Sunday, September 30, 2007

Lovely La Lumiere School Laker LaLupaloosa!

Away from matters too silly by half - war, goofy media, politics, and lawn care - I enjoyed time with the fruit of my loins for Parents weekend at La Lumiere School.

I taught at La Lumiere School from 1987 to 1994 and cherish every moment that God blessed my life with in the most beautiful place in the Midwest - north of LaPorte, West of South Bend. East of Michigan City in Indiana and just south of New Buffalo Michigan.

My son Conor ( Football Captain and Center #55), of whom I am well-pleased, is a senior ( 6th Form) student at LaLumiere School - noted for Alums: Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts, Actor Comedian Jim Gaffigan, Director Producer Paris Barkley, District Judge Jim Flannery and Illinois Republican Chairman and one the nicest people on earth Andy McKenna.

La Lumiere School was founded by Catholic laymen in 1963 and continues to be one of the best seconday boarding and day schools in America. Headmaster Michael Kennedy, one of my former students, has developed a remarkable faculty of talented young teachers and coaches and is putting together a very smart capital campaign.

This is a remarkable place. LaLumiere School is well worth a visit just for the breathtaking beauty of the place. It is a great educational investment for any young person. LaLumiere School is a very happy place.

Click on the title of my post for more on La Lumiere School! Better yet - hop in the Dodge and take ride out there.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Lost On Kos -Lived on a Daily Basis: Our Kids Need McCain to Lead

Lost on those of us numbed by the information super-highway's endless shouts, is the continued Honor to Mission lived by the young women and men in Harm's Way.

Survivor, Grey's Anatomy, American Idol and the arrests and rehabs of America's most useless People numb Americans from the consequence of meeting our most important obligations.

The next President must not be the 'health care,' 'education,' 'economy,' or 'global warning' President. The next President must be the person to lead America in time of war on Islamist Terror. That War came home on September 11th a couple of years ago, and since that day too many of us have become distracted.


It seems to me that the only candidate capable of leading America in this war is John McCain:

``I am obviously of the belief that the country would be safer with me as its leader,'' McCain added. He said that while he respects his Republican and Democratic opponents, ``this is all about who is best equipped to take on the challenge of radical Islamic extremism which will be with us throughout the 21st century.''

Amid signs of a potential rebirth of his weakened candidacy, McCain is emphasizing his deep foreign policy resume and military background anew - in campaign appearance and, for the first time, in ads - as he seeks to draw differences with GOP rivals Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson.

McCain spoke to the conservative Hudson Institute as his campaign rolled out the first television and radio ads in the early primary state of New Hampshire. The state is a must-win state for the former GOP front-runner whose fortunes plunged this summer. He's seeking a comeback, and, in the ads, emphasizes his war-hero biography and decades-long experience on military matters.

In the speech and in an obvious reference to Romney and Giuliani, McCain said: ``Tough talk or managerial successes in the private sector aren't adequate assurance that their authors have the experience or qualities necessary for such a singular responsibility.''

Giuliani is a former two-term mayor of New York who moved into the business sector after elective office. Romney is a venture capitalist and one-term former governor of Massachusetts. Like Thompson, their campaign speeches are filled with rhetoric about defeating terrorists although their foreign policy resumes are thin compared with McCain's.

``We have to make far-reaching reforms to our government to prepare for the long threat our enemies plan for us, and the cruel and desperate means they will employ to harm us,'' McCain added. ``You don't just talk about or manage such changes, you lead them.''

McCain argued that the next president needs ``tested experience, political courage and strategic clarity to make sound and difficult decisions'' - implying he embodies all three attributes.

From the UK's Guardian: a very Left Wing newspaper - it seems McCain makes sense to its writer; now, is time for Americans to catch-up.

I wish to thank Mr. Frank Nofsinger of Connecticut for sending me the photos of our troops posted above.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Ahmadinejad-- The Persian Outlaw Live at the UN - By Golly!

Polite applause!

'Thank you. We are more polite in my Persia. Aw - Let's all get Country! Am I Right?
Here's the Band - Ya'll!

Dave Hartoonianjamid of Gittar

Cyrus Yoronatabncantdrinkuntilpaidup! Steel Pedal!

Darius HainsleptSinsCarterleft on Bass - Yeah, that's how he rolls Pure Outlaw!

AND! Xerxes Ihattedthethreehundred - Drums and Percussion That Scares Putin the Russian!

Give up, For My Boys!


'I got news for ya'll. Davey capo it to third fret in D - that's about right - We TUNE BECAUSE WE CARE!

Lissey Here, Ya'll, It's been a week of surprises for all of us. We Persians - from Darius to Cyrus- like to give ya'll a homey feeling - Davey I said D - Steel pedal this sucker up! Sorry folks - long week.

Here's a number that'll give you the feelin' that I'm feelin for all of you - in a manly way -

It's called

Got None A That Here!

Ah One, two, ah One two three and Ah . . .Davey its D. Third Fret. Alright here goes.

Bass line D/C; D/C

Its landscape is dominated by rugged mountain ranges/
that separate various basins or plateaus from one another.

Got None a That here/ Got None A that Here
It's Clear not Queer/ Now Lookeee here/
Got None a That Here (Chorus)

The populous western part is the most mountainous,/ with ranges such as the Caucasus, Zagros and Alborz Mountains;/

the latter contains Iran's highest point, Mount Damavand/
at 5,604 m (18,386 ft), which is not only the country's highest peak/

(Chorus) Sing Out with Me! Like The Weavers! Got None A That Here!

But also the highest mountain on the Eurasian landmass west of the Hindu Kush./ (Yeow!)
The eastern part consists Of Men Who Like Their Pleasure and there Pleasure Likes their Men!

(Chorus) That's Country! That's Kos'in it!

Goodnight New York! And God bless . . .You know what I mean!

Apologies to Wikpedia

McCain is the only Leader Running for President

I backed President Clinton for two Presidencies, I backed Al Gore; I backed John Kerry; I like and admire Senator Obama, but feel that he is being badly under served and misdirected by the very people who embarrass the Democratic Party.

I have determined to support Senator John McCain as the only Leader in America who can win the war on Islamist terror - it is not Iraq, not Afghanistan; it is a global war on Islamist terror and the Iranian Rerror Leader,its very face, spoke at Columbia on Monday.

Here is how John McCain leads in his own words.

Bolster Troops on the Ground

A greater military commitment now is necessary if we are to achieve long-term success in Iraq. John McCain agrees with retired Army General Jack Keane that there are simply not enough American forces in Iraq. More troops are necessary to clear and hold insurgent strongholds; to provide security for rebuilding local institutions and economies; to halt sectarian violence in Baghdad and disarm Sunni and Shia militias; to dismantle al Qaeda; to train the Iraqi Army; and to embed American personnel in Iraqi police units. Accomplishing each of these goals will require more troops and is a crucial prerequisite for needed economic and political development in the country. America's ultimate strategy is to give Iraqis the capabilities to govern and secure their own country.

Implement New Counterinsurgency Strategy

For most of the occupation, military strategy has focused on securing all of Iraq by establishing bases and conducting short operations from them. Ultimately, this secured only small areas of the country. John McCain believes the current force structure and power vacuum persisting in many areas of the country demands a more robust counterinsurgency strategy. Iraqi and American forces must not only use force to clear areas occupied by insurgents but to stay and hold these areas to deny them as a base for insurgent forces and allow economic and political development to occur in a secure environment. By emphasizing safety of the local population, this strategy will create strongholds in which insurgents find it difficult to operate.

Strengthen the Iraqi Armed Forces and Police

Speech on Iraq at VMI

Watch video from the Speech on Iraq

John McCain on Navy SEAL Mark Robbins

Building a capable Iraqi army is a central requirement for ensuring Iraq's ability to govern and protect itself long after American forces have withdrawn. The U.S. must accelerate the training and equipping of Iraqi armed forces and police to enable them to play a key role in securing Iraq. Only in a secure environment will the development of Iraq's political and economic institutions have a chance to succeed. Ultimately, Iraq's future lies in the hands of its people, government, and armed forces, and strengthening them is an essential requirement for bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq. Until Iraqi forces are ready, however, a precipitous U.S. withdrawal would condemn Iraq to civil war and intervention by its neighbors and energize al Qaeda and other jihadists across the globe. This would gravely jeopardize American security.

Create the security necessary for political progress and stability

John McCain believes that only by controlling the violence in Iraq can we pave the way for a political settlement. But once the Iraqi government wields greater authority, it will be incumbent upon Iraqi leaders to take significant steps on their own. These include a commitment to go after the militias, a reconciliation process for insurgents and Baathists, more equitable distribution of government resources, provincial elections that will bring Sunnis into the government, and a large increase in employment-generating economic projects.

Accelerate political and economic reconstruction in a secure environment

While it is crucial to focus military efforts on insurgents, particularly against Sunni fighters using violence to strengthen their political position, John McCain believes there must be a greater emphasis on non-military components promoting economic development and representative, accountable governance.

