Friday, January 27, 2023

One hand clapping for Pope’s homosexuality stance

That silence you hear is my one hand clapping for Pope Francis on his decade long outreach to the gay community. He recently earned kudos for being the first Pope to declare that gay activity is not illegal. He stated “Being homosexual isn’t a crime” in opposing laws in 67 countries that deem it so, including 11 that can execute folks who are.
But he hedged his bets with centuries long Catholic dogma demonizing gays by saying homosexual behavior is still a sin as well as well as its Catholic corollary, ‘disordered’.
While I generally oppose conversion therapy, I remain hopeful Pope Francis undergoes a full conversion to complete respect for the gay community. Then my clapping will be heard far and wide.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Mainstream media has been a complete failure covering US perpetual wars

Once again the US has embarked on perpetual war, this time its proxy war with Russia over Ukraine.
And once again US media has completely failed to adequately and accurately cover the latest which may be heading to nuclear confrontation with Russia.
Closing in on 11 months tomorrow, war coverage has largely disappeared from our electronic and print journalism. That alone is a disgrace, preventing the nurturing of an informed electorate on a potentially catastrophic issue. The media is much more interested in providing entertainment and distraction with endless hours on a football injury, a dysfunctional House parliamentary procedure, year’s old and largely irrelevant government documents found at presidential homes, and the latest in America’s weekly mass slaughter from machine guns.
But it’s worse than that. When they do cover the war, mainstream media has spent the last 11 months omitting 8 years of America’s anti-Russian provocations which made Russia’s illegal invasion virtually inevitable. They’ve erased out successful US efforts to sabotage the 15 point peace agreement brokered by Turkey with Russia and Ukraine in March that could have ended the war early on, saving thousands of lives.
Even worse, mainstream media has concocted a false war narrative focusing on imaginary Ukrainian victory amid near total disarray of Russian military operations and internal war opposition. This coverage is so outrageous it brings to mind a mimicking of the infamous ‘Baghdad Bob’, Iraqi Minister of Information who made hilarious announcements of impending Iraq victory in the 2003 Iraq war, while his country was being demolished by American invaders.
Mainstream media cares not a whit about informing the public on matters that could lead to nuclear Armageddon. Honest, responsible war coverage does not bring in the endless millions in advertising needed to sustain media moguls’ lavish lifestyles. Additionally, say or print one word which challenges the government’s false narrative of the war, and lose all access to government officials, the lifeblood of any news organization.
If mainstream media were truly honest, they’d change the name of every news show to: Entertainment Today.


Wednesday, January 25, 2023

From 1,020 seconds to 90 seconds in 32 years spells potential doom for peoplekind.

 From 1,020 seconds to 90 seconds in 32 years spells potential doom for peoplekind.

I’ve followed the ups and downs of the Doomsday Clock for 60 years. I first learned about it as University of Chicago freshman in 1963, that it was created there in 1947 by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. 

What a neat metaphor to convey how close humanity is to destroying itself. The Clock has become an international symbol of the world’s vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear weapons, climate change and disruptive technologies.

Every January the Bulletin announces the yearly setting. After 3 years at 100 seconds, the closest in its history, no one following the Clock’s countdown to Midnight was surprised today when it was moved 10 seconds closer to Doomsday. The Bulletin’s Science and Security Board cited the potential US Russian nuclear confrontation over Ukraine as the leading cause for the ominous move forward: “The US government, its NATO allies and Ukraine have a multitude of channels for dialogue; we urge leaders to explore all of them to their fullest ability to turn back the Clock.”

For those of us who believe in inexorable human progress, the past 32 years have been anything but. In 1991 the Clock was backed off from 12 minutes to Midnight (Doomsday) to 17 minutes (1,020 seconds), the furthest away in its first 44 years. This resulted from recognition of the heralded end to the Cold War with the Soviet Union, and advances in nuclear disarmament agreements.

But the Cold War simply went into hibernation as the US looked for new enemies to expand its gargantuan military arsenal, including nukes.  Twenty years of reckless Islamophobia channeled American military adventurism throughout the Middle East. When that adventurism faded after two decades, the US decided to re-light that flame under that dormant Cold War with Russia by doubling now obsolete NATO right up to Russia’s borders. ‘Don’t worry about those troops and missiles on your doorstep Mother Russia. We just want to keep you the hell out of Western Europe’s political economy’.

