Monday, June 18, 2007

Chicago Tribune Reports on Guam Strategic Build-up

Chicago Tribune reporter Kirtsen Scharnberg presented a great three page report on the beginnings of a new surge in American military presence on the American island of Guam.

In the weeks to come more will be in the news concerning the People of Guam, the Chamorros, who have remained loyal to a America, even though most of their fellow Americans give them little or no thought whatsovever.

The Heritage Foundation cavalierly dismissed the Guam Loyalty Recognition Act as a reparations scam and the blogoshere responded in kind - without one bit of thought to the people behind the need for such an Act. Americans ignore Guam - until a time of war.

Guam is America's most vital stategic base in the Pacific and this build-up only points to that fact. Kudos to the Chicago Tribune's Kirsten Scharnberg for putting this important story out front and with the depth it deserves. The People of Guam deserve much more.

Here is an excerpt from a great column which appears in tomorrow's Marianas Variety. It is from a 1945 memo by the Commander of the Marianas: 'great attitude' this guy - actually it is not far from that of the Heritage Foundation's point of view:

“The characteristics and nature of the majority of inhabitants on these islands are such that the artificial or forced raising of their standard of living to one approaching that of the United States would be detrimental to their best interest and would contribute little to the safety and welfare of the United States,” Murray said.

Read the whole article:

Saturday, June 16, 2007

What Others Might Think of U.S. (A.)

I am proud to be an American. We are a welcoming, fair and generous people - and then we get involved in politics. Not politics per say - but politics behind the politics. We are a spectator society at times and government gets mistaken for politics, much in the same way as Talk Sports Radio is akin to athletics.

The hot button topic for the next sixty seconds is immigration reform. John McCain and others have been taken to task for leadership on immigration reform. Lots of opinions and lots of spleen to go with those opinions.

I happen to like John McCain's leadership on this issue.

Politics demands that some of the candidates for President be eaten by the other candidates. Forces behind the Conservatives get chewed up by the True Conservatives who in turn are devoured by the 100% No $hit Conservatives, in order to fatten up the Hannibal Lector Libertarian Conservatives just prior to the final Primary Count-down Feast. The same thing is happening in the Liberal or Democratic Old Country Buffet on Saw-Horse Tables in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Immigration Reform is the ugliest blood sport, at the moment. Fences and borders and tons of Hey What About ALL those . . . stories are bandied about as 40 Watt intellects mimick their favorite Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, or Barry Manilow keening - I just threw in Barry for giggle. My thoughts are these:

  • Come to America and Welcome!
  • Bring Your Work Ethic
  • Leave your old Allegiances in the Old Country
  • Adopt American Values
  • Behave Accordingly

When there is a family feud, remember that there are neighbors and that those neighbors get their impressions of what we think of them and ourselves. Let's try to put on a nice view for our neighbors.

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Land of Endless Hours, Suicides, Goofy Films and Congestion Taxes Has Something for Chicago

Every Time a Progressive opens his mouth, it costs a lung!

Giving 40 Watt thinkers like Joe Moore an idea is like giving a blow-torch to a pyro-manical pre-teen under-achiever for his stroll through the aisles of Krazy Kaplan's Fireworks Emporium.
'Have a good Time Joey, your Mom and I will be back from Saugatuck in a few hours; now mind that torch, Son! He's going Places, Candy, I just Know it! Do they still sell fois gras in Michigan, Babe?'

Ed Burke offered a suggestion to engage the thought of a 'congestion tax' to help ease the traffic flow into Chicago.
Because London, a city with eight times the population of Chicago, cool taxis and Cops with checker-board hats, has one, The City Of Big Shoulder Pads needs one. Swedes are Hip! Let's get Sick!
This dandy idea one also got lift-off in Stockholm - very similar to Chicago - like looking in a mirror, almost.
As the Progressives say, 'It's Chilling!'
Chilled Glug!

WTTW - the Window to Tony Winnetka - Channel 11 jumped all over the idea with traffic expert from Northwestern University Engineering guy Joe Shofer thinks that it's a grand idea. I have a feeling that Joe might not drive into the City, unlike builders who need to get down to the Permits lines at City Hall; the folks paying the incomprehensible alley easement fees at Dave Orr's 'the fee changes as the clock ticks' emporium, the thousands of Cook County Court patrons who need to park - pay a lung and get to court on time, as well as the hundreds of thousands of south and southwest siders who need to pop intothe Loop.
BTW - Sweden and London had built up Public Transit Systems before the 'Congestion Tax' went into effect - Ed Burke felt that this tax could help FIX THE CTA! Joe Moore will be all over this one!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Support the Guam Loyalty Act - About Time!

Americans on Guam put their lives together following two and half - years of Japanese Occupation and a horrific battle for the Liberation from July 21 -August 10, 1944 - the last Japanese occupier surrended in 1972. It has taken Americans much longer to recognize the Loyalty and Patriotism of the People of Guam.

Back in May, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the HR 1595 - The Guam Loyalty Recognition Act. Prior to that vote which takes the Bill to the U.S. Senate, The Heritage Foundation harrumphed that this Act was a merely a reparations scam. Here is my reply to Ed Feulner of the Heritage Foundation which appeared in the Washington Times:

More to the point:
This long over due legislation would be welcomed as a great honor to the men you as a great honor to the men listed on the Asan war Memorial above the 1944 landing beaches - the Americans who died and were wounded Liberating Guam. Believe it - their sacrifices are the very fabric of Guam's culture.

Guam was caught in the switches between MacArthur's Consular ambitions over Post-War Japan and the realities of the Cold War.

The People of Guam are the most loyal and pro-miltary Americans; always faithful and always willing to sacrifice their lives for our country - without hesitation. That is our problem - we mainland Americans -that the hesiation has been to recognize Guam's loyalty.

Whoever decided to policy these folks into reparations lotto ticket scammers should do much more study of Guam's history and commitment. The reparations broadbrush was unworthy of what is best about America - our abilty to recognize and give tribute to patriotism. Guam is long over due such a small nod from all Americans.

To date this tiny island of America is in double figures for KIA in the War on Terror and in Vietnam lead the nation in per capita loss of life (74 KIA on the Wall). Guam stands in the sights of North Korean nuclear missles and is pro-active in helping fight terroism out of the P.I.s. At this moment the Americans of Guam are making room for 8,000 more Marines evicted from Okinawa as well as the island's expansion as America's most forward and strategic base in the Pacific Rim.

These Americans are owed more than bumper sticker rhetoric and history. We are better than this.
Here is a link to the Bill before the U.S. Senate:

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Chump Change from Us Chumps

Here's embattled Chicago State University President in happier times with former Speaker of the House Denny Hastert in a happier time - chatting the golden merits of 'chump change,' or 'chumps' change?' I gave the President plural times, because they are still rolling! Denny Hastert's is parenthetical.

The story in today's Chicago Tribune concerns the strange fiscal and fiduciary concerns of a tax-payer funded and salaried university President, Elnora Daniel.
Ms. Daniel is under fire for an audit of expenditures in her office - cruises and dinners and what not.

Daniel's biography speaks of her love of cold soup, cruises and travel:

The story in the Tribune fleshes out some of the finer points, particularly Madame President's opinion of the source of the 'chump change' $ 75,000 taked on to her annual compensation and her stewardship of this State financed university.

Cold soup and cruises - now, how would the Miller High Life man feel about President Daniel? Would he statrt yanking her metaphorical 'Champagne of Bottled Beers from her shelves? I mean, what the heck -Miller Brewing gave her a plaque according to the posted biography excerpt. That change don't add up to this chump.,1,1252174.story?coll=chi-newsroom-hed

Friday, June 08, 2007

John McCain Will Be The Last Man Standing - So Will Hillary.

Due to the stalled Immigration Legislation in the Senate: Harry Reid back-burnered it 15 votes shy of whatis needed, John McCain will be carved up by extreme right wing conservatives who want to stall for time for one of the other debutants to shore up a position. Hillary Clinton gets to stay above the Immigration Debate and Obama will be spinning his 'Quiet Riot' remarks into his exit in a few weeks.

In the mean time, McCain will be fighting a holding action against the tin-foil- hat crowd Progressives who have 'mobilized' the rhetoric clouding the importance of immigration reform.
The next few weeks will see John McCain maintaining the common sense line in this fight. The weak sisters in his Campaign are jumping ship for a cushier berth on other campaigns.
That is good. Stay tuned boys and girls - the Man who stood up to the Hanoi Hilton is well-prepped to withstand the pince-nez patriots who wrote for the Dartmouth Daily Denouncer and then got patriotic in Reagan's Administration. They bleed blue-blood - rhetorical hemoglobin mind you.
John McCain is a Leader.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

D-Day Yesterday; Paris Liberated Today!

