Saturday, April 30, 2011

York PC 112: Power Shift - A Re-Thinking Of The Way To Progress?

In this article, ( ) Amy Dean explains how Young Progressives are taking the lead on clean energy, and helping to move even the President of the United States on this issue.

Could this be a way forward for Democrats disillusioned with an ebbing social compact and far too many Republican gains (read "middle-class losses") in Washington, DC?

I'm certainly interested in finding that answer out.

After watching what's been happening around the Midwest and in the Supreme Court of the United States the past year or so, I've had quite a feeling of the blues. I went to high school in Madison, Wisconsin, and it's hard for me to imagine that the most Progressive city I know could be hosting such a malignant cancer as Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled State legislature there. Even worse, yesterday's Supreme court decision in Washington basically eviscerating the right of consumers to join class-action lawsuits boggles my mind.

Fiscally, Socially, Morally, Technically, the Right has been sawing the legs out from under the structure of this country, making it less able to compete, less democratic, and destroying its greatest strength; the strongest middle class the world had ever seen.

We've lost the top-notch capacity to educate our children and young adults en-mass and pushed ourselves to a point where college is no longer affordable and primary education is highly at-risk to those without wealth.

We've let our infrastructure get old and decrepit, building up a massive "infrastructure deficit" that will haunt us for decades to come.

We've been week-kneed about advancing clean and sustainable energy sources that could create millions of jobs permanently here in the USA.

We've lost the freedom to move about the world in comfort and safety.

We've built a host of antagonists around the world with wars instead of teachers, volunteers, and builders.

We've left our poorest people to hang in the breeze, starving, cold, homeless, and sick.

We're on the verge of losing retirement and heath care security for the vast majority of older Americans, both now and in the foreseeable future.

We've lost our national ability to put humans in space, just before exploiting resources in space is about to become the way of the future.

There is still time to reverse this downward spiral of cutting our country to death. we need to move out of the phase of insane levels of military spending into a drastic increase in domestic spending on education, research, infrastructure, and energy renaissance.

I'm not saying abandon military defense, but bring it to within reason.

I'm saying be helpful to nations who we want as friends or business partners, rather than bullying.

Defend our rights here at home, and treat visitors as well as we treat our own people.

Rebuild our education system to suit the industries of the future, and make sure that young people get all the education they can handle at every level of income.

Rebuild or national industrial, space, energy, and transport capacity.

End the vast disparity of wealth accumulating in too few hands and plugging up the flow of capital through the economy. Too much money is in the hands of too few, and not flowing around the rest of the economy keeping it moving. Haven't you seen the vacant storefronts, the closing shops and restaurants, the foreclosures and vacant homes sitting unsold on the market for months? Every empty storefront means a small business that no longer exists and no longer employs anyone. Every empty house means another family gone broke. I haven't even gotten to the shuttered and rusting factories yet.

The first vote every one of us gets, the one that counts the most, the one that we can be certain counts, is where we spend our money. Are the dollars we're spending helping keep Americans employed or not? Are they supporting the goals we have for our future or not?

A lot of food for thought.

All the best,


Democratic Quip: Space Invaders?

Click to listen: 
Democratic quip.

Friday, April 29, 2011

York PC 112: ROTD2BPC...

...or reason of the day to be a Precinct Committeeman: days like today. It was absolutely beautiful out, and I was out on my 10-speed pedaling around my precinct handing out business cards and meeting voters. If I didn't have to work later, I'd still be out there riding.

Click on image to view full-size.

All the best,


York PC 112: Precint Map Of York 112

As always, click on the image to view full-size.

All the best,


Democratic Quip: Pension Envy?

Click to listen: 
Democratic quip.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

York PC 112: You Didn't Expect Me To Let This One Pass..., did you?

President Obama released his full long-form Hawaiian birth certificate to the public this morning.

Would you like some tea with that egg on your face, Mr. "The Donald"?

