Friday, May 08, 2015

Bernadine McPolin Goes Home to Christ and Her BoyFriend/Hubby John!

Bernadine McPolin Obituary

I was at the wake for Leo Alumnus and WWII hero Lou Knox when my cell phone recorded my Mom's voice, sad, direct and careful -" Pat, Bern McPolin died. She is going to be waked at St. Cajetan's on Saturday. There'll be something in the Trib.'

Bern McPolin and my Mom were like sisters married to a pair of cut-ups.  John McPolin and my Dad were closer than than two brothers and had worked together as stationary engineers from the end of WWII to their retirements.  The pair of veterans and wise guys were like Jack Benny and Fred Allen: constantly trying to out-prank and out- argue-for argument's sake one another - " Jesus, you bitch you, I know you were the last one in the basement with last beer in the ice-box!"  Bern and Ginny always had to 'correct' their boys and tell them that they were both wrong, again -all of the time.

Mrs. McPolin would always pat me on the shoulder at Mass and ask about her 'darlings' - my three kids who lost their mother far too early in life and had to be raised by the Chicago version of Homer Simpson.

Bern McPolin was a widely respected and honored nurse who led generations of young ladies in white to be caring ministers to the suffering of their patients and their families.

Christ welcome home a great woman!

Bernadine J. McPolin, nee Hogan; Age 93; Devoted wife of the late John J. Loving mom of Beth (Tom) Moran, Terry Ret. C.F.D. (Cheryl), Kevin (Nina), Joanne (Kevin) Urbanik, and Denise (Dan) Crnjak; Proud grandma of 11 and great-grandma of 14. Beloved sister of the late LaVerne, late Eileen, and the late Janet; Dear sister-in-law of the late Rev. Patrick "Packy" McPolin (C.M.F.), late Lorraine and Dick Moravek, and the late Bob and Marie Shields; fond aunt to many nieces and nephews; retired R.N. Little Company of Mary Class of 1943; wonderful friend to many long-time St. Cajetan's parishioners; Bernie's keen sense of humor, and caring for others endeared her to all who knew her - family, friends, and the 112th St. neighbors; longtime member of the Sharpies and Kiwanis; Visitation Saturday 9:30 a.m. until time of Mass 12:00 noon at St. Cajetan Church, 112th & Artesian, Chicago. Interment Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Arrangements entrusted to Curley Funeral Home; for funeral info 708-422-2700, or -  

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Unanimous NonSense - Burge Myth Elevated to Cargo Cult!

Ald. Proco "Joe" Moreno read a roll call of torture victims he said were on hand at the council meeting, and as the men and their relatives stood in the gallery, aldermen turned and gave them an ovation.
"This is truly an historic day for Chicago, for this City Council and most importantly for the victims of some horrific behavior that happened right here in Chicago," said Moreno, 1st. "Not in Iraq, not in Syria, but right here in Chicago." Chicago Tribune
  History, after all, consisted of an unbroken succession of rulers, leaders, bosses, and commanders who with extremely rare exceptions had all begun well and ended badly. All of them, at least so they said, had striven for power for the sake of the good; afterward they had become obsessed and numbed by power and loved it for its own sake. Hermann Hesse from The Glass Bead Game
 After World War II anthropologists discovered that an unusual religion had developed among the islanders of the South Pacific. It was oriented around the concept of cargo which the islanders perceived as the source of the wealth and power of the Europeans and Americans. This religion, known as the Cargo Cult, held that if the proper ceremonies were performed shipments of riches would be sent from some heavenly place. It was all very logical to the islanders. The islanders saw that they worked hard but were poor whereas the Europeans and Americans did not work but instead wrote things down on paper and in due time a shipment of wonderful things would arrive.
The Cargo Cult members built replicas of airports and airplanes out of twigs and branches and made the sounds associated with airplanes to try to activate the shipment of cargo. San Jose State University

With the unanimous approval of all 50 Chicago Alderman, the Burge Mythology was elevated from a yarn repeatedly told in courtrooms hand-picked by The Peoples Law Office, aped incessantly from pages of Mother Jones, Chicago Reader, The Daily Worker, by the Chicago newspapers, WTTW and eventually the three news channels, in classrooms occupied by group-thought instructors and eaten like Haagen Dazs by generations of young people was elevated to State Worship as Chicago's Official Cargo Cult.

Artifacts and personalities around Jon Burge evolved into what Francis Bacon called Idols of the Tribe - abstractions in error arising from common tendencies to exaggeration, distortion, and disproportion.

Though no Chicago Police Officer, or any member of his/her extended family has ever been proven to have committed any act of torture upon any human being, black, white, brown, yellow, red  or rainbow hued, it is now the official doctrine that a Midnight Crew tortured black men 24/7 between the late 1970's and New Millennium.

The Chicago City Council without any balanced consideration of the Burge Myth ( where were the studies of Pulitzer Prize Winning journalist William Crawford, or auth Martin Preib in the discussions?), one side of story received a unanimous vote.

Well meaning and good people have been confused by very clever and not very good people to accept a new certainty that police officers, motivated only by systemic racism tortured and falsely arrested Chicago black men.

That belief is no different from the people of England accepting Henry VIII as the sole Head of the Church of England and Successor to Saint Peter, because Parliament went along with Henry's gonads with an Act of Supremacy.

