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.

Homeland Security? Orange Line Incident Prompts Questions About Security and Funding.

Well now it’s come to this: think about what we are doing regarding “homeland security”.

We want to talk up this business about securing our borders and our nation from outside threats such as from Yemen, Iraq and other terrorist nations and organizations… but when it comes to the thought of protecting against threats that happen right here within our own states, we seem to have a major problem supplying personnel and equipment to do that.

The incident yesterday along the CTA Orange Line prompts me, a regular rider, to question what is going on.  For those who read this article and who are not familiar with it, let me enlighten you: the Orange Line is part of the Chicago Transit Authority’s system of elevated trains that goes through the famous Loop district. On this train patrons can ride all the way to Midway Airport; from the Roosevelt Stop the trip is about thirty minutes. You can get straight on it from the Red Line by accessing a tunnel and escalators to go up to the Orange Line stop.

Yesterday the peace of patrons on the Orange Line was shattered when armed assailants burst into the cars, announced a robbery and took things from riders. Apparently they got on at the Halsted stop and got off at the Roosevelt stop and took off. Now with the number of people at the Roosevelt stop and the amount of activity there it is hard to believe that someone did not yell out that there was a problem and that the personnel downstairs could not catch up with those people or call for backup and clear the area.

So where is all this “security” we are supposed to see since 9/11/01? Where are the vested officers, the dogs, the extra cruisers and personnel? WHERE ARE THEY? Every so often in the Red Line I see a dog with an officer, and the occasional extra officers in the gate area, but this should not be “occasionally”.

And if there is any denial that we have terrorists right here in our nation, that incident should push the denial right out of the minds of the law personnel and clear the rust out of our brains and the dust from our eyes and make us question even more, “WHERE ARE THOSE EXTRA SECURITY PERSONNEL?”

Also what happened to the idea of acting so quickly on the sentence we hear every time now that we are on a Chicago train: “If you see something, say something!” Perhaps the riders between those Orange Line stops were so in shock that they could not react quickly enough to inform 9-1-1 or the conductor that something was wrong. Perhaps also, there being more than one assailant, the means of contacting help were denied to the riders until the robbers jumped off the train.

What happens now that the security video has been released?

People sure are brazen these days, but desperation can breed such unusual behavior, such risky behavior as that which happened in broad daylight along that CTA train. It is a mean -spirited and desperate person indeed that brandishes a firearm among a crowd of peaceful travelers and shakes their minds up and demands their belongings. Just terrible…

… but what are we as ordinary citizens going to do about it? Carry more weapons? Have officers in every train car? Have cameras on every seat? Perform more citizens’ patrols? We sure are beyond just talking about the problems and the issues about “gun violence”. We are tired of hearing about it every day, seeing the evidence and the remains of it, and dealing with it. We don’t want to “deal with it”. We want it to end, be over, enough already.

What are we to do?

Divi Logan. Chicago, 2014.

Shootings? NOT ANOTHER ONE!

Shootings. Shoot… the last word I want to hear every single doggone day around here is “shooting”.

Enough already with the reports that even mention that someone was shot in Chicago or anywhere else for that matter. The time for just talking about or reporting it is come and past; the time for action to stop the violence is NOW.

RIGHT NOW.

After all, there are other meanings to the word “shoot”. Time was that “AW SHOOT!” was nothing more than a mildly explosive expletive when someone would misplace their keys or break a shoelace. The words were just a bridge between the incident and getting over what happened, rather like saying drat, dang, rats or doggone it.

But now when the news networks mention “shoot” it deals with someone getting shot, as happened today in Las Vegas.  A “shooting” with a “gunman” happened at a university in Washington State.

Shootings happen in some parts of Chicago every day, and no doubt folks in Chicago are darned sick and tired of hearing every day about someone getting shot.

Rather get a camera and go on a photo “shoot” and document what’s going on and perhaps in that way find out if there is a solution to this pressing problem. Not attending to “the press” when they talk about it and hype it up is one way. Just turn it off and protest this “if it bleeds it leads” gibberish.

What’s the deal with summer and hot weather being a time when suddenly the violence and people running amok seems to explode? Folks, find other ways to entertain yourselves. No need for this junk with the flash mobs, the gang involvement, and bored kids that seemingly have nothing to do.

The kids have plenty to do if only people with consciences get them off their lazy and jaded behinds and put tools in their hands, give them a plot of land to till, clean, take care of and get a garden going. The kids have plenty to do if they get involved with building houses or playgrounds or tidying up a school or serving in a soup kitchen or collecting items for a charity or a mission.

