Beat it, Mooch!

A long needed conversation with my socialist welfare addicted dog, thanks to Senator Rand Paul, Dan Proft and Joe Walsh. Finally told him to go get a job. I was tired of our dog Bleu mooching off the system, sitting at home chewing on Milk Bones, EXPECTING to be fed, given water and provided free healthcare, while the wife and I do all the work. Well, the gravy train(see what I did there) is OVER! And I can already hear the victim mentality: “Oh, I don’t have opposable thumbs so how can I fill out an application,” or “I suck at Microsoft Office!” Cry me a river. So I kicked him out into the rain and pointed towards the busy street and said you’ll have to take PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY or die, ya mangy mutt. Donald Trump did it, with a mere $3million from his dad, and look at Jared Kushner, who pulled himself up by multi-million Dollar bootstraps, and look at him today! With that, shivering in the pouring rain, Bleu simply put his head down, looked at me with those sad and confused brown eyes and sighed.

Dr. Lora Chamberlain on Illinois gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy…

but love her or fear her, the good Doctor calls it like she sees it, knows the issues, and is an unflinching Progressive who never pulls her punches. Thought this post was critical as the race heats up towards the election; one that may decide the future and fate of the state and it’s people, and whether it returns to the people or is looted to insolvency and ruin by Rauner and the oligarchs. Doctor:  

Kennedy – Is He Our Progressive Champion??? A report from the Gubernatorial campaign trail:

I have been going to multiple forums with the candidates trying to push them on a IL State Bank, fracking / climate change, single payer health care, progressive taxing solutions, I toss out as many questions as I can get in.

Yesterday I saw Chris Kennedy at Horner Park. A couple of thoughts: Wow, he really does have a temper – this was the second time he has berated me, without my attacking him, I was just stating some truths, I am not liking that very much!

He does seem to be really angry at Madigan and the IL power elites for their corruption, he wants to end conflicts of interest in Springfield by disallowing them of serving as property tax assessment attorneys, and ending other conflicts of interest, and get everyone back to public service – this is very good.

He states that he wants to bend the rules of the economy to benefit the poor and the average folks – this is very good.

He is very concerned that our youth are leaving the state, that our University system is being dismantled by Rauner, and that 75% of high school graduates across the state are not college ready.

He is for a Progressive Income Tax and something he calls a “Jupiter Island Tax” – (“Some of the wealthiest people in the United States live in Jupiter Island: Worth magazine ranked it #1 in the country for having the highest median home sale, and it has the highest per capita income of any inhabited place in the country”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jupiter_Island,_Florida ). This “Jupiter Island Tax” will be levied on executives or anyone who does business transactions in Chicago, even if they are employed elsewhere – (I am pretty sketchy about this tax and tried to get more details from him last night and could not seem to get him to come forth with any). But it sounds like it would tax who we want to tax – the rich folks.

He does not think a transaction tax would work, he thinks they will squirm out of the tax and get away with it.

He does not want to legalize pot and tax it, (he thinks legalization requires more research – he would be more inclined to support decriminalization, he is pretty conservative on this one).

He is for getting to a Single Payer Health Care System eventually, even on the State level if the Feds destroy Medicaid and Obamacare, but was again very sketchy on the details and did not mention California’s steps in that direction.

He thinks that fracking is not part of our energy future but he thinks that coal will stay at the same percentage of our energy mix that it has right now – I was personally aghast at this comment – his brother is Robert Kennedy Jr. who is a very significant environmentalist, it does not seam that they talk very often about this issue.

I really tried to push Kennedy on the economic issues last night. He was for maintaining our obligations to our pensioneers, but seemed to be behind Rahm’s attempt last winter to come to a pension bargain – this did not make sense to me.

I asked him how we could tax the 25% of corporations that pay no tax in this state, I have to say he was not forthcoming – he asked me if I wanted to get into the weeds of corporate tax issues and I said “yes” and then he did not answer my question.

My sense of him is that he prefers not to be questioned about the details around his policies, he is a bit of an elitist, and he wants us to trust that he is going to act in our best interest – well Mr. Kennedy that just does not fly any more in American politics!

