Tag Archives: 2012

Springfield Lobby Day for Corporate Tax Transparency Tuesday, November 27, 2012 7:00am-7:00pm

Get Involved..

Join LAC and our allies in Make Wall Street Pay Illinois for a press conference and lobby day in Springfield. We need a fair and progressive tax code in Illinois and corporate tax transparency is the first step! Register now! http://www.lakeviewaction.org/ The Lakeview Action Coalition (LAC) is a non-profit, multi-issue community organization. The Coalition is comprised of 49 institutional members, including religious congregations, non-profit agencies, banks, business associations, a credit union and a senior citizens caucus. These diverse institutions are stakeholders in the Chicago communities of Lakeview, Lincoln Park and North Center. LAC enables its members to act on their values in public life by participating in the decisions that shape our community’s future. We fulfill this mission by organizing people around issues affecting our members and by developing leaders through training, action and reflection. Since our founding in 1993, we have fought for justice, solidarity and diversity.

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How many people died in Katrina? Don’t know the answer? No one else does either.

FOX news touted the video last night from a 2007 Obama campaign speech, before a predominately black audience as divisive, saying it could sway the election. What Obama blasphemed was in comparing the indifference and pallid reaction to Katrina victims and New Orleans following the hurricane to that of 9-11 and hurricane Andrew in Florida. But here is the difference. Off the top of your head, how many people died in 9-11? Now answer the question for victims of Katrina, who were, by in large, poor and black.

Don’t cheat by googling. 2996 people EXACTLY died on September 11th. There is no official number for Katrina. There is an official ESTIMATE of 1833-ish, but no one knows for sure? That estimate is challenged by a number of sources, and my be much higher.

How is that? How is it that in a major American city in the 21st century so many people can perish, and yet there is no accurate and exact number of victims? The reality to that estimate is not in the numbers, but that it highlights the absolute disparity between poor and impoverished Americans and the wealthy. It underscores the insulation that leads to abdominal ignorance by most of the rest of the nation for those least able to fend off tragedy, or to fend for themselves.

That is the essence behind the words of Barack Obama in the 2007 speech that FOX calls divisive and shocking. Divisive is the Right not understanding the shame to this nation of the poor, and the racial divides that still rampage through the conscience of this nation. Speaking to and in deference to the poor by the President is not being divisive, it is being moral, and in keeping with true religious tenants. Divisive is using speeches of genuine caring and empathy by those on the Right as a means of engendering white fear and hate for political and economic gain.


Wednesday’s Presidential debate in Denver is merely a show. The candidates have been given the questions on domestic policy ahead of time for the first time. They will not address gun violence and gun control, wage stagnation or the incarceration crisis. Also new, the candidates will not begin with an opening statement to allow them more time for their scripted, rehearsed and pre-marketed answers. The only controversy here will be the co-opting of real political discourse, and a human-centered election process as opposed to the PR polished and tested fraud that we are getting.

Listen to 900poundgorilla live on line at http://chicagosprogressivetalk.com/

or at WCPT am820 Saturdays 7am in Chicago.


Biden’s “Y’all back in Chain’ Gaff didn’t seem to offend the mostly Black audience, but white people on the Right like Mitt Romney and Rush Limbaugh will tell them, as they always do what and when to be offended. Save the manufactured outrage. Biden said nothing that the 99% haven’t been railing about over Wallstreet, Bank and Corporate abuse and corruption, which men like Romney and Ryan champion. Back in chains, indeed! Not just for our Black fellow countrymen and women, but for Hispanic, White and all others feeling the lopsided influence and access enjoyed by Corporations and banks, while the 99% have lost access and influence among their elected leaders. Vice president Biden was spot on. Don’t retreat. This is the moral position. Biden stands firmly with the 99%. A bit more from the President is still needed, but still far more than we would get from the opposition.


Language, Limbaugh and forgetting: How would we deal with his comments on Sandra Fluke in 1922?

Language changes. What meant something a decade ago, or say a ninety years ago almost sounds like another language nowadays. But I think even in 1922, Folks would have alot to say about Limbaugh and the way he treats women. Afterall, so-called men, like Limbaugh and his defenders, long for a simpler time, a time when women and minorities knew their proper place.So what would they say in 1922? I wonder…I wond…

Sure was a goose of a day, and my dogs was killin’ me. I tell ya, mac, I’d ankled it from downtown and needed to give my stitlts a break. So I slips into a corner juicejoint and bellied up to the bar, This bo comes up and gives me the once-over real good. He weren’t no pushover either. A real grand piano, this one, arms like tree trunks and a head like a Christmas ham. No weak sister, this fella.

