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Month: July 2021

The Ugly Truth in Living Color

The New York Times did a deep dive into the events of January 6th using videos from various sources, including police bodycams.

They came from all over the country. They had a “patriotic duty.” They went to Washington to rally for their Dear Leader and their way of life, the American Dream- whatever that means.

Thousands of protectors for the American Dream started a riot, stormed the Capitol, and tried to shut down the government. They fought police officers who they claim to support, calling them traitors.

These American Dreamers caused chaos, violence, damage, and death. They turned their version of the American Dream into The Nightmare on First Street SE.

The whole country watched this unfold. We witnessed the unthinkable- an act of domestic terrorism in one of our seats of government. Had these terrorists been people from another country, we would ship them to Guantanamo Bay. Instead, the government is treating them like common criminals.

What unfolded later was worse, the whitewashing by the former Dear Leader and his elected moronic minions in the very building where they might be murdered.

The narrative is, it was a peaceful protest. It was all flower power, peace, love, and understanding. Many mental midgets in both Houses of Congress drank that Kool-Aid. Conservative talk show hosts also drank the Kool-Aid, promoting the Big Lie instead of the ugly truth- an act of domestic terrorism.

One congressman, Matt “Short Eyes” Gaetz (Dolt/Mo), went so far as to say so in Congress. Ron “Cheese Brains” Johnson (Moron/Wisc.) is another who touts the riot was a peaceful protest by “patriots who love their country.” Others are touting the same lie.

I guess overcoming barricades, climbing walls, smashing windows and doors, injuring over 150 police officers, causing destruction, chaos, havoc, and looking to hunt and kill congresspersons and Vice President Pence, is peaceful. This event made the 1969 Days of Rage in Chicago look like a lovefest.

If you watched the events unfold that day, you might think a Congressional investigation was not necessary. We witnessed the ugly truth as it unfolded. More video emerged later, some by the terrorists themselves, some by media people who got in the building, and later, bodycam footage from police officers.

There were accusations that members of Congress gave tours of the Capitol to some of the rioters. There were also accusations that some members of Congress knew ahead of time what would occur. To save their political and potential legal hides they, created the whitewash, patriotic peace-loving demonstrators.

The Congressional hearing is necessary. The public needs to know that this event was not some spontaneous, spur-of-the-moment action. It was planned.  The above video by the New York Times proves it.

People came prepared to enter the Capitol and create havoc. They were ready to shut the government down and kill elected officials so an election would not be certified. They were there at the behest of their Dear Leader and his mental midget minions in both houses of Congress.

The testimony of the police officers was powerful. They experienced a once-in-a-lifetime traumatic experience they will never forget. The above video shows police officers attacked with hands, feet, and weapons, including pepper spray. Some were crushed in between doors or walls. Others were dragged and almost stripped of their weapons. Police from other local and state agencies showed up. They, too, were overpowered.

This is probably one of the biggest criminal cases in history due to the number of people arrested and wanted. The DOJ is proceeding cautiously, as they always do. The public needs answers now. The hearings will provide some answers and evidence to lead investigators to the conspirators, planners, and leaders.

We should hope the planners, including the leaders of various organizations like the cowardly Proud Boys and yellow belly Oath Keepers, will be indicted and charged with conspiracy and riot-related crimes, even terrorism.

The whitewashers are preying on the ignorance of their constituents- almost 50% of the country.

The “patriots” are legends in their own minds and heroes of the halfwits, including some members of Congress.

It is time this nation faces what happened on January 6th. We saw it, and too many still do not believe it. The rioters are the true believers of an evil gospel. It is a gospel of terrorism written by their Dear Leader, political pundits, cults, and some congresspersons from both Houses.

Patriots Risky Bidness

Image: PV Bella

Part of life is managing risk. Every day, from the time we hopefully wake up until we go to sleep, in bed, on the floor, couch, bathroom floor, or in the bathtub, we manage risk.

Some people are risk aversive. Others thrive on risky or high-risk behaviors. Risky behaviors have the potential to have severe social, personal, physical, or health consequences. Hell, sometimes just walking down the sidewalk is a high-risk activity in Chicago.

Risk is based on probability. Most of us mitigate probable risk without knowing it. We automatically wear seatbelts in our vehicles, for example. We look both ways, sometimes twice when crossing streets. We do not iron our clothing while wearing it.

