Skip to content

Peter V. Bella Posts

Aldermanic thug life

Cartoon: PV Bella

Ald. Jim Gardiner is taking a page out of his predecessor, John Arena’s, term in office. He is living the aldermanic thug life. Who knows, maybe he will release a drill rap campaign video.

“Gardiner is facing multiple lawsuits and a series of allegations that include withholding ward services from his critics, using foul language to describe women and potential misconduct. The FBI, the Chicago Board of Ethics, the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office and the Office of the Inspector General have launched investigations into Gardiner’s conduct in office.” (Block Club Chicago)

Gardiner is once again under investigation for his thuggery. Gardiner is accused of harassing volunteers seeking petition signatures for his opponent, Marina Tomic. A Ring camera caught part of the altercation.

One canvasser accused Gardiner of threatening to punch them. Gardiner thinks he is a tough guy, a thug, a brawler, and above the law. He believes intimidation is the way to make friends and influence people ala the Chicago Outfit. In reality, Gardiner is a two-bit cowardly punk. Only punk cowards make threats they cannot or will not deliver.

In the video, Gardiner states, “Run a clean election.” His interference in the canvassing shows his hypocrisy. By harassing canvassers, he is running a dirty campaign, the Chicago Way campaign. What next? Will he hire armed goons to make sure people vote for him? Will he recreate the Pineapple Campaign of the 1920s? Will he send his precinct worker toughs out to intimidate voters? Will he hire gang members, like other alderpersons have done to menace voters?

Gardiner is a disgrace to the City Council and the City of Chicago. He has no business being an alderman. He defeated a thug, and he turned into a thug. Maybe he was a thug all along.

His predecessor, John Arena, was no better. He, too, was a thug. It appears that a few aldercritters are acting no better than gangbangers. They use intimidation to fight opponents. Gardiner, with his past actions under investigation, is a proven lager lout. He is also a charlatan and a fraud. He proves it every day he holds office.

The 45th Ward deserves an alderman who will represent the community, listen to critics, and respect the electoral process. That person is not Jim Gardiner. The only reason he is an aldercritter is because it pays more than being a firefighter, which was his career before becoming an elected thug. He could not care less about public service or his constituents.

Gardiner believes he can ride roughshod over the people in his ward. He believes he can do whatever he wants. Hopefully, the Feds will have enough to nail him before the election and take him out.

Chicago had its share of thug politicians in the past. Many thought that sordid past was long gone. That past reared its head in Aldercritter Jim Gardiner. He is living the thug life large and enjoying every minute. So, when does the drill rap video drop?

Monday morning comming down

FACEBOOK

I found the above picture amusing. Yet, it rings true. Aaron Rogers owns the Ken Dolls. Since the McCaskeys are moving the supposed team to the suburbs, the change honoring Rogers is appropriate.

Maybe one day soon these tables will turn.

Maybe one day the Chicago Bears will again be the dominant team in their storied rivalry with the Green Bay Packers.

Maybe the Bears will become the group making game-winning plays on the regular rather than stumbling into so many game-losing mistakes.

Maybe Justin Fields will soon become in this league what Aaron Rodgers has long been.

Maybe an extended run of success is riiiight there on the horizon.

Maybe. Perhaps. (Dan Wiederer/Chicago Tribune)

Hell froze over and pigs flew. The powers that be at the McCaskey Chicago Tribune allowed a rebuke of the Chicago Ken Dolls.

“Maybe. Perhaps.” Is the repeated theme of the piece. While a rebuke, it is not a total rebuke, but it is better than their slobbering sports writers’ past adoring opinions turning the Ken Dolls losses into wins and treating QB Justin Fields like the one and only god to be worshipped.

After eight straight losses, it is about time the Tribune allowed honest, objective reporting on the Ken Dolls versus obedient adoration. Listening to Matt Eberflus, the coach, one would think the Dolls are heading into the postseason versus into obscurity.

Another report claimed that the most sold Ken Doll jersey is Number 1, Justin Fields. By season’s end, those jerseys will fill Goodwill bins, selling for a couple of dollars. But the McCaskeys are happy. They made big bucks off the quarterback they are ruining. Big bucks are all they care about. Winning not so much.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot is in full campaign mode. She is touting her continual string of failures as successes. Lightfoot is claiming promises made during her last campaign are promises kept instead of every promise being broken.

