The Mayor and Mr. Claypool: Chicago Citizens Suffer Under an Arrogant City Regime

THE MAYOR AND MR. CLAYPOOL: OUT OF TOUCH WITH CHICAGO’S CITIZEN MILLIONS

In the news what do we have? Here is just a brief list:

Citizens on a hunger strike for the support of the school they want in their neighborhood;
Among the worst (gun) violence in the nation;
Schools in disrepair;
Teachers upset and on strike and threatening strikes;
Pension funds a mess;
Roads and bridges in disrepair;
Homeless families and veterans;
Special needs people who are seeing cuts in funds for services……………………..

And what are our officials talking about? Here is just a sampling:

Property tax increases;
Garbage fees (we already pay for utility and garbage fees at many apartment complexes);
School property tax increases;
Congestion tax for people who drive in from the suburbs;
Taxes on sugary drinks such as sodas and fruit punches;
Cutting public school personnel and jeopardizing teachers and students;
Selling expensive parking lots and earning millions of $$ from those sales in downtown;
Closing schools and establishing charter schools that do not use union personnel;

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What are our officials NOT talking about? Cutting their own perks and salaries and timing themselves on a time clock like many citizens do, and being accountable to the people who elect them instead of to the mayor who hand-picks many of those ‘trusted’ officials. These narcissistic people are so worried, so paranoid and obsessive-compulsive about giving up or sharing their power that they will do just about anything… but that is going to ruin not only their reputations but our city as well.

Who is going to want to have a business or a home in the city limits? Who will want to drive in and be sacked with a ‘congestion tax’? And by the way, some Chicago apartment managers charge for garbage collection and sewer services and a resident told me that doing so is illegal because the city already pays those companies so we are being charged twice for garbage collection. They head everything under the name of “utility fees”.

We certainly need people in our city department offices who are not accountable to the mayor, who are not hand-picked by the mayor, who have to answer to their employees and not their boss the mayor, and who must answer to a citizen’s board made up of people from all the neighborhoods and who have a bone to pick with the mayor and his arrogant ivory-tower inner circle.

No doubt they have their hands in every department and every office. I suspect that if you turned upside down and shook the boards of METRA, the RTA, Chicago Parks, the CTA, and the Streets & Sanitation, you would find some mayoral crony in the official circle. The Chicago City Council and the Chicago Public Schools already have that deep trouble, and they will push taxes through in a hurry without any consideration of the millions who will suffer.

We are in the grips of a high-money mayor who has his head in the clouds of big money and corporate favoritism and Washington politics. Yet he was booed out of a public meeting recently and there are many people who hope that happens at every public meeting he has until the problems we have are resolved completely to citizens’ satisfaction.

Those few tyrannizing over the many? Uh, folks, we need to get on the officials and in a hurry. We need to ask them what is going on, we need to ask to whom they are answering. If they say, “I answer to the mayor” then those who work for them have choices – they can strike, they can reply, “Oh, then if you cannot help me then why am I working for you?” They can leave the city and go elsewhere, to jobs where they will be appreciated and leave the officials hanging and wondering and having to search their own consciences and finally cooperate with their constituents.

Just look around – there are already people leaving for other cities and suburbs. There are plenty of ‘for sale’ and ‘for lease’ signs in downtown, and there are plenty of homeless and beggars and families suffering on our streets. There are vacant lots full of trash and there are abandoned buildings that attract drugs and crime and vermin. What is the mayor and his inner circle going to do – drive out so many people that only the rich will be left and those who are left will be ‘taxed to the max’ and then want to leave? What will Chicago be left with – no residents, no small businesses, and no workforce.

Get the officials to answer to you or band together and find ways to fire them for not doing their jobs. After all, if the average citizen did not do their job they would be severely reprimanded or fired or demoted, so considering that we let those officials keep their jobs and their money and perks and cushy seats, we should stay on top of them like our employers sandwich us in and hold them accountable for every little thing – yes, every pothole, every power outage, every flooded home, every rat and mouse in the alleys, every tax increase, every investigation that shows government waste, every closed school, every murder using a gun, every homeless veteran, and everything else we know can be corrected. We just have to do this ourselves.

If the officials are too prim and lazy to get out there then grass-roots efforts are the answer. We need to show them how it is done and organize cleanup days and go through this city from south to north and from east to west till we like the way it looks. Then we can work on deciding where our taxes should be spent and how they should be spent and who should control that money. We need to send the officials home for a few weeks, rather like a time-out for a fussy child, until they can cooperate and politely ask to come out of the corner and then assure us, their bosses, those who elected them (and what is the mayor but an elected official so where does he come off being so arrogant and stuck-up), that they can and will behave properly and do their jobs correctly and for the benefit of those who put them in office.

Meanwhile we have the:

Citizens on a hunger strike for the support of the school they want in their neighborhood and who are now going to rally for an elected school board;
Among the worst (gun) violence in the nation;
Schools in disrepair;
Teachers upset and on strike and threatening strikes;
Pension funds a mess;
Roads and bridges in disrepair;
Homeless families and veterans;
Special needs people who are seeing cuts in funds for services
Kids dying on our streets due to drugs and guns and gangs……………………….

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2015.

Wheels Carry Us to Invention, Inspiration, and… Progress?

Mankind invented the wheel. What have we done with that innovation?

We have come up with the horse and carriage, a transition to the motorized vehicle and which are still used in many parts of the country today. Though they have the horse which needs to be fed and cared for there is the need of the carriage with its two large wheels. We came up with the stagecoach… still needs horses, though, and at least four. More expensive care and feeding there, and for the tourist carriages that roll through some American cities there is the extra need for safety procedures that ensure the care of horse and riders.

