Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tinley Park Community Halloween tops the region

Tinley Park saw a flood of Orland Park residents attend their annual Halloween for the kids program Saturday October 25th, in part because of the high fees imposed by the Village of Orland Park for their similar program.

The Village has been cash-strapped and has been increasing fees, cutting services and reducing the tax-rebate program which was approved originally to off-set the Orland Park home rule sales tax increase of .75 on all sales. The sales tax hike today has become regressive in the face of so many other sales tax hikes.

The Tinley Park Park District turned out to be the alternative to the high taxes and fees in Orland Park. There were no charges in Tinley for children or families from the within or outside of the village. And, in today's economy, that was a major source of interest for the more than 310 people who attended the event with their children.

Children dressed up in everything from witches to politicians, from Spiderman to Batman. The event was held at the spectacular 65,000 square foot Tony Bettenhausen Recreation Center which in addition to being a recreation center and gynasium is also a museum for the many achivements of this car-racing family. The kids flocked around one of the Bettenhausen race cars roped off in the center foyer of the entrance lobby.

Down the hall, the Tinley Park Park District set up rooms with attractions that included a story-teller, an exhibit of bugs, spiders, and lizards, face-painting, games and more.

Downstairs, the kids could play more games and lined up for more than a dozen games where they could win prizes. The lines were long but the patient children had fun waiting for their turn to ring toss, play the "Bozo-buckets" and more and every child left with a bag loaded with free goodies to make their halloween enjoyable.

"This is amazing," explained one mother who said she lived in Orland Park. "We went to the Orland Park Halloween event and they wanted us to pay. It just seemed wrong."

Her sentiments were repeated by dozens of parents and the topic of the day in fact was the ongoing discussion about the charges in Orland Park, and the new taxes and high fees for services.

"I love the Orland Park Recreation Department. I don't blame them. But even if you are a resident, it's costly. I have four kids," another mother explained. "It's free here and my kids are loving every minute of it."

While Orland Park also sometimes becomes a self-promotion for members of their staff and friends to perform, Tinley Park's event focused entirely on the children.

The biggest attraction was the haunted house in the downstairs gynasium. Children entered and left the huge in-door haunted house screaming with laughter.

Students from nearby Victor J. Andrew high school served as cheerful volunteers to make the event from 12 noon until 3 PM the most enjoyable for the children.

This is the 6th year the village has hosted the free event for families in the region.

-- Ray Hanania

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Okay, here's a simple question for Mayor McLaughlin

If you gave us the property tax rebate as a way of off-setting the .75 home rule sales tax you imposed -- telling us that by returning the property tax through rebate it would compensate for the sales tax increase (and keep it focused on non-residents who come to orland Park to shop.)

Well, now, you'r trimming the property tax rebate, but you're kepping all of the .75 sales tax. It sounds like an election gimmick?

Bet that's a question you won't read in the local newspapers :)

-- Ray Hanania

Monday, October 27, 2008

Chicagoland Muslims launch annual turkey drive to help needy for Thanksgiving

We are excited once again to announce the start of the TURKEY DRIVE! Once again, Chicago's Muslims are taking up the challenge to provide Thanksgiving turkeys to needy neighbors here in Chicago - neighbors who would otherwise have to do without. Last year, you helped feed SIX HUNDRED FAMILIES, both at Emmett Till Academy in Jackson Park and families near IMAN in Marquette Park. With your help, In Sha Allah, we will once again fill this need!

As we did last year, we are again joining forces with the Sabeel Food Pantry, run by the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA). Sabeel has provided food for anyone in need for years on Chicago's North Side, and with the help of AMAL volunteers to coordinate and distribute the turkeys will extend their services this Thanksgiving. Sabeel is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization in the state of Illinois; this means that once again, your contributions will be 100% tax deductible, and all who donate to Sabeel will receive a receipt for tax purposes. (For more info, check Sabeel's website at www.sabeelpantry. org)

We are now accepting donations for the drive. Please send your tax-deductible check written out to "Sabeel Food Pantry" with "Turkey Drive" written in the memo section to:

Sabeel Food Pantry
777 Busse Highway
Park Ridge, IL 60065

Donations can also be given online via PayPal. To donate via PayPal, please go to www.sabeelpantry. org and click on "Donate".

The Annual Turkey Drive is a symbol of the true nature of our faith at a time when it is sorely needed. Please help us to continue it and make it grow!

Jazak Allahu Khairan,

Jihad Shoshara, MD

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dozens of parents flock to Tinley Park after expressing disappointment with Orland's Recreation Department's Halloween for Kids program

We went to the Tinley Park Recreation Department's Halloweeen Day for Children on Saturday. It was great. It had rooms of events, insects, creepy animals and a haunted house, plus all kinds of games.

