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Time goes by

Seventeen years ago today I retired from the Chicago Police Department and joined the KMA club after almost 30 years of service. I left the best job in the world. Every day was an adventure, education, and sometimes humor, even dark humor. I was lucky. I was not killed, seriously injured, fired (Came Close), or indicted (Came close).

I worked with and for great people. We took care of and cared for each other. There was camaraderie and esprit de corps. We did the things no one else wanted to do or could do. Some say we did God’s work. That is a lie. We did the work God did not want to do. Were we necessary? You are damn right.

The worst thing you could do was tell a citizen there was nothing you could help them. We were masters of applied psychology, quick thinking, and making people believe we solved their problems. Sometimes it was as easy as giving them the right phone number to call. Other times we relied on our wits.

Occasionally I reminisce and cannot believe some of the hair-raising things I/we did and survived. There were laughs and sorrows. Dealing with the public daily is one of the most difficult things imaginable. It is worse when people are mad at you for the problems they caused and expect you to solve them.

I worked in some of the poorest and wealthiest areas of the city. No matter what their station in life, people have the same problems. They are crime victims, fight with their spouses, and violate various laws. In effect, they are all the same. Working with many types of people, I learned how to converse with anyone. You cannot be shy and be a police officer. The gift of gab is one of the most important tools you have.

Being a Chicago police officer is an all-access pass to all the things you never wanted to see, feel, or experience. I saw and witnessed some horrible things that humans do to one another. Every time you think you saw the worst, human nature says hold my beer. Some of the worst things are either evil or recklessness. The horror inflicted on the most vulnerable among us is the worst..

I am still in contact with some of the people I worked with through social media or run-ins. Sometimes we play remember when. Most times, we are just happy to see each other and talk about our families, hobbies, or activities. Some have left us. I keep track of the police department through the news and a few police officersI know.

Though the job was good to me, the day I retired was joyful. I was ready after all that time to move on. I never looked back. I do get nostalgic occasionally. It does not last long. I look forward to creating fresh memories rather than dwelling on the past.

When I retired, I realized I did not have to be anywhere on time or worry about being late. I only have two speeds now, slow and stop.

Baseball City Hall Football

Thursday was Opening Day for baseball. Opening Day should be a national holiday, right up there with the good old Fourth of Juuuuly. Baseball is still the national pastime and deserves our deepest respect. I will watch any baseball game, regardless of who is playing. I love baseball.

Welcome back to the boys of summer. I only wish it was not so expensive to attend games. The tickets plus taxes, fees, and the cost of food and drink make going to games almost prohibitive. Once again, like all loyal fans, there is hope the Cubs or White Sox will go all the way to a championship.

“…the mayor first pushed back on characterizations of his reaction to the Bring Chicago Home referendum’s loss as “defiant…

…The mayor earlier last month brushed aside a looming defeat of the proposed tax hike to fund homelessness services by blaming its “cowardly” opponents and declaring, “I’m still here, still standing. And I will be punching back…

…If my advocacy is defiant, what does that say about the systems who wish to keep people without dignity and unhoused? I call it wicked,” Johnson said Monday. “And so that’s why we are demonstrating in the first 10 months of my administration that we are committed to ending homelessness. …” (Chicago Tribune)

Mayor Brandon Johnson is a sore loser. He is still carping about losing his Bring Home Chicago tax to raise money that would supposedly end homelessness in Chicago. Johnson does not realize that we cannot tax our way out of problems. Bring Home Chicago was never about ending homelessness. It was about punishing people, especially middle class and upper middle class people who invested in their homes years ago.

The mayor and his minions never explained in detail how that money would be spent, what the plan was, or anything else. Just threw a tax out there and the problem is solved. If handling the migrant/refugee crisis, spending hundreds of millions of dollars without a new punishing tax, is any indication of his solutions, I have my own solution, Go home Brandon Johnson.