In territories newly secured by the "clear, hold, and build" counterinsurgency strategy, many of the critical steps to succeeding in Iraq can begin to be implemented. Massive reconstruction can go forward without overwhelming fear of attack and sabotage. A substantial employment program can begin to give hope and opportunity to Iraqi citizens. Political meetings and campaigning can take place more freely. Average Iraqis will be more secure as militias and terrorists are reigned in and violence reduced. All of this will help civil society to emerge and deepen.

"In Iraq our national security interests and our national values converge. Iraq is truly the test of a generation, for America and for our role in the world. Faced with similar challenges, previous generations of Americans have passed such tests with honor. It is now our turn to demonstrate that our power, ennobled by our principles, is the greatest force for good on earth today. Iraq's transformation into a secure democracy and a force for freedom in the greater Middle East is the calling of our age. We can succeed."

-Senator John McCain

Iraqis need to see tangible improvements in their daily lives or support for the new government will falter. Sunnis need to know that if they abandon violence they will have a role in the political process, and the Shia need to know that security will be provided by coalition and government forces - not by private militias. Kurds need assurance that their gains will not be jeopardized by sectarian violence. All Iraqis must be able to look forward to a future of growing security and prosperity overseen by a competent, representative government free of corruption and sectarian conflict.

Keep Senior Officers in Place

The Pentagon has adopted a policy of rotating our generals in and out of Iraq almost as frequently as the rotating of troops. John McCain believes this to be a deeply flawed practice. If these are, in fact, the best leaders for the task, they should remain on the job as long as possible. These generals and other senior officers with experience possess critical situational awareness and expertise necessary to prevail.

Call for International Pressure on Syria and Iran

John McCain believes Syria and Iran have aided and abetted the violence in Iraq for too long. Syria has refused to crack down on Iraqi insurgents and foreign terrorists operating from within its territory. Iran has aided the most extreme and violent Shia militias, providing them with training, weapons, and technology that they have used to kill American troops.

The answer is not to enter into unconditional dialogues with these two dictatorships from a position of weakness. The answer is for the international community to apply real pressure to Syria and Iran to change their behavior. The United States must also bolster its regional military posture to make clear to Iran our determination to protect our forces in Iraq and to deter Iranian intervention in that country.

Win the Homefront

If efforts in Iraq do not retain the support of the American people, the war will be lost as soundly as if our forces were defeated in battle. A renewed effort at home starts with explaining precisely what is at stake in this war to ensure that Americans fully understand the high cost of a military defeat. The war in Iraq is at a crossroads and the future of the entire region is at stake - a region that produced the terrorists who attacked America on 9/11 and where much of the world's energy supplies are located. Success is essential to creating peace in the region, and failure would expose the United States to national security threats for generations. Defeat in the war would lead to much more violence in Iraq, greatly embolden Iran, undermine U.S. allies such as Israel, likely lead to wider conflict, result in a terrorist safe haven in the heart of the Middle East, and gravely damage U.S. credibility throughout the world.

The American people also deserve to know that the path ahead will be long and difficult. They have heard many times that the violence in Iraq will subside soon - when a transitional government is in place, when Saddam is captured, when elections are held, when a constitution is in place. John McCain believes it is far better to describe the situation just as it is - difficult right now, but not without hope. The stakes for America could not be higher.

John McCain on Leadership

"Increasing U.S. troop levels will expose more brave Americans to danger and increase the number of American casualties. When Congress authorized this war, we committed America to a mission that entails the greatest sacrifice a country can make, one that falls disproportionately on those Americans who love their country so much that they volunteer to risk their lives to accomplish that mission. And when we authorized this war, we accepted the responsibility to make sure those men and women could prevail. Extending combat tours and accelerating the deployment of additional troops is a terrible sacrifice to impose on the best patriots among us, and they will understandably be disappointed when they are given that order. Then they will shoulder their weapons and do everything they can to protect our country's vital interests in Iraq."

- Senator John McCain

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sun Times is In Like Flint!

The Chicago Sun Times the Working Man's Pal argues to strip a fired employee of his pension benefits, that evidently, the courts feel are his - a whopping $ 30,000 per annum.

The Chicago Sun Times, unlike the other local papers, ran some stories and Tom McNamee's 'Chicago Way' yesterday germed out of G. Flint Taylor's Lotto Ticket Team Boiler Room that screach ' The City Must Pay Us NOW - It's for the Taxpayers! Somebody Think about the Taxpayers, People!'

Let's see: a guy ( Burge) gets fired that everyone is suppossed to believe is Vlad the Impaler; he has a pension - well, that's got to go! Why? - because we're not supposed to like him? He - now , Flint get this part - HAS NOT BEEN CONVICTED OF ANYTHING! That was your job, Flint, to bring him to Justice. You have been at bat - How many times? Never mind. Since when? Well before most of the Sun Times Readers were born? Evidence, my man!

I am a prosaic guy. Ants come into my house, because I forgot to call Orkin; not because of systemic racism. I got ants ! Who do I sue? I'm just joshing boys - just kidding. Don't start contacting Andy Shaw.

The Sun Times touted the City of Chicago's former ahem, ahem, epidemiologist - to spin the financials on this latest one:

Instead, the city will pay more than that just to lawyers for Burge -- a total of $16 million -- to prepare the case for him, interview witnesses, etc., says the study prepared by Steven Whitman, the City of Chicago's former chief epidemiologist.

Why not the Orkin Man? Or, I could stop by Keegan's and grab a couple of Roofers from Eddie Carroll!

Isn't an epidemiologist a man of medicine concerned with non-communicable diseases and what not? 'We got us a Burge Bug! Call the Press Conference, Sasha!'

Burge is alleged to have tortured. Tons of allegations, but no proof. No courts ( Federal, State, County, Tennis, Prom) seem to be banging down Flint's door to bring the Florida ruffian into Justice's Death Grip.

Instead - Flint plays the dopes in the media like a Stradivarius - or maybe a Stratocaster.

Today The Tribune and the Daily Southtown reported on Chicago News - you know that stuff - State Budget; People of Aurora fighting an Abortion Mill; Casinos, Museums, Bank of America Layoffs & etc. But the Chicago Sun Times is on all burners to make sure G. Flint Taylor gets a pay-day.

Before the Sun Times became an appendage of Flint's Foragers, one needed to pick up the Socialist Worker and People's Weekly World to get Flint's Palms Up!

Dear Reader, do check out the last paragraph of the excerpt from Today's Official Flint Commentary - 'We (the Readers, dear Reader) should take all the news that Abdon Pallasch and Tom McNamee have been chicken - little-ing Taxpayers about recently with a 'pinch of salt.' Mercy sakes alive! Everything they have been reporting about the sky, rocketing down on our tiny ears, was crafted by the Flint's Foragers? Hmmmm!!! Sneedless to say. N'cest Pas?

We've already urged the city to do whatever it takes to find a way to cut off Burge's $2,500 monthly pension. Now we're urging the city to settle those cases, and settle them quickly, to close an ugly chapter in its history.
. . .
There is only a 3 percent chance that the city would win every lawsuit, the report estimated. But even in that best-case scenario, taxpayers would still be on the hook for $16 million in fees to Burge's lawyers.

Those numbers have to be taken with a grain of salt, since they come from the men's legal team. But we can't argue with the premise that the city is betting millions on what looks like a losing hand. A $7 million report by special prosecutors last year concluded that Burge tortured suspects but that it was too late to prosecute him.

Are Lawyers Not supposed to win cases in Court? Mulligans are for the Links - not the Justice System. Do-Overs are for little guys - kids.

And you want to be our Latex Salesmen?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Allegations and Spent Lotto Tickets: Sun Times Wants Money for Lawyers

The Chicago Sun Times and Tom McNamee are working hard for G. Flint Taylor in his efforts to cash in on the allegations of police torture.

Today, Tom McNamee's Chicago Way - clips toe-nails into Mayor Daley's Cornflakes by linking the Children's Museum nonsense with G. Flint Taylor's efforts to bully some spineless ninnies into paying him for evidence that he can not seem to produce in any court.

You remember Burge.
He's the Chicago Police lieutenant with the magic bag of torture tricks. In the 1970s and '80s, before there was Abu Ghraib, there was a basement in a Chicago Police station where Burge could have squeezed a murder confession out of Mother Teresa.

Burge might begin by slamming a phone book to the back of a suspect's head. Then maybe a flashlight or night stick to the gut.

He might move on to a plastic bag over the head. Or arrange for the suspect to suffer a few "accidental" burns from a hot radiator.

And then he'd get down to business, flexing the alligator clips on his personal hand-cranked electric generator.

Deliver enough electric shocks to a man's testicles or anus, and he'll confess to kidnapping the Lindbergh baby, if he can stop screaming long enough

Hold the phone: The Socialist Worker does not even go that far! Mr. McNamee argues that Burge did that as opposed to 'it was alleged' or 'claimed' 'or asserted'
or 'opined'

John Conroy who has helped write the Flint Taylor Playbook on suing the police uses much less assertive language:

(convicted murderer) Wilson sued the city, saying he'd been tortured by Burge and
detectives under his command. He wasn't the first former suspect to make this accusation,
and scores have been uncovered since. Wilson said Burge wired him up to a black box
and turned a crank that generated an electric shock. This technique bore a striking
resemblance to what American troops in Vietnam called "the Bell telephone
hour"--shocking prisoners by means of a hand-cranked army field phone. In defending
himself against Wilson's suit he ( Burge) said he'd never seen a black box, and though he'd served
as a military policeman in the Mekong delta in 1968 and '69 had never heard of field
phone interrogations. He bristled at the suggestion that Americans in Vietnam had
conducted them.