With Bear Shaun Gayle asking for his 'all in' back in the Sun Times; twenty four hours after D-Day Kind of Mentioned; Americans Can celebrate the Liberation of Paris!

The First National Skank is Out of the Joint! Shaun, Keep Hope Alive!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Quiet Riot? Obama's Malaise?

Senator Obama's 'Quiet Riot' remarks will get a close reading from pundits, pollsters, politicians and people - people who vote. I believe that Barack Obama is one of the mosts exciting and talented persons in public life. I also believe that since his elevator ride to the observation deck of the life political, he has been hand-cuffed to Progressive strategists who could not win an election three- hundred yards west of Lake Michigan. Last night seemed to bring that out.

The Quiet Riot in Hampton will mark Obama's political biography in the same way as Jimmy Carter's American Malaise - too bad. Leaders challenge people. Comtemplating the National Navel, page one of the Progressive Playbook - ' Sure Fire Methods for Shooing Away Votes,' is not the hallmark of Leadership. What happened to the Audacity of Hope? Putting bandaids on cancer? Nurses trained to teach Parenting? Or Riots?

Senator, this might be the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning. That is too bad. You played a bad hand last night - All In! Drawing dead now.

You'll be back! Make sure that you put some miles between your talents and instincts and paid losers who have an enviable record of Malaise.

John McCain is the only leader, the only candidate doing someting about illegal immigrantion, the only real Warrior, and the only candidate challenging America's best abilities. That is what a President needs to do.

Here is an excerpt from Senator John McCain's address to the Hoover Institute:

. . .Our moral standing in the world requires that we respect what are, after all, American principles of justice. Our values will always triumph in any war of ideas, and we can't let failings like prisoner abuse tarnish our image. If we are model citizens of the world, more people around the world will look to us as a model.
When our nation was founded over two hundred years ago, we were the world's only democratic republic. Today, there are more than 100 electoral democracies spread all across the globe. We must reaffirm our faith in the principles that our founders declared to be universal, that all people are created equal and possess inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We fought a Revolution, a Civil War, two world wars, and a cold war to vindicate these principles and ensure that freedom could be enjoyed, as Abraham Lincoln promised, by all people of all colors everywhere.' We were right to struggle for democracy then, and we are right to do so now.
This is not idealism, my friends. It is the truest kind of realism. Today as in the past, our interests are inextricably linked to the global progress of our ideals. The vision of a new era of enduring peace based on freedom is not a Republican vision. It is not a Democratic vision. It is an American vision. The American people have known instinctively for two centuries that we are safer when the world is more democratic. Whatever our differences, we all share the same goal: a world of peace and freedom, of prosperity and opportunity, of hope. We have a duty to ourselves to be true to those beliefs, to use our great power wisely on behalf of freedom. As Ronald Reagan proclaimed in his speech to the British Parliament in 1982, Let us go to our strength. Let us offer hope. Let us tell the world that a new age is not only possible but probable.'

That's Leadership!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

John McCain - The Paradigm for an American President

This ain't no photo-op shot taken by Karl Rove's Boys and Girls - This guy is the real deal!

I have always liked Barack Obama. As a life-long Democrat, I admire his brains and his heart. As a legislator in Illinois he was effective and impressive. Then came the last Democratic National Convention and the newly minted Senator from Illinois electrified America. I hope that was not his high water mark.

Within days of DNC, Senator Obama was elevated to political Olympus and in the months that followed he was surrounded by the acolytes of every Democratic political disaster over the last twenty years. Though he eclipsed every National wannabe - especially Rep.Jesse Jackson, Jr. who got himself a tummy-tuck right after Obama's Sun Ascended, Senator Obama ran into the arms of the Amature-Hour politicos ( they get paid, of course, but they couldn't deliver a win even if the 'old school fix' was in). The Clintons' people, old Bowie Knife slashing Arkansas gut -stabbers, have been through Obama's life like and IRS man on steroids. Right now, Senator Obama is being ham-strung in the debates and shows early signs of fighting for his political life ( Who prepped him for the Debate? Joe Moore? Dick Simpson? Casper Milquetoast?)- Stay tuned.

There is only one person running for President who has the heart, lungs, liver, brains and every other metaphorical organ necessary to lead America - John McCain. Here are the words of leader.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Come to the Signing Party at Keegan's Pub!

You will not need to wade in over a reef to get to Keegan's,
but things do get wet in there!

Beverly Neighborhood Book Signing Party
Saturday – June 30th 2007 from 2PM -5PM
Hosted by
Keegan's Pub
10618 S. Western Ave.

The Bookie Paperbacks
2419 W. 103rd StreetChicago Illinois 60655
(Next to the White Hen)

Pat Hickey will sign copies of The Chorito Hog Leg, Book One a Novel of Guam in Time of War – I have refrigerator magnet book markers for all of the practical and good natured folks who join us!

Gifts , Food, Drinks and Neighbors!

Friday, April 06, 2007

SEIU is a threat to the American Standard of Living: OPUS CAVEO!

The name of the man in the center of the old newsprint cartoon is Terrence Powderly -Powderly started the America Labor Movement. You will not read about him or hear of him too much these days. He understood the difference between being an employee and being a Scab. Ironically, enough Powderly's position always was to help move workers into the American Middle Class. Move them to skilled trades and more wages and benefits. Labor gave America the Standard of Living that it had enjoyed and is now being taxed and co-opted out of existence by radicals.

On April 5, 2007 Chicago Sun Times Columnist Lynn Sweet proposed that Chicago's Mayor Richard M. Daley, who recently was elected by an overwhelming percentage to the Office of Mayor and has enjoyed his victory with a daily litany of howls and attacks on him and his management of Chicago in the Chicago media, chat it up with SEIU leader Andy Stern.

Fair Enough. The Mayor of Big Shoulders should be able to take any criticism to heart and to head. The Mayor should set his own appointments. The same critics want the Mayor to have a sit-down with Andy Stern of Services Employee International Union - the man most responsible for organizing no skill, low skill and public salaried workers.

Andy Stern - according to the media - is an innovative thinker - he thinks outside of box.' He organized the Big Box Ordinance drive that is helping to marginalize the influence of real labor. Denny Gannon, a skilled tradesman, has been put in the unenviable position of 'working with' Andy Stern:

Lynn Sweet wrote, 'Stern, like Daley, is practical and just want to gets things done. '

And then argued for Daley to go along with the Mayors of these Cities - Rubber Stamp?

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa knows Stern. So does Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick of Detroit, Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston, Mayor Bill White of Houston and Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco. After the runoffs -- no matter the outcomes -- Daley and Stern, if they sat down, would find they share a goal of building a better Chicago' ( Sweet April 5, 2007)

Just because these Mayors drank the Kool-Aid does not mean the Mayor of Chicago should. Chicago still has a significant middle class population - Andy Stern will do away with that and Real Labor will continue to become marginalized politically and organizationally. They have become timid around Purple Andy. The media loves the guy! They have not proven to be too pro labor: Printers Strike at the Tribune; Slams at the Trades Unions are a regular feature in the media.

Labor unions grow strong through the organization of dues paying skilled workers: carpenters, pipefitters, electricians, engineers. People who build and maintain things are paid a good wage because of collective bargaining - not raising taxes on the very Union Women and Men SEIU purports to share Brotherhood. The building of the American Middle Class was Labor's great victory. Labor now appears to be commiting a Jonestown on itself with Andy Stern providing the Purple Kool Aid.

Andy Stern, a Unversity of Pennsylvannia trained Social Worker, is a radical who along with David Wilhelm of the Hotel and Restaurant Employees Workers of Las Vegas worked very hard to organize low, low, low wage workers and to capitalize on their conditions with solid Leftist rhetoric. Their goal is not to bargain wage increases for the rank and file and improve their benefits but exact political punishment on elected officials and effect Redistribution of Wealth. The Rich will not be touched by the chipping away of the American Standard of Living, but the middle class - the skilled Union members and their extended families - will disappear.

The Big Box Ordinance was a disaster. It ain't done yet. Lynn Sweet, evidently a huge fan of Andy Stern's radical attempt to whittle away at the standard of living enjoyed by the middle class in Illinois , wants Daley to smoke the pipe with Andy:

SEIU is the second largest tax-payer salaried 'union' in the country with more than 850,000 public service employees.

SEIU does not operate to improve the lives of its membership but to engage in political monster apparitions and threaten elected candidates to 'go along' with them.

SEIU engages in radical redistribution of wealth strategies that force an increase in government ( tax-payer funded) salaries and thus create a greater burden on the middle class - especially real labor unions: the skilled trades unions.

SEIU swells like a tick with its membership drives targeting no-skill, low skill, and tax-paid employees. Membership dues are or were the life's blood of a strong labor force in America. SEIU fights to push for minimum wage increases - but a significant sum of that wage increase will come from taxpayers. SEIU is a great threat to the American Labor Movement that created the American Standard of Living - a middle class standard of living.