“Whaddya have, mac?” says he.

“Gimme a beer,” says I, thrown’ an ace up on the bar.

I eyeballed the joint. All the usual saps, and a rummy in the  corner, no doubt already zozzled.

“Everything jake?” asks the bartender

“Better days.” says I.

“That so?”

“Butt me, say I, and he flips a hopechest of Lucky Strikes on the bar.

“Lucky’ Strike means fine tobacco,” says the bird.

“Indeed,” says I. “Indeed.” 

Now normally I don’t know from nuttin’, but see, I was all balled up about this wisecracker I’d heard on the radio. See this bimbo named Limbaugh, or some such, lit into this dame, name a Sandra Fluke who’s got the goods on contraception and a woman’s freedom over her own body in front of Congress. The Bees knees, she was, no weak sister. So I tells this lug behind the bar about how this Limbaugh mook starts spittin hooey from his big fat kisser. She’s a  floozy and a quiff, says  that milquetoast, Limbaugh. A pro-skirt, he goes on to say, a real bearcat. It was all the rumble in the papers.Had all the news hawks buzzin’, I tell ya.

“Applesauce!” exclaims the bartender. Just then a mulligan hoofs it in, and gives the joint the once over, sliding these thick peepers back up his long schnozzle.

“You’ll be watchin that sort of language,” says the Mulligan sternly, in typical brogue. So he comes up to me and he says. “Got a beef, do ya?”

Now I ain’t no hard-boiled guy, especially in front of a gumshoe, but I says, “Joe, I don’t know you from adam, but see here, I say this Limbaugh fella beatin’ his gums about that poor dame, well, that just ain’t copacetic, you see!”

“I know my onions,” says the Mulligan,” and I tell yuhz, that jane ain’t no chunk a lead, and she certainly ain’t no floozy. I been around this here block once or twice. She’s no dumb dora, and if that Limbaugh fella was on my beat, I’d sure give him what  for.”

“A real Airdale, that fella,” says the bartender. “an ethel, if you get me?”

“Now you’re on the trolley, old boy!” laughs the mulligan, settin’ his blue cap on the bar and running fingers through his wavy red hair. “Why, I’d take off this here badge and step into the gutter and, and, and I’d…”

“Clobber him?” says I, gettin’ a bit carried away.”Right in the kisser!”

“Well, now, boys, don’t mean to come off as some sort of bruno, especially with a daisy like this Limbaugh mook.”

“Flim flam man, that one,” says I.

“A fake-a-loo,” agrees the rummy in the corner.

“Use to be a time in this here country, a fella beatin’ his gums about a decent jane like that Sandra Fluke would end up with a Chicago overcoat.”

“At the working end of a Chicago typewriter,” says the grand piano behind the bar.

“Now see here, boys,” scolded the gumshoe. “This here is a land of laws. What you’re talkin’ is a load of hooey. You’d do well to mind your potatoes,” says he, with a knowing wink and a sly grin, “Now try not to get yourselves worked up into too much of a lather, boys, but I sure do know how ya feel. That Limbaugh’s off his nut. That’s for sure.”

With a tip of his hat, the mulligan skeedaddled. I’d had enough too and asked the bartender which way to the john.

“This fella’s got to iron his shoelaces,” I grinned.

“That a ways,” says the bartender.

As I ankled it across the bar he calls out to me. I turned, already at the door to the crapper. The rummy was snoring away on the table close by.

“Hey, mac, this one’s on me,” he says pushing the symolean back towards me. “Besides, can’t make change from a a buck for just one beer.”

“Keep the change, mac,” says I. “You’r on the level. Good folks need to take care for one another, and put the screws to them high binders in Washington and grifters like Limbaugh”  

The mook gave a smart nod and waved the ace in the air. “I’ll be lookin’ out for ya, mac…

Ah, remember the good ole days?