Later John Conroy admits that Burge, though in Vietnam, was in the convoy traffic division of his Unit.

Before the Chicago
Police Board in March 1992, he described his role with the MPs as "escort of convoys,
security for forward support bases, supervising security for the divisional central base
camp in Dong Tam, and I finished my tour as a provost marshal investigator." A
company roster of key personnel as of January 31, 1969, lists Burge as head of the traffic

But Conroy talked to many Vietnam era vets until someone brought up the telephone box torture device. Whew!

Now, at trial, Flint Taylor needed to build a torture device and demonstrate its 'chilly' effect. Where's the one Burge used? Must be lost due to the conspiracy. We (everyone Flint and McNamee are 'telling' to) are to assume that the alleged box is at the bottom of Lake Michigan - Burge owned a boat!

I'm just a guy who reads the newspapers. I read that Flint brought in a Boy Scout now in his 40's who 'stumbled upon' police torture. The problem was that the Boy Scout 'witnessed' Burge torturing a black man at the wrong police station.

Flint has been trying to cash-in allegations by using the media instead of the courts.

Flint strikes out in court. The Chicago Sun Times seems more than happy to help Flint and other police lawsuit addicted pettifoggers get a payday. That's just wrong.

Justice should be served - not fabricated. G. Flint Taylor has had how many whacks at Burge and the Police in Court? How many decades? That is some conspiracy. But whose? Who benefits from keeping this nonsense alive?

Sells papers. Gets Andy Shaw a few 'outraged' sputters on TV. Keeps Activists Active.

There are about 108 allegations of Police torture. There are millions of un-cashable lottery tickets covering the floors of Speedways. White Hens, 7/11s, and Thorntons like snow all over the country. Like the torture allegations of the self-confessed murdereres who see a means of 'getting out of jail with cash' tickets, charges are valid, until it comes time to cash them in during trial. G. Flint Taylor screams 'conspiracy and fix' before, during and after trial - that way he can not lose - just re-charge the nonsense with the help of lazy journailsts and the assumption that people can not think for themselves.

Evidence! Convict Burge - or buy a lotto ticket. Maybe the Sun Times will spring for one.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Courtney Greve of the Daily Southtown Makes the Ordinary Extraordinary

For a number of years, The Daily Southtown - the absolute best Chicago source for the real news - has been blessed by the talents of Courteny Greve.

Recently, Courtney Greve joined Phil Kadner as a columnist who accurately reflects the events and the people who shape those events. The great Neil Steinberg explained the role of the columnist to a gathering at the Michigan City Library on Saturday September 15th that as a writer he tries to find the 'something' in a story that brings what is extraordinary to life and gave the example of a chicken processing plant where a woman would cut chicken breast fillets to the near exact 1/4 pound specifications without the use of a scale. Her art developed through practice. Courtney Greve is giving journalism an equally measured cut from life.

Today's Courtney Greve column is a masterpiece of practiced and measured presentation.

In a story about the Cook County Sheriff's Agricultural Program's Mike Taff - a wonderful man who helps convicts develop skills beyond the horrific realities of their confinement ( shank manufacturing and toilet distillation liqours) that take them into possiblities beyond CCDOC - Courtney Greve cuts a true masterpiece:

Taff, 55, is the project coordinator for the Cook County Jail garden. The program teaches nonviolent offenders in the sheriff's Department of Community Supervision and Intervention how to till, plant and weed.

Perhaps more importantly, it teaches inmates skills such as perseverance, teamwork and compassion.

"(The garden offers) a little bit of serenity where they can review their life and figure out how they can make it better," he said.

Taff stumbled into the job. After he retired from Chicago's building department, he decided to switch gears.

"I have six kids still at home, so I had to go to work," he said.

Taff and his wife, Katie, a former FBI employee, are the parents of Michael, Emily, Sara, Connor, Hannah and Natalie, ages 9 to 24.

"Besides, I made Katie a promise," he continued. "I said, 'The day you get pregnant, you never have to work another day in your life.' I'm keeping that promise."

The former Army police officer hoped to work in law enforcement.

"I loved the military and always wanted to be a policeman," he said. "This was the closest thing I could get to working with policemen."

Taff started working for the sheriff's department in 2004. About a year into the gig, he was asked to lead the garden program. The closest he had come to gardening was his parents' blueberry farm in Saugatuck, Mich.

"It was sink or swim," he said.

Taff took a 10-week master gardener course through the University of Illinois Extension Service, based at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences in the Mount Greenwood community.

This season, a record number of inmates - 32, up from 14 - completed the same certificate program. Three more are planning to take the exam in October.

"This garden changes lives and lifestyles," Taff said. "They can get out of here, become a good citizen, have a trade and get a job."

So far this season, about 4,500 pounds of produce were harvested by inmates and donated to soup kitchens, senior citizen centers and other charity organizations in places such as Robbins and the city's Roseland community.

A cornucopia of crops still need to be picked - pumpkins, eggplant, tomatoes, squash, peppers and collard greens.

"We spread this (bounty) around the entire county," Taff said.

The inmates are not allowed to bring any of the food they've grown inside the jail, but they do get to sample the goods during their shifts.

Taff is pleased with the garden's success, but he has plans to make it better.

"A project stays ordinary unless you bring something new into it," he said.

There is a waterfall of writers who fill up pages of words cut to someone else's agenda and specifications, but there are a few gifted craftsmen - Steinberg, Kadner, Greve, McGrath, Kass and Boston Globe's McGrory - who really cut, trim and present a masterpiece.

Journalism has hope with Courtney Greve!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Thomas Hayes - Confronts the 'Nightmare'

Trainer and Mentor Kevin Rooney of Catskills, New York

Leo Boxing Coach Mike Joyce has been a great friend to Thomas Hayes and guiding force in the good man's life.

From April Edition of Eastside Boxing:

James Slater: Firstly, Chris, what do you know about your next opponent, Thomas Hayes?

Chris Arreola: I know he's gonna come right at me and be in my chest. I know He's trained by Kevin Rooney and is very much in the Mike Tyson mold.

You have that right, Chris. You are Boxing's self-styled 'Nightmare.' Thomas Hayes has 'come right at' the Urban Nightmare.

While a student at Leo Catholic High School in Chicago, Thomas Hayes was shot while entering the school. Thomas Hayes went to class with a .22 caliber slug between his shoulder and bicep. His teacher, Bob Schablaske, said, 'Tommy, you are hit!' Thomas Hayes recovered and played Catholic League Football, but he also became a Leo Boxer.

Chicago lawyer and Leo Alumnus, Mike Joyce molded Tommy into a Chicago Golden Gloves Supeheavyweight Champion; introduced Thomas to one ofthe kindest and toughest men in America - boxing trainer Kevin Rooney. Kevin Rooney, no stranger to Nightmares himself, had his greatest boxer Mike Tyson pinched from his pockets by Don King, immediately after bringing that troubled and gifted kid to his greatest achievement -beating Michael Spinks. Thomas Hayes is no Mike Tyson.

Thomas Hayes is a Christian gentleman and a focused, disciplined student of Boxing and maintains a personal life that confronts Nightmares on a daily basis. Thomas Hayes will soon have his college degree and has applied to take the Chicago Policeman's Examination - following in the footsteps of Boxing Legend Toxey Hall.

Thomas Hayes will face a man in the square ring that is touted as a Nightmare. Chris Arreola has the height and the reach and the weight on Thomas Hayes. Thomas Hayes is trained by Kevin Rooney and guided by Mike Joyce. Thomas Hayes brings a massive heart into Friday Night's Fight in California. I'll take heart over a Nightmare any day.

Thomas Hayes will bring it to Chris Arreola immediately. We will see what will transpire and know about confronting Nightmares in the First Round of Ten.

God Bless Both Boxers!

Riverside’s Arreola at the Doubletree in Ontario, California, can be seen by a national audience (the undefeated heavyweight standout’s clash with once-beaten Thomas Hayes is the main event of Telefutura’s “Sole Boxeo” series).

This Fight will be Televised on TELEFUTURA "Sole Boxeo" a Spanish Language cable channel at 7PM Tomorrow Night! I will watch the fight at Hayes' Corner Man Ollie McGarry and John Kelly's Mackell's Inn -3259 West 111th Street

773-445-9181 Mackell's Inn

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

'Don't Taze Me, Bro!' - Faustus 2008

David Bowie from The Prestige (Click my post title for the news link.)

