Monday, November 20, 2017

Life is Not a Seamless Garment -Book of Maccabees e.g.

 Image result for Maccabees


 First Maccabees 1:10-15; 41-4310 From these there grew a wicked offshoot, Antiochus Epiphanes son of King Antiochus; once a hostage in Rome, he became king in the 107th year of the kingdom of the Greeks.11 It was then that there emerged from Israel a set of renegades who led many people astray. 'Come,' they said, 'let us ally ourselves with the gentiles surrounding us, for since we separated ourselves from them many misfortunes have overtaken us.'12 This proposal proved acceptable,13 and a number of the people eagerly approached the king, who authorised them to practise the gentiles' observances.14 So they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, such as the gentiles have,15 disguised their circumcision, and abandoned the holy covenant, submitting to gentile rule as willing slaves of impiety.  . . .41 The king then issued a proclamation to his whole kingdom that all were to become a single people, each nation renouncing its particular customs.42 All the gentiles conformed to the king's decree,43 and many Israelites chose to accept his religion, sacrificing to idols and profaning the Sabbath.

 We should be no less appalled by the indifference toward the thousands of people who die daily for lack of decent medical care; who are denied rights by a broken immigration system and by racism; who suffer in hunger, joblessness and want; who pay the price of violence in gun-saturated neighbourhoods; or who are executed by the state in the name of justice.” - Blase Cardinal Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago


Cardinal Cupich is very much like most Progressive Cook County Democrats ( Claypool, Preckwinkle, Quigley & etc), because he nails appointed positions, but just can't seem to get enough votes.  Recently Chicago's Archbishop, elevated by Pope Francis I and destined to be long associated with his pontificate, suffered a loss in an election of the National Conference of Bishops, to Archbishop Joseph Naumann:


Archbishop Joseph Naumann, by contrast, has argued that “issues that involve intrinsic evils – direct attacks on human life, abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, or direct attacks on the institution of the family (for example, a redefinition of marriage to equate with same-sex unions or cohabitation) – must assume a moral priority. While all issues are important, all are not equally important from a moral analysis.”
Some observers, such as Christopher white(sic) of Crux, had framed the Cupich-Naumann vote in advance as a “referendum on both the conference’s approach to pro-life policies and Pope Francis”.
However, the editor of the Catholic News Agency, JD Flynn, tweeted after the vote: “CNA has talked with bishops who emphasis this is not a referendum on Francis. Bishops voting for both candidates told me it was only about trying to discern the best fit.” Catholic Herald

Today, at St. John  Fisher, Ray the Lector read the wonderful passage from the Book of Maccabees posted above and it got me to thinking about this vote and the state of goofy culture.

Going along to get along has won far too many elections for people who have no business crafting laws, let alone setting the table for human actions - especially with regard to moral and social justice issues. Seamless garments - one size fits all - have their  purposes, I suppose, but they do not  the necessarily present like a tightly tailored suit of ethical cloth.

Like this one from Deuteronomy

Learn Then that, I , I alone am God,
and there is no god besides me.
It is I who bring both death and life

Got it.

That will not play well on Chicago Tonight and WTTW, in general, but it just might get more cars in the parking lots of St. Cajetan, St. John Fisher and other parishes on a Sunday.

St. Odilo's 9:30 AM Mass was parked yesterday.  Just saying. 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Al Franken and Roy Moore - Bi-Partisan Creeps and Bullies

Image result for Al Franken Meets Roy Moore

I know less about Roy Moore than I do about the minimum value of 5cosA + 12sinA + 12.

Al Franken I know was on Saturday Night Live during the era that the show tanked and became the dweeb U.S. Senator from Minnesota.

Now, I know that both men have been corralled in the same pig-pen with Kevin Spacey, Mark Halperin, Harvey Weinstein, David Corn et al. 

They share the common germ - unchecked power.

They are politicians, journalists, Hollywood moguls, judges, lawyers, actors, CEOs, gays, straights, bisexuals, questioning, Democrat and Republican.

They are all the creepy little boys we knew as kids who were 'protected' by nuns, parents, class, religion and friends. They were 'protected' from ever needing to check their impulses at the door, window, couch, or playground.

They did whatever and to whomever they chose to do when, where, why and what they wanted.

The creep on the playground at St. Tommy More parish who ran up to you and your pals and spit hockers on your shirts only to dash to the robes of Dominican nun on supervision and whine, "They hate me because I am going to be a priest, Sister!" might now be leading social justice protests all over the news.

The creep who grabbed the girls in the cloak room only to be given a 'second chance' from Sister Duplicious, because his Dad was a 15th Ward wheel, might now be facing a Hollywood Extra camera and microphone. 

We do what our consciences and our morals allow us to do.  If our consciences and morals are warply shaped by people who love a compromise, we might tend to abuse power.

