Updated: October 2, 2013 6:38AM
I attended the Orland Park Library panel discussion on Islam that was the subject of a SouthtownStar story and the writer left out several salient points.
When is it heckling to request that the Pledge of Allegiance be recited? Those who wanted to recite the pledge were shouted down by people who yelled at them to “sit down and shut up.” There was no call whatever for mutual respect whether for panelists or audience members.
The lead panelist, Mr. Maguire, spent 15 minutes trying to persuade people that Islamic Sharia law is compatible with U.S. constitutional law. I asked him how he could equate the draconian punishments in Sharia as being compatible with constitutional law, noting the totalitarian aspects of Sharia law.
Mr. Maguire admitted to the audience that he had no “particular expertise in Sharia law,” even though he presented himself as an expert panelist, exposing a self-admitted fraud.
Once the gentle librarians refused to call on anyone they deemed as unfriendly, the panelists were able to speak freely without fear of rebuttal. The librarians enforced the ugly aspects of Sharia law — censorship of free speech and criticism of Islam, control of the flow of information and intimidation by force to silence debate.
Fortunately, this time, it didn’t work and the true advocates of free speech were heard.
Chicago no longer the same
The biggest economic growth in Chicago has been in the hospitality industry. Hotels are filled to capacity, while restaurants and stores in the central business district are thriving.
Conventions and tourism have created new jobs, and that sounds good, but there is a negative side to this booming industry. Service industry jobs are low-paying and frequently part-time positions.
Our neighborhoods have far too many vacant shops and businesses. Our parks are used to attract visitors and are not for the use of residents. A music event, Lollapalooza, rents Grant Park, which means residents can’t use it for weeks before and after the show. Parks and museums are cash cows that fleece tourists and residents alike.
Long gone are the heavy industries that once made Chicago great.
Find sticker scofflaws
I don’t understand why we seem to be unable to effectively pursue people who live in Tinley Park or elsewhere and display no vehicle sticker.
In today’s computer age, one would think it would be easy to ask the Illinois Secretary of State’s office for a printout of all license plates registered in Tinley Park or any other town.
It would seem reasonable to then match these vehicle owners with those who have bought vehicle stickers.
James D. Pauly