13 December 2013

Fleecing the membership

Update: The Suntimes is reporting the Shields is now in full CYA mode - lobbing grenades at former, and current, board members claiming that they "fixed" the previous contracts. I say Bullshit on this one! Wag The Dog at its worst. What say ye?
We FOP Lodge 7 members can agree on one thing: Mike Shields sucks.

He makes over $200,000 per year. For some perspective, in 2010 we contributed $1.6 million in dues to the FOP and what did we get for our dues money?

Utter incompetence, malfeasance, skullduggery and a president with the leadership skills of a toddler.

President Michael K. Shields, FOP, Chicago photo michael_shields_zps52350191.jpg

Rope A Dope

Let's all get up to speed on Shields's Greatest Misses:

1. The "Letter of Intent" - Shields forgot to submit a formal letter of intent to either cancel the previous contract and start from scratch, or notify the city that the last contract would just be amended during the next round of negotiations. He missed the deadline to terminate the last contract. What this effectively means is that our Retro check will be delayed; most likely for at least one year. If the city really wants to get down and dirty, they could rationalize cancelling the Retro payment by simply saying a) "we are broke and cannot pay it." b) the union failed in its fiduciary duty to properly advise the negotiating parties and thereby inherently abrogated the previous contract. If they get a sympathetic arbitrator, that could happen. Is it likely? No. But for Shields to expose us to this is indefensible. Even though Shields proffered a public apology to the rank and file, it still looks as if it could be a $20 million dollar mistake. Each one of you could lose up to $2,000 in retroactive pay.

The city attorney has already informally discussed the issue with FOP reps and said,"The Chief City Negotiator is laughing. The FOP has no idea how Rahm is salivating about taking down the biggest union in the city. Rahm's going to punish the FOP like you've never seen."

What the city will do (most like) is this - No retro for the first year. They will frontload the next contract with a 4% raise the first year, then 1% - 1% - 1% for the next. That way they'll save millions on not paying the first year's payment to the membership.

2. Shields also missed a deadline to file an unfair labor practice over the above mentioned issue.

3. The Sun Times reported that Shields is on the company payroll for one of Rahm Emmanuel's biggest campaign contributors. Conflict of interest, anyone?

4. The infamous letter by former FOP employee Carolyn Bentivenga going around. The letter alleges that Shields uses union dues money for vacations, clothes, expensive restaurant meals and other malfeasance. She also claims:

When I started working for Mike Shields I instantly noticed his lack of organization, lack of attention to detail, he had no attention span, no dedication to work, no ability to make decisions, let alone follow up with any action. He was unfocused, immature and appeared to be self-absorbed.

Working for Mike Shields could be compared to working for a child.

(As always, SCC addressed the letter issue and recently on FOP politics here. Check it out.)

Bentivenga's letter simply confirms what many of us have heard via the rumor mill for years about what's going on inside the FOP.

5.In the last meeting Shields removed Bill Dougherty; unceremoniously dumping him back to a beat car. The reason? Because Dougherty and a majority of the board decided to bring Shields up on lodge charges.

The charges brought are:

1) Inattention to duty,

2) Failure to perform and execute the duties of the office of president and

3) Lying to the FOP Membership

Both Dougherty and Aguilar stood up at the last meeting and called Shields a "liar". Keep in mind that Bill Dougherty handles the medical cases for hundreds of members. Some of these members are waiting for resolution to their cases because they're in "no pay" status, want to return to duty, or are waiting for movement on their cases before the medical board. With Bill not in his FOP role anymore, no one is addressing those medical cases.

When Shields was charged, the charter states that a committee must be appointed by the president to investigate the charged member. Shields was asked to recuse himself because he is the one charged. Shields refused and appointed his buddies to the committee and, of course, Shields was found "not guilty." When Dougherty was dumped 90% of members voted to reinstate him for the good of the lodge but Shields refused to comply with the reinstatement, so now Shields is being charged again for "failure to perform the duties of the president."

Hope For Change

Well now we have an officer from district 003 who has taken the bull by the horns and wants to do something about it. From the district fax machine came these little gems:

 photo quarles_3_zps6287e4bf.jpg  photo quarles_3-1_zps9ab40199.jpg  photo quarles_3-2_zpscb6f15f5.jpg

I salute Officer Quarles for doing this but this is not the right tactic at this time. It is like pissing in the wind. It won't do any good because since the president is elected, it takes an election to oust him. Shields won't resign because he's too stubborn and narcissistic. He can't be forced to resign - but he can be impeached. But with 4 months left to go til the election, and with us in contract negotiations, this would be a terrible time to get an impeachment hearing going.

