28 September 2009

And the Machine Rolls On

Hill Buzz is reporting today that Mayor Richard Daley has contacted Fox News Chicago and instructed - nay, ordered - them to not run a story about a group of Chicagoans who are against having the city host the olympics.

Their website is here.

It is important that this story goes viral because people need to wake up to what is coming our way. Something like 365 miles of roads will be closed for the weeks that the Olympics are in effect. Other cities spent millions and some are still trying to get out from under the debt load. It took 30 years for Montreal to pay off the debts incurred during their host period. Five years after hosting, Athens' 20 of 21 sites built for Olympic use stand abandoned.

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This event that Daley so desperately wants for our city is nothing more than a scheme to enrich Daley and his cronies - there is no other possible explanation for his breathless tirades on getting them here.

In Chicago it's all about "What can you do for me?" - and that is exactly why the Olympics should go anywhere but to the City of Big Shoulders. We've got enough problems without dealing with this logistical nightmare.

22 September 2009

John Garrido for Cook County Board President

I wasn't going to blog about this, but recent developments have pushed my hands into an informal discussion of John Garrido's candidacy for Cook County Board President.

While I am a staunch Republican, with Libertarian tendencies, I didn't plan on voting for John. I planned on remaining neutral.

My neutrality is at an end.

My personal opinion is that I don't believe John Garrido is a strong leader. He seems overly concerned about doing the bidding of the "bosses" and what the higher-ups care about but doesn't seem to take leadership roles in regards to guiding his officers.

Case in point: He ordered a team to take a covert van and do surveillance on a drug spot because it was an issue that, I'm told, had come up during a CAPS meeting. John was an "acting" lieutenant that night and wasn't the usual team leader. Also, the van is not used specifically for that purpose - the regular lieutenant would not have made that decision because the other one understands street tactics and how to properly run a tactical team.

The troops do as they're told that night, and end up getting shot at by a group of gang-bangers who mistook the van for rivals. Upon the return of the regular lieutenant, Garrido was reprimanded. I heard he was told,"You'll never be left in charge of my team again!" Although I wasn't there and that is heresay.

Then there was the infamous "Dogs at St. Jude" incident in which Garrido thought it would be a good idea to bring his brood of dogs down to Saint Jude march and run them along with the police officers. Needless to say some bosses weren't happy with his comportment and he was reprimanded again.

And he once sent out his personal legal opinion on a recent legal brief that went to all exempts - all the way up to the Superintendent. Again, bosses let him have it because his job isn't to parse legal opinions of the courts - it is to be a lieutenant of police.

I'm not picking on the guy, we're all human - replete with all the foibles and mistakes of the human condition. I may have even done the same things he did. And I salute him for going out there and taking a risk at running. It is costing him alot of money, time and dedication. His website is top-notch and surely cost a pretty penny to put together.

But with all the Machine contenders jostling for the spot, it is virtually impossible for him to really have a shot at getting there.

If you want to see and support John Garrido, by all means go ahead. His Facebook page is here. His website is http://garrido2010.com/

I will not vote for him. Instead I will go buy a beer for Tom Clarke and have a good time talking to a stand-up guy.

18 September 2009

It's the Tribes, stupid!

Many of you know Steven Pressfield from reading his book Gates of Fire - a riveting account of the battle between the Persians and the Spartans at the "hot gates" of Thermopylae. As an aside, that novel is required reading at Westpoint. According to Wikipedia, the book has achieved "cult status" among US Marines.

Steven Pressfield is a student of history - and an astute student indeed. His bibliography is impressive. In addition to Gates of Fire, he's written Tides of War (Peloponnesian War), Virtues of War (Alexander's campaigns), Last of the Amazons (Theseus and his band of female warriors), The Afghan Campaign (the son of Alexander and his campaign in Afghanistan), and Killing Rommel (WW2 and the Long Range Desert Group).

If you want to get inside the mind of the warrior culture, this is your author. He's got 5 web-episodes (5 minutes each) at his website - Steven Pressfield. In them he delves into the military aspects of tribes, and compares Western Citizen versus The Tribesman.

Here's episode 1 - "It's the Tribes, stupid"



The interesting parallels that he makes is that the Tribal mindset what gives the Tribe its power. You can think of Tribes not just relating to American Indians or jihadists, but also US Marines and Gang members. It all makes sense. He points out the folly of entering a region of tribesmen with the intent at "establishing democracy" because the tribes don't really have the same values as we do.

The most poignant commentary is how we are doing the same thing right now in Afghanistan that Alexander did back in 300BC. The arc is almost exactly the same.

Check it out.

11 September 2009

REMEMBER

REMEMBER!

wtc_lights

There have been over 14,000 terrorist attacks by radical Muslims since 9/11/2001.

Religion of Peace, my ass! If it is just a "tiny minority" of Muslims who support jihad, then where are the voices of the majority?

Nowhere.