Come on, people – you don’t need guns and drugs and gangs to give your life meaning. Those things will only put you in danger – in danger of losing your life, of hurting someone else, of ending up in prison and with a record you cannot erase. Gangs, guns and drugs are dangerous.

DANGEROUS. No one can emphasize that enough. Gangs, guns and drugs are DANGEROUS. You ought to be running away from those things as you would from a poisonous snake, a tornado, a scorpion, a toxic spider. You who have conquered the need to have such garbage fouling up your life, and who know about the perils and dangers and ugliness of prisons and police stations and being booked, and facing the people you have hurt, can turn this around and help others get over the need for these things in their lives.

Remember that gangs and guns and drugs endanger everyone, including children. Kids want a safe place to live, play and go to school. They should not be afraid of dying on the way to the store or having some idiot gang banger drive past their porch and open fire in the hope of killing someone else.  Children are vulnerable in this society as people start to care less about others and more about only their selfish and lazy and arrogant selves. Kids are abandoned to make their own decisions, to test judgment not completely mature, and to be exposed to harmful habits, to foul language, to violent video games, and to “the streets”.

If only more adults could think like the teachers who sheltered students during the tornadoes the Weather Channel features on their tornado week specials these days. Teachers in Moore, Oklahoma sheltered their students as the twisters approached and damaged their school. Teachers in Joplin, Missouri did the same, taking care of their students. But teachers cannot do the work of parents. Sure a school can provide shelter and food and instruction during part of the day but a school is not a home and teachers are not parents. Parents MUST take more responsibility, first for their own habits and then for their kids, making sure they have these good examples of care and decency and dignity to follow.

Maybe it’s time to stop this diversity thinking and start thinking UNITY. Quit thinking about whether or not someone “looks like you”, “talks like you” or “lives in your neighborhood”. So what? No one is going to look like, talk like, or live like anyone else, even though they are right across the hall or the street or in the next building. Everyone is different but in some ways we are united.

Those who are united in the common thought of ending the violence must band together, stuff the diversity talk in the trash bin, and start thinking in a group sense and a unified sense. An army cannot fight successfully and with a purpose and with strength unless the personnel are unified in their goal of driving out the enemy. Without this common bond of discipline and unity and purpose the biggest army will be nothing but a bunch of people going every which way, not going forward to the goal, and the effort will collapse, and the enemy will win.

The armies of the gangs, guns and drugs cannot be allowed to win these little victories every day. Thanks to the mass media they are winning, because people talk about the incidents and the shootings, talking about the problems instead of the solutions, talking about the investigations instead of banding together to call people out to drive the gangs away for good.

AW SHOOT, folks… can’t you find ways to stop the violence already?

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2014.

Chicago: Tired of the Violence? DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

Look, folks, the ATF and FBI and Chicago Police and First Responders can’t do all the work of prevention… so it is time for citizens to step up, speak up, and speak out, and do so every day, with as much force as it takes to counter what has been going on ever since the weather started to warm up around here.

OK, people, time to take back the streets that are YOUR streets, in YOUR communities! These are the places you bought and built to raise your families in, to plant your gardens in, and to have a place to sit down to dinner or on your porch after work and enjoy the privileges of working hard, paying taxes, and living in America.

Time to show those gang people and gun and drug runners that, simply put and stated, THEY ARE NOT WELCOME!

You have to show that forcefully and physically when necessary. Do you know of someone with illegal guns or sources of them? TURN THEM IN! Know someone running drugs? TURN THEM IN! SNITCH ALREADY!

And quit calling it “snitching”- that’s so negative and so  childish. These are not video games where people get a second chance to come back. Once someone is shot, THEY ARE SHOT, and they are in pain and wounded and could be dead. This is not some pixelated stuff someone puts on a screen; these are real people in the line of fire and in harm’s way.

And they are innocent children who are in some sort of area labeled “gang turf”. What? WHAT KIND OF SILLINESS IS THAT? GANG TURF? Indeed! Blame the media for continually talking about our communities in this manner. The more we allow the media to talk about “gang turf” or “gang violence” or “gang related” or “shootings” every day the more power they are giving to the gangs. Just talking about the problems is not going to do anything; there must be action. And right now.

