Veterans Need the Best We Can Offer: Chicago HAVE For All Military Personnel

Chicago Needs to HAVE Veterans In Our Hearts All the Time

There are many men and women who have served our nation in uniforms of the military branches of our great United States. They have enlisted and signed the papers, put on the faces and marched through the mud. They have seen international tours of duty and they have seen service right here at home.

Speak Up, America! Watch US Work.

Remembering America’s veterans.

Home… a word that does not ring with many of those proud people, since they do not have a home to go to. Yes, there are homeless veterans… HOMELESS… the very people who have given so much, who have sacrificed and labored and been through obstacle after obstacle, to protect the homes we go to every day, do not have a home of their own to step into.

That is disgraceful.

Yes the Veteran’s Administration (VA) system is seeing its share of dishonorable behavior and wasteful disgraces, but to think that a veteran or any military member is homeless is a major stain on our nation and a pustule on our society. These are people with medical problems due to their tours of duty, and that to which they have been exposed, such as gunfire, diseases, shelling, shell shock, PTSD, and loss of limbs. They have been sick for us, been maimed for us, and been tossed aside by us.

Something has to change, and such changes cannot wait for politics or elections. Those in office, those who command and lead and order around those veterans must step up, just like those folks did in lines of rank or to police an area of their base. They wanted things to look better, they wanted freedom, they wanted health and well being, and they were willing to sign on and give their lives and legs and hands and arms for those privileges.

Do we arrogantly stand by and wait for a new mayor or new senators or a new president to be elected before we bother to look at the endurances these proud people have made for the rest of our nation and around the world? They cannot wait for the influential, the rich, the government that hired and ordered them about, to step up.

Every veteran and their families should have a home and work that is fitting to their talents and needs. Every man and woman should have a house they can call their own, a space that suits them. If the vet has lost a limb, build them a home that will accommodate their special needs. If they are sick, give them the best care a reformed VA system can provide.

HAVE is an idea I thought of while listening to excerpts of Mayor Emanuel’s inauguration speech recently, and the acronym means Home All Veterans Everywhere.

After all, we have homes; we have spaces all our own we can go to after work and play and worship and trips to the grocery and the mechanic, so why don’t these veterans have a home?

It is going to take a lot more than dropping a buck or two in the shaking cup of a homeless vet crouched at the side of a street under a light post, or holding a sign as he strains to sit up in his wheelchair; it is going to take elbow grease action, grassroots efforts, caring and tender and loving people who deeply understand that these are their fellow citizens and neighbors.

Treat them with respect. They deserve it.

America's flag flies proudly.America's flag flies proudly.

Bless our veterans, love our veterans, take care of our veterans, home our veterans.

Divi Logan. Chicago, on this Memorial Day 2015.

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.

Memorial Day: Occasions to Ponder and Give Thanks

It’s true, we do not need a day called “Thanksgiving” to be gracious and humbled. We can have gratitude every single day of our lives, if not for some things, than for someone.

In this case it is for the people who have served in our national military services, giving and straining for the highest achievements such a career can provide. You give the effort, someone else gives their efforts to help you be your best, and in the end, you serve and you sacrifice.

As many ads of the past month or so indicate, many uniformed personnel return and are reunited with their families… in one bodily piece. We can also hope these folks are mentally fit as well as they are physically fit. These ladies and gentlemen are so happy to see their families, and those kids sure are happy to see them, running up to the arms of mom or dad.

On this day of auto racing in the Indianapolis 500, on this day of barbecues, swimming, pickup baseball and pro baseball and other outdoor activities which Americans are privileged to engage in this long holiday weekend, we must remember all of those who are serving now in this country and overseas in the name of freedom and the preservation of those rights we as American citizens hold dear and near.

We should take time to remember the first responders of our emergency medical services as well as those in our Army, Navy, Air Forces, Marines and Coast Guard. We can find special ways to honor them. Think about the veterans languishing in hospitals or at home care, and consider what you can do to help them. No veteran should be alone, or waiting for care when they are in pain or suffering, or homeless and searching for their next meal in a trash can dirty with pet waste, chemicals, and broken glass. Everyone needs someone at some point… what can you do for one of these in need?

