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Peter V. Bella Posts

Bubbaland Never Disappoints

CDC artist’s conception of COVID-19

“The US Food & Drug Administration tweeted on Saturday: “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.” (CNN)

You have to love those precious quaint folks living in Bubbaland. Man, they find cures for every little dang thing. Sometimes, they root for herbs and medicinal plants like wild pigs. There is also moonshine, a cure-all for just about anything that ails you, even hangovers. They come up with concoctions, salves, poultices, and tonics for all types of human and animal ailments.

When all else fails, they turn to the preachers from those good ole home time religions, like the First Assembly Crystal Methodist Church. The preachers can sicken the healthy, make the ambulatory lame, the blind hear, the deaf see, and empty bank accounts faster than a slot machine at a casino. 

Due to their knowledge of animal husbandry, Bubbalanders also find veterinary pharmaceutical cures for human ailments. “Hell, if it’s good enuf fer Ole Bessie or Ole Plowboy, it must be good enuf fer us.”

In the realm of you can’t make this stuff up, those good ole flag-waving, God-fearing country folk in Mississippi, found a cure and preventative medicine for COVID-19, Ivermectin. Ivermectin is used to treat parasites in humans and livestock. The country folk scientists determined the Ivermectin dosage for livestock can cure or prevent COVID, kinda sorta better than that gummint approved vaccination. Ivermectin for livestock has a highly concentrated dosage which can cause minor to severe side effects in humans.

Human toxicity from such a high dosage includes nausea and vomiting, rash, abdominal pain, various other disorders, and hepatitis. Those vaccinations have side effects too, and micro-chips, along with turning your body into a magnet. Ivermectin does none of that.

The Mississippi Board of Health warns Bubbas and bubbettes against using Ivermectin for livestock to treat or prevent COVID-19. The FDA has not approved Ivermectin in either form for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19. Do they know more than those country folk practitioners?

If the FDA is against using the drug, it must work. They are part of the foul swamp of gummint, in cheap motel beds with Big Pharma. Only drugs developed by Big Pharma are approved for prevention and cures. Ole homey type concoctions or approved veterinary pharmaceuticals must be harmful. Who trusts the gummint anyway? Why not give it a try, since most in Bubbaland are anti-mask and anti-vaccination? 

This is the same kind of “thinking” infecting many politicians representing or governing Bubbaland. Freedumb loving politicians like Ron DeSantis, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Josh Hawley, Matt Gaetz, Rand Paul, Lauren Boebert, Greg Abbot, to name a few. By Monday, one or more may demand investigative hearings to find out why the FDA and CDC refuse to approve livestock Ivermectin for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19. If folks believe it works, it must work. You know, science and all that. Case closed.

It is sad when the FDA has to remind humans, they are not farm animals and do it with Southern charm, so they comprehend it. Maybe these quaint people and their politicians should watch the most educational video ever made in ‘Merica. They might learn an essential intellectual lesson.

Disclaimer: I know it is not woke to make fun of or stereotype our Southern and Southwestern country folk. But, when they and their elected officials come up with asinine solutions to serious issues, they stereotype themselves. I make no apologies. 

Let Freedumb Ring

Image: PV Bella

“Freedumb: A totally nonsensical and asinine belief (of many Americans) that freedom means you can literally do anything you want, including violating other peoples’ rights. I have the freedumb to give you a disease!”  (Urban Dictionary)

One must admire those flag-waving, freedumb loving, Nazi-hating patriots who want to visit Chicago from someplace else. They want the freedumb to refuse to wear masks, get vaccinated, or provide vaccination documents when requested.  

Today is Mask Day in Chicago, again. Due to increasing daily rates of COVID in Chicago, masking is mandated again at all indoor public places. There were warnings by various government health officials and researchers that COVID was not going away soon.

The causes for the increased spread in Chicago are attributed to people refusing to get vaccinated, especially in specific zip codes where the virus is rampant. We need to stop the spread and drive down the numbers so we can return to normal. The only way to stop the spread now is to wear masks and get vaccinated.

