If Martin Luther King were alive today what do you think he would say about our contemporary world’s social tensions? Would he experience his “I have a dream” vision as unfulfilled — and perhaps unfulfillable?
Instead of his dream, many people are experiencing a nightmare.
What would he say about our nation’s increasingly ubiquitous violence? How does racial equality as envisioned, and hoped for, in his day now appear?
Leon J. Hoffman, Lake View
Sue the banks
On Wednesday, Fran Spielman wrote in “Mayor Rahm Emanuel blinks — again — on city borrowing,” that “[Mayor Rahm] Emanuel has repeatedly reversed field after his political instincts betrayed him.” We can only hope he will also flip-flop away from his dogged refusal to sue banks for selling toxic interest rate swaps to Chicago.
Instead of fighting the banks, the mayor tried unsuccessfully to get City Council authorization to voluntarily pay Barclays and UBS $100 million to get out of the swaps. By voluntarily paying these penalties, Chicago would have to give banks the next 15 years’ worth of payments right now.
Emanuel should sue the banks to end these and the city’s other swaps without penalties and recover taxpayer losses. Cities like Philadelphia and Houston have sued banks for illegally manipulating the same interest rates that many of Chicago’s swaps were linked to. Others have filed claims against banks for misrepresenting risks.
Let’s hope Emanuel has another change of heart and decides to stand up to banks, for taxpayers’ sake.
Saqib Bhatti, Forest Glen
I am a 33-year-old living with multiple sclerosis and the experience of using medical cannabis to treat my symptoms has been life-changing for me in countless ways.
MS has no cure and is a debilitating, unpredictable disease of the central nervous system that causes symptoms with muscle spasticity, chronic pain, fatigue and weakness. I was diagnosed with MS in 2008 while serving in the military as an Army paratrooper. For more than four years, I have been taking six to eight pills a day to manage my symptoms. These medications are very harsh and damaging to the liver and organs, making me take additional medications to counter-act those side effects.
MS is one of the 39 approved conditions to qualify for medical cannabis treatment in Illinois. On Nov. 9, 2015, the first opening day for dispensaries in Illinois, I was able to receive my first dose of treatment. By using medical cannabis, I am now down to taking one to two pills a day and my muscles are looser, improving my muscle spasticity and mobility.
I thank the Illinois Department of Public Health for having compassion and for their thoughtful and forward thinking approach in allowing patients like me the opportunity to use medical cannabis. Why shouldn’t all suffering patients be given that same opportunity to help relieve their symptoms?
William Wiorek, Bolingbrook