Go back to your circus. The rest of us have real jobs to do.

All the best,


Democratic Quip: The Green-Eyed Monster?

Click to listen: 
Democratic quip.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Democratic Quip: Where Did Rush Really Come From?

Click to listen: 
Democratic quip.

Happy Easter!

I hope all of you are enjoying the pretty weather and time with family or friends. A beautiful day to slow it down, celebrate, and appreciate.

All the best,


Friday, April 22, 2011

Democratic Quip: Republicans Cutting Again?

Click to listen: 
Democratic quip.

75 Continental: Sad State Of Oak Brook Bike Paths...

...which I suppose we're lucky to have any of at all.

In the wake of $4.00 + per-gallon gas, an obesity epidemic, and insane 20-over-any-speed-limit maniac drivers, and with the need for destitute persons of extreme Southern origin to staff our restaurants and lawn services, you might think the area could use a real network of useable bike paths that are separated from the insaniacs on our streets.

And I'm sure that sentence ran on further than I rode yesterday on my bike.

Ride on, and all the best,


Thursday, April 21, 2011

York PC 112: FW- DuPage Democratic Club Meeting Tonight - Thursday, April 21st

Sent: April 21, 2011 10:58 AM
Subject: DuPage Democratic Club Meeting Tonight - Thursday, April 21st

 Dear Club Members & Friends.
Just a reminder about our meeting tonight.
Our guest speakers tonight will be Linda Lewison and Maureen Headington from the Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS) of Illinois. NEIS is a nuclear energy watchdog group dedicated to educating the public about the dangers of nuclear energy.
Our speakers will be speaking about what we can do - "PF" - Post Fukushima - to prevent nuclear catastrophes from happening here in Illinois, with its 14 nuclear reactors and 8,000 tons of nuclear waste.
As usual our meeting will be held at the Lombard Community Building, 433 E. St. Charles Road, Lombard.
I hope to see  you this evening.
Bob Wagner

Democratic Quip: What Is The Republican Budget Tactic, Really?

Click to listen: 
Democratic quip.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

York PC 112: "Conservative Dem" Dan Lipinski Of Illinois Faces Serious Primary Challeng For Failure To Support Health Care Act...

All the best,


Democratic Quip: Teachers & Firemen, Oh My!

Click to listen: 
Democratic quip.

York PC 112 - FW: Some Noteworthy Events in York Township this week

-----Original Message-----
Sent: April 20, 2011 9:22 AM
Subject: Some Noteworthy Events in York Township this week:
Wednesday, April 20th, 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM at the Villa Park Public Library (2nd Floor Ohrmann Room) - Water: Our Regions Precious Resource
This Villa Park Environmental   Concerns Commission  sponsored Earth Day program is all about water and its importance to our region. Tim Loftus from CMAP (Chicago Metropolitan Area for Planning) will talk about the special challenges that the Great Lakes Region faces preserving our precious water resources. Cary McElhinney from the EPA will talk about their WaterSense program and what residents can do to conserve water and save money in the process. Former Village President Rae Rupp Srch and CMAP board member will talk about the CMAP 2040 and 2050 plans. Lastly, new Village Manager Richard Keehner, Jr. will be present to meet village residents.
Thursday, April 21st , 8:00 PM at the Lombard Community Building, 433 E. St. Charles Road, Lombard - Nuclear Energy in Illinois
Nuclear energy and the safety concerns for Illinois will be the subject of the discussion at the DuPage Democratic Club meeting Thursday, April 21 at 8 PM. Linda Lewison, board member with watchdog group Nuclear Energy Information Service will be our guest. Meeting will be at the Lombard Community Bldng.
Saturday, April 23rd, 9:00 AM - Noon at the Village Hall Parking Lot - Electronics Collection/ Recycling Day.
Village residents are invited to drop of their old electronic components for recycling by Creative Recycling Systems. A list of items that will be accepted is available on the Village's web site:

York PC 112: Michigan Governor's Takeover Of Benton Harbor Guize For Land Grab?
Nah. Couldn't happen in the good ol' USA! Never!