There is still stubborn resistance to masking and vaccinations from many people in some freedumb loving suburbs. The problem is suburbanites travel to Chicago for work, shopping, and entertainment. Chicagoans travel to the suburbs for the same reasons. Those suburban malls have Sirens that enchant and lure them in. These migrations can cause further spread of COVID.

I do not understand this freedumb resistance. What will it take to convince people that prevention and vaccination is the only way we can all stay safe?

We are not only responsible for ourselves. We are responsible for each other. Wearing a mask is only an inconvenience. Mandates are not a violation of civil rights. They do not inhibit your freedumb. They are common-sense prevention.

Stop wrapping yourself in the flag- which is unpatriotic- and start wearing the damn mask. Just think of it as Halloween every day. Make it fun, though trick or treating may not be advised. Please do not get too childish and play cops and robbers.

Freedumb has a long history. Illinois freedumb fighters fought seatbelt, motorcycle helmets, and TSA mandates, along with a host of other directives, laws, or advice to keep people safe. Look how many people refuse to heed safety advice to wear helmets while riding bicycles because of freedumb.

I do understand freedom and absolute rights. You are free and have the absolute right to get sick, suffer horribly, and die. I would never inhibit anyone’s freedumb from suffering and dying. I am a good, patriotic American. However, you do not have the absolute right to spread diseases like street hookers spread STDs. You do not have the absolute right to cause others to suffer and die. 

If you want to suffer and die, be my guest. In your case, thinning the herd is herd immunity. Just do not try to take me with you. I am reverting to my STAY THE F**K AWAY FROM ME mandate to any unmasked or persons whose vaccination status is unknown. I do not care about tender, sensitive feelings or the feelings of anyone around, including the ears of nearby children.

I choose to be free. Free from disease, ignorance, and utter stupidity. You can have your freedumb to suffer and die. Just STAY THE F**K away from me. 

We Are A Family

Here I am, Lord
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night
I will go, Lord
If You lead me
I will hold Your people in my heart
(Dan Shulte)

I watched my “granddaughter” laid to rest today. Officer Ella French was not my biological granddaughter. The Chicago Police Department is a family. Their members are our brothers and sisters from other mothers. The retirees are the parents and grandparents. I am old enough to be slain Officer Ella French’s grandfather.

I watched the clergy walk to the altar and police officers solemnly fill the chapel at St. Rita Cascia High School. The ritual played out, as it tragically has in the past.

There will be more rituals in the weeks and months to come. Officer French’s star will be retired and placed in the memorial case at Chicago Police Headquarters. Her name will be enshrined on the Chicago Police Memorial Wall.

Later today and tomorrow, the family of the Chicago Police Department will return to the streets. They will do the job no one else wants to do, see things no one else wants to see, and experience things no one else wants to experience. They will do their jobs, serving and protecting the citizens of Chicago. It is a thankless job. They never ask for gratitude.

Like their brethren on the Chicago Fire Department, they will risk life and limb to protect the people of this city and each other. When they leave their homes, families will worry until they walk back in the door. This plays out 24/7/365. Families pray they never receive the phone call and doorbell ring, with somber-faced bosses and a police chaplain telling them their loved one was injured, or worse, killed, enrolling them in a club no one wants to join.

Carlos Yanez, Officer French’s partner, is lying in a hospital bed with catastrophic injuries from being shot with her on that fateful day. His road to recovery will be long and hard. He, too, will not be forgotten. We take care of our people. That is what families do.

Officer Joshua Blas, the third officer working with French and Yanez, is rarely mentioned. He also was a hero that fateful night. He will have emotional wounds. Those may heal over time. But he will never forget.

It is the familial bonds that hold police and fire personnel together. Cops, firefighters, and paramedics only have each other to rely on. We would walk through the fiery gates of hell wearing the proverbial gasoline-soaked coats to help each other.

“We never forget.” We will remember Officer Ella French. We remember the over 500 police officers whose lives were taken. We remember the over 570 firefighters and paramedics killed in the line of duty.

We grieve and mourn, but life goes on. Our police and fire families go on. There is “the job” to do. They will do it. We will be there for them, our brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, parents, and grandchildren. They are our family, if not by blood, by bonds. Those bonds hold us together and make us face realities no one else wants to face.

