Saturday, August 31, 2013

Classic tail wagging the dog?

According to the media, a cruise missile attack on Syria is imminent. Why are we doing this? Is Syria a threat to the U.S.?

Friday, August 30, 2013

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.


Persistent Mismanagement


Pharmacies run by the Cook County Health & Hospitals System dispense a lot of medication – 9,500 outpatient prescriptions a day.
But a months-long investigation by the Better Government Association and CBS2 finds the pharmacies themselves with a share of ailments: Shoddy record keeping and lax security that appear to be facilitating stolen or otherwise missing pharmaceuticals.VIDEOWATCH ON CBS2: Drugs Disappearing From Stroger Hospital

Patients and employees relayed stories to the BGA and CBS2 of drugs going missing from Stroger Hospital on Chicago's West Side and other county-run health facilities, and the county's inspector general, who launched his own investigation, was so alarmed by the porous nature of the county's pharmacies he asked the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to conduct an in-depth audit.
While those findings have not been formally released, the head of the DEA's Chicago office, Jack Riley, said in an interview that his agency is taking the situation seriously.
He worries that missing medications could end up on the streets, sold illicitly, or otherwise used by drug abusers who end up overdosing.
"These drugs, if not properly accounted for and secured, will kill people . . . and when I see reports like this it doubles our effort to try to make this a better situation for the hospital, but most importantly for . . . the community in which I'm afraid these drugs are gonna end up," Riley said.
If you don't see the video above, click here and watch it on CBS2.
The inspector general, the county's in-house watchdog, and documents obtained by the BGA and CBS2, provide some context for the fear:
  • At least 85 incidents of "missing, lost or stolen pharmaceuticals" were reported from late 2006 to mid-2012. It's unclear whether any of those drugs were ever recovered or any arrests made, and how many other instances went unreported.
  • Among the missing medications: morphine, vicodin, demerol and oxycodone – potentially addictive narcotic pain killers that are sometimes abused on their own, and sometimes mixed with street drugs for sale and consumption.
  • The Stroger loading dock where pharmaceuticals arrive is wide open, with virtually anyone able to come and go. And internal controls don't appear to be much better, with record keeping so bad it hasn't always been possible to track what, if any, drugs are missing.
The BGA/CBS2 investigation found county employees are the likely culprits making off with pharmaceuticals.
Marek Piszczatowski, an interpreter employed by the health system to help patients who don't speak English, said he's encountered patients shortchanged on their medications.
"I heard that at least three times" from patients, according to Piszczatowski. "They didn't know what to do. [In one case several months back] everything was in the bag except morphine. It was advanced cancer."
His suspicion: someone at the county pilfered the drugs after the prescription was written, but the patients didn't realize anything was missing until they got home and opened their pill bags. Then it was too late.
A veteran physician who asked to remain anonymous said he's had patients complain over the years about missing drugs, which he suspects were swiped by county employees in at least some of the instances.
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Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Jack Riley / www.justice.gov
Two patients interviewed at Stroger in recent days also recounted stories of missing prescriptions.
Stroger's four outpatient pharmacies collectively fill roughly 2,700 prescriptions a day. Four additional outpatient pharmacies at other county health facilities are responsible for another 6,800 daily prescriptions. All told, the county's pharmacy operations are the equivalent of more than a dozen busy Walgreens stores, said county spokeswoman Marisa Kollias.
Many private hospitals, clinics and doctor offices write prescriptions to be filled at off-site pharmacies. But county health facilities fill many prescriptions on-site – at in-house pharmacies – because, in part, many patients can't afford the alternative or aren't able to travel to pick up their medications, county officials said.
There is a silver lining in these grim findings by government investigators and the BGA and CBS2: County health officials seem to be taking things seriously. They've already implemented a better tracking system, and they're cooperating with the DEA to further tighten security and procedures for handling medications, officials said.
Drugs have gone missing for years, sources relayed. While the county health system has many problems – the BGA recently revealed that some county doctors and other medical professionals weren't showing up when they were supposed to, but were still getting paid – the current administration is making changes to professionalize the operation.
Even so, the DEA findings are sure to sting.
"I see no difference in a controlled substance going out the back door of a hospital as I do a Latin King selling heroin with a pistol in his hand on a street corner," Riley said.
This story was written and reported by the Better Government Association's Patrick Rehkamp, Robert Herguth and Andrew Schroedter, and CBS2's Pam Zekman and Dan Blom. They can be reached at (312) 386-9201 orprehkamp@bettergov.org. Rehkamp's Twitter handle is @patrickrehkamp.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Can you imagine how great America could be?