The Mcaskeys, owners of the Chicago Ken Dolls want to build a huge domed stadium on the lakefront next to Soldier Field. They are willing to put up $2 billion dollars to build an ugly eyesore on our beautiful lakefront. This should be stopped dead in its tracks. The lakefront should be free from anything that would spoil its beauty. It is hoped the Ken Dolls will be held up in lawsuits into perpetuity.

The Bears had ample opportunities over the past five decades to build a stadium. There was plenty of vacant land throughout the city and on the riverfront. They would not put up the money. Now, they want to vandalize our lakefront for their folly and miserable team.

Maybe the McCaskeys should concentrate on building a winning team instead of a statistical minded team. City Hall should put a stop to this madness and the insanity of the McCaskeys. City Hall, JUST SAY NO to the lakefront.

Shame on you Chicago

Chicago, you should be ashamed of yourself. Just over 20% id registered voters voted on Tuesday. It was the lowest Primary Election turnout in 80 years. You get the poor government you deserve. Like the municipal election that brought the inept Mayor Brandon Johnson to City Hall, you will get more inept people in county and state government.

The most people who did not vote were those between 18-24 years old. Those Gen Z pi$$ers, moaners, whiners, protesters, and all-around crybaby pains in the a$$ about everything. They demand change but refuse to take part. Voting is how you change. There is no excuse or reason not to vote except apathy and laziness. This city proved people do not care. If you did not vote, you have no right to complain about how things are run. You are not a citizen. You do not deserve to live in Chicago. You should be deported to the suburbs.

The Democratic Machine and Machine boss Toni Preckwinkle relies on non-voters to get their corrupt or incompetent candidates to win elections. It was proven in the last mayoral election, and it is proven now.

Mayor Johnson’s fake Bring Chicago Home ordinance to raise taxes on housing sales failed, as it should have. It was not a tax to raise money for the homeless crisis in Chicago. It was intended to gouge the wealthy, upper middle class, middle class, and retiree homeowners. If people bought homes or properties and the value went up over the decades to one million dollars or more, they would have to pay a higher tax to sell them. It was a way to steal money to spend on anything but the homeless.

Bring Chicago Home taxation would be used to plug whatever hole there would be in the city budget. If Johnson were serious about helping the homeless, he would have done the same thing the city did for the migrants. Find buildings to use as shelters and get the homeless off the streets. But he should not use that incompetent medical staffing company that has no experience in sheltering people and is ripping off the taxpayers for millions and millions of dollars. That company and how they got and kept the contract should be investigated for possible civil and criminal charges.

Mayor Brandon Johnson officially appointed Marlene Hopkins, the Buildings Department employee who oversaw a botched implosion of a Little Village coal plant smokestack four years ago, to be the city’s top official responsible for making sure buildings, as well as demolitions, are safe for the public. (Chicago Sun-Times)

Mayor Johnson appointed Marlene Hopkins, the person responsible for the implosion of a smokestack that caused an environmental disaster in the Little Village neighborhood. She must have super clout. She was not fired for screwing up the implosion. Now she is in charge of making sure future demolitions are safe. What a joke. Remember, the only reason Johnson was elected was 65 percent of the voters did not vote in the mayoral election.

When people talk about politics or government to me, I ask them if they voted. If the answer is no, I shut the conversation down. I walk away. Some may say that is rude or inconsiderate. I do not give a rat’s rear end about etiquette or propriety. I will not participate in any discussion with people who refuse to participate in government. There is literally no reason not to vote. If people are not voting, why did they register to vote in the first place? It makes no sense. These non-voters are less-ons- lower than morons.

Goings on

I voted yesterday. Once again, I had to hold my nose on some choices. Voting is one of the most patriotic things you can do as a citizen. If you stay home, like 65% of the voters did in the last municipal election, you get a not-ready-for-prime-time inept person like Mayor Brandon Johnson. It is your patriotic right, duty, and responsibility to vote. So, get out there and do it.

Jim Bachor, known as the “pothole Picasso,” opened his own studio at 1111 W. Lawrence Ave. in the Uptown neighborhood. Once he became known for filling Chicago potholes, he filled potholes in other cities.

