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Chicago on the Potomac

By Dr. Robert Owens
web posted July 27, 2009

Back in the Dream Time, elders were honored because of their accumulated knowledge.  If Pops knew a better way to saddle horses that knowledge helped Junior since he saddled horses.  Today if Pops knows how to tune-up cars what good is that when cars don't need to be tuned-up anymore?  Now the old are relegated to extolling their own relevance while exclaiming, "I've never seen that before."  Doddering ancients who use their cell phones merely to talk wonder why their grandchildren never answer their emails as Gen Z tweet each other: "Don't trust anyone over 15."  The world is moving so fast not only is today tomorrow's yesterday the generations are living in different todays today.  Gen X and Y parents with their once hip lap-tops under their arms stare in wonder as their pre-teen Gen Zs text with one hand while Wii skydiving in the backseat.  For these new additions to middle-age who're just old enough to remember Star Trek imagine Captain Kirk visiting Captain Picard pointing at Commander Data and saying, "What's that?"

After years of being treated as if the Wisdom of the Ages were as relevant as Confucius in a fortune cookie now that we have Chicago on the Potomac the wisdom gained in the City that Works is suddenly spot-on.  Of course George the Second's doctrine of pre-emptive war made one old saying make sense beyond the Southside, "Never start fights but if you have to hit someone back first once in a while that's all right."   Then again ACORN has shown the everlasting relevance of Chicago's best known adage, "Vote early and vote often."

With the Obamacrats large-and-in-charge, Windy City Proverbs may help many believe what kind of change we've stepped in.   Such as "Everybody cheats so if you don't cheat you're a cheater," or "What's mine is mine, what's yours is negotiable."   Maybe the taxman could use, "They must not have wanted it they didn't have their hand on it."  Looking at our Congress, "If you're going to get mad at thieves you'll never have any friends" comes to mind.  Thinking of the new Green Home Efficiency Inspectors we'll soon deal with when buying or selling a home is reminiscent of the Chicago Fire Marshal conscientiously telling a business owner, "We'll save the city some gas money if we just do the inspection right here in my office," while patting his desk indicating where to place the money.  

The Oministration started off with some Southside swag calling the biggest earmark in history stimulus, continued the virtuoso performance calling ward-heelers czars and followed a time-honored Second City tradition in the Minnesota recount by finding a bag of votes.  Who says you can't go home again?  They may turn the old neighborhood into Yuppie Heaven by knocking down the middleclass housing and putting up three-story imitation Victorians but right here right now the machine that gave no-show jobs to half the wise-guys on the corner as well as Michelle at the hospital is in the process of not just fixing tickets but fixing everything else.  The political descendants of Big Bill Thompson, Richard the First and Richard the Second parlayed community organizing into a national organization that should make the Five Families green with envy.

Having fixed the economy and with health care, hate-crimes, immigration, and cap-and-trade queued up to flow through the system before the voters get a chance to register their disapproval, Don Barak now has the opportunity to begin fixing the highest court in the land.  In the Chicago  justice system lawyers give out printed pricelists stating how much acquittals cost verses dismissals and the old saying concerning courthouses goes, "It may say justice on the outside but that doesn't mean there's any on the inside." Once the Democratic Machine and their Me-To Republican allies rubber-stamp Mr. O's first pick for the A-Team how do the prospects for judicial restraint and the Constitution look?   Fine if you fit the profile for the protected or promoted classes not too good if you naively look for that lady wearing the blindfold and holding the scales. 

Joining the sisterhood on the bench, Ms. Sotomayor feels her gender and her race make her uniquely qualified to reach wise decisions and believes international law should be consulted when weighing appeals. She should feel right at home with the former chief counsel for the ACLU who apparently believes American Citizenship is the right of all mankind.   In one decision she said, "You would have a huge statelessness problem if you don't consider a child born abroad a U.S. citizen."   Ah justice, what is it good for?  Or as they say in Chi-town, "How much justice can you afford?"  The difference between Chicago Prime and Chicago on the Potomac is in the original version mayors serve for life followed by a power struggle.  Vive la Différence! ESR

Dr. Robert Owens teaches History, Political Science, Religion, and Leadership for Southside Virginia Community CollegeContact Dr. Owens. © 2009 Robert R. Owens. Dr. Owens is available for speaking engagements.

 

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