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My Two Cents Worth

By Joseph Andalina



To be on the right

As in Republican. I’m well aware that most coppers are probably conservative. Not all, mind you, but I know very few who are dyed-in-the-wool blue donkeys.

Even I, your humble essayist — once a strong Dem — now comfortably leans Libertarian and maintains some ideals for a traditional virtue. But by and by, I find trouble with the elephant in the room — excuse the pun.

It’s not just the big business’ slobbering love affair. Who doesn’t want to be rich? Or like Obama, pull in $400,000 for a one hour speech on Wall Street.

Nor is it the right’s insistance that abortions are wrong. I can never be one to tell a woman what she should do in taking this step. It’s her body, welfare, and mental outlook that justifies the act. However, in a perverse sense, I have always thought it to be somewhat hypocritical that abortion at any time is okay, but in 37 states, the killing of a fetus is a crime.

Illinois Comp. Stat. Ch. 720 5/q/1-2 specifically states “The killing of an unborn fetus at any stage of pre-natal development is intentional homicide, voluntary manslaughter, or involuntary manslaughter or reckless homicide.” Maybe somewhere in those statutes, an abortion is an exception, but the general inclusion of fetal homicide should not be lost on us.

And of course, we are all Second Amendment supporters.


The problem with that elephant in the room is with their stuffy, anti-progressive disdain for the not-so-rich and the working class. Also, the snobbish way some want you to live, ranging from how much you should make, give, worship, and their belief that the old ways are the only ways.

But their anti-labor stance is simply annoying. Anti-unionism is sickening and it’s blamed on businesses leaving Illinois, rich folks not getting richer, and they seemingly want poor or middle class people to work for crap money in order to get ahead and they reject all calls for better wages.

They particularly love to disgorge animus towards public workers. We are the reason for the state’s saunter to junk bond status, that we are in debt here in Illinois, that our pensions are too rich and must be taken away, devalued, or changed to a 401(k) so the legislature can add more money from our pockets to theirs. Get rid of collective bargaining too. You should individually bargain with your boss and work for merit. Got that?

But it’s health care that really struck a chord. Obamacare, Trumpcare, Health care — whatever moniker you use— is disgraceful for all. It’s a tough system to be sure to provide protection for 350,000,000 people in the good old U.S. of A.

I can’t answer it either, but when you have Republicans like Representative Mo Brooks R-Alaska of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, puke out this dandy “that people who lead good lives do not have pre-existing conditions.” It just illustrates their beliefs and their ignorance. A more ardent response from a legit doctor answered his stupidity in a recent Chicago Tribune article (Doctor Sarah Nadeem, Loyola University in Chicago).

But my own answer is — really? You’re a moron, Representive Brooks. Is this a misguided attempt to throw Grandma off the cliff because she is ill? It’s a fact that the last six months of your life is usually the most expensive health care time for many. Are Republicans trying to eliminate that very important feature from legislation — that we take care of the elderly when they get elderly?

I know this — many folks suffer from pre-existing conditions and lead good lives. I have (although a few chiefs and mayors may differ on this ) lived a good life. Proud son of wonderful parents, veteran police officer, wildlife rehabber, volunteer, church goer, union dude forever, and a cancer survivor.

I can tell you it was a brutal treatment with horrible side effects. And now, like millions of others, I have a pre-existing condition.

So screw you, Mo! Vita é bella.

The "code"

Yes, cops have a code. Y’all know that, right? Cops would never rat on each other, right? Always, stick up for one another, especially if your partner is committing a crime, right? The Blue Line, the Blue Code, the Blue Life. Mums the word. And cops will always lie and change their story.

Never have to fear that your brother or sister officer will turn on you, report you, give testimony against you, or write you a ticket or arrest you, right? Especially if you’re retired, disabled, or suspended, too?

Such crap, ain’t it? The press and politicians watch way too much Hill Street Blues, Miami Vice, or what other recent TV shows are broadcast now, reiterating the same garbage.