O God!
If thou wilt not have mercy on my soul, 60
Yet for Christ’s sake whose blood hath ransom’d me,
Impose some end to my incessant pain;
Let Faustus live in hell a thousand years—
A hundred thousand, and—at last—be sav’d!
O, no end is limited to damned souls! 65
Why wert thou not a creature wanting soul?
Or why is this immortal that thou hast?
Ah, Pythogoras’ metempsychosis! were that true,
This soul should fly from me, and I be chang’d
Unto some brutish beast! All beasts are happy, 70
For when they die,
Their souls are soon dissolv’d in elements;
But mine must live, still to be plagu’d in hell.
Curst be the parents that engend’red me!
No, Faustus: curse thyself: curse Lucifer 75
That hath depriv’d thee of the joys of Heaven. The clock striketh twelve.
O, it strikes, it strikes! Now, body, turn to air,
Or Lucifer will bear thee quick to hell. Thunder and lightning.
O soul, be chang’d into little water-drops,
And fall into the ocean—ne’er be found. 80
My God! my God! look not so fierce on me! Enter DEVILS.
Adders and serpents, let me breathe awhile!
Ugly hell, gape not! come not, Lucifer!
I’ll burn my books!—Ah Mephistophilis!

The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus Scene XIV

Christopher Marlowe had a way of looking at bad judgment: Faustus a Student - really smart guy and an active member of's Wittenburg Unversity Chapter, made a compact with Mephistophilis - Lucifer's ( The Devil) lawyer.

The Faustus kid was given all the powers of his Alchemist ( Rocket Scientist) Art - he could conjure up hot Babes ( Helen of Troy) and the power to Punk the Pope - 'You Been Punk'd Dude!' Until time was up. Then, in the speech above, like our young scapegrace in Florida, Herr Meyer, Faustus got Tazed - dragged to Hell by, Lucifer's Jon Loevy-like lawyer - Satan sued the cops after getting his Fork-tailed butt kicked by Michael the Archangel - The Patron Saint of Cops. Lawyers and devils - you gotta hand it to them.

Our American universities really need to slow-down to 60MPH, open the door of the academic Volvo and kick more Finklesteins and Churchills out of teaching. Maybe then young Faustus 2008 may know when not to over-play his tiny hand, by reading what is magnificent in our Human Culture.

By the way, the Tazered Student is never heard, just like our boy Faustus, to say 'I am truly sorry for what I have done.' Marlowe knew. So, do most parents.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Chorito Hog Leg by O.J. Simpson

The parallels between Orenthal James Simpson and Patrick Francis Hickey are not to be believed:

O.J. was born on July 9,1947
Pat Hickey on November 8, 1952

O.J. was a Heismann Trophy winning athlete
I saw the Heismann Trophy owned by Johnny Latner at Jim McKeever's House and at Boz O'Brien's Reilly's Daughter Pub in 1997.

We are both widowers and single parents.

O.J. was Acquited of Murdering his wife in a Criminal Trial and convicted in Civil Trial. I was not.

O.J. has a ghost written book out that is # 1.

I wrote the Chorito Hog Leg, Book One: A Novel of Guam in Time of War that has sold tens of copies.

O.J. is National News and locked up in Las Vegas

I am not.

Makes the hair stand on one's neck.

Saturday, September 15, 2007 ' I Have a Glio Blastoma Tumor and I Couldn't Be Happier!'


A Chicago Police Officer was wounded by a drug-dealer while responding to 'Community' requests to sweep out drug dealers from what is left of Ida B. Wells Projects - the news media responded by interviewing 'life-long' community residents outraged that Chicago Police responded to community requests for help. Makes sense to the media - not so much to those of us who read the news.

The Media craps on the Police and Law Enforcement in every coverage! A Police Officer is Killed and Media mopes get solemn. The Arsonist, who burns down your house, also sells Home Owners Insurance!

The Real News is that Mount Carmel upset # 1 ranked St. Rita in a wildly intense football brawl at Gately Stadium last night: MC 35- SR 19. Well played Men! Now, if that were to be reported by let's say Andy Shaw, it might read:

#1 St. Rita Rains down a Moral Victory over Mount Carmel - The Score Means Nothing!

Then there is the National News - New York Times - I never do crossword puzzles BTW and I never looked at Playboy for the articles.

Today's piece on the blow-up over the concerted idiotic smear of General Petreaus this last week over his report to Congress is consistent with my initial paragraph - 'What?????!!!'

Ok, attack the 4-Star General, who seemed like a pretty bright and honorable guy, making his report to Congress on the Surge in Iraq. decided early that it was not going to like the report so it decided to toss poison down the well before the public could pull up a bucketful full of what Petreaus had to say for himself.

Moveon .org screwed up royally as did the Democratic National Leadership who 'as stated below 'work on a daily basis' with They just lost the 2008 Presidential Race. This will be the Making of a President 2008 magic moment for McCain, or any other candidate not soiled by that goofy ad. No Democratic candidate has put any miles between that ad and a Candidacy. Man, I'd hug a porcupine quicker that that association.

If FDR ran as a Democrat this go around, he'd lose.

But today - with typical Lefty TRUTHINK - and its media shills report 'Strength In Weakness; Victory in Loss!' All Hail! You've done it again! Read the whole article, but this is beaut:

MoveOn representatives also take part, as co-founders of a coalition of antiwar groups together under the umbrella Americans Against Escalation in Iraq, in a daily conference call with the Democratic leadership staff on Capitol Hill to coordinate efforts. (emphasis my own)

Click my post title for the link to the Times story -a howl, I tells ya!

Despite conservatives’ efforts to lump together the grass-roots organization and the party and to force individual Democrats to take responsibility for MoveOn’s wordplay on General Petraeus, the top American commander in Iraq, as “General Betray Us” in its advertisement in The New York Times, the relationship between the two is often complicated and, at times, shows visible fractures.

Thanks for the continued link to a stupid idea, Boys! The DNC leadership can screw up any election on their own, thank you, but it is great to have the grassroots-cyber dweebs in there pitching!

“I think Democrats understand that when we can join forces and work together, it’s very powerful,” said Eli Pariser, executive director of MoveOn Political Action. “And then when we can’t, it’s not fun.”

These guys think cancer is healthy- if they need to. . .

Friday, September 14, 2007

Tim Cullen - From The Chorito Hog Leg

Why do people behave in a particular way –in a manner that
is unique to them and characterized by some code, life force or
prejudice? People a lot smarter than your narrator can delve into
the psyche and come up with all kinds of answers as to why a
woman never marries and lives a life apart from the members of
her family – sisters whom she slept in the very same room with,
shared clothes with, sometimes lovers and crushes, jitterbugged
to the same music, anguished over lost loves and shattered
dreams of becoming a singer in Harry James’s Orchestra and
marrying John Agar after being received into the Poor Clares
and told that though the cloister was solace for the dear girl and
all of her religious sisters, that she could better serve God by
propagating the faith and giving her self to a man, might never
understand her estrangement from them and their brothers or
attribute that distance she chose to picking up her older brother
from an L station at 63rd & Loomis in late November 1945.
It happened to Joan Cullen. Her brother took an envelope
from her that had a Giddings, Texas post mark from a family
named Buck - Roper Buck.

That is only an action – an act that is cloaked in meaning for
a small number of people but broadens. Joanie Cullen, seventeen
in 1945 was as pretty as Audrey Hepburn would be to millionsof movie goers in a few years and built the same way. Pious and Pretty – Joanie had not missed a Mass at St. Sabina CatholicChurch from the time she was old enough to walk. Her sisters,
Maeve, Adele and Frances often went with her, but Joanie went every day. Like the day that she would pick up Tim, who had been in the South Pacific since September 1943, was home; atleast he was in Illinois, Joanie had gone to 6 A.M. Mass. PFC.
Tim Cullen, USMCR was mustering out at Great Lakes NavalStation in a small town north of Chicago.

Joanie would meet Tim at the 63rd & Loomis Chicago Transit Station which ended the L line on the south side. Togetherthey would walk to a Chicago Motor Coach street car stop on Ashland and take a street car south to the 81st Street stop and
walk east to their parent’s house at 82nd & Bishop. Tim would tell Joanie all about the war and the places he had been because his letters never said much.
Joanie seemed to change that day. What the hell that surly
bastard said to her, or revealed to her, or explained to her about
him or the ‘precious’ letter from Texas no one in the large Cullen
family knew.

But this story is really not about Joanie at all. It is about Tim
Cullen and a promise that he made to doomed but very much
alive twenty four year old Marine 1st Lieutenant at a staging
camp on the historical island of Guadalcanal, about a year
after that historic and epic battle was fought – and continues to
be re-fought by historians, novelists, film-makers (that sounds
more high toned than movie –makers), bar-flies and teachers.
Tim Cullen’s epic battle – the one that really gave shape and
dimension to the balance of his life and somehow linked the
Battle of Gettysburg, the Little Big Horn, Myles Keogh,
Wild Bill Longley, Gen. Buford , the Texas Rangers, capital
punishment, abortion, Col. Colt, the New Deal in Texas, War
Crimes, the Atomic Bomb and subsequent age, Paul Newman,
Johnnie Carson, Race Riots, nightmares, fraternal contempt,
Robert McNamara, Fire Bombings and heroic but ignored Chamorros to the slaughter of his friends and comrades of
Company A, Ist Battalion, Third Marines, Third Marine
Division at Chorito Cliff/Bundeschu Ridge on the island of
Guam in July of 1944.