The Chicago news media is gleefully echoing and cheering for her in their reportage. No editorials are calling her out for her dishonesty. No criticism that Lightfoot broke every promise she made when running for her first term. She had to return a large campaign contribution because of an ethics violation and may have to return another large contribution for the same reason. Yet, it is reported as a minor blip, an oversight.

The Eleventh Commandment is, “Thou shalt not get caught.” The Thirteenth Commandment is, “Thou shalt not talk.” I wonder if there is a Fourteenth Commandment, “Thou shalt not bear harsh witness of the Chicago’s mayor, City Council, and Chicago Sports teams.”

Chicago is known as the city of scoundrels. We can add the Chicago news media to the scoundrel list for joyfully and willingly ignoring failures in local political and sports reportage while hyping them as successes.

I do not know how I missed this

IMAGE: SPAM/Hormel

“Oh, bring us some figgy pudding
Oh, bring us some figgy pudding
Oh, bring us some figgy pudding
And bring it right here…

We all like our figgy pudding
We all like our figgy pudding
We all like our figgy pudding

With all its good cheers”

 (We wish you a Merry Christmas/Arthur Warrell 1939)

The late comedian, George Carlin, posited, ‘Just think of how stupid the average people are and realize half of them are stupider than that.” The gag is proven repeatedly in good ole red, white, and blue ‘Merica, Land of the less-on* and Home of the Half-wit.

Yes, my fellow “Mericans, you proved once again how utterly stupid you are. It is not bad enough you vote to elect the worst of the worst to public office. It is not bad enough you gleefully pleasure yourself with pumpkin spice everything in the fall, especially the creator of that crap, Spewf**ks, or whatever that crappy coffee chain is called.

You, my fellow citizens, outdid yourselves in the stupidity, absurdity, and ridiculous factors. How you ask? Hormel, who makes SPAM®, introduced SPAM® Figgy Pudding on November 15th. They sold it through SPAM.com, Amazon, and Walmart.

According to the company, “SPAM® Figgy Pudding brings a blend of warm spices and seasonal ingredients that will be the star in many wintertime recipe favorites. With notes of cinnamon and nutmeg combined with fig and orange flavors, you’ll taste true holiday comfort that will have you caroling all season long.”

The great mass of “Merican chromosomal defective, gullible bark chewing pecker headed rubes bought it. It sold out within days of its introduction. For you dullards who missed out, you can find it on the secondary market at twice the price.

Naturally, this will soon be a Christmas tradition, dating back to the jolly olde age of Dickens. Scrooge will be portrayed as giving out SPAM® Figgy Pudding instead of the Christmas goose. Ads will portray people unwrapping cans of SPAM® Figgy Pudding under the tree with joy and glee. Large mockups of the cans will be placed alongside public nativity scenes, or maybe a can will replace one of the gifts of the Magi.

There will be images of SPAM® Figgy Pudding, ala Norman Rockwell, proudly brought to the Christmas table on a fancy China plate. It will become the national centerpiece of holiday fare. ‘Mericans throughout this country will make this a national holiday treasure. When Food & Wine has an article on it, you know foodies will try to score it.

SPAM® is counting on this great ‘American Public of clodpoles and chowderheads to make this product a holiday tradition while they laugh all the way to the bank. Maybe next year, they can issue people tee-shirts emblazoned with “I’m with stupid,” along with the product’s image. Now mall shoppers have a reason to wear their cargo shorts. They can stuff the large pockets with SPAM® Figgy Pudding for a light snack between holiday shopping and hitting the mall’s junk food joints.

Members of the Christian Nationalist Crystal Methodist Church of America will proclaim SPAM® Figgy Pudding as a gift from above, manna from heaven. They may even offer it at Communion., the Great Comedian’s holy joke.

The idiocy of the ‘Merican consumer never fails to disappoint.

*Lower on the intelligence scale than morons

The mayoral race is on

Mayor Lori Lightfoot

Ald. Sophia King,

Community activist Ja’Mal Green

Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson

Former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas,

Businessman and philanthropist Willie Wilson,

State Rep. Kam Buckner

Ald. Roderick Sawyer

U.S. Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García

Annnnd theiiiiiiir off. The list is the finalists running for mayor of Chicago. They are the only candidates to submit nominating petitions out of a predicted 15 or more. Kudus to the eight candidates who had the stomach to campaign against Lori Lightfoot. It takes a certain type of person to run for elected office in this city. The hurdles are high. Just getting and staying on the ballot is a tough slog because of the antiquated petition signature ploy and challenges to the petitions.