But what was most surprising was that the fee imposed for the same event at Orland Park chased many Orland Park residents away. And they came to Tinley Park -- those that knew about Tinley's great and FREE annual program.

Orland Park's increased tax, and increased fees are turning resdents off. The Recreation Department was forced to increase fees on almost all of its programs and despite an effort by local media to cover the fee increases up, residents are up in arms and blaming Mayor Dan McLaughlin for his poor leadership that is politically motivated.(He's a Chicago Machine politician who has sold Orland Park's soul otu to the 19th Ward.)

You can't blame the Recreation Department in Orland Park for the punitive fee increases. You have to blame McLaughlin. And it was obvious many who fled to Tinley Park in the face of the event fees -- they said it cost as much as $12 to get in. Yikes! That's terrible. (Actually, it was $6 for residents and $11 for non-residents -- which doesn't seem like much until you add it to the heap of new taxes and fees being imposed by the village and Mayor Dan McLaughlin.)

They were all complaining and it didn't take much to hear it. They were telling everyone. This year, we chose Tinely's event for our child because we heard so many great things about it. Orland has a GREAT recreation program, ut the tax increases and the increased fees will certainly chase many orland Park homeowners to go elsewhere for their recreation programs.

In the end, increased fees don't bring in new revenues. They chase participants away and the total revenues generally remain the same.

Sad to see this happening to Orland Park.

-- Ray Hanania

Amazing technology -- what can be done with online campaign videos

This is just hilarious ... "Ray Hanania blamed for Barack Obama's defeat Nov. 7":

Pass it on.

-- Ray Hanania

Stephanie Gehrings excellent story about deer in the southwest suburbs

Stephanie Gehring did an exhaustive news-feature in today's SouthtownStar about the presence of deer in the southwest suburbs. Very good read. Perfect timing for us, too. Click HERE for the link to the story.

My wife and son looked out the back window while I was in front of the house cleaning the lawnmower, and they saw a huge deer slowly walking through our backyard. Now, half our yard is fenced (one neighbor has a large pool -- had one -- and needed a fence) ... and two neighbors took their fences down, damaged by the flooding over the years. It just wandered around for a few minutes, snacked on some vegetation, and then bolted, they said.

I'm not sure where it went but they can be fast and they can jump the tall privacy fences (that are such a waste of money).

I'm sure everyone is upset about the deer but frankly what's the difference when it comes to ticks and excrement between a deer and a raccoon or a possum or a skunk or even a coyote. We've seen a few of them around. The raccoons usually get killed by cars. The skunks get chased away. But the real damage to homes comes fromt he squirrels. I never tire of telling my squirrel story. An amorous couple of squirrels made their way into my rooftop and nested there. They don't like to do much during the day but they sure like to squabble in the evening -- squirrel squabbling. I couldn't get them out. It always seemed one was in while the other was out and I couldn't seal it until I knew they were both out.

One day, I poked my head through the ceiling trap in the closet and sprayed the attic with insect fogger -- four cans. Then, I ran outside and watch as, after a few minutes, the fogger started to waffe out of the small opening they made under the gutter. And then I heard a scream and a squirrel popped out like a cannon ball. A few minutes later, the second squirrel screamed and popped out of the same hole. I had to get up their right away and fixed the hole, and do a check of the eaves around the roof and gutter, too, to make sure they couldn't get back in.

Back to the deer. It's kind of like the airport folks. The forest was here first. If you move into a suburb nestled into a beautiful forest, don't blame the animals for wanting to survive. I think the fact that they eat a few of our plants and vegetables is part of the price of living int he "suburbs." And if we have to take some steps to keep the yard clean, so what.

At least the people quoted in Stephanie's story seemed reasonable.

-- Ray Hanania

Saturday, October 25, 2008

How Mayor McLaughlin is manipulating the property tax collections to shore up his re-election

How Mayor McLaughlin is manipulating the property tax collections to shore up his re-election

Click HERE for a history of Orland Park's elections (1998 to present)

Want to know how the Orland Park Tax Rebate program is being manipulated to manage the results of the local elections?

First of all, remember, that when you impose a property tax and then rebate it, it is a tax reduction. When you repeal all or part of the tax rebate, it is a TAX INCREASE. Don't let the politicians define for you what a tax increase is or isn't. It IS defined by the bottomline of how much money is taken by the village from your pocket and KEPT.

But back to our main story this morning on how Mayor Dan McLaughlin used and abused taxes to help shore up his re-elections over the years and how the tax rebate plan was used to keep the sheep voters (you) sleepy and happy grazing on our "Tall Grass."

