Category Archives: Wednesday Journal

Ken Trainor lambastes a critic

Wed. Journal’s Ken Trainor unloaded the other day on an adversary who does not have 1,000 words of newspaper space at his disposal, piling on. No fair.

The adversary, who was nowhere near a household word before Trainor’s column, inched toward that eminence when his name was blazoned in Trainor’s headline, “Will the real Ray Simpson show up?

A hammer was used for the fly on baby’s nose: Hammer-wielder Trainor (call him the Hammer) got pissed off at an online comment, and out came the thousand-plus words with their in-our-faces headline. This will teach a reader not to provoke him.

The reader in this case — you could be next, whoever you are — is a hothead online but he’s also schizoid: At meetings he and Trainor attended for 11 months, he “was soft-spoken, intelligent, and [apparently] a reasonable human being.” Doctor Jekyll.

Online, however, he hides behind — look out — a “protective thicket of stereotyping, misrepresentation and exaggeration,” refusing to “engage in honest dialogue.” Mr. Hyde.

He also might simply be “afraid [his] nameless buddies in the online echo chamber [a regular Wed. Journal feature, a sort of peep show featuring right-wing zealots] will rip [him] to shreds” if he does the honest-dialogue thing, which would be “consorting with the enemy.”

“But we’re not the enemy,” wrote Trainor, addressing the offender, “and you know that because you spent 11 months getting to know us.” (You just won’t admit it, you rat.)

The Hammer, wounded, recalls his own sterling behavior: “We treated you with respect, and I will continue to treat the Ray Simpson who showed up at those meetings with respect.” (The good Ray) He finds it “hard to respect” the (bad) online Ray, however.” The Hammer tries, God knows, but it’s hard.

So: Hang down your head, Ray Simpson, the Hammer is shaming you in his column. You don’t have a column, he does. Repent.

“Take some tips,” Hammer advises, recommending “one of the few” commenters “who knows how to keep his cool.” He even has his own tip to pass on, one he has learned “over 29 years of writing newspaper columns,” namely that “right or wrong, the more you exaggerate, the less people will listen and the more they’ll lose respect for you.” Are you LISTENING, Ray Simpson?

“So if there really is the germ of an honest question in your last post,” he winds up (big if), “I just gave you an honest answer,” but only because he respects “the Ray Simpson who showed up” at those meetings.

Meanwhile, Ray, for you it’s sackcloth and ashes time. It’s your only chance.

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Driver’s ed and licensing in 1957 and 1949

I love John Stanger’s columns. Am eight or so years ahead of him in Oak Park experiences, but that’s close enough. And he’s smooth as they come in telling his stories.

My driver testing, in 1949, was at the Forest Park location. I went with county coroner Walter McCarron’s car, used regularly by his daughter Nancy, a friend.

Had earlier been asked by a fellow at a desk or table in a big hall if I wanted “a quickie” license for $3 (or $5?) on the barrelhead or did I want to schedule a test?

Did the latter, but my father drove to work and was not about to adjust his schedule for the test, thus the McCarron car. I  passed the test, neither encountering nor stopping for a squirrel.

via Learning to drive – in Mom\’s Studebaker | Articles | News | OakPark.com.

Dangerous talk from local socialists

Poverty is very much with us, but we can eradicate it | Articles | News | OakPark.com.

Dangerous? Hold out hope like that, and either you are hopelessly sentimental or you want to justify just about anything in governmental interference in the lives of men, women, and children.

This at the heart of the “progressive” impossible dreaming. Tut-tut.

Poverty is structural and can be eliminated. In 1962, [socialist] Michael Harrington’s The Other America: Poverty in the United States, was published. This groundbreaking work made American poverty visible. It is credited with kick-starting America’s War on Poverty, launched by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964. The U.S. poverty rate declined from 19% in 1964 to a low of 11.1% in 1973.

via Bullshit, dangerous talk from local socialists.

LBJ’s “war” made things much worse for all of us, digging the debt hole deeper and deeper, harming most of all the poor.

It was a “costly, tragic mistake,” which socialists want us to repeat for the sake of their grossly flawed imagining of how societies work and how people react.

we had to wait for the New York Times to decide this news was fit to print—which it finally did on February 9, 1998. In a front-page story on poverty in rural Kentucky, Michael Janofsky detailed the failure of this effort in the one region that was supposed to be the centerpiece of reform. “Federal and state agencies have plowed billions of dollars into Appalachia,” he wrote, yet the area “looks much as it did 30 years ago, when President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a war on poverty, taking special aim at the rural decay.”1Read more: http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/why-the-war-on-poverty-failed#ixzz2RO2o0v2b

In Oak Park, as anywhere else, what farts around comes around

I love the comments engendered by almost any Wed. Journal story of weight.  These from one about two new middle-school principals strengthen my feelings:

TJ from OP:

Too much money for these guys. I could get the same “talent” for much less.

Wondering asked:

Why are these two new guys making more than just about all the other principals in the district?

To which Sheesh, pointedly:

Why does the guy down the hall make more than me? Maybe because he’s working and I am farting around here.

[Sarcastically, with reason:] These overpaid admininstrators, we need to low ball them, after all, its only our kids that they are responsble for. Let’s get some nannnies or someone we can get for $30K.

There were other defenses of the salaries.  But there’s something about pithy, right? 

Note also, these are one-year contracts.