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March 3, 2015 / jeffnward

Why not spend election night with Left, Right and You!

Just when you thought two shows a week was way better than sliced bread, Left, Right and You will be on the air election night, April 7, from 7 to 10 p.m. And our favorite political analyst, Kane County Board Member Kurt Kojzarek, will be joining us for whole show too! (If you want to get in on the pool predicting how many times I’ll mispronounce his name, please get in touch with Larry.)

kojzarekWe’ll be bringing you all the results, all the insights, and we’ll talk with all the candidates who gave it their best shot! We’d love to hear from all of you too at 847-931-1410.

That’s a special election night Left, Right and You, April 7, from 7 to 10 p.m. on WRMN AM 1410. See you there!

March 2, 2015 / jeffnward

What? A Monday Left, Right and You!

That’s right folks! And today was our inaugural Monday show:

Larry and I can’t thank Elgin Mayor Dave Kaptain and Elgin Police Chief Jeff Swoboda for stopping by to help us kick off our new early week festivities.They’re always such great and gracious guests!

Jeff n DaveWe not only discussed a number of EPD initiatives, but the Mayor provided our listeners with his opening statement as we head into the April 7th election.

The smiling conservative and I also owe a huge debt of gratitude to our great sponsors, the Ancel Glink Law Firm and American Eagle Bank, as well as WRMN for making this Monday morning show possible.

And don’t forget to pay the Elgin Civics Club a visit! We love it when you get involved.

Elgin City Council contender (and incumbent) Tish Powell will be on Thursday’s show as will 25th District State Senator Jim Oberweis who will weigh in on Governor Rauner’s proposed budget cuts.

Until then…

March 1, 2015 / jeffnward

Left, Right and You is on Mondays?

That’s right! Tomorrow, March 2nd, 2015, the course of Western Civilization will completely change! Because that’s the day that Left, Right and You adds Monday to their broadcasting schedule!

We’ll kick off our early morning festivities with Elgin Police Chief Jeff Swoboba who will bring us up to speed with what’s going on at the Elgin Police Department.

SwobodaAnd just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, Elgin Mayor Dave Kaptain will also be in the studio to talk about his state of Elgin address and provide his unique insights into the current Mayoral race.

KaptainThat’s Left, Right and You with the curmudgeonly liberal, Jeff Ward, and the smiling conservative, Larry Jones, now on Mondays from 9 to 10 a.m. We certainly hope you’ll join us!

February 26, 2015 / jeffnward

This is the February 26 edition of Left, Right and You!

Larry and I want to thank U-46 candidate and current school board member Traci Ellis for coming on the show and blowing our socks off! If you’re thinking of running for local office folks, it would pay to listen to how Traci got her points across with energy, brevity, and by using more than just platitudes.

Traci2Then the Smiling Conservative and I discussed Governor Rauner’s proposed cuts and, though it pained him to no end, Larry agreed with many of my assessment that they really aren’t cuts. We also want to thank Todd and Bob for calling in and adding some very interesting points.

(I will keep my promise when Mayor Kaptain comes on on Monday, Todd!)

Don’t forget! The very first installment of the new Monday Left, Right, and You will be on from 9 to 10 a.m. next Monday, March 2nd! Elgin Mayor Dave Kaptain and Police Chief Jeff Swoboda will help us kick off the morning festivities! Until then…

February 26, 2015 / jeffnward

It’s almost time to get your Left, Right and You…

…groove on!

Today, that dastardly Smiling Conservative, Larry Jones, and I will discuss the U-46 School Board race. And I gotta tell ya people, I really regret convincing those Tea Partiers to run at the local level.

Then, U-46 School Board incumbent Traci Ellis joins us to make her opening statement. We hope she’ll explain why anyone in their right mind would ever want to run for school board.

Traci Ellis

Traci Ellis

Governor Rauner just fired his opening budget cut salvo! Larry and I will tell you why these cuts aren’t cuts at all. And we’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic too at 847-931-1410.