Chicago is a city that runs twenty -four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, all the time but not always on time. Yet we as a city -race do run, and we can run ourselves ragged.

We as citizens of America’s third -largest city are surrounded by wheels. There are four of them on our cars; there are hundreds of them on the trains we take every day, and there are hundreds of them on the busses that come to collect us and take us to our destinations.

On television we also see the wheel. There is the wheel of fortune on the show of the same name. There is a wheel on the popular game show and one of the longest running television shows, the Price is Right, and there are wheels of prizes on Let’s Make a Deal. If there is not a wheel there is the “roll” of the dice in the hopes of winning something really nice. Among the prizes offered are, what else, cars and motorcycles.

We can easily forget in the limelight of potentially winning one of those spectacular prizes the elements of safety that come with owning them. If you drive you must realize that there are rules of safety designed to keep you and other drivers and pedestrians safe. There are rules and laws of decency that every driver needs to know and to follow. Never use a device that takes your hands off the steering wheel. You are in a moving automobile, a vehicle weighing at least three thousands pounds and much more the larger and heavier it is. Vehicles can travel the length of a football field in less than ten seconds at 55 miles an hour.

Left untamed, the wheel can take us right into nothing but trouble. Four of them moving at that speed can cause great catastrophes and harm and injury and destruction.

The wheel is a sign and symbol of taking risk, of making a journey, of traveling and of arriving.

Somewhere.

We get in our cars or on the bus or train with the intention of getting someplace and doing something. We “fight traffic”, we get into “traffic jams”, and we experience “train delays” and construction delays every day. Now delays can be caused by any number of reasons- the ever -present construction, weather situations, trucks stuck under viaducts, or flooded viaducts. And under us those wheels made of rubber and metal, decorated by hubcaps and inflated by air pressure, those wheels supporting the tons of metal, rubber, and… people who use them every day.

And under those wheels, the roads that need the very constant maintenance that causes those jams and delays and ties -up and other situations we encounter. Roads and tracks need to be in good order to support the thousands of vehicles traveling on them every day, and if they are not we can and do see the consequences.

Airplanes also have wheels. Isn’t it amazing when you look at those tiny tires under the millions of tons of jetliner and wonder how they support it? Some jets weigh close to half a million tons, so it seems a stat on the aptly -called jumbo jets came through once. Planes take off at over a hundred miles an hour and touch down on those incredible tires, and I to this day am inspired to watch when a jet comes into the terminal jet -way, gazing at those circles of rubber and metal. Remarkable.

We are a nation of travelers, no matter what we are doing. We watch shows that inspire us to travel; we get out of the house and go places to do things. We feel the need and have the right to freedom of movement and to move anywhere we want.

But some people misuse those resources others pay taxes on and work on and get to work and school and play and worship on. Some people use their vehicles to commit drive -by murders, use them to dispense drugs, use them to run the drugs to other states, use them to commit road rage, vehicular homicide, and hit and run incidents that take the lives of others and can leave others maimed for life. Some people consider that they can just throw waste on the roads, where other have to see and smell it every day. They throw it out lazily and without any consideration that someone else will have to clean it up, and when there are trash bags and receptacles they can put the waste into. You who litter and who just toss junk onto the roads should know better than that! Such habits show a total lack of consideration for the lives of others; throw the junk onto a road and you could cause an accident. You might think that little piece of trash is nothing but if someone runs over it or hits it a tragedy could happen, and you would be at fault for causing death and destruction.

You would be at fault for causing loss of life, of someone who might turn out to be a loved one or a friend or even someone you work with. Do you think of that?

But there are better ways to consider the roads we use and everything that goes with using those roads. Of course we can think of those roads but we do have other ways to travel, and those ways existed before the wheel.

We have feet and we can make trails and paths- we were doing so long before we had to invent the convertible. We were running and hunting and getting around because we had to, because we needed to get place to place and follow the animals and the spring rains and the trade routes.

We can use our feet to go some places so long as the walk is not super long… that is unless we are on a relay race that takes us across states and countries to raise funds for some worthy cause as happened this week to help the people affected by events in Boston last year. Thousands of people will this coming week run in the Boston Marathon, only a year after two horrid men set off bombs in that beautiful city, killing and maiming and doing great harm to many people.

And how will the racers and spectators get to Boston? Well, if they live close enough some might walk to see the Marathon. But my wager is that most of them will travel on or in a vehicle with wheels. Some will fly in and take busses and cars; some will drive sedans and coupes, and some will ride their bicycles or motorcycles as far as they can get them to the race limits. They will take the tens of thousands of miles of roads that cross the United States, roads they hope are safe and maintained and travel -ready, will share those roads with thousands of other drivers and passengers in millions of vehicles of every size and description.

Trucks, huge semi tractor -trailers, moving vans, fire engines, ambulances, cars of every size and shape and vintage; the sport utility vehicles, busses and campers used for recreation during nice weather, and the motorcycles, vans, and limousines will make their way to Boston. With them are the police officers and the security teams that will monitor the routes and the airports leading in and out of that fair city.

There will be risks getting in and out of Boston as there are any other city or any place we go every day. Those who turn the chance into a grand circumstance will see an event that will be so very special to the participants and spectators, not only because the racers have trained and prepared for that big day but because of those thousands that will join them live and on television and by computer to watch them in that effort to show the world that those nasty terrorists have NOT WON that day and WILL NOT WIN at any time and any place on United States land.

We love to travel. Let’s all stay safe doing so.

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2014.