Place a flag in a military/national cemetery. Honor your serving relatives who happen to be in the states with gifts, a dinner, something really nice to show your appreciation. Serve them breakfast in bed tomorrow morning, go on a picnic, go to a parade and spend some time on this fine day watching the marching bands and the ROTC corps in their dress uniforms troop the colors and the streets they might someday defend like those who have paved the way for them to receive an education. If your loved ones are overseas, send them an extra special message of I Love You and Thank You, and gather the family for a photo. And hope all of those who are in other nations come back soon and are healthy.

I viewed one of those ceremonies and parades yesterday in Chicago when in the Loop I watched Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth in her sharp, spiffy dress uniform go to the eternal flame area with Mayor Emanuel at her side to place a wreath. Then came the singing of God Bless America and then a profound playing of Taps. All around were proud young soldiers and older soldiers in their fine uniforms and giving salutes and showing such poise during so profound and intense a moment as that was. The parade down State Street followed, with the usual fanfare, the floats, the bands and the folks in command, stirring their charges with reminders to keep in step and to halt and proceed at certain times, and stirring all who attended with their voices meant to get attention and remind us, in a way, to do our best as well.

Wherever you are this weekend, at an airport, on the roads, with your friends and family; whether at home snug and comfy in your library engaging in a good book before a nice dinner served by your cook and staff, or whether you are cooking your own supper in the company of your television and a movie, no matter where you are or what you do, think about those who have paid the ultimate price to ensure you can do just those things.

Pray for peace as you go about your day as well, for world peace and peace of mind, for yourself and for everybody.

cropped-flagam1.jpg

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.

A Conversation Leads to Deep Thought… But Will it Lead to Action?

LET THE CHILDREN COME HOME: A POEM

O let us weep and let us mourn
For the student killed for his cell phone;
O pity the youth who cannot step
Onto their home porch for a breath of air.

Let us cry for the kids who play
In plain sight of pimps and gang-bangers
Who want that “turf” for their own selfish ends
Who care not for the kids that just want to play?

Then let us rise against these demons
Who terrorize, yes terrorize, our communities
And break those “ties” in communities that want no part of those foolish ones…
So that they feel no warm welcome.

Strike against the trouble, be not afraid!
These are cowards and they have no sway
Over you or anyone else who pays their fair share and way
So that the kids can come out… and play.

Original poem by Divi Logan, author and writer, TEXTTiles Business Web, Chicago, 2014.

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SOCIAL MEDIA: HELPFUL OR HARMFUL?

When people are robbed and killed and lose their lives over some lousy little replaceable thing such as a cell phone, we know we are in very deep and heavy trouble as a society, as a nation.

When do the “social media” become very unsociable? Just ask the families of anyone killed for a cell phone or other portable electronic device. They will tell you that they are devastated that someone would shoot their loved one for that little inanimate object. And worse, in recent incidents in Illinois, despite that the victim gives up the item the assailants still shoot them. And the young men and women die… for that little thing they held onto like it was the end of the world, like they could not live without it, as though they were glued to it and could not be away from it even for one second. And someone is mean-spirited enough to injure them even though they hand over the device. What a pity.

The cell phone is meant to be a means of convenient communication for people in a world environment that has become full of static, too busy and way too cluttered. We would think that having information stored in these little devices keeps things neat and reduces clutter and paper, but in the sense of this article, “clutter” means that which we store in our brains or minds, the excess information we think we need to have upstairs, where things are, what files they are in, why we need to “stay on top” of issues and situations every second… mental schmutz. Phones are only means of communication and storage of information and nothing else. And companies now aware of the potency of the cell phone as attracting the wrong kind of attention, people being killed or robbed for them, can now shut down the device and render it useless so that the assailants cannot use the information on the phone. So what’s the use of robbing someone over some lousy phone?