Tim Cullen, now in his eighties, reads the Chicago Tribune
at his kitchen table in south suburban Chicago Orland Park and
witnesses the fact that he is still alive and the people attached
to the names in the obituaries -very familiar to Tim Cullen,
especially the ones with an American flag to the left of the
name – are not.

Shrinks and behaviorists could have followed Tim Cullen
around from the day that he got off the L-Car to meet his little
sister Joanie and chalked up his attitude, mannerisms, speech,
prejudices, humor, and decisions and rubber –stamped him as
an example of survivor’s guilt and they would be wrong. They
would package everything neatly and clinically and say – ‘Aha,
this man survived the greatest war in human history and his
friends did not and that is why his wife, children, co-workers,
employees, doctors, dentists, acquaintances and passersby love ,
dislike, or intensely dislike Tim Cullen.’ Survivor’s guilt. Others
might say that he is a racist and others that he is a Republican,
or both.

But Tim Cullen never hit, slighted, hanged, bull-whipped,
Jim Crow Legislated, gerrymandered, cheated, raped, slandered,
or maligned any black man living or dead. He laughed out loud
over Amos and Andy and the worst name that he ever called a
black man was ‘a strike-breaker.’ In San Francisco, when the
Liberty Ship Adam Clay brought Tim Cullen home from Guam,
Tim took the side of a Montford Point Marine ( a black hero)
wounded at Okinawa and being bullied by a crowd of white
Merchant Marines from another ship on the Pier. Tim did not
want to pal up with Cpl. Tedord of Moulton, PA but would not
allow any man in forest green take abuse from the bastards who
ate steak and let Navy gun crews eat shit in their own galleys,
while making about $15 an hour on hazardous duty pay.
Cullen and Tedord’s hazardous duty pay amounted to $60
a month. No steaks and no overtime for Snuffies. They did get
steaks –steak and eggs – before they landed at Red Beach 2 at
Asan, Guam.

Racist? Arguable. Republican? Let’s look on the card. Tim
Cullen voted for Harry Truman, Adlai Stevenson, John F.
Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, George McGovern, Jimmy Carter,
Walter Mondale, Mike Dukakis, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and
John Kerry from the time he left the Marine Corps; that’s five
wins and six losses but a Republican? No, he is anti-Abortion,
Pro-Death Penalty, Pro-Union, and Anti- War – always. He
hates anti-war protestors though. He admires pickets but only
so long as they keep walking, dress like men, and fight for a
living wage – all the rest is Commie Bullshit. He reads the
Chicago Tribune and detests it as a scab-rag.

Tim Cullen is what smart people would call an unextraordinary
man. He is a successful business man (owns one
of the first and largest refrigeration service companies in all
Chicago), has three great kids and ten wonderful grandchildren,
married a girl out of MGM’s greatest dreams and never told
anyone other than his sister Joanie – now dead ten years – what
had happened to him from 1943 to 1945 and what the letter
from Texas is all about.

Everyone else, your narrator included, can only guess what
happened, make a play at explaining what happened, piece tiny
fragments of the puzzle of history, analyze the man against
the sweep and scope and violence of the historical events that
embraced Tim Cullen in the greatest drama ever staged by
Man, or ignore everything and just play life without another
thought to the guy.
Here’s my spin it. I’ll lay the story out to you and you can
accept what comes your way and consider the source. Like I said
before, there’s much smarter people out there telling you what
history and fiction means; so, why not pause for a simple man’s
consideration of history and the fiction that rises from what wecall history. I won’t slander and if I bore you, toss the book and
go watch Bill Maher.

Where do we get an understanding of history and the place
of people we know in that history? I think that it comes from a
story told by an uncle after about eight tall cans of Schlitz and a
couple of pours of Canadian Club or VO about New Guinea or
Bastogne or Inchon or Khe Sahn or Desert Storms I & II, or the
Stockyard Strike of 1904, or Cardinal Mundelein’s visit to St.
Sabina’s, or the Democratic Convention, or Super Bowl XV.
I also think that it might come from an artifact – a tooth
stored for decades in a plastic capsule, a doll’s arm wrapped in
tissue paper in your mother’s hat-box in a closet that ‘you girls
were told to never look into’, or an X-ray of someone’s lungs, the
way your mother fell backward into the table full of expensive
registered gifts when Mel Torme walked into Kitty’s shower
and stared right at her.

After all that, we seem to want to frame the talk or artifacts
and try to make a nice ‘something’ out of it. I’ll try and make
something out this story that starts with a promise between
two young men – actually things never start in the middle of
things. That is just what we do to save time. I’ll pop in and out
of what happens in order to try and balance the things that are
unfolding – I’ll do my best not to be a pest or interfere too much.
I can be a huge pain in the ass; bear with me.

Here’s my story – history or fiction or fiction with history
-scotch and soda. Which is the scotch and which the soda?
You tell me. Maybe that is how we determine history.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Neil Steinberg - Patriot - Writ Large

Thats's Neil Steinberg talking to Korean War veterans in the photo to the left. Neil's the guy in the tie and dark sport coat chatting with American heroes in Leo's cafeteria. To the right is Leo High School Vice Principal and Marine Corps Veteran Frank Wilson and Illinois Veterans Affairs Asst. Director Rochelle Crump welcoming the crowd at the Leo War Memorial. I took the photos - my apologies for the lousey lighting. Windy City Veterans, Montford Point Marines, Burbank Marines, The Triple Nickle Parachute Veterans and the Leo Alumni Association - thick with veterans - Chicago Police, Chicago Firemen, Secret Service, F.B.I. and Postal Workers are all honored and participate. But - Let's get to the meat of the matter - one of our guests is a great American: Neil Steinberg.

Today's column by Chicago Sun Times columnist Neil Steinberg is brilliant. Steinberg, one of few journalists in Chicago who takes his time to get the correct, accurate, and honest presentation of events, Neil is also one of the very few writers who gets things right.

Neil Steinberg attended Leo High School's Annual Veterans Observance, celebrated on the Friday before Veterans Day, and actually spent most of his time with 80 year old veterans of WWII, Korea, and the younger guys of Vietnam and Desert Storm and America's continuing War on Islamist Terror. Neil Steinberg was not interested in the buffet - which seems uncharacteristic for news media types; Steinberg was busy asking intelligent questions of 80+ year Merchant Marines about the Murmansk Run; and Jim Furlong and Rich Doyle about being a tunnel rat and humping gear in the rice paddies.

People reveal who they really are when they think no one is watching them. The Leo guys saw Neil at his best - and he thought no one was looking. Neil Steinberg made no small efort to make Veterans feel good that they cashed in their youth in service to their country - Vietnam Era Vets and beyond found themselves holding the bag in Southeast Asia for those of us home here going to college and protesting the War. Now, soldiers in the War on Islamist Terror find themselves in similar straits - fighting an unseen enemy in a foreign land and getting their backs peppered with the contempt of those who sneer at their sacrifices. We tolerate some lousey attitudes in our wonderful democracy.

Neil Steinberg gets it. Here's some of his great essay:

Conformity, the suburbanite's sin. So what if people aren't rushing to fly their flags? Their loss. It's a shame that patriotism is usually left to patriots, who give it such a bad name by their mistaken belief that loving the country means blindly supporting any folly its leaders can conceive and heaping scorn on any fellow citizen who misses some conformist benchmark of behavior.

Patriotism isn't cool, but it should be. Forget suburbanites; you'd think the cutting edge would embrace it. You'd think the artists and the radicals, the malcontents and the visionaries, college students and tree-worshipping cultists would be the most patriotic of all, understanding that it is this great country that accepts their deviation, while in many other places they would be stoned to death or, more likely, never even exposed in the first place to the ideas that so overwhelm them.

But no. College professors, free-thinkers, vegans, Marxists all sneer at their country. They are young, or so dazzled by the sheen of their beliefs they fail to appreciate the soil they sprouted in, and they let flag-waving, misty-eyed patriotism be dominated -- present company excluded -- by exactly the sort of narrow, hidebound reactionaries who'd thrive under any dictatorship.

We are a nation born of radicalism, living under a constitution penned by rebels. Those who fancy themselves rebels today should appreciate that.

Rebellion has been redefined by a generation that would rather sneer at a country that embraces their individuality than display some patriotism

Now, That's Working Class Values!

Today's gem should be must reading for every American citizen. This is a later day Thomas Paine's 'Sunshine Patriot' caveat to the smug and self-satisified. Neil, I am proud to know you!

Neil Steinberg - American Patriot!

Leo High School will hold its Veterans Observance on Friday November 2, 2007 at 11AM in the Courtyard of Leo High School. Join the Veterans and genuine Patriots.,CST-NWS-stein12.article

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

9/11 ? We'll Be at Work!

Nora, my oldest, a journalism student ( hence her proclivilty for Java Acids - her Mom hated cigar smoke, but used Copenhagen Mint while Mary sheet-rocked the basement and I made cookies) will be working on the paper today; Conor, will be getting his shoulder checked after taking a stinger( ref took him out and Conor went back in - that's his Mother's son - I'd be wimpering for all it's worth until Saint Swithynn's Day) in Saturday's La Lumiere ( alma mater of USCCJ John Roberts) football game and remembering Boyle's Constant eight minutes after the quiz; Clare ,my Redhead, will be hitting the 7th Grade curriculum and the St. Cajetan's hardwood for practice after last night's defeat of the Warriors in the Ridge Park League ( they had the lids on our baskets for some reason last night). That's what the Hickey kids will do in response to Osama bin Laden's Grecian Formula threat to Free People last week - it's September 11th; we are well aware.