Likewise, Cargo Cult People after WWII.

The Indigenous Peoples of the South Pacific waited in abandoned towers on New Guinea for the return of the powerful gods from the skies to land on the jungle over-grown airfields that onec upon a time brought gifts of Spam, cigarettes, candy, GI socks and undies, batteries, jeeps and tents.

Way to go Chicago Aldermen!

Get up in your towers and wait for what will happen.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Croesus Would Have Loved Chicago's Annointed and Appointed Grifters!

"There! That Old Lady Sneaked on!  Shoot Her!  Good catch, Forrest!  Here's another Double Saw-buck to put in your sling!"

Teachers!  7% pay cut! Sophisticated economics!  Let's here it!  Forest Claypool is still with us!

Imagine being someone like Frank Kuesi, Ron Huberman, Dave Mosena, or Forrest Claypool!  That is not a question.  Imagine if you, some poor slob of a Streets and Sanitation worker, CPS teacher, or white collar drudge saddled with dues to AFCSME had some how caught the eyes and ears of a Richie Daley, or Rahm Emanuel and somehow had flattered their vanities, or had some nasty bit of dirt on them and suddenly found yourself appointed to some lofty post with perquisites out the Ying Yang and six figure salary - then you'd be bullet-proof, frost-proof and BGA proof. BGA is run by Andy Shaw - a guy who could not find a microphone wrapped around his noggin.

Andy Shaw, boys and girls!

Such imaginings go back as far as Herodatus (485-425 BC).  Herodatus, the Father of History, wrote wonderful tales ancient glories about kings, commoners and culture in the ancient world of Persia and Greece.

One of his favorite early topics was Croesus King of Lydia.  One yarn had to do with Alcmaeon, Son of Megacles The First Archon of Athens who was booted from town for sacrilege.  Alcmeaon was the son of a judge, which always put one in good stead with someone who might need a judge on the hip. Croesus invited Alcmeaon to Sardis for doing him some good services. Alcmaeon has helped kill the suppliants of Cylon the guy who started the Olympics. It's a religious thing and religion had nothing much to do with Croesus who was all about the gold.

Croesus allowed Alcmaeon to carry off as much gold as he could carry - on his person. Alcmaeon immediately
stuffed his legs with as much gold as his boots could hold, and then, after he had filled the fold in his tunic brim-full with gold, he sprinkled gold-dust over the hair on his scalp, shoved some more into his mouth and left the treasury barely able to drag his boots along as he went.
Croesus was so tickled by the sight of this impious gonif that he allowed Alcmaeon to carry twice that weight and by Cylon's Jockstrap . . .he did.Nowadays, People who make absolutely no impact on the public good whatsoever do exactly the same thing -

Although Carter, 57, was bypassed for the CTA's top job some years ago, he held a number of posts that count there, including executive vice president and chief administrative officer. That puts him miles ahead of other CTA presidents of recent years, including Forrest Claypool (who now will be Emanuel's chief of staff), Frank Kruesi, Ron Huberman and David Mosena. None of them had any transit experience of note when they were tapped to head an agency that provides 1.6 million rides every workday.
Beyond that, Carter most recently has been chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Transportation, the mothership for aging urban transit agencies that need federal cash.
"I now have an ally who can work his Rolodex just like me," Emanuel said today—for once, not exaggerating. "We can play tag team."
Not Red Tag, Coon eyes!

Forrest Claypool received a   $198000 annual salary for insulting CTA employees, staging L Rides, Shilling for Ventra Cards and Bombardier Rail Car Wheels that didn't fit the gauge of the Chicago rail line tracks, oustin the union leadership of Amalgamated Transit Worker with Michael Pfleger and wowing the britches off of Carol Marin on WTTW.  It stands to reason that Dorval Carter will pack that much in his wallet.

Claypool, as Coon-Eyes' Chief of Staff, will get a signing bonus and points above that  $198000. It will not be public record, I imagine - executive do have privilege.

Croesus to Kruesi, to Huberman, to Mosena, to Claypool! It's all about the gold . . . .which used to be in your wallet. 

Burge Mythology Victory -Chicago City Council Set to Approve - It Will Be Unanimousn

G. Flint Taylor* and arsonist/murderer Madison Hobley**

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.

Some very bad people created the Burge Mythology and will make hundreds of thousands of more dollars, when Chicago's aldermen vote for the Burge Reparations ordinance.  It will be unanimous. Not one Alderman has the guts to ask for a true analysis of the Burge Myth.

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, Mark Brown, Eric Zorn 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 should 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. As it is, Jon Burge has been tripped up, convicted of perjury, sent to prison, released and now waits for the next bundle of legal barbed wire.

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 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,Antonio Collins, 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, by judges and attorneys general. 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. Today, the City Council will 5.5 million more dollars to G. Flint Taylor and The Peoples Law Office.

A jury should decide one way or the other, but do not think for a minute that Burge Industries will ever be satisfied. If Jon Burge is ever convicted of the torture the mythology demands we accept, or is acquitted, G. Flint Taylor and his disciples will howl for more, more, more court time and greater fees.

Taylor is record for more legal battles no matter how much the City of Chicago gives away.  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.”