This, like many crimes of opportunity, are done by people who are really nothing but armed and vulnerable cowards- it is that they are bitter towards society, bitter towards those who have what they want, eager to cause harm or get revenge for “something” that is eating them. They are armed which is another problem, they are angry, they might be under the influence of drugs or alcohol and as such are very dangerous to be around. They could be participating in gang initiations, in which case all of the above might be involved (drugs, guns, alcohol, anger, bitterness, the need to belong, the notion of the secret society, bitterness, isolation). Crime is a huge problem, but it happens in so many ways. That we do things to others is bad enough… but when a “crime” is done against our own self, that is worse.

CRIMES AGAINST SELF

Crimes against the self mean going against that which we truly believe and want to do. When we know our essence, the “real self” people say we should be, and we do not help it or practice it or expound its principles, that is when we are not true to ourselves. It is then that we go outside of our self, turning to others in the way that people insecure and uncertain turn to certain organizations for answers (churches, school groups, clubs, gangs). The suffering self feels a need to belong outside of self since they cannot seem to glean the meaning of what their essence is saying or what to work with. They deem their true self “too deep” to understand and so seek escape into a world that will only give compromise and not genuine, sincere answers to working with the true self. The sufferer often turns to escaping into food, drugs, alcohol, abuse of others, and get into real trouble. Then the crimes against self become hazardous to health- there can be obesity, abuse of drugs or of people, alcoholism, entry into occult and initiative societies, psychiatric difficulties. Then the sufferer can get into any number of bad habits or perform any number of terrible actions, ranging from road rage to murder, from terrorism to suicide. That they are being so mean to themselves is one thing; when they turn against others or harm life is when the criminal mind and intent becomes criminal action worthy of intervention by law enforcement, detoxing programs, the corrections system, first responders and people who will then have charge of making decisions for that person who has seen fit to take their misunderstandings out on society.

WHAT IS YOUR TRUE SELF? WHAT DO YOU WITH IT?

If you are as I am, your true self is of a person of peace, joy, contentment, happiness, humility, and active goodwill. You have aspects of what in the facets of the chakras are known as elements of the Crown Chakra, the highest level of human energy and where the best instincts find their most perfect bloom and frequency and practice. You are learning to work with others in the light of those elements, as essential to life as breathing and the heartbeat. You might see yourself as an individual nation-state or galaxy interacting with other nation-states or galaxies out there, tens of thousands of them in the form of human beings. Each of these people is a being unique, special, wonderful and marvelously made, with potential, chances, opportunities, gifts, talents, and a personality unlike any other. Just as nations are different, and galaxies are different- and there are millions of the latter- we are different but we do not have to let those differences get in the way.

We let the differences get in the way when we go in for that “diversity” talk the government spits out so that someone can get a fast buck and get some kind of recognition they think they deserve or can demand over the rights or privileges of others. We let diversity get in the way of unity, and that is not a good thing. We are blocked from seeing others as they are, human beings that deserve respect and that’s the right of it. Because we hear this junk about “diversity” and “people of this or that” persuasion, we are brought under the idea of pre-judging others (prejudice) and profiling others, and that puts a wedge between us and the other person. Communication is not pure and true at that point- it is clouded, it is corrupted because we decided to listen to what some arrogant, foolish, sick person who deems themselves an expert in behavior or in some social group and go with what they said because “it sounded good and it was on TV or it was on some social media site”.  That is what people who are in positions of power and influence want the vulnerable and the young to believe because they have the money and resources to put their ideas and views on the mass media. Those that are young and vulnerable and looking for an “out” or an escape from understanding their real self turn to these other people for answers… and then it is back to what was talked of above: the means of escape can turn into real trouble for the person running away from their true self.

What are you- peaceful with your real self… trying to escape the true self… afraid to understand the true self…

Seek, listen, go deep, get out of the old social rut and rat race of the modern mind. What will you (no, not the westernized, drill and forced, taught and punished and conditioned and abused self) find? What will YOU find?