SEIU's redistribution of wealth will not chip away at America's rich but it will evaporate the American middle class and that , it seems is it's goal.

Mayor Daley, you do not need friends like Andy Stern; neither did Denny Gannon, nor John Sweeney nor the hundreds of thousands of immigrants, working poor, and unskilled minimum wage earners who wear those Purple T-shirts.

Workers Beware! They're Shearing sheep as big as whales!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Two Part Historical Novel Fuses Guam and Chicago History

My novel The Chorito Hog Leg, Book One: A Novel Guam in Time of War concerns the liberation of Guam in World War II and fuses Chicago and Guam history.
The title comes from a place where hundreds of American teenagers died in July 1944 and an antique revolver. The revolver is not that important, but Chorito Cliff was and is to a generation of men and women who are disappearing at too great a rate.

Chorito is the name of a cliff overlooking the Asan beaches on Guam. In 1944, the 3rd Marines assaulted Chorito Cliff and Bundeschu Ridge. A Hog Leg is the nickname for an 1860 Colt .45 Revolver.

While working on the Every Heart and Hand: A Leo High School Story, I was struck by how many members of the Leo Class of 1943 served in the Marine Corps and also in the Guam Campaign. Likewise, it struck me that almost nowhere in popular culture has room enough been made for the most loyal Americans - the People of Guam - The Chamorros. I started doing some homework and the result is a historical novel in two parts. Part One covers the time of April 1944 to August 10, 1944 and introduces some of the fictional and historical characters who figure in this work.

Within the carnage of battle is a war pitting a young man, Tim Cullen Leo High School '43, against his battalion commander over the possession of an 1860 Army Colt .45 Hog leg revolver which can be traced back to Capt. Myles Keogh who died with Custer. The last owner is the doomed Lt. Jack Buck of Giddings, TX. Buck will be killed in the taking of Bundeschu Ridge, but Jack Buck had exacted a promise from Pvt. Tim Cullen of his platoon to keep it from the hands of Major Lucas Opley, an up from the ranks Marine of legend, and return the Colt to his family in Texas.This story also brings in life in Chicago's south side, in particular the people who lived along 79th Street in the 1940's.

Historical personages like some of the great men of Leo High School,Lyndon Johnson, General Roy Geiger, Col. Red Mike Edson, Father Jesus Duenas, Radioman Paul Newman, Ensign Johnny Carson, Edward J. 'Spike' O'Donnell, Mayor Ed Kelly and Brother Francis Finch mingle with fictional characters Tim Cullen, Billy Higgins, Lucas Opley, Dr. Ted Tanaka and Betty Cruz. Life in St. Sabina's Parish and along 79th Street in Chicago is recreated to the best of my powers. My narrative is the intrusive narrator that was used to offer commentary on the action and infuse a moral tone. At the outset, I wish to apologize for any typos that sneaked past my tired old eyes - placing an 'and' where I mean to place ad 'an' - writers are not the best editors.

The story is about a young man who developed a sharp moral sense in his neighborhood and a devotion to his word to others - fashioned in the pews of St. Sabina Church, the halls of Leo High School, the playing surface of Shewbridge Field and along 79th Street. Cullen's values and sense of honor is tested by circumstances and the hidden agenda of an otherwise good man, Maj. Lucas Opley.

Parallel to Cullen’s ordeals with the 3rd Marines and suffering on Japanese occupied Guam are movie house operator Juan Cruz and his family, as well as an exiled Japanese American Dentist and his movie star wife. Exacting the cruelty is the oafish Boson Otayama and the American educated Lt. Kato. Awaiting liberation are also such historical figures of Guam’s history as Father Duenas and Pastor Sablan who heroically protected American George Tweed from the Japanese for two years.

The touchstone Hog-leg revolver, in its shoulder holster, will be taken from Lt. John A. Buck’s body by Cullen at an aid station on Guam’s Red Beach 2 and cause Cullen no end of problems. The Battalion commander wants the Colt Hog-leg. Cullen hangs on to the weapon but never uses it and is repeatedly ordered by Maj. Opley to hand it over. Opley wants it for himself. This through-the ranks career officer will undo himself through his own devices and be sent home under a cloud after years of service to the Corps after the Guam Campaign.

In the Fall of 2007, the second book of The Chorito Hog Leg story will follow the adventures of Tim Cullen through the mopping-up actions on Guam, the Iwo Jima Campaign, the sinking of U.S.S. Indianapolis, the Atomic Bombings of Japan, the beginning of the War Crimes Trials on Guam and return Cullen, through the great Pacific Typhoon of 1945, to Chicago. Again, the author will employ the ‘intrusive narrator’ technique used by William Makepeace Thackeray in his 19th Century historical fictions.

I hope that I do some justice to the generation who served in World War II and to the great people of Guam.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Hide - The Root of Chicago Race Relations

Chicago has never recovered from the Meatpackers Strike of 1904. Though engulfed by flames in 1871, Chicago rose from its roots again like an oak forest on steroids. The Pullman Strike, put down by George Custer's replacements, Illinois Yellow-legs and Pinckerton's goons, was as nothing compared to what lay ahead on the tracks.

Chicago's steel tentacles pulled cattle, hogs, sheep and any other hooved hide that could be tanned, eaten, rendered or husbanded to a vast yard owned by sharp men of business. The amalgamation of tanners, packers, renderers, and shippers had cheap, disorganized and willing pool of people to labor, bleed, and exploit - Czech, Irish, Lithuanian, Polish, Russian, Westphalian, Belgian, Prussian, Bavarian, Norwegian, and Swedish.

Some of those immigrants had skills as carpenters, millwrights, metal workers, coopers, cartwrights, and teamsters; most had no skills other than brute strength. Today they would be called Caucasian, though very few had passed through Caucases to get to America.

On July 12, 1904, a strike was called by the Almagamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen (AMC) whose President Michael Donnelly announced the strike.

The causes of the strike ranged from low wages to the excessive pace required while on the job. The strike lasted for nearly two months and included rioting and murder with few periods of peace. The strikers used tactics such as demonstrations and parades while the packers responded by hiring strikebreakers. Although factory conditions were unchanged, the strike had many far reaching effects on the city of Chicago, the union, and the nation as a whole. . . . The Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen played a major role in the strike. It was a giant organization and employed both skilled and unskilled workers, a circumstance often resented by skilled workers.(Halpern 32) Though unity was not one of the union's strong points, the union did give workers some sense of it, which was vital when the strike finally began. The main protagonists of the strike were the common laborers, the skilled and unskilled butchers of the Chicago packing plants. The workers, now somewhat organized, demanded higher pay and an end to the relentless "speeding up" of the packing progress. The typical laborer at the time of the strike was foreign, unskilled, worked long, hard hours, and was paid less than twenty cents an hour. The strikers were also very violent which resulted in numerous murders and riots. ("Strikers Firm" 2)

The murders and riots were in reaction to the bringing of strikebreakers, most African Americans from the South and hired goons to agitate and incite viollence. Chicago Tribune archived articles from the period of the strike - roughly July through September 1904 bear witness to the actions and motives behind those acts.

The violence brought home to the heart of readers the intense frustration felt by the strikers and their families and the malice and greed that Chicago's leading families were willing to orchestrate in the name of profit. 8,750 strikebreakers, mostly miserably poor blacks, were lured with promises of a better life in Chicago and train fare to this abatoir of the human heart. Strikers and their families were in fact starving despite the effort of Strike relief Committes and the sympathy for strikers crossed state lines. However, the need to feed the greed was greater than articulating an agreement with the AMC. The owners intended to break this strike and they succeeded.

After a unanimous vote to maintain the strike, AMC President Michael Donnelly announced the strike ended on Sept. 9 1905 - 59 days after the strike was called.

The resulting antipathy between multi-cultural,lingual, and religious Caucasians and the strikebreaking African Americans would play out for next one hundred and two years in Chicago. The nature of race relations would always be reduced to the simple 'color of a man's skin' equation by people with the luxury of not being close to the conflict.

The descendants of the strikers would recoil from relations with the people who came North in the hope of a better life. They were shoved into combat with people themselves the victims of exploitation and those who profited by that combat. Those same descendants, one hundred and two years later, contine to be at odds with one another. The strikers descendants moved away as the Black Belt expanded to Berwyn, Cicero, Maywood and the southwest sides - places that since the 1904 strike have been branded as single-mindedly racist, unlike neighborhoods far removed from killing floors on the south side. The Armours and the Swifts and their co-industrialists did well by the strike and became clean with wealth, while the strikers and the strikebraekers were set at odds with one another and continue to be.