That turf, that land, was the land of law -abiding American citizens before some idiots who are part of a gang decided to bring their unwelcome crop of drugs, guns, prostitution and other crimes into the area and begin to terrorize people with guns, graffiti and threats. YOU DARE THREATEN? Well then the people who have to endure your stuff can fight back.

There is strength in numbers; we can fight back. Use Biblical methods if necessary – come at the interlopers with sticks and stones, beat them out of the neighborhood. Ostracize them as though they have some kind of contagious disease. Tell them their drugs are not needed or wanted around there, and to move on. GET OUT OF HERE! Shout it right in their ear if need be, and come at them and drive them off the corners with your two -by -fours drawn and ready to beat the life out of them.

“That’s good riddance for all you have done in this area, you nasty gang banger! Get off my street and leave the kids alone! GO AWAY and DON’T COME BACK! EVER!”

Do whatever you must to show them that they are nothing but flies that can easily be swatted away and sprayed with bug killer. The killer is the lack of interest you can show for what they are offering.

Conquer your needs for drugs and violence! You can do better if you are depending on the drugs and the means of escape that are so violent and useless; you don’t need to encounter others and life in those ways. Drugs do no good for you- they can be deadly, they can cause you to hallucinate, to lose sleep, to lose appetite, to become very sick, and to become abusive. Violence is not necessary, either against yourself (needles, drugs, alcoholism, fighting) or against others (abuse, fighting, shouting, terrorism, prostitution), so turn the heat on those who have seen fit to turn the heat up in your communities.

When those who have suffered realize who has been fueling their suffering, they will wake up and realize, “Hey, I can do something about this. I can choose other ways and methods and means of feeling better, of taking daily life, of living with my family and of being a productive citizen. I don’t have to be treated like a loser… and those drug people are seeing me as vulnerable, a target. I CAN TAKE CHARGE! And I don’t need those drugs anymore!”

Once you understand that the drugs only offer short -term effects and are terribly expensive, and illegal, and can get you into deep trouble, you will no longer turn to the gangs. You can free yourself from their grip, and you can help free someone else from their poisons and toxins. You can turn away, and that’s the best approach of all. You can show them, “I don’ t need you, and our families don’t need you either, so get out and get lost!”

Besides, gang people are nothing but cowards. Who else would engage in drive -by shootings, wear dark clothes or masks, make silent signs, and deal stealthily on street corners? They are cowards, I say again, and cowards do not deserve anything but to be driven out of the community and consigned to solitary confinement and wandering in the deserts of their own dementia and troubles, as punishment for the troubles they have inflicted on others.

Gangs, go away. We are tired of you! Let me emphasize, along with the Mayor, with the police department, and with the families, with all the first responders who have to see the tragedies and who are put in danger every day, and with all of us who are tired of the “if it bleeds it leads” headlines, WE ARE TIRED OF YOU GANG PEOPLE! Keep your junk and your online arguments and your other behavioral problems to yourselves already.

The Mayor is fed up and who can blame him – who wants to have to talk with families when their children are caught in the crossfire of gangs who feel the need to take their junk out to the streets and terrorize others? And since this can plainly be called terrorism- that’s right, gangs promote TERRORISM and don’t forget that – now the Feds have to step in and see what they can do to reduce the violence. The gang people need to be rounded up, arrested, and thrown into jail with the key thrown away. The time for talking with them is done, the time for patiently waiting for them to reform is over, long over. We are sick of them, we are tired of them, we are fed up with them and we want them out.

Far as I am concerned, the mayor and the governor need to call out the National Guard, SWAT, and whomever else can help solve the problems, to take control and bring order to the streets again and be there till the gang people realize that they are not going to get any more ground and that their efforts are wasted, their battles are lost, their resources are not going to match up, and that they may as well dry up and blow away like chaff in the winds of change.

Gangs, get lost and stay lost!

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2014.

Chicago Public Spaces and Parks a Disgrace: What are the Consequences When we Do Whatever We Want?

We Have Freedoms and Privileges… But What Happens When we Abuse Them?

redwingbird

Last year it hit me, so to speak, and I have spent months wondering what to do about this situation…

Maybe get out my own broom, mop, dustpan, trash can, trash bags, gloves and boots and get to the parks and clean them up myself?

That is what I gladly would have done had I those resources and the time to improve a particular section of Grant Park. I wanted to take a nice walk along Michigan Avenue in sunny weather, to clear my head, get away from work for a while, and ground to the natural world to get some good Earth energy. What met my eyes and other senses was enough to make me want to get back to the hard sidewalk (not much cleaner) and go back to where I work.