I remember numerous occasions when younger cops sat in my office in trouble, telling me other officers involved in some minor or major blunders would never violate the code. I told them all the same thing; that not since Al Capone and Big Bill Thompson was there anything near a code that you could bank on. And so they learned the hard way.

Invariably, most officers will report criminal conduct and once confronted with “Garrity” or “Miranda” will spill the beans about another’s wrongdoing, especially if there is a deal involved.

Police do have high integrity and very few violate that ethic. So cops write cops, arrest cops, and report cops when necessary. Sure, they may hesitate to offer corroboration to the chief, because we all know what hypocrites most chiefs are.

And while some officers have been known to stretch the truth or withhold it in order to avoid lying, the brass speaks with the proverbial “forked tongue.” Can’t trust a word they are saying most of the time. So because an officer hesitates, that does not mean they are lying. They are trying to see who is trustworthy.

As a union, our advice has always been to tell the truth. Fibbing will only buy you more than two minutes in the penalty box. But we also tell you not to talk, either, until you speak to an attorney, have been given “Garrity Warnings” and never say more than “I am Groot” if you are read Miranda.

That’s to ensure your due process, which the press and alderman and other political hacks, want to take away from you. And yes, you should support and back each other always, and be there for one another, but this code thing as expressed by the press and academia for the most part for the every day officer just does not exist.

They’re going to tell me that over 500,000 cops in the USA have a secret code like the Illuminati or something? Please. I get so tired of this baloney. It never stops. It’s like the movie Spartacus where near the end, slave hero Sparty and his 6000 minions have been captured by the Roman legion. When asked for Sparty to come forward and his minions would be spared, 6000 slave rose up to say “I am Spartacus,” while the real guy shed some tears over their loyalty. (By the way, never happened in real life, but it was dramatic.)

Well, this “code” didn’t go over real well as the 6000 slaves were all crucified along the Appian Way to Rome. Can we have a do-over Marcus Crassius?

Cops understand this and realize that they, too, will be sacrificed if not eventually truthful. Better to identify the real Spartacus rather than be crucified for some mythical code.

I wish I could tell you and recommend that we never say bad things about our own, but it’s not something that can be done with honor.

So tell the truth, claim you know nothing, or just answer “I am Groot.”

Vita é bella.

ps: As a side note, one thing I wish we wouldn’t do — write citations to other cops or retired officers. There is nothing wrong with professional courtesy for minor matters, despite what the brass, press, and politicos may say. All professions have them, so be kind to your fellow boys and girls in blue.



The second happiest time of the year

That’s hockey playoff time of course. There is nothing like it in sports. And here in Illinois, we are blessed with a great Blackhawk franchise with players who actually love the game. But at playoff time, all the teams who make it provide the best in sports viewing. Better than the Cubs, although last years’ World Series was a sight, wasn’t it? Better than the “Commercial” that football has become.

The best thing about football nowadays is Carrie Underwood (who, by the way, is the wife of Mike Fisher, forward for the Nashville Predators) on Sunday night, and analyst color dude Jon Gruden on Monday Night Football. Hurrah for the “Gruden Grinders!” But I digress.

So from early April until mid-June, you will see hockey at its very best. Fast, hardnose, skillful games whittled down from 16 teams to the Stanley Cup finals, and the absolute greatest trophy and history in sports, Lord Stanley’s Cup. So okay, I took a column to break away from the sordid news of how cops are treated and the nastiness of politicians, the far liberal left, and criminals. Sue me.

But hockey to me is like a mental illness. Oops, did I offend someone? It’s a metaphor, but a mental state I look forward to every year at this time. And I have it bad — like snakes — but those of you who read my newsletters probably know that by now.

Soo…go Blackhawks!

Vita é bella.