We never read that Stan the cop, Eddie the roofer, Theresa the nurse, or Willie the County Mountie are being charged with criminal sexual assault, pleasuring themselves in public, exposing their short comings in an elevator, or forcing their impulses on a child.

These are not powerful people.

Predators work to gain trust, acceptance and power over people.  They are people with no 'off-switch' in operation.  They do as the feel, please and will, because they can.

The rest of us answer to God, the parents, teachers, coaches, our children and above all our spouses.

The freak show will continue until we return to some higher authority. Gee, God might be a good start.

The creeps are protected.

Al Franken!  Shake hands with Judge Roy!  Never mind the filth; Old Roy's got what you got. 



Thursday, November 16, 2017

Chris Kennedy Looking Good For My Vote - Press Going Full Press Michigan Avenue Fats



Chris Kennedy is an exceptionally nice man.  Like many liberals of the old cloth (Don Rose, the late great Phil Krone & etc.) Chris Kennedy belies the conservative mind-set of intolerant automatons in lock -step with Marxism, Planned Parenthood and Globalism.   Rather Mr. Kennedy is an active do-gooder who walks the talk.

In my two decades and change of work for Leo High School, I have encountered Chris Kennedy and his kids quietly delivering goods and services to people in and around 79th Street, right in Pflegerland between Ashland and Halsted.  Unlike the blonde Jesus who rules St. Sabina like a political ward healer, who never clears his throat, nor breaks wind without CBS,ABC,NBC, WGN, Tribune, Chicago Sun Times and Windy City Times acolytes holding back dozen or so nodding activists around Pastor Pfleger, the son of RFK does good without fanfare, applause and hack reporters.

That said, Chris Kennedy tows the Durbin Dogma too much for my liking.

I understand that.  Chris Kennedy, an Irish Catholic, is not like me, or most of the people (white black, Mexican, ethnic) I encounter.  He comes from the Lace-Curtain traditions that eschew rock-ribbed core values as obnoxiously quaint.  He is a PBS Catholic, stamped and approved by Bill Moyers.  His politics is not unlike many of the people in the more comfortable Zip Codes - Chris Kennedy is much more of 60643 than he is a 60620, or 60655.

My temperament has been formed by my faith, family and friends.  Please note, that I might be the only member of my vast to have not cast a vote for Barack Obama and hurled one into the mix for Donald Trump.  I vote Catholic, organized labor and working class values.  Lately, I have voted for Republicans but I largely loathe the GOP as party of the Quisling tasseled loafer crowd ( Bruuce Rauner, Mark Kirk, Judy Barr Topinka, Chuck Percy, John McCain and John Boehner)  and for  Socialists (Bernie and Chewy Garcia).

Can you  say"Property Taxes?"  Chris Kennedy called our Cook County/Madiganistan system "extortion."The Democrats only have them to bleed and nothing else and Chris Kennedy has criticized County and State abuses. The is sucking dry!

The only GOP voice in Illinois that registers with me is Rep. Jeannie Ives.

Jeannie Ives has more balls than a bowling alley, if may hazard an indelicate metaphor in her praise.

Because the media is feasting on Chris Kennedy's liver, because he has offended the Cook County Democratic Titans and shall be cast eternally into the chthonic depths of Tartarus, or Peotone, maybe, that I am moved to shout for all and sundry within my limited sphere to vote for him against JB Pritzker, The Michigan Avenue Fats of the Pritzker pedigree,

Today the Chicago Tribune lifted a story from Ohio that was all the news back in July, in order to gin up some Chris Kennedy hate.  Maybe SEIU can get the huge Rat put up in front of the Merchandise Mart.

It may take the Sun Times a day or two to catch up, because Sneed is working to help Kimm Fox.

If the media is piling on Chris Kennedy, I am all for him

I'd vote for Chris Kennedy.

I probably will take a GOP ballot to make sure that Jeannie Ives takes down Bruce Rauner.









Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Merry Gamiss-mas!!!! Kids, I Got Everything Already.

This is what happens when nice people insist on giving presents.   This too.


Everything I read on-line these days seems to have a pop up ad for Gamiss (with the A presented as an upside down V).  These ads are eye-popping examples of new fashion for new Americans. I imagine these folks would love a Techno-version of Christmas in Killarney.



These New Americans must be 'evolved' Americans who eschew meat, sugar, fat and any sense of other people on this planet.
Star Wars Meets Zena the Warrior Princess, Gents!

Kool Yule!

I got nothin'!

                                           Tyger Rags?

I am not a guy who does not like presents ( birthday, Father's Day, Christmas, or Talk like a Pirate Day).  I am not grouch.  I love giving presents to loved ones, but presents embarrass me.

I have everything, already. Gamiss can keep its goods well-warehoused and out of sight.  De Gustibus Non Est Disputandem - I likes what I likes and buy them myself.