What could go wrong? Just Russia, after 8 years of endless provocations in Ukraine, with thousands of Russian speaking Ukrainians dead from Ukraine brutality, invading 11 months ago Tuesday. And in America and Russia today….all nukes are on the table.

What’s equally distressful about today’s ominous setting at 90 seconds to Midnight? Our government, our media, our citizenry took little note, going about their lives of noisy desperation oblivious to the danger to existence we face. As Chicago once famously sang, “Does anybody really know what time it is?”

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Vote disqualifier

DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick announced he considered Illinoi's new assault weapon ban unconstitutional and he wouldn't enforce it.
That triggered another reason why I didn't vote for him in either Sheriff election. I never vote to elect a fox to guard the henhouse.

That was then...this is now

 1928 Republican Party pledge to America

"A chicken in every pot"

2023 Republican Party pledge to America

"A fascist on every committee"

Kinsinger very good on Trump sedition…very bad on perpetual war

Former Illinois congressman and newly minted CNN political analyst Adam Kinsinger is a political conundrum.
He rocketed to national fame as the face, along with Liz Cheney, of the tiny remaining soul of the Republican Party that supported impeachment of the traitor Trump. He also led the bipartisan effort that recommended Trump’s criminal indictment for sedition and related crimes from his failed January 6, 2021 coup.
Straight out of central casting with his boyish charm and articulate earnestness, Kinsinger was a natural for a six figure gig as senior political analyst for CNN after the Republican Party banished him for his defense of American democracy.
But beneath that boy scout image, Kinsinger is an unrepentant promoter of US world dominance and perpetual war. He left his job as McClain County IL Board member to fight in Iraq as an Air Force combat commander. That criminal war, killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis along with 4,400 of his fellow warriors, made no dent on Kinsinger’s conscience.
He slavishly promotes reckless US wars, warlike provocations and regime change operations in Syria, Yemen, Libya, China, Iran, North Korea, China, Venezuela, among others. So many countries…so many warlike opportunities. He raged against our pullout from Afghanistan; even calling for re-invasion.
But it was his call for a No Fly Zone against Russia early in the Russo Ukraine war that was reckless beyond comprehension. If implemented it would have pushed the 2 largest nuclear states to near certain nuclear war. Fortunately, the president, Congress and the media told Kinsinger to just fly away from that unconscionable proposal.
I applauded Kinsinger’s lonely and courageous opposition to his party’s descent into treason and autocracy. Alas, he’s now got one of highest media soapboxes available to push US unipolar dominance round the world…and push the US towards nuclear Armageddon.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Jan 6, 2021: A 21st century Day of Infamy

It took nearly 41 years for the 20th Century Day of Infamy, December 7, 1941. But just over 20 for January 6, 2021, the 21st Century’s version.
The latter was infinitely worse. The 2,403 US military personnel killed shouldn’t have even been at Pearl Harbor. The US snatched Hawaii from the native Hawaiian natives in 1898, the first US move to become an imperial power. We had 2 reasons to commit that monstrous crime against Hawaii. We had to make Hawaii safe for Dole Pineapple and other rapacious US capitalists there. More importantly, Hawaii was the first leg of US entry into imperialism to compete with the UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, among others. Pearl Harbor was a perfect launching pad for US power in the Pacific.
But January 6, 2021 nearly destroyed the American democratic experiment after 245 years. Had the Trump traitors breached the House chamber, Congressional blood would have flowed, allowing the Traitor In Chief to declare martial law, overturn his election defeat and remain in ruthless power.
Only astounding law enforcement bravery in the face of unrelenting sedition prevented Trump’s diabolical plan from succeeding.
Day of Infamy? Pearl Harbor has nothing on Trump Sedition Day.

McCarthy learned to govern? Please

Newly elected House Speaker Kevin McCarthy claimed the extraordinary 15 ballots to secure his House Speakership were good for the Party and country. “It’s taught us how to govern” McCarthy claimed.
For someone who’s been in Congress for 15 years to proclaim he’s finally learned how to govern is astonishing. What McCarthy did not say was that to become Speaker, he had to grovel before the Treason Wing of his party who disgrace the House and the country by even being present in the House chamber.
That should surprise no one. McCarthy joined with the majority of House Republicans in support of a Texas lawsuit to void the 2020 Presidential result by preventing Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia voting the will of their electorates for Joe Biden. The Supreme Court waived off their frivolous effort to void the election.
He caved to all their pernicious demands having nothing to do with improving life in America. He gave them a one person ‘leave the Speakership’ card to initiate a snap vote to replace him. He ramped up the possibility of a government shutdown over insincere concern for fiscal responsibility. He encouraged their endless war on Social Security and Medicare.
Kevin McCarthy should have listened and learned from his Republican predecessor John Boehner who finally quit the Speakership in 2015, saying "This place (US House) was crazytown and I was the Mayor. It was populated by jackasses, and media hounds, and some normal citizens as baffled as I was about how we got trapped inside the city walls,. Every second of every day since Barack Obama became president I was fighting one batshit idea after another."
Crazytown, Speaker McCarthy? You ain’t seen nothing yet.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Chance for a more peaceful 2023?