Boeing Sets Up Shop in a New Design and Technology Center for Goose Island, Chicago.

Hello to the mega -technology and design consortium moving to Goose Island, Chicago!

TEXTTiles is here to help boost your teamwork, creative expressions and corporate productivity with products and articles we can design to help you get the message across to your associates and customers.

This week we focus on Boeing, one of the companies included in the consortium.

What's Your Inspiration to Look Up and Fly?

What’s Your Inspiration to Look Up and Fly? Make the plan, feel the inspiration, get to the runway and soar!

I. BOEING CALLS CHICAGO HOME

One of the best reasons for Boeing to be among the companies and industries in the new design consortium is that their headquarters is in Chicago. The location is distinctive, active and busy, being near the METRA Station at the Ogilvie Transportation Center, within easy reach of the Chicago Loop and famous “L” train system.

Most likely, every day if you listen and raise attention to the skies you will see many of the products Boeing produces. Regular flights over the city transport thousands of people every hour to O’Hare, our largest airport, which is northwest of the city, and to Midway, which is south of the city. Those jets make their banks and levels and lay out their approach patterns, coming in like huge kites with engines churning and silver wings cutting through the troposphere.

II. Chicago’s History of Designing, Technological Progress, Education, and Creativity

From its inception, born out of the swamp in the late 1700’s and through the early 1800’s, came a city that increased rapidly in size. With the influx of various peoples from all over the country, from the middle 1800’s, when the Civil War divided the country and caused folks to leave the South and migrate to the North, to this very moment, Chicago has grown in more than population and area. This great city, third largest in America and with what is termed the most beautiful lakefront in the nation, is ideal ground for testing and developing, researching and building.

Chicago is home to the Adler Planetarium with its tradition of research, educational promotion, and inspiring generations of scientists; home to the world- famous Field Museum of Natural History, a gigantic building on the lakefront which houses collections displaying the multi-versity of many nations and cultures, and home also to the Museum of Science and Industry, with a beautiful display of aircraft.

One of these is an exhibit that caught my eyes when I first visited the “MSI”. Yes the museum’s scene opens up the moment one enters the cavernous space and ascends to the next level. But in that area known as the Transportation Gallery, I looked up to see one of the most impressive exhibits ever- a jet appearing as though it was coming in for a landing, suspended just above a display showing downtown Chicago. The plane is in fact a Boeing 727 which has been cantilevered into the structure of the gallery. There are other planes and vehicles as well but this one is very special. A visual and oral feature accompanies the display, giving the impression of a flight complete with air traffic controller communications, lights and action and moving portions on the jet, and sound effects as of takeoff and landing. Many days I have stood through repeat performances of that display and the film that can be viewed before the performance begins. The film shows how the 727 came to Chicago and was taken apart and brought into and assembled in the museum. Originally in another livery pattern that showed its first set of colors, it has been given a fresh look and remains a standard at the museum for families and aviation enthusiasts.

III. POSITIVE ATTRACTION: LOOK UP AND MAKE PROGRESS

The art of flight is one of constant improvement and testing and research. In the hundred- plus years since the first planes took to the skies we have recorded advances in wing design, in powering the aircraft, in how the instruments are made and arranged, in ways to make the pilots comfortable, and in ways to take on more and more passengers and cargo. Planes became larger and heavier; they required new kinds of fuels, new wiring, new lighting, and upgraded safety features such as those now delivered on the most modern passenger jets.

Monsters such as the Boeing 747-400 and now the magnificent 747-8 are the rulers of the skies, taking over from decades of reliability from the 707 series. People in the Chicago area are accustomed to seeing the standard jet of Southwest Airlines, the 737 series. Looking at Boeing’s website, there is forthcoming the next generation of this family of jets, with a -900 series in production and use around the world. The 7 series has included such models as the 757, 767 and 777

Of necessity there is the need to bring up the unmanned craft that inhabit our skies. Drones can be used for more than the typical surveillance tasks with which people associate them as regards privacy. The drone crafts can be used to make deliveries, spray crops, and go into areas where it would be too hazardous for people, such as disaster areas where there could be dangerous chemicals or animals, into situation of violence such as hostage situations, or into military incidents where troops must go into or around buildings that are unfamiliar and that are potentially booby-trapped. Drones can be life- savers and that is how we can take a better view of this brand of aircraft.

Of course now you can be the executive of the skies with Boeing’s fantastic line of business jets. Creating your own corporate jet is rather as designing a grand house or making a custom car – you can have it any way you want it. Many people think of owning a private island as the attainment of true expandable wealth and the exhibition of that wealth, so now if you own the island why not construct your own airfield, and get the jet that will complete the picture? Fly in real luxury, rule the aeries of the wild blue expanse, and enjoy every moment!

IV. The Uplifting Conclusion:  The Author’s History of Enjoying Flight The Corporate Connection Has a Human Side.

It seems this flight buff cannot get enough of watching the patterns outgoing and inbound to Chicago’s airports. But this history started in Nashville, where flying regularly for vacations and later for business was just part of the yearly picture of activity. The flight pattern in and out of Nashville’s Berry Field (BNA) is over our houses so the rumbling noises of the jets was just a natural part of the setting.

As a child I could not wait to get to the airport, just as soon as I knew we were going on a trip I would get out the luggage and anticipate that ride to the airport, being at the ticket counter, getting on the jet and heading into the great and welcoming skies. Flight was and continues to be fun, bringing out “the kid in me” and inspiring creative thoughts to soar and uplift my spirits. Later my father and I made the annual trek to Smyrna to the big air show held on that base. We would get the flight pattern of the military jets coming right over our house; one year a pair of F-15’s came in low and loud and I ran outside just in time to see them turn left over our backyard.