Finally figured out where I’d heard Rick Santorum’s “snob speech” about Obama wanting everyone to have the opportunity to go to college? Every speech by Santorum, every opinion uttered by the Right and all of FOX New’s entire absurd content boils down to the obtuse speech by Delta House in front of Dean Wormer in the movie Animal House, and I quote…”The issue here is not whether we broke a few rules or took a few liberties with our female party guests. We did. But you cannot hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few sick, perverted individuals. If you do, shouldn’t we blame the whole fraternity system? And if the whole fraternity system is guilty, then isn’t this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you. Isn’t this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do what you want to us, but we won’t sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America!”

Here’s what Santorum said:

President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob!There are good decent men and women; who go out and work hard every day; and put their skills to test that aren’t taught by some liberal college professor trying to indoctrinate them. Oh, I understand why he wants you to go to college. He wants to remake you in his image. I want to create jobs so people can remake their children into their image, not his.

Yeah, I thought I heard all this before. Or maybe he want’s your kids to be the dumb as nails schlubs stuck at minimum wage jobs. Preety sure his kids will go to college, now that he’s a millionaire. How does that happen in Congress? Does it pay that well? Depends if you’re asking the question above the table or below it.


And I’m the crazy one…Rick Santorum, the would-be theocratic ruler of America’s psychotic rant about Satan

For fear of being accused of taking him out of context, below is the entire un-edited 2008 speech by Rick Santorum at Ave Maria University in Florida, in which he denegrates all foreign nations, attacks academia and panders to those tragically and easily fooled or incited by such rhetoric….and they call be the crazy one? 

The Right points out that Islam is a violent religion because it never had a so-called reformation, which is untrue. Could the speech below indicate the cyclical nature of violence and bigorty prone to zealots, or an evolution towards that inevitibility?

Enjoy…

This is not a political war at all. This is not a cultural war. This is a spiritual war. And the Father of Lies has his sights on what you would think the Father of Lies would have his sights on: a good, decent, powerful, influential country – the United States of America. If you were Satan, who would you attack in this day and age. There is no one else to go after other than the United States and that has been the case now for almost two hundred years, once America’s preeminence was sown by our great Founding Fathers. He didn’t have much success in the early days. Our foundation was very strong, in fact, is very strong. But over time, that great, acidic quality of time corrodes even the strongest foundations. And Satan has done so by attacking the great institutions of America, using those great vices of pride, vanity, and sensuality as the root to attack all of the strong plants that has so deeply rooted in the American tradition. He was successful. He attacks all of us and he attacks all of our institutions. The place where he was, in my mind, the most successful and first successful was in academia. He understood pride of smart people. He attacked them at their weakest, that they were, in fact, smarter than everybody else and could come up with something new and different. Pursue new truths, deny the existence of truth, play with it because they’re smart. And so academia, a long time ago, fell. And you say “what could be the impact of academia falling?” Well, I would have the argument that the other structures that I’m going to talk about here had root of their destruction because of academia. Because what academia does is educate the elites in our society, educates the leaders in our society, particularly at the college level. And they were the first to fall. And so what we saw this domino effect, once the colleges fell and those who were being education in our institutions, the next was the church. Now you’d say, ‘wait, the Catholic Church’? No. We all know that this country was founded on a Judeo-Christian ethic but the Judeo-Christian ethic was a Protestant Judeo-Christian ethic, sure the Catholics had some influence, but this was a Protestant country and the Protestant ethic, mainstream, mainline Protestantism, and of course we look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country and it is in shambles, it is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it. So they attacked mainline Protestantism, they attacked the Church, and what better way to go after smart people who also believe they’re pious to use both vanity and pride to also go after the Church. After that, you start destroying the Church and you start destroying academia, the culture is where their next success was and I need not even go into the state of the popular culture today. Whether its sensuality of vanity of the famous in America, they are peacocks on display and they have taken their poor behavior and made it fashionable. The corruption of culture, the corruption of manners, the corruption of decency is now on display whether it’s the NBA or whether it’s a rock concert or whether it’s on a movie set. The fourth, and this was harder, now I know you’re going to challenge me on this one, but politics and government was the next to fall. You say, ‘you would think they would be the first to fall, as fallible as we are in politics,’ but people in political life get elected by ordinary folks from lots of places all over the country where the foundations of this country are still strong. So while we may certainly have had examples, the body politic held up fairly well up until the last couple of decades, but it is falling too.