Happy peaceful New Years. Let's hope 2023 is even just a tad better than 2022 on the peace front. That should not be difficult as last year was one of the most unpeaceful years in memory for the US.
2022 saw the US embark on new Cold Wars with both China over Taiwan, and Russia over Ukraine. To do so against the 2 other largest nuclear powers, who both issued red lines against US encroachment in their neighborhood, is reckless and inexplicable.
With China, the US blew up 50 years of the One China Policy, promising to go to war 8,000 miles from the Homeland to keep Taiwan independent. That simply ratcheted up threatening Chinese maneuvers over Taiwan never before seen.
With Russia, the US refused every sensible effort to prevent the Russian invasion by blowing up the Minsk II Accords giving autonomy to the beleaguered Russian speaking Ukrainians, and continuing to float NATO membership for Ukraine which could put US nukes just 7 minutes from Moscow.
Less likely to provoke nuclear confrontation, but provocative just the same, were very unpeaceful moves against North Korea, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, among others.
With North Korea, the US still proclaims ‘The sanctions will increase until all your nukes are destroyed.’ North Korea simply kept laughing at Uncle Sam, building more nukes and the ICBMs to deliver them.
In Syria, the US keeps 900 soldiers illegally occupying Syrian oil fields to steal Syria’s treasure and continue its 12 year long regime change effort.
In Yemen, the US continued for the 8th year to support Saudi Arabia’s war to control Yemen. Over 300,000 dead makes no dent on America’s conscious whatsoever.
While promising to return to the Iran Nuclear Agreement, President Biden reneged and increased the sanctions, in part because Iran is friendly to its neighbor and US enemy Russia.
Ditto for Biden’s promise to re-engage with Cuba after Trump overturned the Obama/Biden détente begun in 2013. Sanctions and embargo continued for the 62nd year, a campaign of malevolent cruelty against a wonderful people that disgraces America's worldwide standing.
Last year the US sent 500 US troops to Somalia and increased bombings by 30% to eradicate an imaginary threat to the Homeland.
Then America bragged about how many of those threatening Somalis we slaughtered.
Another decade’s long effort at regime change continued against Venezuela. After the hated socialist Nicholas Maduro won re-election in 2019, the US simply refused to accept the result. In its own version of Stop The Steal, we simply recognized US educated and Kennedy handsome Juan Guaido as the Venezuelan president. By the end of 2022 most of Venezuela and the world, except for America, have given up on American puppet Guaido. But America’s sanctions that have killed thousands and made life intolerable for millions, continue apace.
Yes, with just a tad bit of wisdom, decency and common sense, 2023 can see the US can turn the Titanic of perpetual war away from regime change, military adventurism and the looming specter of nuclear war. But we can’t count on it. As Pete Seeger sang in his anti Vietnam War song 'Waist Deep in the Big Muddy':
“We’re neck deep in the Big Muddy!
And the big fool says to push on”

Monday, January 02, 2023

Damar Hamlin football injury

The critical injury to Bills player Damar Hamlin tonite brought to mind the early days of college football when many critical injuries and deaths nearly got football banned in its infancy.

From its start around 1890, football was a fierce, brutal spectacle of pile driving runs using formations such as the flying wedge that racked up a dozen or so deaths and countless crippling injuries yearly. As the injuries and deaths mounted, schools dwaddled on cancelling football programs or demanding wholesale reforms. In 1905, eighteen deaths prompted President sTeddy Roosevelt to drag Ivy League school presidents to the White House for a session with the Bully Pulpit. It was 'implement safety reforms…or disband'.

Soon, the ball was reduced in size to facilitate the forward pass, flying wedge type running plays were banned and safer equipment was mandated. The game essentially adopted the form still present today.

A century on critical injuries or deaths are quite rare. The only NFL on field death occured 52 years ago. But as we saw tonite, critical injuries still happen.