Gamiss is not doing it for me. I have everything already and more.
  • I do not live in Isis, or Daesh controlled Syria
  • I got a woman . . .crazy for me; she's funny that way
  • My Kids are all splendid adults
  • My Granddaughter Lily is a beautiful, happy and smart baby
  • My roof don't leak . . .yet.
  • I have most of my teeth
  • I can still bend over and pick up pennies on the sidewalk and paper and pencils in the halls of Brother Rice
  • I eat like a Sultan
  • My Malibu starts and goes
  • I take Communion with my neighbors most mornings
  • God allows me to continue to draw breath
  • Encore Westerns is on cable
  • Lovely people crack me up
  • Soda Stream keeps me hydrated
  • I know Mike Joyce
  • I still teach
Gamiss not this Christmas!  Give your love!  Tell me, "You're really not that bad."  Get yourself something nice - on me!  Image result for Christ in a manger
Remember Christ was born in manger and not on Black Friday.


Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Brazil '66 Legend Lani Hall and Herb 'The Lonely Bull' Alpert Help Make a Pretty World of Centered People

Image result for people are good - examples

Our world is populated with wonderful people, who love, give, create and share with God's own grace.

The Hollywood creeps, the City Hall sneaks, the White House oafs and psychopathic haters who dominate our media would have us believe the world is toast and needs a fork stuck in it.

Not so.

I am an empiricist, a south side Catholic one to be sure , but a skeptical observer of the passing scene -Tell a tourist, Bub,  I live here. I run encounter great people.

Last night, I was treated to a 65th birthday fete, by Miss Sullivan, a woman of extraordinary beauty, grace and deportment, that began with brisk walk through Little Italy to Rosebud on Taylor Street.  The lady enjoyed Veal Piccata and I the sinful Eggplant Parmesan, followed by a shared scoop of Lemon Sorbet.  We walked off this meal and went to my car for the present - Seats at Chicago Winery for Lani Hall and Herb Alpert!

This is what I'm talking about!



We sat with strangers who turned out to share paths in our lives- one woman is the sister of the owner of Katerina's on Irving Park Road, where Terry Sullivan sang with her trios and the other woman and her husband owned property near La Lumiere School, where I taught for years.  We both know and love a woman Jane Lindborg, who cooked for the school and authored the delightful quasi-memoir Tappy in 2002.

Strangers no more three couples two native Lakeview couples, my emigrant Buckeye beauty and this cynical south sider swapped yarns, memories and associations as if were familiars at a Leo Alumni dinner.  We don't know if we were Hilary voters, or Deplorables; we were enjoying each others company.

Lani Hall and Herb Alpert had packed Chicago Winery with people who love their music and what it did for us as people.

The couple is madly in love -- 43 years and change.  Herb Alpert, the Steve Stunning record label tycoon and savvy musician of the 1960's met Lani Hall, a Chicago girl from Lawrence and Kimball and a Von Steuben High grad through Sergio Mendez.  Mendez discovered Lani Hall at a north side pub and added her to the roster of Brazil '66 which had signed with Alpert's A & M records.

The love between is as real the examples I see at Mass at Scared Heart in Morgan Park and all around my immediate neighborhood and beyond.

My empirical senses were reignited after weeks of navel-gazingly horrible news on air and in print.

This is a Pretty World !

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Mas Que Nada!



That's Portuguese for  "Yeah, right!" - in a good way.


Cardinal Blase Cupich - Exorcise Guns, Not Evil.

Image result for blase cupich with Chicago elite

Guns kill people in the same way that pencils flunk exams.

The news media's most beloved Catholic leader, is Chicago Archbishop Cardinal Cupich.  Blase Cardinal Cupich is no Francis Cardinal George in that the media love Cupich's every utterance, teaching moment and close association with Cook County's political class, their operatives and their doctrines. The news media treated Cardinal George to an endless bed of nails.

Yesterday, Cardinal Cupich decried gun violence - not evil, but guns: assault rifles in particular.  Cardinal Cupich planted his crosier next to the banner of the Democratic Party in solidarity.

It’s not the first time that Cupich, a keen hunter and supporter of hunters’ rights, has called for tougher gun laws. But he was as pointed as he has been in his criticism of Republican politicians who toe the National Rifle Association’s line on gun control (President Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan have offered their prayers after Sunday’s atrocity, but none has supported an assault weapons ban).
“When the hunting sport has human prey, we have to take action,” Cupich said.
I would venture to guess that more human prey have been 'taken down' in human history by the long bow, spears and swords than all of the quadruped beings shot by hunters combined. From the Battle of Muye in 1046 BC, through Marathon in 490 BC and beyond Agincourt, scores of thousands of human beings perished by the sword, lance and arrow. Deer, ducks and  pheasant are shot seasonally for the table. Human beings kill one another, because of human evil.

