Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Well, Damn Me with Faint Praise; I Missed Another Earth Day!





Sometimes there's nothing for it but to grab hold of nearest sharp object and introduce that implement to one of the ocular orifices. Yes, sir, nothing beats a poke in the eye with sharp stick for calling faux miseries to attention.

I was asked if I would care to attend a group Hootenanny at a Unitarian Church in my neighborhood to celebrate our Mother Earth.  I gave this offer some careful consideration, knowing that my acquittance* who dresses like Pete Seeger and speaks like Senator Elizabeth Warren was drawing me out with his suspicions that I am not in fact an Irish Catholic Democrat of the old stripe, but plutocratic fascist in wolves clothing and immediately replied, " Nah."

The jungle hat with the excessively long chin strap launched to nape of his thin neck, " Why not, might I ask?"
Having somewhat composed himself, he arranged the satchel containing plastic water bottles and styrofoam cups gathered along his daily journey among the unwashed who still use those beverage containers,  to show HE meant business.

I paused abit before answering, " I'm Sixty-plus years old with a long life ahead of me. Big Plans," I replied using the script from the AARP commercial with hot GILF walking through an autumnal glade.
Side Note ( She's smug and vacuous to be sure, but I'd take a run at her.)

" You play guitar and banjo!" accused my Progressive Pharisee who added, "What's wrong with you?"

The simple answer would have been "Plenty, Donny, " but I must plunge.

"This is a community's celebration of doing good and turning hands and hearts to our planet's needs."

" I choose to have my gums scraped, Donny. "

" You don't care."

"Who would break a butterfly on a wheel,Donny?"

" I don't understand you."

Indeed.

* In my world, there are great people who make every moment a joy(99% by my gesstimation) and the 1% who suck all of the joy right out of atmosphere (.05%) are Mean People vicious animals to be avoided at all possible costs and the balance I must categorize as

Mean-Well People - sincere, not very bright, self-important, intrusive and bad -tipping social parasites . . .politicians, editorial board members, academics and people you can not avoid, because THEY MEAN WELL.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Rahm says, "Back to Chicago Values?"


"Every child deserves a childhood"  Can't argue with that any more than that old saw " Every adult deserves an adulthood."

In time-honored tradition of slapping platitudes on rampant failure, Mayor Rahm Emanuel invokes " Values."

Chicago became a thug-comfort zone, because the platitude paper-hangers wanted power, dominion, votes and most importantly cash.  It became very important to the platitudinarian politicians during the second term of Richard M. Daley to divorce law enforcement from City Hall.  Cops were tossed to the wolves of media and the ambulance chasers.  Wrongfully became the watchword for all aspects of policing and prosecution.  It worked better than Henry Tudor's many honeymoons. Cops got their heads placed on pikes and Thugs got 2/3'd of the millions paid to G. Flint Taylor, Locke Bowman and the Loevy Boys.  Chicago Values!

Those are the values that Alderman Proco Joe Moreno spoke of when he blasted Chick Fil A for opening in Chicago. Mayor Rahm agreed whole heartedly. Remember?

“Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a statement to the Chicago Tribune. “They disrespect our fellow neighbors and residents.”
Emanuel was vowing his support for Alderman Proco Moreno’s announcement that he would block construction of a Chick-fil-A restaurant in his district.
“If you are discriminating against a segment of the community, I don’t want you in the First Ward,” he told the newspaper.Chick-fil-A is privately owned by the Cathy family. The company president, Dan Cathy, drew the wrath of gay rights advocates and supporters when he made recent statements that some have alleged are anti-gay.
That was power and dominion at work.  A cynical person, like me, might say that Proco Joe and Mayor Rahm are merely pandering to the wallets of Fred Eychaner and the votes of evolved Progressives, because that is what they do.  Yet, they decried the values of the Cathy Family, owners of chicken franchise, the Catholic Church and millions of Chicagoans.  Chicago values the silence of the lambs.

"Man is wolf to man," or so a political animal might suggest. Wolves need prey and lambs are tasty prey.

Over the weekend another slaughter took place in all of the zip codes all too familiar with wolves, political and armed.  In yet another, heart-tugging platitude post-up Rahm Emanuel called on all of Chicagoland to dig deeply for " Values."