Are Times and life are down for you? Listen for the uplift, the change in the noise of the engines, and then see the smooth inbound four -engine silver “heavy” making its way to a safe landing. Troubles disappear, the mind and the body seem to rise away from the hard ground, and you realize, “There are people in that plane who are just like me, who are having challenges, who are rushed and baffled and hurried about, who needed that uplifting experience of flight. I can see it; I can leave the bounds of this earth and this city behind if only for a few seconds and my thoughts can fly.”

There is then no need to welcome Boeing to Chicago- they are home, they have made a successful landing, and they are going to open up new fields of technology and design and work for many people just waiting to carry on the grand traditions of everything related to the fine art of flight.

RESOURCES

1. http://www.msichicago.org/visit-the-museum/museum-info/

2. http://www.boeing.com/boeing/commercial/747family/back/index.page?

Congress Negative: Problems Facing Our United States (or is it?)

Congress’s Approval Rating Negatively Secured!

Waste, bickering, filibustering, arguing, scandals and excessive spending are just about all we seem to get from our so –illustrious and so –compensated and so-spoiled national legislative body that now our approval (or disapproval) rating of that august gathering of elected officials has reached an all- time low. Yes, Monsieur and Madame Congress -person we do not like you and if we could we would recall and replace every single one of you because of waste and malfeasance and laziness and acting like spoiled brats when you don’t get your way.

One issue plagues many people, and that is so much talk of “national security” especially in the wake of the WIKIPEDIA leaks by a member of our military and the Edward Snowden/ NSA (National Security Administration) cases. As far as many are concerned there is too much of this security stuff going on, and 9/11 is no excuse for waste, excess, attempts at justification, and so much snooping on and hindrances on law -abiding citizens who do no wrong and who have no ambitions to do anything amiss.

What are these organizations that plague us every day and make us listen to such notices as you hear on commuter train lines, those notices about seeing something and saying something, about suspicious people and activities, and about “making us all more secure”? Do we really need them all and how much is all this costing us?

The NSA and some group called the CSS (and we aren’t talking Cascading Style Sheets)

Well, let’s get on with this necessary dirty work of exposure of the deep spooky reaching hands of our government, starting with the organization most in the news today, the NSA, or National Security Administration. According to their webpage their core missions are to protect U.S. national security systems and to produce foreign signals intelligence information. WHAT? Here it is straight from their link:

“The National Security Agency/Central Security Service (NSA/CSS) leads the U.S. Government in cryptology that encompasses both Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) and Information Assurance (IA) products and services, and enables Computer Network Operations (CNO) in order to gain a decision advantage for the Nation and our allies under all circumstances.”

The arm of the NSA is known as the CSS, and here is its statement from its NSA page link:

Central Security Service (CSS)
“The Central Security Service (CSS) provides timely and accurate cryptologic support, knowledge, and assistance to the military cryptologic community.

It promotes full partnership between the NSA and the cryptologic elements of the Armed Forces, and teams with senior military and civilian leaders to address and act on critical military-related issues in support of national and tactical intelligence objectives. CSS coordinates and develops policy and guidance on the Signals Intelligence and Information Assurance missions of NSA/CSS to ensure military integration.

The CSS was established by presidential directive in 1972 to promote full partnership between NSA and the Service Cryptologic Components of the U.S. Armed Forces. This new command created a more unified cryptologic effort by combining NSA and CSS. The Director of NSA is dual-hatted as the Chief of CSS.”

Put the mission and values together and you get:

Our Vision

Global Cryptologic Dominance through Responsive Presence and Network Advantage.

Our Values

We will protect national security interests by adhering to the highest standards of behavior.

Dominance and advantage – is that all they want? Why do we need so much of this arrogance and ambition?

The CIA or Central Intelligence Agency

Wasteful spenders take two: tackling the CIA’s mission. What is the Central Intelligence Agency and what are they about? They are an independent U.S. government agency responsible for providing national security intelligence to senior U.S. policymakers.

SENIOR U.S. policymakers around here are about as useful as bricks in a junkyard: they just sit there, take up space, and waste resources because someone has to guard them, clean their area, and secure their space. Policymakers, indeed… and the worst thing we can call them is “law makers” because they tend more to get in scandals and break laws, but they sure know how to impose them on American citizens and not lift a finger to help us out without going through a lot of red tape, huffing and puffing and condescending.

Well now, the CIA… what is its mission? Straight from the horse’s mouth it is:

Vision

One Agency. One Community. An Agency unmatched in its core capabilities, functioning as one team, fully integrated into the Intelligence Community.

Mission

We are the nation’s first line of defense. We accomplish what others cannot accomplish and go where others cannot go. We carry out our mission by:

  • Collecting information that reveals the plans, intentions and capabilities of our adversaries and provides the basis for decision and action.
  • Producing timely analysis that provides insight, warning and opportunity to the President and decision -makers charged with protecting and advancing America’s interests.
  • Conducting covert action at the direction of the President to preempt threats or achieve US policy objectives.

The FBI or Federal Bureau of Investigation

Talk about having to make hide and hair of what our government throws at us every day, now we need to take apart the corporate lingo of the FBI, or Federal Bureau of Investigation. Another “bureau”…swell. Just what are they around for anyhow?

Here is something from their “About US” link:

(The FBI is) “an intel – driven national security and law enforcement agency, providing leadership and making a difference for more than a century.

