Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sacred Cow Judge Dick Posner Says Pearl Harbor Was a Sneak Attack!

The most sensible legislative response to the financial collapse of September 2008 would have been to do nothing until the causes of the collapse were fully understood. Richard Posner is a U.S. Court of Appeals judge for the Seventh Circuit and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School

Larry David look-alike and Colleague Over-Turning Federal Sacred Cow, Dope Smoking Advocate, Abortion Loving* and Trust Multi-Millionaire Richard Posner** of the Federal 7th District Right Here says that spending more money than we take in is bad - two years after everyone else with a room temperature IQ said the same thing and were called Tea Baggers!

Judge, You go,Boy!

What else you got, Judge?

Posner Pointers:

1. Never spread Mayonnaise that has been left out unrefrigerated in the sun for three days on your lunch time banana . . . it's bad.

2. George Armstrong Custer should not have split his forces nor employed California Joe, prior to his attack on Little Big Horn.

3. I refuse to buy stock in a carburetor company.

4. A used condom is just that . . .walk away.

5. When the gas indicator says empty do not floor it.

6. Never eat anything larger than my head.

7. Do not rent anything with Paulie Shore.

8. It is no coincidence that blond hair evolved in Scandinavia and northern Europe, probably as an alternative means for women to advertise their youth, as their bodies were concealed under heavy clothing. I happen to be bald.

9. I should not have clouted my relative Mike to that job with the Secretary of State! Red China should not have allowed that You Tube video to go viral.

10. Partial Birth Abortion? Never felt a thing! But, it's gotta hurt like hell. . .it ain't me Babe!

Judge Posner, Folks! He'll be here all of his life! Genius.
*. . .if doctors were not threatened with prosecution, what of their patients? Had anyone suffered injury or been denied an otherwise legal abortion? Over the past year, the law on partial-birth abortion in Indiana had not been enjoined, so that state offered a laboratory of sorts. In the course of the year, there had been no shift away from D&E abortions; in fact, the number had increased. As Judge Easterbrook summed it up, quite tellingly, the "plaintiffs do not contend that in any of the states where a partial-birth abortion law is in effect, even one woman has been injured or denied an abortion because of the law."

For Judge Richard Posner, who wrote the dissent, the whole apparatus of argument his colleagues brought forth was specious. It was at least conceivable to him that the D&X procedure could be better for a particular woman, because it might reduce the amount of her bleeding or the dangers of infection from fetal parts left behind. To deny the choice in that case could be, for that woman, an "undue burden."

But Judge Posner's claim did not really rest on empirical tests, for the procedure was too rare to have been the object of a systematic study. For Judge Posner, the case turned on axioms. He began with the right of women to choose abortion, and anything that burdened or qualified that right was presumptively suspect, wrong, unconstitutional. In one of the curious sidelights of the dissenting opinion, Judge Posner expressed a deep concern for abortionists, who "are frequent subjects of picketing and other harassment and occasionally of physical assaults." But he had no such solicitude for the one whose assault is the object of the surgery: "From the standpoint of the fetus . . . it makes no difference whether, when the skull is crushed, the fetus is entirely within the uterus or ifs feet are outside the uterus."

The American Medical Association had testified that the D&X procedure was not strictly necessary for the health of the mother; still, there were opinions on either side. Judge Posner expressed a muted contempt for the experts with whom he disagreed, and he wondered what the courts would have made of a legislative finding of fact, in the South, in the 1950s, that blacks as a group were "slow learners."
**Posner's political and moral views are hard to summarize. His parents were affiliated with the American Communist party, and in his youth and in the 1960s as law clerk to William J. Brennan he was generally counted as a liberal. However, in reaction to some of the perceived excesses of the late 1960s, Posner developed a strongly conservative bent. He encountered Chicago School economists Aaron Director and George Stigler while a professor at Stanford.[3] Posner summarized his views on law and economics in his 1973 book The Economic Analysis of Law.[3]

Today, although generally considered a figure of the right, Posner's pragmatism, his qualified moral relativism and moral skepticism,[8] and his affection for the thought of Friedrich Nietzsche set him apart from most American conservatives. Among his other influences are the American jurists Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. and Learned Hand.

Along with Robert Bork, Posner helped shape the antitrust policy changes of the 1970s through his idea that 1960s antitrust laws were in fact making prices higher for the consumer rather than lower, while he viewed lower prices as the essential end goal of any antitrust policy.[3] Posner and Bork's theories on antitrust evolved into the prevailing view in academia and at the Justice Department of the George H.W. Bush Administration.[3]

He famously opposed the right of privacy in 1981, arguing that the kinds of interests protected under privacy are not distinctive. He contended that privacy is protected in ways that are economically inefficient.

He has written several opinions sympathetic to abortion rights, including a decision holding "partial-birth abortion" constitutionally protected in some circumstances.

Breach of contract
He has written favorably of efficient breach of contracts. Breach often leads to a worse result for society: if a seller breaches a contract to deliver building materials, the buyer's workers might go idle while the buyer looks for a replacement. The lost production is a cost to the company and its workers and, as such, is a social cost. An efficient breach would be a situation in which the benefits are higher than the costs, because the seller is better off for breaching even after paying damages to the buyer (for instance, if some third party had a much greater need for the building materials, and was willing to pay a price high enough to both out-price the original receiver and offset the realized costs of breach of contract).

He has characterized the U.S.'s "War on Drugs" as "quixotic". In a 2003 CNBC interview, he discussed the difficulty of enforcing criminal marijuana laws and asserted that it is hard to justify the criminalization of marijuana compared to other substances.

Animal rights
Posner engaged in a debate on the ethics of using animals in research with the philosopher Peter Singer in 2001 at Slate magazine. He argues that animal rights conflicts with the moral relevance of humanity, and that empathy for pain and suffering of animals does not supersede advancing society.[9] He further argues that he trusts his moral intuition until it is shown to be wrong, and that his moral intuition says "it is wrong to give as much weight to a dog's pain as to an infant's pain." He leaves open the possibility that facts on animal and human cognition can and may change his intuition in the future; he further states that people whose opinions were changed by consideration of the ethics presented in Singer's book Animal Liberation failed to see the "radicalism of the ethical vision that powers [their] view on animals, an ethical vision that finds greater value in a healthy pig than in a profoundly retarded child, that commands inflicting a lesser pain on a human being to avert a greater pain to a dog, and that, provided only that a chimpanzee has 1 percent of the mental ability of a normal human being, would require the sacrifice of the human being to save 101 chimpanzees."[9]

When reviewing Alan Dershowitz's book, "Why Terrorism Works: Understanding the Threat, Responding to the Challenge", Posner wrote in The New Republic, September 2002 that "If torture is the only means of obtaining the information necessary to prevent the detonation of a nuclear bomb in Times Square, torture should be used—and will be used—to obtain the information. ... no one, who doubts that this is the case, should be in a position of responsibility."[10][11]

In a dissent from an earlier ruling by his protege Frank Easterbrook, Posner wrote that Easterbrook's decision that female guards could watch male prisoners while in the shower or bathroom must stem from a belief that prisoners are "members of a different species, indeed as a type of vermin, devoid of human dignity and entitled to no respect.... I do not myself consider the 1.5 million inmates of American prisons and jails in that light."[3]

Posner supported the creation of a law barring hyperlinks or paraphrasing of copyrighted material as a means to prevent what he views as free riding on newspaper journalism.[12][13][14] His co-blogger Gary Becker simultaneously posted a contrasting opinion that while the Internet might hurt newspapers, it will not harm the vitality of the press, but rather embolden it.[15]

Federal Prosecutor Fitzy Tackles Only the Easy Ones

Federal Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald and his posse are going string out a litany of cases against retired and active Chicago Police officers in the wake of the Burge Bonanza! G. Flint Taylor is already thumbing the Benjamin's to come and the news Media is Burge Conviction Friendly . . .Now.

Burge is the only officer to be criminally charged in relation to torture, but federal prosecutors have hinted he won't be the last. Burge was charged with lying in a civil suit in 2003 when he denied ever witnessing or participating in torture. He wasn't charged with the torture itself because the statute of limitations has run out.

Other officers also have denied any role in torture and no other perjury of obstruction of justice charges have been announced, but U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has said the investigation into the decades-long cover-up is ongoing.

Fitzgerald said after Monday's verdict that "a message needs to go out that that conduct is unacceptable" and asked others who feel they have evidence of torture to come forward. He wouldn't comment on specific cases.

Jon Burge was a slam dunk. I kind of hoped that he'd be acquited but twelve citizens accepted the case presented by the Feds on perjury and Judge Lefkow's deft handling of this explosive case.

Judge Lefkow seemed to follow the script that has worked for G. Flint Taylor's cooing to Judges from Milton Shadur to Gettleman to Lefkow. Triple plays all the way.

Judges Egan and Boyle who conducted the exhaustive Cook County Special Prosecutor's report that wedged in the words 'might have' among the catalog of horrors would not parse the law. G. Flint Taylor howled bloody murder and Fitzy's ears pricked up.

