Issues and controversies that I just can’t seem to ignore
Award winning columnist Ray Hanania writes about migrants and illegal aliens, the failed policies of President Biden, handicapped parking violators, Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau one of the region’s worst elected officials next only to Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi, and the killing of civilians in the Gaza War in his latest op-ed published in the Southwest News Newspaper Group community newspapers
By Ray Hanania
Some of the issues that I can’t just seem to get past:
Migrants, Illegal aliens and the homeless
Government is very unresponsive to the needs of the homeless who sleep on the streets, have little funds and have to panhandle to get money to buy unhealthy fast foods.
Not enough money is available to make the homeless shelters more attractive to the homeless to convince them to live in them. No one monitors how the homeless are treated and they have no one to advocate for their rights.
But, if you happen to be a foreigner who doesn’t want to waste your time applying for immigration, you can simply cross the southern border to flee your country of origin in the hopes of relocating to America.
Migrants and illegal aliens who enter the country without going through the legal process seem to get more attention from the news media, more support from our politicians and are the focus of a vigorous public debate.
The homeless? No one talks about their needs although we do throw a few nickels and dimes at them during the holiday season like Thanksgiving and Christmas.
No homeless person should be allowed to pan handle at intersections. Some of them, I suspect, have money and find panhandling as a lucrative alternative to working.
Handicapped Parking spaces
Individuals who have handicaps that make it hard for them to walk should absolutely be given handicap parking permits. But drivers who are not handicapped should not park in those spots simply because the vehicle has the handicap card.
Too often, I see car owners park in handicap parking spots and then energetically jump out of the drivers seat and spritely walk to the Post Office or grocery store.
Even if there is a handicapped person in the car, but that person does not get out, the driver should NOT park in a handicapped parking space.
The only person who should park in a handicapped parking spot is a car with a handicapped person who needs to leave the car and walk to the business or destination.
Too often. handicap parking cards are used by very healthy people who find it too convenient.
I’m 70 and I have all kinds of health issues. But I can walk very well and I can drive very well. Why would I need a handicapped parking permit? Just because I have other health issues that don’t impede my movement?
Cook County Officials have no accountability
Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi implemented the largest property assessments increase in our history in order to push through a backdoor property tax — higher assessments on property mean higher property taxes, and yet nothing can be done except to wait until his term in office is completed.
Kaegi is unresponsive to homeowner needs
In contrast, Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas has made serving the needs of the public taxpayers her number one priority. She has translated her website into 127 languages, actively worked to HELP taxpayers recover overpaid taxes. She even reached out to communities that may have language issues and to new immigrants hesitant to deal with government.
That overpaid tax issue is surprisingly huge. Thanks to her outreach — Pappas actually went out to dozen of communities on the weekends and during evening hours to help property owners apply for their overpayments which have ranged from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars.
Overpayments happen for many reasons including during and after home sales, or when the bank and the homeowner both pay the taxpayers.
Keith Pekau is an irresponsible, pathological liar
Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau continues to attack residents who question his leadership including veterans like the courageous Orland Park veteran Diana Howard. Click here to read my column about the first time she challenged Pekau who continues to lie about the facts. In his abusive bullying eNewsletter, Pekau again attacked Howard and other veterans — Pekau only loves those veterans who kiss his political ass and constantly vilifies those who question him like me and like Howard.
Orland Park’s future is at stake and you have to see through Pekau’s lies. Don’t let him wrap himself around veterans and the police as a shield against his pathetic leadership. He is one of th eworst mayors Orland Park ha sever seen.
All Pekau has done is to give his sycophants and donors huge taxpayer funded contracts and the achievement he claims to have brought to Orland Park have either been minor or have been his embrace of achievements made by his predecessor former Mayor Dan McLaughlin. Pekau doesn’t have one original idea except to increase fees, increase taxes and pander to emotions.
Pekau has continued to lie about me, referring to me as a blogger, pretending that i don’t write for a major southwest suburban and city community newspaper chain. Apparently, he thinks bloggers — citizens who have opinions, are all bad.
As for robocalls, Pekau is kettle calling the pot black.
On being an American
The whole concept of a person have “dual citizenship” with America and another foreign country is an outrageous corruption of patriotism and loyalty.
Are people who have American and Israeli citizenship, for example, who only serve in the Israeli military but not the American military deserving of our citizenship? Are they really “Americans” when they share their loyalty with another foreign country?
My parents, both Christian, are Palestinian. My dad immigrated in the 1920s to America and served during World War II in the O.S.S. fighting to defend this country from foreign threats. My mother is from Bethlehem and my cousins are associated with the Church of the Nativity which marks where Jesus was born.
They came to this country to be American, although they proudly embrace their cultural heritage. But they didn’t have foreign citizenship and they dedicated their entire lives to defending the interest of this country over the interests of foreign countries.
We should ban dual citizenship and force people to either embrace and make America their true homes, or leave and go live in the foreign country they love more.
And that’s my opinion!
(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter. A political analyst and CEO of Urban Strategies Group, Hanania’s opinion columns on mainstream issues are published in the Southwest News Newspaper Group in the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers. His Middle East columns are published in the Arab News. For more information on Ray Hanania visit www.Hanania.com or email him at email@example.com.)
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