JOE WALSH: MY OWN DREAM FOR AMERICA

MartinLuther_020713_SB_tif_
By Joe Walsh - 
Today marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should know that today is the anniversary, as over the last week, every columnist, pundit and cable news host has been emphatically asking if Dr. King’s dream has been realized.
Of all the commentators who have been asking whether King’s dream has been achieved, FOX News’ Juan Williams seems to be the only one with whom I agree. When asked by Chris Wallace if the dream has been fulfilled, Williams noted that there isn’t, “any question that [African Americans] have come along way,” before importantly pointing out that blacks have to address the problems that are created within their communities. “I think that if you look at the realities of today, you’ve got to talk about things like family breakdown,” Williams said. “You’ve got to talk about the fact that 70 percent of black children today are born out of wedlock. I think Dr. King would cry.”
I agree with Juan, but instead of invoking King’s legacy to lament about present problems I’ve decided to share my own dream. (below)
I have a dream that all black parents will have the right to choose where their kids attend school.
I have a dream that all black boys and girls will grow up with a father.
I have a dream that young black men will stop shooting other young black men.
I have a dream that all young black men will say "no" to gangs and to drugs.
I have a dream that all black young people will graduate from high school.
I have a dream that young black men won’t become fathers until after they’re married and they have a job.
I have a dream that young unmarried black women will say "no" to young black men who want to have sex.
I have a dream that today’s black leadership will quit blaming racism and “the system” for what ails black America.
I have a dream that black America will take responsibility for improving their own lives.
I have a dream that one day black America will cease their dependency on the government plantation, which has enslaved them to lives of poverty, and instead depend on themselves, their families, their churches, and their communities. 

Blacks have made great progress during the past 50 years but much of it is just window dressing. Many of them have achieved not on their own, but with government assistance and policies such as affirmative action. Let's end those programs and let the blacks be all they can be. Let's give them their economic rights. Then and only then will they be truly welcomed into American society. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Dr. King

50 years ago today, he gave that wonderfully eloquent speech. What did he envision? Do you think he would be happy with the way some of his people are acting these days? Crime, drugs, welfare, government dependence, indiscriminate crime, when will it get better?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Is it the money or the children?


CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -
Chicago's first speed cameras, set up at Foster and Pulaski on the Northwest Side, were turned on Monday.
The cameras will measure how fast drivers are going, and will issue tickets if it's over the speed limit.
For the first 30 days, drivers accused of speeding will get a warning in the mail. After the 30 days, drivers clocked going from 6 to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit will get fined $35. Tickets are $100 for drivers who go 11 miles per hour or more above the speed limit.
The city plans to have speed cameras in 50 spots by the end of the year, and eventually at up to 300 locations.
Illinois law permits the cameras to be placed within 1/8 of a mile of schools and parks. Chicago has so many schools and parks, an analysis by the Chicago Tribune found the 1/8-of-a-mile standard covers nearly half the city.
Critics say it's a pure money grab. Testing of the cameras indicate each intersection with cameras could generate $1.2 million a month in tickets.
The city has a big budget hole to fill and the mayor admits to wanting the extra cash, but he also says the cameras will also make people walking along the streets -- especially children -- safer.
A few people in the neighborhoods agree.
"I like it cuz I got kids," one resident says. "So, with the busy street here we just live right down the block so I think it's a good thing."
Some critics say the speed cameras will not even make roads safer. In fact, one person we spoke with says they'll just make drivers nervous. He points to red light cameras and the unease some drivers have about not knowing whether to step on the gas or the brake when the light is turning yellow.
"They have signs for red light camera enforcement and people still drive in fear of getting taxed at every intersection," Barnet Fagel, an advocate for motorists' rights, says. "Usurped out of their hard earned money by a machine. There's no due process like their would be in a similar case if an officer issued a ticket."


Read more: http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/23260874/the-talker-chicagos-first-speed-cameras-now-operational#ixzz2dAGWMmAh

Monday, August 26, 2013


OBAMA’S DESTRUCTION OF THE ECONOMY-IS IT DELIBERATE?

