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Chicago's Slide to Ruin

Chicago has long been known as America’s second city.  Built along Lake Michigan, filled with stunning and architecturally beautiful buildings, home of renowned universities and businesses, the city has been for a long time an American jewel.  Because it is in the Midwest, it is overshadowed by New York and San Francisco, but still considered one of the great world cities.

But, Chicago has had it’s ugly side too, especially at key moments – the 1968 Democratic Convention when the infamous Mayor Daley called on its police force to attack and jail innocent protestors of the war in Vietnam, or the aftermath of the killing of Martin Luther King and the subsequent unrest in the city, or the totally unacceptable, ever increasing, and never ending murders in Chicago’s inner city today.

In the past, Chicago kept its secrets – good and bad – largely hidden.  Residents knew of its extraordinary beauty and vitality AND of its dark and dangerous side.  But the seamy side of America’s best kept secret – this second city – was mostly kept secret.

United Airlines, headquartered in the city, and its recent thuggish behavior toward one of it passengers, a Chinese American, has contributed to shining a new and high intensity dark light on the city, seen by many across the country and abroad.  So too has been the ongoing, daily killings in the city.  In fact, with a police force and metropolitan administration unable for years to stem the tide of huge numbers of murders or to reverse patterns of corruption citywide, Chicago is teetering at the edge of ruin, uncharacteristically so, and visibly for all to see.

Chicago is at the brink.  It is sliding toward ruin, and it doesn’t seem to have either the creativity or leadership to stem the tide.

America's Fabric is Tearing

A Chinese American was brutalized and dragged off a United Airlines flight after all passengers had boarded by three airport cops in order to make room for a United employee.  He was a doctor en route to his office and patients, and traveling with his wife.  He held a perfectly legal ticket and seat.  He was doing absolutely nothing to engender such behavior by United or the Chicago airport police.  He was a traveler like all others.

But United’s friendly skies were not so friendly.  The company behaved like a union of thugs intent on going to any extent to attend to their needs over those of their paid customers.  Very stupid for United, and even sadder for America.

And, if you think China was going to ignore such brutal behavior and corporate misuse of power, you are wrong.  This is the biggest news item there today, fully replacing yesterday’s attention to Trump’s recent bombing of Syria.  That China is outraged by the abridgement of human rights within the United States says volumes about how much and quickly things have changed America.

While China focused on the abused passenger’s heritage, news in this country barely mentioned that the passenger dragged off the plane was an immigrant.  In fact, almost all the coverage, and there was lots of it, said absolutely nothing about the fact that abused passenger clearly looked different from the average (if there is such a thing) American.  United Airlines could see it, and clearly thought the man would be a good one to throw off the plane.

As a nation, we are losing our rich and distinctive social fabric and replacing it with ignorant and boorish thuggery.  I am embarrassed for America.  I am distressed for America.  I am scared.  I personally hope that United will go out of business over this action.  And, I hope America will see in this most unfortunate incident the flashing light that it is.  America’s very fabric is tearing.   

Wouldn't It Be Amazing ...

Wouldn't it be amazing if Putin plotted everything the last three days.  After all, this is a man who acts viciously and maliciously worldwide with impunity.  He has been knocking off his adversaries inside and outside Russia for months, if not years.

Bashar al-Assad is his dependent and is taking instructions from Russia.  Were the instruction to come from Putin to use chemical weapons on his own people, he certainly would do it.

Putin himself is dealing over the last several weeks with not only increasing opposition to his autocratic rule at home, but the increasing likelihood that his direct coordination with Trump in the US election is about to be exposed.

In order to save himself and his puppet government in US, Putin very well may have set in play the events to precipitate an attack by the US against Syria, knowing it would enable Trump to wag the dog.  By diverting attention from their pre-election coordination for just a few days, Putin might just be able to keep his puppet in place.

Yes, it would be stranger than fiction if Putin plotted this whole thing to save Trump from impeachment. 

I lived in Russia.  I practiced law there.  It seems perfectly possible to me.