But wait! Look out, Wisconsin Lakesiders, here comes Governator Scott Walker:

Are you glad we elected a Democratic Governor in Illinois yet?

All the best,


Sunday, April 17, 2011

York PC 112: The Cab Hazard In Chicago...

...was on my mind yesterday morning as I snapped this photo.

I've worked most every day in the Loop sibce December of 1997. On the corner where my building is located, I've seen thirteen accidents occur. Nine of those accidents involved cabs. (The accident in the picture was the next block East, so I'm not counting it, or there would be ten out of fourteen.)

Often, when I look at the cars stopped at a Chicago red light, the cabs outnumber the private-party vehicles.

I've had cabs pull over in front of me without using turn signals to drop off or pick up fares, in morning rush hour traffic. They're hanging half out in the street invariably when they do that, halting traffic under the El tracks.

Cabs also sit long when they're in front of you and the light turns green. I don't know if they're trying to save gas by letting the car break inertia at idle, or scanning the intersection for fares.

I've had numerous occasions where cabs have swerved suddenly across two or three lanes of traffic to stop suddenly to pick up a fare.

In short, their common disregard for traffic laws, safety, and courtesy is a hazard. It also provokes other drivers into similar behavior.

Something must be done.

All the best,


Democratic Quip: Get The Red Out

Click to listen: 
Democratic Quip

Saturday, April 16, 2011

York PC 112: Sad To Say, I Did Not Make...

...the annual Township government meeting last Tuesday. Between work and everything else, I was just too exhausted. I would've had to go work all night afterward on only three hours of sleep.

I'll apologize now for my poor time management on this, and be certain to do better next year.

Mental note to self: schedule nothing around the second Tuesday in April!!

All the best,


York PC 112: Well, This Is Fun - President Obama Didn't Know The Mic Was On...

...and he got recorded actually sundin Progressive. Can you imagine?!

All the best,


York PC 112: Heartbreaker - Way Less Than Half Of Americans Have Jobs...

...which is just horrible in my view. It's crystal clear that what we've been doing on the economic front for the past 30 years is a totally bankrupt policy.

Globalization without equal worker rights across the planet, letting domestic wages stagnate, ignoring critical infrastructure needs and upgrades, bailing out on a true renaissance in mass transit and bicycle-friendly roadway design, cutting the security rug from beneath workers, failing to invest adequately in education and research, the list goes on and on. A budget of pessimism results in an economy with no true purchasing power and no demand. We MUST change to an "invest for growth" re-economic philosophy. Continuous gradual retreat will only wind up in defeat. - Dan

Read it and tell me I'm wrong:

Let's change gears and move this country forward, not back!


York PC 112: Chicago Tribune Reports Adler Planetarium Gets No Space Shuttle, but Does Get Shuttle Simulator; My Take On Why That Could Be Really Cool...

First, here's the link to the Chicago Tribune story:

Now, here's the thing: If the Adler Planetarium keeps the simulator in operation, they could actually have simulated shuttle rides and training missions for museum visitors. That's something a defunct space shuttle hanging from a museum ceiling or sitting outside on posts can't offer.

The Adler could actually be the one place in the Universe where people could have anything like the experience of crewing or piloting a space shuttle.

It will take vision and spending to make it happen, but if Chicago and the Adler are wise, this could potentially be far BETTER than having a retired space shuttle in Chicago.

I think we should all express to the planetarium and to the city of Chicago that we want the simulator in operational condition.

You can do so here:

Adler Planetarium: (312) 922 7827 and @adlerskywatch on Twitter.

City Of Chicago - 312.744.5000 and Web Feedback Form

This could drive huge tourism boosts for the Adler and Chicago, and be lots of fun for those of us who live in the area.

All the best,

Dan Stafford

Click to listen:
Democratic Quip.