The horrific race riots of 1919 were confined to battlefields of Back of the Yards and the Black Belt. The fight for fair housing from the 1940's through the new Millenium mirror that combat zone. Dr. King marched in Marquette Park, where the descendants of the strikers lived and not in Highland Park where the people who prospered by that broken strike. Southside white ethnic neighborhoods continue to be referred to as 'racial hotbeds' as recently as last week in the Chicago media. Blacks continue to be pitted against ethnic whites and exploited for political and economic gain.

Maybe, some talk about the causes and consequences of the 1904 Meatpackers Strike should preclude any 'Let's talk Race' challenge.


Halpern, Rick. Down on the Killing Floor: Black and White Workers in Chicago's Packinghouses, 1904 - 54. Urbana, Illinois : University of Illinois Press, 1997.

Strike is Ended; Men Surrender." Chicago Daily Tribune. 9 Sept. 1904

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Be On Time and Be Prepared to Work!

Tim King, former CEO of Hales Franciscan and founder and CEO of Urban Prep Charter Academy for Young Men-Englewood Campus set to open in fall 2006, states in a Chicago Tribune op-ed piece (May2, 2006) that 'It's time to set a new dinner table.' King , who left Hales Franciscan for ventures in philanthropy education and now Charter Education, wants African American fathers to sit down with their sons and 'show them an alternate future, one that includes hard work, being accountable and going to college.' He warns, 'Until we embrace this responsibility, they (African American Young Men) will continue to fail and so will we.' Riffing on this third and most important topic, the need to provide great black male role models for young men, King's dualism bashes 'bling with books; rims with reading; and chillin' with college.' King echoes what Hales Franciscan has argued since 1961 and Leo High School has been teaching since 1926. But allow me to articulate the core of the message.

Tim King stated earlier in his essay that he had learned the value of education at the dinner table from his entrepreneur father, lawyer uncle, and Georgetown University graduate older brother. Tim King went to Georgetown, law school, and started his own business. He'll be a great role model for the young men of Urban Prep Charter in Englewood. He has lived the lesson.

I have helped provide funding for Leo High School for the last eleven years. Leo High School, like Hales Franciscan is a Catholic college prep serving African American young men. I am not black; I am Irish American and so is my boss Bob Foster, Leo's President. Bob has been serving Leo High School as Principal and President since 1991 and has devoted most of his forty-four years in education to the boys at Leo. Like Bob Foster, I was a teacher and also the first member of my family to go to college. My County Kerry - born Grandfather and founder of the Engineer's Union always told me that I had better go to college or I'd starve to death. He was slighting my practical labor skills more than working on my self-esteem. Bob Foster's father and all of his older brothers were Chicago Police Officers. He too was the first in his family to finish college.

My dad was a blue color worker with three jobs, who had gone to war instead of college. In fact only one of my seven uncles went to college and only completed his degree before his death from cancer at 43 years of age. Like Tim King, our dinner conversation revolved around the subject of school, hard work, and meeting my responsibilities. The topic of college hung out in the ozone as a possibility merited by hard work, good luck, and God's intervention. Most important was the subject of responsibility - be on time and be prepared to work.

College Preparatory means just that - prepare for for college. Leo High School, like Hales Franciscan, has a remarkable record of sending young men on to some of the best colleges and universities in America. The lessons taught at Leo High School are these - be on time and be prepared to work. One young man, a 2000, graduate was accepted at six major universities: University of Illinois offered him the full-boat. Though a great athlete, this young Leo Man merited an Academic scholarship. Forsaking all offers of a college career for now, this Leo grad chose to apply for the Pipefitters Apprenticeship Program and was accepted. Unlike me, this young man had the aptitude for success in the trade, as well as books smarts. Not only that, this young man had an aptitude for meeting his responsibilities. The Director of the Apprenticeship Program, John Lean, reported to me that 'our guy' not only attended all of the required classes but showed up at the Pipefitters school on his days off - to bone - up on welding techniques.

Once in the trade and in the field, the poor guy was pulled this way and that way by contractors and superintendents wanting his skills, work ethic, and unfailing dedication. This black young man is making a great deal of money and enjoying a wealth of respect. He was prepared for college, but he excelled as a man.

I sit at the kitchen table with my son. We talk about his classes and his work in school. We talk about what is really important in life - be on time and be prepared to work. My son might go to college, but I pray that he is prepared to be a man. Hales Franciscan and Leo High School are two pretty good schools. They are Catholic schools, but most of the young men attending both are not necessarily Catholic themselves; they are all African American and they are all taught - be on time and be prepared to work.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Thank You Cardinal George!

Last Tuesday, The Daily Southtown printed an opinion piece by me asking Cardinal George to step in and help Queen of Peace Principal Patty Nolan Fitzgerald remain with her young women at the school and continue to make such a great impact on young lives. Mrs. Fitzgerald was dismissed last month by the Queen of Peace board of directors.

Ignoring the over-whelming support of students, staff, Alumnae and Catholics at large in the southland community, the board of director chose to play hard-ball: ignoring phone calls, e-mails, protests, and going so far as to order students and staff to cease and desist in this matter.

I have great personal and professional regard for Patty Nolan Fitzgerald. I wrote a very strong letter in order to get the Cardinal's attention, arguing that Illinois legislation creating ' a corporation sole' for the Chicago Archdiocese in the 1840's was enough of a hammer to make a difference. I went so far as to use the Cardinal's own words as leverage in the argument to make a phone call in Mrs. Fitzgerald's cause.

The fact of the matter is that the Archbishop of Chicago can not legally dictate to separate corporations calling themselves Catholic: Loyola University, DePaul University, Alexian Brothers Hospital and those schools operated under a corporate trusteeship like Queen of Peace( run by Carmelites, Augustinians, Jesuits, and the Sinsinawa Dominicans). The Cardinal can, and will admonish as Chicago's leading minister and priest.

On Friday night at about 6 P.M., Cardinal George called me at my home to discuss the matters facing Patty Nolan Fitzgerald, the young women of Queen of Peace, and all Catholics in our area so effected by the summary dismissal of a great Catholic educator.

We talked for a good twenty minutes and Cardinal George straightened me out about his powers and their many limitations. It was like talking to one of the guys working the parish festival, or a Mom working Market Days. The entire time we spoke Cardinal George exacted as much information about the situation at Queen of Peace from me as was in my powers to give. I mentioned that the Daily Southtown more than any other Chicago news medium, kept the struggle for justice at Queen of Peace in the public eye.

Cardinal spoke of the limits he has in the matter and said ' I'll make a call to the Provincial of the Sinsinawa Dominicans and make note of the concerns people have in this matter.' Instead, of dressing down one of his employees - I work for a school that is an Archdiocesan school - Cardinal George was more concerned about the injustice done to one of his Faith. The Cardinal is going to do what is in his power to do. He'll talk to the Head of the Sinsisnaw Dominicans, but that does not mean they will do as he asks. However, after my conversation with this great priest, I feel that Cardinal George's powers of persuasion may be enough. I feel like I did when I received my First Holy Communion - the Cardinal recharged my Faith in a loving and resilient Church.

Francis Cardinal George, the Thirteenth Bishop of Chicago, is my priest. Say what you want about Cardinal George and I will have an answer for you - He is a Great Shepherd!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Chicago IAHC Announces 'Sea Marks'

Kathleen O'Neill, Public Relations Manager for Chicago's Irish American Heritage Center, announced the production of Gardner McKay's Sea Marks as Chicago's Shapeshifters entry into Toronto's Acting Irish International Theatre Festival.

Some of us 'touch of grey' types might remember Gardner McKay from the Adventures in Paradise TV series from the 1960's - I do anyway. McKay's Irish-theme'd play was produced as a film-drama for Public Television back in the 1970's.

The Shapeshifters Production of SeaMarks is directed by Gregory Gerhard of Chicago.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kathleen O’Neill, PR Manager
773-282-7035, ext. 13


Shapeshifters Theatre, the resident theatre company of The Irish American Heritage Center, is proud to present its spring production, Sea Marks this spring. The play is written by Gardner McKay and will be directed by Gregory Gerhard of Chicago.

Miss O'Neill writes:

Sea Marks is a bittersweet tale of love between an Irish fisherman who becomes smitten by an English woman he has glimpsed only once. Though unschooled in letter-writing, he courts her by mail. She finds primitive poetry in the way he writes and asks him to come to Liverpool to live with her. The publishing house that employeer her prints his "poems" and for a moment he becomes a celebrity on the rise, but their different ways of life are in dreadful conflict. "

Sea Marks will be Shapeshifters’ entry into the
Acting Irish International Theatre Festival in Toronto in June, where they will proudly represent the IAHC.

Shapeshifters’ spring production of A Mislaid Heaven in 2005, directed by Gregory Gerhard, brought home two top awards at the Acting Irish International Theatre Festival, a yearly theatre competition among various Irish theatre groups throughout North America.