In 2002, the Village of Orland Park increased the sales tax .75 in order to generate more revenues for their spending. (Most people have forgotten that.)To off-set the increase, and counter the anger from the community, Mayor McLaughlin and the Village Board proposed rebating the village property tax that was collected. They could have reduced the property tax itself, but like all politicians they want you to remember that he that taketh can also giveth. That year, they returned 50 percent of the property tax rebate and the Orland Park sheep, I mean voters, went back to grazing mindlessly and uncaringly about their community. It was a great political gimmick and it worked. Go to the Village's very informative web site and you'll see press releases one everything, all the "happy talk: McLaughlin is used to pouring into the spoons of the local newspapers. But there ISN'T a press release on cutting the tax rebate program, which is a BACKDOOR Property tax increase. McLaughlin won a contested re-election in 2001 by a comfortable margin. But comfortable isn't good enough for politicians like McLaughlin who say one thing from one side of their mouths and somethign else from the other. That's why the Tax Rebate plan was so ingenious. Take the property tax burden that he and his village board put on the people of Orland Park, and then withdraw it and pretend like you are doign the taxpayers a favor. That's the concept of the "Tax Rebate" Plan. It really benefits the elected officials more than it does the home owners. (The rebate equals about 5 percent of the total taxes on a typical Orland Park property, but it means huge benefits for McLaughlin.)

At first, it was only a half-rebate of the village tax. But in 2002, McLaughlin went to a full rebate after imposing the Sales Tax Increase of .75 percent. Remember, McLaughlin's argument then was the burden fell on people who lived outside of Orland Park who were coming into this retail giant of a shopping strip, so, he argued, while you would pay, too, outsiders would pay and help build the village.

AND McLAUGHLIN WOULD REBATE YOUR PROPERTY TAXES in order to make you accept the sales tax increase.

Cheap politics. But the sheep in Orland Park simply went about their business uncaring, grazing and baaaahing!

They went to the full rebate to shore up his re-election chances. And sure enough, in 2005 McLaughlin and his clerk David P. Maher, (the father of the Orland Fire Protection District head who clobbered seniors recently by ordering that they pay for ambulance service out of pocket -- what a putz!), were UNOPPOSED for election. McLaughlin received almost every vote that was cast in the contested race four years early, 9,200 or so votes.

And the rebate stayed the same.

Now, McLaughlin wants to abolish the rebate. Who cares about the taxpayers who have proven to be sheep-voters who are easily abused and exploited. But McLaughlin DOESN'T DARE eliminate the ENTIRE TAX REBATE because he is up for re-election on April 7, 2009 and he won't know until January if he is going to face a challenger and McLaughlin doesn't take chances., the huge salaried union plumber spokesman that he is.

Believe me when I tell you that they WILL repeal the entire Rebate after this next election. They don't need it any more to make you forget about the .75 increase in the Orland Park sales tax because you have already forgotten. McLaughlin's pals in Cook County Board President Todd Stroger's regime sure took care of that this year.

So, McLaughlin WILL repeal the tax rebate, but after the election.

In the meantime, they will reduce it 33 percent as a start. They need the money. Their strategy to choke this community with retail businesses to boast sales taxes is not working 1) because sales taxes are so high many people are fleeing to Will County to make larger purchases and 2) the economy has tanked.

You can go to my Radio Show Web Site and get information on how EASY it is to run for public office. Are you going to let McLaughlin run unopposed again?


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Veterans encouraged to attend Jobs Fair in Orland Park Nov. 7

U.S.Department of LaborFor Immediate Release
Office of Public AffairsOct.22, 2008
Chicago,Ill.Contact:Scott Allen or BradMitchell
Release Number:08-1508-CHIPhone:312-353-6976
For Veterans Day, U.S. Department of Labor encourages
Orland Park, Ill., area employers to participate in Veterans’ Job Fair
Employers and veterans invited to participate in Nov. 7 event

ORLAND PARK, Ill. — In observance of Veterans Day, the U.S. Department of Labor encourages employers and veterans to attend the Veterans’ Job Fair on Nov. 7 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. CST at the Orland Park Civic Center, 14750 Ravinia Ave. in Orland Park.

Employers looking for excellent job candidates either for immediate or future hire are encouraged to attend the Veterans’ Job Fair. Interested employers can contact Lane Knox of the Illinois Department of Employment Security at 312-636-4053 to learn more.

“America’s military service men and women are well known for their discipline, strong work ethic, leadership and technical skills,” said Heather Higgins, regional administrator for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS). “With these job fairs, we can help America’s veterans transition back to civilian life when their tours of duty end, and help employers connect with great workers.”

This job fair is one of nearly 100 nationwide to be held as part of VETS’ HireVetsFirst campaign. For more information on all of the veterans’ employment programs offered by VETS, visit

# # #
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America’s employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit

Orland Parker launches programs to help Regular People run for local office

The Orland Parker is setting up a support network to help individuals and regular people run for local office like mayor, trustee and also park, school board and library board positions. We'll not only have the documentation available for you to download and fill out, to file for the offices, but we will also have the calendar information and even make some election lawyers available to give you advice ...

