Monday, January 30, 2012

Puppie Mills and protests in Orland Park -- what to do?

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Whenever the protesters are outside of Happiness is Pets protesting from Companion Animal Protection Society, I always honk my horn when I drive by. I love small animals and I think it is great that there is a group of activists who are fighting to insure that little animals like puppies are treated fairly and protected.

The idea that anyone would abuse a small animal is repulsive. The story about the U.S. Marine who threw a small dog over a ledge in Iraq so he and his soldier pals could video tape it for YouTube really angered me. And I was glad that another guy who recently kicked a small kitten like a football is facing charges, and the cat is okay.

But, I am not sure about the controversy at Happiness is Pets, where the protesters have been gathering when they can. Their protest is symbolic, for now. But is Happiness is Pets doing the right thing or the wrong thing? I don't know.

I'd like the owner of Happiness is Pets to put out a statement and declare unequivocally that he is not getting pets from the puppy mils. I think no animal should be purchased from a puppy mill, but more importantly, I think legislators should pass a law that would require that puppy mills be inspected regularly and frequently. And the law should shut down those puppy mills if they inspectors discover abuses that protesters claim are occurring.

Today, the Southtown/Star did a nice piece on the confrontation that erupted in from of the Happiness is Pets store on 94th Avenue in Orland Park. (Click here to read it or just take my word for it that there was a back and forth and the police were called. The Southtown has this policy forcing you to subscribe to the online news which is ridiculous. I buy it at the newsstands when I need it, but not everyday. That's another story.)

I'd like to know, though, what the owner of Happiness is Pets has to say about the complaints that their puppies are purchased from a puppy mill. I'd like the protesters to say which puppy mill their animals are purchased at. I think the Southtown/Star needs to do more reporting because not enough information is there to give good answers -- they covered the flash-up between the two sides, but not the substance of the issue. And that's one reason why I don't pay for online service, except for one. The media is not doing enough to provide answers.

All I know is that I do not want to support a retailer who sells small animals that have been raised in abusive surroundings like puppy mills.

Yet, my little Maltese, Jordy, was purchased at Happiness is Pets in January of 2002. He was in good health, although over the years he had issues. I'd still buy him and glad we did despite his health problems. I don't blame Happiness is Pets, but I do ask again, where do you buy your puppies. You have a responsibility to tell the public. Until you do, I think the protesters have an absolute right and responsibility to be there to help you make the right decisions.

-- Ray Hanania
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Thursday, January 26, 2012


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There are only 13 days left to file an appeal of your property tax assessment to the Cook County Board of Review. All appeals for Orland Township must be completed and filed by February 8, 2012.

Even if you filed an appeal with the Assessor's office last fall, you still have the opportunity to appeal to the Board of Review.

My office is here to assist you in completing the required paperwork and filing it with the Board of Review.  If you or anyone you know may benefit from an appeal, please contact my office at 708-349-1336 for assistance or click the link below to schedule an appointment live in real time: All appeals must be filed by February 8, 2012.
Please be sure to bring a copy of your 2010 Second Installment Tax Bill with you.
Please feel free to use the forward function at the bottom of this email to send this to your friends and family that live in Orland Township.

Distributed by Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth "Liz" Doody Gorman.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


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Cook County, IL, January 19, 2012 – Cook County Republican Chairman Sig Vaznelis has named businessman Sean Morrison Palos Township Republican Committeeman.

For more than a decade, Morrison has actively supported Republican causes, including the Reagan Library. He is an active member of the National Republican Congressional Committee and the Business Advisory Council of the NRCC.  In 2005, he was awarded the Ronald Regan Republican Gold medal and, in 2007, was nominated to serve as a Delegate from the State of Illinois at the House Republican Trust Candidates' Convention.

Former National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Chairman Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY) has said of Morrison: “Sean Morrison has long supported Republican ideals like debt reduction and tax reform as they relate to the growth and stability of small business in this country.”

“I believe Cook County Republican party’s platform is more business friendly and we need leaders from the business community to step up, work with us and be heard in Cook County and in Illinois.  Removing all outside factors, just looking at vision and business backgrounds made Sean the choice for Palos,” said Chairman Sig Vaznelis.

“I am honored to be named Palos Township Republican Committeeman,” said Morrison. “I’m looking forward to working with all people of good will – my fellow Republican township committeemen, grassroots leaders, businessmen, taxpayers, and concerned citizens – to build a Republican Party we can be proud of.”

Morrison has also performed extensive pro bono work in Cook County and Illinois. In November, Morrison was awarded LEADS 2011 Humanitarian Award for his work with LEADS and the Cook County Human Trafficking Task Force in helping solve missing persons and exploited children’s cases over the years.