“Bachor, 59, opened the space to a large crowd on March 1 and plans to use it as a gallery selling his artwork, along with t-shirts, hats, pins, coffee mugs, and even shoes that have images of his work. He is also considering doing workshops to teach aspiring mosaic artists.” (Chicago Sun-Times) Bachor is displaying his mosaic art for sale at the studio. Bachor will also teach the art form at his studio. He sells merchandise based on his mosaic creations.

The McCaskeys cannot make up their minds what they want with the Chicago Ken Dolls. First, it was Arlington Heights. Now, they are proposing building a new stadium on the Lakefront Museum Campus. They want the land that the Lucas Museum was to be on. The shocking thing is the cheapskates and chiselers found two billion dollars in private financing. The public will own the stadium. Yeah, right. What will they come up with next? Friends of the Parks are looking into opposing the project. They should. We all should. The McCaskeys would be better off partnering with the White Sox at the 78 to have a riverfront stadium. They are not the brightest bulbs.

The Chicago Ken Dolls traded Justin Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Fields put up amazing statistics while in Chicago. Unfortunately, statistics are useless. They do not win games. Chicago is where quarterbacks get ruined or come to die. The McCaskeys ruined Fields, like all the other quarterbacks over the past three or more decades. The next guy will be a victim too.

Feckless Chicago Mayor, Brandon Johnson is evicting migrants from shelters, starting Sunday. At the last minute, he decided not to evict migrants with children. How humane. Migrants will have to make their own way to the city landing zone to reapply. Johnson must be the most incompetent mayor since Big Bill Thompson. Many alderpersons are upset over this and made their opinions known.

Instead of correcting former Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s mistakes, Brandon Johnson is not only compounding them but making worse decisions. The city needs an investigation into how that medical staffing company and other vendors got those big fat multi-million contracts without having any experience dealing with refugees. There had to be money passed around and maybe more still. This is Chicago and anyone who thinks this city has an honest government is living in the Twilight Zone.

Last week Texas Fuhrer Greg Abbott inked a trade deal with Great Britain. Abbott rolled his Walmart racing wheelchair into Jolly Olde England to sign the deal with British Trade Secretary, Kemi Badenoch. I guess the Brits love Nazis and human rights violators. What next? Will Abbott go to Russia and pen a deal with Putin? What exactly does Texas have to trade with the Brits or any other nation besides equine and bovine manure? (L.A. Times)

More nonsense from an aldercritter

The bar was always low for people to run for alderpersons in Chicago. When it comes to rookie alderman and Mayor Brandon Johnson’s floor leader, the bar was the lowest of the low. This aldercritter has the intelligence of a gnat. By the way, how does a rookie alderperson become the floor leader?

Freshman Ald. William Hall (6th), Mayor Brandon Johnson’s hand-picked chair, also warmed to possibly leveling the tax playing field between the haves and have-nots by seeking legislative approval for a city income tax on salaries over $100,000 earned in Chicago or taxing stock holdings and personal liquid assets of wealthy residents.

First, people who make over $100,000 per year are no longer the “haves.” They are barely upper middle class. He will be taxing cops, firefighters, EMTs, other city workers, trade union members, many teachers, and other working-class people. Also, many people who own successful small businesses and some professionals like nurses would pay. Then there are all the suburbanites from all economic backgrounds who work in the city. Oh, and his fellow aldermen and other city hall employees and appointees would be taxed.

Worse, he brings up the usual bugaboo that billionaires like Ken Griffith do/did not pay their fair share of taxes. There is a reason for that. People cannot pay a city income tax that does not exist. His other not-so-bright idea is to tax stocks and liquid assets of wealthy residents- whatever that means. What next? Will he try to tax IRAs and 401Ks that are stock and asset-heavy? Will he tax pensioners? Who will he and his band of merry thieves want to tax/punish next?

Alderperson Hall has other dimwitted ideas. He wants to turn vacant downtown buildings into a neon sign carnival like Times Square in New York. I have been to the neon stupidity in NYC. It is cheap, tawdry, and ugly. He wants Chicago to look cheap, tawdry, and ugly to raise revenues through the Digital Advertising Tax.