The system is being set up at ... Now is the time to start thinking about filing your nomination papers and collecting your sigantures for the April 7, 2009 consolidated elections.

Orland Park is one of our prime target communities, but we will help candidates file in EVERY suburban locale FREE OF CHARGE.

We'll also offer guidance on how to manage and structure your campaigns, to get media and to do direct mail offering companies that provide the services efficiently and cheaply. We even have a few willing to drastically reduce their costs to help you.

AND, we will promote any and all candidates on our radio program, our web site network (which brings in more than 3,000 hits every day) and in our newspaper columns and interviews.

We are going to help give you a leg-up on the system, the incumbents and the corrupt and failing news media outlets.

-- Ray Hanania

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Orland Park tax Rebates WILL be lower, not "might be"

Orland Park officials said it clearly that the budget problems (and didn't say their failure to look ahead) would cause them to alter the way they define the village tax rebate and return only a portion of it to taxpayers.

That's a reversal on their promise to return the entire village tax rebate to homeowners that they insisted they were doing not as a political move but to compensate for the huge amount of retail stores they had attracted to Orland Park which has caused an enormous traffic jam in the village for the past decade. The traffic has been terrible.

The village said they would deduct a portion to pay the pension bill for the village to cover the enormous pension benefits for the villages elected officials -- why not just give yourselves a pay increase, too while you are at it, and hire a second over-salaried person to work with the high-salaried Village Manager you already hired, Paul Grimes. Or, maybe, buy a few more homes including from a few people you know, and then try to resell them to help them out -- not the village of course.

It would be nice if the media pretending to cover the Village of Orland Park "full time" at least got the story right. Everyone else int he village knows the facts.


-- Ray Hanania

Sunday, October 19, 2008

One sided report in the Joliet-Herald News about the 81st District Race

You'll have to dig hard to read any real analysis of the state representative race in the 81st District between incumbent Republican Renee Kosel and Democrat Rich Kelly. So far there hasn't been any fair or balanced reporting at all. This story is a good example that showcases Renee's "achievements" in office -- I can't believe she is taking credit for building i-355 and the reporter let her get away with it :)

Anyway, here's the link. Forget the quotes and use it for background on the two candidates. I expect Kosel will be sending this out in her campaign literature. Too bad. We need someone to do some critical reporting in this race but we won't get it, again.

Click here's for the link.

-- Ray Hanania

School board races gearing up for Spring

Now's the time to get involved in local elections and I will be posting information on how you can file and run for local trustee spots in orland Park, Tinley Park and elsewhere to force our elected officials to be accountable -- they're not.

It's not hard to do and you would be surprised how easily some of these incumbents can be beat simply by filing your petitions and then reaching out to voters. I will showcase ALL independent candidates running for office in Orland Park here mainly because I feel the Village of Orland Park's Mayor, Trustees, the Clerk and the Village Manager have been unresponsive and are taking you for granted.

They don't care about you and they thinkt hat just because there is a new newspaper that publishes their press releases, they can tell you what they want without being accountable.

The biggest problems I see:

Lack of accountability. Mayor McLaughlin is not accountable and doesn't want to be. He is a Chicago Machine Democrat who doesn't care about the views of Orland Park residents. he only cares about his friends and supporters and if you question -- I didn't even say challenge just question -- his decisions, he will ostracize you, target you and villify you. (When I questioned his decision to avoid public input in the select of the Civic Center Director's position -- a very high paying spot -- McLaughlin lashed out at me. All I wanted to do was give Orland Park residents a chance to submit nominations for the post. The candidate they did hire is very good and the issue is NOT about her. It is about the PROCESS. Chances are she would have gotten the job anyway, but McLaughlin prevented the community from even having a voice in that high paying job.

Traffic in Orland Park is nauseating. The village has done a poor job of managing traffic, even with the widened LaGrange Road, a state project, traffic is horrible. One of the problems is McLaughlin and his village board mafia have stuffed the village with new stores helter skelter. Theya re ALL OVER the place. The benefit they promised was that the increased sales taxes from sales would allow the village to REFUND our village taxes.

Now, as you all know -- and the newspapers did a poor job of explaining this, your VILLAGE REBATE is being reduced significantly and you WILL NOT receive the full rebate back that you ALREADY PAID to the village. Instead, the village will be taking a significant portion of the rebate and using it to pay other bills.

So, the purpose of the increased retail development in fact has failed. McLaughlin was shortsighted and did not factor in the problems of the economy which didn't just happen this year. They have been hammering the village for four years. McLaughlin continued to paint a rosey picture -- knowing the local media never challenges his mistakes and poor judgment at all.