Divi Logan for TEXTTiles, Chicago, 2014.

PRO SPORTS PARTING WAYS WITH ORDINARY PEOPLE?

PRO SPORTS SETS BAD EXAMPLE FOR NON-ATHLETES AND THE VULNERABLE

The problems facing New York Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez (AKA A-Rod) are only the tip of the iceberg. And that tip is poisoned with human growth hormones and other “performance enhancing drugs” or PEDs. Pity the person who has to resort to such means in order to boost their playing abilities and thus their salary and their notoriety. Unfortunately the attention A-Rod has received has not been the best or positive.

Other professional athletes have resorted to the use of PEDs, but one must ask why such means are necessary. Is standard physical exertion and practice not good enough to meet the needs and requirements of the teams on which these folks want to go? Why would a better diet, or another sort of workout program, be more useful? Why the need for these hazardous drugs and the methods of introducing them into the body?

It might be safe to say that many athletes at all levels could do with a better diet, less stress and more practice and perhaps a change in how they exercise. No doubt the issues revolve around pride and arrogance, greed and the shows- ancient as they are- of might and right.

Might and right… the strong having to show off, puff up, be “celebrities”, and show others the best and yet the worst that people can do and think. The best that can come out of being athletic is, ideally, a healthy lifestyle, free of drugs, balanced with proper exercise and a diet fit for the activities we do. People talk about “healthy living” all the time- eating less junk or processed foods, getting regular and wholesome sleep, getting regular and suitable exercise, and being careful when we do exercise so that we do not encounter burnout or injury.

There is that ancient and marvelous vision of the male and female athletic figure, going way back to early figures of human sculpture, with muscles toned and strong, with that ability to run marathons, lift weights, wrestle, tangle with fierce animals, and engage in gladiatorial events to determine who wins and loses surrounded by weapons and shields and dirt kicking up every which way. There is that ideal of the human being, burnished and buffed and bulging like the weightlifters at the Olympic Games, the long jumpers and the high jumpers, the shot putters, the javelin hurlers and the curlers, in their uniforms and colors with numbers and names. This is the ideal carried on into the present day, and we can see the results of performance instantly now versus centuries ago when events were held locally or when it took weeks to travel and hold events in other towns and countries.

Now we have the, uh, privilege of seeing hundreds of hours of professional and other levels of sports every day, every year. We are bombarded with such options across our mass media screens and devices and can see anything we want- football (Canadian, American, and Australian Rules), baseball, hockey, gymnastics, swimming, curling, the Olympics, horse racing, soccer, sailing, tennis, automobile racing (NASCAR, IRL, Formula One), motorcycle racing, monster truck events, demolition derbies, rugby, and others. We see people with whom we identify, struggling on those fields with others competing against them for that coveted trophy, the cash award, the glory of basking in the light of the cameras and that chance to say, “I WON!” It is the athletic version of the turf war- someone wants to take over that ground, claim it with any means necessary, and dance around in the camera lights gleaning every iota of attention that they can.

The corporate people just live it up and love every moment of it… unless their superstar goes wrong in doing drugs or abusing a spouse or getting hurt midway through the big contract with that celeb. Then what happens to the millions upon millions of dollars invested in that major marketing explosion to tout a new pair of shoes, the “official athletic gear” for that team, and the naming rights to stadiums and arenas? If that superstar player steps even that much out of line, it hits the news and the whole venture suffers. The product is not bought, the stock might go down in value, the player of course suffers both the injuries to the body and to their reputation with fans and with the front office, and the fans… well they are the ones hurt most.

We now can know about such mistakes as those made by A-Rod almost as soon as the legalese hits the mass media fan and the outlets get hold of “aha, another star has done something wrong and we can jump all over him/her”. Do YOU want YOUR kids having people like him as an example? I don’t want to have him even mentioned around me and I hope my niece and nephew do not go the way of him or others like him in order to gain some measly sense of attention and performance. I hope that if or when they have families that they keep their kids well clear of such bad examples.

