The autumn of living dangerously

I think it would be safe to say the Aurora East School District 131 has endured a fall season that is the stuff of Poe-esque nightmares. They’ve certainly taken their lumps lately.

There was the forced retirement of their Finance Director, insurance payment issues and a transgender policy that was repealed even faster than it was implemented.

Annette Johnson

But even though I was loaded for bear, after speaking at length with school board president Annette Johnson, I think there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and, thankfully, it isn’t another a freight train. As I posit in yesterday’s Beacon-News column, despite the immediate evidence, sometimes you have to give folks that long term shot.

Remember, Rome wasn’t built – nor was it destroyed – in a day. Enjoy the column!

Sunday evening editorial – women and the GOP

Considering the bizarre things that have come tumbling out of pasty white male Republicans this election cycle, I’m shocked the GOP can claim as much as one female member. And the really sad thing is, the things they’re saying simply don’t need to be said.

Let’s review:

1. Missouri Senate candidate Todd Aiken said that, if it’s a case of “legitimate rape,” the woman’s reproductive system will shut down so she can’t get pregnant. To add the icing to the proverbial cake, Aiken accused opponent Claire McCaskill of not being very “ladylike.”

2. Then we have our own Joe “no abortion exception” Walsh, who told WGN radio that medical science had advanced so far, that an abortion to save the life of the mother was nothing more than a silly excuse. Tell that to the 1,000 U.S. women who die from childbirth complications every year.

3. Iowa Rep Steve King said he’d never heard of a girl getting pregnant from statutory rape.

4. Pennsylvania Senate candidate Tom Smith equated rape with out-of-wedlock pregnancies.

5. Wisconsin State Rep Roger Rivard told the press “some girls, they rape so easy.”

6. Which finally brings us to Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock who just said, if a woman gets pregnant from rape, it’s all part of God’s plan. Perhaps if God planned better He could have prevented the rape.

And then Republicans have the nerve to wonder why they regularly get beaten by tax and spend Democrats.

In Kane County we have some amazing Republican women. Deb Seyller, Melisa Taylor, Judy Biggert, Kay Hatcher and up and comers like Jackie Stammen (who I’d have work on my campaign any day), and Lindsey Timm of the Young Republicans to name a few.

They’re the ones who should be in charge!

So here’s my suggestion to all you GOP women out there! Stage a revolt and wrest control of your party from the idiotic old white men who have dominated it for far too long. Because as these tired old white guys continue to try and co-opt social issues that have absolutely nothing to do with being a Republican, they will keep the party on the fringes.

Real Republicans – who are supposed to believe in less government – don’t get involved in people’s bedrooms. And if the men aren’t smart enough to figure that out, then it’s time to kick ’em to the curb.

Ya gotta watch this video!

Now, you know I love music and I love musicians that can make fun of themselves even more. So I’ve been laughing my butt off ever since my wife turned me on to 50 Ways to Say Goodbye by Train.

It’s kind of a 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover redux in that, for guys who can’t admit their girlfriend left them, it describes the various ways in which she might have died instead. The lyrics are amazing and my favorite line is, “got run over by a crappy purple Scion.”

And the video is hilarious. Please note the part where the girlfriend dies after falling head first into some cement and another woman steals her shoes. Anyway, enjoy!

This is why you don’t say incredibly stupid things like that

I know I’ve used humor to emphasize the abject stupidity and insensitivity of what Kendall County Coroner Ken Toftoy said to the Ledger-Setinel this week, but there’s a really good reason no responsible coroner should ever let his fricken’ gums flap other than when they absolutely need to.

Before we continue, this is what Toftoy said: 

For less than a buck and a half I come to your house and take care of whatever might have happened – if it’s a natural death or your dad hung himself in the garage.

And that really good reason is, a mere day before that BS was printed, a father and his four year-old son were found dead in their Yorkville garage of apparent carbon monoxide poisoning.You can read crack Beacon-News reporter Matt Hanley’s story here.

Now, I don’t know exactly when the Ledger-Sentinel interview took place, but Hanley quoted Toftoy as saying, “I’ve done this 20 years and I can’t get this out my mind.  Seeing that little guy sitting in the chair in his pajamas. . . . I had tears in my eyes when I was picking him up.”

Yeah! Right!

If that tragedy came after the quote, he’s simply an unlucky and insensitive clod. If he said after the fact, it’s time to vote for his opponent.

On second thought, if he can’t handle something this simple, then perhaps Kenndall County would be much better off with Mike Dabney.