Friday, April 15, 2011

York PC 112: Good Things Are Coming Soon For DuPage County Democrats

I can't reveal much detail yet, but I attended a meeting on Wednesday morning for a project that is going to radically change the visibility and capability of the DuPage Democratic Party over the next year. Wonderful things are in the works and coming soon.

There are several people in this Party who are passionate and committed to preserving a decent, moral, ethical, prudent, and progressive future for us all, starting right here at home in DuPage County. Believe it, because I've seen it with my own eyes. Soon, so will you.

They say that "when the going gets tough, the tough get going."

This brings me to my Reason Of The Day To Be a Precinct Committeeman: You get to lose that "I'm the lone Democrat" feeling and work with people who are as passionate and committed to a wonderful progressive future as you are. To quote a spacey cliche', "You Are Not Alone."

There are other Democrats all over DuPage County, and a lot more than you would expect. We're going to make sure that all of us know it, in a big way.

I feel very privileged to be able to work on the effort to achieve this personally. I am extremely grateful to the Democratic voters in my Precinct for granting me this opportunity to help do wonderful things for them and for our future.

If you should choose to become a Precinct Committeeman in your own Precinct, you'll find that you have an opportunity to make a difference that can be passed on to the future right where you live.

All the best,


Democratic Quip: Hippies Vs. The Man

How did we get where we are today in politics?

Click to listen:
Democratic Quip

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Democratic Quip: Gas Prices

Click to listen: Democratic quip.

Do ya THINK they might build some new refineries for gasoline while they're at it? Aren't the few existing ones all like, what, thirty years old or something? How is THAT for safety, I wonder? Or for capacity? Have they even done any UPGRADES at the existing ones to modify them or increase capacity? I mean, our demand for gasoline hasn't stagnated for thirty years,  so why should our refining capacity be stagnant unless they WANT to choke the supply to inflate fuel prices?

I understand that higher fuel prices help decrease our oil imports, and force people to drive less. I know that using less fossil fuel is great for the environment and that we have problems with climate change. Still, the middle and lower classes have been taking a blood bath on inflation against stagnant wages and are forced to do way too much commuting due to businesses locating in the inner city and housing prices being too high for many middle-income workers to liver near where they work.

The way to approach the fuel problem would be to really go gangbusters on alternative fuels and efficiency research, and mass transport.

While you're at it, car companies specifically, could you ever consider making highly fuel-efficient smaller vehicles that are a little higher off the ground and with leg and head room for a 6'6" guy like me? I tried sitting in a Honda Fit once - and I didn't fit. I tried 22 small SUV's at the 2004 Chicago auto show, and I only fit in two of them. One was the Scion XB, I believe, and it wasn't due to be available in our area for another six months at the time. So far, I've been kind of stuck running Dodge Dakotas (club cab) with two-wheel drive and a V6, which are rated at 16 city & 26 highway. It's the only vehicle I've found where I can actually fully extend my legs if the seat is all the way back and tilted almost all the way back.

Don't get me wrong, I love the Dakota - it's a great vehicle that's comfortable and has good performance with reasonable fuel efficiency for a straight gasoline vehicle. If I had the money to convert the Dakota to a hybrid, I'd look no further. However, that's not an option for me financially, and I'm certain there are a few million other guys (and maybe gals) who are in my size range that are in the same predicament. Cars are too low to the ground when you're this tall. I've actually broken the seat loose from the floor mounts on a 1995 Buick Regal I used to have climbing down into it. I had to have it re-welded to fix it. To get a sense of how uncomfortable the situation is, try putting wooden blocks on the bottom of your shoes big enough to make you 6'6", then spend a couple of weeks with them on 24/7. 