Other times we must be warned of hazards and take appropriate measures to mitigate risk. There are nine variants of the COVID virus, the Delta variant being the most prevalent, most contagious, and causes more suffering and death than the others. 

The Center for Disease Control recommends wearing masks again and stressing getting vaccinated to protect us from catching the virus, especially in the nation’s hot spots, also known as Bubba Land.

The resistance populates Bubba Land. They are represented in both houses of Congress, by governors, and in the state legislators by their kinfolk, Bubbas and Bubbettes. They resist all forms of protection from the virus because this is ‘Merica, freedom, and liberty. They are patriots who are willing to die for their country.

To a certain extent, I can agree with them. These God fearin, gun totin, flagged wrapped critters have every right to get sick, suffer horribly, and die. Who am I to infringe on their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of horrible death? If the patriots of Bubbaland want to die for their country, who am I to argue?

An upside is they are willingly and angrily thinning the herd of ignorant, unlearned, and dull-witted people. Some of these so-called humans are supposedly highly educated and even have law degrees from alleged prestigious universities. Yet, they defy science, medicine, and just plain common sense. WC Fields defined common sense as horse sense. The sense horses have that keeps them from betting on humans.

The bottom dregs of the barrel of intelligence are the elected officials who spew their ignorance publicly. Some such as Matt “Short Eyes” Gaetz, Margorie Talyor “Swamp Thing” Greene, and Lauren Opal “Gun Totin Momma” Boebert continually deny the dangers of COVID, are anti-vaxxers and refuse to wear masks, or recommend their constituents wear masks. Kevin McCarthy is the Dark Moron, spurring his ignorant armies of Less-ons to rebel.

They are the same, and I hesitate to call them humans, who believe the January 6th riot was a peaceful protest and that Trump is still president. We must remember, the constitutional bar is very low to run for Congress, the Senate, or President. The best of the worst lot has the same rights as the worst of the best lot to hold elective office.

The clear and present danger is not only their constituents believe them with religious fervor, but people across the nation do, including here in Chicago. They are influencers. They have a large national following on social media, leaving a large bare dirty footprint.

Look, wearing a mask, remembering to bring a mask is a royal pain in the ass. So is suffering and dying on a ventilator. With all the events going on in Chicago, Bubbas and Bubbettes from other places and those who live here will be out and about in herds. 

Why risk getting sick from these ignorant, barefoot, unlearned bib overall wearing creatures? Keep your mask handy. If you are in a crowded situation, wear the damned thing. If you haven’t already, get the damn vaccination. Talk to your doctor if you have a medical condition you are worried about. 

Self-preservation is the first law of nature. Practice it.

A Nosy Busybody Strikes Again

Image: PV Bella

In this great country, we are guaranteed freedom of expression, except in the City of Chicago. Freedom of expression is not free in this city of permits, licenses, fees, fines, and show me your papers, unless you are a protester.

Buskers, street musicians need a permit to express themselves on the public way or anyplace outdoors. The permit must also specify if they are allowed to use amplified sound. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that expression shall be licensed or permitted with a fee by the government. Freedom of expression is not free if you must pay for it. Nowhere does it forbid sound amplification.

Visual artists can paint, sketch, photograph, and create without a permit or license on city streets and sidewalks. Other artists can perform or create without permits. Musicians and singers need permits. 

Worse, if some nosy busybody complains, the police can make them leave even if they have the permit. The police do not want to go back repeatedly because some nosy busybody hates music.

Giddings Plaza is a pleasant open space in the Lincoln Square neighborhood. It is a plaza, not a sidewalk or public way. Park-style benches surround it. Weather permitting, people spend time relaxing, socializing, letting their children play, or eating there.

There is a raised octagonal performance stage in the plaza, and each side has an outlet for amps and other electrical music equipment. The octagon was electrified specifically for music.

Musicians come and go daily, performing seven days a week. At least they used to. Very few show up now.

There were soloists and groups. The music varied. There were classical, folk-rock, rock, pop, jazz, Mexican, German, and other genres. One day several French horn players surrounded the octagon and put on a concert.

Some nose mining busybody kept calling the police. The police would come, check their papers, and ask the musicians to leave if they had amps. This went on for weeks. 

