Sunday, October 11, 2015

Captain "Queeg" Rauner Launches U.S.S. Illinois?

Rauner Gives "Christening Speech" for U.S.S. Illinois?

Imagine the desperation of the “event planner” as the Greeks prepared for a thousand ships’ launch to bring their purloined Helen home from the licentious grips of young Paris in Troy. 

How many bottles of fine Retsina were available?Or is that a contradiction?

“The tradition of christening a new ship for good luck and safe travel goes way back. Many ancient seafaring societies had their own ceremonies for launching a new ship. The Greeks wore olive branch wreaths around their heads, drank wine to honor the gods, and poured water on the new boat to bless it. The Babylonians sacrificed an ox, the Turks sacrificed a sheep, and the Vikings and Tahitians offered up human blood.”

Champagne bottles, heavy glassed vessels needing to stand up under severe and long-term circumstances were the bottle of choice after America’s Prohibition.  Ining a heavy champagne bottle.  Prior to the country’s release of once-considered immoral principles, water and ciders had been the spirit sending most nearly constructed boats to sea. 

In fact, before steel hulls, would-be bottle breakers would have found themselves enduring extra innings swinging a heavy champagne bottle against wooden frames. This week, the First Lady Michele Obama took several whacks at the U.S.S. Illinois, a new nuclear submarine, to finally break the bottle and the moorings holding back our latest war weapon in an arsenal for which we all spend untold trillions.

“The $2.7 billion vessel is the 13th in the Virginia class of submarines, which can carry out a range of missions including anti-submarine warfare, delivery of special forces and surveillance. The 377-foot submarine will carry a crew of more than 130 and a payload of weapons including torpedoes and Tomahawk missiles.”

This is quite an upgrade from the earlier U.S.S. Illinois commissioned in 1902 and eventually mothballed as a trainer in the Great Lakes.
In earlier days, someone was given the job of scoring the bottle or seeking the weakest point to assist the person swinging it against the bow or side.  It took Mrs. Obama several attempts, but there’s not as much irony in that activity as there was in Governor of Illinois Bruce Rauner’s speaking at the event.
The captain of a self-described failing ship of state that is sinking in waves of union workers?

The Groton Shipyards in Connecticut, where Rauner spoke about the newly commissioned first class nuclear sub, is the proud working conglomerate of nearly a dozen unions who work in harmony and craftsmanship to create some of the most sophisticated and futuristic pieces of armament the U.S. has ever designed to assure the safety of its peoples in a very hostile world.

That’s right: unions.
“In the shipyard, where some 2,000 Metal Trades Council members are employed, nine unions represent workers in different trades, including the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Shipbuilders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers Local 614; United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America Local 1302; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 261; Laborers International Union of North America Shipyard and Marine Local 364; International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local Lodge 1871.
There are also the Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 106; the International Brotherhood of Painters and Allied Trades Local 1122; United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada Local 777; and the Teamsters Local 493.
The unions themselves are collectively represented by the MTC, headed up by MTC President Kenneth J. DelaCruz.”


“Collective” is not a word the current captain of the ship of state of Illinois prefers to hear or consider.  In fact, collective bargaining is just one of the sticking points before negotiating a budget solution, which is leaving thousands of impoverished Illinoisans in pain and suffering as winter quickly approaches.

"Time's up," said Rauner last week.  This was followed by threats to remove the guarantee on state worker health insurances, and more pain for the most vulnerable if his Turnaround Agenda was not accepted by the Democratic majority.  in fact, the governor (of Illinois) is constitutionally required to submit a balanced budget to the General Assembly, something Rauner refuses to do until they adhere to his demands.

Last week, our homeless shelter was beyond full.  People arriving in the middle of the night found us full and unable to help.  The money available to assist “new” or “returning” individuals with social or psychiatric needs is no longer available as the offices run out of money to assist as the budget crisis continues. And the Governor, according to the Tribune, is "doubling down."  
Please remind the Captain that people are suffering.  Work on a budget, not a forced idealistic solution. 

Call: 217-782-0244


  1. Oh no, she picked up the wrong bottle! That was my $4500 bottle from my wine club.

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