Our mission is to help protect you, your children, your communities, and your businesses from the most dangerous threats facing our nation—from international and domestic terrorists to spies on U.S. soil…from cyber villains to corrupt government officials…from mobsters to violent street gangs…from child predators to serial killers. Along the way, we help defend and uphold our nation’s economy, physical and electronic infrastructure, and democracy.”

Supposedly this organization has so many “intelligent” people working and they cannot even spell out “intel –driven”?

Let’s match up their mission and priorities and see how this information we are gleaning is coming together. Here it is from the FBI’s link:

“Our Mission

As an intelligence-driven and a threat-focused national security organization with both intelligence and law enforcement responsibilities, the mission of the FBI is to protect and defend the United States against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats, to uphold and enforce the criminal laws of the United States, and to provide leadership and criminal justice services to federal, state, municipal, and international agencies and partners.

Our Priorities

The FBI focuses on threats that challenge the foundations of American society or involve dangers too large or complex for any local or state authority to handle alone. In executing the following priorities, the FBI—as both a national security and law enforcement organization—will produce and use intelligence to protect the nation from threats and to bring to justice those who violate the law.

  1. Protect the United States from terrorist attack
  2. Protect the United States against foreign intelligence operations and espionage
  3. Protect the United States against cyber-based attacks and high-technology crimes
  4. Combat public corruption at all levels
  5. Protect civil rights
  6. Combat transnational/national criminal organizations and enterprises
  7. Combat major white-collar crime
  8. Combat significant violent crime
  9. Support federal, state, local and international partners
  10. Upgrade technology to successfully perform the FBI’s mission”

It seems that this mucky gibberish is their way of saying, “Gosh, we’re paranoid and we want you to be, too. And we want you to waste time and money supporting our paranoia veiled under the language of “patriotism” and ‘protecting national security’.”

One thing is sure: until we pare down the Census Bureau (to be discussed) we will not make progress on “civil rights” or “race relations” How ridiculous does that sound? And it is your government that is making all this lack of progress and all the trouble and stress possible. Just remember, there are people terrorizing this country every day from the inside; child abusers and molesters and pornographic suppliers, sex offenders, spouse abusers, serial killers, abusive teachers, bullies in the schools, parents who don’t pay child support, racial profilers, stalkers, and drug runners and pimps and gang –bangers. Who needs talk of all this “overseas” gibberish when we have enough problems to solve RIGHT HERE in our own borders?

The DHS or Department of “Homeland Security”

“The Department of Homeland Security has a vital mission: to secure the nation from the many threats we face. This requires the dedication of more than 240,000 employees in jobs that range from aviation and border security to emergency response, from cyber -security analyst to chemical facility inspector. Our duties are wide-ranging, but our goal is clear – keeping America safe.”

Talk about government linking and lingo and deep layering: enough will be known by looking at the following very involved and very complex and detailed links to the DHS and its policies: http://www.dhs.gov/dhs-rulemaking and http://www.dhs.gov/mission.

Oh boy already… how much more of this can we take?

Had enough? Well don’t go yet- there is more!

The TSA or Transportation Security Administration

Do we need this extra layering of the TSA AND “Homeland Security?” Honestly I’ve felt safe in air travel since the 1970’s, when the Vietnam War was still going on and the United States was involved around the world. 9/11/2001 was a sad day for everyone and it served a need for an increase in security but not, in the view of many, for the creation of an entirely new organization, when there has been some kind of security over our nation’s airports and cargo transport zones for decades now.

Travel now is slower (and they think it is expedited) for passengers than ever before. We now have to remove our shoes, have bags inspected down to their zippers, remove our belts, be pelted with rays and signals, and be identified until we think we can say our social security numbers backwards while standing on our heads in the security screener. When was there a time when bags were not screened, or a time when there was not ample security in the airports? Think the CIA or FBI or the National Guard could handle that without this extra layer of the TSA wasting our time and money?

Here is what the TSA overview says they are doing for you (and how much more will we want done with this “for you” attempt?):

“Protecting Transportation

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created in the wake of 9/11 to strengthen the security of the nation’s transportation systems while ensuring the freedom of movement for people and commerce. Within a year, TSA assumed responsibility for security at the nation’s airports and deployed a federal workforce to screen all commercial airline passengers and baggage.

TSA now vets 100 percent of all passengers into, out of, and within the United States through TSA’s Secure Flight program. We use the latest technology to stay ahead of evolving threats, and continuing our efforts to screen 100 percent of cargo, regardless of where or how it is moving.

I will clarify the word “vets” since the writers of the web page were not kind enough to elaborate despite their cumulative intelligence. What is the meaning of “vets”?

When you “vet” something you:

a : subject to usually expert appraisal or correction <vet a manuscript>

b : evaluate for possible approval or acceptance <vet the candidates for a position>

So the TSA and every “security layer” we have in this country knows more about you when you get on that flight than you do about yourself… now is that something to be concerned about… or isn’t it? Below is more about the TSA.

*           *           *           *           *           *

Improving Security Through Layered, Risk Based Approach

TSA employs a layered, risk-based approach to secure U.S. transportation systems, working closely with stakeholders in aviation, rail, transit, highway, and pipeline sectors, as well as the partners in the law enforcement and intelligence community. The agency continuously sets the standard for excellence in transportation security through its people, processes, technologies and use of intelligence to drive operations.

We use layers of security to ensure the security of the traveling public and the Nation’s transportation system. Because of their visibility to the public, we are most associated with the airport checkpoints that our Transportation Security Officers operate.

