I spent 75 years living and working in Chicago, 33 years working the streets of Chicago, and I covered almost all of the city’s neighborhoods through three ranks as a tactical officer, tactical sergeant and tactical lieutenant. I certainly was no stranger to the hundreds of street gangs that roam the streets of the city.
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I am offering the only thing that I have left to give, and that is a simple, humble message for the well-meaning members of Black Lives Matter and those who demonstrated in Mount Greenwood and on Michigan Avenue, or anywhere else in the city for that matter: Your enemies are not in Mount Greenwood or on Michigan Avenue. Your enemies are in the neighborhoods where you most likely live.
Your enemies are not the police, your enemies are not the guns. Your enemies are your children or the children of your relatives and neighbors who are slaughtering the members of your community at an alarming rate. The murder totals have topped 700 for the year, and almost 4,000 people have been shot in the neighborhoods, mostly by youths in the neighborhood who kill for things as stupid as gym shoes, as illustrated over the weekend in the killing of U.S. Danny Davis’ nephew.
These are individuals who seem to settle almost everything with gunfire. The youths and the innocent shot and killed is an everyday occurrence. Please be vigilant, but please do not be distracted by cop mistakes or even cop misdeeds that will be dealt with. Your enemy is among you, and they will not give up their power without a demand. Who better to make that demand than those who live among them? Until you make that demand, without question the blood and the tears will continue to flow.
Bob Angone, Miramar Beach, Florida
The new one-cent an-ounce-tax on soft drinks is not fair to the people of Cook County. A two-liter bottle can be bought for $1.25, and the tax comes to 67 cents. That is a 50 percent increase. A 12-pack of 12-ounce cans will cost $2.88, and the tax is $1.44 .That also is a 50 percent increase. You can bet that the vending machines will go up, not 12 cents, but 25 cents.
How much will the sales of soft drinks drop because of this tax? You know that many people will stop buying soft drinks here and go to places that don’t have that tax. Both retailers and sellers are going to lose sales. I am willing to bet that the sales here will drop 25 percent or more.
Ted Schwartz, Brookfield
Not hiring best people
Our president-elect is starting to announce the names of his advisers and Cabinet members. Based on the past histories and qualifications of the people announced so far, it seems we can throw “I will hire the best people” onto Donald Trump’s big pile of lies.
Don Anderson, Oak Park
A bigger swamp
Trump made a big deal about “draining the swamp” while the media and FBI focused on Hilary’s emails, ensuring him victory. Now what do we see instead? Mike Flynn, a general, forced out from leading the Defense Intelligence Agency, appointed as Trump’s national security adviser and Sen. Jeff Sessions, passed over for judicial appointments for being a racist, given the position of attorney general.
Not only are both Flynn and Sessions part of the “Washington establishment,” but also both have very extreme views that will harm our country. Flynn lost his job at DIA because of his unrealistic and virulent anti-Muslim views that threatened our relationships with friendly Muslim countries in the pursuit of terrorists. Sessions’ oft-repeated racists comments about a KKK lynching of a black man and his voting record in the Senate means that investigations into police shootings and voter suppression will end.
So, Trump isn’t appointing new, more qualified people who will eliminate gridlock in Washington or improve the lives of people frustrated with the status go. He’s going with insiders and deplorables who will turn back the clock.
Tom Minnerick, Elgin
Sense of humor
Who says that President-elect Donald Trump doesn’t have a sense of humor? I assume everyone has heard about his chiding of the cast of the Broadway hit “Hamilton” for their post-play statement to the attending Vice-President-elect Mike Pence. What laughable irony — Mr. Trump, the man who has publicly and unrepentantly mocked the disability of a journalist and the physical appearances of several women, lecturing anyone about alleged bad manners!
Bill Janulis, Brookfield
Made up as they go
Jesse Jackson complains that the Editorial College in the presidential election nullifies a one-person, one vote democracy. Interesting that Rev. Jackson had nothing to say prior to a single vote being cast in the Democratic presidential primary, when we were all told that 94 percent of super delegates (who are they?) voted for Hillary Clinton. As the Democratic primary moved from state to state ,the nation was told again and again that 94 percent of Super Delegates voted for Hillary Clinton.
Closer to home, Michael Madigan, who represents just one of 118 legislative districts in Illinois and who is re-elected by about 17,000 total votes from the 22nd Legislative District, tries to run the State of Illinois. Meanwhile, the governor who received more than 1.8 million votes from throughout Illinois is taking a back seat.
The Electoral College is in the Constitution. Democratic Party procedures are made up as they go. It’s clear that Jackson is interested in one person-one vote only when it suits him.
Jim Halas, Norridge
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