Friday, September 28, 2018

Other big story is invisible

Rarely have I seen an important story grab hold of the public like the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings. Many I encounter bring up the fateful confrontation between Brett and his accuser without being prompted. "Did you see that hearing" they exclaim. As important as Kavanaugh's Supreme Court appointment is, there is another big story I lament gets nary a word of coverage in the media or from the lips of people I encounter. It concerns our criminal war of near genocide we're conducting against Iran inside the decimated country of Yemen, fought by our Saudi and Gulf State proxies. If that sounds incredibly is. Suffice to say the Saudis intervened in the Yemen civil war in March, 2015, with our complete support, to deflect growing Iranian influence in the region. Over 15,000 dead, a million suffering cholera, and millions more displaced or starving has had virtually no impact on Congress which has sole war making power short of handing it off to the president; in this case first Obama, now Trump. But the carnage has gotten so grotesque that 24 House members, including 2 from America's war obsessed Republican party, have introduced a bi-partisan bill under the War Powers Act to end US war crimes in Yemen. Rep. Ro Khanna of California introduced a similar bill last year that war mongering House leaders wouldn't even bring to a vote. Khanna's 24 member coalition will demand a vote this time round. Why? Casualties have skyrocketed 164% since June with 500 killed in a 9 day period, including 51 kids in a school bus hit by a US bomb dropped by a Saudi plane refueled by Uncle Sam. When the other 411 House members get to vote to end these atrocities, they should contemplate how they might feel about another country dropping a bomb on a school bus carrying their kids or grandkids. Don't count on them to do that. The eventual vote will be a lop sided and ringing endorsement of perpetual war, America's most profitable export, and its plague on humanity.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Ask the people of North Lawndale...about Bruce Rauner

Gov. Rauner habitually and falsely disparages his Democratic opponents to explain away his governing failures. But when challenged during a Crain's Chicago Business interview to explain substantial Chicago job growth under Mayor Emanuel, Rauner added the entire African American community to his false disparagement. His answer, "Ask the people of North Lawndale about Chicago job growth" was breathtaking in its insensitivity to the community most adversely impacted by his withholding a state budget for two and a half years. That act of refusing to implement the most important element of state governance; funding critical social, health, education and economic growth services, had devastating effect on Chicago's poorest communities. Jobs lost, day care and health services shuttered, school resources withdrawn all resulted from a war of spite Rauner initiated to extort anti union, anti worker provisions from the Democratic legislature that had no chance of being passed. Rauner's comment implied that only he was concerned about the lack of job growth in minority communities, when his conduct exacerbated the economic despair for the folks ten years of prosperity has bypassed. Instead of demeaning Democratic governance, Gov. Rauner should visit North Lawndale and ask the people about supporting his re election. The silence will be deafening.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Calling Colin Kaepernick

Confess I'm not a huge football fan, though I played a lot of sandlot ball as a kid. Just a few games in H.S. as a 125 lb. defensive back cured me of any interest in further play so I got out before serious damage to body and brain. Nearly 60 years on that remains a good decision. 

But it does seem to me the Bears could use a real QB like unemployed Colin Kaepernick instead of another in the long line of potential QB's who never pan out. 72 TD passes with only 30 picks in 69 games sure beats 10 TD's, just one more than interceptions, in 15 games. Besides, Kaepernick embodies the best in character with his social activism that should make all of us proud every time he takes the field, regardless the outcome of what is essentially a meaningless human activity. 

With Kaepernick the Bears may still not finish first in game standings. But by ending the foolish, demeaning 3 year boycott of Kaepernick's services, they would be tops on the leaderboard of decency and good sportsmanship.