Saturday, December 31, 2022

How many crimes does cash bail generate?

No tears from me for the end of cash bail this Sunday.Avoiding jail awaiting trial should not depend on how much money you have to bail out. A bad guy with enough bread is out on the streets, possibly committing more crime. Meanwhile, some poor innocent can have his/her life ruined in the clink simply for lack of cash.That begs the question. How many arrestees without sufficient cash have crimes committed on their behalf to pony up bail? Under the no bail system the incentive to commit those crimes goes away.
Haven’t heard this as another sensible reason to eliminate bail…but it should be factored into the ongoing discussion of the new no bail reform.

Friday, December 30, 2022

Republicans 30% solution won’t turn Illinois red

Far right downstate Republicans refuse to blame themselves for the massive Blue Wave which continues to wash over Illinois elections. Instead, they blame the moderate Republican ‘Left Flank’ based in Chicago, Cook and the collar counties of DuPage, Lake, Will and Kane.
Four downstate representatives, Chris Miller of Oakland, Blaine Wilhour of Beecher City, Dan Caulkins of Decatur and Brad Halbrook of Shelbyville, who speak for the far right ‘Eastern Block’ of downstaters, tout their huge Republican majorities there which turned downstate “Ruby Red.” They claimed, preposterously, if only that Left Flank had followed our lead, Dan Bailey and the entire Republican slate would have cruised to victory November 8.
While Republican gains downstate were notable, it represents a mere 30% of the Illinois electorate. Their vision of no funding of social programs, banning books and sex education in schools, fulminating about transgender rights and support, total control of women’s bodies, denying climate change may play well in Peoria, but very little northward were nearly three quarters of the voters seek progress, not regression.
DuPage, second only to Chicago’s Cook in population, had less blue than the sun when I moved there in 1975. By 2007, Democrats leaders with vision, energy and optimism, starting with Democratic Chair Bob Peickert and others, saw opportunity to turn DuPage blue. So they formed (drum roll) Turn DuPage Blue. During the ensuing 15 years DuPage became nearly as blue as the deep blue sea, dominating the County Board, state legislators, Forest Preserve, US Congresspersons, and giving big majorities to governor and president.
Their prescription for success was simple: real solutions to real problems with not a hint of fear, loathing or divisiveness.
And if those aforementioned Eastern Block folks ever lose their Illinois seat, they should avoid running for coroner. Death investigations, such as their bizarre analysis of the corpse of a once healthy state party, is a disqualifier.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

“Too personal” Mr. Wilson? Then drop mayoral bid

Eight of nine major Chicago mayoral candidates released tax records in line with critically needed financial disclosure to vet candidates. Only the likely richest, Willie Wilson refused.
His response to the instant ‘Why not’ question was revealing, tho admittedly honest. “I think it’s too personal. That’s the way I think it. I’m not in office yet.”
Even worse, Wilson refused to agree to release his financials should he be elected. “I probably wouldn’t have a problem then. But I’m not in office now.”
Probably wouldn’t?
The public should be wary of any candidate for high office who refuses to take that most basic step of transparency. The last guy who did that nearly destroyed American democracy trying to overturn his re-election defeat with an organized insurrection.

Kissinger gets Peace Prize for making war; slammed or pitching peace.

During his century on Planet Earth, Henry Kissinger experienced a bizarre twist on the subject of war and peace. An architect of the Nixon Vietnam War strategy that got possibly a million or more Vietnamese and a third of America’s 58,000 needlessly killed, he won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Possibly out of guilt over his role in that carnage, or simply having become wiser with age, Kissinger is now promoting a negotiated settlement over continued US gasoline being poured on the fire which is the Russo Ukraine war.
He recognizes that Ukraine’s victory goals of retaking Crimea and the Donbas, then joining NATO are utterly preposterous and will never happen. Instead, they have enabled 300 days of relentless destruction of Ukraine as a functioning nation. Much worse, every day the war continues presents a new opportunity for it to go nuclear thru a simple miscalculation, a deranged combatant, or even another planned false flag, like Ukraine’s call for NATO intervention from an errant Ukraine missile killing 2 in NATO member Poland. Kissinger knows that direct US military involvement with Russia is becoming inevitable.
But poor Henry has received a firestorm of criticism for promoting negotiations, the path to peace in virtually every war other than the ‘unconditional surrender’ variety. From Kyiv to the DC Capitol, proponents of endless war are calling him an out of touch appeaser.
In Kissinger’s case, his good deeds get punished after his bad deeds got rewarded.