The taxes and fees HAVE INCREASED in Orland Park.

Just look at how much more you are paying in village taxes, even though your property value is plumetting. Blame it on the county if you want, but I blame it on the people we elected to represent us and who have done a POOR JOB of representing us.

The reduction in the rebate IS A TAX INCREASE.

It's not about how they explain it, as you might comprehend from the incomprehensible local papers. It IS about how much money you end up ACTUALLY PAYING. And you will be paying more because the Village of Orland Park took a specific action to reduce the rebate which means keeping money you paid that they said they would return to you.

It's a shell game in orland Park.

And, they have increased an array of village fees and those fees are basically tax increases. What is a "tax?" It is when they take money from you to pay for village services. They can take it through the corrupt Cook County and State of Illinois tax systems, or, they can take it from the services they offer you that you must pay money to receive.

As I have already detailed in past columns, the Water Bill continues to increase and the INCREASES DO NOT have to do with the price of water that we buy through Oak lawn and from the City of Chicago. The increases have to do with increases the Village of Orland Park has implemented on the bill itself, increasing the amount of charge the village charges to manage and administer the bill itself.

Then there are other fees that have increased int he water bill, too.

How much has the village lost in terms of the homes the village purchased, some from people the Mayor knew? The village has lost perhaps millions on those purchases and huge investments the village -- you the taxpayer -- paid to upgrade them because of the water damage caused by the improper and inadequate sewer and drainage system that has plagued this village for years and only was addressed when there was a catastrophic problem.

So, if you are interested in running for office, I am going to help you.

I will have an election law attorney available to help anyone whow ants to run for office. And, i will showcase your candidacies on my morning radio show program on WJJG 1530 AM which airs Monday through Friday beginning at 8 AM. Just go to for information.

Here's some basic info on the timetable for running for office:

- Elections will be held during consolidated elections on April 7. School
districts have recently released information on how interested residents can get
- The first day prospective candidates may circulate petitions is Oct. 28. Candidates may file nominating papers between Jan. 20 and Jan. 26 with their respective district office. Feb. 5 is the last day candidates can withdraw from nomination.
- To be eligible, candidates must be at least 18 years old on the date of the election, a United States citizen, a resident of Illinois and their school district for at least one year immediately preceding the election and a registered voter.

Ray Hanania

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hypocrisies abound in handling of Christian versus Muslim hoaxers

Dueling hoaxes expose more than youthful lies in bonfire of the bigotries
By Ray Hanania

The incidents happened weeks apart, a young Christian girl in Palos Heights, a community notorious for anti-Arab hatred and racism, told police that she had been sexually assaulted by an man she described as “Arab looking.”

Police developed a sketch of the suspect and the community response was immediate. The sketch was posted on nearly every store window not just in Palos Heights, but throughout the Southwest Suburbs across a 15 mile span that happened to correspond with the regional settlement of Arabs.

Although widely reported, the story even made America’s Most Wanted and host John Walsh repeated the description of the assailant being “creepy” looking.

Several weeks later, a Muslim girl reports she is assaulted at Elmhurst College. The news media covered the event and Muslim organizations stood up denouncing the attack as an example of rising anti-Muslim and anti-Arab hate crimes.

In contrast, there wasn’t a peep from Arab American groups as they are ineffective and dysfunctional. And, America’s Most Wanted, which always seems to highlight cases where the victims are White and the Assailants are Black and “creepy” looking Arabs, didn’t bother to even give the incident 15 seconds on their popular national weekend TV program.

Safia Jilani, 19, told Elmhurst Police that she was attacked in the bathroom at the Southwestern suburban college and the incident was declared a “hate crime” when police found threatening graffiti written on the bathroom’s mirrors and walls.

Just about the time of the Muslim attack, the family of the Christian assault victim hired an attorney and the attorney announced his client had lied to police and that no such sexual attack had taken place.

The attorney expressed genuine remorse from the family, apologizing to the public, the police and later to “ethnic groups” who felt targeted, a reference to the Arab American profile of the hoax. Police said they would not prosecute, although the investigation into the crime cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The girl has agreed to do community service.

But when Jilani’s hoax was discovered, after she admitted to police that she had made up the attack details, police immediately announced they would file charges against her. She is charged with a Class 4 Felony and can face up to 4 years imprisonment.

The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) which helped lead calls to declare the event a Hate Crime, responsibly and immediately issued a statement saying that false reports like Jilani’s undermine efforts to fight the many other, frequent incidents of discrimination that do occur.

Hate groups immediately flooded the Internet with statements denouncing Muslims as anti-American and citing the Jilani case as evidence that claims of discrimination are false.