Federal Prosecutor Fitzy who screwed the pooch in New York* and may have opened the door for the 9/11 attack came to Illinois armed with a warrant to get George Ryan - that was easy. George Ryan killed six children by driving a truck in Wisconsin and causing a piece of metal shoot into the Willis Van's gas tank . . .or something like that.

Really, Fitzy corraled the hogs at the trough and found that George Ryan had as many GOP enemies as Planned Parenthood has dead babies.

Fitzy and Pam Zekman are nailing cops who call tow trucks!

However, 90% of Cook County Jail's population are guests due to the signal propriety of foreign imports -drugs from Mexico, Africa, Afghanistan and Turkey made available via Gangster Disciple, Latin King, Vice Lord Industries with an assist from Gang Emeriti working for Ceasefire - Seems to me.

You see that's tough. Fitzy ain't going down that street, G!

Jon Burge slam dunk.

Blago, a piece of Stuckey's Log.

He'll remain free on bond until his Nov. 5 sentencing, and attorneys say he'll return to his home in Apollo Beach, Fla. until then. Burge has already posted that home as bond, and his older brother Jeffery on Tuesday put up his Chicago home as well. The Florida home has more than $200,000 in equity, while Jeffery Burge has more than $275,000 in equity in his home, attorneys said.

Prosecutors had tried to amend Burge's bond to include electronic monitoring and home confinement, with Assistant U.S. Attorney David Weisman arguing that Burge's "general respect for the rule of law ... was less respectful than it could have been."

U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow denied the government's request but accepted Jeffery Burge's home as additional bond.

Fitzy will do all the easy ones - twice. It works in a city where people are fed the fact that Andy Shaw is sharper than a spoon by the media -most folks don't buy that though. Most folks know that guns and drugs flow like honey-dew vine water through the streets of Chicago and that thugs may murder and terrorize with impunity, because Fitzy for Feds and the lesser lights concentrate on the easy cases, the popular ones, the ones where coalitions and mobilized activists can get face-time with Carol Marin and WTTW.

Fitzy, how about tackling a tough one? ONE! One that actually saves us a dollar and might keep a kid's blood where it is supposed to be and not flowing on the street.

Ali Mohamed. …. trained most of al Qaeda’s top leadership – including Bin Laden and Zawahiri – and most of al Qaeda’s top trainers. He gave some training to persons who would later carry out the 1993 World Trade Center bombing…. From 1994 until his arrest in 1998, he lived as an American citizen in California, applying for jobs as an FBI translator.11

Patrick Fitzgerald knew Ali Mohamed well. In 1994 he had named him as an unindicted co-conspirator in the New York landmarks case, yet allowed him to remain free. This was because, as Fitzgerald knew, Ali Mohamed was an FBI informant, from at least 1993 and maybe 1989.12 Thus, from 1994 “until his arrest in 1998 [by which time the 9/11 plot was well under way], Mohamed shuttled between California, Afghanistan, Kenya, Somalia and at least a dozen other countries.”13 Shortly after 9/11, Larry C. Johnson, a former State Department and CIA official, faulted the FBI publicly for using Mohamed as an informant, when it should have recognized that the man was a high-ranking terrorist plotting against the United States.14

As I say in our book, in 1993 Ali Mohamed had been detained by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Canada, when he inquired at an airport after an incoming al Qaeda terrorist who turned out to be carrying two forged Saudi passports. Mohamed immediately told the RCMP to make a phone call to the United States, and the call secured his release.15 We’ve since been told that it was Mohamed’s West coast FBI handler, John Zent, “who vouched for Ali and got him released.”16

This release enabled Ali to go on to Kenya, take pictures of the U.S. Embassy, and deliver them to bin Laden for the Embassy bombing plot.

In August 2006 there was a National Geographic Special on Ali Mohamed. We can take this as the new official fallback position on Ali Mohamed, because John Cloonan, the FBI agent who worked with Fitzgerald on Mohamed, helped narrate it. I didn’t see the show, but here’s what TV critics said about its contents:

Ali Mohamed manipulated the FBI, CIA and U.S. Army on behalf of Osama bin Laden. Mohamed trained terrorists how to hijack airliners, bomb buildings and assassinate rivals. [D]uring much of this time Mohamed was …, an operative for the CIA and FBI, and a member of the U.S. Army.17 …Mohamed turned up in FBI surveillance photos as early as 1989, training radical Muslims who would go on to assassinate Jewish militant Meir Kahane and detonate a truck bomb at the World Trade Center. He not only avoided arrest, but managed to become an FBI informant while writing most of the al Qaeda terrorist manual and helping plan attacks on American troops in Somalia and U.S. embassies in Africa.18

That Mohamed trained al Qaeda in hijacking planes and wrote most of the al Qaeda terrorist manual is confirmed in a new book by Lawrence Wright, who has seen US Government records.19 Let me say this again: one of al-Qaeda’s top trainers in terrorism and how to hijack airplanes was an operative for FBI, CIA, and the Army.



What isn't known and will be revealed for the first time in Triple Cross was that Ali Mohamed had been acting as an FBI informant on the West Coast since 1992 - a year before the WTC bombing carried out by the same cell members he'd trained. More amazing, the revelation that in 1993 Ali had confessed to his hapless West Coast "control" agent John Zent that he was working for bin Laden and had helped set up al Qaeda training camps for jihadis in Khartoum. He'd also admitted that he'd provided al Qaeda members with anti-hijacking and intelligence training in Afghanistan.

If anyone in the bin Laden "office of origin" had been inclined to connect the dots, that single statement to a Special Agent in the San Francisco office should have set off alarm bells at 26 Federal Plaza - home of the FBI's NYO. But it didn't. Worse, when Mohamed was captured by alert Royal Canadian Mounted Police operatives in 1993 while attempting to smuggle al Qaeda terrorist into the U.S. from Vancouver, it was Special Agent Zent who vouched for Ali - effectively springing him from the custody of the Mounties.

After that, on the orders of Mohamed Atef, al Qaeda's military commander, Ali went to Nairobi where he took the pictures of the U.S. Embassy that bin Laden personally used to locate the suicide truck bomb that exploded five years later in August 1998. Along with simultaneous truck bombing in Tanzania 224 people died and 4,000 more were injured.


Using evidence from the SDNY court cases, interviews with current and retired Special Agents and documents from the FBI's own files, I prove in Triple Cross that Patrick Fitzgerald and Squad I-49 in the NYO could have prevented those bombings - not just by getting the truth from FBI informant Ali Mohamed, but by connecting him to Wadih El-Hage, one of the Kenya cell leaders. How would the Feds have done that? Easily.

They'd had wiretaps on El-Hage's Kenyan home since 1996. In August 1997, a year before the bombings, Special Agent Dan Coleman (of I-49) had searched El-Hage's house where he'd found Ali Mohamed's U.S. address and phone number. In fact, Fitzgerald himself had a face to face meeting with Mohamed in Sacramento, California in October 1997.

At that meeting Mohamed boldly told Fitzie that he "loved" bin Laden and didn't need a fatwa to attack the U.S. This "stone-cold" killer who had moved bin Laden and his entire al Qaeda entourage from Afghanistan to Khartoum in 1991 and trained the Saudi Billionaire's personal bodyguards in 1994 - then told Fitzgerald and other I-49 FBI agents including Jack Cloonan that he had dozens of al Qaeda sleepers that he could make operational on a moment's notice and that he himself could disappear at any time.

Then, After Mohamed walked out on him, Fitzgerald turned to Cloonan and declared that Ali was "the most dangerous man" he'd ever met and insisted, "We cannot let this man out on the street." But he did and ten months later in August, 1998 the bombs went off in Africa - delivered by another cell that Ali had helped train. It took Fitzgerald another month before he arrested Mohamed on September 10th bringing his 14 year terror spree to an end.

The immediate threat to the American people from Ali may have ended, but not his threat to the FBI and the Justice Department. You see, Ali, aka "Amiriki" or "Ali the American," was a one-man 9/11 Commission capable of ratting out the Feds on how he had eaten their lunch for years - how the two bin Laden "offices of origin" in the NYO and the SDNY where Fitzgerald was head of Organized Crime and terrorism - had been outgunned by bin Laden and al-Zawahiri dating back to that Calverton, L.I. surveillance in 1989. Fearful of what he would say if put on the stand and subjected to cross examination by defense lawyers in the upcoming Embassy bombing, Fitzgerald made sure that Ali was hidden away under a John Doe warrant. Finally, by October, 2000 Fitzie had cut a deal allowing the master spy to cop a plea and escape the death penalty.

In the end, Fitzgerald made his bones as the Justice Department's top al Qaeda buster by convicting El Hage and several other relatively minor bomb cell members. in U.S. vs. bin Laden in 2001. But the real "mastermind" of the Embassy bombings skated. Mohamed was allowed to slip into the security of custodial witness protection where he remains today - the greatest enigma of the war on terror.