Then, the electricity was turned off in the octagon. Supposedly the nose mining busybody contacted the alderman. Allegedly the alderman had the electricity shut off.

If that was not enough, the nosy busybody complained about non-amplified music too. Very few musicians perform in Giddings Plaza these days. What was once enjoyable afternoons turned into the sound of silence.

The musicians were not loud. People walking or shopping down Lincoln Avenue would stop, listen, dance, enjoying the music. The musicians bothered no one except one nosy busybody.

The City of Chicago Noise Ordinance allows reasonable noise- including loud construction noise- from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM. The musicians usually performed in the afternoon. Construction noise is louder and more bothersome, yet the police are not called about the jackhammers, saws, drills, or other loud construction noise. They are called to waste their time on musicians.

What would happen if groups of “licensed” musicians banded together to put on an impromptu concert with amplified music? What if they refused to leave when the police showed up? Would they be arrested? Would the audience be arrested if they interfered? I could see the bad publicity on that.

Unfortunately, no civil rights organization in Chicago fights for freedom of expression. The ACLU is useless. They are media prostitutes only fighting publicity stunt cases that get their painted faces and oily mouths in front of the cameras.

Musicians should not be forced by a dictatorship in City Hall to be licensed or forced to buy permits if they are not on the public way. If the noise levels are not overbearing, they should be able to perform amplified music in public.

The problem in this city is a fringe minority of nosy busybodies is dictating to us. The fascists in City Hall, the mayor, and alderpersons, stomp on the right to free expression to appease busybody nose miners.

You know, maybe we should bring back the Bug House Square Debates/Speeches and use Giddings Plaza. Anyone with a voice or a microphone can get on the stage to express themselves on any topic. Since there are battery-powered megaphones and mics with battery pack speakers, no electricity is needed. No permits or licenses are needed to speak.

In this age of vocal politics, public speaking and expression may be just the thing we need to get things off our chests. Like the original speeches, the audience can hoot and holler. They cannot stop the speaker. This would be the exact robust exchange of ideas we are entitled to and need. The speeches can go on from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM. That would drive the busy body nuts.

It is a sure bet there is nothing the alderman or police can do except to professionally and politely tell the nosy busy body to mind his own God damn business. Then, maybe the music can return. We can return to normal.

In the Age of Trials and Tribulations

Image: PV Bella

When I was young, I hated listening to older people, especially older cops I worked with. They always discussed their various ailments, medications, aches, pains, and pains in the ass. I always swore I would never be one of them.

Guess what? I got old and became them.

Whenever I get together with or talk to friends or relatives, we discuss our ailments, aches and pains, medications, and pains in the ass. The old injuries came back to haunt us in our increasing decrepitude. Some are only living or ambulatory through the wonders of chemistry and medical engineering.

Think about this. Doctors are now like auto mechanics, replacing worn-out parts, charging a left lung, grandchild, and forcing a second mortgage on the house. Shit, you’d think they were changing the oil on a Rolls.

Most of us are an argument, stressful moment, or flight of stairs away from the widow-making heart-a-stroke.  Some of us are a drunken fall away from a broken hip or other bone injuries. We try to take life easy versus taking risks. We only have two speeds, slow and stop.

I hate going to wakes, weddings, or reunions. I and others do not recognize each other. We got fat, skinny, bald, gray, stooped, wrinkled, and other age-related afflictions. Women approach asking if their walker makes their ass look fat.

Men with bad fake hair constantly pet their heads as if they were dogs. Hell, someone should give them a belly rub, but they probably would not be able to get up off the floor.

Some of these people do not accept the fact they are old. Did you ever see people with walkers do the Hokey Pokey or Macarena? It is something else to watch men and women dance with the urns of their loved ones. The only problem is they or you cannot figure out if they are dancing with their late spouses or pets.

I really hate the remember when questions. Hell, most of us can’t remember what we had for breakfast, let alone what happened thirty or forty years ago. Some ask specifically because they have no memory.

The guys are the worst. They compare notes on the effectiveness of their erectile dysfunction drugs. Sometimes the women do too. Well, they do not compare. They complain.

Sometimes there are reunions at restaurants with great food. Many of us can no longer eat the food they serve, or we must medicate ourselves to counteract sodium, cholesterol, or other stuff we should not eat.