Old Dad and Bob Foster will be scaring up some funding for the young men of Leo High School. We're doing our jobs. Just like the entire country!

Everyone is at work. Might be a very few Noam Chomsky types waiting the storm out in the root cellers, but most Americans are at work. We remember. No fear of that. No fear at all.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

McCain De Senctute, Part II

The noble and elderly Cato - centuries before Roma Wade began hawking Healthy Trinity - Before Geritol - Before Doc Chapman's Elixer of Political Youth - argued to young men of sense the value of age. Age and experience trump Youth. Remember - the young can often be timid -timorous, as well as audacious pains in the ass.

Steve Chapman in Sunday Chicago Tribune's Op-Ed piece calls down John McCain's chrolological age as too limiting to candidacy for Prseident. Steve read some Cicero - De Senctute - Of Old Age - Also called Catonis. Chapman even tries to make the 'little jerk' question posed by the dufus in New Hampshire appear genuine.,0,3688.column

More goofy is this non sequitur from Chapman:

In any case, he's endured more wear and tear than the normal AARP member. As a Navy pilot during the Vietnam War, he broke both arms and a leg in a crash after his plane was shot down. He spent 5 1/2 years being tortured, beaten and half-starved as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. He's had surgery twice for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. All of those misfortunes exact a toll that may offset his hardy genes.

In other lines of work, has decided to raise to 65. Law firms often put partners out to pasture once they reach the golden years.everyone accepts that there is such a thing as too old. Some major corporations force chief executives and directors to step down at age 65 or so. Airline pilots have a mandatory limit of 60, which the Federal Aviation Administration (emphasis my own - due to WTF factor)

In those jobs, a fixed age limit makes less sense than it does for the one McCain wants. If a lawyer can no longer handle the work, after all, the firm can promptly cashier him or her. But the voters may never know if a president is growing befuddled by routine tasks -- or if a president, wearied by age, has simply lost the energy needed to perform well. And even if such facts became known, the public may not be able to force his removal.
( again the WTF -factor)

Steve Chapman 'EVERYONE ACCEPTS' ???????? The AARP - Age Discrimination Lawsuit Folks? Pack a big lunch, Bubba!

Mr. Chapman - 'befuddled' - you familiar with let's say . . . hmmm. Governor Blago? or Dennis Kucinich - lest I appear anti- Balkan - How about our Youthful President George Bush - Check out his act in Australia this week, Steve?

Mr. Chapman and other age conscious " Anybody but Mccain" Operatives(ABBMc) AbMiks - how's that? - read this nice passage from Cicero where Cato sets the boys right:

( switch the Youthful McCain for Cato ) and engage in willful suspension of disbelief, or prejudice. Literature is ageless - Noam Chomsky notwithstanding.

But I was going to observe that I am now in my eighty-fourth year, and I wish I had reason to boast with Cyrus that I feel no sensible decay of strength. But although I do not possess it in the same degree as when I made my first campaign in the Carthaginian war, in the course of which I was advanced to the rank of questor; or when, during my consulship, I commanded the army in Spain; or when four years afterwards I was military tribune at the battle of Thermopylae; yet I can with truth, you see, affirm that old age has not totally relaxed my nerves and subdued my native vigour. My strength has not yet been found to fail me, either in the Senate or the assemblies of the people, when my country or my friends, my clients or my hosts, have had occasion to require my service. The truth is I have never governed myself by the cautious maxim of that ancient proverb so frequently quoted, which says, "You must be old soon if you would be old long;" on the contrary, I would rather abate some years from that season of my life than prematurely anticipate its arrival. In consequence of this principle I have hitherto been always open to access whenever any person desired to be introduced to me for my advice or assistance in his affairs.

But you will tell me, perhaps, that my strength is much inferior to yours. Undoubtedly it is, and so is yours to that of Pontius the athletic centurion, but is he therefore a more valuable man? A moderate degree of force is sufficient for all the rational purposes of life, and whoever will not attempt to exert his particular portion farther than he is well able, will assuredly have no great cause to regret that he is not endued with a more considerable share. Milo is said to have walked the full length of the course at the Olympic games bearing the whole enormous weight of an ox upon his shoulders. Now tell me which would you choose to possess- this man's extraordinary powers of body or the sublime genius of Pythagoras? In a word, my friends, make a good use of your youthful vigour so long as it remains, but never let it cost you a sigh when age shall have withdrawn it from you; as reasonably, indeed, might youth regret the loss of infancy or manhood the extinction of youth. Nature conducts us, by a regular and insensible progression, through the different seasons of human life, to each of which she has annexed its proper and distinguishing characteristic. As imbecility is the attribute of infancy, ardour of youth, and gravity of manhood, so declining age has its essential properties, which gradually disclose themselves as years increase.

I am persuaded, Scipio,( Steve, or Rudy, or Mitt, or Barack or whomever) I need not tell you what extraordinary things that ancient host of your ancestors, Massinissa, is still capable of performing. You have heard, no doubt, that although he is at this time ninety years of age, he takes long journeys, sometimes on foot and sometimes on horseback, without once relieving himself throughout the whole way by alternately changing from the one mode of travelling to the other; that he is so exceedingly hardy, that no severity of weather, when he is abroad, can induce him to cover his head; and that having preserved by these means a thin and active habit of body, he still retains sufficient strength and spirits for discharging in person the several functions of his royal station. I particularise these circumstances as a proof, that by temperance and exercise a man may secure to his old age no inconsiderable degree of his former spirit and activity.

If it must be acknowledged that time will inevitably undermine the strength of man, it must equally be acknowledged that old age is a season of life in which great vigour is by no means required. Accordingly, by the laws and institutions of our country, we who are advanced to a certain age are excused from those offices which demand robust powers to discharge. Far from being compelled to undertake what is beyond our force, we are not called upon to exert our strength even to its full extent. If it be alleged that there are numberless old men so totally worn out and decayed, as to be incapable of every kind of civil or social duty, it must be confessed there are; but may not this debility have arisen from an original weakness of constitution? a misfortune by no means peculiar to old age, but common to every period of human life. How great a valetudinarian was that son of Scipio Africanus, who adopted you for his heir; so great indeed, that he scarcely ever enjoyed a day of uninterrupted health. Had he been formed with a less delicate constitution he would have shone forth a second luminary of the Commonwealth, for with all the spirit and magnanimity of his illustrious father he possessed a more improved and cultivated understanding. What wonder then if age is sometimes oppressed with those infirmities from which youth, we see, is by no means secure!

It's on everyone! Even 'little jerks.'

Friday, September 07, 2007

Happy 100th to My Cousins in Mount Greenwood

Photo - Portrait of The Blogger 9/05/07: Paddy 'Craic' Hickey

Above left is myself: I had not shaved that morning, but I am so pleased that the Fantastic Sam's Liposuction trimmed some unsightly poundage from my manly frame. It is great to have jeans fit so well once again. I felt so renewed that I decided to watch some people get some exercise in Mount Greenwood Park.
The cousins gave me the name Paddy 'Craic' because, they said, that I was such a fun guy. From Wikpedia:

In Irish English, the word crack, which recently has increasingly come to be spelled craic, means "fun, enjoyment, abandonment, or lighthearted mischief; often in the context of drinking or music".[1] In Ireland, the spelling craic is now more common[2] for this sense of the word crack.

My Cousins from the left - Dooley (Doo) Hickey, Ryder Daley, Corndog Daley, Boner Daley, Buck Keefe and Harry B. Hynd. Happy 100th from your cousin over East in Morgan Park. Happy Centennial Cousins! When not rehabing their Cape Cods and raised ranches into million dollar mansions, they work as botonists, pathologists, Airline Pilots, lawyers, massage therapists and community activists.

Chicago's 19th Ward holds Beverly, but also Morgan Park and one of the nicest places of all - Mount Greenwood. Mount Greenwood is celebrating its Centennial - that's 100 years to my cousins who live West of the two sets of tracks from me and the kids in Morgan Park.

Mary Flowers -Undisputed Champ of Leo Youth Boxing!

Mary Flowers participates in Leo High School's Annual Veterans Observance on the Friday before Veterans Day since its inception. Joining Veterans and all public service employees for this annual event, Mary Flowers Illinois 31st District Representative and member of the Education Committee has come to know the young men of Leo High School. Boxing at Leo High School has helped many young men become succesful not only in the square ring but in life.

Last year Mary Flowers sponsored a grant to expand Leo High School's Boxing Program to include Academic mentoring and guidance. Kids hit the 30 work-out stations, spar, paddles, speed & heavy bags, jump rope, mirror box and then hit the books and work-out with calculators and poetry by Claude McKay.

Leo High School Boxing Coach Mike Joyce directed the expansion of the Leo Boxing Facilty and Leo President Bob Foster directed the development of the Academic and Mentoring Program.