Santorum, the Corporate fool: On Condoms and control

The message is the massage, right? As we are channelled and steered towards two ultimate candidates and the illusion of picking a president, the question becomes, who is messaging and who is massaging. Who is getting messaged and massaged is already quite apparent. The American public is the ultimate target, of course, but the purpose is hardly to come to some national catharsis, some ultimate human truth on social, economic and political issues which will ultimately carry us towards a better more human and equitable society. The purpose is about control. It is about driving market populations into extremes that blinds them from who is actually driving the message and massaging the public.

Santorum is just the willing fool. He is the zealot who allows the highest banker to fund his extremism. And the evidence is clear on this, given that Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney would clearly be the most blatant corporatists in the Whitehouse. Theirs is a naked and unabashed policy of protecting and defending the current typhoon of obscenely high corporate profits. Since the media operates their marketing wing, it should be a logical leap that

But religion is a bully, at least when it gets political. Every religion has that tendency. Every religion has its extremist side, which under the best circumstances is usually tempered and kept in check by the vast majority of people populating that religion. But always that extremism threatens, biding its time, awaiting the opportunity to assert their own ego centric world view, sometimes in the most belligerent and violent ways.

That would seem to be wholly at odds with corporatism, but in fact, with a blindly ambitious zealot such as Santorum, their interests coincide as eloquently as a pair of ballet dancers. Corporatism is about control. Again, if there is a need to control a message, to spin it or render it in the most favorable light, what isn’t being rendered, or what is being hidden. So corporations desire control, which is not altogether bad. We all seek to control how the world views us, and to show ourselves in the best possible light. We all have things we do not wish the world to know about us.

But what happens when a corporation is out of control? What happens when the combined, interlocking powers and resources of corporations exceeds the power of government to maintain them as tools for human beings, not organisms unto themselves? Out of control, unrelenting in their own egos and unsatisfied by any amount of wealth, they seek control. They seek to extinguish debate, rewrite laws and crush dissent, and what better vehicle for that than a religious zealot.

But not just any zealot. To be sure there are pious men whose extreme views cannot be bought. But there are men whose ambition and hubris, whose belief is that they fundamentally not only hold the key to human governance, but that they will compromise in the shadows that which they preach from the pulpit to achieve those aims. Hence the expression, you have to crack a few eggs to make an omelet. Those power-hungry and greedy corporations-not all corporations-would find no better ally than Santorum.

So why the current debate between Romney and Santorum? It would seem then that Santorum would be the final choice. Truth is, the debate is one of a naked corporatist, but one who will find extreme opposition in that nakedness, and zealot who is willing to sell his soul by tricking the American population that this election is about condoms, immigration and abortion. They are only the candy coating for a very bitter pill to follow.  The key is to hear through the message and not get massaged.


A Better World not a New World

I am often ask what the Occupy Movement wants. The Movement has clearly made its intentions and demands known, for those who wish to hear or read. For those who do not wish to know, nothing I write here will convince them. Their own realization will come with time, especially for poor, middle class and even upper middle class people who continue voting against their own economic and social interests.  I do not speak for the movement. I support it fully, and believe in it, but I can only speak for myself.

A recent conversation brought up a crucial point, and what I feel is a fundamental misunderstanding with regards to the movement, at least as I see things. The conversation began regarding so-called anarchists, agent provocateurs, and others who might foment violence within the group, and how that might alienate people who are on the fence regarding whether to support or not support the movement. My immediate reaction, was that if they could “go either way,” they didn’t really understand, and were unlikely to understand what the movement is about. These people are reeds of grass, and inclined to blow  where the wind is blowing, which is hardly a character of people who stand by their ideals. I stand by that.

I was then asked how these people “will fit into your new world?” New world? The media has carefully crafted a narrative on how the Occupy movement is violent and out of control. It would have their hostage audiences believe the “Occupiers” hate success, want hand outs from the government which are ultimately stolen from the wealthy, that it wants banks eradicated and corporations dismantled. In that narrative are shades of Pol Pot’s pogroms in Cambodia, or resetting the social and economic clock to year zero as with the French Revolution, and overt comparisons to Stalinist Russia. Nothing, nothing could be further from the truth.

Last night, at a general assembly, I witnessed an intervention between two members that nearly came to blows in a fight. The intervention was carried out in parliamentary fashion, with strict rules of oder. Grievances and views were offered freely and honestly. To the credit of those involved in the actual altercation, their respect for the movement had them willingly compliant with the judgement of the whole body at the GA. Ultimately, both parties were suspended from any Occupy activities and locations for a week.  