A high ranking FOP State Rep was also at the last FOP meeting and he was overheard saying [regarding the Shields fiascos], "this is the most disorganized train wreck I've ever seen. It's frankly embarrassing."

2014 is Critical

Apathy is our biggest enemy. In the last election only 33% of active members voted. A greater percentage of the 8,000 retirees voted and they put a large number of retirees in office. This isn't good because the retirees have different priorities than the active guys and gals. We must get as many active members to mail in their ballot! It doesn't matter what team you vote for - just vote! Next year I have seen who's going to be running and I am going to support our CityWide Team with all my might because I think they can get the job done.

We have very serious issues to confront next year, not the least is ObamaCare. I have already heard that the city is going to cancel the medical portion of our contract and throw every city employee into a healthcare exchange. They already tried to do that with retiress and we are next.

The city only cares about saving money, not about the health and safety of its first responders. Moving us to ObamaCare would probably save the city about $1 billion in costs. The time is NOW to start getting Shields, and his rump swabs, out of our beloved FOP Lodge 7. Spread the word, and get informed. Ask questions of the guys and gals that come to your district. Get involved; attend FOP meetings. Your future depends on it.

02 December 2013

Crooked City

I've written about the Death Penalty and, no matter the horrors visited upon the victims by some murderous thug, there is always a phalanx of self-righteous people who publicly oppose putting the convicted murderer to death. Moonbats like Mike Farrell, Lily Tomlin and Chicago "writer" Mary Mitchell regularly cry for "justice" for these convicted killers but, I always wonder if they would ever consider the fact that killing the killers would bring some authentic justice for the victims and their families.

No, they probably wouldn't even consider it.

Marty Preib wrote a letter to Mary Mitchell which I'm reproducing here with his permission.

Ms. Mitchell,

I am a writer and Chicago Police Officer currently working on a book about several murders in 1982. I have also followed closely the Howard Morgan case, sitting through much of both trials.

I have read many articles from journalists about controversial cases, but I do not think I have read any as depraved and morally banckrupt as your column today. Your overwhelming bias should banish you from serious journalism.

The reason Howard Morgan was found guilty was that there was overwhelming evidence that he pulled a gun on the officers and fired at them 17 times from a short distance for no reason. Naturally, you don't mention in your tripe that three of the officers were wounded a result of Morgan's firing at them, one saved from a probablly fatal wound to his chest by his vest. Nor do you mention the changing statements of Morgan and his wife throughout his case, the complete and total breakdown of his case during the trial, leaving his attorneys with no argument whatsoever to posit in Morgan's defense. You don't mention the fact that at one point the defense claimed that Morgan never even fired his gun, a claim devoid of reality given the immense amount of forensic evidence.

Then there are the connections you make from this case to Jon Burge and the shooting in Florida. There is nothing even remotely similar in these cases. Nothing. That you would tie them together reveals nothing about the Morgan case save your own despicable bias and racism.

The tide is turning in Chicago. The wrongful conviction movement is collapsing. Journalists, attorneys, cops, and civilians are seeing clearly the abuses of the justice system that have taken place in Chicago, particularly in the Anthony Porter case, where wrongful conviction zealots knowing freed a cold blooded killer for their own profit and celebrity. The most striking feature of this collapse will be the total negligence of the journalists in Chicago. You will be among the worst of them.

If you are seriously interested in rooting our corruption and racism in Chicago, you would do well to start by looking in the mirror.

See you at the sentencing hearing on Thursday.

Martin Preib
____________________________

Moprah gots herself bitch-slapped! LOL ... Marty wrote the book "The Wagon and other stories" back in 2010 and recently published some works on his blog (Crooked City (See blogroll on the right for the link too). Marty's been working on the Anthony Porter case for years and has done much to roll back the "wrongful conviction" movement. As a matter of fact, he has two videos posted to his Youtube space which show definitively that gang-bangers in 002 and 003 were coached to claim "police brutality" as a ploy to get their charges dismissed or to hit a pay day. That is exactly what Anthony Porter did and it worked. Check out Marty's page, and buy his book. I understand he plans to publish a new book sometime within the next few months. I'll have a review of it, and more info in the coming months. Stay tuned, and a big thanks to Marty for fighting for REAL justice.

Fools for Christ

I've been wanting to write about religion for a while so bear with me. As the Bard wrote "I will be but brief".

Don't let the title fool you - I'm not an atheist, and I don't think all Christians are fools. But just like Lenin identified select members of the Russian inteligensia as "useful idiots" we have our own brand. And you can find a large percentage of them either sitting in church, or preaching from the pulpit.