There was and continues to be some serious evil going on with our species.

Time was, churchmen would encourage prayer and changes of heart.  Francis of Assisi was soldier before he turned from Satan. St. Ignatius Loyola, a wounded veteran, did the same.

Evil in men's hearts compels them to take up sword, lance, bow and the monster in Texas's a Ruger AR-556 rifle.

Devin Kelley slaughtered 26 worshippers in a Texas church - A Ruger AR-556 rifle did not.  In fact a brave man with a Ruger AR-556 rifle returned fire on the monster and chased him away from his desire to kill more people.

I venture to say that Devin Kelley was one very evil son of a bitch:
  • Kelley was convicted of fracturing his baby stepson's skull and assaulting his first wife, Tessa, in the incident at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.
  • He was confined for a year, given a bad conduct discharge and reduced in rank to E-1, or airman basic,  . . .  The military failed to enter the domestic violence case into a database that would have made it illegal for him to buy a gun, officials said.
  • Records show his first wife divorced him in 2012 in New Mexico. . . .adding that she did not want to speak about him until she was interviewed by law enforcement.
  • Kelley remarried in Texas in 2014. The status of that marriage was not clear, but authorities said there was a "domestic situation" with his in-laws.
This atheist preacher, Kelley, was going to kill worshipers  - and he did - with fire, flood, famine, or an AR-15. 

My Cardinal sees no evil at work here?  Cardinal Cupich sees an opportunity to 'get on the right side ' of the media and the elites who govern what is printed, presented and portrayed.  What troubles me, as a wildly flawed Catholic, is the oddness of the Cardinal's words on this evil event, “The time, however, for expressing sorrow and leaving it at that is over. It’s time to act. Let’s start with these high-powered weapons. Both state and federal law need to change to make these guns not available. We don’t need military weapons in our society. We’re not supposed to be at war with one another.” (emphases my own)

No, we are not. Guns do not go to war on us.  People do.

Things should never take on the qualities of a human being, created by God with a soul.  Human beings are blessed with free will, but an AR-556 is not.  A Ruger A-556, though banned in every Catholic parish in this Archdiocese along with every other ballistic discharging metal/composite tube, will never load its own magazine and make its own way into a Mosque, Synagogue, Basilica, Church, or Meeting House to do slaughter.  An evil human being will use a Ruger AR-556, a can a gasoline, ammonia and bleach, a machete, golf clubs, or a 24" tire iron to do what he wills.

Anthropomorphism is a mental exercise that gives human qualities to inanimate objects ( Demon Rum/Drug Abuse/Gun Violence & etc.) .  It can also help us understand God who is three Persons. It can also allow people to practice anthropomorphism in reverse and say, "It's not a human being/person, it's just a blob of tissue."  Pretend that there is such a thing as 'gun violence' and not criminal violence and we will watch the body count rise even higher. 

I was disappointed that my Cardinal did not demand a war on evil. That is something that my beloved Francis Cardinal George would have done.  He taught all of us that Satan was active in our world and that evil happens when we allow Satan to dictate our actions. No, Cardinal Blase Cupich knows that such a response would be scorned by the likes of Rahm Emanuel, E.J. Dionne, Michael Sneed, Michael Pfleger, Jim Acosta and Toni Preckwinkle.   

Rather, our society is free to continue to pretend that things control our lives.




Sunday, November 05, 2017

Like the Late DNA info, Chicago Trib Refuses (Fascism) to Mention Revolutionary Communists



“If you want to know about, and work toward, a different world—and if you want to stand up and fight back against what's being done to people—this is where you go. You go to this Party, you take up this Party's newspaper, you get into this Party's leader and what he's bringing forward.” Bob Avakian - Revolutionary Communist Party
The Tribune is committed to Midwestern values and concerns, and brings that sensibility to the public debate. In both its words and its actions, it seeks out true innovation, but is unimpressed by momentary trend and skeptical of untested theory. This has been a basic hallmark of the Tribune throughout its history and continues to guide this newspaper. It encourages constructive change in the light of tradition and the lessons of history. Experience, as well as intellect, is essential to wisdom. Chicago Tribune Principles

Innovation?   "Innovation, for its part, can refer to something new or to a change made to an existing product, idea, or field.,  says Merriam -Webster 

Innovation like a Revolution"?

How about "give a spoken or written account of something that one has observed, heard, done, or investigated.."  That is the definition of a "Report."  Revolution can come later.

I saw a Malibu and the Malibu is a Chevrolet product.

I saw a Whopper and it is a Burger King product.

I saw a Big MAC and it is a McDonald's product.

I saw a Refuse Fascism (RF) Protest and RF is part of the Revolutionary Communist Party.

I read about the Trump protest organized by Refuse Fascism that was covered in the Chicago Tribune which refused to mention the Revolutionary Communist Party.

Why is that?