 Grant Park Scene

In that one stretch of what would have been nice green space and good space were cigarette butts enough to take over the grass, evidence of pet and human waste, trash and enough detritus to make it seem that area of the park had not been cleaned in weeks.

That is what I have encountered in parks and beaches all over Chicago- litter and trash blowing about or embedded in the ground, glass shards, food waste, pet waste, cigarette material including butts and containers … and all in sight of trash cans someone could easily walk or ride a few steps over to deposit the waste.

View Towards Downtown Chicago from Lincoln Park Bridge near the Zoo.

View Towards Downtown Chicago from Lincoln Park Bridge near the Zoo.

Do we dare think ourselves in America civilized and progressive? Hah, I think not. We are about as crude, lazy, disgusting and indecent as people can get. I think people whom we dismiss as “Neanderthals” were more civilized than we are… we ought to be ashamed of how we are treating our public spaces and how little attention we are paying to the others who want to use them and enjoy them, who want as I did to get away from the office and have a good lunch or a nice walk in the parks that line the “Magnificent Mile. We want a place to step into the fresh grass, see the fine trees and flowers, and get in touch with the energies of the universe that can revitalize and inspire us, that wonderful world of nature.

But this is awfully hard to do when the park walks are cracked and jutting and uneven and littered. It is hard to do when there is human waste in evidence, which is not only unsightly but can be dangerous. Suppose someone touches it, or steps in it, which in the former case could lead to disease and in the latter is tracked into cars, busses, trains, your place of work, the restaurants, the schools, the museums, maybe your condo or apartment. Kids and pets are curious about lots of things and they could easily touch it, lick it, or put their noses into it. Wastes endanger people and pets, so when you leave wastes around you are creating a public nuisance. By your disordered and crude thinking you are endangering others. How pitiful and how disgusting and how uncivilized. EEWWW.

Come on, folks, think right: you have rights, privileges and freedoms, but do not abuse them. Think of others for a change and get some discipline in your lives. If you are going to be around others (the public) then you have to respect the rights, privileges and freedoms of everyone around you. If you start to get that sly, foxy look and frame of mind as you walk the streets chewing on that burger or banana and you think, “Oh, I’ll just dump the paper here, no one will notice,” (what cave did you crawl out of?) you bet someone will notice, the person who has to clean up after you or steps in that stuff and gets it on their new shoes. Take the few steps to the nearest trash can and dump the refuse in there and then quietly go your way.

You pay taxes to keep the parks clean and others pay taxes too, for the purpose of having spaces to enjoy. Respecting others is simply a matter and part of being a good citizen, something you should have learned from an early stage of life. You don’t just throw down your garbage and expect that others will clean up after you because “it is their job”. Cleaning up is a matter of safety for yourself and others.  It is disgusting to litter and “do your think” in a public setting, so just don’t do that. And do not eat or drink on public transit. Ever seen a train car or a bus littered with sunflower seeds, banana peels, chip bags, disposable cups and candy bar wrappers and gum stuck to places others touch? YECCH.

As for the personnel of the Park District, I bring to your attention Bughouse Square, which one year before the Chicago Marathon was littered with cigarette refuse, other trash, dog waste and leaf litter, a disgrace for people visiting to see and have to deal with. In fact I went back to my apartment and took out a broom and went to the park to try and clean up a little bit of it. It got so disgusting after a while I shook off the broom and went to do other things, wondering why it looked like that part of the Gold Coast had not been touched in a long time.

ChiNash2013 093

Wood Duck in Stunning Plumage.

Lincoln Park is also just as bad: cracked and crumbling walking paths that jut bodies and bikes and are uneven and dangerous, litter everywhere, cigarette crud that is toxic and unsightly, trash blowing about, remains of picnics, food waste. It is not even a thought to want to step on the grassy areas in that (should be) beautiful park because of the junk that is in those spaces. Areas north towards the 2800 and 3000’s areas of Chicago also have parks that are in terrible shape. These parks are close to homes, schools, hospitals, hotels and restaurants and museums.

Where is the money for the parks and public spaces going? I think any concerned citizen should get down to finding out.