1By Teri O'Brien - 
As Gallup is reported ten days ago, when it comes to his approval rating on the economy, Barry’s going through a rough patch, although with those endless vacations, rounds of golf and celebrity parties, not nearly one as rough as the peasants living his economy. 
President Barack Obama’s approval ratings on handling the nation’s economy have plunged in the past two months, as he and Republicans in Congress prepare to enter a series of fall budget battles this fall.
According to a Gallup survey released Thursday morning, just 35% of survey respondents approve of how Obama is handling the economy, while 62% disapprove.
When things get tough, Barack’s approach isn’t to try to solve problems, or do any of that icky, challenging work stuff. Let’s face it, his previous experience as a street agitator and college lecturer leave him woefully unqualified to do that. So, he takes another approach, like these guys.
Animal House
Road trip. 
How better to lift his spirits than to tote his PrompTer to yet another college campus, and bask in the endless love, worship even, of people too ignorant and inexperienced to know that his policies are destroying the economy? If they knew anything about economics, would they be borrowing thousands of dollars to get degrees in “disciplines” like Medieval French poetry that leave them as unqualified to do anything other than bloviate, just like Obama himself? 
We’ll delve into the real extent of just how miserable the economy is, taking it by the numbers. Suffice it to say that it is as bad or worse than your daily experience tells you.
Other questions remain. Is this economic destruction simply the result of a very bad hiring decision in 2008, and repeated last year? Or, is it deliberate? Is it the result of the “remaking” that Barack Obama promised, the pursuit of “economic justice,” redistributing wealth from those who unfairly benefitted in racist Amerika? Why do black voters, whose unemployment rate is still twice that of whites 50 years after the March on Washington that some are celebrating this week, still support democrats? And why is Barack Obama supporting “comprehensive immigration reform” that will depress the wages and opportunities for all low and middle income people, including African Americans? Our guest, Lena Durant of Black American Leadership Alliance, why Barack Obama is throwing low income and middle class Americans under the bus? Could it be raw political expediency? 
Dick "Eddie Haskell" Durbin, your fascism is showing. As reported by the terrific journalists at Illinois Review, the pudgy huckster is using his office to try to intimidate private citizens exercising their First Amendment right.
Plus our usual review of the best of the Sunday shows, and the under-the-radar news that you don’t want to miss.
Be ahead of the curve. Tune in today 4-6 pm Central, for the rest of the story. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

It's Starting


BLUECROSS BLUESHIELD CO-PAYS TO SKYROCKET IN ILLINOIS

Screen Shot 2013-08-24 at 9.31.27 AMCHICAGO - Late Thursday, BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois released its Obamacare-compliant small group health plans for 2014 renewals that include reducing the number of HMOs and more than doubling co-payments for emergency room treatment.
Joliet-area health insurance broker Steve Orlando said the new plans for companies with less than 50 employees will require clients to pay higher out-of-pocket health care costs.
"Looking at the new plans, BlueCross BlueShield is dramatically going to raise emergency room copays from $150 to in most cases $400, and raise doctor and specialist copays in some instances. They are adding a co-pay for being admitted to the hospital ($150, $200 or $250), as well as adding a copay for outpatient surgery ($100, $150 or $200)."
In addition, Orlando said, BlueCross BlueShield is creating a new 5=tier prescription drug benefit that includes $100 and $150 copayments for a 30 day non-formulary brand name prescription, up from the current cost of $50 or $60.

The new plans will also limit HMO choices. BlueCross is reducing the number of HMOs available to a total of four, three of which include an unprecedented $2000, $5000 and $6000 deductibles respectively, Orlando said. 
These higher costs to his clients didn't set well with Orlando, who immediately called his Congressman's office to complain.
"With this knowledge, I contacted the Joliet district office of Congressman Bill Foster to 'thank' him for his responsibility in raising insurance rates, deductibles, out of pocket costs and co-payments for Illinois families," Orlando said.  
He also reached out to Congressman Roskam and Senator Kirk's office to support the effort to defund Obamacare. 
"What makes me so livid about this is that this is no accident, it's by design," Orlando said.  "What's it going to take to get the average voter to wake up?"

WHERE
IS
THE
OUTRAGE?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Obamacare = health care chaos

Does any person reading this think that the quality of their health care will be the same  this time next year? Really? 

If so you may be in for a disappointment. This Obamacare program is going to interrupt  both your personal life and the U.S.economy in ways you cannot imagine. 