He also was not very happy at the end when we brought him a copy of: “Here Come the Kennedys” https://jacobinmag.com/…/chris-kennedy-illinois-governor-ra…, – a must read about some aspects of Kennedy’s background, but he did not have much to say about it.

I was hoping that Kennedy was our independent progressive in the race who had the balls to take on Madigan, Cullerton, and the rest of the power elites in this state – and this would call for a serious set of kahunas! But I get the sense that Kennedy is really a centrist Democrat, similar to Pat Quinn, with a few pet progressive issues. I am going to continue to push him on a IL State Bank, and some of the other progressive issues – I will let you know if I get anywhere.

…and I will let you know what she finds…

To a Better Border Wall…

In fairness, I don’t want to dismiss Trump’s idea to put solar panels on the border wall, costing America and Mexico less money, but I don’t think he goes far enough. Here are some other ideas for Mr. Trump’s wall to save money and stop so-called illegal immigration:

1. A coal powered wall, since he has promised to bring back coal, despite the entire nation evolving past coal.

2. Paint it to look like the desert, and when people bump into it and fall down we can videotape our national prank, and like coal, revive Bob Saget’s Funniest Home Video career.

3. A 2000 mile 60 foot tall aquarium, because surely Trump will believe Mexicans will believe that America sank and go home.

4. Post America’s $20 trillion debt clock on the Mexico side of the wall. Might encourage poor refugees to take pity and throw soon to be worth more than the dollar pesos over the wall as charity.

5, make the wall from the same place he gets his hair. Immigrants will get hopelessly tangled, but would otherwise be same.

6. Replace the water in the Rio Grande with Budweiser beer. I like beer and I would run from that! Seriously?

7.Show immigrants anything from PBS on the Mexico side of the wall, and when they slip into a Coma, carefully pick them up and move them south 100 miles.

Build the wall on the border of Canada, and wave them north to a decent country.

8 Put the whole country up on polls

Anything I might have missed? After all, its all about helping our Grifter in Chief…

 

Left or Right?

Have to agree with Annie Froelich from a previous post. This is less a sign of Left vs Right, as it is about anarchy(save you posts anarchists) it is about a society that equivocates on everything, which tilts towards the wealthy and white, then pardons, overlooks and explains away their crimes. It is a white cop murdering a Black man on camera, then deciding afterwards he was “afraid for his life.” It is about Sandra Bland. It is about the devaluing of individuals for the purposes of consolidating power and excess. It is about a deficit of moral leadership in the White House deepened by administration after administration. It is racism, consumerism, lawyerism. It is about describing a worldwide religion as terrorists, or a race of people “illegal.” It is a generational assault on education, information and enlightenment in favor of spin, opinion and a beer-swilling, foreigner-hating, big truck-driving, slack jawed nationalism. It is news media for profit. It is profit above community, by corporatists in America who put profit above their nation, and then are protected by media. It is, if the president or congress or the corporate spokesperson lies to get what they want, or to escape guilt and justice. In short it is an American cultural and moral cancer that will prove the ultimate demise of this nation. And all of us allow it to happen.

“Question for my Smarties: I’ve been told again and again by the media and other outlets that my parent’s generation (Baby Boomers) wrecked everything for future generations…”

Chicago comic and friend Catherine “Povs” Povinelli posted that question on Facebook the other day. As a Boomer, technically, born 1962, my first reaction was a thought I’d had for a long time. And I’ll accept responsibility for my generation’s missteps, but there is equal blame to go around regardless of what year you were born. I’ll get to that, but first some effort of generational reconciliation is imperative.

My generation was decidedly and openly non-political, as a whole. Not for any reason. We were just lazy.  The election turnout peaked in 1960. In 1972 it took a nose dive and has remained in the embarrassingly low 50% range since. We partied. We were the last generation before AIDS. In the era of Oprah, local news, mall reports and the consumer generation, we were blithely irresponsible. Mass entertainment, the advent of cable TV and the dawn of Reagan and Clinton era media deregulation erasing boundaries between information and marketing, we settled into a comfortable ignorance. By the time significant realities were coming home to roost we were numbed and dumbed, fat, lazy and righteously judgmental now that we had begun to spawn. MOTHERHOOD IS THE HARDEST JOB, OR IS IT COPS, FIREMEN, SEWER WORKERS, ELVIS IMPERSO…?