Chicago’s Humanitarian Crisis

Underground Wacker near the Chicago River/Image: PV Bella

The news blew up this week with the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Afghanistan. Video and photos of thousands of people rushing to the airport in hopes of getting out. People were climbing on taxiing Air Force jets, hoping against hope. Purported pictures of people falling to their deaths from planes after take-off.

Journalists consulted their assignment editor, Twitter, for the latest news or videos coming out of Afghanistan.

This is the latest media barrage of humanitarian crises from someplace else. Before this, it was the tragic earthquake in Haiti. Hurricanes, cyclones, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, wildfires that create humanitarian crises dominate the news with tragedy, death, and destruction. There is a never-ending humanitarian crisis at the Mexican border and immigrants risking their lives to get into other countries.

On and on, we are assaulted by these crises. People weep, start crowdfunding, try to find a way, any way, to help, even if it is only posting their drivel on social media- “Pray for whatever or wherever,” with images of candles, crosses, or Jesus. They forget Jesus and his Father went on vacation eons ago. They are enjoying themselves watching the lunatic asylum they created.

There is a citywide humanitarian crisis in the Chicago wasteland of blind ignorance. The homeless problem in Chicago is exponentially growing and has been for several years. There are large encampments throughout the city. One or two tents are dotting some of the smaller parks and other public spaces.

The larger encampments form their own communities. The residents make rules so they can live together in some semblance of safety and harmony. Occasionally, the city uses the police to assist Streets and Sanitation in cleaning these areas. Sometimes there are struggles as the homeless try to save what little they have before the pressure washers start their tasks.

The homeless are treated like urban blight by the politicians and citizens in this city.

Every day is a struggle. The local news media ignores them, for the most part. Their agenda is to follow the national bleeding headlines and run with them. They toss around phrases like systemic this or that, national reckoning on something or other, the root causes of God knows what, or whatever phrase they can gin up with to go viral nationwide. It is all about ratings and clickbait.

Once in a great while, they will do a story on the plight of the homeless. They will drag out their experts with no expertise to explain the situation and possible solutions. There will be photos or B-rolls of encampments. Maybe even an interview or two, edited for time and clarity.

The homeless problem is nothing new in Chicago. The enormity of the issue is. This city struggles with solutions to mitigate homelessness, as it grows, with failure after failure. The only time politicians and bureaucrats show empathy is when their mugs are in front of news cameras. They would prefer the homeless disappear, living someplace else.

Politicians love to show up at public relations stunts with hard hats and shovels, touting the latest real estate development. Some laud developers who build low-income or transit-oriented housing. None show up at homeless camps or encourage developers to create some form of accommodation, partnering with public and non-profit social service agencies.

There are many organizations and individuals trying to help, feeding, providing clothing, medical and dental care, and some social services. It is never enough. They range from major organizations like the Salvation Army and Catholic Charities to individuals who cook and distribute meals.

Winter is the worst time of year for homeless people. Chicago winters are brutal. There are not enough shelters. Most only allow overnight stays. Some city warming centers get overcrowded, especially police stations, libraries, and other facilities.

We are more concerned with crises in other places while ignoring what is before our eyes. Seeking the causes of homelessness are as elusive as seeking the causes of violent crime in Chicago. No one, even so-called experts, has answers or solutions.

We tend to blame the homeless for their situation. They are mentally ill, refusing to get help, or made bad life choices. Whatever the reasons, they are still human.

The homeless are a marginalized population. They are not public relations marginalized like other groups. There is no homeless flag to fly from government buildings proudly, no Homeless Lives Matter groups or signs, and no mass social justice protests to change their plight. Maybe someone could sell lawn signs to post all over the city, “Homelessness Has No Home Here.”

Elected officials offer no hope, some way off the streets and out of the tents, some way to transition people into a residence. We pick and choose what to care about, weep over, provide assistance, or give “aid”. It is rare for people in our city. We care more about people from some place else.

No one chooses to be homeless. We choose to ignore them.