These checkpoints, however, constitute only one security layer of the many in place to protect aviation. More security measures both visible and invisible to the public include:

  • Intelligence gathering and analysis
  • Checking passenger manifests against watch lists
  • Random canine team searches at airports
  • Federal air marshals
  • Federal flight deck officers” (Italics mine for emphasis).

*          *          *          *          *          *          *

So far what is the common ground of these “Security” organizations? Let’s review.

Purpose/Mission NSA/CSS CIA FBI DHS/TSA
Cryptology
Gathering   Signals
Computer   Spying/Networking
Dominance   of Intelligence Gathering or Providing Intelligence
Covert   Actions or Military Support
Securing   Infrastructure

Couldn’t we make do with just one that can take care of everything? Why not- the resources are spread out now and we have enough trouble understanding why all the waste, the specialty symbols and uniforms and scanning devices and the excess and the problems, including inappropriate or poor behavior by security staffers. Seems that just one “Central Intelligence and Security Association” would be more than enough, combining resources, paring down, recycling paper and plastics and “going green” and saving enough money to reduce the deficits and reduce citizens’ anger at the scandalous intrusions of government waste.

And anyhow, are you tired of this talk of “improved security” and “national security” and secrets and other wasteful chatter that hints of the “Cold War” and having to keep information from others and holding up the veil of “national interest” and this idea that the US has to be dominant and controlling in every part of the world? Considering that our nation is still in its infancy, does it make sense that we should dictate to nations a lot older and more civilized than ours? We need to do more listening and studying than dictating and patrolling and militarizing, and perhaps then we would be cured of arrogance, waste, pride, envy, greed and all those other bad behaviors we do not want to “own up” to displaying every day. Our government needs that dose of humble pie, and perhaps a few dozen humble pies before the facts are clear: WE DO NOT APPROVE OF THE (LACK OF) JOB YOU ARE DOING, SO GET WITH IT!

We have to every day at our work, so why aren’t you people in Washington doing the same?

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Our National Guard should be just THAT, OURS!

No more foreign involvement for our National Guards –people! Saying they are protecting our interests when they are 10,000 miles away from the United States is like saying you are watching your cake bake in your own kitchen oven while traveling in another state. It is an attempt at telling you that your tax dollars are being properly spent in guarding our “national interests” when the people on whom those dollars are spent are nowhere near guarding OUR nation but are watching over the rebuilding of and defending of other nations such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and other places where it is plain that those people do not like the presence of Americans in the first place and are doing all they can to let us know that.

Our National Guards ought to be HERE, within OUR borders, protecting people until rough neighborhoods are restored to order, helping out in natural disasters, and providing defense against so-called homegrown terrorism. You don’t have to go halfway around the world to find terrorists and troublemakers; they are right here within our borders.

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I say to Congress, if you cannot do good work, GO HOME and quit wasting money running the Capitol. EARN your salaries for goodness’ sakes and stop the whining, the bickering, the arguing and the filibustering and the racism and the demographic junk that is ruining our nation. You certainly do not have our approval now, so just get out of Washington. Eventually we will vote you out anyway so why continue to waste resources? Just get out and give everybody some peace and quiet so we don’t have to hear about what you are (not) doing every day.

RESOURCES

  1. http://www.nsa.gov/. 25 July 2013
  2. http://www.nsa.gov/about/central_security_service/index.shtml
  3. https://www.cia.gov/index.html
  4. https://www.cia.gov/about-cia/cia-vision-mission-values. Posted: Apr 04, 2007 03:54 PM. Last Updated: Jan 10, 2013 08:19 AM
  5. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us
  6. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/quick-facts
  7. http://www.dhs.gov/about-dhs
  8. http://www.dhs.gov/dhs-rulemaking
  9. http://www.dhs.gov/transportation-security-overview
  10. “Vet”. Merriam-Webster.com. 2013. http://www.merriam-webster.com (27 July 2013).
  11. “Help”. Merriam-Webster.com. 2013. http://www.merriam-webster.com/help/citing.htm (27 July 2013).

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2013.

Security and Cooperation: The World is Run by Spoiled Brats

Have you ever seen a couple of kids argue about sharing a toy or a role in a game? What do they look like when they are posturing and grabbing and holding on to the item in question? What do they say and how do they speak?

More than likely you would see them taking the toy closely to their body and hugging it as though they might lose it into thin air or get it broken by the other kid, and they would squeal and whine, “It’s MINE, you can’t have it and I won’t share it!” Maybe a little sticking out of the tongue or thumbing of the nose and some taunting sounds and gestures would accompany that declaration. The upshot: if a parent or guardian doesn’t tell the first kid to share it, the other kid might just give up, call the first child a spoiled rotten brat or just walk off and not want to play with them any more.

The phrase, “Discretion is the better part of valor” would take over here if the second kid is smart; they can just as easily walk off and say nothing and leave the first kid to their own, and let them have the toy. They can find something else to do and others to do it with; they don’t need to stay around and satisfy the brat by getting into an argument or a fight. In that case the toy might get broken anyway and where would the kids be then? Stuck without the object of desire, that’s where they would be, with a broken toy scattered about. They would both be out of luck and would have to find something else to do.

Remind you of the behaviors of people who are in control of our government, perhaps? It sure rings deeply in my mind when hearing about these issues of “security”, of “privacy”, of “national security“, of “protecting us”, and of “serving overseas”. What is our group of officials afraid of? What are they trying to make us afraid of and why?

Spoiled rotten paranoid brats, narcissistic folks… that is what our government is made of; nothing but arrogant, foolish adults with the minds of disorderly delinquents. And they are the people we have elected to make decisions about our military, our security, our tax structure, our infrastructure, our aviation safety, and our cities and towns.