A self-made businessman, Sean Morrison, 44, is the Founder and CEO of Morrison Security, Inc. headquartered in Alsip, Illinois. Morrison Security has more than 1,000 employees nationwide. He lives with his wife, Lora, and two children in Palos Park.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Election Board throws out politically motivated Thompson complaint against Gormans

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Orland Park -- The Illinois State Board of Elections this week dismissed complaints filed against Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman by Mark Thompson alleging that there was improper disclosure in her campaign funds.

Originally Thompson, who Gorman defeated last year for the Republican nomination for the Cook County Board, had filed before the Illinois election board on January 11, 2010 eight (8) specific counts alleging fraud. During the nearly two year long hearing, Thompson was forced to withdraw seven of the complaints as being irrelevant and without merit.

The final count, asserting that the Gorman's received anonymous funding, was dismissed by the Board of Elections.

"This is a good example of how some individuals like Mark Thompson use and exploit the taxpayers' money, time and our public agencies to conduct their failed political campaigns," said Liz Gorman in reaction to the recommendations of the State Commission.

"Mr. Thompson filed his complaints purely for political reasons. He didn't care that the complaints would exhaust taxpayer dollars. He didn't care that the allegations were a lie. All he cared about was the ability to file his outrageous and proven false claims so that he could make a political statement during his failed campaign. In his capacity as an attorney and employee of the State of Illinois, he should be investigated for knowingly filing a frivolous complaint and forced to reimburse the taxpayers."

Gorman filed a counter claim successfully exposing Thompson and his political allies, including disgraced former Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica, for their illegitimate disclosure practices, and depositing receipts into his campaign manager’s checking account rather than his own campaign committee. 

"The voters saw through the charades of both Mr. Thompson and Mr. Peraica who remains a defendant facing charges that he vandalized and destroyed the campaign signs of his opponent Jeff Tobolski and was then arrested and placed in a jail pending the filing of charges," Gorman said.

"These are not the kinds of people who should be representing the public.  They are a disgrace. Their total disregard for the interests of the taxpayers is now on full display for everyone to see."

Gorman said she will continue to fight for the best interests of the public and the taxpayers.

(Judge's Order Below)

) SS
In the Matter Of: ) )
Mark Thompson, ) )
Complainant(s), )
vs. ) 10 CD 001)
Elizabeth Gorman/The Gorman )
Good Government Group, )
Respondent(s). )
TO: Mark Thompson Elizabeth Gorman/The Gorman Good Government Group
1168 Margret Street 10834 Carolyn Court
Des Plaines, IL 60016 Orland Park, IL 60467
This matter coming to be heard this 12th day of January, 2012 following a Closed Preliminary Hearing of a Complaint filed pursuant to “An Act to Regulate Campaign Financing” (Illinois Compiled Statutes, 10 ILCS 5/9-1 et seq., herein referred to as the “Act”), alleging that the respondent(s) violated 5/9-11 and 5/9-25 in that the Respondent committee failed to correctly identify the source of certain campaign contributions and expenditures and received contributions made in the name of another; and the State Board of Elections having read the report of the Hearing Officer and hearing the recommendation of the General Counsel and now being fully advised in the premises:


1. No proof has been provided that the source of the loans was anyone other than Gerald Gorman; and
2. The name and address of the contributor of the loan was disclosed as required by Section 5/9-11(8), and
3. The Gorman Good Government Group did not act improperly in amending their campaign financing reports in relation to the source of the loans and their subsequent partial repayment, and
4. The loans were neither anonymous nor made in the name of another which would have been a violation of Section 5/9-25, and
5. There is no proof the reporting of the $390,000.00 in loans violated either Section 5/9-11 or Section 5/9-25.


1. The Recommendation of the Hearing Officer and the General Counsel is adopted; and
2. No further action is required, and
3. The effective date of this Order is January 17, 2012.
DATED: 1/17/2012
William M. McGuffage, Chairman


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Best meals for a family in Orland Park: 94 West and the Grape Vine bakery

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If you want to really splurge, affordably, the best restaurant in Orland Park is 94 West Steak & Seafood restaurant. The top pick off of their menu is the 22 Ounce Prime Rib "Johnny's Cut" served with garlic mashed potatoes. It's $38 per person but it is the size of a brick. It's huge. There's the smaller 18 Ounce Prime Rib "Mary's Cut" which is only $34 with the Garlic Mashed Potatoes, too.

94 West is a high end, classy restaurant where you go to enjoy a meal with the family.

The ambiance in the restaurant reflects the quality of the service and the food.

Make sure to say hello to the owners, Brian and Maria Sjord.

Check it out.