Celebrate the Kachingos in the Summer of Violence

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration celebrated raising 1.1 million dollars through the city’s speed cameras, set at six miles per hour over the limit. Whew, we should be glad the city raised so much money with no indication the lowered limit made us safer.

Motorists are slammed with parking tickets for expired parking boxes. We should be happy people are punished for parking too long in one spot. They must be a threat to society.

No one is looking into the systemic root causes of speeding, parking violations, and municipal theft. Minor speeding and parking violations bring in kachingos to the city. There is no reckoning over the municipal robbery happening in Chicago.

Money talks bulls**t walks in this city.

Violent crime is turning the streets across the city into war zones. This administration is stumbling and bumbling along over this violent summer. Bringing in the kachingos is more important than public safety and human life. So, celebrate City Hall. You earned it. Break out the champagne and pop the corks.

People are being shot almost every two minutes and murdered nearly every 11 minutes in Chicago. Armed and strong-armed robberies are up. There were nearly 1000 carjackings this year. Violent crimes do not bring in the kachingos, so no one at City Hall cares. Even if they reduced violent crime, there would be no celebration. No dough, no party.

1967 was the Summer of Love. 2021 is the Summer of Violence. The root causes given for these crimes are lame excuses and alibis. The city and supposed experts have no idea why this year is so violent. It is unfortunate, so many people believe the “experts.”

The people committing these crimes run the gamut of formerly incarcerated people, street gang members, drug dealers, parolees, people out on probation, low bonds or electronic monitoring, young groups of men and women, teens, and pre-teens. Many are committing their first crimes, including murders.

The murder and shooting victims range from senior citizens to infants. There is no reckoning for them.

The city is solving the perilous six miles per hour over the limit speeders and is successfully raking in the money. They are cracking down on the parkers, who are a dangerous threat to others looking for a parking space. These are the systemic root causes of bringing kachingos into the city’s coffers.

City Hall cannot curb the violence plaguing Chicago. There is no money in that. In the city of Chicago, cash is king. It is more valuable than life. So, celebrate with City Hall. Celebrate with the people robbing and stealing from the citizes. Celebrate they are not killing or wounding people for the money.

We know the systemic root causes of crime in Chicago. They are municipal greed and apathy.

Party hearty Mayor Lightfoot.

Who Speaks for the Dead

Image: PV Bella

“We speak for the dead,” was a saying among homicide detectives and Forensic Services personnel on the Chicago Police Department. No one else speaks for the dead in Murder City.

The saying means they would move heaven and earth to get justice for murder victims. The mayors and alderpersons do not speak for the dead. The State’s Attorney’s Office does not speak for the dead. The courts do not speak for the dead. The local news media does not speak for the dead.

We are in the middle of August. As of yesterday, 270 victims were shot, 44 were killed. From Friday through Sunday, 47 victims were shot and 5 were killed, including two purported mass shootings. 

On Sunday a 7-year-old child was murdered, in the Belmont Central neighborhood while sitting in a parked car. Her 6-year-old sister is fighting for her life. The death toll of children, down to toddlers and infants is heartbreaking.

Every single murder victim was a son, daughter, father, mother, brother, sister, niece, nephew, cousin, or grandparent. The families of the dead mourn, grieve and suffer the loss of a loved one. No matter their past or present transgressions, no one deserves to be murdered. Too many are innocent bystanders. 

The dead and their families cry out for justice. Justice is denied. Detectives, forensic investigators, and street cops are stretched thin. They are overwhelmed. There are not enough of them to investigate, close cases, make arrests, and take them to trial.

Our elected officials sit on the sidelines offering nothing. There is no plan. There is failure after failure.

Communities live in fear of retaliation if they cooperate with the police. No one is safe. No neighborhood is safe. Good people want to help, but not at the expense of their lives or the lives of their loved ones. 

How many more people must be killed before someone says enough is enough? 

Forget about the root causes of crime, the systemic this or that, faulting parents, and other phony issues ginned up by alleged experts with no expertise or whack jobs on social media.

