Friday, July 27, 2018

It happened at the Walgreen drug counter

Stepped up the man in blue and requested my antibiotic to snuff out an emerging toe infection. "How much?" I inquired. "$3.30" blue man responded. "Too much, can't afford it" I joked, drawing a pained look from the drug dispenser. "How much if no insurance, a hundred bucks?" I persisted, throwing out an absurdly high number. The annoyed employee looked at the paperwork and shot back, "A hundred and five". Now I was no longer amused. There is something very wrong when the richest country in the world charges a person of means $3.30, but slams the poor bloke of little or no means thirty-two times that for a vital medicine. That is why I work every day to elect people to office who support Medicare for all.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Congressman Roskam, take down this ad

The ad Congressman Roskam must take down is one of the must scurrilous and dangerous appeals to war I've ever seen in a political campaign. It's his internet ad trolling challenger Sean Casten for supporting the Iran nuclear deal with an exclamation point that Casten funneled billions to Iran under the deal. The congressman knows the 5 plus one Iran nuclear deal, agreed to by the US, Germany, Britain, France, China, the EU and Russia likely avoided war when struck in 2015. He knows it will live in history as the signature foreign policy achievement of the Obama administration. Yet, he never supported it, being a congressional backer of the war with Iran crowd composed of the extremist fringe of the US foreign policy establishment. Taking his cue from his self described wild card candidate Trump, Roskam backed America's pullout from the agreement, leading to histrionic outbursts from Trump he will annihilate Iran for even the hint of threats against America. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists didn't move the Doomsday Clock to two minutes to midnight (nuclear war), the closest it's been since 1953, because of the agreement. The did it precisely because of Trump's uninformed and unhinged threats to world peace. The fact that Sean Casten supports sane efforts for peace is my single most critical reason to elect him to Congress. If Roskam continues to provoke war with that reckless ad, we should bring back LBJ's famous 'daisy ad' used against war lover Barry Goldwater in '64, graphically invoking the specter of nuclear war as reason to keep Goldwater away from the nuclear button. Not in the name of God, but in our name and that of world peace...Congressman Roskam, take down this ad.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Another Tribune editorial. Nothing new happening here

The Trib Editorial 'Another march in Chicago. Is something happening here?' sticks its toe on the water of empathy for the century long disintegration of life on Chicago's South and West sides. But like the highly insensitive and utterly unhelpful op eds by Trib Editorial Board member Kristin McQueary, the sole focus of this editorial is for "Chicago voters to hold elected officials accountable." That is not much different than telling the defeated citizens of WWII Berlin to 'hold their elected officials accountable' for the rubble they were living in. The South and West Siders didn't create the dozens of WWII like square miles of devastation, the double digit unemployment, the double digit incarceration of young minority males, the thousands of shootings and hundreds of murders yearly thanks to tens of thousands of available guns. To say it's all up to the mayor and 50 alderman to magically come up with Marshall Plan type investment, social services, jobs, reduction of ubiquitous gun availability is preposterous, callous and a solution non-starter. The Trib brings home this point in its last line: "We also don’t know whether Chicagoans will look back on two summer protests as dimly remembered distractions. Or maybe they become turning points for a divided city." The 'Chicagoans' referenced are solely those of privilege; the only ones who could possibly contemplate the protests as 'dimly remembered distractions.' The hundreds of thousands crammed into the shame of Chicago and America will likely be too busy burying their dead, finding habitable housing, searching for a semblance of health care, and visiting their loved ones in prison to ever view the current marches as dimly remembered distractions.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Last defense

The evidence pours in daily on Trump's unprecedented legal problems, both moral and financial at home, and compromised loyalty by the Russians overseas. But Trump's defenders echo their leader, crying which hunt, fake news, sore losers and other epithets to turn away from the truth. Comedian Don Adams aptly caricatured this defense in this bit from the 1970's: "It's easy for the prosecutor to say this horrible things about my client...he's got proof."