Does the Trib assume everyone already knows that Refuse Fascism RF is a product of the Revolutionary Communist Party REVCOM?

Does the Chicago Tribune believe, as the shut-down DNAinfo Chicago did, that people should not know that there is any connection between the two?

I believe it is the later.

More than 100 protesters marched in a light rain through Chicago's Loop to Trump Tower on Saturday, part of demonstrations in more than a dozen cities scheduled nearly a year after President Donald Trump’s election.
The protestors, who carried signs reading “The Trump/Pence Regime MUST GO!” first rallied at Federal Plaza, at Adams and Dearborn streets, then marched north on State Street. They were outnumbered by uniformed police officers.  A group called Refuse Fascism called for rallies Saturday in more than 20 cities. Speakers at the Chicago rally said they hoped the protests would build until millions of Americans took to the streets in opposition to the Trump administration. Steve Schmadeke for Chicago Tribune

Steve Schmadeke probably knows that there is direct link between Refuse Fascism and the Revolutionary Communist Party and Revolution Books. I know that a Malibu is a Chevy, for God's sake and I know that REVCOM was behind most of the Joshua Beal protests last November.  DNAinfo Chicago knew too, but kept it out of print. DNAinfo Chicago and Gothamist were shut down last week by its owner.  Even Wikipedia know offers the connection between between Refuse Fascism and REVCOM.

DNAinfo Chicago failed, because it did not live up to the expectations of owner.  The owner expected solid local coverage of neighborhood events to give ".written account of something that one has observed, heard, done, or investigated." Joe Ricketts said, "while we made important progress toward building DNAinfo into a successful business, in the end, that progress hasn’t been sufficient to support the tremendous effort and expense needed to produce the type of journalism on which the company was founded.

DNAinfo Chicago ignored the Revolutionary Communist Party's key role in the Joshua Beal protests all last year, even though the signs (paid for by REVCOM) pointed in that direction.

The Revolutionary Communist Party is as dangerous as any alt-right band of bravos.  It is a thug organization that provides street cover for left-leaning activists, journalists  and politicians, while killing off public debate and free speech everywhere.

Protest up a storm against Trump, or fois gras, 24/7!

Just report honestly . . . for once.

Look at the signs.

Look at the players.

Report what is there.

Leave the innovation and revolution to the Edisons and the Lenins.


Friday, November 03, 2017

DNAinfoChicago R.I.P.: Ye Hardly Knew Ye.

Image result for Joe Ricketts and DNAinfo Chicago


I read DNAinfoChicago from the get-go.   It was, at first. a great news aggregate that offered local coverage.

I gotta go with Joe about its demise, Joe Ricketts, that is, the Cubs' Grandpa, “And while we made important progress toward building DNAinfo into a successful business, in the end, that progress hasn’t been sufficient to support the tremendous effort and expense needed to produce the type of journalism on which the company was founded.”

News coverage of local events became less devout and political hack-work seemed to ooze from every column.

DNAinfoChicago somehow morphed into the detested MEDIA.  Same old, same old.

Solid writers like Mark Schipper and Ed Komenda disappeared and activist group-think writers dominated the coverage.

Most telling for me was the awful coverage of the idiot who pulled a gun on people after he was asked to not block the entrance of the firehouse on 111th Street.Image result for Joshua Beal,

The idiot was shot and killed, when he aimed his weapon at people.

The idiot had been celebrating a relative's funeral by weaving in and out of the heavily trafficked lanes of 111th Street, the commercial district for the Mount Greenwood neighborhood.  Traffic stalled and the Hossier Hothead acted out with his weapon and his mouth.

I had had my haircut on the site of the violence and where the dope met his demise, only an hour before the folly.

However, DNAinfoChicago  reporters, Joe Ward especially. conflated identity politics, race-baiting and social justice warfare with what had taken place - Marist high school was placed in the cross-hairs and community scab-yanking over imagined and occasionally accurate racism became the menu all of the month of November 2016, until the facts un-Pflegered the story.  Joe Ward never once considered covering the Revolutionary Communist Party's orchestration of the post shooting protests.  That would have chopped his narrative.
Image result for Joshua Beal, pfleger

The DNAinfo Joshua Beal mythology can be found here, because the archived yarns are shut down.
Joe Ricketts owned the site and Gothamist and decided to close shop.

Conflated coverage of the news is what the detested American media is all about.  People want to know what is happening in their neighborhoods.  DNAinfoChicago tried to do that and ended up being another detested outlet for prefabricated opinions.