Arab groups remained silent, reinforcing their view that doing nothing is oftentimes the best course of action.

What caused these students to do what they did?

In the case of the young Palos Heights girl, who is under-aged and her identity is therefore not made public, she was afraid to tell her parents about something she had done. The sexual assault would help her cover that up.

In the case of Jilani, earlier before she made up her lies, there was a clash between rightwing conservatives on the campus and students, including many Arabs and Muslims, who were protesting the abuse and violation of the rights of prisoners at Guantanamo, a detention center many compare to a concentration camp and a Russian Gulag. Many of the prisoners there are victims of politics and have never been charged with any crime, other than being Arab or Muslim.

Tensions were high at Elmhurst College but college officials acted responsibly to address the issues. Tensions were also high at Palos Heights but officials there have notoriously refused to address the rising incidents of hatred that have given the community the shameful moniker, “Palos Hates.”

Palos Heights was the site of the 2000 community protest to prevent their Muslim neighbors from establish a Mosque where they could pray. Palos Heights has two dozen Christian Churches, and no Synagogue.

While both girls are responsible for their lies, they are also victims of societies that put ethnic and religious faces on crimes. It’s not enough to capture a criminal. The suspects are used to argue racial issues that dominate American society and politics.

But there is one thing very clear.

When a Christian girl, who is White, cries wolf and it turns out she is lying, society is more willing to excuse her actions and not punish her with imprisonment of fines.

When a Muslim or Arab girl cries wolf and it turns out she is lying, the bonfires of bigotries and racism are ignited.

Although most of the police sketches of the phony “creepy” Arab assailant have been taken down from store windows, the mental sketches of hatred remain seared into the racism of a community disabled by hate.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist and Chicago radio talk show host. He can be reached at or by email at

Thursday, October 16, 2008

YESSSSSS ... in the fight against litter bugs

This story is the best so far, from the Chicago Tribune:

Orland Park man charged with flinging bag full of papers out of a car onto street
Tribune staff report
October 16, 2008
An Orland Park man was cited for littering from a motor vehicle after he allegedly hurled a bag full of papers out of the passenger side window in the 11700 block of Greenfield Drive.

William Burgy, 19, of the 17800 block of Brookfield Circle was issued a ticket last week after a resident saw him throw the papers, police said. The resident found a receipt with the car owner's name and address on it, police said.

Burgy admitted to throwing the litter, police said.

# # #

It's about time litterbugs get nailed. The worst thing is to see so much litter flying around Orland Park. We have a HUGE litter problem. Just come down any neighborhood street off of a main street like 151st or LaGrange road and you can see the litter flying around.

So, yeah, for the person who picked up the bag and found a receipt it in that led to the litterbug.

Too bad he's the target of the problem. He's young and young people often do things without thinking. The bigger problem though are the adults who do it. They SHOULD be nabbed.

-- Ray Hanania

Sunday, October 12, 2008

John McCain's shame and the massacre of 34 Americans under his father's command on June 8, 1967

On June 8, 1967, the Israeli military was in the midst of a war with its Arab neighbors. At the time, they were engaged int he battle and did not fully grasp how easily the Arab nation's armies had collapsed -- they were never a real threat to Israel. Israel wanted the United States -- which was already supplying Israel with military supplies from American military stockpiles -- to also enter the war and attack Egypt, which was a client state at the time of the Soviet Union.

On June 8, 1967, Israel's air force was monitoring an American Naval Vessel, a spy ship, that was monitoring the war for the US Navy. The ship was the U.S.S. Liberty. The Israeli air force had monitored the ship for 7 hours. Suddenly, the Israeli planes disappeared. They were replaced minutes later by unmarked fighter jets that launched a massive assault on the ship which only had a few guns and cannons but was not a fighter vessel. The attack killed 10 American sailors.

The Liberty soldiers, who were pro-Israel and supporting Israel at the time, ran to the deck to wave American flags, but the jets kept firing ont he ship killing many of the sailors as they waved the American flags. Scores were wounded.

The ships captain immediately signaled an SOS to the commander of the 6th Fleet, who also immediately issued an order for American forces to respond and defend the U.S.S. Liberty. But within minutes, the order was contermanded and revoked by the 6th Fleet Commander and the rescue and defense American forces were ordered to stand down and return to their ships.

The order to not defend the Liberty came directly from Admiral John McCain, Senator McCain's father. Admiral McCain ordered that the 6th Fleet immediately withdraw its rescue and defense operation partly because he did not want the American forces to directly engage the Israelis.

When the order not to intervene was issued, the Israeli returned with five torpedo boats that were clearly marked with Israeli flags and the Star of David. The torpedo boats fired five torpedoes at the U.S.S. Liberty. Onew of the torpedoes was a direct hit and struck the U.S.S. Liberty and killed 24 more American soldiers.