There are the pill counters. They look at their watches, pull out containers, and started counting the various pharmaceuticals they must take to keep them alive, awake, and thinking. I swear, some of these guys, and they are always guys, take every pill the pharmaceutical companies produce.

Some wear various appliances and devices. They look like androids. Elbows, knees, feet, or hands with weird-looking framed devices or boots. Some have devices and slings from recent surgeries. They limp and gimp all over the place. It is hilarious to watch them try to dance like they were young, flailing their armored arms and legs without killing each other.

Some pull out their phones, scrolling all the pictures of the grandkids. Others who constantly complained about their spouses to the point of wanting divorces are now oh so happily married and lovey-dovey. Yet years ago, they were screwing everyone else’s spouses.

I do not believe that any of us thought living to a ripe old age would be such a major pain in the ass and fodder for comedy.  I would rather stay away from events and sulk in my own pathetic misery. I do not need to witness the misery and foolishness of others.

Send in the Clowns

Image: PV Bella

“Nothing gets done when we’re just telling each other how wrong we are,” Enzi said in his farewell address to the Senate in 2020. “Just ask yourself: Has anyone ever really changed your opinion by getting in your face and yelling at you or saying to you how wrong you are? Usually that doesn’t change hearts or minds.” (Late US Senator, Mike Enzi)

Politics is no longer about accomplishment. Politics is proving who is right or wrong. Politicians prostitute themselves to the panderers of the news media pushing their agendas versus what is needed. They are right, everyone else is wrong. The word compromise is profane, vulgar, and obscene. Working together for the common good is seen as treason to a cause. 

Over the past few years, the Chicago City Council turned into an ideological battleground with caucuses whose members are idiots adhering to ideology. There is a Black Caucus, Hispanic Caucus, Progressive Caucus, Democratic Socialists of America Caucus, and probably a few more. They have an imaginary warrior mentality, fighting windmills like Don Quixote. For some in these caucuses, fighting is more important than getting things done. 

Each caucus has its own agenda. When alderpersons join a caucus, they pledge fealty to the cause. Being down with the cause is more important than doing their jobs. Every day they drink the Kool-Aid to forget who they represent.

Some alderpersons recognize their responsibilities and work hard for all the people. They listen to their constituents and promote and vote on ordinances that may go against their caucus agenda. They get censured by their caucus, but the censure is meaningless. They were sent to do a job and they do it.

Unfortunately, to many in the caucuses jump on causes just to be popular. They do not care about the cause, effect, or the cost. Being popular like OnlyFans performers is all that matters. They suck in the public and political contributions. 

Alderpersons are not only responsible for their wards. They must try to resolve citywide issues. There are constituencies throughout the city who rely on City Hall to take care of their issues. They range from commerce and industry, the financial sector, big corporations, other businesses of all sizes, real estate developers, and other people and entities who rely on City Hall to handle their needs.

We, the citizens in this city, shake our heads, wondering what the hell some of these people are doing. We pay these people six figure salaries for what is defined as a part time job. The least they can do is leave their protest mentality at home and work for all the people in their wards and the other constituencies in the city. If they do not like something, don’t vote on it. But spare us from rhetorical extremist populist horse manure.

They should spend more time working and less time being media whores. Maybe they forgot who pays their salaries and funds their lavish benefits and perks. They should be reminded.

In a perfect world, caucuses would be banned. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. Political caucuses are a major flaw in city governance. The City Council is no longer accountable to the people. In a caucus members must think alike, so no one is thinking.

Circus is a better word instead of caucus. The caucus aldercreatures are entertaining and like circus animal acts they leave manure in their wake.

Why Lollapalozza

Image: Unknown*

What is so important about Lollapalooza? Why did the city of Chicago allow the yearly drunk and dope fueled superfest to go on this year? Who would be harmed if the city cancelled until next year?

COVID cases are rising. The Delta variant is more dangerous due to its ability spread faster and infect vaccinated people. 50% in this nation of ignorant pecker heads are not vaccinated and refuse to get vaccinated. Too many will travel here for that festival of stupidity.

It is great that Chicago is wide open. We do not have to wear masks or social distance except under certain circumstances. So far, the increasing spread is confined to specific neighborhoods, and it is still a small number compared to other areas of the state and nation.