All the best,


York PC 112: President Obama's Speech On The Budget And Deficit

Personally, I believe that the President nailed it in his speech. If his true philosophy and intent match THIS rhetoric, he's a better leader than I'd thought recently. I sincerely hope so. I expect I will have differences on specifics with what happens in Washington over the next few years, likely in no small way. Still, I can agree very much with this overall philosophy. It won't stop me from throwing zingers at Republicans or other Parties that I think are doing it all wrong, but one thing I do believe, especially of the rank and file people that make up each Party, is that we ALL want a better country and a decent life for everyone in the end. I might forget that now and then in the heat of trying to forward policies that I think will be best for all of us, but I know it is true deep down in my heart. - Dan

Without further ado, here's the President:

York PC 112: Coming Soon - The Democratic Quip - Comedic Quips On Politics In America Podcast Audio

I'm going to start posting a few funny - and maybe snarky - audio sound bites for our Podcast soon. I'm going to call them "The Democratic Quip."

I've added a quick link for Democratic Quips to the right sidebar of the main blog, you'll be able to find all posts containing a Democratic Quip by clicking on the link there.

Note: The "subscribe now" buttons to the right will allow you to get the podcast via e-mail. I don't use it to collect your e-mail addresses or anything like that, it's just for the purpose of delivering you posts from this blog and any accompanying "rich media" (IE: audio & video) files posted here.

All the best,


Monday, April 11, 2011

York PC 112: Attended An Excellent Meeting Tonight On Recruiting New Precinct Committeemen...

...put on by the DuPage County Democratic Central Committee.

A TON of great ideas were put forward, and it looks like phone-banking is going to be our first effort. We're hoping to coordinate with the Township organizations as much as possible to avoid duplication of effort.

All the best,


Sunday, April 10, 2011

York PC 112: RIDING My Precinct...

Reason Of The Day To Be a Precinct Committeeman (ROTD2BPC): It gives you a great reason to get your bicycle out of the garage or basement on sunny 75-degree + (or even 55+) day and ride it.

It was BEAUTIFUL out today, and my wife and I got our bikes out for the first time in quite awhile.

Part of that ride was in the Northern section of my precinct, and it made me realize how much better it would be to go around the precinct by bicycle than just walking.

I think I'm really going to enjoy this. I have an old 1975 Schwinn Continental steel-frame 10-speed. It looks a little beat-up because of the scuffed-up original paint job, but it's actually in good riding condition. Because of the steel frame, I can get one of those old-school generator light sets for it. (Aluminum frames don't give a good enough ground, and the system will burn out.)

People think that steel frames are heavy, but at the time, the Continental was a very light and agile bike.

Another plus for me is the over-sized frame. Schwinn made some of their 10-speeds with a 28-inch frame instead of the standard 26-inches, in order to accommodate taller riders. At 6' 6", I really appreciate that.

Don't be surprised to see me out there in the precinct on an old BLUE Schwinn wearing a head band and water bottle, saying hello to the voters.

All the best,


CBS Chicago: Thousands Gather To Support Union Rights

All the best,


Saturday, April 9, 2011

York PC 112: Reason Of The Day To Be A Precinct Committeeman... get to attend all kinds of fun meetings and learn all kinds of interesting facts.

I never knew that teachers contributed 9% + of their pay into the pension fund for teachers, or that the State put nothing into it until the last few years. Did you know that?

Did you know that teachers collecting a pension get no Social Security, even if they worked Summer jobs or evening jobs and paid into Social Security?

Did you know that townships are one of the oldest forms of government in Illinois, many of them existing before the counties did?

All the best,


Friday, April 8, 2011

York PC 112: Monthly Progressive Democrats Of Illinois Meeting Held Yesterday evening...

...and it was a good meeting. We discussed several issues, some of which were the following:

  • Beginning to prepare for the 2012 elections now.
  • Working on recruiting additional Precinct Committeemen.
  • Unity in the local party and how to promote it.
  • Teachers salary, benefit, and pension packages under attack and our response.
  • Privatization of the public commons, especially water systems, and the dangerous and deleterious effects thereof.