But you don't always want to go out to eat. Sometimes you just want to stay home and enjoy a great quality meal, too. Maybe watch a great movie at home, or just sit around family style with the family in the comfort of your own home.

No place better serves take out than a little bakery called The Grape Vine. It's Middle Eastern (Mediterranean, if you prefer). They have a fabulous menu prepared int heir kitchen for pick-up and enjoyment.

I always order a "jar" of stuffed grape leaves (about 90 leaves). That's lamb and rice wrapped in grape leaves and simmered for about 45 minutes over a selection of lamb, chicken or kifta kabob (ground meat and parsley).

My favorite, when I'm not ordering grape leaves to take home is the Shish Kabob plate. You can order it based on the number of people you are serving. Each person is about $10 and you get top grade sirloin, chicken and kifta on a bed of yellow rice and sliced almonds, and slices of green peppers, tomatoes and onions.

Order for three people and it's really a full meal for four. Grab some hummus or diced salad with Tahini (ground sesame seed paste) sauce from Ziyad Brothers Importing (the nation's best distributors of fine Mediterranean foods --

You MUST try the shish kabob take-out. It's phenomenal. The meat is the best, which makes this little bakery one of the tops in the region.

(closeup of a portion of the large aluminum tray that you will get.)

-- Ray Hanania

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Fran Eaton's pathetic attempt to help her pal Dan Patlak

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Recently, as many South Suburbanites know from reading my columns, Fran Eaton, a rightwing political activist hack attacked me in her column at a little-known blog called "Illinois Review." Eaton has been campaigning to turn the Republican Party into a pantry for the Tea Party so she and her pals, other rightwing nut jobs, can take over. That's what she has been working on for years.

Click here to read my columns on the "Eaton scandal."

During the scuffle, Eaton and the Illinois Review denied that she was pals with Patlak. Really? That's a joke.

Just a few weeks ago Eaton wrote a scathing column attacking the Cook County Board of Review. (Click here to read that column.) Pretty obvious what she is saying, right. She's attacking the Board of Review and blaming all of the Board's problems and Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan (which is ridiculous, by the way) and on the Democrats.

In fact -- and here is where the Eaton pro-Tea Party spin machine falls in to place -- Eaton wrote:
The powers-that-be who control the county board and county offices as well as the board of review (which hears tax assessment appeals) are all Democrats and so solidly in place that few, if any, challenge them during elections. It’s meaningless for the most part, and those in power know it. Welcome to the “benefits” of one-party rule.
"... Are all Democrats ..." at the Cook County Board of Review. Hmmm. Why would she write that? Well, her pal, her buddy, her chum Dan Patlak is a member of the Cook County Board of Review. But Patlak is a Republican endorsed by the Republican Party and by Fran Eaton.

"all Democrats?"

How does that get by an editor of her columns?

Patlak is as Republican as they come. In fact, the Republican Party is divided over Patlak and Sean Morrison, which is one reason why Eaton hates Cook County's leading Republican champion Elizabeth "Liz" Doody Gorman. Gorman is a leader of the moderate, mainstream Republican Party. She represents everyday, average taxpayers and voters. She's been targeted by Eaton and Eaton's "creepy" friends. ("Creepy" is a word that Eaton and the Illinois Review use often to disparage anyone who disagrees with them, but they are the real creeps!)

Gorman is backing Morrison. Eaton and the Illinois Review are backing Patlak.

Eaton wouldn't disparage Patlak in her column bashing the Democrats because at least one of those "Democrats" -- Dan Patlak -- is a Fran Eaton Republican.

Here's a nice picture of the objective Eaton and Patlak together at the Republican State Fair in August 2011. (From Patlak's web page)

Here is Fran Eaton's writings attacking Sean Morrison to help Patlak, in one of the blogosphere's most rightwing blogs, making the bizarre claim that Morrison, who is a registered Republican, isn't a Republican at all. (To Eaton, anyone who isn't a Tea Party right wing fanatic is not Republican enough.) Click here to read that endorsement of Patlak from the Illinois Review's Eaton.

It was when I criticized another pal of Eaton and the Illinois Review, Jeff Junkas, that Eaton went spazz on me. Junkas did extremely well in the 2010 election against State Rep. Kevin McCarthy even though the Republican Party was split and Junkas did not have all the support. That's why, I wrote, that McCarthy decided to get out of the race to let State Rep Renee Kosel, a moderate mainstream Republican backed by Gorman take the district in the November elections. (Click here to read the column that lit Eaton's chubby fuse.)

Nice hack job Eaton! You're pathetic like the extremists you hang around with.