Police officer and author Martin Preib has pulled apart the author of the Burge Mythology -John Conroy.

Conroy made The Chicago Reader the Norton Anthology of Burge Myths; however, John Conroy was discharged from the Chicago Reader, never found work on any news paper, magazine, or electronic media server, but landed a post at DePaul University after a very brief time with Andy Shaw's BGA.

Mr. Conroy never responded to Martin Preib's critique of his methodology.  Why is that?

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

Perhaps, William Crawford's new book on this cottage industry tied to police brutality mythology and duplicitous Wrongful Conviction Complex of journalists, criminals, lawyers and activists will wake some people up.  I hope so.

More kids will be slaughtered. If it bleeds it leads. If it gets in a column, G. Flint Taylor makes money.

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

* “…Former FBI agents have told Village Voice Media the basis for their belief that the Weather Underground was behind McDonnell's murder. The agents have revealed that two credible eyewitnesses — both former left-wing radicals tied to the Weathermen — gave detailed statements to investigators in the 1970s alleging that Dohrn and Howard Machtinger, another member of the group, were personally involved in organizing the deadly attack. Both witnesses claimed to have participated in meetings where the bombing was planned, and one confessed to having cased the police station for the Weathermen prior to the explosion,” wrote the River Front Times.  Martin Preib

**The centerpiece of the Conroy article are the claims of Hobley’s attorneys that a gas can found by detectives at the crime scene the day after the murders vindicated Hobley. This gas can was evidence of a police frame-up, according to the attorneys. The controversy over the gas can eventually led to a long evidentiary review. A judge eventually ruled that there was nothing about the gas can sufficient to overturn Hobley’s conviction. Martin Preib

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

On This Day in 1926, Sinclair Lewis Refused the Pulitzer Prize

All prizes, like all titles, are dangerous. The seekers for prizes tend to labor not for inherent excellence but for alien rewards: they tend to write this, or timorously to avoid writing that, in order to tickle the prejudices of a haphazard committee. And the Pulitzer Prize for novels is peculiarly objectionable because the terms of it have been constantly and grievously misrepresented.
Those terms are that the prize shall be given "for the American novel published during the year which shall best present the wholesome atmosphere of American life, and the highest standard of American manners and manhood." This phrase, if it means anything whatever, would appear to mean that the appraisal of the novels shall be made not according to their actual literary merit but in obedience to whatever code of Good Form may chance to be popular at the moment.

The first Pulitzer Prize for the novel went to Ernest Poole, a 1%-er child of privilege, whose Pappy worked with the stockyard packing interests and Jane Addams against the Amalgamated Meatcutters Union in breaking the 1904 and the subesquent 1912 stockyard strikes. Young Ernie, just out of Princeton, was 'made' a free-lance journalist who would 'cover' the strikes.  There is no primary source material indicating Master Poole's prose reportage of too heart-breaking attempts by labor to get a fair shake from the Swifts, the Armours and Cudahys. Jane Addams Hull House flourished, Chicago's  new Orchestra Hall was built and less-connected 'settlement house' operations were funded, once Jane Addams and Dr. Cornelia De Bey 'persuaded' Meatcutter President Michael Donnelly to end the strike of 1904.  That ended things for the stockyard workers then and there, but Progressive Chicago triumphed.
Image result for ernest poole spartacus
Ernest Poole wrote his second novel, His Family, which no one reads,  ( well, I did, out of curiosity) and it took the first Pulitzer Prize.  It is a genuine stinker - think Babbitt without any humor, whatsoever.

The Pulitzer Prize has gone to many mediocrities and a few people of actual worth and accomplishment.
Image result for pulitzer
Even in 1926, some accomplished folks could tell the difference between Shinola and that other substance.
Sinclair Lewis and Ernest Poole shared some political opinions.  Both saw Socialism as a stay against totalitarianism.  Only Lewis caught on to the fact that socialism was a path to misery. Ernest Poole was an apologist for Stalin way past his due date ( 1937).   Lefties never admit to being wrong; God Bless Them.

Thanks to Sinclair Lewis, who would later accept a Nobel Prize for Literature, someone pointed out the nonsense.

Lou Knox ( Leo '42) Goes Home to Christ - Army Ranger Who Liberated Rome and Leo Man Extraordinary


Lou Knox Third from the Left -First in Our Hearts! Christ Welcome Home Lou Knox. Here is a wonderful report on a genuine hero, by Caroline Connors.
On Dec. 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, Lou Knox tried to enlist in the Marines, but he was turned down for having an overbite.
Knox graduated from Leo High School in 1942, enrolled at DePaul University and was eventually drafted in February 1943.
“At that point, they would take you if you were warm,” Knox said.
A native of the parish of St. Columbanus Roman Catholic Church on the South Side, Knox served 34 months in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was a member of Darby’s Rangers, an elite special operations unit whose members were the first American soldiers to see combat in the war. He scaled a cliff in the south of France and was the first American soldier to enter Rome. He also met the king and crown prince of Norway. During his tour, he was wounded twice and received both the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.
Now 87 and a resident of Tinley Park, Knox will recall some of his World War II experiences when he participates in the annual Leo High School Veterans Memorial Observance on Nov. 5. The event—co-sponsored by Leo High School, the Leo Alumni Association, Windy City Veterans, the Veterans Leadership Program, American Legion Giles Post #87 and the Chicago Commission on Human Relations—will take place in the school’s courtyard on 79th Street near Sangamon Avenue at 11 a.m. The event is open to the public. (emphasis my own)
Caroline Connors -Beverly Review

Funeral arrangements pending.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Michael Moore's Cops - The New Epicurians

Disarm the police. We have a 1/4 billion 2nd amendment guns in our homes 4 protection. We'll survive til the right cops r hired - Michigan Fats -aka Michael Moore

Morbidly obese glutton, one time film maker and social engineer Michael Moore has demanded that police officers be stripped of weapons and felony drug convicts be released into the wild again.