Now we have the choice of whether or not to buy that season ticket, the hundred dollar seat, and the dozens of dollars in concessions. We must think about why we are watching professional sports when those players are getting contracts worth more than we will ever see in ten lifetimes unless we are fortunate enough to rake in ten million dollars a year. We must choose- do we support these people with their anger management issues, their salaries so big they can buy those big houses and cars and do those expensive drugs that get them in trouble?

I know where I am going with my attention to pro sports, that’s for sure. Far as this author is concerned, that’s enough for me. There are better things I can do with my money and time and resources, instead of giving another day or hour or second of attention to these people and teams and what surrounds them. I started feeling frustrated years ago with the continual talk from the sports business about salaries and poor performance issues, but now the fence has been crossed. There are other ways I can spend weekends. I plan in 2014 to frequent other venues of entertainment and culture, and put my money into charitable and benevolent causes where I know the results and can see what happens and not have (or reduce the chance of) a high-horse, puffed-chested celebrity getting in the way and taking money or attention that should be devoted to the point of the cause, such as giving to food banks, hospitals, medical research, and community service. I am going to put down the remote and pick up the cleanup gear and get out there and help someone else away from the spotlight.

What do you think? Is this the end of pro sports for you and your family too?

Divi Logan, Chicago. 2014.

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

DEA:: Get Rid of Sinaloa Once and For All!

OK, CHICAGO! OK, USA! HAD ENOUGH OF DRUGS AND GANGS AND SMUGGLING AND DRUG LORDS? Had enough of their presence on your streets and in your news every single doggone day?

Drug Enforcement Administration special agents

Drug Enforcement Administration special agents (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT AMERICA! AND DO IT NOW!

Repeat after this phrase, repeat it long and hard and loud: I DO NOT NEED DRUGS! YOU DO NOT NEED DRUGS! AMERICA DOES NOT NEED DRUGS!

So the DEA knows about the Sinaloa cartel and the people involved and what they are doing in cities such as Chicago, eh? They KNOW about it, they have counted or estimated the number of gangs and members and rival gangs involved in the heroin and other substances smuggling and running rings! WELL GO AFTER THEM FOR CHRIST’S SAKE! YOU KNOW, WELL TAKE THEM OUT!

What is the delay that you cannot go in and flush them with all the resources we have at hand, SWAT, the National Guard, the Army, the Marines, everybody! Go in there with the drones and bomb robots and dogs! Harass and worry and torture and flush these criminals and no -goods STRAIGHT AWAY! No more kid gloves here, folks. Now is not the time for being gentle. These people are up to no good and care only about themselves.

The gang members do nothing but hurt and harass and terrorize everyone they are around. They are about as uncaring and crude and rude and inhuman as anyone can get. They will shoot to kill and will shoot anywhere and everywhere if they sense trouble on their turf.

THEIR TURF? Whose city is this anyway? It is not theirs if that is what they are using it for.

Just in this past few hours, in less than ONE DAY, there are three dead and nearly a dozen wounded in “weekend gun violence” in Chicago area. Chicago is making national news headlines because of the gangs, drugs, and the killing of innocent people. We are talking BABIES here, folks; we are talking KIDS, folks, we are talking about OUR FUTURE!

Is that what you want to wake up and hear and see every morning, gunshots and shells and police presence in your community, the presence and evidence of drugs and pushers and users and gangs smuggling that crap, that trash, that deadly demonic junk into your streets every day? Is that what you want, the possibility that your child, your parents, your elderly neighbor, your dog, your relatives and schoolmates, could be gunned down just because they happen to be in the wrong place when some gang nut decides to open fire on someone they think is a rival?

IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT? Ask the question, ask it loud and long and hard! IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT? IS THAT WHAT WE WANT? Get your family together and proclaim it loud and long and strong! WE DO NOT WANT THAT!