In the meantime, the commander of the 6th Fleet was fighting with Admiral McCain demanding that support be sent to DEFEND AMERICAN LIVES. It was no longer about Israel and the Arab coutnries but about AMERICAN LIVES. Admiral McCain could have issued orders to intervene, even though President Lyndon Baines Johnson was now involved in the discussions about the war and the incident involving the U.S.S. Liberty. LBJ was quoted as saying that despite the tragedy of the attack on the Liberty, he did not want to do anything that would expose Israel to defeat at the hands of the Arab nations -- remember, no one knew for sure, especially among the Americans, how easily the Israelis would defeat the Arab armies.

Admiral McCain's actions COST THE LIVES OF 24 AMERICANS who were killed AFTER the first attack and when it was clear the ship could have been defended.

The Israelis returned a third time assaulting the ship this time with helicopter gunships filled with heavily armed Israeli soldiers who were preparing to storm the ship. Their goal was to kill every last American on the U.S.S. Liberty as it became apparent to the Israelis that their plan to destroy and sink the Liberty had failed, that there were witnesses and that they feared the massacre of Americans would result in destroying their relationship with the United States. But before the troops could be ordered to assault, the Israelis realized that the battle among the American military leaders was now a major issue and it was clear that the Israelis had been identified not only by the survivors on the U.S.S. Liberty as being Israeli, but also by the commander of the 6th Fleet.

The assault helicopters were called back.

After the incident, Admiral McCain sent a commander to meet with the ship's survivors and he ordered them to keep their mouths shut or to face court marshal. If anyone EVER discussed what happened, they would be punished.

For years, no one spoke out about theinjustice. Then, survivors began to fight back publishing several books about what they saw with their own eyes, and challenging the Israeli propaganda that the ship was attacked "by accident," which was now the "official version" that was endorsed by the Israelis and the John administration and by Admiral McCain.

In response, Israel's powerful lobby produced its own material and a bookw as wwritten by a pro-Israel apologist which claimed the attack was an accident and that the allegations by the eyewitnesses on the boat, and the documents, were false. It further claimed that 10 official investigations were conducted and all concluded that the attack was an accident. The truth was, there was only one official Military Probe and it refused to blame Israel. testimony from the survivors at the investigation were censored and charges that the Israelis intentionally attacked the ship were rmeoved from the official record.

How does Sen. John McCain come into the picture. His father was the commander during the Gulf of Tonkin incident in which the United States and John administration faked up an attack on an American ship to allow American forceds to invade and bomb North Vietnam. The attack never took place, but Johnson got what he wanted, an excuse to enter the Vietnam War in full force with the backing of the American people who thought the Vietnamese had in fact attacked and killed Americans.

Senator John McCain acted to defend his father's honor and he endorsed the propaganda, pro-Israel book version of the attack on the U.S.S. Liberty introducing it to the U.S. Senate and declaring that this book by an outsider an dproagandist for Israel was in fact the official version of what happened. He then introduced the book to the Library of Congress to further cement the lie and to cover-up for his father's betrayal of the American soldiers and the American people and truth.

Senator John McCain owes the American people an apology. And, he can make this right by standing up and demanding a full and uncensored public investigation into how America turned its back on its fighting men on June 8, 1967 in order to protect an ally it viewed crucial to the Cold War with the Soviet Union. Senator McCain can show he is a leader by exposing the truth about his father's misdeed and to stand up for the families of the 34 brave men who were murdered by israel on June 8, 1967, and for the survivors and their families who have endured ridicule, shame and insult over the years for simply trying to tell the truth.

You can hear the story of the shameful coverup by Admiral John McCain and Sen. John McCain and the details of the massacre on my radio show (in both audio and video podcast) at

Regardless of whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, the way our American soldiers were mistreated is shameful and remains a black spot on the honor of this country. It MUST be corrected and clarified and truth MUST be allowed to come out. The survivors of the Israeli massacre of 34 Americans must be given the chance to tell the truth, and the cowards who have shamefully tried to cover up and protect Israel's actions deserve to experience the same ridicule and persecution that the survivors, American soldiers and their families, have been forced to endure for more than 40 years.

-- Ray Hanania

Friday, October 10, 2008

Anti-Arab racism continues to plague southwest Chicago suburbs

It has been nearly a decade since residents of Palos Heights sullied their community by rising in protest against their neighbors who happened to be Muslim who sought to open a Mosque where they could observe their religion.

The move pushed nearly 2,000 people to sign a petition protesting the mosque plans, and sparked a high profile public battle led by some members of the Palos Heights City Council.

