SORRY. Must Rant on Transgenders in the Military. Caution: Adult Language

A pal says this is another distraction, which is true to an extent. I would argue that the blatant and gleeful rollback of human rights regardless of the size or uncomfortable nature of that minority is dangerous to us all. Next, and mark my words, Trump will return the military to forcing homosexuals from the military. Once we get on that slippery slope, we’re on it, baby, and we are on it!

Regarding the transgender issue in the military. I’m hearing two arguments from the right against having transgender personnel in the military. The first is that keeping them out of the military is important for our national security. Number 2 is that the transgender personnel in the military are a tiny, tiny minority less than two-tenths of a percent. So which is it? If there’s such a tiny minority then it really doesn’t affect National Security which would seem to entirely in the gate the administration’s excuses.

Today the administration announced it would remove Transgender personnel from the military. I am confused, because I thought the Right was all about logic and a patriotism which extolls our soldiers-ALL of our soldiers?

I thought that everyone who serves in the military is a hero and we owe them an unending expression of gratitude, and yet not one person is saying the transgender people in the military ALREADY haven’t done their jobs. Like they all lay around all day dreaming of their new taxpayer-paid vaginas and penis’. So they aren’t being discriminated against based on merit.

As for the figure of 250 current taxpayer funded transgender surgeries to military personnel…I’ve known a lot of fat Type II diabetic motherfuckers in the military or spawning one too many army brats, getting hospitalized for drunken brawls, raping women overseas-and here- ALL ON THE TAXPAYERS DIME-I could go on and on about a whole fucking universe of “LIFESTYLE” issues costing me as a taxpayer money so spare me the bullshit propaganda about the cost of a surgery or two, or a couple hundred. Seems some schmuck dragged us into an unnecessary war costing taxpayers about 4000 funerals, better that 25000 injuries and lifetimes worth of rehab and medical costs.

And the final argument regards this fiction of unit cohesion, that in battle LGBTQ soldiers and service members will run away like dainty children or spend their energies checking out fellow service members rather than watching for the enemy. That would come to a great surprise to men like Air Force Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach, a decorated airman who flew combat missions over the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan, or 10 year veteran and Army Captain, who sought a Texas congressional seat in 2012, or Baron Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Augustin von Steuben who fled persecution in Europe when his homosexuality was revealed. Von Steuben was instrumental in helping America win its independence. More than 200 homosexual soldiers died in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, including Maj. Alan Rogers who was killed in January 2008 in Iraq by a roadside bomb while on patrol.

Rush Limbaugh, Denis Prager and Kate Daly all expressed alarm that soldiers might see a vagina or a penis in a shower and lapse into a stupor from which they might not survive. having been to war, in the middle of battles, if those snowflakes are more upset by a non-lethal genital that seeing bodies ripped apart, not to mention the overall misery and trauma of the war experience, then I say, get rid of them all and give me a 100% LGBTQ military!

Giving back: The debut of “Playtime with Sid and Bill”

The debut of “Playtime with Sid and Bill” with me and Sid Yiddish on the 10,000 watt WCGO, AM1590 is slated for Sunday, September 3rd from 11-1pm, following The Mike Nowak Show with Peggy Malecki. Tune in for the deepest green environment and gardening show, then stick around with us. Your radio Sunday magazine! I guess I am speaking a little bit for both of us in saying that the show is our gift to our friends in the Theatre, Music, Comic, Poetry, Entertainment, Food and Arts communities. This is your space. Sid and I will work to bring a vibrant, sometimes unusual and always entertaining look at the arts and performing arts and what is happening in and around Chicago and beyond. We will need you to help support the show as listeners and participants. You are the marketing and outreach wing of the show, helping keep us informed on what you and other artists are up to so that we can get the word out. No one else is doing this in Chicago commercial radio. WCGO’s signal currently reaches Northern Indiana and South to Kankakee, West to Elgin and Aurora, and North to the southern suburbs of Milwaukee. The station will move to a 50,000 watt signal, meaning your work will be heard nationwide. More to come… 

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…

“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!