Ps. So what’s the Happiest Time of the Year? Well, Shark Week on Discovery of course! Coming to a TV near you this summer.


Our political process in progress

Or is it? Watching the confirmation hearings on Supreme Court Judge nominee Neil Gorsuch was fascinating. But what you get is a nominee trying effortlessly, to be honest, in answering inquiries, and democratic senators constantly asking redundant questions for the sole purpose of making him look bad by asking if he is:

• Independent

• Not biased

• Rejects the constitution

• Will not be an activist judge

• Will not be holding to Trump’s ideals

• Cannot be pressured by either party

• Rejects the idea of “precedent” as it applies to already made decisions, such as Brown vs. Board of Education, Roe vs. Wade, Heller, Wainwright, and other controversial decisions that democrats are really worried about.

But what it really is — will he overturn Roe vs. Wade? That’s the biggie. In my opinion, he accomplished this with dignity. He seems to be an ideal candidate but is no doubt a conservative. He was queried about his thoughts on employers and employees but he is capably experienced to dodge this and all other questions that the democrats attempted to trap him in. He will not comment on precedential cases or ongoing litigation. Most of these hearings were simple senatorial grandstanding. So what else is new.


On the State of Illinois format, the ongoing skirmishes between Rauner and democrats are laughable. Rauner is so anti-union no matter what baloney he feeds to the public that he isn’t. He is a joke. Just look at his battle with AFSCME or the state workers. Just trying to force his will and not to the benefit of the worker. We all know the sparring between him and Madigan. That will go on until he is not reelected or Madigan retires.

Now he is warring with the comptroller, Susana Mendoza, since she beat his handmaiden, Leslie Munger, in the last special election. She accuses him of being a “terrible governor” and paying (his) consultants from a state health care fund, among other things. The Rauner spokesperson says Mendoza claim is “pathetic” and she is diverting from her horrible spending efforts.

The best guess is that the battle in our late great state and the dog and pony show that is our federal government’s partisan hearings that masquerade as bi-partisan will continue unfettered.

So is our progress – progress? You can decide. Vita é bella.



Does it pass the smell test?


Make America Great Again > Does it pass the smell test?


Hope for Springfield?

How I spent my winter vacation


Well, what can we expect in the New Year?

Paradise won



We have no answer to evil

Merry Christmas


I am Angry

Creep or Crook


The devil is out there



Next time you need a cop, call a gangbanger

Id est Quod id est


White Priviledge or anti-cop?

Influence peddling


Over until next year

More cop hating


Crazier than ever

Memorial Day


Turning into a joke

Giggle, snort, smirk


How bad is it, anyway?

Rauner loves unions


Et tu, tampon?

The president is coming (later)


The death penalty in 2016

The cavalry is not coming


It’s all good in 2016

A cowardly approach to Jihadism

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The World is going to Hell

Merry Christmas


Those evil school resource officers

Going too far — again


Another not-so-bright spot in Illinois politics

Cops not feeling joy


How ironic

More good guys getting killed


It gets better every day

Another sad cop story


The aftermath

Two of my favorite things


Illinois is broke..and Rauner Is not anti-union. Really?

Would you?



Are cops still paramilitary?


Spring has sprung

Rauner, "The Bruce" at it again


Two Good Guys Shot

For those who may doubt...


Useful idiots

Didn't take him long


Random thoughts on the New Year

Militarized police? Yes, please.

Did Christmas come early?

Make sure you have a Merry Christmas


It's over

A funny thing happened...


Rauner vs Quinn

It's time


Militarization of police



Rich man, poor man, union man.

The happiest time of the year.


Privatization: The future

Illinois and United States: Supreme Courts rule on benefit cuts.


Do you feel sorry for them?

No more quotas for you


Illinois is broke

Yes, Santa comes in May, too.


The choice is...

It's in your face now


Legislative issues of 2014

For those who may doubt...


Who ya gonna call?


My wish for 2014

It's cold!

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