Those values include the right of women to slaughter the unborn, redefine marriage, biology, spend us out of debt, over turn convictions of murderers and return them to the agonized zip-codes of Chicago, shut up and vote.

Devalue your values and value your Value-Makers.

Can't argue with that - not allowed.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Illinois Governor Alister Quinn

IMG_1227

I was watching the recent "Comfy Chair" Debate between Bruce Carhartt Rauner and Governor Pat Quinn when it became very clear to me that the Governor of Illinois, a practiced Shapeshifter, is now Alister Sim*

Voila!

Governor Alsietr Quinn!
Here The Guv and Leader Cullerton Share a Snide Remark Alastair Sim, with Melvyn Johns, in a scene from Charles Dicken's 'Scrooge: A Christmas Carol' film in 1951

*.Capable of being creepy and comic at the same time, Sim came to epitomise the eccentric British buffoon for a generation of cinema-goers: a man forever bewildered as fate dealt him one cruel blow after another, but whom it was impossible not to like.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

My M(etamorphosis) Squad Morning





I woke up a different man.  I'm Frank Ballinger - M Squad.  M stands for Metamorphosis.  This is Chicago -my kind of town.

I went to bed Pat Hickey and woke up Frank Ballinger. Yeah, I woke him up.  He was staying with me.  That's how come I woke up a different man. See?

You don't.

Maybe it was being in the Flatiron District, - Bucktown, of Chicago - you know the concrete streets packed with guys wearing sandals, cotton strides, goatees and straw fedoras, all looking for that next kick whether to themselves or the old guy in chinos, Thomm McCann's and really bad mood.  All the female talent he pipes on cool April sidewalks and cooing from the open-air gin mills on Milwaukee Ave. are tattooed and pieced and maybe that sets his V-8 in neutral and over-works the radiator. . .I don't know. Maybe, it was the fact that he had to wait for the lady with the baby smooth skin and that frame that could lure Thomas Merton out of monk convention in Tibet. Maybe.

Yeah, that might have it.

No, the fact is that he knew he'd been made an A Number One chump not eight hours ago.

Yeah, me.  Patrick Francis Thomas Aquinas Hickey - Chump Gold Card Member.  That's who hit the sack last night anyway. He'd pieced together all the clues.  He'd been set up by "Drew." Yeah, me.  Mr. Street Wise - not the fine $2 paper sold by members of Chicago's Homeless Community, no not that Street Wise -got taken by a thirty something hipster and his late model black Chrysler SUV plate number Illinois R 64-3592.

I was parked in the 1800 block of West North Avenue - the pathway to hip and the playground to the cool.  My turf is square. This turf is triangular and a square within a triangle is trapped - like this:  That's me N and B is some other guy out of his element.  N is me on North Ave. between Honore and Walcott.

I'm parked, like I said, on North Ave . . .the 1800 block of West North Avenue . . .what am I boring you, Princess?  Yeah, I guess I am at that.

I had business with a lady on the south side of North and that's none of your business.  Business was good.  Me?  Not so much.

I'm parked like I said. When business is over I walk the chic chick to her car parked on Hermitage just north of North Avenue.  When business is over and I shed myself of the heart breaker and her pleas for me to stay just bit more, I hike it back to North Avenue where I'm parked and my ticket has time to spare on my dash board so I don't need to pay Mayor Coon Eyes any more of my earned loot.

I have less than a foot or so to back up, because a late model black Chrysler SUV has insinuated itself dangerously close to the bumper of my 2008 grey Malibu.  There's room to spare ahead of me and I have been know around the south side as ONE SWING MAN adept.  I eased back, nevertheless erring on the side of caution . . ., when shouts of " How does this????" interrupted by bangs on the passenger side of my blitz interrupts my maneuver.

" Hey, Man!  You hit my car!  Don't even think about leaving!"

Never crossed my mind. I slide out and assess.  There is damage to SUV, but nothing to show from the laws of physics on my coupe.

" We better exchange information," shouts the tall, handsome thirty-something who claims to have been on the sidewalk of 1800 W. North Ave. he had golden Lab in the back of the late model black Chrysler SUV plate number R 64-3594.