Realistically, police officers need some small deterent.  I believe that food items and coupons for upscale cutlery and cookware might just halt the trend of police officers defending themselves.

Police Culture - which all Lefties from Obama to Brownie the neighborhood pain-in-the-ass Who worries about bottled water as much as ISIS agree - must be the force of change; not the million fold feral dusky hued youth of America's Urban Paradisos!

Police Culture?  No more!  No Moore!

Make it Epicurean!  Where once a Joseph Wambaugh would site Kilvinsky's Law as the means of saving Urban America and Michael Moore from social engineering gone wrong we'd have this!

                                                      Killnoone's Law
"Kilnoone's's law states, be civil to everyone, courteous to no one. If he uses a fist, use your SlimJims offer him a bite and I am sure you will both come to a mutual respect. If he uses a knife, cancel his ticket right then and purchase him a set of lovely pearl in-lay cutlery. German steel is best, though the Koreans have made some remarkable advances in the last few years thanks to Obama's Pacific Offerings. We're supposed to use equal force, you know.   I am going home at the end of the day!    Once, there I fully intend to roast a suckling pig and prepare a nice apple chutney.

Michael Moore!  Black Olives Matter!  Eat Me!

Ralph Ellison's " King of the Bingo Game" - Undertstand it and Maybe We Will Understand Baltimore

Ralph Ellison is not loved by the African American elites and is very often kept out of the public school literature canon for that very reason.

Ralph Ellison was the first black man in America to present in black and white on the printed page the full color of the African American Experience.  No Communist meat puppet, like Richard Wright, nor a bee bop poser like James Baldwin, talented men both, Ellison remains an original American voice.

Invisible Man is a prose epic of the first order. In appeared in 1952, just like the white man writing these notes.

That novel placed Ralph Ellison very near the peak of the American Literary Olympus: National Book Award for 1953 and lionized by the New York publishing and culture mouthpieces universal.

Read it.

The African American elites hate the book and the man who wrote it, as do the white power brokers of culture who call the tune they seem to dance to at every turn.  Ellison is no Toni Morrison and certainly no flabby thinker like Michael Eric Dyson.  He is an artist and man comfortable in his own black skin.

As such, he has no problem revealing the hopes and dreams deferred that boil in rage and frustration beneath than darker American pelt; more so, Ellison understands their sources and they can not be linked solely to societal misdeeds and slaps in the face. Ellison's short story, "King of the Bingo Game" is an easy path* to understanding not only Ralph Ellison, but also the frustrations of African Americans broiling in Baltimore.

To summarize, the story is set in New York, most likely in the 1940's.  At the end of each movie shown in theater the house conducts a bingo game.  Young man from North Carolina with a sick wife at home and no prospects for employment, because he does not have a birth certificate, buys five bingo cards.

The black man has not eaten and the smell of peanuts being eaten by a person near him gnaws at his stomach, as does the smell of whiskey being enjoyed by two men near him. He anguishes over his new life in the big city and recalls that people in the impoverished south shared whatever they had with one another.

His hunger and boredom awaiting the chance at a spin of the bingo wheel for the prize of $ 36.95 puts him to sleep.  He dreams and in his dream shouts out to the annoyance of the movie fans. The two guys drinking the booze offer him the bottle, not out of a sense of a neighbors needs, but to shut him up.

One of the five bingo cards is a winner and the young man is called to the stage. He is a winner and has the chance to win the money.  He will be able to buy his wife some medicine and buy some food.

Being called to the center stage with the bright lights and everyone shouting at and about him, he freezes.  The world of attention overwhelms him.  He cannot spin the big wheel - the device is a button that controls the screen sized spinning wheel.

Two men and eventually cops are called in because he has stopped the entertainment. The audience sings, hoots and hollers at man frozen by opportunity:

He was standing in an attitude of intense listening when he saw
that they were watching something on the stage behind him. He felt
weak. But when he turned he saw no one. If only his thumb did not
ache so. Now they were applauding. And for a moment he thought
that the wheel had stopped. But that was impossible, his thumb still ,
pressed the button. Then he saw them. Two men in uniform beckoned
from the end of the stage. They were coming toward him, walking in
step, slowly, like a tap-dance team returning for a third encore. But
their shoulders shot forward, and he backed away, looking wildly about.
There was nothing to fight them with. He had only the long black cord
which led to a plug somewhere back stage, and he couldn't use that
because it operated the bingo wheel. He backed slowly, fixing the men
with his eyes as his lips stretched over his teeth in a tight, fixed grin;
moved toward the end of the stage and realizing that he couldn't go
much further, for suddenly the cord became taut and he couldn't afford
to break the cord. But he had to do something. The audience was
howling. Suddenly he stopped dead, seeing the men halt, their legs
lifted as in an interrupted step of a slow-motion dance. There was nothing
to do but run in the other direction and he dashed forward, slipping
and sliding. The men fell back, surprised. He struck out Violently going
"Grab him!"
He ran, but all too quickly the cord tightened, resistingly, and
 he turned and ran back again. This time he slipped them, and discovered
by running in a circle before the wheel he could keep the cord
from tightening. But this way he had to flail his arms to keep the men
away. Why couldn't they leave a man alone? He ran, circling.
"Ring down the curtain," someone yelled. But they couldn't do
that. If they did the wheel flashing from the projection room would be
cut off. But they had him before he could tell them so, trying to pry
open his fist, and he was wrestling and trying to bring his knees into
the fight and holding on to the button, for it was his life. And now he
was down, seeing a foot coming down, crushing his wrist cruelly, down
, (emphasis my own)
The Wheel landed at the required Double Zero - he won.  He did not get what fortune, luck, investment and opportunity had provided.  His overwhelmed condition and the roar of the crowd denies him the prize offered to any man.

He is a good man, a Black Hamlet.  He is a faithful man, and African American Tom Joad.  He is a lucky man, a Negro Leopold Bloom. Opportunity and circumstances deny him the prize.  Racism?  Not in Ellison's story. The King of the Bingo Game could be a Swede, a Mexican, a Latvian Jew, a Russian or a cracker from Georgia.  He happens to be a black man, a Negro, as Ellison demanded to define himself.

His name could be Freddie Gray.  He is about the same age.  Ellison draws no conclusions; he presents a human being in uncomfortable conditions, where a opportunity slips from the hands of a good man.

Human beings behave no differently in Aeschylus, Shakespeare, Joyce, or Ellison. I'll be damned, if I'll say else wise, much less teach literature counter to that.

* for the reading challenged, or just plain lazy.

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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Walkin' Dan? Not a Fan.

It’s a long, long way to go. His body’s tired, but not his soul. He’s a winner walkin’ home." -A Winner Walkin' Home: The Ballad of Dan Walker

My Dad always said, " The only people to smoke a corncob pipe were Dugout Doug MacArthur, Walkin' Dan Walker and Granny Clampett; two were creeps and one a pretend Hillbilly."

Image and Substance matter.  A man in work clothes should be doing tough manual labor, otherwise it is only make-believe dress-up time.

The late Dan Walker was the very model of modern preening politician of both political parties. Props and sound bytes and compelling narratives turned Walker into the Populist Progressive Democrat, now all the rage. Dan Walker set the table for  political grifters like Forrest Claypool, Mike Quigley, Jan Schakowsky, Rod Blagojevich, and GOP darlings like Bruce Rauner, Aaron Schock and Senator Marque Kirque. These types who " . . .shout and scream, I'll kill the king, I'll rail at all his servants" and drink deeply from the public trough. Colorful Populists  have never been my cup of strychnine.

Dan Walker belongs to the ages.

The ages had their advent when Dan Walker put on his costumeImage result for governor.daniel walker walk thru illinois instead of his daily wear.

Image result for governor.daniel walker walk thru illinois

Image and substance?  They only match up when deeds glue them together,

Dan Walker was a talented man, a WASP princeling, an Annapolis 'ring-knocker' and shameless opportunist who litigated against organized labor as counsel for Montgomery Ward, or smeared cops with broadest of social engineering brushes, or used First American Savings and Loan as his personal piggy bank with equal relish and entitlement.

Dan Walker donned blue denin, work-boots, clenched a foot-long corn cob pipe in his magnificently maintained teeth, grew his hair to Bobby Kennedy lengths, tied a Howdy Doody bandanna around his windpipe and gave the people of Illinois their first taste of  political bullshit - and they swallowed it ever since 1972.

1972 marked the end of the Democratic Party when it was high jacked by Abner Mikva, Patricia Harris, Bill Singer and America's foremost grifter adept - Jesse Jackson.  Cook County delegates elected by the people of Cook County were uncommitted to any candidate.  George McGovern and Patricia Harris encouraged the looting of delegates, which also set the table Michael Shakman's destruction of the Cook County Democratic Party and his reaping of millions of dollars through Shakman Decrees.Walker wrote the script for every grifter who wanted a place at the public trough with words like Reform, Machine, Boss and Change.  Richard J. Daley was a competent, hard-wrking, ruthless and loyal public servant and he never heard the iron bars close his day. Walker has and so have many other Populist Reformer Firebrand Change Agents.

Dan Walker's costumed jaunt of 1,197 miles trough Illinois resonated with Illini who read little, but pray " They are All Crooks!" like it was the Memorare.  Folks narrowly gave Walker his opportunities and have continued to swallow tons of bullshit, organic, whole, and very Green. One term and everything was changed by Magic Dan Walker.

I never acquired the taste.

Dan Walker belongs to the ages . . .and that ain't necessarily a good thing.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

We IS US; Them is US: US Is Silly! White Dweebs for Justice

 <span class=meta>Courtesy M. Dartise Johnson</span>
One of the benchmarks for being a Chicago Street Guerrilla is poor eye-sight, bad haircuts, way too much self-esteem and pink skin.