This is no time to celebrate. So, what does our mayor and City Hall do? Allow Lollapalooza to happen. The music fest draws people from all over the country, including the huge numbers of dim-witted bark chewers who refuse to get vaccinated. Talk about a potential perfect super spreader event.

Who benefits from Lollapalooza? Not the people of Chicago. Lolla, as it is called, is a money maker for the people who put it on and the musicians. The fest packs people in like sardines increasing the chances of mass infection.

Chicago does not need this concert this year. It would have hurt no one by calling it off. I no longer believe city cares about the health and safety of its citizens. They are star struck by the famous musicians who will visit. What other reason is there for allowing this four-day concert during the winding down of a pandemic? Did some of the aldercreatures and high level bureaucritters get free Platinum passes?

The set up for the weekend is underway. Lollapalooza will go on. In two weeks, if attendees come down with COVID are the mayor, aldercreatures, and Chicago Park District going to apologize? Are they going to tearfully ask for our forgiveness? Are they going to lock us down again? Or will they be counting the city’s share of the take and how to waste it?

Then, there is the spate of murder and mayhem this year, which is sure to spill over to Lollapalooza. No matter their so-called security procedures, no one is safe in Chicago, including at that music festival. 

Allowing Lollapalooza is irresponsible. From the high-ticket prices, there is no way they will turn people away for violating whatever precautions are put in place. Young drunk and high people are irresponsible. Those that are clean and sober are also irresponsible once the music and other activities start. There is no way to enforce any health and safety standards.

If the city refused to allow Lollapalooza, no one would suffer. There would be no trauma. People get over disappointment and initial anger over not seeing popular acts. There would be no outrage, except from people from someplace else who yearned to come here and act like idiots. Who cares about them? They do not live here and will not have to pick up the pieces. 

Sometimes I think City Hall is a telethon of insanity.

*I saw the image on Facebook. If I find the creator, I will credit them or per their request delete the image.

Get the Faucing Shot

Image” PV Bella

When I went through basic training, we spent about a half-day standing in line getting multiple vaccinations. I think we were vaccinated for everything except STDs, for which there were no vaccinations.

When my daughter started school, we had to provide her vaccination records and get her vaccinated for what the school required. No documents or vaccinations- no entry to school.

Every year, before flu season, the Chicago Police Department or some bosses encouraged us to get flu shots.

You cannot travel to certain countries unless you are vaccinated against various diseases and prove it.

Vaccinations have severely mitigated disease for over a century. Aside from STDs, one other outbreak that vaccination cannot prevent or mitigate is the pandemic of stupidity. Suppose they ever invent a safe vaccine for stupidity. In that case, all elected officials should be mandated to receive it by force if necessary.

Public safety is one of the most important duties and responsibilities public officials have. It is unbelievable how many politicians advocate people choose whether to get vaccinated because of individual liberty or some such bullshit.

“It is our patriotic duty to care for other people, but it is also our patriotic duty to understand that we have individual rights in this country.” (Rep. Greg Murphy (R-N.C./Politico) Um, Congresscritter, you cannot care for other people by advocating stupidity.

Social media is so rife with misinformation and disinformation the companies cannot keep up with it. Unfortunately, too many people in this nation of drooling dolts believe the conspiracy theories.

If you do not want to get vaccinated, you have every right to get sick, suffer horribly, and die. If you are not vaccinated and are refused entry to events, airlines, or cruise ships, you have no rights, contrary to what politicians and their legislation state.

Please stop listening to the moronic politicians, anti-vax groups, celebrities, or other so-called influencers. Talk to your doctor and get the Faucing shot. Why would you believe a stumbling, bumbling ignorant politician or the armies of stultus populus over your physician? Getting vaccinated is not a political choice or position. It is common sense prevention.

Save yourself and others. Politicians abdicated their responsibilities by primping and pandering to the pimps in the news business. They get facetime, and their egos massaged. The news media gets clicks- which is all they want.

COVID cases are on the rise again, especially the faster spreading and deadlier Delta variant. If the trend keeps up, we will be back to square one- shut down.

We are responsible for ourselves and each other. Getting vaccinated and proving it is not some form of ism or dictatorship. It is simple safety advice.