I gave the tall guy my license and insurance card. He I-phone snapped pictures of both and handed them back to me.  I asked for his information and he said, that his name was " Drew!"  He got in his SUV and drove off.

Yeah, that stuff dripping from my whiskers comes from chickens.  Some chump. " Wait," I shouted like the grammar school class twerp who has had his Harry Potter magician hat grabbed by the regular guys and thinks that " Give it Back!" will solve any unhappiness. Yeah.

Pat Hickey went to bed and woke up Frank Ballinger.  Frank Ballinger ain't happy.  Frank Ballinger will check in with CPD District 14 about the events on the 1800 block of west North Avenue at approximately 6:45 PM.  





Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Three Generations of Dweebs


This trio reminds me of the three generations of dweebs who disturbed my sauna with three KGB agents in 1989 They were pan-generational creeps sharing some bad DNA.  All fit, all health conscious, all self-important and gold-plated assholes to a man.

The three KGB agents of whom I spoke were . . .how shall I say  this? . . .busting out of Boys Huskies and squeezing into Portlies - Thus!

They were fun, funny and fearless gentlemen.  We got along.

Good genes make for . . .good genes. . .?  Well, who am I to judge?  Allow me.

I have a very disciplined and healthy regard for the human condition so long as the character/personality thermostats of the individuals encountered  happen to be set just to my liking and considered judgment.

I delight in the company of my fellow man, so long as he conforms to the rigorous, but indefinable virtues which make us brothers, regardless of race, religion, culture, income, level of education, sexual preferences or political point of view.

I once took a steam and a dip in the old McCormick Inn hotel pool with a trio of delightful pre-Fall of the Wall KGB agents.  It was 1989 and my father-in-law owned, edited and published the Will County Farmers Weekly Review and a wonderful portmanteau came into my vocabulary - Due Bill. Quite simply, my wife, kids and I could stay at either the McCormick Inn or the Essex Hotel on Michigan Ave.and pay only the taxes and parking.  Shipwrecked 1907 Heidseick purchased with a Red White and Blue wallet. We booked a suite at McCormick Inn while on some winter school break.  The Bolshoi was jigging up a storm at the Aire Crown Theatre in McCormick Place; hence the KGB guys. My daughter Nora had just turned 4 and I took her for an indoor swim.  We were dog paddling along when a Tsunami drenched us - actually it was three endomorphic Russkies in speedos.  Now, I am no chiseled and sculpted Steve Stunning myself, but I'd hang around shirtless with these three any day.  They were far from harmless lard-asses.

Nora chirped, "What's that in their trunks Dad? Candy bars?"

Wedged snugly in the 'crack' in the back of each was a weapon.  A knife.  This was affirmed by each of the three - " Yezz iz knife bud dunt waree Dahdah. Iz Ogay."  Each of three Godless Commies commenced to spalsh Nora and she them.

My wife came down and toweled her off for the trip up to our suite.  I introduced the lovely redhead to the beet-eating coppers and they were charm in troika.  Mary had the foresight to bring a mini cooler full of Augsburger beer and dragged Nora from her new Slav-nik buddies upstairs to dress.  We four round -mounds of renown repaired to the sauna with a cooler full of high-end Hubers.

We talked Perestroika, Pedagogy and Puskin.  They had all fought in the Afghan War. They all three loved Ronald Reagan and could not understand why I did not vote for him.  They all agreed that things would change -"VahRee Fest, Frund Patschu."  They did.  But, that was at the end of 80's and dawn of this current age of NPR-addicted loud-mouths. This is The Age of People who obsess over other people and how they live their lives, think, eat and pray.

Russians smoke ( cigarettes) up a storm and the three agents ( 'proDeKding DainZers') had the sauna steam a nice Shanghai Yellow with cooked Virginny tobaccy! Ween'Stones

Into our happy sauna arrived a shit heel, a douche bag, in a non_Portanteau, a dweeb, his Prep-ily long-haired son and the Thomas Gainsboprough stand-in grandson,  aged about twelve. Pater was a Saltine-chested WASP dandy ( most guys do not wear neck-kerchiefs from Abercombie & Fitch in a sauna - most guys in here at the time) who sniffed assessed and Grandee'd in pissy little voice " Are you PEOPLE smoking in here?  What is WRONG with you!  Haven't you heard C. Evert Koop?  Second Hand Smoke!  Get it?!???!!!!!   Oakes, ( fils) go for the manager!  Sit here with me Cameron.( petit-fils").

