- Page 1 of 26
- 3 ...
THE BOSTON TEA-PARTY PATRIOTS OUGHT TO SUE FOR LIBELMay 22, 2013 -- 10:28pm
Every middle-schooler knows about those brave Bostonians who dumped a ship-load of tea into Boston harbor in 1773 to protest Britain’s taxing policies—a giant step toward the American Revolution. Today, the Tea Party movement also claims our government is tyrannical.
But there’s a difference between the Boston Tea Party and the current Tea Party movement. Our ancestors supported free speech and taxation with representation. The Tea Party Movement radically strives to dissolve the Departments of Education, Environmental Protection, Commerce, and many social entitlement programs. Their movement gained strength in 2010 when they elected some members of Congress, but lost ground in Election 2012.
Now the Tea Party again has taken center-stage. The I.R.S. has admitted to giving extra “scrutiny” to “Tea Party” and conservative organizations when they apply for 501.C4 not-for-profit status. On May 20th a group of Tea Party members demonstrated in front of Chicago’s I.R.S. headquarters, demanding the I.R.S. “got to go.” Shades of Watergate, UGH!
Tea Partiers, this isn’t 1773. The majority of Americans elected our current government. No government officials have demanded that citizens quarter troops, nor have they searched our homes or imprisoned me for criticizing them. Some tyranny!
Tea Partiers have a strange definition of “freedom.” They support the freedom to agree with them, but deny freedom to anyone who disagrees with their beliefs. I know. They targeted me for being too Liberal. They also believe that Liberals stole America. So they work to “take back our country.”
Back to where? Segregated neighborhoods? Shoving Gays and Lesbians back in the closet? Letting children and homeless starve? This isn’t the America our forbearers envisioned. Maybe the streets weren’t paved with gold, but Grandma and Grandpa never feared 3 A.M. knocks on the door.
The I.R.S. scrutiny of Conservative organizations points up the need to:
- Overturn Citizens United—Corporations aren’t people
- Limit campaign contributions; less money, fairer elections
- Revamp our current tax code; End the 1% split
But that’s for another blog.
Hey, Tea Partiers listen up, “As ye shall sow, so shall ye reap.” Now, back to my French Roast.
CHICAGO: WE HAVE A JAM OF A PROBLEM!May 16, 2013 -- 8:28am
I often drive our expressways. But whether driving north to Waukegan or southwest to Midway Airport, our expressways are gnarly, snarly, bumper-to-bumper messes. By the time I arrive I’m nervous, cranky and sorely in need of green tea.
So why fight the traffic? Why not take the CTA or Metra? The Orange Line CTA goes to Midway, and it’s fast and cheap. But when I’m picking up a senior citizen, whose nerves are frayed from fighting the battle of the TSA and surviving a pilot who’s flying a World War II fantasy, that extra hour riding the CTA is against the Geneva Conventions. Metra trains run sporadically during non-rush hour times. Between 11:00 A.M. and 1:00 P.M. the cute North-line Metra choo-choos take a nap.
And now the CTA is about to close the southern end of the “Howard/Dan Ryan” Red Line for repairs. Some riders will either switch to the Metra, or further clog traffic on the Dan Ryan. What happens to those people who don’t have cars and need the CTA Red Line to get to work? What happens to the unemployment rate along the south Red Line? Those are very interesting—and disturbing—questions.
Summer’s almost here. Here’s some urban math: Scorchers + snarled traffic= road rage; road rage + guns=mayhem.
Who’s to blame? For once some Alderman’s nephew isn’t responsible. The root of this mess lies in decisions made 60+ years ago when our expressways were built. Urban planners never figured, “If you build it, they will come, settle near it and drive to work.” Now Chicago and Milwaukee are converging into one urban area; same for Chicago through Gary and Hammond. Widening expressways or building second levels are recipes for mountains of litigation over air-rights and public domain.
There’s no choice. The CTA must stay in tip-top shape because no megalopolis survives without a great transit system. “Can’t Travel Anymore” needs to morph into “Can Travel Any where.”
In the meantime, I’m cornering the market on green tea.
AND HERE’S ONE FOR THE RECORD BOOK!May 09, 2013 -- 8:34pm
The National Rifle Association met in Houston recently. They regaled us with their familiar defense of the Second Amendment, coupling that with their usual President Obama bashing. But, when the NRA suggested new ways of fighting crime, my Java and I sat up and really took notice.
The NRA plans to pass out guns to Chicagoans. They assert that upright citizens packing heat will prevent crime. If a crime has already occurred, Chicago’s vigilante citizens will mete out justice.
It’s not the first time someone wanted to bring something to Chicago. In the 1950’s signs appeared on Chicagoland billboards stating, “I will bring a mountain to Chicago,” signed by “Captain Folger.” Three months after these signs went up; we discovered the mountain was a mountain of coffee.
Coffee is a great Chicago favorite, but think of the case backlog wiped away with a couple of gunshots. Think of the money saved by summary justice. It appears the NRA believes Chicago’s taxpayers will love it. Mayor Emanuel’s budget problems solved! BOOM!
But, Chicago already has a mountain of unregistered guns…And unregistered guns wreak havoc, even death. Remember Dantrell Davis, Hadiyah Pendleton, Heaven Sutton and Jonyla Watkins? Some criminals!
Who are these upright citizens who will suddenly morph into latter-day Lone Rangers and Tontos? Will the Latin Kings and the Gangster Disciples get the drop on the crooks? Will the Black P Stone Nation enforce curfews and chaperone proms?
Please, NRA members, we’ve already seen too many shootings resulting from arguments because the people involved have guns. Passing out more guns is like throwing a lighted match onto dry kindling.
You believe in law and order. But the basis of law and order is courts and due process, not Smith and Wessons. The only thing guns settle is who has the fastest draw.