One of the best things to come from the meeting is a project I will be assisting Karl Gabbey with producing an online video series for regarding the issue of Teachers. More on that in the next month or two.

You can find Progressive Democrats of Illinois online at .

All the best,


Raw Story: Wisconsin court race jolted by uncounted ballot find

Read it and scream. Can you believe this?

Kathy Nickolaus, the Waukesha clerk, apologized for the uncounted votes and blamed "human error."
She said at a news conference that she had failed to properly save a spreadsheet showing one town's voting results.

Spreadsheet? You mean an electronic file designed explicitly for the purpose of manipulating information? Let's not even mention the fact that computers, period were designed for the purpose of manipulation large quantities of information. What they are doing anywhere near U. S. elections is beyond disgusting.

On top of that, there's this:

To quote:

"Waukesha — Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus' decision to go it alone in how she collects and maintains election results has some county officials raising a red flag about the integrity of the system.
Nickolaus said she decided to take the election data collection and storage system off the county's computer network - and keep it on stand-alone personal computers accessible only in her office - for security reasons."

Uh-huh. Yeah, riiiiight. 7,500+ votes just magically "found".

Sorry, but I smell rotten, dead fish all over this.

All the best,


York PC 112: Raw Story - Budget Shutdown Looms Large

Not pretty at all:

Let's hope that Washington can come to a reasonable compromise.

All the best,


Thursday, April 7, 2011

WCPT's Local Food Movement For Illinois

This is SOOOO important for our health and local economy!

The benefits are:

  • Good health
  • Cleaner environment
  • Less imported fuel
  • Money stays in our local economy

Please check it out!

All the best,


York PC 112: Excellent YTDO Meeting Last Night...

...with reports that our results from the St. Patrick's Day dinner were at an all-time high, and discussion of next year's event.

We also discussed Precinct Committeeman recruitment efforts, the Costa Rica Democrats Overseas organization and the current political, social, and economic climate of Costa Rica, worker solidarity, online outreach efforts, a possible film screening, and various ideas for guest speakers at our meetings in 2011.

We wished Ann Marie Testa a Happy Birthday also.

The meeting was small due to the election yesterday, but very lively.

Carol Davis also brought a few treats from her trip to Costa Rica.

Election results for local races were also discussed. One of the highlights was that Dianne McGuire won her seat for C.O.D. Board with the most number of votes for any candidate of either party in that race. Unfortunately, Max Bochmann did not win. Additionally, the incumbent Mayor of Oak Brook was defeated.

I'll try to get better meeting minutes posted at some point soon.

All the best,


BREAKING: Glenn Beck FIRED by Faux Newsless...a wonderful break for SANITY in America!

All the best,


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

York PC 112: York Township Democratic Organization - Something We Do Each Year

YTDO is a great organization, with a long and rich history. We have an annual tradition, our St. Patrick's Day Dinner. It's our primary fundraiser, and also entertaining.

This year, we had a State Senator speak, and in solidarity with Labor around the country, we had a Mother Jones reenactor speak. Both were excellent.

YTDO has had a long history of distinguished speakers for St. Patrick's Day. They are all listed yearly in or program book.

(I'm not quite sure why Blogger is rotating these pictures. Click on images to view full-size.)

Why St. Patrick's Day? To honor the Irish, who worked long and hard through our Democratic process to change attitudes about legal immigrants to America. To quote Carol Davis, our Chair, the Irish went from "No Irish need apply" to "Everyone's a wee bit Irish on St. Patty's Day."


Please consider joining us, and or advertising with us next year in 2012!

All the best.


WI Supreme Court Race Split 50/50...

...with highly Democratic Madison & Milwaukee Precincts only left to be counted.

This vote is critical for Labor.

The Stephanie Miller show just seconds ago reported that Judge Kloppenberg is up 140 votes! Cross your fingers for THAT trend to continue!