I talked to my Leo Men in van on the way to school this morning about last nights ISO SRO Taking Back of The Streets in Solidarity with Baltimore.

They remarked on whiteness of this the political theatre on 35th Street.  They can all feel very good about their feelings; it sure beats the hell out of actually doing something to make things better.

I'd expect no less from Chicago's elite as the hit the street.

Chicago, where bullshit is king and Rahm is the Mayor.

2100 BC - A Lesson from the First Epic Poem

Scratching something on a porous surface allows people who pass by know that we were here.  Making uniform marks to match oral sounds, we call letters. Formimg letters to make words written on something is said to be writing.  Words put into the best order is said to be literature. Exactly what that best order happens to be is matter of judgment.

Before we write most of us utter, grunt and eventually speak. Even those afflicted by enormous physical challenges manage to give voice.  We go from imitating sounds that seem to get us what we want and what we want to keep to expressing more sophisticated verbal activities, like making other people respond to our mouthings.

As we get a little more polished in forming speech, we eventually arrive at story telling, or singing songs.  we share our existence with others.

Considered the oldest written epic poems, the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh is said to be our oldest human expression of thoughts and reactions to living.

Like contemporary Mesopotamia, where ISIS rolls over human history and beings, times were tough in 2100 BC, BCE.

The King of Ur, Gilgamesh was a serial rapist and slave-driving 1%-er. Actually, he two thirds god and one third human and therefore had no truck with less mortals.  He had Barack Obama's ego on steroids.  Gilgamesh raped women and put males to the task of entertaining their king with impossible athletic challenges, or completing public works projects.  He so bad that pagan gods were moved to create a hairy-assed thug who would rival Gilgamesh on his worst day -Enkidu.

Enkidu was a wild man tasked by the gods to slow-down Gilgamesh's cruelties.  The two brawled and as in the case of most such juvenile rivalries became fast friends, like former Catholic league football rivals, or boxers,  and turned their baser instincts against more formidable foes than the citizens of Ur.

They climbed the Cedar Mountain and kill a giant and later the Bull Ishtar, sent by the goddess her self because because Gilgamesh refused to give her a tumble in the sack.

Eventually Enkidu is bumped off by the very gods who sent him and this lead Gilgamesh to turn from his sinful and back-sliding ways to a search for the meaning of life.

He goes from oafish misogynist slaver to thoughtful philosopher king. How about that?  The epic of Gilgamesh predates the Bible by more than 1,400 years.  Called the Gateway to the Old Testament, this Sumerian poem tells human beings not be savages.
ISIS didn't get the message. In fact ISIS thugs are destroying the very tablets on which Sumerian culture is written.  Hitler burned books.  PC schools bowdlerize Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn.  In fact, one might think that the only works in world literature were written by second rater Toni Morrison, or Truman Capote's gal-pal Harper Lee.   Literature has been savaged.

Savagery is with us always.  What are we doing about it?  Schools no longer teach virtues - too judgmental.

Literature is as important as the NBA, or Bruce Jenner's choice du jour.

Organizing For Mayhem - Thank Your Activists

Ferguson?  Off the grid.
Baltimore?  Flames out for now.
Chicago?  Sampling the latest offering of  bouse de vache.

Chicagoans swallow more bovine leavings than other urban denizens in this great Nation of ours.  Chicago is one hick burg.

I pick up young men from Englewood, Little Village, Grand Crossing and Bronzeville every morning.  My day begins here at Leo High School in North Gresham, at about 4:15 AM and at 5:45 AM I start up the van and head on my route.  I travel the meanest streets in Chicago with nearly a dozen of its best young people.

Last night at 6:30 PM was obliged to leave my house in Morgan Park, while my realtor conducted a showing.  I walked north on Western Ave. for the next 45 minute.  I greeted neighbors, white, black and Mexican. One proud black man was getting his Pings reshafted at Klees.  George works for PNC bank and lives in a bungalow at 109th & Hoyne. His kids go to Clissold Public School and play T-ball at Kennedy Park.  He got a pretty good deal and they replaced the grips.  Like me he had not been Text-message by the International Socialist Organization (ISO), or CPUSA. George is not a nit-wit.  He is a mortgage expert and proud black man.

Last night, I was treated to another steaming serving of Chicago-style bouse de vache with all of the trimmings! 

No where in this report are the details of the organizing that went into this public event on 35th Street where I pick up the students from Bronzeville every morning.

This show of solidarity and artifical rage just might result in the desire effect - a mob of feral youth tipping over the Leo pulling me from the drivers with hearty blows, kicks and gauges and setting this vehicle on fire -in Solidarity with Baltimore, Ferguson, Oakland and cities near you.