In the meanwhile, we concerned citizens might just have to use our own brooms, gloves, tarps, mops, trash cans and trash bags and clean the parks up ourselves, using the wonderful concept of the neighborhood cleanup day to do just that the moment we have weather good enough to do that in. We should consider the parks as we would our own yards and keep them clean. We can see them from our living spaces after all, and most city dwellers do not have a real yard, so we have the parks and beaches we all should be able to enjoy and love.

What we love and enjoy we ordinarily want to take care of, right? When you get something precious as a gift you want to have it for a long time and take good care of it. The parks are a precious natural resources set aside for everyone, that’s right EVERYONE, to enjoy, to go to and commune with nature, to romp around with family and friends, to take a quiet walk or a bike ride, to walk the dog or to stroll the baby. Naturally if you walk the dog it is up to YOU to clean up after the pet totally and thoroughly and leave no trace of where you have been. Dispose of the waste in a trash can, tightly wrapped to prevent odors escaping. Change the baby before going out. If you eat, dispose of your trash in the proper receptacle, and that is not including park benches, the ground, or any surface. Trash goes in trash cans.

Black-crowned Night Herons from part of a Colony in Lincoln Park.

Black-crowned Night Herons from part of a Colony in Lincoln Park.

Take care of what you have, including your dignity and your fellow citizens.

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2014.

RESOURCES

1. Wikipedia contributors. “Grant Park (Chicago).” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 30 Dec. 2013. Web. 29 Jan. 2014.

Photographs taken with a LEICA V-LUX-4 bridge camera.

UNO Group to Receive State Funding AGAIN?:: NO WAY!

UNO CHARTER SCHOOL ORGANIZATION TO RECEIVE FUNDING FROM THE STATE OF ILLINOIS????????????????????????????

Now, talk about corruption, but…. WHOSE HAND IS FEEDING THE PEOPLE IN SPRINGFIELD, FROM THE UNO CHARTER SCHOOL COALITION?

Funding was cut off from UNO, being an Hispanic – sounding -based acronym for United Neighborhood Organization, because of shady dealings and pouring out lots of money for the building of charter schools at a time when the hot issues in Cook County and Chicago are about school closings in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) system. People are suspicious because they hear about the closing of the public schools and the building of these so -called “charter” schools.

It does not matter what the school is called; if the quality of the education and the teachers and the overall appearance and atmosphere of the school is not up to the highest standards, then what is the point? What is the need of all the specialization and the bickering and the nepotism and the diversity/ethnicity angles?

Family ties strike again in the Chicago area as millions of dollars are wasted and spent lavishly and crookedly to boost just this one section of our population!

This new funding push of $100 million could have been used to keep some of the public schools open or boost the material resources available to more students in the CPS system than in just this one part of the city for the UNO group.

I don’t blame parents in the CPS system for wondering now what is happening with this early enrollment deal, with people going ahead and putting on a school’s roll students whose parents have not given permission for that to happen. Perhaps these parents wised up and sent their children elsewhere, to better schools in other parts of the city, away from the stigma of going to schools in the south and west of the city.

They can talk all they want regarding the closing of some and the opening of other schools, but if these areas are still plagued by gangs, drugs, cartels like Sinaloa, turf wars, unsafe roads and the like, then who cares what the schools are like. The improvements need to happen on the community level, the proverbial “grass roots” level we hear of when issues become so complicated that we must return to the basics in order to understand what happened, what is going on, how to solve the problems, and how to ensure that, hopefully, the problems will not happen any more.

Here is a quote from the following resource that sheds light on the UNO situation:

UNO CEO Juan Rangel, a key supporter of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, said the funding suspension could affect completion of the UNO Soccer Academy High School, but he hoped the issues would be resolved in time to open the school as planned in the fall.

“We are working collaboratively with the state of Illinois to address the concerns they have, and we’re hopeful we will get past that shortly,” Rangel said. “We can do a better job. Part of that requires that we make structural changes within the organization.”

Those changes will include new procedures “to ensure that we are doing things with complete transparency” and an expanded UNO board of directors that will take a more active role in running the organization, Rangel said.

A source inside the organization said the board is being reconstituted because some believe Rangel had gained too much control over the current board, which is when the problems started to flourish. A new board, which will be announced early next week and includes members not affiliated with UNO, would diminish Rangel’s influence over contract decisions, the source said.

Group co-founder Ald. Daniel Solis also indicated that changes are coming but declined to criticize Rangel, who has become the organization’s public face. “I personally believe Juan still has a role to play within UNO, and I think the board will recognize that,” said Solis, 25th.