Zelensky puff peace adds no value to ending Russo Ukraine war

Henry J. Wilson’s letter ‘Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky offers a reminder to America’ (Trib, Dec.23) sounds like it came straight from Zelensky’s press agent.
“Zelensky in all his shining glory”; “Zelensky’s speech was the most inspiring address I have heard from Capitol Hill in my 28 years of life as a proud American”; Zelensky a “combination of brilliant timing, the honesty of a world-class statesman and the bravery of a true warrior’.
An ‘inspiring speech’ does not reject negotiations to promote endless war that is destroying Ukraine as a functioning nation, especially when Zelensky could have avoided the war by implementing the 2015 Minsk II Accords that would have given autonomy to Donbas Ukrainians.
A ‘world class statesman’ does not make 3 years of war against his own people because they prefer to speak Russian and seek freedom from Zelensky led oppression. Nor does such a statesman risk nuclear war by demanding the US intervene directly with Russia.
A ‘brave, true warrior’ does not cave to ultranationalists who demanded he turn on the people in Donbas who elected him in 2019 on his promise to incorporate them into a unified Ukraine.
Mr. Wilson is simply promoting US unipolar dominance with its determination to keep Russia out of the European political economy, regardless of how much death and destruction it brings to Ukraine.
His letter offers no solution to keep the Russo Ukraine war from spinning out of control, possibly even going nuclear. That is the goal we must all focus on.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

DeSantis: “Fauci can pound sand”…and bury more Floridians

Florida governor and likely ’24 presidential candidate Ron DeSantis offers ‘Fauci Can Pound Sand’ sandals on his gubernatorial campaign website. He also offers ‘Don’t Fauci My Florida’ beer koozies. A DeSantis campaign email had the subject line ‘Fauci For Prison’.
That anti Fauci rhetoric may have spiked the Governor’s 19 point re-election victory, but it may also have needlessly deep-sixed gullible DeSantis true believers cheering on his anti Fauci vendetta.
Florida accounted for 7.5% of US covid deaths with 6.5% of the population. Illinois covid deaths of 3.6 % underperformed its 3.9% of US population. Florida has 69.5% more folks than Illinois but its covid deaths topped Illinois’ by 106.4%.
Maybe when Fauci retires, DeSantis can request his help burying all those needless Florida deaths from his No 1 campaign meme for ’24, demonizing all things Fauci and medical science.

Zelensky ‘hints’ to US: $112 billion in weapons not enough….send more

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is the US weapons recipient who keeps on receiving. Ahead of his Wednesday address to Congress he said “We have artillery, yes. Thank you. We have it. Is it enough? Honestly, not really. We’re grateful for their (US) support, but it ($112 billion) is not enough. It is a hint — it is not enough.”
Wow. That’s some chutzpa. Not a hint Mr. President. More like a demand.
Zelensky spent most of his first 3 years in office fanning the flames of civil war in the Donbas and lobbying to join NATO. In doing so he broke his promise to make peace with the breakaway Russian speaking peoples in the Donbas provinces Donetsk and Lugansk. The ultranationalists with the real power in Ukraine quickly disabused him of that notion. Join with us in our destruction of those fake Ukrainians wanting to speak Russian, or you’ll join them in La La Land.
Zelensky got the message and dumped the Minsk II Accords which would have given the Donbas its autonomy within the framework of Ukrainian sovereignty. He not only joined their cause, he went begging to Uncle Sam for hundreds of millions in weaponry and US training to use those weapons on the hapless Donbas Ukrainians. The US was only too happy to oblige since it would assist its relentless effort to keep Russia out of the European political economy so the US could sell Europe super high price energy.
By caving to the Ukraine ultranationalists and Uncle Sam, Zelensky kept his puppet power. Alas, he overplayed his hand, and now finds his country being destroyed by provoking the illegal Russian invasion. During 10 months of war Zelensky not only demanded endless weapons, he demanded the US intervene directly, oblivious that may ignite nuclear war. He even planted a false flag, demanding NATO intervention when an errant Ukraine missile killed 2 in NATO member Poland. He damn well knew it wasn’t a Russian strike.
Time for puppet master America to sidle puppet Zelensky to the negotiating table to cut the best deal possible: independence and security for Ukraine, independence and freedom for the Donbas, and no NATO to allow NATO troops and nukes up to Russia’s border with Ukraine.