Friday, August 23, 2013

Very Well Put


GLOCK: IS IT TIME TO CONQUER THE H-WORD TABOO BEFORE IT CONQUERS US?

Th-24By Jeff Glock - 
While reading the book, The Nazis: A Warning from History by Laurence Rees, I was encouraged to finally take a deeper look at something that had been nagging me: the possible similarities between the current atmosphere in the U.S., and that of Germany in the 1920’s and 1930’s, leading up to World War II. Rees’ book is not an anti-Obama screed, as it was published in 1997, long before Barack Obama became a national figure. Hat-tip also to Allan Bullock’s Hitler (1962). Here are some parallels, in my humble opinion:
Then: “However, there is one thing I shall expect, namely that the country will give me the authority to immediately intervene and take personal charge whenever unconditional attention is not paid in the service of great and vital tasks.” --Chancellor Hitler to the German Reichstag, April 26, 1942
Now: “If Congress won’t act, I will.” --President Obama to the U.S. Congress, February 12, 2013

Then:
The phrase “working toward the Fuhrer” was first used in a February 21, 1934 speech by Werner Willikens, Germany’s State Secretary in the Ministry of Food.  It refers to the phenomenon whereby the leader makes his wishes known, and then the administrative branch follows through without direct orders.  This serves to fundamentally transform (sound familiar?) an entire society very quickly, while insulating the leader from responsibility for what goes wrong.  It also partly explains how a person who spent a lot of time in cafes, napping, and watching movies could accomplish so much.
Now
Similarly, President Obama is no workaholic.  He loves to golf, go on extensive vacations, and host parties.  And he has been on the road in campaign mode during his entire Presidency.  So who is “working toward the President?”  May I suggest the following:  IRS, EPA, DHS, HHS, DOJ, DOD, NSA, DOE, NEA, SEIU and other union thugs, Occupy thugs, ACORN thugs, New Black Panther thugs, and just recently, the nation’s librarians and Obamacare Healthcare Exchange thugs.  There are also hundreds of thousands of government workers whose jobs depend on loyalty to the President.  Finally, there are tens of millions of unemployed citizens and illegal non-citizens whose free ride depends on loyalty to the President who unilaterally removed work as a requirement for food stamps, and who will soon make full benefits for illegal immigrants the law of the land.
Then:
“That is the miracle of our times:  That you found me among so many millions.  And that I found you is Germany’s fortune.”
Adolph Hitler, September 1936
Now:
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time.  We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.  We are the change that we seek.”
Barack Obama, February 2008
We no longer have the luxury of avoiding the H-word.  To continue to do so is to risk repeating history.  Do not be fooled by the fact that Adolph Hitler’s and Barack Obama’s goals are diametric opposites – domination of others by one country, or subjugation of a country by others.  The driving forces are very similar.  The Germans had a Chancellor hell-bent on reversing the Versailles Treaty of 1918.  The Americans have a President hell-bent on reversing the Constitution of 1789.
Fundamentally transforming a society against its will in a short period of time takes the same kind of tyrannical leadership, regardless of the long-term goal.  One-party rule is necessary to effect such fundamental transformation, and the United States is inexorably marching in that direction today.
For the most part, Conservatives have been reacting to the news.  President Obama has us back on our heels.  Conservatives really need to become proactive, to get “ahead of the curve” by anticipating the President’s short-term agenda, and particularly his long-range goals.  Here are five as I see them coming: 
  1. An attack on the 22nd Amendment in order to extend the Obama agenda of fundamental transformation, if not his actual Presidency.  This could be as simple as the next President appointing former President Obama to a newly-created position of influence.  Or, the context of an attempt to subvert the 22nd Amendment may turn out to be, to the surprise of no one who pays attention, a “crisis” orchestrated to convince the populace that we should not “switch horses in the middle of the stream,” as when FDR was elected to a third and fourth term during World War II.  For example, the “October surprise” in 2016 might be an “unforeseen health issue” that prevents the Democrat nominee from continuing.  Such an unprecedented Constitutional crisis would call for unprecedented measures.  Note:  Current Democrat frontrunner Hillary Clinton will turn 69 in the fall of 2016.  Barack Obama will be only 55.