Just in the news recently is talk of military officials being arrested for sexual misconduct. And we want to trust some of these people with our children and education and protection? If they cannot consider the feelings of those they serve with and their own families when the news comes out that they are engaging in such conduct, how can we expect that they are doing their job serving overseas or within our borders?

They are just as inconsiderate as that spoiled bratty kid who will not share a simple toy for fear something is going to happen to it.

What secrets do we think we have to hide from other countries? What is keeping us from learning about these cultures and sharing with them? Our officials are the ones dumbing down the nation because they will not loosen up, learn, get educated and share and sit down and talk about how to make the world a better place.

Instead they talk war, military spending, national security, secret plans, spy missions, drones, tanks and jets, spy satellites; they talk of sending thousands of troops into an area, or firing missiles or holding exercises off the coast of some nation like Korea or some areas of the Middle East. They don’t even know how to talk of anything else and we are paying the price for this false sense of security and patriotism and protection.

Do we think the issues and ideas of national security and guarding something and protecting something are new and reserved only for the government of the United States? Have we all these educated “experts” and “talking heads” all over the media spin circuit, and they cannot talk about the history of such ideas and concepts?

How many of these so -called experts and commentators remember the ancient ideas of civilization? People had to have someone to guard the entrance to the cave, to the remote village, to the walled cities and to the temples. They had guard houses, lighthouses, the making of chariots, spears, shields, armor; they had tacticians, phalanxes, plans for invasions, and their interests to protect and people to keep safe.

Yes, and safe from what, we might ask. We can ask the stones of Jericho and Gibeon and the sands of Egypt and the ruins of Phoenicia and Syria and India about their secrets; we can see what their people were doing and wonder why. We can read it in the Bible; it is a history book as well as a collection of songs and poems and laws.

English: Gibeon_entrance_to_the ancient,_well

English: Gibeon_entrance_to_the ancient,_well (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just think of the men who guarded Solomon’s Palace and Temple, to keep things and people out as well as in. They had their system of knowing who belonged and who did not; who was entitled to eat of the meat or the bread or share the drink or participate in the festivals. They did not need drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) or fast jets, tanks, jeeps, or nuclear missiles to prove their points.

What then do we need of nuclear warheads, ICBMs, powerful tanks, supersonic fighter jets armed and ready every moment of every day, aircraft carriers larger than the Empire State Building and machine guns? Who would want to use such power on a nation, defeat it and take it over and then move in? What, to a wasted land unsafe for human habitation due to the nuclear fallout and the cratered ground and the land mines and unexploded bombs? You want to take over such a place then go right ahead.

As for our spoiled brat officials, they are just as mean and rotten and cold as the kid who won’t share the toys and the candy and the parties. They grab and squeal and posture and shout, “That’s MINE and you can’t have it!” They want the limelight, the undivided attention on their little toys and games but they will not share it with the other kids who want to know about it and participate. They want the power and the admiration and the gaze of the others.

But that gaze will soon fade once the other kids realize that the spoiled brat isn’t going to share or let them see the toy; they will give up and go play somewhere else. And if they are wise they will not pay attention when the spoiled brat starts to realize he is alone and begins to beg them to come back. They will turn and leave him alone and go talk and play somewhere else, oblivious to the pleas of the spoiled kid until he settles down and reforms his ways and learns to share and play nicely.

Seems our officials need to seriously grow up or else we will continue to have lots of wasted time, money, materials, energy and patience.

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2013.

Police Chases: Leave that to Television, Please

THE DANGERS OF POLICE CHASES IN EVIDENCE

Just this morning in Chicago came word over the radio of a high -speed chase in the south side of the city, involving a shooting and a chase up an alley and then a bad crash into a garage that heavily damaged that structure. A young man was wounded in the incident but as I have heard over the radio he is improving.

Still, what made that chase happen in the first place? It should be noted that chases are very dangerous, because no one knows what can happen or who can be encountered during such a situation. People are all ready angry, they are on high tension, they are on overdriven senses, they might be on drugs or drunk, and they are scared. The first responders might be just as afraid as the suspects, so everyone is already very tense and super -alert and sensing trouble.

In the case of the morning’s incident, who knows who could have been in that garage or in that alley? Some innocent person could have been taking their trash out, or been in that garage preparing to go to work or take their children somewhere, or to travel. That the people involved were willing to ride up that alley and endanger others shows the lack of respect that seems to be a growing problem in this nation. Suppose some mother or father or big brother or big sister had been around there and been shot or run down or struck by one of those vehicles?

What explanation would be given to them, some lame thing  such as a drivel apology or saying they were in the way? It’s THEIR alley and THEIR home for goodness sakes! Get the incidents out of the way in the first place! Don’t give the suspects the satisfaction of chasing them – that is probably what they want police to do.

It’s like terrorists – they want people to run scared and be afraid and hunker down and close shops and schools and shut down transit systems. But though we do those things we can return to normal and prove that the terrorists did not win their war after all.

There must be a better way to contain these idiots who incite the shootings and the chase mentality. Corner them, put a helicopter above them, blind them with light, something, anything to prevent them getting into an alley or on a street where they could take off and put others in harm’s way.

Leave this chase junk to the TV and the movies. In real life there are real people in real cars on streets and who are walking and breathing and living and who have families and who are just trying to get to their jobs or to shop. We do not need this fear of getting around this chase stuff and being harmed in some life -threatening fashion.

Find a safer way to get these suspects off the streets so our streets can be safer.

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2013.

Congress and the TSA: Unsafe at Any Meeting

CONGRESS GO HOME; TSA WAKE UP AND QUIT PLAYING POLITICS!