That’s Left, Right and You with Jeff Ward and Larry Jones today at 3 p.m. on WRMN AM1410. Don’t miss it!

February 23, 2015 / jeffnward

She’s not white!

The media coverage of the 23 year-old Geneva woman who was apprehended in Canada before she and some co-conspirators could shoot up a mall on Valentine’s Day has officially moved into the patently prurient. And if you dare challenge the local papers to justify this particular form of pornography, they’ll inevitably claim they’re simply trying to provide the “answers” their readers so desperately long to hear.

But the truth is, they only manage to come up with the answers their readers want to hear because these editors and reporters aren’t adding to or advancing this story in any way.

And what we want to hear is, “Here are all the gory details that clearly prove this young woman was born with the kind of defect that doomed her from the start. There is nothing that could’ve prevent her descent into darkness and thus, once again, we good Christians bear absolutely no responsibility for failing to be our sister’s keeper.”

Then we all get to heave a collective sigh of self-righteous relief, safe in the knowledge that nothing like this could never happen to our child.

souvSo now everyone’s convinced themselves that this young woman’s preoccupation with National Socialism and white power, which apparently started at Geneva High School, was actually the underlying disease and not just one of the symptoms.

To those folks I would say, “Have you noticed that she’s not white?” And isn’t it kinda strange for someone of mixed race to espouse white power? It’s the kind of blatant and bizarre disconnect that comedian Dave Chappelle nailed in his brilliant character, Clayton Bigsby, the blind black white supremacist.

C’mon! Isn’t it obvious that something else is going on here?

Perhaps the real answers to this young woman’s psychological and spiritual demise involve something more akin to an intense self-loathing, a desperate attempt to internalize some distasteful external experiences, and then a means of reflecting those experiences back to gain attention.

Again, as we already explored in a previous post, the west side of Geneva, Illinois is not the place to live if you’re different in any way. A friend and I talked about this over the weekend and, despite working here for 12 long years, she still feels like an outsider.

But we don’t want to hear those kinds of explanations because they make us very uncomfortable. They force us to take responsibility for the least of our brothers and we realize there’s no guarantee that that this won’t happen to one of our children.

Please let me repeat that, despite whatever external events help shape, we are all ultimately responsible for our own lives. But if we’re truly seeking answers for this Geneva woman’s now obvious decline, then this becomes a necessary exercise.

What bothers far more than the insipid media coverage, are all the former classmates, teachers, and professors who’ve suddenly come flying forward with all sorts of ex post facto insights that basically conclude, “We knew she was gonna try to do something like this all along!”

One former classmate said, “The school [Geneva High School] should have known but no one stepped in and did anything.” While I will certainly admit it was bizarre that her “nightmare Nazi” drawing made it into the yearbook, what I have yet to hear from any of these supposed friends and mentors is, “Her behavior bothered me so much that I went to a counselor/administrator/social worker to have it addressed.”

So somebody else shoulda known, but none of these fine folks who did know bear any responsibility whatsoever?

And Coe College professor Charles Aukema is a real piece of work. Not only did he violate FERPA laws just to get is 15 minutes of fame, but despite going into great detail about this young woman’ bizarre schoolwork, he fails to mention any attempt to get the school to intervene.

So here are the answers we all so desperately crave.

A very introverted mixed-race young woman had difficulty fitting into a community that doesn’t always tolerate differences. Perhaps more fragile than most, she tried to deal with her isolation in ways that would likely generate a lot of attention. But when they didn’t, she decided to strike back at an existence that, in her mind, had failed her.

And all along the way, the people who could’ve raised that red flag failed to do so which allowed her to sink even deeper into a self-inflicted abyss. Again, misfits don’t magically pop into being, we allow them to happen.

Shame on us.

February 20, 2015 / jeffnward

Substitute teachers generally do a great job!