All the best,


*UPDATE* Reports are that Judge Kloppenberg has won the election with a 200-vote margin, and a re-count is expected to be requested.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sunday, April 3, 2011

York PC 112: There's some Things We All Seem To Be Forgetting...

...and I told you I'm into poetry a bit. This is just a touch, but you can quote me on it for Sunday:

"In hearts and minds the world-over, you find the same things; a need for love, for a sense of freedom, a sense of some stability in life. If we just reach up to giving those things to everyone, this world would be a pretty sweet place to be. Don't hold back your hugs, or your smile, or the twinkle in your eyes, because that's what makes us love you."

Yeah, I wrote it. It's on my persona signature in the poetry forums that I write at. Most of what I write isn't flowers and romance - it can be just about anything, ranting, reminiscing, imagining, educating, being amazed. I've said in the past that the entire Universe can fit between the lines of a poem, but for today, this quote above is enough to remember.

Maybe, just maybe, if we could apply something like this to places like Afghanistan or the little small towns that are drying up and blowing away outside the city bubbles all across the United States, things would be a ton less ugly.

Food for thought.

All the best,


Saturday, April 2, 2011

York PC 112: I found out that I'm definitely a resident of the York center Park District...

...because I live within the following boundaries:

From the .pdf York Center Park District 2011 Winter/Spring flyer:

“The York Center Park District boundaries have
been determined as Roosevelt Road to the North, Fairfield to the
West, Michigan to the East and Butterfield Road to the South.”

 The flyer can be downloaded at:

I found the section on residency boundaries in the section titled "RESIDENT AND NON-RESIDENT FEES:" on page four.

The main office and pond are also squarely within my Precinct, as is the Villa Roosevelt Park, which is the park that I was referencing in an earlier post.

(Click on photo for larger view)

I'm looking forward to walking this end of my Precinct over the next couple of days because it's getting nice out and it's a pleasant area.

Hats off to Y.C. Park District for all their good work!

All the best,


Return to Wisconsin: The Beginning or the End?

It is easy to see the beginnings of things, and harder to see the ends.”
-- Joan Didion

In the February weeks I spent in snowy Madison, Wisconsin, that line of Didion's, the opening of her 1967 essay "Goodbye to All That," ricocheted through my mind as I tried to make sense of the massive protests unfolding around me. What was I witnessing? The beginning of a new movement in this country -- or the end of an existing one, the last stand of organized labor? Or could it have been both?


Friday, April 1, 2011

York PC 112: I Have To Admit, This Office Isn't Easy

Every election there's a lot of walking to do, and there's all the door-knocking to deliver campaign literature to voters. I'm not the greatest "people person" when it comes to these kind of things. I'm not a sales type, I'm technical, in other words, a geek. (Although I LOVE that people have finally learned to appreciate us Geeks!) Believe me, I don't love knocking on doors and disturbing people. It's just the only way we currently have to let you know who your Democratic choices are and what they're about at this time.

Thankfully, I'm a fairly decent writer, which helps with an online format like this. I'm hoping that in the long-term, this blog becomes a good supplement to walking around and knocking on folks' doors. It also should be a good way for you to start finding your way around the Democratic world here in DuPage County, and SURPRISE, there actually are quite a few of us! I'm not exactly going to play the theme song from Close Encounters of the Third Kind, but You Are Not Alone.

There's also a lot of time to put in planning such walks, recruiting election judges and helping them get settled so they can work on election day, trying to help Precinct Committeemen that are even newer than you, voting at County Party Meetings about once a month, going to monthly Township meetings and sometimes voting there, and quite a few other things.

This not being a paid position, I still have to work a full-time job, and have a life outside of politics. I'm married, so my lovely wife deserves to get my best time first, too.

Still, I find that this effort is worth it and rewarding. I'm doing my best to help shape a better life for everyone in the future. I'm putting in my energy and time trying to make things more fair and decent for the regular people who are my neighbors and fellow countrymen and women. It matters to me that things are good for the people around me, because if their quality of life is better, so is mine. It's far easier to be around people who feel generally happy and secure than people who are fearful and wondering if they'll be able to survive the next year.