Which one of the eight can turn this city around from the stream of Lori Lightfoot’s continual failures? Who can attract the most votes and money and last until the election in February?

Candidates and their staffs must be multi-taskers. They need to raise big bucks, do the rubber chicken circuit, get on the street to press the flesh, get their messages out to the media, allay the fears of the business community, give interviews, and did I mention raise big bucks? It is seven days a week grueling grind from dawn til past most people’s bedtimes.

The word campaign is derived from the Latin word campania- open field battle and the French, campange and Italian, campanga- field military operation. It is rooted in the military and wars going back to ancient times. In Chicago, politics is warfare. Political campaigns are wars of attrition and battles for the hearts and minds of the public. It is a war for money. It is a war to attract the powerful and prominent people in the city and the neighborhoods to support you.

Chicago politics is a battle against your opponents and their supporters in and out of politics. It is a battle for who can last the longest and make it to election day. Chicago politics is brutal. Only the strong survive. It will be interesting to see how many of Lightfoot’s eight challengers stay the course. If they drop out, who will they support? Or will they disappear?

Lightfoot lost Chicago. She and her incompetent mercenary Superintendent of Police, David Brown, lost the city in 2020 when rioting and looting broke out from one end of the city to the other. Brown had no strategy to deal with the mass peaceful protests, looting, and rioting. Businesses of all sizes were furious. Residents were furious. The world watched as Chicago descended into mob rule. Lightfoot should have fired Brown then. But Lightfoot’s policy is failure is an option, and failures, like Brown, are successful.

The love is not there. She lost the police and fire communities. She lost the teachers and their formidable union/political action committee with big bucks to spend. Past mayors like Daley and Emanuel stumbled but recovered. Lightfoot keeps stumbling from one failure to another.

“I know how to build coalitions. I know how to bring people together,” Lightfoot said. “Every single time there’s been a challenge and you all are speculating, ‘She can’t get it done because of this, that and the other and people don’t like her personality and whatnot,’ we deliver, every single time. So print that.” (Chicago Tribune/Emphasis mine)

The Chicago Tribune dutifully printed that. The paper has been Lightfoot’s water carrier since her election. Chicago news media reprints press releases or dictates and calls it journalism. You will know who not to vote for if any of the Chicago news media endorses Lightfoot or ramps up positive stories about her. This is the same news media that slobbers and drools over the McCaskey Ken Dolls and the McCaskeys like hormonally overcharged teenagers.

Make no mistake, anyone but Lightfoot is not an option and could be worse. We need a mayor who can relate to the entire city, not just certain blocs like race, ethnicity, or progressives. Chicago is a mix of political ideas. No one dominates. A mayoral candidate should be able to appeal to the cross-section of political ideals across this city. Every neighborhood is unique. Chicago needs a mayor who can unite us instead of dividing us. Lightfoot is divisive. However, the voters in Chicago are not the brightest bulbs. Half are even dimmer. Look who they elect as aldercritters.

We need a mayor who can put public safety first. The next mayor should be able to relate to the business community, bringing in businesses and ensuring businesses of all sizes can thrive and remain here. We need a mayor who can treat the city council respectfully instead of publicly berating and insulting members while violating council rules.

The key is to vote. Get your family, neighbors, coworkers, friends, and acquaintances to vote. We cannot afford to go into a runoff election if no one gets over 50%

Out of the eight, I do not know who can turn this ship around. When it comes to politics, I am jaded. All modern fairy tales should start with, “If elected, I promise…”

Abandon the Bears bring on soccer

PHOTO: Getty Images/iStockphoto/Digital Cartoon: PV Bella

“I say “soccer.” My European friends say “fútbol.” Whether it’s soccer or fútbol, no one will be saying “Chicago Bears.” It will be the “Arlington Heights Bears.” Good riddance, I say.” (Laura Washington/Column: Forget the Bears. Soccer is Chicago’s future. (chicagotribune.com)

I am a recovered Bears fan. I am slowly recovering from being a “professional” football fan. The hindrance to my full recovery? I keep rooting for whatever team plays the Bears. I have a Jones to see those Ken Dolls soundly defeated every week.

On Sundays, I must put up with screaming, brain-dead zombie Bears fans at my local saloon. We need to bring back asylums to house and medicate these people. Getting the bartender to put on a soccer game is nearly impossible when football is on television. Golf, yeah. Soccer no.