It is past time to change the conversation. It is past time for aldermen, especially aldermen whose wards are most affected by the violence to step up. They are as responsible as the mayor for public safety.

We need more people to speak for the dead. The Chicago Police Department needs more detectives and forensic specialists. We need a prosecutor who is willing to prosecute crimes instead of nit-picking detectives to provide more and more and more evidence.

We need the courts to stop releasing dangerous people out on low or recognizance bonds. Electronic monitoring is failing.

Chicago elected officials are losing credibility every day in this Summer of Violence. Talk is cheap. Phony raw emotions will not abate the murder and mayhem. We need people to speak for the dead, in the communities, in City Hall, in the State’s Attorney’s office, and in the courts.

Either be part of the solution or get the hell out of the way.

Chicago Retail Politics

Image: PV Bella

Today is Sunday. At 8:30 this morning, my mail carrier delivered the mail. It got me thinking about retail politics. Retail politics is the political religion in Chicago. Mayor Richard J. Daley was responsible for creating the Church of Retail Politics, hence the phrase, “Chicago is the city that works.” He and his successors spoiled the citizens. We not only expect city services, we demand them, especially when there are blips.

The worst thing a city employee can tell citizens is there is nothing they can do. They find a way to resolve the issue fast.

Citizens want, demand, and expect 24/7/365:

  • Police, fire, and EMS to show up yesterday when called
  • The streetlights on at night
  • Uninterrupted utilities
  • Public health and sanitation
  • Safe and efficient public transportation
  • Scheduled garbage pick-up
  • Clean streets
  • Good schools
  • Good and safe parks
  • Potholes fixed
  • Snow plowed in the winter
  • Flood control
  • Consumer protection
  • Safe buildings
  • Safe roads
  • Tree trimming
  • Mail delivery
  • Quick removal of debris after major storms
  • Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and glitter spewing unicorns

Alderpersons and the mayor will not survive if the basic city and other services are interrupted too long or too often. People in charge of agencies, utilities, and even the Chicago Postmaster General shudder when the phone rings, and it’s an alderperson or the mayor on the other end.

Thanks to improving communications technology, service interruptions are mitigated fast and efficiently. Toward the end of my police career, it was not unusual to see a commissioner, department head, alderperson, or other executive show up for some major issue in the wee morning hours. During major emergencies, the who’s who of politics and utility executives showed up on the scene.

I used to work out with one of former Mayor, Richard M. Daley’s bodyguards. He regularly told me if they were driving through the city and Daley saw something amiss, he got on the phone and made sure the problem was resolved ASAP, sometimes yelling and swearing.

No one cares about the political ideology of the mayor or alderpersons when it comes to services. Rightwing, leftwing, progressive, socialist, whatever. They may get elected spewing weasel words drafted by weasels. If they fail to resolve, implement, or create city services, Chicago’s retail bread, and butter, they will not get re-elected.

Some alderpersons do not get this. It is more critical for them to wax ideologically, attend protests, be in solidarity, and down with whatever cause of the day or hour is. Some of these alderpersons represent distressed wards where things are deteriorating every day. They are blind to the needs of the people in their quest to be right on their petty ideological issues versus serving the public.

The mayor is the CEO of the Chicago Retail Store. The alderpersons are the regional managers. Most do a good to fair job. Others are so far in the weeds they cannot see a two-story building. These are wards suffering from decades of economic and social neglect. Nothing changes except, sometimes, the alderperson.

Chicago is suffering from a long hot summer of rampant violent criminality. The mayor is just about the only one discussing it. We hear crickets from too many alderpersons. The mayor may be the one responsible. In Chicagoese, she wears the hat. But the alderpersons are just as responsible. They are supposed to work with the police commanders in their wards to ensure people are safe. Many would rather spout nonsense instead of common sense. Some would not be caught dead, seen with a member of the police department.

My former alderperson was AWOL for six of his eight terms in office. His successor is hands-on. He is also feet on as he walks through the ward. When he sees something, he says something. He gets on the phone to resolve the issue. I may disagree with his political views, but he is doing what the people of this ward want, ensuring city services are ongoing.