Hall wants to turn part of Northerly Island, formerly Meigs Field, into a heliport for people traveling to Ohare. He also wants to use the heliport at the former Cook County Hospital for the same purpose. Maybe someone should tell the aldercritter that there is plenty of vacant land all over this city to put heliports. But he wants to destroy parks and open spaces for his stupidity.

Hall and his fellow aldercritters who believe in this nonsense should make their federal and state income taxes public so we, the citizens, can see how much money they are sheltering to avoid paying their fair share of taxes on their six-figure incomes and their other outside endeavors. The position of alderperson is a part-time job, by definition. What part-time job pays six-figure salaries with expense accounts and Rolls Royce benefits?

We have enough punitive taxes and fees in this city that people from all incomes must pay. Try going to a sports game or a concert. The fees and taxes are ridiculously high, and they affect people from all economic backgrounds. Then there are the hotel taxes and other entertainment fees and taxes.

Aldercritter Hall believes in tax parity and equity- whatever that means. Once again a less-on (Lower than a moron) Chicago politician wants to punish people through taxation, neon blight, and noisy whirly bird ports. As I wrote above, the bar is low to become an alderman. In rookie alderman Hall’s case, the bar is the lowest of the low.

Chicago kvetching

I was safe from the Facebook shutdown the other day. When I realized the glitch, I did what I normally do when there are internet bugaboos. I yawned, stretched, and scratched. When Facebook returned online, one would have thought there was an apocalypse. People were pissing and moaning about the outage. Geez, don’t these people have a life off social media?

God forbid X went down. The whole country, including the lazy news media, would be paralyzed. Politicians and celebrities’ heads would explode- no great loss to humankind. Influencers would lament their loss of influence. Geez people, there is a life beyond social media. Get one.

Staff at the migrant shelters are limiting hygiene products for their charges. Migrants must reuse dirty diapers and women are limited to one pad a day while on their periods. Worse, the staff retaliates against them if they accept donations of hygiene products. They also must ask for toilet paper before using the restroom. This treatment is inhumane.

Once again, the staffing company is failing and showing total incompetence in caring for people. They should have been fired last year. Mayor Brandon Johnson inherited Favorite Healthcare Staffing and he refuses to fire them for their failure. They are costing the city 1.5 million dollars a day for incompetence. And inhumanity Like former mayor, Lori Lightfoot, Johnson believes failure is success. It is past time to put people in charge who have experience in these situations instead of bloodsuckers.

I am voting no on the Bring Home Chicago robbery tax. The money from this tax is supposed to go for assistance to the homeless. This is Chicago. Money earmarked for something is usually used to plug some other budget hole. I do not trust the municipal government in Chicago. Also, it is not what it seems. It is not a tax to help people. It is a tax to punish homeowners and building owners. Progressives have been pushing for this punishment for years and they finally got what they wanted. Taxation is not supposed to punish people.

It will take years before the tax yields enough funding to help the homeless population. City Hall is fooling people again. What else is new? There will not be any assistance for a long time. They could have helped the homeless before the migrant crisis. The city could have set up shelters in unused buildings and staffed them with professionals, unlike the dolts who are running the migrant shelters.

The McCaskey Ken Dolls are pushing for a new stadium on the lakefront. It is estimated that the new stadium will cost about two billion dollars. The NFL could kick in four hundred million dollars if the team can finance the rest. In true McCaskey fashion, those cheapskates and chiselers want public funding to pay the bulk of the cost. They should concentrate on putting a winning team on the field instead of soaking the taxpayers. If they want a stadium, they should pay for it. The city and state should only pay for necessary infrastructure improvements.

Baseball is back

I was in my happy place, watching baseball. I am happy that baseball returned. The Cubs were playing the Padres. I was sipping beer. The saloon was almost empty. There were only three other patrons. No one screamed at the television. No one played the jukebox, cutting off the game sound. It was a pleasant, sunny afternoon to watch my favorite sport. Unfortunately, both the Cubs and White Sox lost.