I picked up an interest in soccer a while back. After watching the World Cup, especially the game between the USA vs. Saudi Arabia, I am hooked. I realized watching that game and others that soccer players are true athletes, sometimes with gymnastic abilities, like the image above. Not one professional football player can make that flying kick. That takes skill, artistry, and athleticism.

Not one “player” in the NFL could last 90 minutes on a soccer pitch. Soccer players run from one end of the field to the other and back throughout the game. There is contact. The players do not wear equipment or helmets. Just shorts, jerseys, and thin shin guards under their stockings.

Football is as fake as “Professional wrestling.” There is no elegance, intricacy, or art to the game. It is a staged and choreographed act. The winners are the team that can out-fake their opponents in stuntman form.

Soccer players use their feet, legs, knees, chests, and heads to move the ball. Only the goalie can use their hands. The footwork can be as intricate as a dancer when watched close up. Soccer is as much an art form as a sport.

Soccer was dubbed the beautiful game in the late 1950s. Two British reporters are credited with coining the phrase. Famed soccer player Pele made the phrase synonymous with the game and used it in the title of his autobiography.

No one ever called the game of football beautiful. It was a game of brutes played by mindless sides of beef. Back in the day, football players could have been loan shark collectors, a job requiring only brutishness and mindlessness.

Now, Ken Dolls play football, pretending to be brutes. No one ever claimed football was a beautiful game. It has no grace or style. One Brit presenter called soccer “Feet with brains.” No one ever referred to football players as even having brains.

As Laura Washington points out in her column, soccer is the most popular sport in the world. On any weekend day, drive through Chicago, and you will see people playing soccer in many of the larger parks, even on the lakefront. There are many ethnic soccer clubs in Chicago and the suburbs. Soccer is popular in high schools and colleges, with male and female teams. Some teams are mixed.

Soccer is n international sport. Football is confined to the states. Probably because other people are not as stupid as the average American football fan. You know, people who think fast food is haute cuisine and Olive Garden, is real Italian food.

Soccer is so popular with the young that “Soccer Mom” entered the lexicon. Soccer drove the sale of mini-vans so “soccer moms” could haul their children, their teams, food, and equipment to games all over the area. There is no such thing as a “Football Mom” and football never drove the sale of specific vehicles.

America needs to wean itself from football and support professional soccer. Put butts in the stadium seats, watch the games, and demand more televised games and sports media coverage. Soccer should supersede football as one of America’s favorite past times. It could and should put the NFL- National Fake League- out of business.

City Hall should dump the Bears and throw their full support to the Chicago Fire. Their recent owner, Joe Mansueto, has two exceptional qualities. He has money and is not afraid to spend it. He has a deep passion for the sport. The only qualities the McCaskeys have is how cheap and chiseling they are and embarrassing our great city with their passion for mediocrity. Bears fans should abandon the team. All they provide is heartbreak year after year.

With municipal support and fan building, Chicago could become the center of professional soccer in the country. The Bears can waste away whenever they move to Arlington Heights.

Alderman Ed Burke throws in the towel

The proud politician who famously said there are only three ways to exit the City Council: “The ballot box. The jury box. Or the pine box,” instead chose the box that read, “None of the above.” (Chicago Sun-Times)

14th Ward Alderman, Ed Burke, did not file nominating petitions by yesterday’s deadline. He is not running for reelection. Burke, 78, is the longest-serving alderman in Chicago history. He has been an alderman for over fifty years, since 1969, surpassing alderman “Bath House” John Coughlin, who served for 46 years, from 1892 to his death in 1938.

Burke decided not to run for a 15th term. Like Coughlin, history will remember Burke as one of the most influential and powerful politicians in Chicago. Like Coughlin, Burke’s influence and power faded to a mere shadow. Coughlin’s downfall in stature was due to age, health, and changing political winds. Burke’s downfall was caused by federal indictments. Burke was known as the dean of the City Council.

Ald. Ray Lopez (15th), Burke’s ally and City Council seatmate, said Burke’s outsized “footprint” is all over legislation that has “impacted everyday life” in Chicago. That includes a trailblazing ban on indoor smoking and Burke’s campaign to mandate carbon monoxide detectors and defibrillators and help championing a ban on phosphates.