Substitute teachers have no contract, no benefits, no paid time off, vacation, or sick days, and they don’t necessarily have to be licensed teachers (U-46 requires a college degree). To put that in some sort of perspective, with a simple state license, I could be a substitute teacher in many local school districts.

Ain’t that a terrifying thought?

A school district the size of U-46 uses upwards of 150 subs a day (I checked), not only to cover teacher sick days, but those in staff, parent, and student meetings, in training seminars, and chaperoning field trips.

'I presume you're the substitute teacher?'And being a sub is a lot like that proverbial slab of raw meat that’s about to be thrown to a pack of hungry lions. The lovely little darlings know you’re just a place holder and they can sense fear far more acutely than a pit bull in a room full of rabbits.

If you manage to survive the students, there’s the automated 5 a.m. calls, the Affordable Care Act making it much more complicated, and if you’re a really superb substitute teacher, the district won’t hire you full-time because you’re much more valuable to them as a pinch hitter.

It’s a bleeping great life all for $80 to $100 a day. If any of you ever catch me saying I want to be a sub, you have my explicit permission to beat me senseless with my carbon fiber baseball bat. But despite those difficulties, on any given midwinter day, there are probably 600 substitute teachers toiling in U-46 and D300 alone.

So let’s crunch some numbers. Using that U-46 150 sub average, that means, over the course of a 175 day school year, there are 26,000 separate sub days in that district. And until this week’s incident, how many substitute teacher issues have popped up in the last 10 years? I’ll wait…

To fill in the blanks, instead of ending it, a U-46 sub encouraged a classroom effort to make fun of a 330 pound peer by adding an absurd caption to a roughly scrawled smart board depiction of said student. The young man took a video of those proceedings and his family posted it on Youtube.

But even though the local newspapers would have you believe this lone sub who sank to the level of his freshman charges is news, the real news is the 259,999 separate U-46 substitute teaching sessions that have transpired over the last decade without incident.

The way the local tabloids are going out of their way to pick this lowest of all low hanging fruit continues to be utterly infuriating.

Without denigrating the great work of 99.99999 percent of substitute teachers, they are in no way full-time contractual teachers who can be “suspended” or “fired.” The school district simply won’t call them to come in. No substitute teacher is ever guaranteed the next day’s work.

So it is exceedingly disappointing that, not only did the Courier News and Daily Herald insist upon referring to this as a “fired teacher” scenario, but they went out of their way to avoid applying any perspective whatsoever.

In a piece that’s poorly written and difficult to follow, at least the DH’s Madhu Krishnamurthy correctly reported that U-46 safety coordinator John Heiderscheidt said, “We are not allowing this substitute teacher back in U-46.” She also noted that, “Substitute teachers are licensed by the Illinois State Board of Education and hired by school districts as needed.”

But that didn’t stop her from using the terms “teacher” “suspended” and “fired” over and over again.

My beloved Dave Gathman (Courier-News) was even worse because I expect perspective from someone of his caliber and there was none. Shame on you Dave!

And here’s the bottom line! Would someone please tell me why neither reporter mentioned how this aggrieved family put a bullying bullseye squarely on their son’s forehead by going to Youtube and Facebook BEFORE they went to the district?

Ah yes! Victimhood at its best!

I spoke with U-46 CEO Tony Sanders immediately after the incident went public and he essentially said this sub would not be called to teach pending an investigation and, if the facts held up, he wouldn’t teach in U-46 again. That’s it! Problem solved. End of story.

No school district is going to put up with that rare rogue sub for a second because they simply don’t have to!

And yes! Despite some rabid parents’ pronouncements to the contrary, there does have to be an investigation. Even if you’re caught shoplifting on camera, you still get your day in court. Some folks really need to start taking their Ritalin.

There is no excuse for what this substitute teacher did, but there’s also no excuse for the blatantly lazy and sensationalized news coverage of this non-event either. Because, when you consider the vast number of subs and just how difficult the job is, the only thing that surprises me is this doesn’t happen more often.

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