Elena Kagan's Softball - Partial Birth Abortions: Not a Smoking Gun, A Bloody Forceps! Thank You Jill Stanek!

Kagan Nomination Still Unborn!

Smiling and witty, Elena Kagan who honed her softball skills in abortion happy Hyde Park awaits more slow pitches from the Senate. Jill Stanek*, a nurse who shields babies from murder and sacrificed her pension and career in so doing has offered the smoking gun on Kagan's abortion of our language in order to allow the murder of the unborn.

Limp wristed Illinois Senator Dirthering Dick Durbin tossed a few grapefruits, as is his wont.

However, am Oak Lawn, Illinois nurse chased out of her career by the harpies of Planned Parenthood and gutless hospital administrators points out what every American needs to know about Elena Kagan - she'd crawl over a mountain of fetuses to be on the Supreme Court.

However, the discovery of Kagan's forceps in the abortion of The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
It has just come to light through the process of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's confirmation hearing that in 1996 ACOG let the Clinton White House, via then-associate counsel Elena Kagan, write its medical opinion of the partial-birth abortion procedure.

Documents released from the Clinton library show ACOG inexplicably (because no one from ACOG will now respond to press inquiries for an explanation) submitted its draft unhelpful opinion of partial-birth abortion for review to the White House in the face of a ban being proposed in Congress and then changed it to suit Clinton's pro-abortion agenda. The statement ACOG originally planned to release read:

However, a select panel convened by ACOG could identify no circumstances under which this procedure, as defined above, would be the only option to gave the life or preserve the health of the woman. Notwithstanding this conclusion, ACOG strongly believes that decisions about medical treatment must be made by the doctor, in consultation with the patient, based upon the woman's particular circumstances.
In other words, ACOG found no exceptional reason for the existence of partial-birth abortion. Legalized abortion could get along just fine without it. Nevertheless, in ACOG's curious opinion, it should remain legal.

A select panel convened by ACOG could identify no circumstances under which this procedure, as defined above, would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman. An intact D&X, however, may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman, and only the doctor, in consultation with the patient, based upon the woman's particular circumstances can make this decision.

Then Elena Kagan, the Christmas Chinese Buffet Sampler, got out her pen and placed it where it can do abortion and Planned Parenhood -the industy's PAC -the most good. Dim Sum? Oh, you mean Dick Durbin . . .no, he's way Dim!

The final version of ACOG's January 1997 statement read (bold highlight theirs – accentuating what Kagan accentuated):

A select panel convened by ACOG could identify no circumstances under which this procedure, as defined above, would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman. An intact D&X, however, may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman, and only the doctor, in consultation with the patient, based upon the woman's particular circumstances can make this decision.
ACOG used Kagan's language verbatim.

As former Justice Department lawyer Shannen Coffin pointed out in a National Review Online column yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court cited ACOG's opinion when striking Nebraska's partial-birth abortion ban in 2000, and U.S. District Court Judge Richard Kopf also cited it when he, as well as two other judges, enjoined the 2003 federal ban.

So it can be said Elena Kagan was largely responsible for keeping partial-birth abortion on the books 10 years beyond what it would have had the courts ruled based on uncorrupted medical opinion.

This is a scandal. For all its pomp, ACOG is unequivocally corrupt.

And Elena Kagan? She has demonstrated she doesn't let reason, facts, medicine or science stand in the way of her pro-abortion ideology.

And this fanatic is on track to be our next U.S. Supreme Court justice, unless bold Republican senators can lead the way in successfully challenging her.

Abortion and Euthanasia are crucial to Progressive moral tone. Without the death of children, the elderly, the incapacitated, the unwanted, smokers,or maybe some day the obese ( Progressives hate lard-asses too), Progressive science just can not seem to march on.

Great work Nurse Stanek!

*Jill Stanek fought to stop "live-birth abortion" after witnessing one as a registered nurse at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill. In 2002, President Bush asked Jill to attend his signing of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. In January 2003, World Magazine named Jill one of the 30 most prominent pro-life leaders of the past 30 years. To learn more, visit Jill's blog, Pro-life Pulse.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

On Gore and Blago, Chicago's Own Beauty and the Beast: Hannity FeaturesJohn Kass and Tamara Holder

Al Gore is dodging questions -

Now, I like John Kass and, were I not a dedicated lesbian, I'd say that he was one fine figure of a gent. Tamara Holder is a tough (she's positively beastly to Poor John in this feature) and whip-smart young liberal lawyer. Chicago was well-represented on Fox last night - watch for John's tune-up of Al "Sex Poodle" Gore!

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Burge Trial: Guilty of Perjury and Obstruction of Justice

Jon Burge was convicted of Perjury and Obstruction of Justice. This pound of flesh will be but an hors d'oeuvre in the banquet prepared and seasoned by G. Flint Taylor.

You can be sure that there is much more to come - millions in fees to G. Flint Taylor and other legal buzzards.

We are elated that finally 25 years after this evidence first came to light, there is some modicum of justice," said Flint Taylor, an attorney for torture victims, outside the courtroom. "But as all of us know, this is only one phase in a long struggle that shall continue."
He said the next phase is finding those who allegedly abused suspects and trying them in a court of law.

Taylor one one. Everyone else?

The jury did its civic duty.

Phil Kadner's Attempted Rolling Stone -ing of Madigan Falls Flatter Than Blythe Danner

In a local yokel spin on the Michael Hasting's punk'd tribute to General Stanley McCrystal, Southtown Star's Phil Kadner offers this chilling insight to the inner workings of the mind of Illinois Speaker Mike Madigan . . .or do he?

Speaker Mike Madigan is to Illinois politics as Jon Burge is to Ceasefire. I like to think of Speaker Madigan as Bricktop from the great British Comedy Snatch.

"Do you know what Nemesis Means? . . .A righteous infliction of retribution, manifested by an appropriate agent. Personified in this case by a 'orrible $%%^: me [Brick Top]."

Mr. Madigan is no where near as chatty as Bricktop, but he is as prophetic and entertaining.

Every goof who wants to run for office in Illinois seems to use Mike Madigan as a straw dog instead of targeting his/her opponent. Boss Madigan! Tyrant Madigan! Izzy Madigan? I don't know; what you say about him? News Flash -Mike Madigan is not running for Deputy Sidewalk Safety Commissioner of Highland Park, Brucey! You are and against the incumbent Cuthbert J. Mortgagethaller.

Illinois is in need of change. The best way to bring change to our state is to remove the longest serving leader Speaker of the House Mike Madigan.

Speaker Madigan has amassed so much power that even the media is afraid of him. He has a large majority in the General Assembly and yet he will not lead, without cover from the Republican members.
from the Daily Hearld.

Phil Kadner offered Speaker Madigan an opportunity to make a clean breast of things - tell his story . . . Fess up!
On May 12, I offered to turn my column space over to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) to explain his views on this state's budget crisis to the people of Illinois. Madigan, the most powerful political figure in Illinois, responded to that offer last week and here, unedited and (as promised) without comment from me, is his statement.

To which Speaker Madigan offered what amounts to a Bad Santa response to a young chap's Christmas Inquiry -thus -

In discussing the causes of our fiscal difficulties in Illinois, it is critical to note that we are not alone - that in fact, a staggering 46 of 50 states have been forced into deficit budgets for the upcoming fiscal year. Is the state government in Illinois to blame for the national economic downturn? Of course not.

The blame flows more logically in the opposite direction. More than anything, Illinois is suffering the effects of a profoundly severe recession whose origins can be traced directly to the policies of the federal government since 1994's "Republican Revolution."

I am not the first to identify a number of national policy failures, prior to President Obama's election, that hamstrung our state and fostered the economic downturn: (1) tax breaks for the rich; (2) uncontrolled spending; (3) stampeding the country into the Iraq War - a war of choice projected to cost $3 trillion; (4) lack of Wall Street oversight; (5) tax and trade policies that rewarded job outsourcing; (6) giving free rein to predatory mortgage lenders and investment banks; and (7) cheap credit made possible by the Federal Reserve's low lending rates. These policies served the short-term interests of the wealthy but, over the long term, have created an epic economic disaster that has sent millions of Americans and nearly all state governments reeling.

These deficits have certainly affected states governed by Republicans, like California, Arizona, Nevada, and Florida, to name only a few. Last year, California's Republican governor approved an income tax increase to raise $5 billion. Virginia's GOP governor this year proposed increasing the state income tax one percent.

The new Republican governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, who rode into office last fall promising fiscal austerity and to get the state budget under control, elected to skip his state's public employee pension payment as a means to balance the books.

Across the country, Republican governors and legislatures have passed sales, business and "sin" tax increases, hiked fees on drivers, and eliminated tax credits and deductions.

Responding to Crisis

What options did Illinois state government have to respond?

Revenue enhancements: One possibility was to raise revenues. Many other states have done so. Over the last two years, 13 states raised the personal income tax; 17 raised sales taxes; 22 raised taxes on tobacco, alcohol or motor fuel; 17 increased business taxes; and 24 increased fees or other taxes.