“I don’t think anyone truly understands the magnitude that was Ed Burke in terms of shaping the laws and creating the city of Chicago that we know,” Lopez said. (Chicago Sun-Times)

Burke and Coughlin shared a peculiar trait, their sartorial choices. Both were known for their dress. Burke was on several of Chicago’s best-dressed lists, noted for his accessorizing. Coughlin was known for his loud, colorful sartorial style.

Burke shared another trait with Coughlin. He has been embroiled in corruption controversies for decades. The chickens came home to roost in 2018 when the U.S. Department of Justice indicted him for corruption and the following year for racketeering. Part of his ward was gerrymandered, and they carved his vote-rich precincts out. A double body blow to the formidable politician.

Like Coughlin, history will remember Burke as one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful, alderman and politician in Chicago. Until his indictment, Burke served for decades as the Chairman of the City Council’s Finance Committee. It was the most powerful position on the City Council. The committee had the largest budget and controlled a $100 million city Workers Compensation Fund.

Burke leaves behind a mixed legacy. He championed many ordinances for the betterment of Chicago. He was also a brutal political infighter, most noted for his participation in blocking most of former Mayor Harold Washington’s agenda. This was and still is a stain the African American political community remembers and will not forgive.

Chicago politics is cutthroat warfare. Burke was a master combat tactician and fighter. He knew and used city council rules to fight aldermen and mayors. He usually came out victorious. Times changed, politics changed, and the City Council changed. Many members were not born when Burke first took office in 1969.

Burke prides himself on being a Chicago historian. His historical legacy is mixed. He is known for championing causes and ordinances for the city’s betterment while fending off accusations of corrupt practices and abuse of his formidable power and knowledge of City Council rules.

Like many Chicago politicians, Burke was one who Chicagoans loved to hate and hated to love. There was the good Eddie and the bad Eddie. He fought good and evil battles, usually winning both. He was a man of power, prestige, and derision. According to news reports, he is no longer the center of attention. His council seat is next to the exit of the chamber. He is the first one out the door when meetings end. He sits silently and does not use his knowledge of City Council rules or oratorical skills to thwart policies he may disagree with. Burke does not battle the mayor when she flaunts city council rules, running roughshod over alderpersons.

Burke is married to retired Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke. Four years ago, during a speech at the City Club of Chicago, “Choking back tears, the normally stoic alderman said, “For half a century, Anne has been my partner in this life through thick and thin. How blessed I have been. Anne, I love you. Thank you for being my partner in life.” (Chicago Sun-Times)

The McCaskey Ken Dolls lose AGAIN

Image: UNK/Cartoon Art by PV Bella

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays the Bears from the swift losses of their appointed games.

As a fully recovered former Bears fan, I take great delight when the McCaskey Ken Dolls lose games. I reveled in watching the Ken Doll’s humiliation on the field. Sunday. They played the Jets in the rain and looked miserable, losing their fifth straight game. The only team they might beat at this point is a high school football team, which is a big maybe.

Week 12 recap: Starting QB confusion and injuries mark Chicago Bears’ 31-10 loss to New York Jets(Chicago Tribune Headline)

It did not take long for the Tribune to come up with a crock of bull droppings for the Bear’s loss. Like the rest of the supposed sports journalists, they keep making excuses for this horrendous team. At least the Trib did not make the loss look like a win, as they did in the past weeks. But their reportage is still lame.

If ever there was fake news, it must be Chicago’s sports media. There is not one credible journalist among them. The sports media are silent about McCaskey’s horrendous ownership of this team. They are merely McCaskey propagandists. They dare not cross their masters with criticism of McCaskey’s stewardship.

At least we will be spared the media lionizing Justin Fields and his meaningless, irrelevant statistics and records. They treat Fields like he is the second coming of the Great Comedian’s Son. It would be a different story if the team won games while Fields performed those feats.

Bears fans who continually support this team, cheer for them, and buy their branded crap are blissfully stupid or genetically defective. They refuse to understand the McCaskeys do not care about winning. They make the same money if they lose. All they care about is the money, and the NFL money pot gets bigger every year.

The only way the Ken Dolls can improve is if the fans abandon them. A total boycott, including not watching the games on television. There should be a total abandonment of the Bears by the fans and this city.

Chicago owes the Bears and McCaskeys nothing. The team and owners have not earned the city’s loyalty and respect. They spurned us. We should turn our backs on them. There are other Midwest teams we can support whose owners at least try to win and get to the postseason. There is no shame or sin in abandoning the McCaskey Ken Dolls. My recovery and rehab were painless. There were no withdrawals or even guilt. There was just a feeling of satisfaction. It was the right thing to do at the right time.