Never listen to the political horse manure alderpersons spout. Look at what they do. Weasel words are meaningless. Action is the only thing that counts. We have a responsibility to hold alderpersons’ feet under the fire. If they get complacent or talk, we need to demand, loudly, more from them. If not, no matter how “beloved” they are, we organize and raise money to vote them out. That is the Chicago Way.

USA USA USA Numba One

Image: PV Bella

We are the champions, my friends
And we’ll keep on fighting till the end
We are the champions
We are the champions
No time for losers
‘Cause we are the champions of the World
(Queen Music Limited)

“In the month of August, the US has so far reported more than 1.5 million new cases of Covid-19, more than three times the numbers for Iran and India — which now hold second and third place, JHU data shows. And the seven-day average has topped more than 135,000 cases, well ahead of other nations.” 

Yep, the good ole USA is number one. We are on top. We are beating other nations and beating them bad. Cry freedom. God, guns, apple pie, mom, sex, drugs, rock and roll, and COVID make us the top dogs in the world. WOOF, WOOF, WOOF!

We must celebrate those good ole southern patriots who gave our nation of freedom lovin, God fearin, people this distinction. The South finally rose agin, makin ‘Merica NUMBA ONE. Git them gold medals ready. Break out the bands and fireworks. There oughta be ticker-tape parades in our major cities for these selfless American heroes.

How did our nation get this honor? Freedom! We are born free, and we will die free, from COVID.

Our nation owes a debt of gratitude to Louisiana for the highest number of cases per capita, followed by Florida. In Alabama, there is a surge in teenagers and children coming down with COVID. They are suffering some of the worst symptoms. God shine his blessings on Team Bama and the COVID Tide for standing tall against dictatorship.

COVID cases are spreading fast across the south and southwest regions of the nation. These are regions where people only worship and fear God, not the false idol, so-called science.

Yep, folks, those good ole boys and gals made us proud. This is what freedom is all about. The great ‘Merican experiment of a free country is a proven success. A free people have the God givin right to suffer and die a horrible death. Freedom is ringing out across the south and southwest. Hot damn, Bubba! I git goosebumps over the pride I feel of being number one.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis should get the Congressional Medal of Freedom for helping to put our country in the number one position for his promotion of freedom. He is the voice of freedom in this nation, tilting towards dictatorship. DeSantis is the epitome of freedom-loving leaders. He took a stand, stood his ground, and is still standing tall and proud. That, people, is what ‘Merican Way is all about.

While most of the nation followed experts in infectious diseases, DeSantis and other elected officials got their information scrolling through their cell phones while sitting on the toilet or in the outhouse. This proves the great American axiom, “Some of the best and brightest ideas come while sittin and s**tin.

Who needs masks, distancing, and vaccines? As one of the great philosophical sages of Congress, Marjorie Taylor Greene, stated the other day, “We can’t live forever.” Man, that gal sure talks pretty. We all gonna die is the red, white, and blue biblical truth. Wrap her in Bubble Wrap Stars and Stripes and put her on the cover of a magazine or in a tire company pin-up calendar. Greene should be the spokeswoman for Kohler or Glacier Bay. Dang, and ain’t that Senator, Rand Paul sumptin. He should be the poster boy for Charmin.

I, for one, am embarrassed and ashamed to live under the dictatorship of Chicago, where masking was mandated and still is in some situations. I am ashamed those vaccinations are so rampant. I do not feel like a red-blooded patriot who does not want to live forever. I am ashamed to admit I submitted to wearing the dreaded mask, got vaccinated, and kept away from my fellow Americans. I feel sullied that I did not love my country enough to fight, suffer, and die for freedom.

It is embarrassing that Chicago, with its stellar medical institutions, could be so far behind the COVID curve. We should be number one. We should be the winners. But, no, we did not listen to the toilet bowl and outhouse experts. We followed the “science.”

There is something very wrong in this country when red-blooded patriots are willing to suffer and die for freedom while the rest live in dictated safety. Those southerners from Louisiana and Florida and the rest of the South and Southwest are the true frontline heroes, fighting to keep freedom alive, suffering and dying for our country. Elected officials like DeSantis and Texas Governor Greg Abbot are the toilet bowl and outhouse generals leading the charge to keep freedom alive and giving the death knell to dictatorship.