But in the history of Illinois, every tax increase that ever passed was on a bipartisan basis. And for good reason. Additional revenues for education, the elderly, the poor, the sick, the unemployed, veterans - the people we are trying to help - do not just benefit those in Democratic districts. Universities, women's shelters, prisons and hospitals are not limited to one party's region. Historically, partisanship was checked at the door when the time came to make tough decisions on tax hikes.

But this time? House Republican Leader Tom Cross issued a directive to his members: Not a single Republican could vote for Governor Quinn's proposal in 2009 to raise the state income tax 1.5 percent, from 3 percent to 4.5 percent. I voted for it, as did 41 other House Democrats, but without GOP support the bill failed.

While I did not expect unanimous backing from the Republicans (some Democrats voted against it as well), I was disappointed they staked out a political campaign strategy to leave the clean-up to the Democrats. This, despite the fact that there were at least 12 House Republicans who were believed to support the measure. In this case, GOP political campaign considerations trumped pragmatic policy.

Spending cuts: In the last fiscal year, Democrats reduced spending by $2.5 billion, or approximately 10 percent of the overall discretionary budget. For the next fiscal year, we have cut another 5 percent from agency operations and given the governor extraordinary powers to cut still further. In addition, as we did last year, lawmakers will take 12 unpaid furlough days - essentially a salary cut - and receive reduced reimbursements for mileage and lodging when attending session. Democrats also blocked a previously scheduled 3 percent cost-of-living adjustment for lawmakers and other state officials.

Republicans, who voted against this budget, opposed these provisions. Worse yet, after hearing the GOP again trot out its claim that they could solve our fiscal problems solely through spending cuts, I called their bluff - and they blinked. I introduced legislation that would cut $4.5 billion from the budget, a figure chosen because it encompassed all the money needed to make the state pension payment. Not one Republican voted for cutting, just as they all voted against the means to meet our pension obligations. Then, I invited them to introduce amendments to my bill to cut whatever particular programs they wished - and not a single Republican identified a single cut!

Pension reform: We made significant changes to public employee pension systems that will save our state $300 million in the next year and as much as $100 billion in future costs.

In the face of stiff opposition from public employee unions, and with the support of the state's leading business organizations, the Illinois Manufacturers' Association and the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, we reined in excesses, reduced benefits, improved the system's long-term viability and, most urgently, eased budget pressures going forward.

Pension borrowing: By the narrowest of margins, the House passed legislation that would allow the state to make its statutorily mandated pension payment. Two Republicans crossed over to support this legislation - and paid a significant price for doing so. House GOP Leader Tom Cross, again pursuing a do-nothing strategy, issued a directive that no Republicans could vote for the measure. When two of their members did, Cross stripped each of them of their leadership positions - reminding all of his members that politics and political campaigns come first.

So much for bipartisanship in Cross's world. The Republicans' political strategy is simple: Do nothing to solve the problem; ignore the suffering it causes; hope the problem festers through the general election; and blame the Democrats. The state GOP is a lot like their national brethren.

The Road Ahead

I cannot predict the future. It is my hope that despite the mixed signs the recovery will take, unemployment will decline, and revenues will increase. We can only hope that some economists are wrong when they predict a "jobless recovery."

Regardless, we must continue to forgo new spending. We must be open to new cuts. We must make sure that Governor Quinn has the flexibility he needs to respond to the fiscal situation as it develops. We must support President Obama's call to Congress to provide additional emergency aid to the states.

And perhaps most importantly, we must be willing to put aside partisan games and do whatever is necessary to solve these problems. Rather than sitting on the sidelines and criticizing, Republicans must consider every option, from additional spending cuts to revenue enhancements to borrowing, as we try to repair the extraordinary damage to our nation caused by their party at the federal level.

A briefing paper containing additional background information and links to other resources regarding the national recession and states' fiscal crisis will be available Monday at the Illinois House Democrats' website,

Oh Yeah, Mike Madigan, the only real adult in Springfield, chatty Mike, Mr. Glib, is going to explain anything to . . . to anybody? This is the real world! This is not the Chris Matthews Show.

Phil Kadner is so used to the parade of magpie goofs of the Progressive Democratic Third Coalition Route Army of Recovery blabbing to him about what Ralph Martire's deepest longings, desires and sprightly mewings for everyone's wallets that he thought a real, genuine, no kidding professional would weep out a few breast beaters for papers.

Mike Madigan is genuine professional who must deal with every crack-pot Progressive crowding effective people out of public life.

I wish Mike Madigan would feed a few of these losers to the hogs on a farm in Essex, Il. Now, then ,they'd be useful.

UPDATE - An Illinois Feminist with a very powerful opinion in all matters, pointed out the Caveman Quality and Hirsute Chutzpah of my simile in the title of this post, as well as the fact I am "just plainwrong and not man enough to admit it!"

Quiet Right - I am a cloven hoofed knave and dead wrong . . .Blythe Danner has a great set of knockers!

Leo Alumnus Dr. Steve Reid Paid Tribute by Sun Times' Rick Tealander

One of the joys of my job as Director of Development for Leo High School is the parade of courageous and committed men who are the Leo Alumni. This parade marches through Chicago every day without the need fanfare or promotion as it is a quiet parade of service to Church, Community and Country.

Last fall, I posted a notice upon the passing of Dr. Steve Reid, M.D., who was an athlete and scholar at Leo High School and Northwestern University.

Dr. Reid was a pioneer in sports medicine.

Today, Chicago Sun Times sport columnist Rick Tealander offers a substantial study of Dr. Reid's work in sports medicine, through an interview with his son, also Dr. Reid.

''I helped Dad after school [Reid went to Evanston High School] and while I was in residency,'' he says. ''But my dad was the power pack in the thing. We both wrote, but he was the main force. He put an enormous amount of time into the study. And he didn't get paid at all. I'm not sure he ever got the credit he deserved.''

I can guarantee you he didn't. Reid Sr. died last fall at 94, and though his 20-year brain-trauma study eventually was nominated for a Nobel Prize in medicine, the former Northwestern All-America guard in the 1930s and Leo High School grad from the South Side was quiet, modest and in it for the love of the game and the improvements he might be able to bring. He had, after all, been a two-way player -- an offensive and defensive guard -- on the Wildcats' Rose Bowl-champion team in 1949. As a sophomore, he had broken his nose so badly that he became the first player in the Big Ten to wear a facemask.

''Ol' Doc Reid,'' as we called him, was the doctor for Northwestern's football team from 1951 to 1984, and I remember him as a kindly, curious, unassuming man who always had a pipe clenched between his teeth.

To measure and record the brain waves of a human being during a violent game isn't an easy thing to do, especially when it never has been done before. Reid Sr. asked for and received help from NASA in developing a contraption that involved a ground wire and four electrodes that recorded gravitational forces in three directions and that had to be glued to the player's head and hooked to a bulbous protrusion at the back of his helmet. It then sent out signals to the EEG receiver in the press box

Dr. Steve Reid '33, Dr. J.B. Hartney '38 who pioneered burn-treatments and blood analysis after the tragic Our Lady of Angels fire, and Dr. Joe Cari '31 who treated the Chicago Bears under Pap Bear Halas, Dr. Thom Driscoll '44, a pediatrician who brought thousands of south siders into this world and founded Palos Hospital,Dr. Robert Vanecko '53 one of Chicago's greatest thoracic surgeons, or the great head of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at Loyola Med Center and Hines VA Hospital James Stankiewicz , MD '66 are just a very few of Leo Lions who shaped medicine.

Click my post title and read Rick Tealander' wonderful story of two remarkable medics - the Doctor Reids.

H/T to Dan Kelley - Wildcat Extraordinaire!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

How a Wisconsin Girl Dreams

The Cow

The cow is of the bovine ilk;
One end is moo, the other, milk.

Ogden Nash

No, You Be A Lone Eagle

I find it very hard to be fair-minded
About people who go around being air-minded.
I just can't see any fun
In soaring up up up into the sun
When the chances are still a fresh cool orchid to a paper geranium
That you'll unsoar down down down onto your (to you) invaluable
I know the constant refrain
About how safer up in God's trafficless heaven than in an automobile
or a train
But ...
My God, have you ever taken a good look at a strut?
Then that one about how you're in Boston before you can say antidis-
So that preferring to take five hours by rail is a pernicious example of
At least when I get on the Boston train I have a good chance of landing
in the South Station
And not in that part of the daily press which is reserved for victims of
Then, despite the assurance that aeroplanes are terribly comfortable I
notice that when you are railroading or automobiling
You don't have to take a paper bag along just in case of a funny feeling.
It seems to me that no kind of depravity
Brings such speedy retribution as ignoring the law of gravity.
Therefore nobody could possibly indict me for perjury
When I swear that I wish the Wright brothers had gone in for silver
fox farming or tree surgery.