Walk away people. The Ken Dolls are not worth all the emotion you invest in them. They do not deserve your love or money. They only deserve derision. Free yourself from the clutches of Bear’s addiction. Toss out and burn all the Bears merchandise and any other memorabilia. After a while, you will feel free, and your thinking will be clear. You will recognize those responsible for this miserable team, their owners.

Billy Goat Tavern and Grill is the GOAT

Image- PV Bella

88 years ago, a Greek immigrant bought the Lincoln Tavern at 1855 W. Madison, across from the Chicago Stadium, with bounced checks. He paid back the debt. One day, the owner came across a goat that fell off a livestock truck. The bar became Billy Goat Tavern, and a legend was born.

The immigrant was William “Billy Goat” Sianis. In 1964, he moved his bar to the underground Michigan Avenue, surrounded by the Chicago newspapers. He added a grill. Billy Goat Tavern and Grill became a newspaper hangout. It also became the best saloon in Chicago. As far as bars go, it is the GOAT.

When I was 18 years old, they changed the law to let us drink beer and wine. Billy Goat’s was where we went to when I was in college. It was inexpensive, and we could brag we drank downtown. The legal change did not last long. Too many suburban kids were getting injured or killed in traffic crashes. Suburbanites are notorious for ruining things for the rest of us.

When a college friend was getting married, he wanted to have his bachelor party at the Goat. When we showed up, they put the tables together for us. Other than that, it was the same as before. Just guys drinking, eating, and having a good time.

Later, shortly after I became a Chicago Police officer, I went there. As I sat at the bar, the bartender put an Old Style in front of me. I gave him a look. He smiled and said, “I always remember my college guys.” We talked, I told him what I did. He told me Mike Royko and Studs Terkel were at the end of the bar. He introduced me to them. We had pleasant conversations while getting tipsy. I wound up taking a long, expensive cab ride home.

One thing that makes Billy Goat Tavern and Grill a Chicago icon is consistency. Even with the remodel, the environment has not changed. The food is still good, and they serve one of the best classic no-frills burgers in Chicago. Even Julia Child sang the burger’s praises when she visited the Goat. No matter which one of their outlets you visit, the food is always the same, and the prices are reasonable.

Image: PV Bella

I still go there now and then when I am downtown. I was there for the last game of the 2016 World Series. The Goat was packed with people and reporters from all over the world. I sat at the bar with two reporters. One was from Australia, and the other was from New Zealand. Sam Sianis, the owner, brought the goat out. I tried to explain to the two reporters about the curse of the goat. They were not interested. Other locals tried to get them interested, but they did not get it.

I wanted to attend the Cubs home opener last season, but the weather prediction was chilly to cold and windy. We went to the Goat instead. It was crowded with like-minded people and just as good as being at Wrigley.

Legacy newsman Rick Kogan wrote “A Chicago Tavern: A Goat, a Curse, and the American Dream,” about the iconic saloon. It remains one of the best books written about a Chicago saloon.

Chicago old-school saloons were and are still social focal points. Many of the iconic places are gone, replaced by themed bars. Fake dive and “old man bars” (Whatever the f**k that means), or worse, phony “speakeasies” that infantile publishers like Chicago Magazine and Time Out Chicago heavily promote. The writers at these comic rags do not know their asses from a hole in the ground, yet they continually lie to the public about these horrid fake places that serve overpriced booze, beer, and crappy expensive food to gullible young oh so precious people looking for an “experience. It is all lies, AKA fake news.

While Billy Goat Tavern and Grill is the GOAT because of its 88-year history and consistency, there are still some good saloons left in this city. They do not get the publicity that the precious fake-themed bars get, nor do they want it. We who are habitues of these places like it that way. We do not need a bunch of precious people pretending they are slumming. Worse, if they annoyed one of us and we told them to go f**k their mothers, they would probably break out in tears, call the cops, and go on social media or Yelp to vent their social grievances while demanding justice. PRECIOUS FEELINGS MATTER!

Congrats to the Sianis family for providing 88 years of honest drinks, good food, entertainment, and good cheer. May they survive another 88 years.

Black Friday is a con job

IMAGE: PV Bella

Today is Black Friday. A day when good patriotic, genetically deficient Americans swarm the downtown shopping areas, malls, and big box stores to buy stuff they do not need and more stuff for gifts. It is the Great American con game. Stuff is supposedly on sale, so the zombie schlubs come out in masses to load up on credit card debt with high-interest rates they will pay off over the next year.