A few years later, after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, nearly 700 residents of Orland Park tried but failed to prevent Muslims from doing the same there, claiming that building a Mosque for the region’s Arabs who bring Osama Bin Laden’s terrorism to the suburb.

Although both incidents have faded from public view, the anti-Muslim and anti-Arab hatred that sparked the incidents of community racism has not dissipated at all. There have been many less publicized incidents.

So it was not surprising when on Sept. 16, 2008, a 17-year-old girl working a late night shift at T.J. Grinders in Palos Heights on Harlem Avenue claimed she had been sexually assaulted by a man who looked “Arab” or “Indian.”

According to police, the girl had sent a text message to a friend saying a strange man who looked “creepy” had been ogling her through the sandwich shop’s window before coming in an ordering a sandwich.

Two hours later when she was alone and closing the store, the “creepy man” put a knife to her neck, ordered her into the back seat of his black car, and threatened to kill her if she made a sound. He drove around for 20 minutes and then took her to the forest preserves where he sexually assaulted her.

After the 30 minute assault, she said he drove her within blocks of her home and dropped her off in her t-shirt and underwear.

The police drawing of the suspect, based on the young girl’s description, clearly described a man who looked Middle Eastern. It was a horrible thing to see for Arabs and Muslims in the area as the flyer was distributed everywhere, from Palo Heights to Burbank and to Orland Park, communities with large Arab American populations.

The story immediately became a major report on the weekly FOX News Crime program “America’s Most Wanted,” a program that has done so much good to capture criminals and make the public aware of crime. But you could sense the animosity reflected in the tone of the words of the host, John Walsh when he spoke about the “vicious sexual assault” and the “disturbed sexual predator.” The report noted repeatedly that the suspect was “Arab” or “Indian.”

And it repeated the claim by the victim that the alleged suspect “emitted some minor but offensive body odor,” according to America’s Most Wanted.

Over the past few weeks, emails have been circulating through the Internet about those “Arab animals” and “Muslim monsters” who live in Palos Heights, Orland Park, Burbank and elsewhere.

The Southwest suburbs have a large concentration of Arab Americans. Although they are mostly Christian, the Muslims whose women wear Hijabs of head coverings, stand out making them more obvious targets of the growing hatred.

This week, Palos Heights police announced they were closing their investigation into the alleged sexual assault. The girl’s attorney, Martin A. Dolan, issued a statement that apologized to the “Southwest suburban community” for “the unnecessary concern and the time and effort from everyone involved.”

Dolan’s statement continued, "At this time, we assure you our community is safe and always has been... we ask you to continue your prayers for the family and avoid criticism or anger as they move forward and cope."

It must be terrible to be the parents of a young child that is disturbed enough to make up such a story. I wonder how people in the Southwest Suburbs feel about a child who found it so easy to point a finger of blame against an “Arab” or an “Indian.”

I wonder how many of the people who sent the hate emails around warning about the vicious Arab rapist who was wandering our community from Burbank, to Palos Heights to Orland Park still believe this?

Dolan said he did address the issue of the racism and the family specifically apologized to the specific ethnic groups that were mentioned. This was the action of a young, immature girl and she did not intentionally try to single out Arabs and Indians, he said. “But I think maybe it might be a wider problem and I can appreciate it for sure," Dolan said.

But, I wonder how long it will be before all of the phony police sketches of the “Arab” or “Indian” suspect will be removed.

It probably will happen faster than many people in the Southwest suburbs will be able to cleanse their hearts of the racism that helped make this tragic young girl’s lies so believable.

-- Ray Hanania

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Reporting on a Halliburton abuse case -- local Orland Park lawyer heads defense

I'm in Peoria reporting on the Bush administration's prosecution of a former Halliburton-KBR contractor who is accused of inflating a contract in exchange for a bribe taking place in the Peoria Federal Court room of Judge Joe Billy McDade. The judge and J. Scott Arthur, the attorney for the defendant Jeff Mazon, got into an argument over how far Arthur could go in defending Mazon, excluding a discussion about the merits of the Iraq War, other instances of corruption related to Halliburton and KBR contracts in Iraq and more. You can read the first report at the Southwest News-Herald newspaper online at or at my Middle East writing sites including the Arab American Writers Group Syndication at

Arthur is from Orland Park. Mazon is from Country Club Hills.

Since I will be doing remotes often on Mornings with Ray Hanania, this week is a test to see how we can work out some kinks in the direct internet link connection from Peoria to the station iN berkeley at WJJG 1530 AM Radio.

This morning's topic includes the Halliburton case, but focuses mainly on the current economic crisis in America and the opinions of listeners on how they feel about the $700 billion bailout package and what they think needs to be done.

Call the station at 708-493-1530 or listen to the program online at There is a link to the online stream feed at the upper righthand corner of the web page.

-- Ray Hanania