Sunday, March 1, 2015

My letter to Chuy Garcia

I am a resident and a voter of Chicago. I am concerned with the corruption of Chicago, and am close to despair. I am writing to show you the power of the organizations in Chicago and what they have accomplished. I hope to state my position and let the chips fall where they may.

From the bottom up, there was the program Cure Violence, also called Cease Fire. As far back as Harold Washington, there was a demand to stop gang shootings. Yet alderman candidates are still not well-versed in treatment of crime and violence as a disease. This is truly a tragedy. We now know that the horrible Guantanamo prison has brought in psychologists to work on the inmates. So we already use psychology to treat criminals -- once they're in cages. But when it comes to stopping crimes, it's a different story. It comes down to the notion of justice. Look at the candidate going up against Mr. Daley Thompson. He speaks of infiltrating gangs. Others talk about school programs. Gangs looked at in this fashion are treated as a disease of the society, not on the individuals. Chicago can be a compassionate city, and it can act to change this. From a scientific point of view, Cure Violence has dropped crime in every city it's instituted through helping people learn cognitive therapy -- the ability to challenge one's own thoughts, emotions and behaviors through "self-talk." The Chicago Police raised a hell of a stink over this. To them the criminals are the enemy, and giving them therapy rather than jail is a betrayal.

Science today can also tell us about the economy. We can list what we want and follow those blueprints, even though nobody can understand the whole picture. The internet was invented mostly by experts funded by the federal taxpayer, not pensions. Breakthroughs in the economy need lots of hard work until the foundation is laid for a new step. There is a grassroots movement to "opt-out" of standardized tests Australia right now. But in the States there is much more severe problem. The privatization of schools is not getting educated people into the workforce, rather it is putting them into debt. The debt strike has been announced on Democracy NOW!, a popular alternative media service. Support for this movement would be historic and show a strong interest in investment priorities and the rights of students against private tyrannies. I predict the Sun-Times to dislike it, but the Reader and the International Business Times probably will lend support.

On the environment, global warming is already rearing its horns. The environmental movement needs an educated and involved population, and independence from oil, not only "foreign oil." Illinois pollutes through two main forces: energy and transportation. Global warming is giving us hotter and hotter summers, and Illinois is in danger of losing topsoil, even while Governor Rauner expands coal programs. To see what a country looks like without topsoil, think of Haiti -- malaria-ridden and dependent on international institutions. On the other hand, Germany and Japan have created solar power programs, which have strong protections on capital, rather than debt to international finance. Chicago could try to negotiate with Google which is instituting a solar program. That was the original purpose of corporations, to serve the public good. People in Japan today are wizards at creating electric cars. Chicago needs someone who can stand up to big coal, oil and nuclear to make this happen here.

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