Your solution will work only after so many shoot-outs occur that no one is left standing, and Chicago morphs into a peaceful ghost town. We have too many guns already, thank you. Come to think of it, we also have a mountain range worth of Starbucks.
REQUIEM FOR AN OLD POLMay 03, 2013 -- 5:33am
Calvin R. Sutker, former Democratic Committeeman of Niles Township, State Representative, County Commissioner and Skokie Trustee died last Thursday at age 89. Those are only the elective offices. Sutker also served in numerous appointive positions. Cal was one of the last of the old pols, those politicians who toed the party line, usually bringing victory and jobs in their wake. So many Cook County officials were present at his funeral that If terrorists struck they would have wiped out half of the county’s government.
What made Cal run? He was born on the old Jewish west side. His parents owned a grocery store, and when times were tough they gave out food to the hungry. Cal’s mother was also a precinct captain. Politics was no stranger in the Sutker household.
Cal enlisted in the army in World War II; and he saw battle. He was one of the liberators of Dachau concentration camp; an experience that defied words. It took close to 60 years before he was comfortable talking about it. But toward the end of his life Cal spoke eloquently to groups about his experience.
After the war, Cal married, became a father, and earned a law degree from the University of Chicago. Then tragedy struck: one of his children died. He went into politics to ease the pain.
The Sutkers moved to Skokie and Cal won election to Committeeman in 1973. Skokie was a Republican town. By the mid-1970s Skokie was firmly in the Democratic column. The Niles Township Regular Democratic Organization had a family-like feel to it. It was a big tent; women held important positions. Not every race ended in victory--but Niles Township usually voted Democratic and for good candidates.
The old political machines have gone the way of the dinosaur. But Cal stood out. Life is much better in Niles Township since the 1970s, thanks to Calvin R. Sutker. Cal you’ll be remembered fondly and well.
Now get to work! Heaven’s precincts need reorganizing! There’s an election for the Heavenly Choir next Tuesday.
SEPARATE AND VERY UNEQUALApr 25, 2013 -- 10:25pm
I learned about the Negro League in 1988 when my family visited the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown New York. As we toured the Negro League exhibit I thought, “This would make a great research topic.” But by the time we returned to Chicago I figured the Negro League probably had already been thoroughly researched.
Fast forward to 2013, Forty-Two, the story of Jackie Robinson explored Robinson’s beginnings in the Negro League, and I realized the rise and fall of the Negro League was the baseball story time forgot. Why?
Sometimes persons or groups end up on the wrong side of History’s tracks. Baseball was already popular before the Civil War. During the 1870s, 80s, and early 1890s, African-American players in the north played on white minor league baseball teams. One African-American player played on a major league farm team, and may have actually “gone to the show.”
But in 1892 the Supreme Court infamously ruled in Plessy vs. Ferguson that African-Americans and Caucasian-Americans were entitled to “separate but equal” accommodations. History books describe how this ruling was used to justify segregated schools, housing, and voting violations. But baseball is rarely mentioned.
Negro baseball leagues grew because blacks wanted to play baseball, but were barred from the major leagues. Chicago had two Negro baseball teams: The Chicago Giants and the Chicago American Giants. The Negro League World Series was played at Comiskey Park. The Chicago American Giants played at Wrigley Field when the Cubs were on the road. Some whites and women also played in the Negro League.
The Negro League players were as good as, some better than their white major league counterparts. But none of their achievements were counted. Once Jackie Robinson broke the color line in 1949, more African-Americans followed. The Negro League lost its reason for existence, and dissolved in 1980.
There are only 170 members of the Negro League left. Agent Gary Crawford raises money and memory for the league’s veterans--an uphill battle. These survivors are great men as well as great athletes. Let’s not throw them on History’s scrap heap.
NIKE (S0B)! NIKE (SOB)! NIKE!Apr 17, 2013 -- 10:40pm
October 9, 2011: After over 7 hours of walking my husband and I crossed the finish line at the Bank of America, Chicago Marathon. There weren’t any crowds; no cheers; no bands. Just marathon volunteers holding our medals 12 feet away and smiling broadly. Nike! Nike! Nike! I had walked the Marathon, and felt proud!
I think I shared that feeling of triumph over daunting odds with the runners at this year’s Boston Marathon. At 4 hours and 9 minutes many of those runners were within sight of the finish line. They did it. Soon they’d have their medals and celebrate with family and friends. Nike! Nike! Nike!
Then the bombs exploded and joy turned to shock, horror, pain and death. No victory today! According to the Red Eye 386 Illinois residents competed; 321 from the Chicago area. Miraculously, all escaped serious injury.
Now we know the tally: Three people dead; 170 injured. Some of the injured lost their legs. The bomb was set with the idea of harming as many people as possible. Alas, the ghoul(s) who set it succeeded. My heart aches for the child who died in his father’s arms.
Those bomb blasts reverberated in Illinois. Chicago became one with Boston. We sent kudos to the Bostonians who opened up their homes to the marathoners; the doctors, nurses and volunteers who ran into the fray to help the wounded! We also wept for the dead and maimed. Security will be increased for the Bank of America 2013 Chicago Marathon. Vigilance is the price of both liberty, and safety.
The question remains: Why? This sort of barbarism boggles our minds. It defies logic. Why purposely hurt innocent bystanders? Why kill a child? Why cripple people indiscriminately?
We don’t know the answers. But I know, ghoul(s) whoever you are you’ll be caught and go to a prison where the sun don’t shine. Your terrorism only resulted in uniting Chicagoans and Bostonians—all Americans into one loving nation with one purpose: We’re gonna get you, and then sing Nike! Nike! Nike!
- Page 1 of 26
- 3 ...