Mad dog madness in Hawthorn Woods

Rauner a puzzle to Oak Park’s Sen. Harmon at Elmwood Park Town Hall

Originally posted on Blithe Spirit:

Continued from 4/20 post about Harmon/Lilly town hall meeting 4/6 in Elmwood Park:

The April 6 session had complaints a-plenty about proposed budget cuts, And also about the governor.

Complaints about Gov. Rauner multiplied. A woman told how hard it was to get through to his office. “I know it’s hard,” said Harmon. “Keep calling.”

“The next seven weeks [of budget struggle],” he predicted, “will be a slow, bloody slog.”

He added, and repeated later: “I don’t understand this governor. I don’t know what makes him tick.”

more more more here

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As violence escalates, where is Mayor Emanuel? – Chicago Tribune

The Rauner-proposed budget cuts are trashed in a Harmon-Lilly town hall: Suffering is described by many people

The town hall meeting about budget cuts called by Sen. Don Harmon in Elmwood Park on April 6, had words of defense for the cuts from just one person, among scores of complaints.

About an hour into the meeting, in the main meeting room of the public library just off Grand Avenue a half-mile west of Harlem, a man asked about “the elephant in the room,” meaning the state’s fiscal crisis. “Don’t blame it all on [Gov.] Rauner,” he said. The stories of being harmed by the cuts are important, he continued, but so are the state’s financial problems.

When the man finished, after a slight pause Harmon announced the availability of water bottles “up here, which some might like, since it’s rather warm in here.” Then he gave the floor to Rep. Camille Lilly, who stood next to him in front of 100 or so people packed into the meeting room.

“It’s going to take more than one thing” to solve the problem, she said. (In a later comment she put “problem” in quotes, holding fingers up and giving them a little shake.) “Where do we start?” she asked. “First, we should not have rolled back the 5% [income] tax” — the temporary increase, allowed to expire and return to its previous 3%. “Illinois is great,” she added.

Harmon said it too: “Illinois is a great state, with so much going for us.” Budget problems, he said, “go back to 1917, which is when the cry was raised for the first time about funding of pensions.”

A woman who said she was a retired teacher said, “We have to hear everybody’s story. You feel better getting it off your chest.”

There was a great deal of that in the hour I stayed, 4:45 to 5:45, of the 4-to-7 pm-scheduled meeting, much of not all of it from clients of Oak-Leyden Development Services, whose office was a block away.

One was an Oak Park woman who held up her autistic daughter, who would be denied services because of the proposed Rauner cuts.

Another said that if the cuts remain, “all will be homeless.”

Another said the cuts meant losing her Oak-Leyden membership on May 31. She asked, “Where should I go? What am I supposed to do? It’s unfair. This guy [the governor] should be shot.” There were scattered groans at this. Neither Harmon nor Lilly said anything.

Women were crying about their plight. There was reference to heroin addicts who would lose treatment. A deaf woman signed her complaint to a sign-readerwho translated for her.

Tomorrow: What they said about Gov. Rauner

Disappointed reader wants Eric Holder-style discussion of the blacks-only assembly

Originally posted on Blithe Spirit:

Plunging into my Wed. Journal yesterday as usual, though also looking for a letter I’d sent in — it wasn’t there! — I found myself absorbed by discussion of the recent blacks-only assembly at the high school, including a tantalizing next-day account of the special board meeting that had drawn 100 people.

Systematically going from page to page, I came to the page where the columns are, and saw two side by side about the assembly at least as background, and I thought, OK, it’s a hot issue with Oak Parkers reportedly of several minds on the matter, let’s see what’s here.

Unfortunately, it was time to move on because there was nothing there. Both columns, here and here, by citizens who care about their community, thought the blacks-only assembly was a good idea! Say what? Nothing from citizens who care about their community who thought it was…

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Wed. Journal: 98 comments in three days

Originally posted on Blithe Spirit:

Not a record, but something on neither guns nor race in so short a time — and by ten in the morning on the 3rd day, it’s maybe one with an asterisk.

And on a River Forest story, where sleepiness took a long nap some years back.

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“People of color” or “colored people”? Cultural shaming gone wild

In her response to my blog about saying “colored people” vs. “people of color, Wed. Journal digital editor Ashley Lisenby did herself honor and me a compliment. I appreciate being called to task in a way that advances the argument and questions no one’s ancestry.

 

I particularly liked what I found on reading more of what her source said about why and how often people say “people of” — that the phrase is “most often used outside of traditional academic circles, often infused by activist frameworks.”

 

I don’t get all of this — how is something infused by a framework? — but “activist” lit a small light for me, leading me to realize that the phrase has become part of an ongoing rhetorical battle among academic elites — as much debate tool as natural progression in how people talk.

 

So someone who says one thing for the sake of clarity, naively wondering why not, finds himself on one side of a debate when he’d rather just cut through complexity and keep it simple.

 

Not so naively, yes. I’ve known about the anti-“colored” business for decades. Once in the ’60s, I absent-mindedly referred to “the colored” in conversation with a black friend. She had only to repeat it disbelievingly, and I knew I had erred.

 

Saying “black” was the rule then, decades before “African American” became the required (not merely accepted) go-ahead term.

