're walking out to get their congressman off the NRA's payroll, preventing even the flimsiest of sensible gun control, much less elimination of machine guns and rapid fire handguns. 

They're walking out to prevent their school from being the next to experience a massacre at the hands of a disturbed person having little difficulty acquiring a machine gun. They're walking out to remind the adults in Congress, too busy cashing their NRA paychecks, to do their most critical duty: protecting kids from violence. 

After walking out at Barrington High in the Illinois Sixth, students will march to their congressman Peter Roskam's satellite district office to bring their message of change to his front door. Congressman Roskam, who touts his dozens of meetings with constituent groups and individuals in his weekly constituent email, needs to cancel tomorrow's meetings, book an early flight back to the district, and get a lesson on how to be a responsible public official.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Roskam and US culture of death

Roskam and US culture of death

My congressman Peter Roskam (IL-6) ignores every vital issue of life and death facing our district, America and the world. In his twelve years in Congress, he's never promoted peace over our trillion dollar perpetual wars of carnage and failure in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Yemen and others. Indeed, Roskam, at the behest of Israel and Saudi Arabia, has been a leading proponent for blowing up the 2015 six-power nuclear agreement with Iran, arguably the most significant anti war, pro peace initiative in this century.
When it comes to critical action to curtail catastrophic domestic gun violence, Roskam literally takes the NRA money...and runs from district residents trying to question him on his disheartening inaction.
On health care, Roskam first worked to keep 20,000,000 uninsured from getting insurance under the Affordable Health Care Act. Having failed in that endeavor, he's spent the next five years working to degrade, defund, deny its keeping millions from bankruptcy, declining health, even death from the most heartless medical delivery system in the industrialized world. That level of cruelty is truly astonishing.
Climate change and its threat to our survival never appears on Roskam's weather radar. Though not an obvious, tangible element of our death culture, we, through our legislators, ignore it at our peril.
War, guns, health care, climate change...all part of the American death culture enabled by Congressman Peter Roskam.
Walt Zlotow
Glen Ellyn

What's in a title?

How unfortunate the Trib Editorial Board stooped to mimicking one of Trump's most egregious personal insults to highlight its editorial about the announced Trump, Kim Jong-Un nuclear summit in May. 'Trump, Little Rocket Man and a chance at history' could just as easily been titled, 'Kim Jong-Un, Degenerate Orange Man and a chance at history'. But two wrongs don't make a right...and in spite of his utter unfitness as president, Trump should be given respect in print, particularly in a prestigious editorial page. Did you folks think it was cool to riff on Trump's endless personal insults such as 'Lyin' Ted', 'Low energy Jeb' and some unfit to print which he exploited to garner 63,000,000 votes from people who viewed his very unfitness for office as a reason to elect him? 

One more thing. 'Surreal' is not the one word to best describe the Trump presidency. Much more appropriate words come to mind: embarrassing, terrifying, shameful, insane, heartless, debauched.