079 Capitol Hill United States Congress 1993

079 Capitol Hill United States Congress 1993 (Photo credit: David Holt London)

All right, good citizens, are YOU as tired and sick of this uncooperative, argumentative, asinine, juvenile, idiotic, nasty, party -divided, racist Congress as I am? Are you tired of hearing about the cuts and the belt -tightening YOU AND I have to do but not, it seems, the Congress and our three branches of “government”? Are you worn out with traveling and hearing about delays at the gate, delays at the security lines, long lines, pushy officials, and delays when in line to take off?

I mean, one hour and twenty minutes sitting on a runway was reported by a lady who heard that over the plane’s PA – yes, that they would be sitting and waiting to take off, for over an HOUR, and that same amount of time is a flight from Chicago to Nashville. She could have been way in the air and on her way if it were not for this silly, dumb, threatening sequestering gibberish our Congress (and I say that with a sour face) is doing to our nation. Who wants to sit around on a runway or an expressway waiting for the obstacles to clear?

This Congress (said with a frown this time) is getting nothing but negative reviews, and should you be surprised considering that they are NOT doing the job we sent them there for? Some idiot is letting the TSA have its way, and why I cannot figure except that they are supporting makers of baseball bats, golf clubs, and knives, which articles are the things the TSA wants to allow back on flights. Well I’m adding my voice to the uproar along with the pilots, the flight attendants, and passengers who want nothing to do with lifting that ban.

How cockamamie and unthinking and stupid can they be? Are they thinking of no one but themselves, or not thinking at all? The latter option seems to be what is going on in those once -hallowed halls in Washington. Not thinking. How inconsiderate of these people we have put our trust in, elected, spent time and money supporting, and written to and called asking them not to do this.

Perhaps the flights attendants and pilots should go on strike. Maybe we passengers should find other ways of travel; granted they won’t be as convenient as flying, but that might teach these people a lesson. Maybe the bus services would perk up and improve their travel ways, and really spiff up to accommodate the seasoned flyer. Maybe the limousine services would take on those people who want a break and want to see the country from the road, and make out really good routes and have conveniences aboard that would satisfy that finicky flyer just as nicely as first -class service is supposed to do. Maybe AMTRAK would be a fine option for people fed up with talks of air traffic controller cuts?

But in all this you must feel for the remaining air traffic controllers. Just remember that in any business situation, when staff is cut, the duties of many fall on the backs of the few who are left to take on all those responsibilities of the company, no matter what the tasks are – bookkeeping, cleaning, paperwork, selling clothes, being cashier, taking calls, sweeping, shipping and receiving, guiding in a hundred flights an hour, securing the gates, anything at all. The stress of an already hard job is falling on those in the towers who are left without furlough days and who must endure the thought that they can do nothing against the iron hand of Congress.

John Pistole, Head Of Transportation and Secur...

John Pistole, Head Of Transportation and Security Administration (Photo credit: Talk Radio News Service)

But they CAN do something! They can go on strike too. I know there are those dedicated to their jobs, and they all should be and no doubt they are because they know how very essential their services are. Congress might not give a hoot, but then the lazy, fat -cat senators are not in those towers every day, with the responsibility for thousands of people in vehicles going 500 miles an hour or more, at various altitudes, in varying weather conditions, in ever -changing security conditions. Congress cannot appreciate the word those controllers are doing every day to keep us safe at all parts of the air travel experience.

I enjoy flying and have done so since the Vietnam War was going on. Back then there was none of this removing the shoes, the excess standing in lines and such. Yes there was security but it was not so complicated. The events of 9/11 changed all of that, and added nothing but hassle, taxes, and fees to our flights. We could walk out to the plane, walk on the hardtop to climb the steps, we could understand everything that was going on. Now stuff is so “secretive”, so hush -hush, and so corporate that we can blame Congress.

Stupid, silly, dumb senators… and we have trusted you with our money, our lives, and our interests.

But be that as it may, be it that those men and women are taking up a lot of energy and time keeping themselves in the halls of the Capitol, we will carry on. We will board our 747’s, our 737’s, our 727’s, our Gulf Streams, our MD-80‘s, and our small private planes that dot the tiny airfields across our great nation. We will carry on the spirit of the adventure and the love of flight; we will see the air shows without the Blue Angels and the United States Air Force Thunderbirds, and we will see them without the appearance of the B-52. We will fly, you senators and you officials; WE WILL FLY! I roll my eyes at your ignorance, you senators, right along with the thousands of passengers hearing about the sequestering.

Many of us have endured delays of hours at airports due to bad weather and other factors, so we know how to deal with delays. We can take along something to read, a book of crosswords and a pack of pencils, electronic games, a journal, and our snacks. We can nap, we can bring a camera to take photographs, and we can watch movies on our computers. We will carry on at O’Hare, at Midway, at LAX and at BNA; we will carry on at Logan, we will wait patiently in Pensacola, in Seattle, in Detroit and in New York. We will continue to fly and get to our meetings and our jobs and our families and friends.

We will do our jobs and our tasks.

Meanwhile this to Congress and the other lazy people in our three branches of government: if you cannot do your jobs, clock out and GO HOME. We mean that, get out of your offices, stop taking the privileges and perks, pack up and go back to your constituents and your home states, where you would probably do more good than you are now just sitting about in your luxury offices in your fine clothes and with staff at your beck and call, wasting light and heat and water. Just pack up and go home, turn off the Capitol and come back when you feel like you are capable of doing the work we sent you to do.

Divi Logan, Chicago, ©2013.