Security Culture and Democracy

Security Culture and Democracy
A friend and long time prominent activist, Bob Simpson, posted on Facebook regarding FBI informers and moles at an underground DC newspaper he once worked for. He filed a FOIA request and was able to read parts of the FBI file. A number of others weighed in about various publications and projects that had been. Many of those had also viewed the FBI and informant files. When I was in Grade school in the 70s, during the Cold War and fears of communism taking over the world, I was taught how the Soviets routinely spied on its citizens and the inhuman and draconian measures taken against dissenters. I was taught that America was different and better. Boy, was it a thunderous shock to find out we were doing the same thing all along. Recall, this nation demonized women for wanting to vote, and attacked them ruthlessly for wanting an Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution. It went after Martin Luther King jr. for the unforgivable crime of standing for racial equality. 
We have been talking about this quite a lot during talk backs at my play, “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” It was a common discussion during Occupy as well. Even though it seems counterintuitive, I have always advocated uber-transparency. Security cultures play into their hands and gives the government and police major erections, while openness, as well as being absolutely democratic, stymies them. I tested that in 1994 while being arrested and professionally interrogated near the frontline in Sarajevo one dark night. I handed over detailed journals(which I got back, and used for my War Memoir, Everything for Love) and answered every question so fully that they were completely confused.
 
I know the other side as well. Over the course of 20 plus years in the Balkans I interviewed dozens of former World War 2-era Communist Partisans about their security culture before and during the war, when they were mercilessly hunted by the German Gestapo and others. That was war. Life and Death. We are not there…yet. It was also a different time, in which all of us had not been mapped as with the NSA collection of data. They will get to you in the shadows. Drag them into the light and expose them for the pathetic and petty little clerks and bullies they are. 

Failure is an Option…

Failure is an Option…

The Left is losing the messaging battle in the media. Last year I wrote a report on the viability and necessity of a progressive network that would begin balancing the overwhelming Right wing imbalance in US media. There are some 1500 Right wing stations, compared to hardly 100 on the Left. Most on the Right are carried by large networks who actively exclude Progressive programming. It is not about ratings. Station for station, hosts like Thom Hartmann and Stephanie Miller routinely garner audiences 33% higher than Limbaugh or Sean Hannity. In fact, rating are collapsing in large station, such as Chicago’s WLS. It isn’t about ratings, or money at the media level, it is about message saturation.

The Left, however, is failing horribly at breaking the stranglehold on the media, and balancing the national radio conversation. First, as I warned in the report, shared widely on social media, a Progressive network cannot be DNC radio, which as we saw in the election allowed TPP to be co-opted by the Republicans. The Progressive movement owned that issue, fighting against Obama and Republicans. Hillary was all but silent. She and the DNC abandoned the DAPL issues, a critical focus of Progressives. She was all too silent on the environment. A true Progressive media platform must be about important Progressive issues. On the hand full of Progressive radio stations, the arc has been towards synchronicity with the DNC.

It would takes less that $2 million dollars to build a terrestrial radio network under a model I designed, and have tested in a previously successful radio venture,  which would create an additional 35 commercially for-profit sustainable radio stations in regions critically over-saturated by Rightwing media. The problem is, the Left is still too focused on so-called “new” media,  such as the internet, YouTube, etc.,. Many view traditional radio as obsolete, though nothing could be further from the truth. Compare 17 billion in annual sales via a few thousand radio stations in the US versus $900 million in per click ads on the internet shared by millions of websites. Sustainability is the key, and the Left is missing that train. Millenials and Gen Xers are key advertiser demographics. Believe it or not, they listen to more radio than almost any other demographic. That is a form of arrogance as many in the country still do not have consistent or regular access to the internet. $20 bucks buys a radio.

Even more, time is a critical element. From FCC approval to build out, a new station is looking at 9-12 months. The Left hasn’t even begun that process. Starting this Spring, the first stations would just get up and running as the midterms are starting. The Right controls the field in media. That is key to disseminating accurate information to inform an electorate that makes intelligent decisions rather than  coerced or uninformed decisions. The Left must clearly understand some fundamental questions about media and messaging. Until they do, failure is their likeliest option.