Friday, May 31, 2019

Hope NH doesn't follow NE in re-instating death penalty

New Hampshire became the 21st state to abolish the death penalty May 30, when the legislature overturned Gov. Chris Sununu's veto of their earlier bill to kill death as punishment in the 'Live Free or Die' state. NH would have been the 22nd state to become civilized regarding criminal punishment following original 21st abolition state Nebraska. In 2015, the Nebraska legislature also overturned a gubernatorial veto of its abolition bill. But the rich governor and his rich daddy ponied up $300,000 to fund a referendum campaign to get death reinstatement on the November, 2016 ballot. It passed, putting Nebraska back in the dark ages of criminal justice. And the rich governor and his rich daddy who spearheaded the return of state sponsored murder to the Cornhusker State? Pete Ricketts and papa Joe Ricketts of Cubs family fame. Let's hope there is not an equivalent Ricketts family in NH lusting to spend their fortune to put humans to death. One is enough.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Duckworth should demand US leave Iraq

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, in 'Why we should not leave Iraq' (Trib Commentary, May 24) spends the first nine of 22 paragraphs prefacing her support for America's endless Iraq war based on near death loss of her legs there fifteen years ago. That, alas, has become standard rhetorical fare Duckworth uses to promote continuation of America's now 17 year long war in Iraq that she participated in but refuses to disavow. As severe as Duckworth's loss was it pails to that of the Iraqi people who incurred hundreds thousands dead, millions injured or displaced, and a nation that will incur birth defects into the next century from our depleted uranium ordinance.
But Duckworth ignores this needlessly imposed horror to focus on "looking at photo after photo of men and women who’d stood in line for countless hours holding up their purple ink-stained fingers to prove they’d finally been allowed to make their voices heard." Those pictures may have filled her eyes with tears, but wouldn't tears for the unfortunate dead, wounded and displaced Iraqis be more appropriate and cause Duckworth to call out the Iraq war for what it is and was, a monstrous crime against the Iraqi people?
Duckworth finally gets to the current reasons for staying, all of which are preposterous.
It's none of our business to prevent Iraq from becoming dependent on Iranian oil.
It's none of our business to create jobs for 800,000 young Iraqis entering the work force annually.
It's none of our business to keep writing checks to prop up the ill equipped Iraqi military.
It's none of our business to spend hundreds of billions to ensure Iraq can withstand a potentially resurgent Islamic insurgency.
Tens, likely hundreds of thousands of Iraq war vets have come home knowing and speaking the truth they were led to fight a war made up of lies, propaganda and fear tactics that unleashed a massive war crime on Iraq. I wish the influential Senator Tammy Duckworth was one of them.

Indiana gearing up for zygote mausoleum

The US Supreme Court ruled constitutional an Indiana law requiring burial or cremation of aborted fetuses. Good grief. What's next? Indiana embryo cemeteries? Zygote mausoleums?

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Rep. Mazzochi's opposition to Fair Tax ignores reality

Rep. Deanne Mazzochi (R- 47th) reached a huge audience with her anti Fair Tax letter in two major Chicago newspapers. It's a shame she didn't offer a fair assessment of Illinois' dire financial condition from an egregious and unfair tax system that requires an honest, sensible re-boot. Mazzochi simply re-iterated the staunch Republican position Illinois doesn't have a revenue problem, just a spending problem. Don't tinker with taxes she warns, simply cut, cut, cut, ending with a plea to readers to call her to find out how to help.

She could help them simply by stating what she and every legislator knows: Illinois has the 8th most regressive tax nationwide in which the bottom earners pay roughly double the tax rate of the wealthiest Illinoisans when considering all forms of taxation. She could help them by truthfully stating that cutting our way out of the crisis is a non-starter. Illinois has been cutting for two decades now. We've run out of mental hearth, substance abuse, child care resources to cut. We've run out of educational resources to cut which have already degraded Illinois' once outstanding educational system. We've run out additional taxation to impose on the least able to pay simply to protect the vast wealth of the 3% at the top being asked to pay a little more. That's right, 97% will see a modest tax cut, while the top 3% get a modest increase.

It is irrelevant to speculate why Rep. Mazzochi would present such an inaccurate analysis of and remedy for Illinois' financial future. But it is relevant to call her office to find out how to pleading with Rep. Mazzochi to support the Fair Tax.