The Sun Times, owned by the public service unions, did a hit piece on the news of DNAinfoChicago's demise, not unlike the covergae of the late Mr. Beal:

A week before the shutdown, the Gothamist and DNAinfo newsrooms in New York voted to join the Writers Guild of America East, which released a statement Thursday saying “it is no secret that threats were made to these workers during the organizing drive.”
In a September post entitled “Why I’m Against Unions At Businesses I Create,” Ricketts wrote on his personal blog of his belief “that unions exert efforts that tend to destroy the Free Enterprise system.”
“I believe unions promote a corrosive us-against-them dynamic that destroys the esprit de corps businesses need to succeed,” Ricketts wrote. “And that corrosive dynamic makes no sense in my mind where an entrepreneur is staking his capital on a business that is providing jobs and promoting innovation.”
According to a New York Times report, 115 reporters from the websites who are now out of a job will receive three months of paid “administrative leave” at their full salaries, along with four weeks of severance pay.
Joe Ricketts was right.   Joe Ricketts gave his employees a pretty decent severance package.  More than an SEIU janitor can expect when all of the public funding has dried up.

So, we say goodbye to DNAinfoChicago.  Goodbye.

Thanks for the shot at news coverage Joe Ricketts.  It was appreciated by people like me, until the good writers disappeared.

Next time you set up shop, hire writers and tell the 'journalists' to get a union card and get fitted for a purple T-shirt.






Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Where Did All of Chicago's Hedge Bushes Go?


My childhood home at 1755 W. &75th Place today has all but been de-nuded of hedges - only a slight strip remains.

I walk to St. John Fisher in the morning between 6:00 and 6:30 A.M. - weather, laziness and time permitting.  It is a solid mile to the church and my vigorous gait usually gets me there in under fifteen minutes.  I mediate, plan the day, wallow in guilt and pray during this exercise.

Since childhood, I have had the attention span of parakeet ( 'bite the cuttle bone!' -'whack the bell!'-'head-butt the mirror!' - 'splash water!') and tend to flit the old noggin with varying perceptions - "this guy's lawn is worse than mine . . .Thank Christ. Charleston Chew wrappers!!!!  Where they get Charleston Chews? Love those.  These kids on Talman have more Fisher Price toys than Toys R Us . . . cool fort" for example.
hedge-in-wickham park-chicago
Occasionally, this quality time of mine pulls together larger questions.  These past few days, I have noticed the lack of property hedges - the Right angles of bushy shrubbery that at one time seemed to dominate neighborhood landscapes.  Nellie Stevens Holly, Schip Cherry Laurel and Barberry shrubs once outlined our streets and walkways.  Image result for kid pushed into hedges

Where is the Chicago neighborhood Bungalow Bocage?

I remark merely on its absence and wonder how kids can grow up with their heads screwed on straight without having had the experience of being knocked into the hedge on the way to school.

Hedges were magical!  They were castles, forts, Green Walls for Home Run Derby, jungles, zoos, hiding places, bushwhacking opportunities and the leaves could be made into musical instruments.
Image result for pushed in bushesImage result for pushed in bushes
I spent many early mornings pulling myself out hedges on Honore, having taken the inside lane closer to properties and being Maury Lanigan-ed into a Cherry Laurel fencing the sidewalk in front of Al Balauskas's bunglow.  Paper bag covered books torn, folders of sloppy homework em-barbed in the sharp branches and my ego shocked out of existence to delighted howls of my boon buddies - " Walk on the outside, Hickey!" - prepared me for this  Vale of Tears that is our lot.

Each of us would spend time in the bushes.

Each of us, male and female, would learn that life is paved with unexpected checks into the boards.

The hedges helped.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Lynn Sweet Sweet on Bloomberg? Big Beverage and Little Voters Bad.



Image result for Nanny  BloombergImage result for kean gas station chicago

The Cook County pop tax: Conceived Nov. 10, 2016, when Cook County Board members approved the one-cent-per-ounce Sweetened Beverage Tax. Born on Aug. 2, 2017, its effective date. Date of death was decreed by a 15-2 repeal vote on Wednesday. The tax dies at the end of the county fiscal year, midnight on Nov. 30.
Bloomberg is crusading for higher taxes on sugary drinks as a way to reduce the obesity epidemic in this nation, with allies including the American Heart Association, active in the Cook County fight. Lynn Sweet Chicago Sun Times Cheerleader

Lynn Sweet really has a sweet gig.  Hang with the mighty and do their bidding.  Many of us out here in the fly-over land of helots are not so fortunate.

Lynn Sweet lists every government that took Mike Bloomberg's coin to kill Pop USA, as if any of these bought agencies matter to any of us.

Referendums in Oakland and Albany in 2016 approved the beverage tax, aligning these California East Bay cities with Berkeley, with a tax in effect since 2015.
Boulder and Seattle also have sweetened beverage taxes.
In 2017, however, Bloomberg’s team is hitting a rough patch when it comes to beverage taxes. Will the Cook County repeal give the beverage industry anti-tax drive momentum?
It do seem to be the case!