I and my credit cards are safe from such nonsense. My time and money are valuable. I refuse to drive around aimlessly in parking lots looking for a space, jostling crowds in stores, and waiting in long lines to pay for junk that supposedly is on sale. I also refuse to stand outdoors in line at dawn waiting for the stores to open. Only low IQ less-ons do that.

I detest the sight of the typical American mindless zombies with their devil spawn nose miners in tow. They mindlessly fill their shopping carts with junk. Then they do that other great American zombie family pastime, stuffing their maws with junk food.

On Monday, called cyber-Monday, my credit cards will be safe too. I am not a red, white, and blue patriotic good ole ‘Merican consumer. There is no duty or obligation to go into debt for future garbage.

I prefer to shop for gifts at small retailers, especially businesses in my neighborhood. My shopping list is small, so I do not have to break the bank. I buy gifts I think the recipients will enjoy versus the latest, newest, “fantastic” gizmos or fashions. I have what I need, so I do not have to shop for the latest, greatest crap the retailers are pushing.

As I get older, the whole idea of American over-consumerism is getting worse every year. It is not just Black Friday. One of the worst shopping days I witnessed was a weekend before the Super Bowl. I was buying necessities in a big box store. Many people bought the latest biggest screen TVs to watch the game and to impress their friends and family members. I wondered what they did with last year’s huge screen tv. They also stocked up on beer, booze, and oversized bags of snack items for their parties. All to watch a bunch of overpaid Ken Dolls play a fake contact sport.

The American consumer waits all year for these special shopping days without realizing retailers are conning them. Worse, they save nothing if they buy with credit cards and spend months paying off the balances plus interest. Yeah, such a deal.

I am making my shortlist now for Giving Tuesday. Since I will not be wasting money on junk, I have some excess to donate to good causes that help people in need. I will select two or three organizations to give money to. It is a less expensive and better investment than giving my dough to a retailer.

Past Thanksgiving turkey/PV Bella

I wrote this sitting in my favorite saloon. Just my luck, the dreaded bar pest victimized me. The menace kept annoying me no matter how long I ignored him. Geez, you would think he got the hint. Then the SOB bought me a beer. Did he think I would really engage him? I kept trying to ignore him and he kept coming to my table, pestering the s**t out of me.

I have been following the controversies over the World Cup, especially the ones caused by FIFA president Gianni Infantino. I thought American politicians said and did stupid things. But Ingantino takes the Gold Medal for stupidity.

I am kinda sorta conflicted over the controversies swirling around the competition. The players want to express their views over issues on their uniforms, with banners, tee shirts, and other items. Ingantino keeps threatening the teams with penalties and disqualification.

Qatar is a very insulated and religious state. On the one hand, I am a believer in “When in Rome…” The teams are guests in Qatar and should respect their host’s laws and social norms. Yet, Qatar has a horrid human rights record on a host of issues. Many of the young competitors disagree with the government’s human rights record and want to express their disagreement in various ways. A few also want to protest their own countries’ abuses. Yet, the FIFA rules prohibit these protests.

Infantino said “I am not African, I am not gay, I am not disabled,” but added “I feel like it” while claiming he knows what it means to be discriminated against because he faced bullying as the son of Italian immigrants with “red hair and freckles” while growing up in Switzerland. He later blurted out: “I feel like a woman too!” (Forbes)

Image: PV Bella

I fault FIFA and Gianni Ignatino for creating this mess and for angering the players and countries taking part in the games. He is trying to be The Great Appeaser to the Qatari government. He is making himself look like a less-on (Lower than a moron), and his organization looks like horses a$$es.

Image: PV Bella

I will enjoy watching the games. I am no longer an American football fan unless I root for any team who plays and beats the Chicago Ken Dolls. Soccer and rugby are way better than professional football, which is as fake as professional wrestling.

I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy the feast, but do not forget to be grateful for what and who you have. Today is Drunksgiving, one of the most liquor-sodden evenings of the year. It is one of the most catastrophic and deadliest days of the year because of drunken driving crashes. Please, if you take part in this madness, do not drink and drive. Take a cab, ride share, or another way to and from the bars and your home. Do not be a statistic or cause one. Do not drink and drive. Make it home safe so you can be grateful on Thanksgiving Day and enjoy the feast and the company of your loved ones..