 

Later, in a press conference in the early ’70s, an administration official told us a new presidential appointee would be “black,” not “Negro.” He said it smiling, in answering one of us. We knew what he was talking about: “black” meant with-it, progressive, civil-rights-oriented; “Negro” meant someone at least suspected, if not convicted, of uncle-Tomism.

 

There’s a history of language development-by-proscription, in other words, natural enough if you don’t take it too seriously, as the British actor Cumberbatch did when uproar ensued and he apologized for saying “colored people.”

 

“I’m devastated to have caused offense by using this outmoded terminology,” he said. “I offer my sincere apologies. I make no excuse for my being an idiot and know the damage is done.”

 

What if he had told Tavis Smiley and friends to get over it? He would have killed his career, no matter how good he is as a famous Edwardian detective.

 

People know better than to refuse to apologize. Words matter, thoughts matter, a little compulsion helps the cause. Bend over, say the activists, we know where you live. Say it our way or else.

 

Being acceptable is one thing, selective shaming is another. It’s an issue worth discussing.

“People of color” or “colored people”? Cultural shaming gone wild

In her response to my blog about saying “colored people” vs. “people of color,” Wed. Journal digital editor Ashley Lisenby did herself honor and me a compliment. I appreciate being called to task in a way that advances the argument and questions no one’s ancestry.

I particularly liked what I found on reading more of what her source said about why and how often people say “people of” — that the phrase is “most often used outside of traditional academic circles, often infused by activist frameworks.”

I don’t get this entirely — how is something infused by a framework? — but “activist” lit a small light for me, leading me to realize that the phrase has become part of an ongoing rhetorical battle among academic elites — as much debate tool as natural progression in how people talk.

So someone who says one thing for the sake of clarity, naively wondering why not, finds himself on one side of a debate when he’d rather just cut through complexity and keep it simple.

Not so naively, yes. I’ve known about the anti-“colored” business for decades. Once in the ’60s, I absent-mindedly referred to “the colored” in conversation with a black friend. She had only to repeat it disbelievingly, and I knew I had erred.

Saying “black” was the rule then, decades before “African American” became the required (not merely accepted) go-ahead term.

Later, in a press conference in the early ’70s, an administration official told us a new presidential appointee would be “black,” not “Negro.” He said it smiling, in answering one of us. We knew what he was talking about: “black” meant with-it, progressive, civil-rights-oriented; “Negro” meant someone at least suspected, if not convicted, of uncle-Tomism.

There’s a history of language development-by-proscription, in other words, natural enough if you don’t take it too seriously, as the British actor Cumberbatch did when uproar ensued and he apologized for saying “colored people.”

“I’m devastated to have caused offense by using this outmoded terminology,” he said. “I offer my sincere apologies. I make no excuse for my being an idiot and know the damage is done.”

What if he had told Tavis Smiley and friends to get over it? He would have killed his career, no matter how good he is as a famous Edwardian detective.

People know better than to refuse to apologize. Words matter, thoughts matter, a little compulsion helps the cause. Bend over, say the activists, we know where you live. Say it our way or else.

Being acceptable is one thing, selective shaming is another. It’s an issue worth discussing.

The limits of gadgetry in teaching kids. A D97 candidate makes points.

Candidate for D97 board John Abbott makes some attractive points about how to teach kids.

Being critical of some “learning initiatives,” technologies which he finds

expensive, disruptive to classroom learning and, in the case of the iPads, unproven with respect to their pedagogical justification.

The limits of gadgetry. He argues

that the technological measures Supt. Al Roberts pushed are exemplary [ouch! means marvelous, wonderful, just what we are looking for; try “examples”] of a series of administrative decisions that have taken away from classroom-based, teacher-centered learning. The measures, he said, have frustrated a lot of the district’s teachers.

I believe him.

“I’m not against technology; it’s been enormously helpful,” he said. “But with Fast ForWord and the iPads, it’s been technology for its own sake that’s been driving the process.

The current board should’ve done its job and exercised due diligence and oversight,” he added, noting that the board was so enamored of [good call! did not say “enamored with”] Roberts’s managerial competence, they overlooked what he may [have] lacked in the area of education.

I get his point, particularly in its recognition of the importance of the managerial.

“Do we simply want a competent manager or do we want someone with solid educational credentials and experience and who remains passionate about education?” Abbott asks.

He wants both, of course, making his pitch reasonably enough for teacher-student interaction.

Wages of socialism

Originally posted on Blithe Spirit:

You sigh, the song begins, you speak and I hear violins
It’s magic.
— Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne

Like the alleged living wage, which if mandated by government magically adds to prosperity, as we hear from our socialist friends and neighbors, who have unswerving belief in the power of government to save the world.

He can who thinks he can. The little engine that could. Socialists, democratic or the other kind — think Soviet, think National as in Germany in the ’30s and ’40s, think autocracies all over the world who run the banner of gummint uber alles.

These living-wage people need a new name. C’mon, reinvent yourselves. The red flag don’t fly hereabouts. We are too bourgeois, for all our flirting with pie in the sky before we die.

Such as Illinois Democrats spending, borrowing, spending some more, and look where we are now, will you?…

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