As for the later, it was my generation that abandoned Dr. Spock, for video games and TV, placating children into oblivion. We shoved them in a corner with a toy and continued partying, hitting the beauty parlor and bars and essentially treated kids like pets, unless we needed a reason to call in sick to work.

Essentially, on a cultural, economic and social level we were fattened lambs for the slaughter. It began to the slow erasure of news and journalism into information; a qualitative difference. The Oprah generation complained that news overseas didn’t mean anything and brought disturbing images to young and impressionable minds. WON’T SOMEBODY PLEASE SAVE THE CHILDREN! “News you can use,” soon appeared. Through the 1990’s Americans ignored “unimportant” news from the rest of the world. That ignorance, rather than correcting on September 11 2001, instead cauterized as ignorant flag waving, Chevy buying, rube-driven nationalism. The Baby Boomer president told us to go shopping, them wrote a check for $10 trillion on an unnecessary war, then blamed a Black Boomer president for having the highest debt in history.

It was all a purposeful roadmap prescribed within the 1971 Powell memo. The memo, by Lewis F. Powell Jr, former corporate attorney and later SCOTUS appointee under Nixon, laid out a recommendation that corporations needed to control the media, the government and education in the country as a matter of priority and power. The WW 2, Boomer and Gen X Republicans have followed that roadmap to the letter.

So yes, Catherine, the Republicans to own Santa Claus!

However, the reality is, tomorrow is a mystery and a crap shoot, and how we get there is anyone’s guess. It is complex and international in scope, a planetary tug of war with a thousand ropes, many of which change sides in dizzying frequency. Each generation comes to its own layered lessons and ignorance equally. The  thing is, following World War 2, started by a previous generation Nazi, whose was stopped by that same generation, the capacity for really screwing things up was exponentially increased. A hand full of weapons, invented by Depression era leaders, from the E=MC2 equation of a turn of the century scientist, could essentially erase humanity. WW 2 era teachers instructed Boomer kids to duck and cover beneath their desks in the event of a Nuclear war. WAIT. WHAT?

Here in America, Black Boomers fought for Civil Rights, joined by White Boomers, and opposed by White boomers. They w ere fighting for rights ascribed in a constitution by revolution generation men who also wrote that Blacks were 3/5th a person. The Civil Rights Boomers Gen X-ers grew up cajoled by Alex P. Keaton characters on television, and dumbed down by truly insipid programs like Alf. They helped teach a generation partly abandoned by parents simplistic and reactive lessons on relationships. A divorce culture, woven inside a consumer culture underscored that family and relationship commitment is as transient as corporate charters and contracts.

Boomer hippies abandoned Vietnam-era activism for the boardroom, or checked out. Generation X-ers faired no better, and in some cases worse. Paul Ryan is Generation X. Generation X and Millenials were the masses strengthening the Occupy movement. They also abandoned the Occupy movement, while the Boomer-driven Tea Party movement helped propel Trump to office. It was Boomers and Gen X-ers, by the way who strategically sought to crush the revolutionary spirit of millenials towards Boomer presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. I have witnessed two genocides leaving millennials scarred or as orphans. We can only wonder how that will resonate with millenials to the benefit or detriment to succeeding generations.

The bottom line, every generation has its blessings and short falls. The problem is that regardless of generation, we are all being coaxed into binary thinking, which has long been the legacy of every generation. Ultimately that is a measure of the quality of information we receive, but also a measure of our desire to understand what is happening in the world. That isn’t easy, but then nothing essential ever is. Learn that you, regardless of generation, are being manipulated, and that includes pitting generations against one another so that the focus is on blaming fellow victims rather than the real perpetrators.  Because here is the deal, a millennial may blame some aspect of the world on Boomers, but Boomers are absolutely bitching about millennials, and Gen X-ers are getting pounded from both each time they complain about being overlooked!