I am not a fanatic. I do not care about game or player stats. I only care whether the Cubs or Sox win. If the teams do good in the pre-season, I may splurge for tickets on season games. It is a tough proposition since they are so expensive. A day at the ballpark with drinks and food can break the bank. But there is nothing, I mean nothing, like watching a ballgame in the park.

When I was a lad, a neighbor had season White Sox tickets. He would take his kids and their friends to games at Comiskey Park. These were the first of many games I went to. I was an Andy Frain usher in the late 1960s. I worked at many Cubs and Sox games. Sometimes on the same day, the Cub’s day game and the Sox night game. Once the games started, we could watch them.

In college, we ditched classes on opening day and sat in the Wrigley bleachers. It was great. There were many unusual characters in those bleachers. So many that a play, “Bleacher Bums,” was written and a smash hit. There was betting on every aspect of the game. Cash floated throughout the bleachers along with cigar smoke.

Songwriter and singer Steve Goodman loved the Cubs. He wrote two songs about them, “Go Cubs Go” and “A Dying Cubs Fan Last Request.”

My daughter has been an avid Cubs fan since she was young. One year when she was nine years old, her mother and I gave her a Christmas gift of going to spring training. A friend lived in Arizona and set the whole thing up. It was the first time she would fly alone.

A few weeks before her departure, her mother asked me what to tell her to say if some freak talked to her on the plane and made her uncomfortable. I told her to tell my daughter to say her father is a hitman for the Chicago Outfit. If he did not leave her alone, her father would kill everything he loves. His mother, father, wife, children, dogs, cats, birds, fish, horses, goats, everything. Then he would kill him. It would take him three days to be killed.

Her mother did not think a daughter should think if her father like that. I agreed. I told her to forget the animals. A daughter should not think her father would kill innocent animals. About a week later, they came up with a solution. I was still a police officer. She would tell the freak, “My father is old, crazy, and carries guns. All his friends are old, crazy, and carry guns. Would you like to meet them?” Fortunately, the flights to and from were uneventful. My friends and I did not have to meet anyone.

Baseball is back. Time to rejoice.


Early voting for the primary election starts in all fifty wards on March 4th. Get out there and vote. We do not need another embarrassing election where only 35% +/- of registered voters turn out. Chicago needs to up its game. Voting is the most patriotic thing you can do. Our city, state, and country are facing multiple problems and crises. The politicians need to know we care and demand better. The only way to do that is at the ballot box.

If it was up to me, I would throw all the career bums out and put fresh people in office. However, that does not work in this county and state. Once elected, they are almost impossible to get rid of. Most are overpaid liars and grifters.

There is no such thing as an honest politician. All politicians are liars. Not all liars are politicians. Politicians give liars a bad reputation.

“After the combative Lori Lightfoot, Johnson seemed like a candidate for Mr. Congeniality. But Johnson’s communication missteps appear to have exhausted the bank of goodwill with the reporters who cover him — and, in turn, has kept the public in the dark about what his administration is doing.” (Chicago Sun-Times)

It appears that the kissy-faced Chicago news media honeymoon with Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson is over. According to the Times, the “City Hall press corps has turned hostile, openly frustrated with a mayor who is seldom accessible and evasive when he does take questions.” It is about time. Johnson was just as evasive on the campaign trail. But the gullible so-called journalists ignored it. Some even referred to him as a great politician.

They gave Johnson the benefit of the doubt for way too long. Johnson is proving every day he is not fit to hold the office of mayor of Chicago. There are also discussions that Tony Preckwinkle is disappointed in her protégé. Governor J.B. Pritzker is said to not be too happy with him either.

Johnson came into office with what many claimed were good or popular ideas to reform municipal governance. Unfortunately, good or popular ideas do not always translate into good public policy. His mishandling of the migrant crisis is one example. Johnson is not hiring the best and the brightest on his leadership team. People in the neighborhoods are angrily disappointed. Their voices are not being heard. Even some alderpersons are tired of his way of doing things. I know people who not only voted for him but championed and contributed to his campaign. They are sorely disappointed and angry.