Most conservatives aren't atheists simply because anyone who is rational, and who possess a modicum of humility, understand that there is a Higher Power at work in each of our lives - even in the lives of Godless Communists like Leftisthebest, Cold Type, and Obama. We also believe in spontaneous order, the rule of law, inalienable rights and natural law - which all presuppose the existence and influence of God.

The impetus for this post is a recent sermon I heard from Pastor Eric Flood at South Park Church. (see audio file here.) Most of the time Pastor Flood does a very good job discussing the week's topic and keeps the focus on spirituality and real-life applications of scripture. I like that he's fluent in ancient Greek and can wheel around the bible with effortlessness; all the while making the message so personal and engaging. It's a tough balance to pull off and he does it with wit and vigor.

Personal Spirituality versus Public Policy

This week's sermon (12.01.2013) was the final discussion on "Exiles" and Eric took the time to quote heavily from I Peter 5. This chapter and verse deals with church elders and early church leadership challenges. Peter defined Satan (v.8) as a Lion that "prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." Eric uses I Peter to admonish the elders that they are to "care for their flock" - as they're the leaders of the congregation and answer to the congregation. Eric even goes so far as to use Wayne Grudem's definition of the Devil ("A personal spiritual being who is in active rebellion against God and has many other Demons at his disposal and whose goal is to destroy you and the Church.")

Forgive me - but what utter dreck! Christianity is obsessed with Lucifer (latin: light-bearer) and to personify him really diminishes what Satan, and Sin, both ultimately are. What did we humans do for the 200,000 years of humanity before Christ died??? But that is for another time and another blog post. If you're interested, CG Jung (1952) exposed the psychotic public persona of the biblical "god" in his monograph "Answer to Job". I strongly suggest it.

The sermon then turned when Eric Flood began what seemed like a harangue - going as far as to state that the elders (or Pastor's) job is not to please everyone within the church (ie. there's no room for consensus) and then goes on to list 3 types of followers within the church:

1. Cynical - those who naturally distrust the authority of the church and who disagree with its leadership.

2. Idealistic - those who have an ideal vision of what the church's message should be and want it formed into a bulwark

3. Realistic - those who are flexible and patient enough to "trust the process" and who support the church's mission of "serving the common good." (Eric's words).

Eric presented these 3 options in a dogmatic manner - as if there really are only 3 types of parishioners in the world. I could count myself as all 3 at one time or another. But for now count me in among the cynics. It's not because I have some in-bred hostility to religion or reject the church and her teachings, but because I take the long-view when it comes to history and mythology. I know that I do not know.

I do know there is a higher power, a Great and Profound Mystery, operating in the Universe and that we are all God's creatures. Our various mythologies show us that there are energies at work in the universe; and those same energies are at work inside each and every one of us.

But what evangelicals teach week in and week out, all across the world is that we must engender a relationship with Christ. It is as if Christ is out there somewhere and we have to praise, supplicate and ingratiate ourselves to some outer diety in order to obtain the goodies (ie. salvation). Did God create us to be His personal rump swabs? (Again; read Answer to Job for a thorough discussion.)

East versus West

What constitutes enlightenment in the West is vastly different from the East. In the sermon Eric actually said some of us have obtained a "sufficient level of spiritual maturity" (What does that even mean?!?!?!).

But I do know that your personal spiritual endeavors are just that - personal. The virtues that South Park church supports - charity, pro-life, good deeds, missionary work, diversity, multiculturalism, and caring for your community are all wonderful if you choose to embrace them in order to unencumbered yourself from from the daily miasma of human existence. Through meditation and prayer we can seek a deeper spiritual understanding of whatever organized religion we follow.

But what we have now is the thread that most American Clergy are entwined with and that is the Social Gospel (ie. The Christian Left) ie. collectivism.

What we have is the atheist Left, using the censorship of political correctness, in an attempt at crushing religion out of existence so that the State can become the 'end-all-be-all'.

Your spiritual development is such a wide open and deeply personal journey, how can it be anything but extremely private? Nobody can put a One-Size-Fits-All template on it. That's why much of the bible's teaching are vague and written in general terms so that it leaves it up the communicant to determine his own path.

Here is the great Evan Sayet on How Liberals Think and notice how he talks about John Lennon's song "Imagine" and how, when you break down the lyrics it is a mandate to destroy society where nothing matters. This is the theme of Moral Relevance that is soul-crushing.