Get the Faucing shot.

There is No Safe

Image: PV Bella

There is no safe place in Chicago.

Mass shootings are the new normal in Chicago. 1967 was named the Summer of Love. 2021 is the Summer of Murder and Mayhem.

The only safe place in Chicago is the tomb, six feet underground. You can only die once.

Yesterday, there were three mass shootings in Chicago over six hours, including a party bus in Old Town. Violence is out of control. Our dear leaders are dithering over signage ordinances, naming streets, the upcoming disaster of Lollapalooza, and other inconsequential matters.

Tex Brown, the Superintendent of Police, is either out to lunch or dreaming of riding his horse across the prairie. The Chicago Police Department is overworked, over-tasked, over-stressed, and bone tired.

Tex created a recipe for disaster. Cowboys do not belong in a real city. Neither do other mercenary former police leaders. These so-called leaders are one of the reasons mercenaries have such a bad reputation.

It is beyond time for Mayor Lori Lightfoot to admit she made a mistake. Fire Tex, pay off his contract, and let him ride off into the sunset. Ship his cowboy ass back to Texas.

Crime is out of control. People are suffering and dying. Families are grieving and mourning. Day after day after day… There is no end in sight. Every day the headlines lead with bleeding. Every day people- plural- are murdered or shot in this city. They range in age from infants to the elderly. Every neighborhood is affected by this spate of violence.

Nothing is being done. If you, the public, believe the lies coming from Tex Brown and the mayor’s office, then you deserve the murderous leadership you chose. City Hall and Tex Brown are heartless and merciless. They do not mourn the deaths. They show no compassion for the families.

The bodies are piling up faster than a combat zone. The city is in a state of siege and havoc. Violent criminals are holding Chicago hostage. The police are handcuffed. Tex is a legend in his own mind.

There is no shame in admitting failure. It is time for the mayor to admit Tex was the wrong person for the job. It is time to pick a police leadership team that knows the streets and neighborhoods. It is time to focus on ending the Summer of Violence. It is past time to stop blaming gangs, drugs, guns, or the illegal gun trade, politics, and all the other finger-pointing, and start doing something.

It is time for supposed prosecutor Kim Foxx to step up and charge more felonies or quit and go live in her safe leafy suburb. It is time for judges to step in, issue high bonds, stop plea bargaining felonies, end probation, and start sending violent criminals to prison.

Chicago needs change. It is time for the aldercritters and the mayor to step up and create it. It is time for Tex Brown to go. The alternative is not acceptable. In this city of scoundrels and cowards, we are all potential victims. Victims of incompetence.

Branson, Bezos, and a Sense of Wonder

“Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood, and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and our grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty.” (Attributed to architect, Daniel Burnham)

“Science fiction can be defined as that branch of literature which deals with the reaction of human beings to changes science and technology.” (Isaac Asimov)

Science fiction is described as the literature of ideas providing a sense of wonder. Space exploration was just one of SF’s sub-genres. SF speculated about possible future events based on actual past and present knowledge and the significance of the scientific method. SF’s popularity during the 20th Century owes in part to the respect of science and rapid advances in technology, innovation, and inventions. SF was a predictor of technological progress.

Space exploration was not only an idea in fiction. People dreamed of going into space, to the moon or mars for much of the 20th Century. The Russians kicked off the space race by putting a person in orbit around the earth. The United States soon followed, then dominated. We put humans in space and astronauts on the moon. We sent rovers to Mars. Now, the Chinese are our main competition.

Before we put humans into space, we were putting satellites into space. There are so many there may be a need for space traffic control soon.

The movie 2001 Space Odyssey was a precursor to the space station and the International Space Station. Life imitated art.

This interest in space was not only by governments. People dreamed of space travel for decades. Men with imagination and/or money dreamed of private space travel or space tourism.

This month two men made private space travel a reality. A third will soon join them. On July 11th, Richard Branson went to space with a crew. The flight was short but historic. On July 20th, Jeff Bezos went into space with the youngest and oldest people to go into the ether.

Elon Musk is planning a space flight sometime this year.

What do all three of these people have in common besides hundreds of billions of dollars each? They are men of imagination, vision, and big, bold ideas. They also have big egos, which drives them to innovate. Hell, one would think they came from Chicago.