• Michigan state lawmakers took notice of the uproar in Cook County and last week, in a pre-emptive move, sent a bill to the governor to ban local governments from imposing soda taxes.
• On Oct. 4, the St. Helen, Oregon, city council voted down a sugar-sweetened beverage tax.
• On May 2, voters in Santa Fe, New Mexico, defeated a proposed 2-cents-per-ounce tax on sodas.
• Last spring, West Virginia state lawmakers dropped a beverage tax proposal.
Yeah, that Oakland CA is one head's up burg, Lynn, and Berkeley sends me too.

Not a bit. Not a sugary bit.

Try running a family owned gas station in Morgan Park, like Kean, and then have something like the Glorious Sugar Tax imposed upon your filling station, that also depends upon a steady flow of customers who not only gas up, but purchase pop, sweetened tea, Slurpees and sports drinks, as well.

A small fortune in revenue was lost over the past months thanks to a social engineering scam dressed up as a health issue to shore up political budgetary screw-ups.

Fat kids were not responsible for Cook County spending sprees:

. . . Preckwinkle sweetened the deal by giving each commissioner control over $500,000 in gas tax revenue to spend on transportation projects in their districts. She also rallied public health advocates to point out that downing fewer Mountain Dews could lead to a drop in obesity and diabetes.
Commissioners deadlocked, and Preckwinkle cast a rare, tie-breaking vote to impose the tax. If it hadn't gone as smoothly as Preckwinkle hoped, at least the new tax had passed, the budget was balanced and the heat was mostly on her.
Then it all started to unravel.
While the vote was taken in November 2016, providing plenty of distance from the March 2018 primary election, the tax wasn't scheduled to take effect until July 1.
The vagaries of federal law, the Illinois Constitution and state statutes meant it took months to come up with the rules of how the tax would be put in place, and changes were still being made late in the game.
For example, county officials at one point planned to tax low-income folks receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, but the state later told them that could not be done.
Not mention a sugary carrot to union County employees"

 However, it's worth noting that Teamsters Local 700 endorsed passage of the penny-an-ounce tax on sweetened beverages, saying at the time that it would "guarantee job security for hundreds of people that work for Cook County." The levy passed with Preckwinkle casting a tie-breaking vote.
It's also pertinent that Local 700 has been one of Preckwinkle's main campaign donors in recent years, with the Local and an affiliated Teamsters group using the same Park Ridge address giving her campaign fund at least $68,000 since 2014.
In the memo, Robinson is trying to build support for ratification and perhaps exaggerates a bit if only to look good.
The proposed pact includes some things taxpayers may like, with wages frozen the first year and then rising 2 percent across-the-the-board in each in the second and third years. "Step," or experience-based raises, also would be frozen for two years, but then be fully implemented.
Like the Proco Joe Chick Fil A Purge, Chicago and Cook County Values are not spun from Marilyn Katz's MK Communications, but born in the neighborhood values forge by faith and family.

Lynn Sweet of the Sun Times,  a very dependable Cook County, City of Chicago and Democratic Party cheerleader makes the argument that the Beverage Tax was merely a victory of Big Soda over Big Nanny Bloomberg. Not so.

People have had enough of this nonsense coming from political and media hacks.

People beefed loudly, because the steady streams of kids from St. Cajetan's, Clissold, Morgan Park and Chicago Ag School, as well as Mount Carmel, St. Rita, Mother McAuley, Brother Rice, Morgan Park Academy, Leo, Marist and legions of tradesmen, teachers, cops, firemen, retirees ad even an Alderman could not buy a bottle of pop, a Slurpee, or an Arizona Iced Tea without hitting a Pay Day Loan Center.

It is nice that some Cook County Commissioners were not totally tone deaf.

What would be nicer is a repeal of Cook County Ofiice Holders universal.

Sweet.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Things I Never Say Mostly

Image result for 1940s Blowhard


Thanks in advanceAt the end of day, we all irritate others and often without meaning to take offense.  With all due respect, hackneyed and hollow phrasing might be holding us back from better human relations, at this in moment time.

In terms of bugging people with mindlessly empty tag lines and borrowed bon mots we can do better.

It is not always what it is.   Plain English works and say what is in your heart and head.  Political gasbags and celebrities have butchered human contact.

Agreed upon pap is not a a rhetorical feast.

 A simple way to avoid causing eyes to roll, at best,or a cousin to reach for that 32" Louisville slugger that he has soaked in Quaker State 40 Weight, at worst, would be to read some of President Obama's speeches and avoid sounding anything like him  - I mean that foppish corps of milkweeds who penned his utterances.

In Joseph Heller's  masterpiece Catch 22, the Orwellian speech-shadows dimming our light of conversation was halted by the primordial utterances of Major ___de Coverly. This septuagintal Major frightens the hell out of one and all by shear dint of the majesty and bearing of his being.  Major __de Coverly puts an end to the asinine Glorious Loyalty Oath of Captain Black in Chapter 13.