Leo High School works closely with Illinois Crime Commission Director Jerry Elsner's Police Athletic League and will serve as a major site for upcoming Olympic and World Boxing Programs in the next few months. This is all made possible because of a pretty and tough girl from the neighborhood - Illinois Representative Mary Flowers (D)!

Leo Grads - Thomas Hayes ( in Leo Black) works over Leo Grad and St. Xavier University Footballer Marquis Ball wearing the girdle.

Thomas Hayes, a Pro heavyweight ( 26 -1 -0) will fight ranked boxer Chris Arreola (21-19-0)on September 21st in Palm Springs California.

Leo Coach Mike Joyce and Thomas Hayes Paddle Spar in a recent workout.

Hayes pounds the Heavy Bag

Chicago Tribune Sports Editor and the absolute best prose writer in Sport, Dan McGrath asks Mike Joyce about the upcoming Hayes/Arreola fight, but mostly about the 70 Leo Men who particiapte in Mary Flowers' sponsorship of this great program - it has three rules - Mike Joyce's Rules:

1- Work Hard
2- Believe in Yourself
3- Work Hard

Thank You Mary Flowers! You are the Undisputed Champion of Leo Boxing!
Thomas Hayes - Leo High School Class of 1999:
boxer: Thomas Hayes
Global ID 145378
sex male
birth date 1981-03-16
age 26
division heavyweight
rating 232 / 1102
nationality United States
residence Chicago, Illinois, United States
stance orthodox
height 5′ 11″
US ID IL029527
won 26 (KO 18) + lost 1 (KO 1) + drawn 0 = 27

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Mr. Doan at Peace

The first men that our Saviour dear
Did choose to wait upon Him here,
Blest fishers were; and fish the last
Food was, that He on earth did taste:
I therefore strive to follow those,
Whom He to follow Him hath chose.
From Issac Walton's The Compleat Angler

In genial spring, beneath the quivering shade,
Where cooling vapors breathe along the mead,
The patient fisher takes his silent stand,
Intent, his angle trembling in his hand;
With looks unmov'd, he hopes the scaly breed,
And eyes the dancing cork, and bending reed.
Alexander Pope Windsor Forest

John Haley pushed Du Doan into the waters off Montrose Harbor for a 'prank.'

Mr. Doan drowned. I watched the news last night and listened to Haley's attorney try to eel his client out of troubled Justice that awaits Haley. The lawyer even tried to throw in the 'police card.' What a piece of work.

Mr. Doan sought the quiet and reflective activity out and away from the hate that Haley seems to mark down as 'some of these fishermen look hot and need to go for a swim.' You called the tune John Haley - now dance to it.

Mr. Du Doan lived through horrific experiences in Vietnam and came to find peace in America. He could fish - untroubled and find friendship with men who understood the beauty of the water-hunt. Mr. Doan is at peace with God.

Mr. Haley wriggles with a hook through his gills. I hope that it is long and troublesome bounce for Mr. Haley. Having fished the Kankakee River, Lake Michigan and the small lakes of Indiana, I understand that even if a dangling fish spits out the hook, it ends up floating on its side on the calm and peaceful waters.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

John McCain -From Your Neighborhood

Yesterday I mentioned that the President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy - called Nick Sarko The American by Snarky Frogs over the pond - could be a guy from Hegewisch, a steel-backboned community of wonderful blue-collar families and solid American values. I failed to mention that Nick is one of the best dressed people in the world, according to Vanity Fair, one of the most overpriced wastes of timber on the newsstand at the South Shore Station on Buffalo Ave.. He's a snappy dresser, to be sure, but so is Ed Vrydolyak a Native Son.

John McCain seems like the guy who brings over the spare sump pump, when the basement floods - again; he's a guy who joins the fish fry crew during Lent at St. Turibius; the man who drops off non-nose bleed tickets for the Bears/Vikings game, because 'he can't use them;' the gentleman setting up the chairs for the morning and evening services at New Pisgah Church; the authority on indirect heat grilling who slow cooks the ribs without making a federal case of the fact; McCain has the chain-saw when the tree comes down in your yard; the neighbor who quietly lets you know that your 8th Grade Cheerleader,Vickey, was smoking at the Mall and you might want to ask her about the pack Camel Menthols in her Louis Vutton knock-off purse; he walks his cousin suffering from Alzheimer's to Keegan's Pub for a half/half every Sunday; he's the quiet gent doing an extra lap around the rosary in the back of St. Gabe's before he stops by the Our Flag Club for the wide-screen Bears opener party. He's the best guy in every neighborhood.

This morning, I read about his response to the Concord New Hampshire teenager who asked him if he might feel too old to be President. "Thanks for your question, you little jerk. Your drafted!'

That's how my neighbors would respond - and so would your's!

I trust this man with my vote and support.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Nick Sarko - Could be a Guy from Hegewisch

The French twist in the photo ( squeaking in her boss's ear) seems less at ease with Regular Guys Like John McCain than her boss President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The more I read about French President Nicolas Sarkozy the more I like him. In fact, with America's constant worry over what the French are thinking of us - really, did any of you order 'freedom fries?' - it is kind of nice to have a French Leader who seems like a regular guy.

Nick Sarko - the American Lover is the epithet tossed out by the French -types that we love to lampoon. The ennui and old mattress smelling cigarette ( What were those damn things? Oh, Yeah, Gauloises in the Frog Blue Pack. They sold them at the tobacco shop on Clark Street in the Loop and I bought a pack once - they'd gag a maggot) addicted reader of Sartres, wearing a wool scarf in August who spews venomous derision at everything American but Jerry Lewis. Nick Sarko seems Okay by me.

Sarkozy seems like he'd be at home in Hegewisch talking Mount Carmel Football with an icy bottle of Old Style clutched in his mitts with The Dombrowski Brothers at Club 81 Too. This Hungarian Frenchman seems to be an ideal Pal for the future American President John McCain. Two regular guys who will hit things off for the improvement of their respective Nations. About time.

Bill Clinton was not our first African American President as some have suggested, but he most surely was our first Old School French President: played the sax and mistresses with aplomb; the bon mot at the ready. Old Bubba knew the lyrics and the melody.
Club 81 Too
13157 Ave. M, Chicago
Tel: (773) 646-4292

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Labor Day and Labor is Not About Redistribution of Wealth

He's facing the job - too many Americans have turned their backs on what the skilled American Tradesman is doing.

This Labor Day - try and rememember that thousands of people struggled and many died for the right to form Unions. These Unions of skilled trades and industrial workers moved America's poor in to the great middle class that created the standard of living enjoyed by no other Nation in History.

Let's not be fooled by the enemies of that standard of living on the political radical Right or the Left. 'Redistribution of Wealth' strategies are the latest phoney labor Ponzi scams - stay true to genuine Labor Unions. Real Labor gives people the skills to move to the next economic level and engages in collective bargaining to protect workers rights, health and welfare and above all safety on the job. Labor is not merely a lobbying tool for slick politcal agendas.

Most of all let's remember the people who stood on the picket lines and suffered the lock-outs to make the American Dream come true.

God Bless the Working Woman and Man! Honor Labor!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Cullen's Tiger Shark from The Chorito Hog Leg

Tim Cullen was sunning his filmy Irish pallor into a robust red after days at sea. In the Gun Tub within hailing distance of the bridge, Tim, Sal and Watson maintained the ready boxes and changed the water in the empty barrel tube with cold salt water. As there was a scarcity of fresh water on board the LST and limited to one shower every three days Tim and the other enlisted men had become used to oily feel of their skin and applied moisturizer to their faces immediately after shaving. Other than that and the BA PALM, BA PALM, BA PALM that the flat ship made as it coursed its way to the anchorage at Kwajelain, where the men would go ashore for running and conditioning, Tim and the others rested and prepared themselves for the invasion by reading and studying maps and hand-outs, but mostly by cleaning and re-cleaning their weapons. Into the sun’s bright rays broke the towering majesty of Gunny Higgins whose shoulders eclipsed the late morning sun over Tim.

‘Brig-rat, it is time that you learned to eat of the sea’s bounty and as you are most mechanically aptituded fuck-up in this august body of fighting men under my mothering gaze - Get your side-arm and come with me.’
“Gunny we are not supposed to carry side arms on board but have them stowed,’ replied Cullen with a cat’s sense of scalding water to come.
‘Pipe, down shit-bird, and lash on that Smitty Wesson, we going fishing.’
Cullen snapped to and donned the shoulder holster and the .38 revolver that he had carried since Bob Foster had handed it to him before Bougainville.
‘Throw on your cover, Altar boy! We are in the shadow of our betters and they are in the Officer’s Ward Room for the next three hours.’ Tim put on his khaki fore and aft cap. ‘Choirboy we are fishing for the fat-fucker who ate Jonah; ‘Course being a Pope’s Pussy you do not know or appreciate the beauty and majesty of the Bible – King James only. See the starboard davit? Aft of the LCVP is a small crane for lowering cargo and ammo. That is our fishing pole and this is our bait.’
Gunny Higgins produced a twenty pound slab of fat back bacon that he had commissioned from the Cook on condition that all galley ratings got a cut of shark steak. Gunny held the huge slab aloft as if he were a king and this was his first born male heir!