RESOURCES

1. http://www.suntimes.com/news/watchdogs/20027789-452/where-uno-charter-schools-money-comes-from.html

2. http://www.unocharterschools.org/

3. http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/19711841-418/state-cuts-off-money-to-embattled-uno-charter-schools-over-insider-deals.html

Divi Logan, Chicago, ©2013

Cease Funding for Cease Fire Chicago: Violence Prevention?

THE INTERRUPTERS HAVE NOW BEEN INTERRUPTED…

What will the leader of Cease Fire Chicago say now when asked about the crimes he has committed against his wife? “I’m only human?” or will it be one of those horrendous “insanity pleas” that have ruined so many cases of murder or terrorism in this nation?

It is not right that ANYONE should be abused by anyone else, no matter the situation. People need to learn to control these “raw” emotions and get anger and anything that causes it under control and fast, too.

But in this case the director of Cease Fire Chicago is the one who has caused harm and violence on another person, his wife. She showed up beaten and battered about the upper body, and the attorney says the inflictions were “very substantial”. What a pity.

What kind of example does this set for those persons the organization was set up to help, such as former gang members? What does that tell them, that violence is still all right in certain situations, even while they are working to prevent and reduce violence and the causes of it in Chicago?

And what has been happening to the millions of dollars the  city of Chicago has given to Cease Fire? What have the directors been doing with that money? Who has been helped with that money? Whose pockets has it been lining?

Violence is still being talked of every week; people are being killed and wounded. Chicago makes the national news headlines because of the crime rate! Every week on News Radio 780 WBBM there is the roll of those shot and wounded, many of them teenagers. Families are still being torn apart; communities are still finding drugs and gangs on the streets, people are afraid to walk to school or to work or to wait at bus stops. Gangs are still getting too much press.

What has Cease Fire been doing, then?

Congressman Bobby Rush and Senator Mark Kirk had their run -in of differences about the gang problem this past week, talking about allocation of funds and bringing in the awful but proverbial race and ethnicity issues. Most people would probably agree that creating jobs is very important and that education tops the list of hot -button concerns in America. Money needs to be put towards crime prevention but putting funds towards improving the education system, beginning with the goals and the purpose of it, is what needs to be accomplished first. Many people in Chicago say outright that the Chicago school systems “sucks” and needs reform badly.

Parents who went to a “north side” school to enroll their kids in that school did so to make a point and bring out the disparity in schools in different parts of the city of Chicago. All schools should have the highest standards, the same as the top -rated public school in the nation.

Perhaps the Vulcans have the right idea – not giving in to emotions and basically rooting that out of one’s behavior pattern so that focus can be put on what matters, not how someone feels about something. In my view being “emotional” does no good.

Meanwhile the violence continues, the kids get shot, and the families mourn. Instead of planning proms and graduations, they are planning funerals.

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2013.

RESOURCES

1. http://www.crimesolutions.gov/programdetails.aspx?id=205

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.

Chicago Public School Officials Behaviorally Challenged: Who’s Acting Uneducated Now?

CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOL OFFICIALS ACTING HIGHLY UNEDUCATED

Listening to Karen Lewis talk, you would think she wants some things to remain the same far as this business (overdone) with this chatter about “neighborhood” schools. She wants the present Mayor out of office, but what would she tell a new candidate about how the schools should be run and what ought to be done?

If I were going to run for Mayor and President Lewis came to me talking as she did today on the News Radio WBBM interview, I would turn her out of my office and tell her to come back when she’s not clouded by letting the demographers have power over her mind and the minds of those she works with. I’d say that when she is ready to really give an educated response and burst the bubbles of this talk of race and gender and gang lines, she can come back and settle down and use some Parliamentary Procedure manners and talk with me.

Listen folks, do not play the race game and the Census bit with me – I won’t buy it. I am tired of hearing people sound as though their world ends when their streets end or when the “people who look like them” are no longer visible. Pretty unsecure and prejudiced thinking, in my view, and we do not need such talk any further.

Demographic and racial gerrymandering talk does no good for anyone at all. Such talk only gives the government Census people more power to separate and categorize us and to make it sound like such talk is good for us and will give competitiveness, federal dollars, boost this or that and make  funds available for people who want to buy in to their “diversity” babble.

English: Seal of the United States Census Bure...