Unfortunately, too many of us either abandoned or never started paying attention to the political world, most especially on a local level. That left the entire field wide-open to those who could afford to use money to leverage politicians, the kind of politicians who COULD be financially leveraged, and that brought us to the dreadful situation we face today.

Most of us who would be truly fair to one another have spent our time on our families and jobs, and tried to just ignore the strange and ugly thing that is making public policy and law happen. So now, we have the results of that disinterest. Financial systems that are no better than a rigged casino. Energy systems that are old, inefficient, dirty, and not as reliable as they should be. (In fact, the old power grid we have is a huge impediment to adding clean new power sources.) Foreign policy that is better at pushing people around than making their lives better so that everyone's lives are better, including ours. An economy that is more based on making and selling weapons than goods for peaceful use.

We have, in short, a big mess on our hands. The main reason for that is because we collectively haven't put our time in with regards to the lower levels of government that become the pool from which the upper levels of government are derived.

For me, taking on this duty is about putting in my time and energy. It's about pushing things toward a space where people don't have to fear the next year or the next decade. It's about making the ground we all stand on as stable and secure as possible.

The more people there are here at the local level working for this, the better chance we stand of getting similar people up to the top levels eventually.

I won't kid you. I have no intentions of running for higher office. I don't want it, and I don't want to touch it with a ten-foot pole. Being a Precinct Committeeman is enough for me. But, there aren't enough Precinct Committeemen to go around. There are large numbers of these offices left open. There are many candidate slots for other local offices where there are no choices or few choices.

Too often we complain about the political structure we live under, and the people that make it up. Isn't it possible that's precisely because we've declined in large numbers to become part of that structure and change its makeup from within?

It's not like I have to put in forty hours per week to fulfill my duties as Precinct Committeeman. About five hours per week is probably pretty good. (Although a few weeks here and there can be busier.)

So, here's my Reason Of The Day To Be a precinct Committeeman: The more people like me that are in these offices, the more people like me who will eventually be in higher offices, and the more things will be eventually done in a way that I can not only agree with, but that I can take pride in.

That's what it's going to take to restore this country. A renewed sense of basic civic duty has to come before we'll have a well-run country.

After all, regardless of Party affiliation, for most of us, the end goal is to make a better life for all of us. So, if we don't want crooks and greedy people in office, let's not leave all the offices for crooks and greedy people.

All the best,


York PC 112. This Economy Sucks - Robert Reich

So, what are we going to do about it? Elect more Corporatists?


York PC 112: Great News! Japanese Radiation Reaches Illinois Will County...

...where low-level radiation was detected in grass clippings. Are they sure it's not from the radium in the ground water? (I lived in Plainfield for ten years, and they had radium exceeding the federal limits in their well water before they started mixing it with Lake Michigan water to dilute it.)

Here's the story:

All the best and lead undershorts,


HUGE Difference In Candidates' Ideas On Moving Forward In Oak Brook

Here's your chance to stop another attack on vital Police and Fire services, right here in the Village of Oak Brook!

There is a clear difference here on the way forward in Oak Brook. I hope the Village Residents take a long-term view on this one.

All the best,


Former Governor Rod Blagojevich To Address Oak Brook Student Group

Hey, he's GOT to feel better about himself in the wake of all these Republican Governors attacking unions and child care, low-income families, and healthcare for the poor, right?

At any rate, it ought to be interesting.

All the best,


Friends of the Library will host its Annual Used Book Sale at the Oak Brook Public Library April 14-16

See details at the link above for times, etc.

All the best,


Events at DuPage County Forest Preserve For April, 2011

Lots of great things to do here, take a look.

All the best,


York PC 112: Photo Of My Certificate Of Election As Precinct Committeeman

Here it is:

You can click on the picture to view the full-size image if needed.

All the best,