  2. The rise of a “Civilian National Security Force”.  On July 2, 2008, in a Colorado Springs speech, Barack Obama announced, “We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set.  We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”
Excuse me, but WTF!  Nevertheless, this comes as no surprise.  President Obama is hollowing out the military.  He backs rogue forces (ACORN thugs, SEIU thugs, other union thugs, Occupy thugs, New Black Panther thugs).  He interferes with law enforcement (announcing that the Cambridge police “acted stupidly”), overseeing the DOJ’s deliberate racialization of the George Zimmerman – Trayvon Martin case, and having the DOJ stop the FBI interview with the Boston Marathon bomber. 
He seeks to criminalize opposition press (James Rosen of FOX).  He ignores Federal judges when they rule against him (regarding Obamacare, offshore drilling, and unilateral “recess” appointments to the NLRB).  His DHS is buying up ammo like there’s no tomorrow (1,600,000,000 rounds so far, or 16,000 bullets for each of its 100,000 “peace officers.”).  He’s into gun-running when it suits his purposes (Fast & Furious), and backs an Attorney General found to be In Contempt of Congress regarding this illegal activity. 
The administration makes its will known so that the IRS, DHS, NSA, HHS, EPA, DOJ and public schools and libraries can carry out Obama’s political agenda without the President’s “fingerprints”.  And now Obamacare Healthcare Exchanges are being set up in every State to collect everyone’s medical history and mental state.  
Meanwhile, Obama’s Cabinet communicates with illegal email addresses to circumvent Freedom of Information Act inquiries. This has allowed the Presidential Cabinet to take over the Legislative Branch’s Constitutional authority regarding the creation and funding of Federal laws, to shake-down medical insurance companies to fund Obamacare, and to use domestic drones against farmers. 
The only remaining question is:  Exactly what combination of these forces (and others that we don’t know about yet) will comprise President Obama’s Civilian National Police Force?  And what role will this civilian military force play in our society relative to what we now know of Hitler’s paramilitary and civilian forces:  Sturmabteilung, a.k.a., S.A., Brownshirts, Stormtroopers (under Ernst Rohm); Schutzstaffel, a.k.a., S.S., Blackshirts, auxiliary police (under Heinrich Himmler); and Geheime Staatspolizei, a.k.a., Gestapo (under Hermann Goring)?  
  1. The alignment of all societal organizations toward a one-party State.  The Nazi’s called this Gleichschaltung,” co-ordination, and it was largely accomplished between February and July of 1933, exactly eighty years ago.  We are seeing it in the continued political and economic suppression and repression, aimed at forcing opposition politicians and organizations into the Democrats’ arms, retirement, or oblivion, and driving citizens with private sector jobs into the State’s arms in the form of welfare or public sector employment.  Quintessential American values of innovation through hard work, passion, and creativity are being replaced by a populace whose ambition is to “game the system” by figuring out how to efficiently garner one’s housing, food, medical, and retirement benefits without having to leave the house.
  2. The achievement of a cashless economy will be the final step in the government’s take-over of our personal information and lives.  
  3. The establishment of modern-day concentration camps - not physical, with walls and barbed wire, but virtual, as in “Concentration of Information”.  When our every physical move, economic transaction, and electric communications can be tracked in real-time and stored indefinitely, we will indeed be living under house arrest.  Game over.    
One wonders at the many similarities between President Obama’s head-long drive to a one-party State and the rise of the Third Reich.  During Hitler’s regime, British writer C.S. Lewis made the observation, “How monotonously alike all the great tyrants and conquerors have been:  how gloriously different the saints.”  This comes about not because tyrants study and learn from each other, but because that’s just what kind of people they are.  For whatever reasons, a tyrant instinctively knows how to manipulate and control people.
All of this begs the final question:  If the United States of America is indeed to be fundamentally transformed in our lifetime, then where should we go for the sake of our own children and grandchildren and their descendants?  This might be the pinnacle question, the ultimate, classically American-spirited question, as this was the precise motivation and call-to- action of our Founding Fathers’ fathers:  To find the land of opportunity, and to bring the family there.
Jeff Glock, former elementary school teacher and current hospital employee, resides in Forest Park, IL.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Alex Clifford wants his job back! What he needs is an indictment.