Cameron opined, in the pissy voix de la famille, on the looming proximity of three cancer diagnoses. Too much 'me-time' for young Master Cameron at Warfield, it seemed.

I mentioned that the three gentlemen were security for the Bolshoi and Cotton Mather* held up his talons, " I supposed you are feeding the beer."

I went South Side-Lite( no obscenities)  for a second, " Hey, calm down, Pal."

The three KGB gentlemen eye-brow signalled me, " We're outta here."

Before we parted the biggest of three big guys whispered in my ear -"ESS-howls." I replied, yes they are all that and then some.  He continued, " We hev meny such et howum. Sem Wurld!"

The KGBig Boys invited the Hickeys to the Bolshoi that night. It was glorious! In fact they sat us next to Mr. T.  Mr. T was a delight as well and wowed a four year old girl already wowed by the Bolshoi and her KGB pool playmates.

They were three gentlemen.  Mr. T is a gentleman.

Most folks are great, but assholes can really suck the oxygen out of our planet.

* Cultural observation: Rich WASP's seem to live on the cheap more than any blue-collar slob i ever met - why else were these Puritans camping at the McCormick.

Mickey Rooney Passed?






Accomplished entertainer, Hollywood legend, eight-time groom, Mickey Rooney passed away.

Congressman and career grifter Wee Mike Quigley will carry on. 

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Catholic and Private School Families Continue to " Carry the Turf"

Photo: Children carrying turf to pay their school fees from 'The Graphic' on this day in 1888.
Children carrying turf to pay their school fees from 'The Graphic' on this day in 1888.

Paying tuition is an obligation parents assume when they want their children educated in America.   Public schools are paid for by tax payers, including the families who send their children to non-public schools - they pay twice; once, for every one else's children and again for their own.

Private education comes in several forms. There are what are known as Tier One schools - elite schools endowed and patronized by wealth. Schools such as University of Chicago Lab Schools, Latin School, Frances Parker, Lake Forest Academy and North Shore Country Day are Tier One schools - some rooted in a Mainline Protestant denomination past, or purely secular. These schools tend to have the highest tuition rates and are exclusive.

Then there are Parochial schools of which Catholic schools are the most prominent. There are Dutch Reformed, Lutheran, Jewish and Muslim schools. These schools operate on tuition and gifts alone for revenue and some are becoming almost as costly as Tier One schools.  Catholic schools have always depended upon the support of the parish, or a religious congregation.  Today, parishes struggle to maintain enrollment numbers that match tuition paying families.  Due to the decades of lost vocations to religious orders, Catholic schools are more often than not operated and managed by Catholic lay persons. Tuition support comes from lay operated foundations like the Big Shoulders Fund and private foundations.

Public Education outlaws Vouchers which would allow genuine, fair and reform inducing competition via its threats to and campaign financing of  members of both political parties in the Illinois legislature and local governments. That is how it is.

Catholic schools in America were founded by Irish immigrants very much familiar with "School Choice" policies in Ireland.    Catholic schools educated millions of Americans with standards that remain today in most Catholic schools.

Families continue to sacrifice for their children and students themselves are no strangers to the burdens placed on their parents, often working off tuition in the schools themselves.  They carry the turf.

Elected mediocrities (Durbin, Quinn, et al.)  who benefited from a Catholic education* are the most strident foes of School Reform.  They have selective memories linked only to pious platitudes mouthed at a St. Paddy's Day breakfast, or in a hall full of Hibernians. Memory is the first thing annihilated by tyrants, frauds and mediocrities.

Tuition is the turf you carry.



Irish hedge school heritage[hedge.jpg]
The hedge schools in Ireland were founded under the penal laws in Ireland in the 17th century. No Catholic could teach, no building could serve as a school, underpenalty of law.
Outlaw teachers
So it began that outlawed teachers taught children and traveling "strangers" in the open air. One child might serve as a lookout for the authorities. The teacher might get paid in butter or with a few shillings.
Classes taught included Latin, Greek, Arithmetic, Reading and Writing. Originally it was all done in the Irish language. The Irish language was one thing that theauthorities wanted to eradicate.
The end of the schools
As time went on, laws would allow for a school building, and the Irish actually got their own schools in the 19th century. Some hedge schools continued, but theyfaded from view and disappeared for the most part by the time of the famine.Student responsibilities
If necessary, each student was required to carry a brick or two of turf to school when it was cold outside. The turf would then supply heat during the school day for everyone.