Their trips and plans stirred controversy from the say no crowd. There was a petition to refuse Bezos re-entry to earth signed by the ignorant and gullible who sign petitions just because. Politicians, comedians, and wanna-be comedians in the news media heaped jokes and derision on the two men.

Others castigated Bezos, Branson, and Musk for spending so much of their money on space when that money could solve some social issues here on earth. These are people with small minds and smaller ideas.

Bezos is the punching bag of the mobs of ignorance due to Amazon, the business behemoth he created. From the ignominious halls of Congress to the unwashed keyboard warrior wad, Bezos is equated with evil and a relative of Satan. Branson comes into his share of criticism as well as Musk.

These three men are doing what only governments do, going into space. They have bigger dreams for space than mere short larks. Space transport, space stations, even space communities. They are futurists. The critics are Luddites.

By the way, hours after Bezos landed, he contributed 100 million dollars each to Van Jones and Jose Andres for their charities. He was roundly criticized for that.

The naysayers donate nickels and dimes to various spurious causes or, worse, to politicians. They believe they know where their money goes. They are naive. What do they do to make life better? The politicians are all talk and no action. The keyboard warriors are clueless. The professional comedians are the only worthwhile people- they make us laugh.

Branson, Bezos, and Musk are disruptors. Their businesses disrupted traditional models and the tech world. Now, they are disrupting the STEM world, space. All the great innovators were disruptors. Edison, Ford, Carnegie, Gates, Ellison, Jobs, Ma, and the list goes on.

We used to celebrate achievement in this country. Now, we criticize, mock, and rant against it. The same people who believe in science with religious fervor are raging against it because billionaires achieved something.

We are entering a new age of big dreams, big ideas, and innovation. Those take big imaginations, significant risks, and big money. If people can create and accomplish things, sharing them with the world, where is the harm?

Bezos, Branson, and Musk are putting their money where their imagination is. The politicians, comedic news pundits, and keyboard social media warriors contribute nothing but poisonous gas.

That’s My Father

Image: PV Bella

The Chicago Police Chaplain celebrates a Father’s Day mass at the Gold Star Family Memorial and Park every year. The memorial is situated on the lakefront between Soldier Field and Burnham Harbor.

Several years ago, when my daughter was young, we attended. One of the officers took a lot of pictures. At the next regular mass, she brought them for people to take. There was a photo of my daughter and me with two bosses, the Chief of Patrol and a commander.

After lunch, I met up with her mother to hand my daughter off. I worked midnights and needed to sleep. She took the girl to her office. She had a meeting with a real estate broker.

That evening, she called me. The broker was a Chicago police sergeant who had an administrative job in one of the police divisions. She described him as a hot dog. He wore police-related jewelry, and his business cards had an image of a sergeant’s star. He made sure his gun was visible while wearing civilian clothes. He usually double-parked his city car in front of the office instead of the lot.

Sergeant F. came to her office to get some papers signed. My wife was on the phone. My daughter was doing homework at a table. While he was waiting, he saw the photo on her table. He asked my daughter if she knew the men she was standing with.

My daughter never looked up, pointed her finger, and, in a bored voice, said, “That’s Mr. M., and that’s Mr. O’D.” The client asked her who the mean-looking guy is. “That’s my father.” She kept doing her homework, not acknowledging the sergeant.

Sergeant F. was described as antsy and impatient. While my wife was on the phone, he walked around the office.

There was a shelf for my daughter’s school stuff and other things. On top were some pictures and other memorabilia. One was a photo of the Chief of Patrol inspecting the troops with his dog, a bull terrier. The other was a thank you card from the Superintendent of Police.

This sergeant was described as getting nervous. Until that day, he did not know my wife was married to a cop. He was pacing the office while the phone call went on. When the call was over, he shoved the papers at my wife. When she signed them, he flew out of the office like someone put a rocket in his pants.

My wife asked the girl why she was so rude to the man. My daughter told her, “Ma, he asked me if I knew those men in the picture. I might be ten, but I would not be standing with strangers. He did not know who Mister M. is. He is a big boss. Everybody knows Mr. M. Then he said my dad looked mean. My father is not mean.”

We had a good laugh over the whole thing. The sergeant and my wife had a few more encounters until the deal closed. Every time he was nervous around her.