Steely Dan and Buddhism

If you want my two cents on what's wrong with modern Christianity (other than the infusion of Marxist Collectivism) is that it tries to be all things to everyone.

But what is Jesus Christ except the reincarnation of Gautma Buddha, Orpheus and Osiris? It is a story as old as the hills - the King who is ritualistically murdered and reincarnated. THAT should infuse our understanding of Christ's real message. The Ham Naggadi texts, which are ascribed to the Apostle Thomas, aren't recognized by most churches. Even though they've been carbon dated to about the time of Christ and were written by someone who claimed to be part of Jesus' inner sanctum.

The reason The Nag Hammadi texts remain unacknowledged is because they quote Jesus as saying "The kingdom of the Father is here right now and men do not see it." In effect Jesus says that through prayer and meditation, every one can communicate with the Father, and that God is actually inside each of us, surrounds us, and is ubiquitous.

Ask yourself one question: Why was Jesus Christ killed? Answer? Because he said "I and the Father are one." He committed the Prime Heresy. So did the Muslim mystic Hallaj in the year 700AD and they murdered him for saying the same thing.

___________________

While we're on the theme of heresy, as I write this I am listening to Steely Dan's "Time out of Mind" --- it is one of the most spiritual songs I've ever heard. Here are the lyrics.

Yea, I know some think it is an homage to heroin but I prefer to look at the symbols employed by Becker and Fagan. The symbols in the song are alchemical.

Keep your eyes on the sky (Look to heaven, our father in the sky, the Yin of the masculine), put a dollar in the kitty (do your devotions either with time, energy or money but do a good deed),

Don't the moon look pretty (the Moon is the feminine - as opposed to the masculine Sun in many myths. The moon is also a renewal symbol and a mandala. The mandala expresses perfection and wholeness.)

Tonight when I chase the dragon (The Dragon in eastern myths is a positive symbol of the Chi energy that brings luck, abundance and good health. Our idea of Dragons is that they guard gold and virgins: Neither of which they know what to do with. Dragons in our culture are mindless, greedy beasts.)

The silver will turn to gold, time out of mind (The alchemical philosophers converted base matter to gold. They hid the true meaning of the "processes" by using allegorical symbols. The base matter (food, drink, and stored sexual energy thru celibacy) was converted into "gold" (i.e.. Chi, or body energy and moved around the body through the various body meridians to achieve a spiritual breakthrough or enlightenment. The Buddhists, and Taoists masters speak of a light that the practitioner brings up the conception vessel culminating at the Crown of the head.) I am holding a mystical stone (see The Monkey King for a discussion of the Stone and how it relates to alchemy and power.)

Time out of mind (In Eastern philosophy, eternal doesn't mean "forever" - it means a place that is transcendent of our idea of time and space. It is a different dimension beyond our simple 3 dimensional concepts. The Taoists have a saying that the sage knows heaven and earth without leaving his hut.) From Lao Tsu's "Tao Te Ching"

Utopianism, ObamaCare & Star Trek

 photo db378e3f-6608-44dd-81e3-a6e4c95ad0ae_zpsa43835ee.jpg What set me off during today's sermon? Pastor Eric began to read (in a modern interpretation) from some document allegedly written by someone called Antony of Bithynia (1st century Asia Minor, aka. Turkey). I have been unable to locate this letter anywhere on the internet so I'm not sure if he was just creating a "skit" of what Antony, Silas and Lucius went through after receiving Peter's letter. This may have been a mock rebuttal from "Antony of Bithynia" that Eric chose in order to make a point.

Regardless, Eric read this "letter" in Antony's voice and expressed how hurt Antony was upon coming back to Bithynia and finding church elders getting into pissing matches over who would serve communion, what type of music Lucius would play on his lyre - and all sorts of issues that is, quite frankly, a part of any body or organization. I don't care if you're a church, a Boy Scout troop or a Lodge of Freemasons - these territorial squabbles are ubiquitous. They are part and parcel of the human condition.

The author of this "letter" then decries the elders as being in two camps: The conservatives, who if the church changed too much, would desert the fledgling organization - and the progressives, who if the church didn't change enough would leave. Antony allegedly states that all the elders were "governed by fear" and this type of conflict would keep people from wanting to be part of the church.

What I took from this was that Eric was telling us today ~ directly ~ that we were to keep politics; liberal or conservative from the hallowed halls of SP Church.