Ogden Nash


The Difference Between a Soldier and Journalist? A Journalist Explains

We are not merely a different species to career soldiers, but also an inferior one. They have taken the oath to flag and country and have sworn to serve, under lawful arms, the cause of democracy. Journalists, on the other hand, have often sworn, usually, under the influence, because they're unable to find a taxi. Simply, journalists know they are a lesser breed, which is why the military so often inspires a Judas-like bipolar syndrome in them, one of both fawning and betrayal.
Kevin Myers Irish Independent Columnist
That is about right, sir!

For context -

General McChrystal was, and remains, a fine soldier and a true patriot. And yet today, his career lies in ruins. Why? Simple. He trusted a reporter.

Now -- apparently unlike some commentators on this matter -- I have read, very closely indeed, the 'Rolling Stone' article by Michael Hastings that brought about General McChrystal's downfall. It is a silly stew of out-of-context remarks and anonymous quotes. It is also glibly wrong, as in an early aside about the US not having any allies in Afghanistan, which is now the "exclusive property of the US".

No allies, eh? Exclusively US, you say? Interesting. What about the 303 British soldiers, three of them Irish, killed in action to date?

What about Private Sophia Bruun (22), the first Danish woman and the 33rd Danish soldier to be killed in the Afghan war? For Denmark's casualty rate is proportionally twice that of the US.

Hastings' story also included a lurid account of a drunken night with the general and his staff at Kitty O'Shea's in Paris. Such capers would be incomprehensible for Barack Obama, whose African blood cannot conceal the fact that, spiritually and culturally, he is just off the Mayflower. Moreover, no gentleman should ever squeal on what happens during down-time, though that is precisely what Hastings did. But what he didn't say was that whatever hour General McChrystal's men caroused to, they were certainly at their desks by 6am, whereas their journalist buddy probably still had another four hours' sleep ahead of him.

Hastings' story also referred to the general's first one-on-one meeting with Obama. It ran: "It was a 10-minute photo-op," said an adviser to McChrystal. "Obama clearly didn't know anything about him, who he was. Here's the guy who's going to run this fucking war but he didn't seem very engaged. The Boss was pretty disappointed."

We've all seen President Pilgrim-Father speak. He does lucid, gravitas-filled rhetoric as easy as McDonald's does milkshakes. Alas, the latter also compare with the toughness of the presidential skin.

So those worthless, anonymous words, which were certainly not spoken by the general -- "but he didn't seem very engaged" -- probably fired a Semtex-tipped harpoon between the sixth and seventh ribs of the largely blameless McChrystal's career.

The insanity of bringing a great patriot down because of one really poor, badly researched article has since been compounded by the triumphalist lynch-mob caterwauling of the US East Coast "intelligentsia" (from which filth, angels and ministers of grace defend us).

Thus Maureen Dowd of the 'New York Times', who sneered with toxic inaccuracy: "Military guys are rarely as smart as they think they are and have never gotten over the fact that civilians run the military. Gen Stanley McChrystal and his hard-bitten, smart-aleck aides nuked the president, the vice-president and other top advisers as wimps, losers and clowns in a 'Rolling Stone' profile meant to polish the general's image."

THERE you have it, the essence of the bitter culture war within the US: the supercilious denigration of a patriot-soldier by a well-paid hack, hammering out tabloid prose that I never thought to see in the 'New York Times'. And Dowd is probably oblivious to the fact that those witless, scattershot musings effectively put her on the same side as schoolgirl-killers of the Taliban.

MSNBC Chris Matthews - Tea Party Violence at G-20 Summit - These Old White Women Hate Obama!

Boy was Chris "Milky" Matthews on this one, or what?

Police said they have arrested more than 500 demonstrators, many of whom were hauled away in plastic handcuffs and taken to a temporary holding center constructed for the summit.
Thousands of police in riot gear formed cordons to prevent radical anti-globalization demonstrations from breaching the steel and concrete security fence surrounding the Group of 20 summit site.
Toronto Police Sgt. Tim Burrows said police made at least 50 arrests in a Sunday morning raid on a building on the campus of the University of Toronto, where they seized a cache of "street-type weaponry" such as bricks, sticks and rocks.
"We think we put a dent in their numbers with this and with the arrests that happened overnight," Burrows said.
The disorder and vandalism occurred just blocks from where U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders were meeting and staying.
"What we saw yesterday is a bunch of thugs that pretend to have a difference of opinion with policies and instead choose violence to express those so-called differences of opinion," Prime Minister Stephen Harper's chief spokesman Dimitri Soudas said Sunday.
The streets of downtown Toronto were quiet at daylight, but protesters gathered Sunday morning at a park near the detention center — about 2.5 miles (four kilometers) east of where the leaders are meeting.
Police went into the crowd and made some arrests, adopting a more aggressive strategy than the previous day when they stood back as protesters torched four police cars and broke store windows.

These Tea Party folks are just a shudder, ain't they Milky?

The Burge Trial - The Jury Will Not End Burge Industries: Lawyers, Louts and Loudmouths

Very good people are appalled by the idea of torture. The idea of torture in Chicago by homicide detectives committed to systemtic racism has been carefully crafted and marketed over the last thirty years.

Academics, Activists and Advocacy Agendanistas have parlayed the idea of torture into a mythology that permeates what passes for Chicago's corporate news media.

Carol Marin and other iconic columnists have not tucked their snouts into the story of Area 2, but have relied completely on the work of John Conroy and the propaganda machine of G. Flint Taylor. Code of Silence, Black Box, House of Screams, Vietnam 101 Torture are part of the Burge Industries glossary developed by Sasha Abramsky, Bernardine Dohrn, G. Flint Taylor, Northwestern Law, and especially John Conroy, who can not seem to be given the contract by the corporate media that laps up his every nuanced participle. Why is he not the editor of some great metropolitan newspaper? They all redact his texts and themes.

Twelve citizens will decide for or against Jon Burge, who has been fabricated into the face of torture, by G. Flint Taylor, The MacArthur Center for Justice, Jon Loevy, Locke Bowman, Jean McLean Snyder, Berardine Dohrn, WTTW, WBEZ, NPR, and the lazy and compliant editorial boards.

I have followed this story as a citizen and as an educator who spends seven days a week in Area 2 - I live here and live with the fall-out that has evolved as the result of the erosion in faith for Law Enforcement at the hands of lawyers, louts and loudmouths. A rainforest of crime has rooted up in Chicago- not in Wicker Park, Bucktown, Lakeview, Highland Park, Winnteka, or Wilmette, but in Gresham, Englewood, Brainerd, Morgan Park, Beverly and Roseland.

I have witnessed the savagery of street thuggery and attended the funerals of too many sweet and hard working young black men slaughtered in the Thug Comfort Zone created by Burge Industries - Eric Ersery, Jason Riley, Steven Lyons,Eric and Steve Lee to name but a few. I have witnessed the police officers and detectives of Gresham District (6th) and Area 2.

I don't buy the systemic racist torture at all. Am I intellectually dishonest? I don't think so. I have followed this story very religiously since Officers Fahey and O'Brien were tortured and murdered. I know that I have found the endless chorus of charges and the endless failures to make the case for torture a compelling case for doubt. What happened? I do not know, but I do not buy for one second the charges howled by G. Flint Taylor and the murdering savages that he represents. I suspect that G. Flint Taylor and others in his cottage industry including Chicago's news media want the Burge Saga to continue.

The perjury case against Jon Burge,it seems to me, was merely another legal sop paid to G.Flint Taylor. The City of Chicago and Cook County tried tossing millions of dollars at this public pest. They would have done well to stand in court and demanded a battle royal against the charges. They did not.

The jury will decide one way or the other, but do not think for a minute that Burge Industries will be satisfied. If Jon Burge is convicted or acquitted, G. Flint Taylor and his disciples will howl for more, more, more court time and greater fees. Taylor is smelling an acquittal of Jon Burge and has already ginned up his next moves:

Whatever the outcome of the Jon Burge perjury and obstruction of justice trial, the legal battles that have swirled around him for more than 20 years, and that have cost the city millions of dollars, will drag on.

Not only legal battles, but political battles,” said Flint Taylor, who represents several men who accused Mr. Burge and others of torturing them while at Area 2 violent-crimes unit of the police department on the Far South Side in the 1970s and ’80s. “This is just one phase in the long struggle against police torture.”

Even Huffington Post has gone dark on the Burge Trial.

The only real, genuine and consistant voice calling out the media for this sense of fait accompli in the Burge Trial has been Steve Rhodes of Beachwood Reporter and we agree not a bit in this matter. Rhodes even seemed to shame the Chicago Reader, once the home of John Conroy into some sense of coverage. Rhodes is honest and sincere in his antipathy to Jon Burge, unlike the moral whack-a-mole opportunists Carol Marin, or Eric Zorn.

John Conroy will be kept busy and his story line will continue as Carol Marin and others play the Polyanna do-gooders.

More kids will be slaughtered. If it bleeds it leads.