Sea Marks opens May 5 and runs through May 20 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm. There will be a matinee performance on Saturday, May 20th at 3pm. Tickets are $10 for IAHC Members/Seniors and $15 for general admission. To purchase tickets, call 773-282-7035, ext. 10.

Shapeshifters, the Irish American Heritage Center's resident theatre company since 1987, continues to build on the tradition of Irish Theatre and expanding the presentation of established and new works.

The Irish American Heritage Center, located at 4626 North Knox, occupies an 86,000 square foot building on Chicago’s northwest side. The Center fosters the practice, study and celebration of Irish, Celtic and Irish-American cultural traditions. Membership in the Center is open to anyone with an interest in these traditions. The IAHC houses a 650- seat theatre, an authentic Irish pub, a Social Center, a museum, dance/music studios and meeting rooms.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Queen of Peace and Cardinal George

Patty Nolan-Fitzgerald began her teaching career at her Alma Mater, Queen of Peace High School, an all girls Catholic prep school in Burbank, IL. Through her dedication to the young women who attended, their parents, her colleagues, and most of all the school's mission, Patti Nolan Fitzgerald became the school's Principal.

For more than three decades, Mrs. Nolan-Fitzgerald brought honor and distinction to Queen of Peace and the working-class kids who attended. Patti Nolan-Fitzgerald formed and directed the Catholic Schools Opposed to Racism, which received the blessing of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Students from all over Chicago attended workshops on how to fight racism in its many manifestations and developed programs to do just that.

Queen of Peace High School enjoyed the distinction of being in the vanguard of social justice in Chicago. Patty Nolan- Fitzgerald deflected the glow of honor from herself and allowed the light to shine on her students and the Sinsinawa Dominican Order.

Two weeks ago, the newly re-organized board of directors for Queen of Peace High School, thick with members of the Sinsinawa Dominicans, fired Patty Nolan -Fitzgerald for failing to work well with the school's newly appointed President and for doing the social justice work with her students that have so benefited the Sinsinawa Dominicans. The Kids are Angry. The Parents are angry, The Alumnae are Angry. The Board of Directors Could Care Less.

Here is a sample of the letters pouring into the Daily Southtown, the voice of the community served by Queen of Peace:

My name is Julie Egeland, and I am a senior at Queen of Peace High School, where I have spent all four years under the guidance of Ms. Patricia Nolan-Fitzgerald. During this time, Queen of Peace has helped shaped who I am. I know, as well as anyone who has ever had this woman as principal, that to lose her would be detrimental not only to the school, but also the students.
As students, we were shocked when our teachers were punished for defending someone so beloved in our community. We were confused when told we could no longer protest her removal and had to sign petitions outside of school boundaries. We were hurt when told that the decision was final; we, as well as our teachers, could do nothing about it.
Queen of Peace, however, has taught us differently. We can make a difference and our voice is significant. We are a frightened and discontented student body, but we will not rest until Ms. Nolan is reinstated. The board's decision has not made me ashamed to be part of Queen of Peace, nor could it ever.
Above all, I value the excellent education I have received there. This has made me ashamed to be part of the Dominican order. If the board cared any way in the least about the students, Patricia Nolan would always have a place at our school.

And this from a Parent:

The recent nonrenewal of the contract of Patty Nolan-Fitzgerald, principal of Queen of Peace High School, needs to be addressed. This is a woman who runs a school that prides itself on ethnic diversity. It is the birthplace of Catholic Schools Opposing Racism, an organization that came into question when the principal was told earlier in the year to cut back on such activities.
What exactly is the goal of the board of directors? Parents, teachers, alumni and students are left in the dark because of the lack of communication, lack of returned e-mails and phone calls and the abrupt cancellation of meetings in order to avoid parents.
I'm sure the reason many parents send their daughters to Queen of Peace is because it has a sterling reputation as a place of learning, growth, respect, and diversity. Are these the values the board hopes to change? I cannot understand why, in the year 2006, efforts to combat racism and efforts to open the lines of communication between people of different races and religions still are being rejected.
This is an issue far greater than the lack of a contract. It involves corporate politics, unethical practices, and unprofessional behavior from a board of directors who have no interest in the preservation of a school, community and a place where young women of all races feel they have a place and a voice.
J. Owens, Oak Lawn

Recently, Cardinal George uttered a statement marked by grace in its recognition of a personal and ecclesiastical failure in addressing the Church pedophile scandal. "You read it and you weep," said our Cardinal about a damning report concerning the handling of the scandal.

Cardinal George grew up in Chicago. His family lives in Chicago. He knows the Chicago way. Queen of Peace, though sponsored by the Sinsinawa Dominicans, is his school. Patti Nolan Fitzgerald is one of his lambs. She has been unjustly terminated.

Cardinal George has the keys to the kingdom over at Queen of Peace and an excellent hammer thanks to Bishop William Quarter. Bishop Quarter, the first Bishop of Chicago -consecrated by no less giant than Archbishop John 'Dagger John' Hughes of New York ( My favorite Catholic prelate of all time Bishop William Quarter was enough of a Chicago man to steer legislation through Illinois Government in 1847 that made the baby Diocese a Corporation Sole. That is one big hammer.

The newly published Chicago Encyclopedia presents this innovative legal hammer thus:

The juridical entity known as the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago is the chief organizational framework for Catholic life in Cook and Lake Counties. Defined according to Illinois law as a corporation sole, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago oversees thousands of employees, lay, religious, and clerical; owns millions of dollars' worth of prime city and metropolitan property; and most important, structures the spiritual lives of millions of Chicagoans. Through their spiritual and legal authority, as well as their own personal prestige, the bishops and archbishop of Chicago have exercised enormous influence. Although higher echelons of leadership in the Chicago Catholic Church have until recently been reserved for men, women and men have in many cases labored side by side in behalf of Catholic ideals and institutions.

In short, Queen of Peace High School belongs to the Archbishop of Chicago. This is a great opportunity for Cardinal George to weep a little less. A grave injustice has been done to a good servant of the Church; a valued employee has been summarily dismissed after thirty-one years of dedication and honorable service. A vital Principal at school for young women, who worked well under President/Principal model established by the Sinsinawa Dominicans has been sand-bagged by mean-spirited and short-sighted people allowed to yield too much power.

Cardinal George, you have had a rough ride here in Chicago. You now have an opportunity to carve out a place of honor in the hardened hearts of people who love to see our Church suffer. The touch of the Holy Spirit from the rough fingers of Dagger John Hughes, who consecrated Chicago's First Bishop, might give you the opportunity to right a grave wrong.

Do the right thing. Exercise the Chicago Way - A Corporation Sole - pick up the phone and make things happen. Give the Sinsinawa Dominicans, if not the members of the Queen of Peace Board, a real piece of your mind, which should reflect the feelings of the student and parent above. Don't allow this opportunity to escape you. You deserve to weep no more.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Chicago's South Side St. Patrick's Parade: March 12, 2006

Chicago's South Side parade is the Real DeaL and it has the World Championship Trophy to prove it! Charlie Comiskey's Chicago White Sox behind owner Jerry Reinsdorf led the parade south from 103rd & Western Ave. to 112th and Western for the 28th time.

Parade Grand Marshall is the Chicago Fire department's Bucks for Burns and the Chicago Special Olympics as Honorary Grand Marshall. A family event since the time that the Coakley family and the Wee Folks of Washtenaw and Talman Streets imitated the great parades of the 1950's when Chicago's Irish marched across 79th Street from Halsted to Ashland.

The South Side Parade enjoyed sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 50's and welcomed a crowd estimated at 350,000. 143 units including Police and Fire units from New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Houston, and Cleveland. The Irish Government was well represented along with groups of all ethnic backgrounds in support of Immigrant Reform. Prominent among Chicago politicians was Democratic Candidate for the 3rd Congressional District John T. Kelly, son of Irish immigrants from Galway and a leader in the fight to reform American immigration laws.

One Unit that brought the crowds to their feet was NYFD Engine # 343, named for the number of New York Firefighters lost in America's greatest attack by an enemy. Lt. Billy Schillinger and Lt. Pat Concannon commanded the vehicle. The Day after the Parade, this reporter witnessed the two firefighters giving long-sleeved white Engine # 343 T-Shirts to a large group of Chicago homeless persons, while waiting in traffic on the south side. Heroes 24-7!