‘We go fishing for the great fish – the Great White or his fat-assed lazy brother the Blue Shark. You will operate this crane and drag bacon until one of those torpedo-like chow-hounds gets more than he can swallow.’
Cullen almost wet his pants with excitement and took the gaffing hook from its lashing and pulled the large thick cargo hook over the gun-whale and Gunny Higgins speared the huge slab of bacon through the grain and then against it.
Tim operated the crane out and lowered way the chain slowly and carefully so as not to bring the line crashing into the thin hull of their transport.
‘Kiss my heroic ass, if you don’t handle mechanisms like you were born to them. Jesus, Brig-rat, you amaze me and I fucked humped back midget sluts in Shanghai before going to YMCA meetings. Makes you want to throw up; doesn’t it Junior? Why, the taste of fine snatch in the Orient is only bettered by its nibble on a working man’s wallet. You a Virgin, Candyass?’

Tim lied, ‘No Gunny, I took pleasure in the whores of San Diego.’

‘Don’t lie to Gunny, Needle –dick, I have your service record and you went home to Mama after Boots, got tossed in the Brigs, took a Summary Courts, boarded Bloemfontaigne for New Caledonia, shipped to the ‘Canal, surveyed on the .30 under Bob Foster, a better man never drew breath, crapped in your pants and everywhere else on Boogan, and you still got you cherry.’

Tim laughed to himself but tried to concentrate on the job at hand.
Between LST- 448 and the horizon were LCIs of every type- The Landing Craft Infantry was roughly half the size of the LST 128 feet in length with a beam of 23 feet and, like the LST, almost flat bottomed so every sailor and Marine aboard felt every wave. With crews of between 40 and 60 sailors the LCIs carried up to 200 Marines. There were also derivative models of the LCI modified to be gun ships, rocket ships, and mortar ships

The LCI(g), or gunboat carried 3” and 5” guns, extra 40 mm Gun mounts, and bristled with 20mm guns as well as .50 caliber machine guns. The LCI(r) carried rocket launchers and up to 600 4” rockets. LCI(m) was outfitted with heavy mortars to bombard hill-lines and take out bunkers on the defended beaches.

Destroyers of every Class and designation darted like ballroom dancers among the plodding transports. Like every day thus far aboard LST-448, Tim marveled at the vastness of the Pacific and imagined that he had traveled farther and to more historic impact than any other person in his bloodline. He did not need to imagine that he had in fact done so in his full year in the service of his country.
His mother and father had told their children of their individual odysseys from County Kerry: his father working in Liverpool and Manchester and fighting the working man’s fight with Big Jim Larkin and taking the passage to New York, boarding train for Chicago and the stockyards in time to work as a policeman during the Strike of 1912 and his mother, leaving a cabin on the Great Blasket Island and heading to Queenstown in County Cork for passage to New York and herself a train to Chicago to work in the kitchen of Metropole Hotel on 22nd Street. These were day trips in comparison. Tim had voyaged farther than anyone in his bloodline and that was fact.

Let’s take this time to sweep out the attic of our imaginations and suspend the trinkets, tinsel, ticket stubs and teary-eyed treasures above the level of our thoughts-vision and look to port from Tim Cullen’s thin steel housing. We have had, this narrator has at any rate, a clutter of junk that he imagines are the important mirrors of his experience on earth – a pretty good time most of us, despite the disappointments, deaths, diseases, distractions, and in some cases whole-sale de-railings of our journeys; but in the might and main we have had it pretty good.

The boss walks in and tells you that the McDonald’s account will go to the guy who leaves at 3PM, spends the next three hours at a martini bar with the suits from the next level and ‘big pictures’ all the ideas that you have presented to the ‘team’ and that you should give this slug all of your notes and work-ups and keep him apprized. You have had it rough; you pay your own way; you meet the mortgage payments; you take the extra classes; you do the heavy lifting; you do not cheat on your husband; you do not make your wife do the lions share of the work with the kids and then beef about Andy’s inability to master freshman algebra; you do not sleep-in when it’s a twenty below zero wind-chill factor and Sacred Heart is five miles from the house; you do not reap the rewards for which you labor as a good woman or man – tough shit.

Your kids are not coughing up their little lungs and shivering under wet blankets in a tropical rain-forest after having had their cottages torched and pulled down and sent with all your belongings to Manengon on the other side of the island; you did not risk your life sneaking dried fish and fruit to an uncle named Blas who would walk thirty mile north through jungle and kunai grass, evading patrols of Japanese Naval Landing Force troops led by Boson Otayama, who was pissed off to have to take his twenty-seven sailors out of Agana to the wilderness on a wild-goose chase for the last of the Yankee sailors cowering in a cave; Otayama vowed that he slit open any gook that he found, from the dick to the lungs and leave him or her for the bugs and toads; You are disappointed. Take it and embrace it. Grow up.

Tim Cullen grew up fast, but he was still a kid even after Bougainville and he had a kid’s sense of fairness and the arm of God and the protective cloak of the Blessed Virgin taking a direct part in his journey, like catechism books when he was a little guy at St. Sabina’s Grammar School, do good and you will be taken care of – what about martyrs? – don’t be a wise guy. Tim Cullen believed that Gunny Higgins was going to take care of the boys in the squad with a shark steak dinner.

Out there, strung out for miles, ships and smaller craft folded the waters into prayerful wakes like the hands of Virgins and saints in the statuaries of St. Sabina’s a prayerful voyage and beneath the palms of foaming waters darted Tim’s prey, who themselves sought out the weaker and the plaintive unfortunates who fell overboard – and they did with some frequency – American, British, Australian, Dutch, and Japanese combatants who were too clumsy, too trusting, to cocky, and too human and plunged to mercies of what they believed and what would be. Those sharks would eat them.

Tim had an American made Harrington Hoist built on Tchoupitoulas Street in downtown New Orleans by Standard Services Crane Company and a twenty pound slab of Iowa Landrace Hog in the palm of a very sharp hook. After an hour of slow and methodical trolling the bait hooked a sixteen 1/2 foot long Tiger Shark! The powerful monster threshed and thrashed and yawed in attempts to unhook itself from the baited trap, but the thick American steel cable and the Gary, Indiana forged hook help the trapped victimizer of overboard sailors and troops of all nations. Tim Cullen worked the controls slowly and eased the heavy dinner toward the starboard hoist aft of the rocking LCVP above Tim’s khaki covered red-hair. Gunny Higgins watching from the starboard fly-bridge hooted and laughed aloud as his cloud-covered altar boy once again proved himself to be a boy of talent and steel.

‘Cullen, you pie-eyed unregenerate brig-rat, you by God bested my take off of Cuba in 1932! That is a tiger and I snagged a damn thresher! Boy, you are a fire-tested pair of brass balls! Get that fucker aboard!’

Tim’s heart pumped and he half-giggled but maintained his focus as scrums of sailors and Leathernecks jostled near the starboard crane when word of the feat spread through the Company. Cpl. Jack Howard’s Jackie Coogan –face thrust through the scrum of faded blue denim and salt-bleached green herringbone – “YAYYYHOOO! Hook ‘em Cullen! That’s my gunner boys and girls!’ Similar encomiums fell around Tim’s shoulders and now the bridge above them was thick with pressed khakied officers who slept in well-ventilated berths in the ships castle while those below sweated and slumbered in the bowels of LST-448. The officers, especially Maj. Opley and Lt. Buck cheered their accomplished underling’s feat of skill and luck.

After twenty minutes of coaxing and dexterous manipulation Cullen swung the huge gray fish over the gunwale and lowered the Tiger shark to the deck. The monster thrashed and snapped as if un-troubled by the snare of steel. Marines and sailors turned into mincing girls and danced toe-touchingly back from its razor sharp maw. Tim pulled the Smith and Wesson from his shoulder holster and put two bullets in the shark’s brain and then the three last as the shark’s last acts of will slowed to a violent and final snap.

‘Now Hear This! Now Hear This! This is the Captain Speaking! Master-At – Arms! Disarm that Man and drag him to the brig!’ Over the ship’s loud-speaker, the voice explained the folly of Tim Cullen’s trust in Gunny Higgins. Hoots and howls of laughter replaced the high Hozannas! ‘The Brig-Rat’s Return! Now, Playing ‘The Man in the Iron Mask!’ ‘Piss and Punk Cullen!

‘Aye, Aye, Sir!’ Chief Chaffee replied to the call from the ship’s Captain Lt. Mo Higgins.

Tim received three days on bread and water for firing an unauthorized weapon aboard a ship in a combat zone without the stated authority of the Master at Arms. Gunny Higgins took one arm while Chief Chaffee confiscated the machine gunner’s side arm and marched the pawn to his steel screened dungeon behind the galley.

‘You’ll sweat off some chubby in here, Brig Rat,’ opined Chief Chaffee.

‘Hold on, there MAA this is a combat tested, fighting man only trying to feed the men who guide his life. Besides, he’s all ribs and dick now as it is. He’s a shell-back and won’t miss kissing your disgusting paunch, Chief, any how! That’s tomorrow we cross the equator – number twenty for me.’

Tim was stripped of his boondockers, shirt and trousers and in skivvies and socks laid down upon his bed of pain – again.