Metra acted hastily and ill-advisedly when it kicked out its executive director while handing him a severance package now said to be worth potentially as much as $871,000, the Regional Transportation Authority concluded Wednesday.
In the first official report on the propriety of the settlement deal awarded to ousted CEO Alex Clifford, the RTA determined that the process by which Metra's board made its June 21 decision was inadequate and insufficiently documented and produced a settlement that was "not financially prudent."
The report's findings have prompted calls from lawmakers and RTA Chairman John Gates Jr. to rescind the severance package, which is believed to be one of the largest in state history for a public official. That option, however, seemed unlikely Wednesday as Clifford's lawyer suggested that the only way Metra could break the contract is by hiring back Clifford.
If restored to his old post, Clifford would be willing to renegotiate the severance package, attorney Michael Shakman said. A significant portion of the deal, including more than $300,000 due to Clifford if he cannot find a job by the end of 2014, would be canceled automatically if he returned to the agency.
"Mr. Clifford would be happy to sit down and work something out," Shakman said. "His first choice was always to remain at Metra."
Shakman scoffed at the suggestion that Metra would — or even could — try to undo the severance agreement.
In additional to being a valid contract, there's no financial incentive for the agency to do so, he said. The agreement contains a clause that forces the parties into arbitration if Metra tries to sever the agreement, a process that would not be covered by an agency insurance policy.
This means Metra could be responsible for its own legal bills, any Clifford award and Shakman's fees if the matter went to arbitration — the exact expenses officials were trying to avoid by settling with Clifford two months ago.
"They can't just rescind it," Shakman said. "That's not the way it works."
Confirming details reported in Wednesday's Tribune, RTA Deputy Executive Director Michael Zumach said his two-month audit of the decision-making process and negotiations behind Metra's decision found that board members did not conduct a "full vetting" of the cost and options of the settlement.
Instead, the goal seemed to be getting rid of Clifford as quickly as possible and ignoring the fact that a special insurance policy Metra had would have minimized the agency's exposure to a threatened whistle-blower lawsuit, Zumach said in presenting the preliminary results of his audit to RTA officials.
"They were going down a path of settlement with nothing else considered," Zumach said.
In conducting the audit, Zumach said he and his staff scanned thousands of pages of documents and emails; listened to hours of recorded, closed-door Metra board meetings; and interviewed board members, attorneys and staff.
Zumach characterized the severance agreement as "definitely on the generous side." Rather than costing up to $718,000, as Metra has contended, Clifford's package could end up costing as much as $871,000, including payouts of $75,000 for legal fees and $78,000 in relocation costs, Zumach said.
As the Tribune reported, Metra's board did not take advantage of a liability insurance policy that would have provided the agency with up to $10 million worth of coverage against a lawsuit filed by Clifford. At most, Metra would have been liable for $150,000 in deductible costs, Zumach said.
Metra did not consider using the insurance policy instead of settling with Clifford, Zumach said. "Insurance was not discussed by the full board," he said.
Metra staffers were aware of the $98,000-a-year policy, but they were not involved in the discussions and negotiation of the Clifford settlement. Instead, Metra's board was advised by outside legal counsel, Zumach said.
Zumach confirmed what some critics have contended — that now-resigned Chairman Brad O'Halloran was the impetus behind Clifford's ouster. "It's obvious there was a power struggle between two strong-willed individuals," Zumach said.
RTA board member William Coulson, a former federal prosecutor who also presented a 10-page analysis he made of Clifford's claims against Metra, likewise cited O'Halloran's role in the controversy. O'Halloran and former board member Larry Huggins, who were both named in Clifford's April 3 memo in which he outlined allegations of political interference and other charges, should have recused themselves from the settlement vote, Coulson said.
O'Halloran and Huggins "faced real and potential conflicts as a result of (their) activism," said Coulson, the only RTA board member who also is a litigating attorney.
The men could not be reached Wednesday for comment.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Listen to this!

The National Anthem like you never heard it before. 
http://youtu.be/jx7gUsTiKww?t=4m46s

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

More problems at Mt. Hope Cemetery

A brush fire has been burning for the past 6 hours resulting in the evacuation of elderly and children. More proof that this little piece of real estate in unincorporated Cook County, needs some regulation. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

What's causing this problem?


Is it the food? Is there something in the food? Everywhere you go, you see fat people. It was never like this before. 

CUTTING THE FAT: TACKLING AMERICA’S OBESITY PROBLEM SO CHILDREN CAN BECOME HEALTHY ADULTS

Even more children are at-risk of becoming obese adults by the year 2030. That’s what a new report from Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation concluded.  And unless both the federal and state governments take steps to curb the trend, cases of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and other weight-related conditions are projected to spike.