God bless America, God bless those sick and dying heroes, God bless their leaders for making America number one.

USA, USA, USA!

Mayor Lightfoot Lost the Benefit of the Doubt

Image: PV Bella

“I think our media plays a very important role in our democracy, but you lose me, you lose me when it’s a race to the bottom and it’s all about the fight and it’s all about the conflict,” she said. “I’ve got to tell you, some of the reporting I’ve seen this week is just sickening. We all need to ask ourselves what we can do better to show our people everywhere that we have the capacity to be human beings again.” (Chicago MayorLori Lightfoot)

We try to give public officials the benefit of the doubt, hoping they will do right by us. We want to trust what they say.  We try to have confidence they have the public’s best interest at heart. Even though this is Chicago, where politics, public service, and press conferences are tall tales.

For the most part, the local news media gives officials a wide berth with the benefit of the doubt. They only pile on in disbelief when things go south. Scandals turn the news media into swarming tabloid sharks looking for blood in the water. It lasts for a while, then things return to normal, the benefit of the doubt returns.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot was skating on thin ice for the benefit of the doubt department. She finally lost that benefit this week. So did Superintendent of Police David Brown and First Deputy Superintendent Eric Carter.

During a press conference on the city budget, the mayor criticized the reportage over the events that played out after the tragic murder of Officer Ella French. She needs to be right, and she will be right, no matter how wrong she is. The press must report her correct(ed) version of events versus the facts. She also told reporters to check or be careful of their sources.

The mayor claimed the press lost her. She has it backward. She lost the press. She, like mayors before her, is trying to bully the news media. It is not going to work. She lost the benefit of the doubt of some alderpersons, who she needs to get things done.

Mayor Lightfoot lost the rank and file of the Chicago Police Department, their families, and all the people they have influence over. That is tens of thousands of voters. David Brown and Eric Carter lost the credibility that they are competent or compassionate.

Crime is rampant and out of control all over Chicago. Murder, mayhem, carjackings, robberies, and other crimes are several times a day occurrences. According to HeyJackass, which interprets hard data about crime, a person is shot every 1:56. A person is murdered every 10:44. So far this year, 2774 people were shot. Firearms killed 475.

Lightfoot and Brown sailed along on the benefit of the doubt granted by citizens and the news media. They were given a wide swath of the benefit of the doubt for too long. We ate up the excuses, gangs, guns, drug dealers. The pandemic. Root causes. Systemic somethings or other. We listened or read their well-crafted words created by PR weasels. We tried hard to believe, even though things kept getting worse.

By the way, Lightfoot claimed that Eric Carter was not a member of “Friends and family.” He worked and earned his position. This was not only a lie, it was a laughable lie. No First Deputy Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department is appointed by their resume. They all had clout. They all knew or were related to one or more powerful people. They all were part of the friends and family club.

When the lies were refuted, the mayor doubled down, covering for Carter. It only got worse. Superintendent Brown got an earful at a gathering of police officers in McCormick place. He claimed he heard their complaints, understood their anger, and did what he always does, nothing. Brown is a good listener and slick talker. Those are his only two qualities.

Chicago Police Officers are overworked, twelve-hour days with days off canceled over and over again. They are discouraged, frustrated, and stressed to the maximum. There is no morale left. The esprit de corps is broken. They only have each other. They cannot rely on their executive leadership or City Hall.

These were the bitter end to benefit the doubt for the mayor, Brown, and Carter. The cops do not believe them, and too many citizens, especially family members of violent crime victims, do not believe them.

Lori Lightfoot won 49 out of 50 wards when she ran for mayor. She lost many of those wards over her conduct this past year. If she decides to run again, her chances of winning reelection are slim.

Lightfoot’s only credible bright spot was her handling of the COVID pandemic. Unlike other big-city mayors, she made the hard decisions early, shutting the city down. She worked with the governor, partnering her health experts with his. She remained calm in the face of rising cases and deaths. When she disagreed with the governor, she did not turn it into a war of words. Her mandates kept us healthy, for the most part. If she ran the rest of the city the way she managed the pandemic, she might still have the benefit of the doubt.