The scent of easy money, like the taste for blood can not be sated.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Night Noise -Linda Ronstadt Never Better! -Summit 1978

Friday Night Noise -Black Sinatra Marvin Gaye: Do Play Smooth!

Friday Night Noise - Sir Douglas Quintet - Play quite loud.

"Well, she strolled on up to me and said,
Hey, big boy, whats your name?"

Madame, You have the full advantage of me!

John B. Murphy Auditorium - 50 East Erie on The Gold Coast: This is worth a peek inside!

Last night I had the pleasure to a attend a reception for gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady at the Murphy Auditorium at 50 East Erie Street in the Gold Coast.

The reception was attended by about 150 people ( by my Dir. of Development quick count of the room methodology and years of counting head in the classroom). It was a nice affair, though I am a Democrat and still like Pat Quinn, even though he appears to believe in the Easter Bunny in matters of policy and administration and that hanging on to every word of Progressive loudmouths even though that has landed Illinois in its current fiscal jackpot.

Bill Brady was personable and sharp. He's supposed to be,

Now, the venue is wonderful! In fact I was delighted to see my cousin Cathy Carey running the place.

I remember drinking a quart of Drewery's on the steps of the Murphy Auditorium in 1973 with Mike Miller and Mike Stankewicz, between classes at Loyola LT. The place was gray and needed a good steam-cleaning - the whole section of the south Gold Coast was pretty bummy back then. We added to its charms -no doubt.

Today, adjacent to the Richard Driehaus Muesem and across from the Driehaus Building were the philanthropist parks his candy aplle red Phaeton on the sidewalk behind wrought iron gates, The Murphy Auditorium is magnificent.

The building was constructed by friends of John Benjamin Murphy, M.D. -Order of St. Gregory.

Murphy was born in a log cabin to Irish immigrant parents near Appleton, Wisconsin and died among the swells on Mackinac Island, Michigan, while staying at the Grand Hotel.

In between, Dr. John B. Murphy distinguished himself as an American surgeon and expert in gastrointestinal surgical techniques and the diagnoses of appendicitis symptoms. Murphy attended to the victims of the Haymarket Riots. When not in surgury, John B. Murphy conducted clinics for fellow cutters and saw bones from Mercy, Rush, and Cook County Hospitals. When Teddy Roosevelt was shot Dr. Murphy attended to the Bull Moose at Mercy hospital.

After Dr. Murphy's death, his many friends built an Auditorium to be used as clinical operating theater for surgeons. The Auditorium is built like a Cathedral and was modelled upon the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris.

The John B. Murphy Auditorium is worth a peek inside.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Daniel B. McGrath - Leo High School President

Daniel B. McGrath ( Leo '68) signed the contract and will assume the duties of President for Institutional Advancement.

Leo High School is blessed to have Dan McGrath lead fund-raising and capacity building for Leo High School. One of the best prose craftsmen in America, Mr. McGrath was Chicago Tribune Sports Editor and contributor for thirteen years. Recently, his fine work graced the pages of the New York Times- Chicago News Cooperative:

Before joining the Tribune, McGrath worked for newspapers in Freeport, Ill.; Reno, Nev.; Sacramento, Calif.; San Francisco; Philadelphia; and New York. While he has worked most of his career in sports, he also has been a media critic, national correspondent, metro columnist and book reviewer.

Sports sections McGrath edited have won more than a dozen top-10 awards from the Associated Press Sports Editors Association. He was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for spot news coverage in 1992 and for commentary in 1993. A Chicago native, he is the co-author or editor of five books on the city’s sports teams, including the best-selling Out of the Blue on the 2003 Chicago Cubs.

More importantly,Mr. McGrath is the husband of Jo-Anna and the father of Megan and Matthew McGrath, as well as the author of "Believe It: The Story of the 2005 World Championship White Sox."

Some years ago, Dan wrote a beautiful piece ( click my post title for this touching story) about a beautiful young man - actually two wonderful young men - Eric Ersery and Cecil McCulre. In 1999, Eric Ersery was weeks away from graduation when he was murdered by gang-bangers as he tried to protect a young girl, Shamika Ingram, like Eric 17 years old. Cecil McClure was Dan's pal while both studied at Leo High School. Cecil was murdered by gang-bangers in 1967.

In tribute to both men, good men martyred to gang violence, Dan McGrath developed the Cecil McCulre Scholarship and put together the late Bill Gleason, Mike Mulligan, Terry Armour, Bill Jaus, Lester Munson, Phil Rogers, and Fred Mitchell for a "Sports Writers Q & A" at Corrigan's Pub and the old Beverly Arts Center.

Dan McGrath brings people together to help people who can use leg up. Leo High School is blessed to have Daniel B. McGraths heart and hands getting the young men of Leo High School one great education.

The signing of Dan McGrath marks a new beginning for a proud old Catholic high school.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Is General McCrystal an Egoist Like MacArthur or a Warrior like Chesty Puller? Obama's Moment.

"They are a damn site better than the U.S. Army, at least we know that they
will be there in the morning."
Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller,
when a journalist asked him about being surrounded by twenty-two Red Chinese divisions.

General Stanley McCrystal will find out this morning whether or not he is the historical parallel to General Douglas MacArthur, or Chesty Puller.

MacArthur defied policy and was insubordinate.

Chesty Puller spoke like a warrior.

Stanley McCrystal is a warrior in an MTV world - he seems to have gotten punk'd.
The Over and under this morning's meeting with The Commander-in-Chief and General Stanley McCrystal must be something.

It was a 10-minute photo op," says an adviser to McChrystal. "Obama clearly didn't know anything about him, who he was. Here's the guy who's going to run his #$%^ing war, but he didn't seem very engaged. The Boss was pretty disappointed."
Rolling Stone.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Grannie, Gramma, Babcia/Busha, Nana, Abuela, & etc.

It is as grandmothers that our mothers come into the fullness of their grace.
-- Christopher Morley

Song by Seamus Heaney
A rowan like a lipsticked girl.
Between the by-road and the main road
Alder trees at a wet and dripping distance
Stand off among the rushes.

There are the mud-flowers of dialect
And the immortelles of perfect pitch
And that moment when the bird sings very close
To the music of what happens.


President Obama Must Fire General Stanley McCyrstal

President Barack H. Obama is the Commander-in-Chief and his Afghan Theatre Commander is General Stanleyt McCrystal.

General Stanley McCrystal swore a soldier's oath when he entered West Point.

General McCrystal has served his Country, the Constitution and his Commander-in-Chief with Honor, until he decided to allow an interview with a free-lace writer for Rolling Stone , no less a silly rag, and let off some steam.

Kids in my neighborhood serve under General Stanley McCrystal and President Obama.

These words broke faith with them:

"Even though he had voted for (President Barack) Obama, McChrystal and his new commander-in-chief failed from the outset to connect. The general first encountered Obama a week after he took office, when the president met with a dozen senior military officials in a room at the Pentagon known as the Tank. According to sources familiar with the meeting, McChrystal thought Obama looked "uncomfortable and intimidated" by the roomful of military brass. Their first one-on-one meeting took place in the Oval Office four months later, after McChrystal got the Afghanistan job, and it didn't go much better. 'It was a 10-minute photo-op,' says an adviser to McChrystal. 'Obama clearly didn't know anything about him, who he was. Here's the guy who's going to run his f-ing war, but he didn't seem very engaged. The Boss was pretty disappointed.'"

– "Last fall, during a question-and-answer session following a speech he gave in London, McChrystal dismissed the counterterrorism strategy being advocated by Vice President Joe Biden as 'shortsighted,' saying it would lead to a state of 'Chaos-istan,' The remarks earned him a smackdown from the president himself, who summoned the general to a terse private meeting aboard Air Force Once. The message to McChrystal seemed clear: Shut the f- up, and keep a lower profile. Now, flipping through printout cards of his speech in Paris, McChrystal wonders aloud what Biden question he might get today, and how he should respond. 'I never know what's going to pop out until I'm up there, that's the problem,' he says.

Then, unable to help themselves, he and his staff imagine the general dismissing the vice president with a good one-liner. 'Are you asking about Vice President Biden?' McChrystal says with a laugh. 'Who's that?' 'Biden?' suggests a top adviser. 'Did you say "Bite Me?"'

– "In private, Team McChrystal likes to talk s- about many of Obama's top people on the diplomatic side. One aide calls Jim Jones, a retired four-star general and veteran of the Cold War, a 'clown' who remains 'stuck in 1985.' Politicians like (John) McCain and (John) Kerry, says another aide, 'turn up, have a meeting with (Afghan president Hamid) Karzai, criticize him at the airport press conference, then get back for the Sunday talk shows. Frankly, it's not very helpful.' Only (Secretary of State) Hillary Clinton receives good reviews from McChrystal's inner circle. 'Hillary had Stan's back during the strategic review,' says an adviser. 'She said, "If Stan wants it, give him what he needs.'"