Captain Black, like many high school principals, members of Congress and the 44th President of United States,  believes that he is intelligent, due to his position in a table of organization.  He wants to 'get back at' Major Major Major ( formerly Captain Major Major) for being passed over for promotion and institutes a policy where by no member of the squadron can be fed without having signed the Glorious Loyalty Oath - via executive order/zero tolerance.

Maj. ___ de Coverly ends the Glorious Loyalty by holding his mess try under the nose of a mess hall commissar  and growling " Gimme eat!  . . ."Give Everyone Eat!"

Everyone got eat.

Please, plain speaking, cousins!

I do what I can.  Note that I have never consciously used any of the following:

  • ( any verb transitive) preceding "this Puppy" Start this puppy, ride this puppy, screw this puppy
  • " teaching moment"
  • " opportunity for conversation" People who want an opportunity for conversation never shut up.
  • " let's  dialog"
  • " My policy" - unless referring to life, medical, car and homeowner insurance; other than those, policy is for pussies
  • "that's just sad" - clause used rhetorically by confused, challenged and snotty people, when they have run out of intellectual ammo
  • " Veggies"  - You mean carrots, celery stalks, cucumber slices and midget tomatoes for dip?
  • "Bro, Brah, Dude"
  • Reference to any Body parts in mixed company.  Don't be a dick.
  • " How 'bout them " Bears, SOX, Bulls or even Hawks?
  • " Kicking the can down the road" Which can exactly?  And - why exert yourself?
  • " Right side of history"  Say that and you will be on the wrong side of study of the past.
  • " Do you know who I am?"  - God, I hope not. 
  • "Text me!"
  • "Enough"  is not a feast!
I shall wag my tongue, until the Good Lord yanks it out of my head, and with dutiful and humble attention to my words offend no one. . . .but,  those who need offending. 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

N.o F.un L.eague ? - Watch High School Sport

Image result for Providence Catholic football Brother Rice Football

The Autumn wind is a pirate
Blustering in from sea
With a rollicking song he sweeps along
Swaggering boisterously.
His face is weatherbeaten
He wears a hooded sash
With a silver hat about his head
And a bristling black mustache
He growls as he storms the country
A villain big and bold
And the trees all shake and quiver and quake
As he robs them of their gold.
The Autumn wind is a Raider
Pillaging just for fun
He'll knock you 'round and upside down
And laugh when he's conquered and won.  Autumn Wind - Oakland Raiders Hymn by John Facenda


John Facenda was the narrator for the wonderful NFL promotional videos decades ago.  Many of us still cling to the mythopoeic phrasing offered by the poetic Mr. Facenda as reason to continue watching, following and tolerating the National Football League and the overpaid myrmidons sporting its logo on all over-priced products, posters and on the field.

John Facenda was the poet of the National Football League



The NFL is now a robot on FOX Sports - fitting and proper.Image result for fox nfl robot

Knots of players have consulted with their agents and PR flaks and decided to sit during the National Anthem, a s means of insulting police, denouncing racism, genocide, sexism. date-rape, drug abuse, sugary beverages and Donald Trump.

I'm fine with that.

I'm tired of the hypocrisy.

Yesterday, and the day before, I had the pleasure of watching sport live at Providence Catholic High School for the freshman football squads and the sophomore/varsity battles on the grid-iron at Brother Rice High School.

All three games were exciting, inspiring and satisfying.  I can not say the same about my Bears, my Packers, my Colts, my Falcons, my Redskins, or my Cowboys - live or on television.

Yesterday morning , in New Lennox, home of Providence Catholic Celtics (btw - no soft C in the Keltic language), the temperature was 94 degrees at 9:30 A.M.  and combat between the respective 40 and 20 yard lines was even more intense.

Celtic quarter Ryan O'Neill # 16 was sensational.  I have never witnessed a QB with such speed, accuracy and poise and I have witnessed Bishop Mac's Kelly O'Connor and Leo High School Amir Holmes.

Brother Rice Crusader quarterback Ben Somers has wowed me for the past five weeks, but this kid
is amazing!  All of the freshmen play with heart and are well coached and highly disciplined.  The Celtics had Ryan O'Neill *and put an end to dreams of an undefeated season. 4-1 is something to be proud of gents!

The defensive squads on both teams were as tight and courageous as any infantry square facing Murat's dragoons and lancers at Waterloo - an homage to Facenda.

Were he still with us, the late John Facenda would fix his eyes on the genuine athletes and avert his gaze from the preeningly artificial thugs dominating professional sport.

Nothing heroic going on in the NFL, NBA, MLB.  Just pirates.




* Ryan O'Neill: Providence Catholic High School - New Lennox, Illinois
Jersey #: 16
Positions: QB, SS
Height & Weight: 5'9" 151lbs
Class of: 2021

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