Say it in church- NO MORE SINALOA! GANGS GO AWAY! WE DO NOT WANT YOU and WE WILL BE RID OF YOU! Say it in the synagogues, say it in the mosques, say it in the towers and turrets and proclaim it from the rooftops. Say it on campus, say it in the car, call the radio stations and speak it loud and hard! NO GANGS, NO DRUGS, NO GUNS HERE!

Take back your streets and your communities! Tell Sinaloa they are not welcome, and run the gangs out of the area for good.

If this is what we get from Mexico then I want nothing to do with that nation until this problem is solved.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinaloa_Cartel

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2013.

Logo of the DEA Aviation Division / Office of ...

Logo of the DEA Aviation Division / Office of Aviation Operations (Drug Enforcement Administration) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Boston in Our Minds Today

PRESIDENT’S WORDS SHOULD AWAKEN EVERY AMERICAN CITIZEN

Marathon Preparedness

Marathon Preparedness (Photo credit: super-structure)

By now most people in America and around the world have seen the tortuous, tragic, heinous, war –like events that unfolded explosively on our scene yesterday near the finish line of the grand spectacle that is the Boston marathon.

Details of the event are gory and heart- wrenching and disgusting and hectic: three people dead including a young boy, dozens injured and some gravely. The explosive devices or IED’s which are typically something seen in foreign war zones were packed with shrapnel such as BB’s, nails, ball bearings and who knows what else. Terror struck Boston and this nation, but we did not cower and we will NOT cower.

What were trash cans doing along the marathon route, when it sounds like they should not have been there? Where were people’s attentions on the sidewalks? Were SWAT teams and police patrolling those sidewalks more? After all, most people there were there likely to focus on the runners and not on someone leaving something on the sidewalk or near a building.

But someone did see something, and someone knows something else than what is being reported; somebody out there must have some footage that will be helpful. We cannot grab the “usual” suspect of the Saudi man who was waylaid when he was reported as acting suspicious and chased away and/or tackled by spectators. Did any officers of the law deem him worthy of being tackled or chased in the moments following when he was discovered?

If the President’s words of this morning’s news briefing does not inspire you to get up, stand up, and act on something you have seen or heard, you are stone and inanimate and hard –hearted as any devil or vile being ever around.

Now if the President’s words, if the actions of the first responders and the heroic and kind people of Boston DOES INSPIRE YOU TO ACT, then ACT. Do not think of something in such terms as “snitching”. The idea of “snitching” is juvenile and should not be a consideration if a life might be in danger.

English: Flag of Boston Latina: Vexillium Bost...

English: Flag of Boston Latina: Vexillium Bostoniae (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gangs and drugs have taken over parts of our country and it is time these people were STOPPED and run out of town, immediately, wholly, and completely, like dust off one’s shoes when you do not like a place where you have been. Shake the dust off your eyes, hearts and minds; shake the dust off your souls and ACT AT ONCE.

Shake it up, people. Drive the malevolent elements out of your community. Forget these idiotic “neighborhood” boundaries and social bubbles that keep people from branching out and getting to know other people who are not like they are. Get out there, folks, and do good and do better for everyone. So what if someone does not “look like you” – that’s no reason to delay an action that could save a life or bring someone relief in times of trouble.

I mean really, would you wait for a firefighter to save you from a burning building if he did not “look like you”? What are you going to do – wait for another firefighter to come along, tell that first person to “forget it” and go on, or let them carry you down to safety and thank them later?

Wake up and grow up, people. Now is not the time for the social and economic bubbles to hold you captive in your home or community or old ways of thinking.

The actions of the people of Boston and participants in the Marathon and others who came to help out – the doctors, the medical residents, the nurses, the runners, the first responders, the citizens of Boston who opened their homes, businesses, churches and hearts – should be now and forever mirrored by everyone – that’s right, I said EVERYONE – in this United States of America who has even the slightest light of kindness and grace and love in their hearts.

For remember, a candle flame starts small but can grow and light an entire room.

United States of America

United States of America (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2013.