– "McChrystal reserves special skepticism for (Richard) Holbrooke, the official in charge of reintegrating the Taliban. 'The Boss says he's like a wounded animal,' says a member of the general's team. 'Holbrooke keeps hearing rumors that he's going to get fired, so that makes him dangerous. He's a brilliant guy, but he just comes in, pulls on a lever, whatever he can grasp onto. But this is COIN (counterinsurgency), and you can't just have someone yanking on s-.'"

– "By far the most crucial - and strained - relationship is between McChrystal and (Karl) Eikenberry, the U.S. ambassador. According to those close to the two men, Eikenberry - a retired three-star general who served in Afghanistan in 2002 and 2005 - can't stand that his former subordinate is now calling the shots. He's also furious that McChrystal, backed by NATO's allies, refused to put Eikenberry in the pivotal role of viceroy in Afghanistan, which would have made him the diplomatic equivalent of the general.

"... The relationship was further strained in January, when a classified cable that Eikenberry wrote was leaked to The New York Times. The cable was as scathing as it was prescient. The ambassador offered a brutal critique of McChrystal's strategy, dismissed President Hamid Karzai as 'not an adequate strategic partner,' and cast doubt on whether the counterinsurgency plan would be 'sufficient' to deal with al Qaeda. ... McChrystal and his team were blindsided by the cable. 'I like Karl, I've known him for years, but they'd never said anything like that to us before,' says McChrystal, who adds that he felt 'betrayed' by the leak. 'Here's one that covers his flank for the history books. Now if we fail, they can say, 'I told you so.'"

General Stanley McCrystal should resign and that failing President Obama must fire him.

St. Thomas More -Patron Saint of Lawyers: Tommy Do 'Something' With Them, Please?

Lawyers are like people - sort of. There are very good lawyers, very bad lawyers and lawyers who sleep walk.

I have been especially hard on some lawyers like Jon Loevy and G. Flint Taylor, because I believe that their talents, actions and desires have helped create a City where 62 people can be shot between Friday and Tuesday. These two gents in particular have so undermined public faith in Justice that a Thug Comfort Zone has been created.

Some lawyers work for that magic 30% + the billable hours. To me they are like the school teachers. Catholic schools and private schools have the distinction of launching bad, lazy and ineffective teachers. Public schools do not have that legal right, due to the power public salaried unions and gutless politicians.

Remember, not all politicians are lawyers.

I know great Lawyers who work like priests and monks - they want the best for people and not just their paying clients - Joe Powers, Christine Flowers, Tamara Holder, Lisa Madigan, Margaret McGann, Judge and former Alderman Tom Murphy, former States Attorney Tisa Morris* -a heroic black woman, Mike Buck, Mike Joyce,Dan Barry, Larry Rogers - Dad and Lad, Dan Kelley, Burt Odleson, Mike Cleary, Judge John Michela of Kankakee, Illinois Chief Justice Tom Fitzgerald, Jack Donahue, Judge Louis Fontenot, Judge Bill Phelan, Ed Vogt, Mike Brennan, Stephan Karparski, Mike Monico and the late E. Michael Kelly.

I pray that St. Thomas More -Tommy More to south siders - lays hands -gently on the great ones and sternly on the mediocre and the vicious.

St. Thomas More Feastday: June 22
Patron of Lawyers

St. Thomas More, Martyr (Patron of Lawyers) St. Thomas More was born at London in 1478. After a thorough grounding in religion and the classics, he entered Oxford to study law. Upon leaving the university he embarked on a legal career which took him to Parliament. In 1505, he married his beloved Jane Colt who bore him four children, andwhen she died at a young age, he married a widow, Alice Middleton, to be a mother for his young children. A wit and a reformer, this learned man numbered Bishops and scholars among his friends, and by 1516 wrote his world-famous book "Utopia". He attracted the attention of Henry VIII who appointed him to a succession of high posts and missions, and finally made him Lord Chancellor in 1529. However, he resigned in 1532, at the height of his career and reputation, when Henry persisted in holding his own opinions regarding marriage and the supremacy of the Pope. The rest of his life was spent in writing mostly in defense of the Church. In 1534, with his close friend, St. John Fisher, he refused to render allegiance to the King as the Head of the Church of England and was confined to the Tower. Fifteen months later, and nine days after St. John Fisher's execution, he was tried and convicted of treason. He told the court that he could not go against his conscience and wished his judges that "we may yet hereafter in heaven merrily all meet together to everlasting salvation." And on the scaffold, he told the crowd of spectators that he was dying as "the King's good servant-but God's first." He was beheaded on July 6, 1535. His feast day is June 22nd.

St. Thomas More
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Feastday: June 22
Patron of Lawyers

St. Thomas More, Martyr (Patron of Lawyers) St. Thomas More was born at London in 1478. After a thorough grounding in religion and the classics, he entered Oxford to study law. Upon leaving the university he embarked on a legal career which took him to Parliament. In 1505, he married his beloved Jane Colt who bore him four children, andwhen she died at a young age, he married a widow, Alice Middleton, to be a mother for his young children. A wit and a reformer, this learned man numbered Bishops and scholars among his friends, and by 1516 wrote his world-famous book "Utopia". He attracted the attention of Henry VIII who appointed him to a succession of high posts and missions, and finally made him Lord Chancellor in 1529. However, he resigned in 1532, at the height of his career and reputation, when Henry persisted in holding his own opinions regarding marriage and the supremacy of the Pope. The rest of his life was spent in writing mostly in defense of the Church. In 1534, with his close friend, St. John Fisher, he refused to render allegiance to the King as the Head of the Church of England and was confined to the Tower. Fifteen months later, and nine days after St. John Fisher's execution, he was tried and convicted of treason. He told the court that he could not go against his conscience and wished his judges that "we may yet hereafter in heaven merrily all meet together to everlasting salvation." And on the scaffold, he told the crowd of spectators that he was dying as "the King's good servant-but God's first." He was beheaded on July 6, 1535. His feast day is June 22nd.

*Morris, Tisa – Chief of the Juvenile Justice Bureau with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. Morris became an Assistant State's Attorney in 1991. She left in 2004 to take a position with the Chicago Police Department's Office of Professional Standards and returned in 2008. She currently supervises the Juvenile Justice Bureau.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Grazyna Auguscik & Paulinho Garcia at Katerina's June 24th

A Polish Diva and a Brazilian guitarist will grace Katerina's on Thursday June 24th.


razyna comes from Poland and sings in Portuguese, English and scats with Chicago Brasileiro Paulinho Garcia. This is a beautiful recording of vocal duets and acoustic guitar with some light percussion overdubs from Paulinho (he was once a percussionist in Brazil). The program consists of well-known Brazilian standards like Voce, A Ra, Bridges, Agua de Beber and So Dance Samba among others. My personal favorite is their treatment of Sting's haunting Fragile, a tune that is destined to become a standard.

1920 West Irving Park Road
Chicago, IL 60613-2408
(773) 348-7592

Burge Trial - Peoples Law Office Reenactment of Burge Torture

"He said he wasn't abused. He said he never got electro-shocked," Shaw said, dressed in a bright orange prison jumpsuit, his arm and leg irons clanking occasionally as he shifted in his chair. "He said it was all a lie. He said there were all kinds of attorneys on it, and there were others that were dying to get on the case. He talked about movie deals, book deals. At the time, I thought it was far-fetched."

Lawyers seeking to benefit financially from a slam dunk accusation of systemic racist police torture? Far-fetched? Not really.

As compelling as most of John Conroy's narratives ( chock filled with Burge rumors and hearsay, as well as the mystery Black Box)and every mobilized coalition's thoughtful consideration of the chain of events of these last thirty years in the Burge Saga it might be, I say it might be, useful to take a serious look how seriously G.Flint Taylor's Peoples Law Office takes Jon Burge and Justice.

Far-fetched? Not really.

I Gotta Piece of Mike Houlihan - I Won't Say Which, But I am Now a Film Producer

" . . .So . . .Hickey took all of his Mercury Head Dimes up to Beverly Bank and asked the girl for a Certified Check Made out to Our Irish Cousins and his Cousin Willie cashed it! Hickey took the short bus to school."

I just bought a piece of Mike Houlihan's New Documentary Film - Our Irish Cousins (click Post Title). Actually, I made a tax-deductible donation.

As a civic minded patron of the arts in Chicago, I believe that my financial largesse is needed to make sure that fine films find their way to a public athirst for features that build community.

I call upon every Big Shoulders Gaius Maecenas to drop a few Jacksons and help Mike Houlihan get this work out of the can and threading the projectors in fine theatres near you!

Your White House Circle of Jerks! An Un Precedented Amateur Hour

Photo via No Quarter!

White House: To Do to Whom List

1. Have the Governor of Arizona in for an Oval Office chat and assure her of help at the Border - then sic the Justice Deartment on her!

2. Blame Bush - the eggs were runny.

3. Get Chris Matthews to do another of his side-splitting documetaries - If you Thought The Kennedy's was riot . . .Wait until the Grannies at Tea Parties Got Guns! Milky Rocks!