Mayor Lightfoot Defended the Indefensible

Rituals are important. Part of the ritual for a police officer or firefighter killed in the line of duty is to have an honor guard and bagpipers march the ambulance from the street into the receiving dock of the Office of the Cook County Medical Examiner’s facility.

The ritual is not just to honor the officer. It is for the personnel lining up to salute their fallen comrade. More important, it is for the family. I say again. The ritual is FOR THE FAMILY.

First Deputy Superintendent, Eric Carter, tried to cancel part of the ritual for fallen Officer Ella French. “We can’t wait for the bagpipers. We don’t have 20 minutes to wait for this s**t.”

Carter turned the ritual into “This s**t.”

Mayor Lori Lightfoot defended Carter. How does one defend the indefensible?

“There was no official honor guard that night. There was, let me choose my words carefully, [a] well-meaning but not well-organized group that wanted to hijack the procession. Which would have meant that the family would have been delayed exponentially in getting to the morgue,” the mayor said.” (Chicago Sun-Times)

“Given the new restrictions that the new coroner has put in place, that wouldn’t have been fair to them. … So, a call was made under those circumstances to focus on the family. Eric Carter made the right call. I support what he did. And I’m horrified that, in this moment, people are trying to savage him for whatever agenda or purpose.” (Chicago Sun-Times)

The Medical Examiner’s office refuted the mayor’s statement. By the way, there is no coroner in Cook County. The position was changed to the Office of the Medical Examiner in the mid-1970s. Details matter. Just like Superintendent Brown’s mistake in calling Officer French Ella Fitzgerald twice.

Either Eric Carter lied to the mayor, or the mayor lied to the citizens to cover up for Carter. The citizens of Chicago should be horrified that Carter is being lionized for his disrespect and dishonor to Officer Ella French and her family by the mayor.

These rituals are carefully planned in detail well in advance. The honor guard procession is part of that meticulous plan. It has been for years. Some mysterious rogue group did not hijack the plan. There was no agenda or purpose. There was only a meticulous plan. 

Eric Carter deserves to be “savaged.” Eric Carter decided things were taking too long for his taste. It had nothing to do with regards to the family or Medical Examiner protocols. That is just a fabrication to justify his dishonorable impatience.

A story was concocted to make Carter look like he was doing the right thing, the noble thing. That is all it is, a fairy tale. Chicago is a city of tall tales when people get caught doing something they should not do. It is all “Once upon a time” and “Twas a dark and stormy night.” There is a happy ending for the disreputable.

The rituals are important. Eric Carter knew this. The mayor should know this. There was no need to bum rush things that fateful night. The planned ritual should have played out. The family should have witnessed the honor afforded their daughter, Officer Ella French.

Lightfoot’s tall tale cut the last thread of morale that was left in the Chicago Police Department. By defending the indefensible, mayor Lori Lightfoot lost the Chicago Police and Fire Department members, the retirees, and the people they are connected to.

Police officers are angry. Their families are angry. The retired cops are angrier than usual. On election day, if Lightfoot runs, we will vote with our anger.

God forgets and forgives. We never forget the fallen. We never forget the disrespect given to our fallen. We never forgive those who dishonored our fallen. We will never forgive or forget Eric Carter. We will never forgive or forget Mayor Lori Lightfoot for defending his dishonorable behavior.

The Chicago Police Department has no more time for Eric Carter’s s**t. Carter is devoid of honor. His actions that night were despicable. The rank and file no longer have confidence in him. When leaders lose the confidence of their subordinates, they cannot lead.

Carter should do the honorable thing and resign or retire for his dishonorable behavior. If he lied to the mayor, he should be fired from his position, reducing him to his former rank.

Ella French is a hero. The missteps over her death, from calling her Ella Fitzgerald twice to denying her an honor guard is horrific. 

It appears that Dumb and Dumber are running the Chicago Police Department. We need smarter people to lead the members of the Chicago Police Department.