English: Seal of the United States Census Bureau. The blazon is defined here as: On a shield an open book beneath which is a lamp of knowledge emitting rays above in base two crossed quills. Around the whole a wreath of single leaves, surrounded by an outer band bearing between two stars the words “U.S. Department of Commerce” in the upper portion and “Bureau of the Census” in the lower portion, the lettering concentric with an inner beaded rim and an outer dentilated rim. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Get on the horn, people! YOU ARE DIVERSE; everyone is “diverse”, because we are all different.  I don’t look like you and you don’t look like me and we don’t like the same kinds of food, but that does not make me inferior or superior to you. Come on, get grown up, folks. If you are in a fire are you going to watch for the firefighters coming up the aerial ladder and if he or she does not look like you are you going to be stupid enough to tell them, “I’ll want here until someone who looks like me comes up the ladder?” How silly is that?

So she thinks kids are not going to be welcome in a new school or in a new environment? That is a poor commentary on how good people can really be and how warm and open folks can be if given a chance. Such talk as she is spouting out is only adding fuel to the fire and keeping the wounds of racism, gangs, drugs, “turf”, neighborhoods, and “special” education going.

Perhaps the goals of our education system are wrong in the first place. For one thing, we are ALL in need of some sort of “special education”, considering that from observations I make that everyone is behaviorally challenged. We are not civil, we are not decent, we spit, we shout, we use phones at the dinner table, and we talk in church. People cut folks off when driving, people text when driving, act up in flight, push and shove, do not acknowledge when someone gives a resume in or have a job interview; people expose their underwear and exhibit other breaches of behavioral niceties.

Special education is for everyone, though some people need more attention than others due to physical or mental disorders that cannot be attended to in a regular school environment. Kids with severe deficiencies do need more attention during the day than those who can do normal activities such as feeding and dressing themselves, so they should be assessed and placed in a suitable environment.

But every school should be as good in quality as the very best schools in the Chicago area or schools around the nation, and if they are not then we need to take a close look at the real reasons why they are not. Who is playing the politics card, who is fomenting the racial and gender and gang issues and for what reason? Are they getting money and support from groups who are affiliated with demographers, demographic institutes or the Census Bureau?

I find that it is interesting that the Census Bureau has on its coat of arms an open book, the sign of someone getting an education and expanding their horizons, and the lamp of learning and the quills, with which people used to write with dipping in ink. And usually a wreath of leaves indicated the sign of a heroic accomplishment. The only thing the Census people are doing is dividing this nation along all kinds of lines and in all manner of categories, and I find nothing good, decent, heroic or honorable about that in the slightest. The way they are pushing their demographic divisiveness they ought to have a closed book and an extinguished lamp. Racial gerrymandering and prejudice have no place in this country and our government is making both legal, permissive, and acceptable.

What is really going on with those stubborn people? Do you want to have that kind of thinking plaguing you any longer?

If you need a further reason to burst your demographic social economic racist gender-biased bubbles and come out and break down the barriers, then look at the people in London who are by the tens of thousands participating today running in the London Marathon. Only a week after the events in Boston which drew us and the City of Boston together to assist the injured and traumatized, the London Marathon is drawing people supporting those in Boston and the sport of running and the spirit of good sportsmanship. THEY ARE NOT AFRAID TO COME OUT, to come from other countries and get in that race and run and feel proud and happy! They are happy to be out there and showing the team spirit!

How come you folks in Chicago cannot do the same?

Here is the pin… burst the bubbles and take a breath. Surely the air will be fresh and not at all stuffy. You’re making it stuffy now so break the barriers, grow up, stop talking and start acting, but in everyone’s interest and not for your political or PR ambitions. Quit acting up and start behaving like good citizens should.

Thank you.

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2013.

NRA is Not Right All the Time: Gun Control Must Take Hold

NRA: Not Right At All: Sandy Hook and Gun Control

Now it is obvious that the arguments of the NRA (National Rifle Association) regarding the Second Amendment and gun control and all the rest of the concerns revolving (excuse the word choice there) around “gun violence” are not complete nor are they accurate. Below is the Second Amendment.

Amendment II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

First of all, banning certain types of weapons DOES NOT take away anything of the privileges we have in the Second Amendment, which gives us the right to bear arms. “Arms” can mean anything that is used to commit violence against someone using deadly force, strength meant to kill surely and not necessarily cleanly. It is DEADLY FORCE that is meant when someone takes a gun out and fires that weapon at a person with premeditated intent – they MEAN to KILL that person at whom the gun is pointed. It is ready for discharging and if the situation is upset enough the weapon will be used, and someone WILL DIE.

