Hot Air: Junta, Huh?

I’ve been operating under the assumption that the sky is going to fall ever since Nov. 9, 2016, the morning after President Gag won the election on a technicality.

The sky, indeed has been coming down in little shards and powdery puffs, like the ceiling of a cafe in a French town under Luftwaffe bombardment in May, 1940. I keep a list of Li’l Duce‘s “sins” on my desktop and the damned thing is rapidly becoming one of the longest documents on my hard drive.

You, me, and everybody else who still possesses a shred of sanity go to sleep at night and dream the next morning’s news will carry the headline, “President Out!” It doesn’t matter if he resigns, or if he’s impeached, or if the prosecutors make him a deal to get out before they throw the book at him, or if he even drops dead of an exploded heart, despite his flamboyantly healthful lifestyle and trim physique.

There is one other way out from under the thumb of the craziest loon ever to call 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue home. And, to be frank, I would be bone-shakingly scared should it come about.

That is, what if the military pushes him out “for the good of the country”? Make no mistake, removing him would indeed benefit this holy land. The world, too, for that matter. OTOH, it’d be like your helpful neighbor dashing over to help you put out your grease fire by carrying in your garden hose and spraying your flaming skillet. The flames, natch, would suddenly be all over the kitchen.

So, why would I even entertain the notion that America’s generals might want to take matters into their own hands? Hell, Li’l Duce by rights ought to be the kind of president the brass loves, talking big and tough and calling for Pentagon budget increases. The truth is, though, they don’t seem terribly infatuated with him.

Save Us?

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford.

It all started way back in November, 2015, when, still a joke of a candidate, Li’l Duce pontificated on ISIS and other non-native hoodlums. Speaking before a rally in Iowa, the future P. Gag said the war on terror was being run wrong. “I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me,” the deluded, pathological, petrifying, repulsive insult to his species bleated.

As expected, wits and wags shook their fingers at him and guffawed over his risible hubris. I could imagine the generals glancing at each other through narrowed eyelids, the tacit oath understood: “We’ll get that son of a bitch.”

See, there are no divas on this planet like generals, admirals, field marshals, and others of that ilk. One doesn’t get to the top of an army or a navy or an air force by being humble. Hell, to rise through the ranks to the top requires one to think of one’s self as brilliant, creative, mighty, godlike, bordering on the mythological. The general says to himself, “I’m the guy who can lead our nation into battle whereupon I’ll do my damnedest to wipe out hundreds of thousands of the enemy’s soldiers and, if need be, give the order to incinerate millions of the enemy’s citizens.”

Ask yourself: Is that kind of personality going to take insults kindly? And the worst insult of all is to say I know more than the generals do.

Twice in the last 80 years, cabals of American military leaders have whispered among themselves and begun laying plans to remove the president. They did so in the 1930s when, at the behest of billionaires disgusted with “traitor to his class” Franklin Roosevelt, several of them mulled leading an ad-hoc army of half a million veterans into Washington to toss FDR out, and then again in the early 1960s when John F. Kennedy tried to chill the hawks who had grown tumescent over the prospect of nuclear toe-to-toe with the Russkies.

The American top brass has distanced itself a couple of times of late from its Commander-in-Chief. In an unprecedented move after the Charlottesville terror attack, the four major military service chiefs issued a statement condemning racism and domestic terror, a clear rebuke to their waffling boss. This after they scratched their heads when the president made a rash statement about transgender people serving in the military.

Scuttlebutt has it that a lot of military big shots are getting a little jittery just thinking about P. Gag standing around with his finger poised over the red button. It’s a good bet the military top dogs, like their predecessors in the final days of President Nixon, have issued sub rosa orders not to launch armageddon on the president’s command alone.

In other words, they’re saying Li’l Duce is C-in-C in name only. His orders are to pass through them for their imprimatur before they are to be carried out. They are now, in effect, above him.

And once that’s the way things are, what’s the next step?

Kate, At Last

Hooray, my interview with Kate Hess Pace has finally run! Big Talk was preempted last week, thanks to the machinations of radio tricksters, so the KHP piece was put off until yesterday afternoon.

In any case, here are links to the interview on WFHB’s website and the PRX (Public Radio Exchange) site. And here’s the link to the entire interview with Kate.

Next week, independent candidate for US Congress from Indiana’s 9th District, Rob Chatlos.

Talk soon.

Balbo — Bah!

There’s an ancient Roman column on a pedestal just east of Lake Shore Drive, between McCormick Place and Soldier Field in Chicago. It was give to the city by the Italian aviator Italo Balbo, who in 1933 led a fleet of Italian seaplanes that flew into the waters of Lake Michigan just east of Buckingham Fountain for the Century of Progress exposition. They aviators carried with them a column had been unearthed in the recently-discovered remains of the port of Ostia, near the city of Rome.

Balbo was one of the early members of the Partito Nazionale Fascista (the Fascists, or Blackshirts) whose March on Rome led to Benito Mussolini taking over the nation. Balbo was, as small-f fascists go, not the worst of the bunch. He fought against proposed Leggi Razziali (Italian anti-semitic laws) and was dead set against Mussolini’s ties to Hitler. Nevertheless, Balbo made his bones by leading gangs of uniformed thugs brutalizing labor leaders, dissenters, academics, and other “unworthies.”

Not only did the City of Chicago put what would become known as the Balbo Column in prime real estate on the lakefront, it named a downtown city street after him.

Today, with fascism on the rise around the world, it’d be right for the city to drop the Balbo name. Keep the hunk of marble — call it the Ostia Stone if you will. As for the street now named for Balbo? Heck, it’s a short avenue, a scant three blocks long, not at all a major thoroughfare. Keep it Italian. Name it Ron Santo Way.

Santo (10) Clicks His Heels After A 1969 Cubs Victory


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