Keep swallowing the bouse de vache!  It might not end racism, but sure gives a bunch a pasty, bespectacled white kids something to feel good about.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Leo Alumni Banquet 2015 -Leo Man of the Year Dan McGrath '68

The Lexington House is the Home of Leo ReUnion - Begun at the La Salle Hotel in 1955

                                  The 50 Year Jubilee Class of 1965
          My Buddies Bill Murphy, John Linehan and John "Moose" Gilmartin
                                               John Linehan and Chris Burris
      Man of the Year and His Bride -Dan and Joanne McGrath
                         Emerald Society Piper Calls the Classes In
           Leo Class of 1967 - Cousin Mike Hickey and Mitch Miller . . .Mike McCann
                               WWII Heroes Jack Schaller and Don Hogan
                              Piper Calls Up Hall of Fame Inductees
                Jack Hogan Stopped the Wermacht at the Battle of the Bulge in 1944
                                                                   Leo Jubilee Class of 1990
       Man of the Year Dan McGrath paid tribute to Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I. & Leo 2012

Jim Corbett '52 was Leo's Left Handed Quarterback Who Mentored Hundreds of Lions
        The Foe Shall Feel the Lions Might and Spirit of Our Teams Attack!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Battle Creek Catholic Ninnies Bow to Pressure and Offer Weasel Words of Re-Welcome to Cancer Hero 12 Year Old Rose McGrath

After no end of 'consideration and prayer' and no doubt gallons of "Uh-Oh!" soaking Father John's  undies and Spring-weight black gabardine's,  The Policy People of Battle Creek Catholic Schools have this to say:

"After much consideration and prayer, and in consultation with Mrs. Marcy Arnson, principal of Saint Joseph’s, we have decided to invite seventh grader Rose McGrath to return to our school as soon as possible.  We will continue to work with her and continue to provide as many accommodations that will help her during the remainder of the school year.
"We remain convinced that the accommodations provided over the past months were extensive, appropriate, and compassionate. It is unfortunate that the coverage of this issue has been greatly distorted both in the media and on social networks. We hope and pray that moving forward we can do so with mutual respect while providing continued privacy for our student.
"It is due to those privacy issues that we are not able to give a full account of the many hours of dedicated thought and loving efforts that the teachers, staff, and principal did in order to try and ensure Rose was able to progress in her studies so she would be able to succeed while managing her remission. We remain very happy that Rose’s health has improved.
"As we did before, we will continue to work closely with the McGrath family and invite them to take advantage of the accommodations throughout the remainder of the school year.  Our focus has been, and remains on the well-being and academic success of Rose."

That's nice, Father, distortion* can make a mess of things. Sorry you soiled your britches, but at least the McGrath Family and the little girl who battled cancer have had at least one of the nails, you clowns hammered into their cross,  removed.

Oh, and Father ?  After much prayer and consideration, Hop up and Kiss My Irish Ass!

* Getting caught.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Policy - The Place for Cowards Even in Catholic Schools

Rose McGrath beat Cancer and Was Expelled from a Catholic School Because too Many Absences. Catholic  Grammar School.?  A sick child?  I would give Rose McGrath a Leo High School Diploma! So would any real Catholic teacher.  Catholic "Educators" are gultless mediocrities.

Any Catholic School Superintendent, or Principal who hides behind these words -" It's Our Policy!" - needs to be shown the door.  Catholic Schools will continue to close, so long as they ape Public Schools.

Here is an example of Policy kicking the Gospels of Christ and the Jesus portrayed  in them squarely in the nuts.
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A young girl who has just finished fighting the biggest fight of her life has been dealt another blow.
In August 2012, Rose McGrath, of Battle Creek, was diagnosed with leukemia.
But last week, her family received a letter in the mail that would turn her world upside down.
The letter addressed concerns regarding Rose's attendance and academic performance, and stated that Rose had been dismissed from St. Joseph Middle School.
"I didn't do anything wrong, but they still got rid of me," Rose said.
Rose McGrath is beside herself.
She's been with the Battle Creek Area Catholic Schools all her life, but attending school got difficult when she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2012.
"Even though she's now done with her treatment you still have a very long recovery process because you've basically just put two and a half years of poison into your body. you're not recovering overnight," said Rose's mother Barbara McGrath.
The McGraths say despite all of the obstacles, Rose was on track to pass her core classes.
Now, just shy of the end of the school year, they say she's been pulled from the one place where she felt normal.
"When I'm at home, I'm sick, I don't feel well; no one else does that. But when I'm at school I'm like everyone else," Rose said.
According to the letter from St. Joseph Middle School, Rose was dismissed because she could not meet academic or attendance standards.
Rose attended 32 full days this year.
Gee, would that keep St. Joseph's School from being a Blue Ribbon Award Winner?

Catholic schools are not Public Schools run by PC ninnies, John Dewey Drugged Fat Heads and Godless Parses of Narratives, unless, they are run by policy cowards.

Catholic Schools should be all about the kids - especially, a little girl being mauled by cancer.  

I have taught for forty years and I have seen mediocrities who could not manage a classroom full of Honors Students for three minutes rise to Administrator Certificate Power Policy Overlordship.  They have matched stupidity for stupidity with the worst Public School in America. Why, because the mediocrity adopts a Zero Tolerance Policy for every waking moment in the day and avoids taking action, making a decision, or treating an individual as Jesus would treat them. They (mediocrities) should not be in authority. They are credentialed cretins.

  • They have the State Certifications and Licenses! (B EFFing Deal!)
  • They pray off of Xeroxed Copies
  • They attend leadership workshops
  • They could not name three students in school with a cocked and loaded Glock at their temples
  • They ascend the Diocesan bureaucratic ladder after each and every screw-up and disaster
  • They Are Never Accountable, because they are never challenged by people who should know better
Policy is for cowards.