Every time Johnson faces the cameras, he looks like a deer in the headlights. He never answers a question. He dances around the issue. When that does not work, he reminds us who and what he and his family are, as if that matters. As a county commissioner, Johnson spent little to no time with the media. He was not prepared to answer their pointed questions, especially over critical issues.

Johnson is not only in hot water with the media. His ratings are in the 28% range, near the toilet. Citizens are fed up, alderpersons are not happy, and the City that Works is not working. If this goes on much longer, Johnson may be another one-term mayor.

Death of a Snowman

“I don’t say he’s a great snowman. Willy Snowman never made a lot of money. His name was never in the paper. He’s not the finest character that ever lived. But he’s a snowman, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid. He’s not to be allowed to fall into his grave like an old dog. Attention, attention must be finally paid to such a snowman.”

Cold cold city

The brutality of winter finally struck. Temps are going down and windchill will be sub-zero through the weekend and into next week. We lucked out with the blizzard, getting only a couple of inches of slush Friday and a dusting of snow Saturday. Today is brutal, with below zero temps and double-digit below zero windchills. I have my warm, clean, well-lighted place to work from.

However, when the name of Bulls general manager Jerry Krause — who built the Bulls 90s dynasty but some fans blame for breaking it up — he was booed in front of his widow, Thelma. She was in tears. (NBC Sports)

What was supposed to be a memorable night at the United Center turned into a disgrace. The Chicago Bulls hosted a Ring of Honor to be awarded to several players and others on Friday. When the late former general manager, Jerry Krause’s widow, Thelma, stood to receive his award, the crowd booed, causing her to break out in tears.

These people had to be middle-aged or older if they booed. Younger people do not even know who Jerry Krause was. This is one of the lowest-class acts witnessed in Chicago by the lowlifes who inhabit this city of scoundrels. These people are scumbags. It is too bad they could not be tossed out of the stadium and barred from the Bulls games forever and a day. That is the least that should happen, though I can think of some rather excruciating painful things to do to them.

Besides being a city of scoundrels, Chicago is a city of cowards- our elected officials. Chicago is experiencing a migrant crisis caused by Texas Governor Greg Abbott. The migrants are being sheltered in substandard buildings and being served garbage food by the over-priced politically connected vendors the city hired. The Chicago Way is alive and well.

The White House, human rights groups, and others stated that Abbott’s stunts are illegal, human rights violations, and even crimes against humanity. Yet, for some yellow-bellied reason, Abbott is immune from investigation or being held accountable for his actions.

Mayor Brandon Johnson has consistently ignored this and refuses to go to federal court to stop or curtail Abbott’s actions. The Biden administration is just as bad. The Department of Justice should investigate, yet they do nothing.

Worse, charities like Catholic Charities/Texas are aiding and abetting Abbott in his filtration scheme. They are putting people on the buses out of Texas. It is time for donors, especially major donors, to reassess their giving donations to Catholic Charities. There are other more worthwhile charities that do not take part in inhumane racist actions.

Then there is this- Three migrants, a woman and two children, drowned Saturday in the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass, Texas – very recently the epicenter of the migrant crisis – just days after state authorities blocked the US Border Patrol from accessing miles of the US-Mexico border, authorities said.

Make no mistake, Greg Abbott is a hardcore racist and the closest thing to Hitler we have holding public office in America. Abbott advocated shooting migrants if could not be charged with murder by the Biden administration. It is past time for Mayor Brandon Johnson to grow a pair, muscle up some testicular fortitude, and go into federal court to stop or curtail the Texas fuhrer in his tracks. Maybe even forcing Texas to reimburse the city for the hundreds of million of dollars spent on the migrants.

I do not see that happening. Brandon Johnson joins a long line of cowardly Chicago politicians. Either that or he is too stupid to be the mayor of Chicago.