As I said, for spiritual development, you can disregard politics - for a time. What Eric doesn't understand is that this country was founded by Christians who wanted to keep God in the mix but wanted to maintain formal religious organizations from dominating the decision making within the government. And what we have now is an over-arching Federal government who is COMPELLING religious organizations to engage in behaviors and policies which those organizations are opposed to (ie. The Catholic church being forced to provide birth control.) When this type of threat is placed against you and your faith, you BETTER step up and say one is wrong and one is unacceptable.

Silence kills and if we Christians don't confront the abuse threatening to overwhelm us, then we will suffer and eventually lose our ability to worship God in the manner and form which we want to, as the founders envisioned.

As Mark Levin writes in Liberty and Tyranny:

"Reason cannot, by itself, explain why there is reason. Science cannot, by itself, explain why there is science. Man's discovery and application of science are products of reason.

Reason and science can explain the existence of matter, but they cannot explain why there is matter. They can explain the existence of the universe, but they cannot explain why there is a universe. They can explain the existence of nature and the law of physics, but they cannot explain why there is nature and the law of physics.

Science is a critical aspect of human existence, but it cannot address the spiritual nature of man. In this respect science is a dead end around which the Atheist refuses to reason. Reason itself informs man of its own limitations and, in doing so, directs him to the discovery of a force greater than himself - a supernatural force responsible for the origins of not only human existence but all existence, and which itself has always existed and will always exist.

For most, the supernatural reveals itself in the Creator - God. Man seeks God's guidance through faith and prayer. The Agnostic accepts the supernatural, but is not so sure of the form of its existence. The Deist accepts that God created the universe and man's condition but left it to man to sort things out through reason.

Man is more than a physical creature. As Edmund Burke argued, each individual is created as a unique, spiritual being with a soul and a conscience and is bound to a transcendent moral order established by Divine Providence and uncovered through observation, and experience over the ages. There is but one law for all, namely, that law which governs all laws, the law of our Creator, the law of humanity, justice equity -- the law of nature and of nations."

So to Eric I would say - "It's not about Left and Right, it is about Right and Wrong." If we Christians follow the Marxist Left, then we aren't supporting "social justice" and "equality" - we are taking the opposite tact. We are supporting an amoral and God-free zone of moral equivalence where nothing is wrong and we are suffocated by political correctness. Where conformity and equality become the highest goods.

Nothing can be more anathema to America than that!

South Park's mission statement says,"South Park Church exists to walk with God, connect as family and love people in Jesus [sic] name."

If you're an evangelical church which professes to obey God's word then why aren't you vocal on the immorality of the modern Democrat party? This party is endangering the health, and lives, of tens of millions of Americans by compelling us off our insurance plans, and pushing us into healthcare exchanges. ObamaCare will directly cause death, suffering and misery; all the while causing costs to skyrocket and quality to plummet. ObamaCare was founded on lies and deceit. The politicians - our modern Pharisees - told us that they had to pass the bill before we could find out what was in it. Now we have the Federal Gov't (HHS) cranking out 30,000 pages of new regulations. What about the $1.5 trillion in debt that Obama is racking up every year? What about unemployment? What about the millions who've dropped out of the job market and jumped onto government roles?

Forward! All for the good of the People, right?

Is it a moral position to remain silent when confronted with such abuse? When some from your congregation may DIE because everyone stayed silent out of Political Correctness - which is nothing more than FEAR? Didn't Antony of Bithynia exclaim his disgust with the Elders because they all seemed to acting out of fear?

Would organizations like South Park have stayed silent on Jewish murders during Hitler's Germany? South Park takes no public position on the murder and torture of Christians in Syria and Somalis. I've heard Eric support traditional marriage and Pro-Life causes but what can be more important than those if the very lives of your congregation are at stake?

The Democrat party that is bankrupting our citizens. It is promoting theft, murder and debt. It's core positions are fundamentally immoral and people like Eric Flood, South Park's elders, should have the courage to stand before their congregations and decry Obama, condemn Pelosi, Reid and Schumer. The Democrat party is wrong and collectivism should be criticized.

South Park Church, and all churches, should be mindful of the political environment when addressing the needs and concerns of their congregation. This isn't the bridge of the starship Enterprise and, Whoopi Goldberg isn't sitting in 10-Forward ready to dispense wisdom like the Oracle at Delphi. This is real life and we congregants who are concerned and scared for the future of our country would like the church to get behind the conservative movement in this country. Conservatism is the only antidote to tyranny - and bald-faced tyranny is what we are up against.

The last thing I'll say to my brothers and sisters is this: If you live within your means, pay your taxes, live responsibly, take action, take care of your family and friends, work every day and obey the laws then why don't you vote for the party that supports all of those virtues? Why vote for the party that wants to deride those virtues? Vote like you Live!