The report claimed that if states’ obesity rates continue on their current trajectories, the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke, hypertension and arthritis could increase 10 times between 2010 and 2020—and double again by 2030.  As a result, obesity could contribute to more than 6 million cases of type 2 diabetes, 5 million cases of coronary heart disease and stroke, and more than 400,000 cases of cancer in the next two decades.
Further, by 2030, medical costs associated with treating preventable obesity-related diseases are estimated to increase by $48 billion to $66 billion per year, and the loss in economic productivity could be between $390 billion and $580 billion annually by 2030.
The report suggested that states could prevent obesity-related diseases and dramatically reduce health care costs if they took efforts to reduce the average body mass index of their residents by just 5 percent by 2030.  It also provided a series of policy recommendations, including:
  • Fully implement the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, by enacting the new school meal standards and updating nutrition standards for snack foods and beverages in schools;
  • Protect the Prevention and Public Health Fund;
  • Increase investments in effective, evidence-based obesity-prevention programs;
  • Fully implement the National Prevention Strategy and Action Plan;
  • Make physical education and physical activity a priority in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act;
  • Finalize the Interagency Working Group on Food Marketed to Children Guidelines;
  • Fully support healthy nutrition in federal food programs; and
  • Encourage full use of preventive health care services and provide support beyond the doctor’s office.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Is this any way to treat a WW II Veteran?

John Wrana, just shy of his 96th birthday, was angry and agitated.
We contacted experts who deal with the elderly, to ask them how best to calm down an old man like him.
And not one suggested you'd do it the way Park Forest police did last month:
First jolting him with a Taser, and then following that up by shooting him in the guts with a bean-bag round fired from a shotgun at around 300 feet per second.
Try as we might, we could find no experts to tell us that Tasing and firing bean-bag rounds at an old, old man was the preferred method for handling him.
"Validate, reassure, redirect," Keren Rosenbaum-Cooks, a licensed clinical social worker in New York, told us. "Be calm as possible. … Giving someone a gentle, reassuring touch can really go a long way to try and calm a person down."
There are many unanswered questions about why John Wrana, an Army veteran of World War II, was killed.
He lived at Victory Centre, an assisted-living facility in south suburban Park Forest. His trouble started when he refused medical attention for a urinary infection. Paramedics were called, and they summoned police, who said later that Wrana had been threatening people with a 2-foot-long metal shoehorn and a kitchen knife. Police responded with an extraordinary level of force. Wrana died in a hospital of internal bleeding hours later, on July 27.
Rosenbaum-Cooks trains family caregivers and professionals to deal with Alzheimer's patients. Wrana, according to his family and lawyer for his estate, did not suffer from Alzheimer's. But she is an expert in dealing with this type of agitation among the elderly.
She says she teaches her pupils to "de-escalate a situation before it becomes an emergency. I counsel families and professionals to really try to look at what is the source of the agitation."
A lawyer for the Wrana family disputes the police report of the knife, saying Wrana didn't have such a weapon.
But even if Wrana had a broadsword, the issue is this: He was almost 96, wobbly on his feet. Any two police officers worth their badges should be able to safely disarm an old guy. If they can't handle a man in his 90s, how could they possibly handle a street thug?
"The mantra for people in direct care for seniors is 'least restrictive means possible,'" said Charles Golbert, the deputy Cook County public guardian in charge of the adult guardianship program. "The necessity for officers to fire a bean bag at someone in assisted living — I can't even imagine."
Illinois State Police are investigating the circumstances of Wrana's death, but that's routine when police outside of Chicago are involved in a homicide.
When the investigation is complete, the report is to be sent to the Cook County state's attorney's office for a review to determine whether criminal charges should be filed. As of Friday, the Cook County medical examiner's office had not completed the final autopsy report.
But a preliminary report ruled that Wrana died as the result of tremendous blow to the abdomen caused by the bean-bag round.
Such rounds are most often used for crowd control. Traveling at such a high rate of speed, a bean-bag round (often the size of a silver dollar) can knock down strong young men protesting in a street.
Young men full of power and blind with anger would be stopped by such a round. Imagine what one would do the abdomen of a weak, old guy.
General guidelines for the weapon suggest one should never be fired 15 feet or less from the target.
But Nicholas Grapsas, the lawyer for the Wrana family, believes police may have fired well within that distance, shooting from the door of Wrana's room, striking the old man as he sat in a chair.