Sandy Hook, Connecticut

Sandy Hook, Connecticut (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The banning of certain weapons is not going to infringe on the Second Amendment, not at all. All the people of Sandy Hook want, and all that many Americans want, is to see the BANNING of certain types of guns and armaments accessories and an increase in background checks and details of said checks. The views of Chicago Police Department Superintendent McCarthy are correct in his five points, discussed some months ago in one of my previous blog entries. Now the police of communities across America cannot do all the work, the SWAT teams and the FBI cannot do all the work.

People must step up and write their representatives to the point of stuffing their mailboxes with letters insisting on these bans of assault rifles, high capacity magazines, and also of the increase in background checks for gun shows and all types of sales that are made anywhere, when guns are sold or transferred in ownership, and especially to keep track of where a gun might end up when it is stolen. There are GPS methods to track down stolen cars… there should perhaps be a way to insert GPS into guns to track them when the chip is activated. Privacy issues will come up no doubt but for now the issue is what to do about the “military style” guns that are being made and put on our streets every day.

On our streets we DO NOT NEED these assault weapons (though any type of weapon is really an “assault” weapon seeing that any sort of violence against another person is assault). We do not need in our communities the presence of the AR-15, the M-16, the Uzi, anything at all that is meant to take out many people as happened at Sandy Hook, as happened in Aurora, Colorado, and as happens every day in America as citizens allow gangs and corrupt people to take control of streets and communities for their drugs and their disgusting presence.

You can certainly have a firearm in your home or business for protection, and in most states you can carry a gun under the concealed carry law. But you certainly do not need one of those machine guns for daily protection unless you are in a war zone. There are some parts of America that might be called “war zones” because those communities have endured neglect and are run -down enough for gangs and drugs to take hold. Good people will leave and the bad elements will take over and the citizens who are stuck there will be in deep trouble. Points aside, you can have firearms and you can certainly uphold the Second Amendment. You do not have to listen to the NRA when deciding on gun control, plainly and simply.

The children and teachers who died at Sandy Hook will not be forgotten as long as parents are around, as long as caring citizens are here, as long as first responders have to pay visits to those types of scenes and make their reports. The record is there and the people of Connecticut have stepped up to tell America and Congress they are going to get tough for the gun control issue.

Those members of Congress and those other representatives who get good grades from the NRA need to remember the children who are struggling to get good grades in school every day in areas plagued by violence and racial gerrymandering and government neglect. Those senators who are going to filibuster and not vote on issues to regulate the gun industry and ban the assault weapons are going to have to answer their constituents if something happens in their state on the order of Sandy Hook or Aurora or Virginia Tech’s university campus massacre.

Those members of Congress will have to go before America and say that because they get an A rating from the NRA that they cannot support deeper gun control legislation that might save lives, that might keep our cities safer, that might take these guns out of the hands of gang bangers and criminals and violent people. They will have to answer the next time something like that happens if there is a next time.

The Second Amendment must be carefully considered away from what the NRA says will happen if we get tougher gun control. Such controls will not take away our right to have guns if we want them. We can certainly go out and get a gun, take courses on how to properly use a gun, and register it properly and learn to clean and care for it. We can teach the kids about gun safety if we have them around the house, so that nothing happens in the way of the unfortunate incidents that have popped up on the news lately, with younger kids shooting friends or siblings or family members.

Our esteemed wimpy idiotic foolish members of Congress need to get a backbone and act and pass tougher gun control laws immediately, no arguing, no filibustering, no posturing and no party politics. PLEASE people PLEASE do not do this to the good people of this country just because you are getting money and favoritism and perks from the NRA. They have their freedom of speech, they have their say, and you can listen to them with a grain of salt and then go on and pass the tougher laws. They have been heard and most people are tired of hearing them and their calling like telemarketers bugging people in Connecticut and with their daily comments on putting armed officers or teachers in schools.

WE DON’T NEED THAT, NRA! So QUIT SHOOTING OFF YOUR MOUTHS!

In memory of the children and teachers killed at Sandy Hook, Connecticut; in memory of the people killed at Virginia Tech; in memory of the people killed in Chicago especially the youth; in memory of the victims at Littleton, Colorado; in memory of the victims of the Aurora, Colorado, theater massacre; in memory of the people killed and wounded at the gathering of Gabby Giffords in Arizona… the hearts of the good people of America are with you every day.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/second_amendment

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2013.