Photos: Top left -Daily Southtown Soxcess Flat - Top right: Chicago Police Homicide's # 1. Closer Det. William Higgins, CPD; Second Row Left- Keegan's Pub Owner County Armagh's Bernard Callaghan and Mary Doherty ; Second Row Right Chicago's Trinity Irish Dancers; Third Row Left FDNY Lt . Billy Schillinger and Chicago's Local 597 Ed Malone and Tom Kotel of the Pipefitters Third Row Left: Keegan's Pub and Cork and Kerry at 6AM Parade Started at 12PM;
Bottom Left: The Chicago White Sox World Champship Trophy in the Hands of Chicago's Finest.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

John T. Kelly Will "Represent" the 3rd congressional District

John T. Kelly Will "Represent" the People of the 3rd District
This morning, my favorite Illinois newspaper The Daily Southtown endorsed John Sullivan as Democratic candidate for the the 3rd Congressional District. Do I need to call Mayflower, start packing,move and make room for more 'enlightened' emigrants from Evanston or is there a huge exodus from Hyde Park expected soon? Just asking,because the rationale for TDS's endorsement over Kelly seems to indicate that the voters of the 3rd District are not the people that the editorial board has in mind. Thus:"But the Daily Southtown endorses Sullivan because we believe he can be a more dynamic lawmaker, and because we believe he is more in touch with mainstream Democratic Party ideals — not strictly those of the Bungalow Belt that is Lipinski's base. Sullivan supports universal health care and urges withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq in a year. He also backs emergency contraception, stem-cell research and abortion rights."( Italics - my own) So our Congressional representative - SHOULD NOT - represent the views of the people HE REPRESENTS? What are 'mainstream Democratic Party Ideals?"John Sullivan lives two blocks from me. I met him. Nice Enough. Never asked for my vote. Never saw him at any of the many,many, many fund-raising benefits that are so much a part of the mindset of our Bunglow Belt. Never heard of the guy flipping pancakes at the parish. I know he is on some public school councils - his name is anyway.I have not seen ONE Sullivan lawnsign - heartbreaking. That is some endorsement. I love the Daily Southtown, but this One got hot Beverly Beverly Bean Haitian Blue up though my nasal passages. I might call one of those Progressive Democratic ambulance chasers from Evanston.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Carol Marin Bashes Lura Lynn Ryan for Helping Her Husband: Was Marin complicity to and FBI Frame-up of a Chicago Couple While at NBC? Just Asking.

Carol Marin of the Chicago Sun Times raked the wife of former Governor George Ryan over the coals in Sunday's Sun Times

Marin, a news icon for boldly refusing to go on air with an alleged news drip, has a reputation for fair and balanced coverage. Mrs. Lura Lynn Ryan went on TV last week and linked the attacks on her husband to his 'fight against the Death Penalty.' I don't buy that, but I respect the tactic.

It might work. Gov. Ryan might walk. I would be glad if he did. My days and nights will be more affected by the monsters George Ryan helped out of the joint. How many have made a return to the steel Sheraton?

But Carol Marin's acid-in -the- face to Lura Lynn is uncalled for. I won't repeat or post any of the column. Instead, I will post an interesting passage from The Blanket a website dedicated to a united Ireland. Two Chicagoans, Mary and Chris Fogarty, had their life's savings depleted in an attempt to defend themselves from the FBI, IRS, MI-5, and other acronymic agencies with the complicity of NBC 5's Carol Marin.

I remembered the case, because one of the murdered people was related to a girl who taught at Bishop McNamara in Kankakee ( funny how that town dovetails ( George & Lura Lynn & etc.), and I remembered how much storm the story had around the time of the Good Friday Peace Accords and the horrific Omagh bombings.

There should be a 'Follow-up' story to this - but the News media rarely do that when a story goes south on them. Carol Marin, how about some answers?

Reader, read on:
From The Blanket:

Why Ireland is Unfree; Continued
Chris Fogarty
MICHAEL McKEVITT is in Portlaoise Prison for the last two years awaiting a Brit-type, non-jury trial. Ireland’s Justice officials evidently know what everybody else knows; that the RUC, British Army Intelligence, MI5 and Chicago FBI converted an IRA property damage bomb into the Omagh massacre, and because they know it they cannot charge McKevitt with it. Instead, they have adopted a clever ruse: they have charged McKevitt, not with murder of the Omagh innocents, but with Directing the Real IRA (RIRA). They then get Ireland’s news media to add “The RIRA bombed Omagh” to all reports of McKevitt’s impending trial. Thus, though the gov’t cannot charge McKevitt with that crime, it fosters the belief that he will be convicted of it. McKevitt’s wife, Bernadette, was arrested along with him; but being a sister of internationally-revered Bobby Sands (RIP), the smears necessary to frame an innocent would hardly adhere to her. She was soon released, uncharged. At first glance McKevitt appears to be facing a Soviet-era show trial; but it is far more: it is the latest of a series of MI5 crimes that began in Chicago over a decade ago. Michael McKevitt has been framed by the self-same MI5/FBI criminals who framed me twice and wrongfully charged and incarcerated my wife Mary and me by similarly coordinated felony crimes. Here’s what happened in Chicago.
THE WARNING came from FBI Agent Joe Doyle. He informed Mary and me that some of his fellow agents were bribed and subverted by MI5 and planning “dirty tricks” crimes against us to stop our human rights and media watch work for the Occupied Irish. (MI5 evidently fears truth-tellers more than funders of the IRA, as it never attacked Irish Northern Aid.) Though Doyle spent a few hours describing the forms of MI5’s bribes and much other detail we ultimately doubted him and his warning when, despite the absoluteness of his Oath to uphold the law, he said there was nothing he could do to stop the crimes. Later, he proved too fearful of his fellow agents to testify that he had warned us. The proven accuracy of his warning of impending crimes now alarms us - as he has more recently re-contacted us to warn that the FBI will murder us if we continue to expose their crimes.
THE LANGERT FAMILY was massacred in the Chicago suburb of Winnetka a few weeks after Doyle’s first warning. The murder weapon was FBI agent Lewis’ 357 Magnum; the shooter was 16-year-old David Biro. Local detectives met and each wrote on a card the names of possible suspects and placed it onto a pile. The cards contained only one name; David Biro. Also, a detective had spotted Biro near Langerts’ home the night of the murders. He had previously shot others with his BB gun and poisoned a carton of milk in his own family refrigerator. His ambition was to be a hit-man.
FBI AGENT PATRICK “ED” BUCKLEY promptly arrived and took charge. He ordered investigators away from Biro and sent them on nationwide pursuits of phantom perpetrators, particularly the IRA. As head of the Chicago FBI’s new “Irish Terrorism” unit, Buckley was the leader of the MI5-bribed traitors about whom Doyle had warned us. During the six months that Buckley shielded Biro, Biro would impress his classmates by taking them on tours of the murder site. They kept mum. Agent Lewis never reported her gun, the murder weapon, missing.
CORRUPT NEWS MEDIA personified by TV anchorwoman Carol Marin in my case, abetted the MI5/FBI criminals the same way they abetted the Omagh perpetrators - by blaming it on the RIRA and, by extension, McKevitt. Within days of the Langert massacre Buckley got Marin to announce on prime-time network TV that “the IRA are linked to Langert murders.” When I phoned her the next day to learn the basis for her “scoop,’ she told me that her source was “an FBI agent.” When I asked her how she had met her responsibility to verify it she said she had not done so but had accepted the uncorroborated word of the FBI. She never issued a correction; and the rest of the news media parroted her lies.
BUCKLEY THEN FRAMED ME. Having gotten the news media to do to me what it has been doing to McKevitt, Buckley took his next step; he inserted into a signed police murder investigation report “my” words that doubly nailed me. Of all of Earth’s population, “my” info could be known first hand by nobody but the murderer and the first investigators on the crime scene. I was headed for Lethal Injection; but Buckley didn’t arrest me - yet. It suited MI5 to wait; as memories fade, while murder has no Statute of Limitations. Besides, his protégé Biro’s blabbing was becoming problematic; it eventually demolished Buckley’s frame-up of me. Nobody other than Biro was ever arrested for these crimes, and he was arrested only after fellow students informed police of his plan to rob the local bank and murder its entire staff.
BUCKLEY’S 2ND SERIES OF CRIMES were against my wife Mary, two others and me. He began them soon after Biro demolished his previous attempt to have me executed. He falsely arrested us and incarcerated us in the Federal Correctional Center at Clark and VanBuren streets. We barely bonded out after three days and spent the next fifteen months defending ourselves with seven attorneys. We were doomed had we been poor. We eventually proved in federal court that the FBI’s only evidence against us, an audiotape, was a criminally altered version of the original demanded by the judge.

There is more, a great deal more to this story. As of Friday, RTE the Irish national broadcasting company reported that the FBI, MI-5, and other intelligence agaencies had information about the Omagh Bombings weeks before thirty-six people were killed. Let's see that's six times the number of children George Ryan is to have had complicity in the deaths of. . . . As I recall it was a piece of a hitch that fell off the truck and collided with the Willis's van and caused the deaths of those six babies. Maybe George Ryan is guilty of that, but some one is sure guilty of helping frame a Chicago couple.