-- Ray Hanania

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Illinois Review and Fran Eaton continue racist bashing

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Poor little Illinois Review. They began a fight with me by attacking me and hiding their own racist bigotry that finally did come out in their multiple posts. But I took them on directly and confronted their lies and racism and now they are saying they are not goign to waste any more time on me, trying to connect me with Rod Blagojevich.

What a bunch of immature babies. Fran Eaton is the worst, a hypocrite who throws mud at people who criticize her personal friends and cronies like Jeff Junkass, the Tea Party extremist who was beaten by State Rep. Kevin McCarthy in 2010. When I criticized Junkas, Fran Eaton went berserk and starting attacking me, first saying that she wasn't pimping for Junkas (when she was) and then later attacking me because of my Arab heritage, which she and Illinois Review -- a racist publication with a racist past record -- published their second attack against me.

But when the protests came in hot and heavy against them, and their racism raised an ugly specter about their bigotry, they suddenly decided they want out of the hole they dug.

You are exposed Fran Eaton as a hypocrite, racist bigot. You can erase what you wrote to cover it up, and post updates to push evidence of racism down but everyone saw it.

And then to claim that somehow Rod Blagojevich is any more a friend than a friend of theirs (I never met or interviewed the former Governor even though I felt the sentence against him was too stiff), they can't say the same for the morons they hang around with.

Bring it on Fran Eaton and Illinois Review. I don't mind calling your bluff, exposing your poor writing, bad grammar and inaccurate reporting. Oh, and you won how many journalism awards? That's right. Just what I thought. Horrible people. Terrible publication. Exposed for the frauds that they are.

Click here to read my last response to their continued attacks. But they have been beaten down. Pathetic!!!

-- Ray Hanania

Poor Illinois Review and Fran Eaton, can't get their facts right but they love racist hate

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The Illinois Review is a blog. It's not a real reputable journalism source. It is a launching pad for right-wing nut jobs like Fran Eaton.

And the thing that nut jobs really hate is when they are taken to task, as I have recently skewered Fran Eaton and her writings. (She's not very good but that isn't as bad as her inability to get the facts right.)

Eaton launched a vicious attack against me last week when I wrote about the decision by State Rep. Kevin McCarthy to resign from his legislative seat. He did so because the state remapped districts and Republican State Rep. Renee Kosel, a Republican powerhouse from New Lenox/Mokena region decided to run in that 37th district. I noted, accurately, that McCarthy got a pass in two prior elections in 2006 and 2008 but faced a stiff challenge from an unknown (and thin-skinned) rightwing nut job Jeff Junkas. Click here to read the column which has been picked up and circulated throughout the state.

Junkas is a rightwing crackpot with no real substance. Just a lot of yelling, screaming and anger. he is also a GOOD FRIEND with Fran Eaton who is now distancing herself from him hoping that she can pretend to be objective and promote his candidacy to give her pals a leg-up in local politics. (They haven't been doing well at all.)

Eaton, like Junkas, hates moderate and mainstream Republicans like Kosel and Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth "Liz" Doody Gorman. Liz is the leading Republican in Cook County. Because I have written some columns praising Gorman, while criticizing Junkas, Illinois Review unleashed their poodle, Fran Eaton, to lumber through some ridiculous column (taken from the Chicago Sun-Times) about McCarthy's plight attacking me to defend the honor of Mr. Junk-ass. They referred to Southwest Suburban politics as "creepy."

No. The only thing creepy is Fran Eaton.

So I responded to Eaton's inaccuracies (as noted in the link above.)

And Illinois Review responded last night attacking me again. They can't get their facts right, as usual.

Eaton has never been a good writer and she is a journalistic fraud. She's an activist pimping for political pals of Illinois Review. Everyone knows that. But Illinois Review can promote the charade that they are objective all they want. No one believes them.

Here's their most recent personal attack. (Click to read their racist attack.) Note at the end when they can't provide any facts to contradict my points in my columns, they resort to racism and hatred. (Yes, I am Palestinian Arab, though they think I am Muslim. My wife Alison and my son are Jews. And I write for the Jerusalem Post, a real newspaper, unlike Eaton. And I stand up for peace in the Middle East, something the nut jobs in the Arab community dislike too -- ah, Eaton is much like the very people she despises!) When you can't attack the facts you attack the messenger and when you have nothing of substance to say about the messenger, you resort to racism.

So now Fran Eaton and the Illinois Review are racist. Why am I not surprised? The fact that Eaton and Illinois Review have to resort to racism and hate is not surprising since they are defending the segment of the Tea Party that has used racism and hatred as a part of their far right wing ideology. They are living proof of my contention that the Tea Party has some racist bigots among their ranks. (Thanks Fran for the proof.)

They are no different than the Jew-hating sites like Ilhras that constantly attack me.

-- Ray Hanania