Policy allows incompetence.

Policy is Smarm Prose for People who can not diagram a sentence.

Here is Policy -Image result for rose mcgrath battle creek catholic schools
"These were extraordinary circumstances, but so many accommodations were made we felt eventually it became a point where we really had to help Rose, by being able to make sure that she was getting the assistance that she needed and to learn," said Father John Fleckenstein, with Battle Creek Area Catholic Schools. ( emphases my own)

Get off the cross, Father.  A better Man knew what it was all about.

Oh and Father John?  Hop up and kiss my Irish Ass!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Man Who Shaped Francis Cardinal George: Jean Jacques Olier (1608-1657)

Jean Jacques Olier

One evening, Cardinal George asked me to bring two students from Leo High School up to the Cardinal's Residence in Lincoln Park, in order to pray with and for them. Leo High School's student population is 97% African American; these two young men were white and from Canaryville. Both young gents had very tough home lives and I'll leave it at that.

Cardinal George called me every once in while to ask about the status of certain young men whom he knew to be challenged. One African American sophomore had been shunted off to nine different foster homes and sat on the edge of life as a Gangster Disciple.  The Cardinal managed to lift this kid off of that razor's edge. These two white boys were freshmen at the time and had acted out enough at school  to indicate volcanic home lives.

The Cardinal's Residence has been and shall continue to be, in the Chicago and national media, portrayed as some kind of 1%er Xanadu and described as 'lavish.'  That is pure nonsense.  It reminded me of any  successful immigrant's  family home: clean, tidy, simple and proud. The well polished hard-wood floors creak. The media made my Cardinal's home into something opulent to point to as an anachronistic touchstone in  its arguments used to attack the Catholic Church, be it ordination of women, Gaza Flotillas, redefinition of marriage, abortion, or attacking School Choice. Bullshit is King in Chicago.

The Residence is a nice rectory with a lot of chimneys and that is all. Lavish?  My broad manly ass.

Well, the media won that one.  The Residence built and maintained by Catholics will go away. The Nuns who worked with Cardinal George lived in a convent behind the Residence and they are real people who will now be tossed out and eventually put their love and talents elsewhere and fade from Chicago's flabby memory.

That night when me and the guys visited?  They were not taken by any opulence, but hospitality. Two boys learned what a woman's love is all about because of the Polish nuns who work with George and the spirit of a 17th Frenchman who served as the Cardinal's model.

These are two teenagers who had been ear-bombed with abuse and pummeled with all manner of neglect, including abandonment.

The boys were greeted by the wonderful religious women  like they were favorite nephews. The ladies are members of The Albertine Sisters. The boys were treated to home baked treats and tea served in lavish cups.

Cardinal George wore a sweater and his clerical collar and welcomed the boys.    Cardinal George took the brace of tattooed youngsters into a study  and I was dismissed.  The sliding doors closed and the three of them laughed loudly . . .about me, I'll bet.

I walked around and looked at the portraits of Chicago's great Archbishops, Feehan, Quarter and Mundelein, the icons and the statuary. One simple wood carving  I did not recognize*.  It was a wood carving of a 17th Century Frenchman.

After about forty minutes, the Cardinal and the guys reemerged from the study. I asked the Cardinal about the wood carving.  " That is Jean Jacques Olier.  He is not a canonized saint, but I have very special attachment to his life and works.  Read up about him, Pat," was this great teacher's advice.  I did.

Jean Jacques Olier was a 17th Century man of Christ.  He moved easily among Kings and Counts and lived with people swimming in the gutters.  A first rate intellectual and fierce man of action, Jean Jacques Olier opened seminaries, orphanages, asylums and organized soldiers and notorious street duelist to combat the plague of dueling -street violence, or sword violence, depending upon whether one has Chicago values, or not.  Olier fought equally. the heretics and orthodox fanatics within the protection of the Church

To know Francis Cardinal George, one needs to add an understanding of the man who served as his historical and spiritual model to the compelling narrative of the kid with polio who became a bishop.

Cardinal George was no hair-shirt.  He was a genuine Chicago tough guy - a guy who can take it.  A guy can take anything, as long as he honors the virtues that endure. Those virtues are learned through a piety and a dignity shaped by other persons.  Persons like Jean Jacques Olier.

The two kids had their lives oiled and comforted by Cardinal George, but what they took away from the Cardinal's Residence on north State Parkway was a bag of baked goods and the love of great women. That was all either one of the boys talked about - the women who treated them like they were meant to be treated in their lives - Jesus, living in Mary.

They can thank Cardinal George and a 17th Century Frenchmen for that introduction to love.

Cardinal George prayed this every day.

O Jesus, living in Mary, come and live in your servants, in the spirit of holiness, in the fullness of your power, in the perfection of your ways, in the truth of your virtues, in the communion of your mysteries. Rule over every adverse power, in your Spirit, for the glory of the Father. Amen. Jean Jacques Olier, S.S. (1608-1657)

* Correction:  the wooden carving is of St Eugene de Mazenod who founded the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in 1816. I got onto Jean Jacques Olier with the Cardinal by some other icon.  My bad.  Thanks to the sharp eyes of Tom Zbierski.