Friday, February 24, 2006

As American As Thomas Nast's Cartoons

One of America's greatest political cartoonists, Thomas Nast, the man who first depicted Santa Claus as we know him to be, found a home in American Progressive thought. Like Lyman Beecher, Samuel Morse, Margaret Sanger, Frances Willard, William Garrison, and John Quincy Adams, Thomas Nast believed that the Catholic Church was an evil institution dedicated to world domination and sexual perversions of all manifestations. This cartoon from Harpers Weekly seems suitable to today's climate.

There is a great old American tradition of vilifying the Catholic Church. In the 19th Century, immigrant Catholic children attended public schools where they learned how horrible the 'faith of their fathers and mothers' was to them. Pretty soon Catholics built their own schools. Today, those schools dominate post season athletics 'because they have an unfair advantage over Public Schools.'

The ministers of the Catholic Church are monsters; in the 19th Century they were recruiters for the Pope's Vatican Army and today they are sexual predators. The trouble is - the American Catholic Bishops are leading supplier of fuel to the fires raging in today's headlines.

I attended Catholic grammar school, high school, university and graduate school. In high school I attended a seminary in Holland Michigan ( all male) the only nuns were Mexican Hermanitas who cooked for us. We played football, basketball, baseball, and boxed.
We lived in a barracks-like dormitory. I was there for three years ( 1966-1969).
I had daily classes, athletics, and punishments under the supervision of priests and brothers. I was never approached, courted, flirted with, touched ( other than clouted for the best of reasons; I was a jerk) , much less sexually molested. I'll admit that I ain't much to look at.

I received a magnificent education and learned charity from some
wonderful people. What did I miss?

Back home, my Dad asked if I wanted to finish at Leo with my buddies from the neighborhood, but I had missed the allure of feminine company; I finished at a co-ed Catholic high school - Little Flower. There were nuns in control again but they were not as prone to violence as the grammar school sisters had been. Parish priests, including the guy who called for Cardinal George to resign, filled out the theology staff. One priest Father Charles Ruby spent what seemed like every hour of the day with us punks from Wood Street.

Father Ruby opened the gym for us during his 'free time;' talked to us about racial change and our obligations to civil rights as Catholics; counseled draft age guys about military service; warned us about Irish arthritis - getting stiff in a different joint every night; and bailed out malefactors from the lock-up at Gresham. He did not grab boys.

The only abuse from the clergy, aside from eight years of clouts in grammar school, that I have ever experienced was being hit by Cardinal Cody's driver while running across Chicago Ave. when I was late for a class at Loyola. I got a 'Watch where the hell you're going!' from Louisiana Fats, yelling from the rolled down window of his Limo. The Progressives loved Louisiana fats, who spent his early tenure in Chicago undoing the great works of Card. Mundelein and Bishop Sheils.

As a baby teacher at Bishop McNamara High school in Kankakee, IL, I witnessed Father Ken Yarno C.S.V. courageously report sexual abuse of a boy in the 'care' of another priest and that was in 1979. It's in the public record.

Boys and girls are and have been abused by priests, as well as some laymen from what I understand. It is a horror. The bishops of the Catholic Church and their chancery office spin-doctors have screwed the pooch and with the arrogance of people who have been 'right and correct' all of their lives have dismissed the charges of abuse against the clergy like so many used votive candles.

Punish the sexual predators; I have no problems with guy who shanked Geoghan in Massachusetts. Each man's death diminishes me and I can stand to drop a few pounds.

But, let's try to keep our eyes open. There are people who have made a cottage industry from the clergy abuse scandals. What is going to be left when ever person who has passed a stiff collar on the street brings a charge of abuse? Class Action suits. Remember the Children! Well, remember the children when they no longer have a Catholic school to attend. Remember the Poor! Well, remember the thousands of Catholic employees who will not see their pensions. Remember the Hurting! Well, remember the hurting when there is no Catholic Charities! Remember Justice! Well, remember justice when people like Bishop Joseph Imesch of Joliet, are tried and convicted in the court of public opinion. If Bishop Imesch is guilty of a crime, bring a case against him and convict him based upon evidence.

We , the fair minded American People, would burst the back-side out our Depends, if any Bishop had fired an openly GAY priest ten years ago. If a charge of homosexuality were leveled against any priest how soon would it have taken for the ACLU and Gay activist lawyers to sue the diocese? As quick as a lawyer can say, "40%." How long would an issue like "PRIVACY" been not taken for granted?

We want it now! We want it to go away. Well, things do go away. The money. The services. The schools. The opportunities.

Let's remember that the man who gave use Santa Claus, 19th Century cartoonist Thomas Nast, also HATED the Catholic Church and Catholics in particular. His sentiments are an American tradition. Faith is larger than tradition and so are the laws of Cause and Effect.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Donal O'Kelly's Catalpa

An add appearing in Chicago's Irish American News February edition ( page 10) announcing the February 22nd opening of Donal O'Kelly's One-Man Play Catalpa, presented by the Irish repertory of Chicago noted that "His script is the true tale of The catalpa, an American whaling ship hijacked at sea and forced to sail to Australia is rescue a group of Irish political prisoners."

That note is misleading, neither the good ship Catalpa nor playwright/actor/director/film star O'Kelly is forced into the rescue or presenting that skewed bit of history. Donal O'Kelly and composer Trevor Knight present the mission of the Catalpa with attention to historical detail.

John Devoy, New York's exiled Irish Republican Brotherhood leader paid for the services of the Bedford Mass. Whaling ship, its Captain, Crew, and voyage, in order to bring about the escape of the Freemantle Six - Irishmen in the British Army found to have taken the oath of the IRB, sentenced to Life in Penal Servitude in Her Majesty's Western Australia Colony.

I attended the opening night performance in The Getz Theatre of Chicago's Columbia College. From the opening chords of Trevor Knight's musical adaptation to the final sounds of O'Kelly's child persona the packed house was made the willing participant of the sea saga about infidelity, patriotism, courage, skill, desperation, and hope.

The premise of Donal O'Kelly, a familiar face in the Celtic Tiger's cinema roll call, is of a man coming out of a failed movie pitch to Hollywood Producers. This fictional pitcher tries one more time and strikes one across the letters of O'Kelley's audience. Applying sound and sense from a palette thick with experience, O'Kelly and Knight treat their audience with the respect and the audio-caresses the Hollywood Players missed out on.

Verbally visualizing every shot, sound and mood O'Kelly's would-be movie maker takes the audience on a sound-voyage and verbal cruise through the adventures and psychological peculiarities of every character in 'the movie' to be.

Yankee Ship owners, West Indian Harpoonmen, Irish Icons, French chambermaids, A Sea Bird, Australian spies, Fenian Prisoners, an andry Wife and the angrier ghost of the Captain's mother-in-law pour from the soul and talents of Donal O'Kelly. One of the great lines of dialogue comes from the Yankee Ship owner who agrees to the Catalpa's place in the Fenian plot - for a handsome price of course states as his reason, ' We may at some time run out of whales to hunt, but we will never run out of Irish Americans!"

I had the pleasure to speak with the author/ performer after the thrilling two hours vanished like the Australian sea storms - Howling, Blasting, and Surging - now calm - assured - and trusting.

We met in the dark and chilly backstage of the Getz Theatre.

MY TALK WITH DONAL O'KELLY - 2/22/06 at Columbia College's Getz theatre

Pat Hickey for Wild Geese Today - PH

Donal O'Kelly - DO'K

PH - I am with the author and performer of Catalpa, Mr. Donal O'Kelly. We are at the Columbia College Theatre ( Getz Theatre) and you put on a brilliant performance. It's a remarkable piece as its a presentation to some movie producers 'gone south.' Would you talk about that a little bit?

Do'k -Well the whole idea is of a man writing a screenplay who can never really pitch the idea to producers - he always makes a mess of it. So, my idea of Catalpa is to present the idea to the audience as this guy sees it in his mind. We can theatrically and with live music recreate what the man wants to get across that a film might not allow and the audience is invited in to experience what this man wants to get across.

PH - The language of this play is remarkable - its sights and sounds and cadences. It's remarkably rhythmic.

DO'K - It's sort of our ( performer and audience) little short-hand -so that -unwittingly -the audience participates they get the images very vividly in their minds. Its economic use of language - At least in theory ( laughs)

PH - Well it works. This magnificent story presented in such an inviting manner. You had a packed house enthralled.

D"OK - We try not to draw a certain amount of attention the mechanics of the language so much as visualize through the sounds - rather than say 'Oh, isn't that such wonderful writing - as a distraction to them - try to be too clever. So what the audience gets is the features in their heads.

PH- Trevor's work picked up on your cadences and Language - particularly in the whales care of its child and how it merged with George Anthony's thoughts of home.