No one in the movement that I know whats to outlaw banks, eliminate corporations and confiscate the wealth of the so-called 1%. What I want, and what I hear from many, many in the movement, and which is consistent with the movement’s demands and actions is a vision of a better world.

Funny that too few in this nation question the idea of a draft for the military in a time of war. It is the responsibility of every citizen, we are told, to defend the nation in a national emergency. A few years a go I witnessed a swearing-in ceremony for new citizens to this country. Women, old men and grandmothers, their right hand raise, repeated the oath administered by a judge, that in a time of crisis, they too could be called to serve their nation. Yet, somehow the rich and powerful in this country now assert that when called to do their part, and that they have a responsibility to the nation, they are absolved, and that any mention of their responsibility to the nation and their neighbor is immoral or communist.

I will speak for myself here. I am not against corporations. I am against corporate greed, and power that eclipses, undermine or extinguishes that of individuals. I am for responsible corporations, who pay their fair share and profit and succeed morally and ethically. I am not against banks. I am against the religion of money, and the invention of scams like derivatives and credit default swaps that were just a way of stealing money, without calling it  theft(Explain to me that inventing a scheme to market risk investments of$700trillion based upon barely $23trillion in actual realestate is not theft). http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-700-trillion-elephant-room-theres

I am not for taking money from the wealthy and giving it to the “poor.” I am for a society that does not allow corporations-profitable corporations to siphon money from the treasury that could otherwise benefit fellow citizens in need.  I am for those who are lucky enough or blessed enough to be wealthy, that they also contribute their fair share to sustaining a peaceful, respectful and progressive society equal in the dispensation of justice and opportunity, rather than a stastus quo, wink-and-a-nod defacto caste society. 

I am not anti-media. I am against a media that acts and has become a marketing wing of corporations to the detriment of free discourse, dissent and the unvarnished reporting of wrong doing, wherever it may occur. I am against any media that acts as a mafia lawyer with the intention of allowing, rationalizing or whitewashing the undermining of this republic, and I am against a media that plays to the lowest common denominators in society by describing itself as a business first. We have seen the results of that alibi for at least the last two decades. Free and unbiased factual news is imperative to the survival of this nation and to the world. remember, marketing is nothing more than the controlling the message. If it is necessary to control the perception of something, that implies something needs to be hidden.

I am for human rights. Iam not for picking and choosing human rights, nor do I subscribe to a tiered application of human rights. Whether by god, birth, default or inheritance, human rights  are invioble to each person regardless of gender, orientation, religion, race, age, status or wealth. And I assert to the last breath in my body that corporations are not people, but are entities, made up of autonomous people, for business only, and that they are entitled to profit within the context of human-centered society and within the context of human-centered laws. The rights of the corporation reside in the indiviuals, and not as a collective that unfairly outweighs others.

This is what I believe, and what I find within the movement, which is why I have and many others have sacrificed mightily for the movement. No sane person wishes to tear down the world as it exists. We want a better world not a new world? Do you?


Poor bullied Gingrich tired of an elite press protecting President Obama by not reporting endlessly on such things like the birth certificate issue, Reverend Wright and Solyndra, by airing innuendo from the Right, or minimizing his efforts against International terrorism, success in toppling Khadafi, and featuring endless GOP debates to dominate the airwaves with Rightwing messaging without giving Obama equal time or rebuttal and ignoring blatantly sexist, racist and violent rhetoric from the Right against Obama and his wife.

Ya know, I see your point, Newt. Bringing up your character-which you made an issue of with Clinton, Gore, Kerry and Obama, among others, both on the campaign trail and through cheap shots as a FOX contributor – or bringing up your blantant hypocrisy on moral issues and values is indeed a low blow from the media. How dare we question you of all people. God has forgiven all your sins, because you told us that he did. dare any of us QUESTION GOD??? My deepest and humblest apologies…

Oh wait, so if I act like a jerk, all I have to do is ask God’s forgiveness?

In that case, Newt,  you are a low life %$#$%@, flat-footed &^%$#, who likes to %#$$ his own *%&$# with #$!%* while $#%ing a %$#&ing up the ^&%$, because he is a ^&%#!!! who can &^#$ a rhinoceros $%#!, into a ^%&$!! and mail it!

Wow, that felt good. By the say, God, I’m sorry for that, so we’re good, right? See you at the pearly gates.


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