Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hey, Firefighters

I "get" your frustration with the tepid response of the national Democratic party to the assault on unions and the right to organize. I understand that you want to see stronger response and you're not willing to fund efforts to elect Democrats if Democrats won't stand up for unions.

But, please, explain to me how this current public announcement that you're going to stop supporting national Democratic candidates is going to help your cause. You are going to get more Republicans elected. And if you think this round was brutal, just wait until you're trying to organize in a Rethuglican controlled nation - a Michigan or Wisconsin gone national.

Wait, and remember - you decided not to fund the tepid. Now you have nothing.

Busting unions and shutting down public works, demeaning public employees. This is what Rethuglicans do. Help elect them and you help your members lose their jobs, their pensions, and their future.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

It's Easter - Has the World Gone Mad

Came across a couple of strange links for Easter Morning.

The first was a youtube video from Iceland - that I can't find anymore - of someone who was destroying his house rather than letting the bank foreclose (I had to ask google to translate for me).

There there's the story I've linked to in the title - a Norwegian 11 year old attacked and nearly hung to death in a playground at a campground in Värmland. What? Seriously. What?

This is not behavior I'd expect in Sweden, even in viking times. Yes there was violence back in the day, but sneaking up behind an 11 year old and trying to hang him. Why? Because he was Norwegian or just because he was an 11 year old. This is not right. This is disturbing.

On the other hand, Al Jazeera reported on Easter celebrations. It was a nice report.

I'm generally more satisfied with Al Jazeera's world reports than with those of most other major news organizations. They are covering stories the western press doesn't bother with, and seem to be covering them without hype or extreme point of view.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ensign Resigns At Last

One of the biggest Washington Hypocrites is John Ensign.

Here's the way it seems to go in American politics.

If you're a Democrat and you get caught in a sex scandal - it's just confirmation of the lack of moral grounding among the godless liberals (there aren't supposed to be any godly liberals, of course). Even though you've just done what conservathugs know liberals do all the time, you're supposed to immediately resign and go home in shame.

If you're a Rethuglican you go on TV, with your wife by your side, cry a little bit, proclaim you're sorry and decry same sex marriage - or something like that. You continue on and run for re-election (and if you're from Louisiana you win, despite the diaper routine).

Ensign followed the pattern for a year and a half. Now he's finally resigned. So much for family values.

Oh, wait, he screwed both the husband and the wife and the government - so I guess that's keeping it all in the family.

Glad he's gone.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Workers & Customers

We're in the middle of the Rotary Club's Yard Sale. It's cold and we have four people working the sale, but no customers at the moment (9:15 on Saturday). We've had a steady stream, but no one's bought the big ticket item - mostly because we don't have any big ticket items.

Harry Potter (6 of the 7 books - in hardcover) all went. I thought Jon Stewart would sell by now. Some of the decorative plates sold.

Yard sales are odd things. You can never predict what will go when.

The goal is still to raise $250 (plus costs) for Lindsborg Hershey's Track Meet. Hope we make it!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Chicago on a Spring Afternoon

My favorite time of the year in Chicago is the spring. I have great memories, particularly of a wonderful spring in 1969 or 1970. I came into town from Rock Island, riding the Rock Island train. We arrived at LaSalle Street Station. I was riding in the observation car (this was the last year of the Rock Island Line). When we arrived in downtown I took my grip and exited the station.

By rights I should have headed straight up the stairs at LaSalle and Van Buren and caught the Ravenswood Line (as we called it then) and been to Western Avenue in a half hour. Instead, I headed east to the lake and then followed the lakeshore north to Foster Avenue.

It was a beautiful day, much like today.

I detoured to the Lincoln Park Zoo, where I'll go tomorrow after I get done researching at the Chicago Historical Society. Out the north gate from the zoo, up past Diversey, and back out to the lakefront.

From Addison north the path diverges. You can either follow the lake around the Montrose Harbor and then up north past Wilson, Lawrence and Argyle until arriving at Foster Beach and then a mile inland to Ruth and Oscars.

I think that's the route I took, though I may, by that point in the walk, have chosen the shorter route, a hundred yards from the water, next to soccer fields, baseball diamonds and open park land.

I think it took me two hours to make the walk, and maybe a half hour extra in the zoo.

I remember that when I arrived home my mother was rather surprised - I hadn't told anyone I was coming home - surprised rather than angry about the time of my arrival. I think the sun was still shining, but I don't remember. I remember that I was tired, but elated. A great day.

Today was another one. Research at the public library, then to the lakefront, to Marshall Fields, north past the ugh Trump Hotel and Towers (where Sun Times used to be), north up the Magnificent Mile with a stop at Marbles the Brain Store, a stop in the Apple Store (got a few good tips for using the address book in a more efficient way), and finally a long stop at Starbucks (sorry) at Division and State.

That's as far as I got. I was tired, but elated, just like I was still 19. Only the legs were telling me I am a bit older.