D'OK - Well Yeah, George has a bit of Mother Fixation or should I say the Ghost of a mother-in-Law Fixation. Throughout the play George ( Capt. of the Catalpa) is haunted by the ghost of his mother-in-law for breaking his vow never to go to sea again - its was a death-bed promise.

PH - You kept the historical background intact without drumming away at it too much. Here is Chicago the IRB was a great influence.

D'OK - Quite right for the sake of theatrics we did not include John Devoy's rival Goff of Chicago. As theatre piece we had to leave Chicago's part out of it.

PH - Well you must be exhausted and I'll get out of your hair. Let me thank you for bringing this play to Chicago.

DO'K - On the contrary it was through the support of Irish report Theatre and their sponsoring agencies - I will say this that they were an intelligent and responsive audience. They got the punchlines to the jokes set early on in the play. It was a great pleasure to bring them in.

Along with Knight and O'Kelly, Ms Sorcha Fox did a great job of balancing the lighting to meet the many moods created by the sound and sense of O'Kelly's presentation of Catalpa.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Chicago Tribune Finds Joliet Bishop Guilty

The Chicago Tribune, from its earliest days as Chicago's best fish wrapper, has had a tradition of joyfully condemning the Catholic Church and Catholics. As a Whig and later Republican paper, the Chicago Tribune has never missed an opportunity to hit Catholics and the Archdiocese of Chicago as foreign, criminal, puritanical, clannish, racist, anti-semetic, Poilitical Machine driven, drunken, licentious, corrupt, and devious. From Medil, through McCormick, to its current Board of Directors, the Chicago Tribune never misses an opportunity to bash the Catholic Church, its ministers, and its congregants.

But Chicago is a Catholic city and Catholic make up a heavy portion of the Tribune's readership. I do not and have not bought a Chicago Tribune in years, but I read it. My neighbors always throw it out and itis available on-line. Today's editorial is another such example.

America's leading clerical-abuse ambulance chaser, Jeffery Anderson of Minnesota, is hard at work in Illinois to rake in millions of dollars from people who claim to have been abused by priests. The Chicago Tribune's tack on Herr Anderson is that he is a fearless dragon-of-Babylon slayer and champion of helpless victims. That's nice. I read the news. Amderson is always in the News - CNN, Times-Picayun, Boston Globe, and etc. Lawyer Anderson was broke in the early eighties until he took up the case of a drifter who wandered into a Catholic Church in order to relieve himself. Anderson won a huge settlement by portraying the Catholic Church as hostile to the homeless and deflecting the the charge of unlawful entry. Sharp guy.

From there it was gravy. Taking cases that allowed huge settlements from individual dioceses around America, Anderson amassed millions of dollars in fees and with the sexual abuse cases pouring in, Anderson made more millions.

Let's pause there . The Catholic Church in America was devastated by the size and scope of priest sexual abuse cases that were swept aside by Chancery nit-wits and monstrous asses like Boston's Cardinal Law - who skulked off to the Vatican. The Catholic Conference of Bishops convened to combat abuase and with their usual aplomb screwed the pooch by an inability to understand the anger of the Catholic laity. Nevertheless, sexual abuse cases began to see the light of day. But I am no lawyer and can only imagine the dent that reform will make in the coffers of a pettifogging crumb like Anderson. So after a breather - it's full charge against the Church.

The Chicago Tribune has decided to bring its artillary down on Bishop Joseph Imesch of Joliet. They don't have the grapes to opennly criticize Chicago's Cardinal George but at least they can get a few licks in on the Bishop of Joliet.

I detest the the Tribune. When it wants someone 'dead' in the media, it takes the leash off its dogs. Sheriff Michael Sheahan was a frequent target but he punched back and theTribune yelped its way back under the couch. The Tribune wanted to destroy Sheahan professionally and personally in the press and when the Tribune's orchestrated Cook County Jail assault straw-man went to the jury , it only took the sober judgment of 12 good people to toss the charges in twenty minutes. I hope that Bishop Imesch diplays the same toughness as Mike Sheahan. When asked by reporters from the balance of Chicago's mediums about the quality of Chicago Tribune investigative powers, Sheahan succinctly and accurately summed up ' Tribune invesitgative journalism is BS.' Chicago agreed.

But that does not stop the paper that declared Dewey a Winner! Take a look at what the Chicago Tribune's editorial brain-trust opines:

Bishop Imesch, in his wordsPublished February 9, 2006
Americans curious about the failure of many Roman Catholic bishops to report sexual abuse by clerics owe gratitude to Joliet Bishop Joseph Imesch. During a deposition given last August and unsealed by a judge last week, the bishop put words to the code of silence that insulated his subordinates--if not the innocents they allegedly exploited:- In one deposition excerpt, attorney Jeffrey Anderson quizzed Imesch about a deacon's report to diocesan officials in 1985 that a Woodridge priest, Rev. Edward Stefanich, might be having an improper relationship with a 14-year-old girl. Did Imesch contact police? "I would not do that," the bishop said. "There is no verification. There is no hard evidence that this was happening. And I'm not going to go say, `Hey, police, go check on my priest.'"Anderson: "If you had reported this to the police in 1985 to investigate the suspicion ... this girl wouldn't have been raped?"Imesch: "I'm not going to go to the police and say I've got a suspicion that one of my priests is dating a young girl. I'm not going to do that."Anderson: "She was a 14-year-old girl."Imesch: "We didn't know that at the time."Anderson: "You didn't ask."Imesch: "We didn't know who to ask."The deacon, sensibly, did go to the police. Stefanich pleaded guilty in August 1987 to criminal sexual abuse and was sentenced to 6 months in jail. He also left the priesthood.- Anderson asked about Rev. Larry Gibbs, accused of abusing boys in Lombard. Imesch said Gibbs acknowledged skinny-dipping with the boys and playing games while they were nude--conduct Imesch called "inappropriate." Imesch moved Gibbs to a Lockport parish, where he again was accused. When Anderson asked Imesch if he considered the 1980 Lombard allegations against Gibbs credible, the bishop replied: "Well, I think what happened happened. It was not considered a crime or a criminal activity so there was no reason for me not to transfer him."- In the late 1970s, a Michigan priest confided to Imesch that he had sexually abused an altar boy there. The admission came after the priest, Rev. Gary Berthiaume, had been arrested, but before he was convicted of molesting the boy. Why hadn't Imesch reported Berthiaume's admission to Michigan investigators? "Well, I don't think that was my responsibility," the bishop said. "He is charged with a crime. He has to be given a trial. My going to the police doesn't have anything to do with whether he's guilty or not." Years later, Imesch invited Berthiaume to work at a retreat house in the Joliet diocese.Imesch's words eloquently explain why this abuse crisis is not a matter for the church alone to resolve. Many of the bishops who covered up crimes, and who enabled predators to hurt new victims, still face no formal consequences.Imesch said in a weekend letter to his flock that these incidents occurred "before psychologists recognized that behavior of that kind was indicative of a severe problem that could not be adequately treated." The diocese now notifies civil authorities of any abuse allegations, he said. "The media reports tend to portray me as someone who doesn't care about the safety of children. Nothing could be further from the truth. All of us can look back on our lives and find things we should have done differently."No, it's not the news media that portray Imesch in a troubling light. His words suffice.A diocesan spokesman told the Tribune that Imesch, who is 74 and plans to retire at 75, has asked the Vatican to look for his replacement.So Bishop Imesch, it appears, will be allowed to leave on his terms. How convenient for him.The people molested by criminals he didn't report will continue to live with the consequences.And the many honorable, selfless priests of the Joliet diocese can soon begin rebuilding the trust that Bishop Imesch has destroyed.
Copyright © 2006, Chicago Tribune

I am stopping at DiCola's for some cat-fish after work. I know I'll find a Trib in the parking lot there.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Spike O'Donnell - Da Real M'Coy

Edward 'Spike' O'Donnell lived in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood at about 83rd and Loomis - near Foster Park. He died there - with several trips to Englewood and later Little Company of Mary Hospitals, where he recovered from gun-shot wounds and assorted broken limbs due to the nature of his vocation. Spike O'Donnell was a Slugger, A Tough Guy, A Hard Egg, A Bootlegger, A Crime Czar, A Hitter, A Burglar, A Strong Arm Guy, A Lecturer . . . yes, a lecturer.

In his varied career spanning four decades Edward J. O'Donnell managed to stay one-step ahead of the undertaker and two steps ahead of the G-Men. He is the original American Hood - The Real M'Coy. George Raft tried to emulate him no actor could duplicate him. Humphrey Bogart was scared to death of him.

In the next couple of weeks I plan to put together some points of reference and reprint some Chicago Tribune newscopy. I would like to learn more about this guy from the neighborhood Hood.
February 8m 2006 1:28 PM