 *School/Choice and Vouchers in Illinois3/1/2014 8:00:00 PM By Mike Yurgec -Contributor
As a parent of a child in Catholic school, every year I am faced with the same thing the rest of the parents face - the property tax bill. I am very troubled with the fact I pay for a public school system I never use. My child will never darken the doorstep of that building and yet, more that 60% of my property taxes go to fund that project. For us and many others, that is several thousand dollars a year going to a public funding project we will never use.We all know why we send our children to Catholic school. The reasons are many. But the underlying fact is we pay extra to send our children there in addition to funding a public school system our children will never use. This is "taxation without representation". If you recall, there was a revolution started over this in 1776.
I have heard other parents say, "I can't afford to send my child to Catholic school." The facts are these; YES - you can afford to send your child to Catholic school if you were allowed to spend the tax money confiscated from your bank account to fund a public school to pay for your child's tuition! You see, if we were allowed to spend our tax dollars to fund our child's education in a Catholic school system, there would be more funding for that system, more children in that system, and better results from that system. We could fund better schools and better pay for our teachers and administrators.
We need all of the Catholic parents across this state to stand up and be counted. If we all took the stand of "No School Choice - No Support" to our legislators, the law will change. It would have to change. According to the website Catholic-Heirarchy.org, there are over 165,000 Catholic parents, grand parents, aunts, uncles, brothers, and sisters in the Springfield Diocese alone. In Illinois, there are over 4,950,000 Catholics. The politicians have to listen to us at the risk of their own political peril!
Ask your local, state, and federal legislator this question, "Do you support school choice?" If not - why not?! And be sure to tell them your vote is vested in their position to support school choice. Please - do it now!
Thank you!
Mike Yurgec
Sherman Illinois

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Cooking With an Amana Dryer and a Taste for Adventure!



"Sorry, Borman, there'll be no left-overs on this meal spinning in te Amana!"

I am a pretty good journeyman cook - not a chef mind you.  I can whip up a very tasty skillet full of wholesome goodness and plate up treats for the kids that will have them howling for seconds.

Smoking meats and fish, grilling and the peanut oil boiling of birds have been paths upon which I trod and loosened the leggings of delighted guests with modest to wild success.

Now, following this winter of our discontent and seepage in the basement with its attendant mold, Spring calls dryer methods to mind.

My Dryer. My Dryer will serve to remedy the hunger that the hoary days of these last four months roil in our tummies.  My Peoples Gas bill is paid up, so let's get cooking.

First,  La omellet de démarrage d'un ouvrier avec des oignons, de l'ail, fromage irlandais et polonais saurkraut et saucisse mexicaine par Hickey!

One dozen eggs
1- pound of good Bobaks Polish Sauerkraut
1-pound of Kerry Gold Irish White Cheddar (shredded)
1- pound of Cacique Chorizo
1-White Onion chopped
1-Red Onion chopped
1-Vadalia Onion chopped
1-Stalk of Celery Whole
1-Bunch of Cilantro chopped
9- cloves of pealed garlic
One pair of good of Red Wing -Irish Setter Work Boots ( L&R) new if possible.
A good stout plub 5" in diameter
Standard gas operated Domestic Dryer. Pre-heat to Real Hot.
Duct Tape -la seule chose qui va faire!

In a large bowl break, add and beat the dozen of eggs. Salt and pepper to taste and add a splash of water, milk, or cream. I like to add paprika, but that is just me.  Toss in the onions, cilantro and garlic.  Hold the celery.

Pour the egg mixture evenly into each boot, tie up the laced and cap with a good stout plug of some sorts and duct tape any and all openings.

Toss in the boots and the big old stalk of celery. Autoriser L'Omelette roulée!!!!!

You should have pretty good idea about when it's done.  Eye balling the job, never hurts.

Dig In!