4. Get Desiree Rogers a Job at Johnson Products in Chicago . . .

5. Get more fiber in Ed Schultz' diet. . .no strike that!

6. Have Rachel Maddow address the Dyke Bikers MCC of Sturgis, Michigan from the Oval Office - they voted Democrat

7. Wake the President at 3AM. . . quietly!

8. Send Hillary to Ecuador . . . why not.

9. Pony up bail for Lady Gaga. Call Sir Paul.

10. Get Sox tickets for the All Star Game . . .no the Bulls . . . name a White Sox player. Look the Bulls won the Stanley Cup for sailing the Mackinaw! Get Axe on it.

11. Super Soakers!

12. There is some Dot-head named Bobby on hold from Louisiana. . . $%^& Him!

Progressive - American English for Going Backward at Full Speed!

Our Progressive Yin and Yang!

President Obama is our Jobs President - American Unemployment is at 9.7%. Unemployment happens because of deficit spending. President Obama is pouring more Federal dollars into extending the Unemployment Credits to stimulate growth for more unemployed and that is his plan to reduce unemployment to 8.7% by the end of this year. More Unemployment benefits means more employment?

I plan to take off ten pounds and save $10,000 by July 1st, by eating in Heart of Italy *( 24th & Oakley) at Miceli's, Bruna's Bachanalia, & etc. every meal - six times a day. I am doubling my meals, because this is an Unprecedented Application of Progressive Thought.

I caught Henry Waxman's soul mate on the Sunday Chat Fests -there must be an embargo on lens crack Henry's mug. Man, the guy is the ugliest!

Congressman Ed Markey has that Johnny Edwards thang going on. Together the yin and yang of male eye candy ( Markey/ Waxman) have concocted the Most Idiotic Piece of Legislation since Prohibition. The Cap 'N Trade Cereal!

It is so idiotic that Para-Sailing Fop John Kerry can't talk about anything else! Carbon Credit! Oh, Baby!

Here is Dandified Ed Markey at his most revealingly Progressive Knitting of Wit in an exchange with a former Shell Oil Executive about the Gulf Oil Disaster - Obama's Pearl Harbor. They are talking about the 1920 Jones Act that embargoes foreign, no-union ships and vessels in American waters.

MR. HOFMEISTER: It would have to have a waiver. There was a waiver after Katrina to help do whatever needed to be done. There should be a waiver now. This is a unique, unprecedented situation. The U.S. hasn’t made supertankers in–ever. Supertankers have always been made in foreign shipbuilding yards. And we need to bring that kind of scale to bear, in my opinion.

MR. GREGORY: Congressman, you’re shaking your head. You don’t…

REP. MARKEY: The, the Jones Act, the Jones Act does not apply to situations like this, emergency situations, relief situations.

MR. GREGORY: You should be able to get those ships in there right away.

REP. MARKEY: Yeah, and they can. There has been no request from another country that has been denied by the Obama administration at all.


The Houston Chronicle reported a week and a half ago that the Dutch govt. offered help and was turned down. But the paper now reports that the U.S. is using foreign ships to help battle the spill:

U.S. ships are being outfitted this week with four pairs of the skimming booms airlifted from the Netherlands and should be deployed within days. Each pair can process 5 million gallons of water a day, removing 20,000 tons of oil and sludge.

For breakfast I plan to have the garlic and butter stuffed Artichoke, Porterhouse Vesuvio, a nice Chianti, a basket of bread, and Tiramisu.

Six pack abs by, July 1, 2010! I'm a Progressive!!!!!

*The Heart of Italy
24th and Oakley dishes it up, Italian-style.
Wednesday Mar 02, 2005. By Dennis Foley Food Feed

In the second half of the 19th century, Chicago became a huge stopping point for many Italian immigrants. Sicilians flocked to the Taylor Street area (now affectionately known as "Little Italy"); when the Tuscans left Northern Italy, they settled in what became known as the "Heart of Italy" neighborhood, centered near 24th and Oakley on the city's near South Side. Today, the stretch of Oakley that runs through the Heart of Italy has been renamed "Vito Marzullo Boulevard" in honor of the late, legendary alderman who did so much for the people of this neighborhood.

A walk along Oakley in the Heart of Italy always gives one the feel of times past. The buildings that house the shops and restaurants have been around for a century or more, and the city has installed wonderful retro streetlights, which only serve to add to that yesteryear feel. When you come to eat at the restaurants in this neighborhood, be prepared for all Italian all the time. And that's a good thing. Though the food offered in these wonderful eateries may have its similarities, each place has its own distinct style, its own personality and moves to its own beat. Price-wise, all of the Heart of Italy restaurants fall in a similar range, with dinners running roughly $8-$20, making it a great destination for a reasonably priced date.

Come June, don't miss the Taste of the Heart of Italy, the hood's festival of great Italian food and music. In the meantime, make a beeline south and try one of these Italian eateries:

Ignotz Ristorante
For starters, the Ignotz staff brings warm bread, oil, cheese and baked garlic to your table. Talk about a way to jump-start your engine: This is it. The pre-dinner delights don't end there. A number of solid appetizers are available, including baked clams. The dining area here is intimate and just as welcoming for those looking for a great place for a hot date or to tote a boatload of kids in for a family dinner. Chances are affable owner Roger Wroblewski will stop by your table, say hello and make sure your chow is to your liking. The menu features pastas, a wide range of veal meals, steaks and more. The shrimp versace is melt-in-your-mouth good, and solid pizza dishes are also available. Don't leave without asking for the dessert specials, featuring an assortment of items (tiramisu, pyramid cake) that will make the perfect bookend to your meal.

Il Vicinato
This lovely eatery features two dining areas, one in the front by the bar section, and a second larger room in the back. The bar area isn't huge, but with 12 seats or so, there's plenty of room to chat while you wait for a table. Both rooms are decorated nicely and always filled with lively patron conversation. Make certain you order the Il Vicinato salad for starters; this salad features your standard array of greens, but comes with assorted meats, blue cheese and a fantastic house dressing. Possibly the finest salad in the city, it's brought to you in a big bowl so everyone at your table can enjoy it. After that, dive right in to any of the pasta dishes you find, many of which come with a Bolognese sauce. The meat-filled ravioli is fantastic, as are the whitefish dishes. Try the filling roast sirloin of beef should you be in a meat mood. This always-tender special is a crowd pleaser.

Of all the eateries on Oakley, Bacchanalia has that 1970s sort of "Goodfellas" look and feel to it. Mirrors can be found throughout the dimly lit dining area, and the tables are set close enough to let you listen in on your neighbor's conversation, should you feel the desire to eavesdrop. There's not a bad dish on the menu, but some of the big winners are scampi alla romana, where you'll find your shrimp resting on a bed of fettuccine served with a marinara sauce, as well as chicken vesuvio and mouth-watering manicotti. The fish specials (tilapia) are often excellent; for dessert make sure you try the tiramisu.

La Fontanella
This tiny eatery is a delight. There's a smallish bar up front where you can rest your elbows for a bit, before moving into the two-car garage-sized dining area which features roughly 15 checkerboard tables. Pasta dishes abound: The sausage and peppers and the eggplant parmigiana are definite winners. You'll also find some wonderful whitefish and salmon dishes spiced to perfection. Should you feel like a pasta dish but want something other than standard spaghetti, go for the always-tasty fusilli in vodka sauce if it's on the specials sheet. Meat-wise, the lamb scaloppini will have you returning again and again. La Fontanella is suitable for any occasion, but it is the tiniest of the Oakley eateries. If you need special arrangements for seating, call in advance.

Bruna's Ristorante
As you approach Bruna's, you'll find bottles of wine resting in the windows; once inside the tiny eating area, you'll find posters and photos of various scenes from the old country. With lively patrons, an intimate setting and a friendly wait staff, this place definitely exudes fun. There are many wonderful pasta dishes to choose from here, but the wise won't pass on the spaghetti carbonara, where the spaghetti comes in a cream sauce with Italian bacon. Other popular specials include veal chops, eggplant parmigiana and spinach-cheese ravioli. When former Chicago cop turned actor, Dennis Farina, is in town, he spends time in all of the Heart of Italy eateries, though Bruna's is one of his favorites.

Miceli's Deli
Miceli's isn't a big league dinner destination like the others in the Heart of Italy and it doesn't pretend to be. This is a lunch joint, plain and simple, and without the flair and cost of the other eateries on the block. Here, you'll find a number of tables set in the midst of this deli, and at lunch the seats fill up quickly. Miceli's serves great sub specials, hot meals like sausage and peppers and linguine and clams, as well as tasty salads; prices range from a wallet friendly $3.50-$8. If you see the spicy tuna steak salad on the specials sheet, dive right in. It will gas up your tank for the rest of the day. Police and attorney-types from the nearby Cook County criminal court's complex at 26th and California frequent this eatery.