The Lone Ranger rides again!

From this point on, let’s use weekends to catch up on news stories that didn’t make the weekday cut and perhaps write one or two editorials. I hope that sounds like a reasonable plan to you.

One bypassed item worth noting is Aurora 4th Ward Alderman Rick Lawrence will run again, but this time for the lone alderman-at-large spot. 

This is a brilliant strategy because when constituents call him to inspect an ostensibly abandoned house, instead of making headlines, he will now be able to refer the caller to the appropriate ward office.

If you recall, despite my rabid Beacon-News defense of his actions, Mr. Lawrence formally apologized for entering a not-as-vacant-as-they thought Downers Place home at the behest of some frustrated neighbors.  When the owners came back to retrieve the rest of their stuff, they found and already cleaned out house.

I still beleive, considering all the foreclosures and the state of that completely trashed property, Lawrence did the right thing. But enough about that.

This columnist heartily supports Lawrence’s choice to run again if for no other reason than every village board needs that lone voice of dissent – as long as it’s employed semi-sparingly and within the bounds of reason. And Rick has, indeed, learned to moderate that voice, the best example of which is a continuing public detente with Mayor Tom Weisner.

If you recall, that wasn’t always the case.

Ah! But there’s a catch! (Ain’t that always the case?). My backing of the alderman’s independent run comes at a cost! And the price is he better damn well be done with that insipid Akif Malik and the even more insipid Open Line Blog. Mr. Malik, a guttersnipe who doesn’t even live in Aurora and calls himself an “activist,” fantasizes that no one really knows he’s the one behind that “anonymous” operation.

So Mr. Lawrence! We will be having a conversation soon in which I will seek assurances, and then I’ll verify it with some of your associates. Let’s hope the alderman has chosen wisely.

Kenny’s coasters!

Now I know what you’re thinking! That title must be referring to a new alternative music group from the west coast. Nothing could be further from the truth. But trust me, by the time we’re done here, you’ll wish it did!

Though nothing could top his “buck fifty to pick up your dead father” quote printed in yesterday’s Ledger-Sentinel, Kendall County Coroner Ken Toftoy has more than one slogan up his sleeve.  And here’s the latest:

Apparently these coasters are popping up in bars all over Oswego which is a good thing, because you probably oughtta be drunk to truly appreciate them. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be a death threat or if Ken simply can’t draw a human being very well.

Now, we know Ken has a way with words, but who knew he was a poet too? Perhaps he could branch out into napkins that read, “There once was a coroner from Nantucket…” But we should probably stop there because, after all, this is a family blog.

So here’s my thought. Having taken the time to fully appreciate the effect of this campaign coaster as well as yesterday’s quote, I think it’s time to put Mr. Toftoy’s name in the running for a National Organization of Women “Sensitive Man of the Year Award.”

Personally, I think he’s a lock.

Please understand, I have no dog in the Kendall County Coroners race, I still think Ken is going to win, and I actually like the guy. But no columnist worth his salt could pass up this kind of material. Please keep it coming!

Baby it’s cold outside!

If you’re wondering about our precipitous drop in temperatures, there is a simple explanation. Hell is freezing over.

In a move as baffling as string theory, after going 0 for 5, the Chicago Tribune finally endorsed Jim Oberweis for State Sen. Chris Lauzen’s soon to be vacant 25th District seat. Is it just me or is it kind of disingenuous for a newspaper to back a guy whom they previously savaged so badly it would make Mike Tyson jealous? 

“The Oberweis we see now is more respectful and reasonable – and dead-on in his assessment of what must be done to improve Illinois’ business climate,” the paper blared.

I suppose if creating minimum wage jobs for teenagers is the solution, then Jim the “job creator” is just what we need. Had the Trib said something like, “He’s still bleeping crazy after all these years, but he’s barely better than his Democratic opponent so what the hell,” I might have bought it.

In the meantime, because the thought of Jim representing me makes me want to weep, write in “Jeff Ward” instead.

In another bizarre development that should have you hiding in your crawlspace, the Tribune also endorsed Chris Lauzen for Kane County chair.  It’s not that they’re wrong on this one, but, considering past history, the mere possibility seem so outlandish as to make one seriously consider that we’ve slipped into a parallel quantum universe.

“We’ve had our differences with Republican state Sen. Chris Lauzen, of Aurora,” the paper aid, “We have no doubt, though, that Lauzen would run the county government with financial discipline.” 

Maybe there’s hope for the Trib yet! Although, while they mentioned Klinkhamer’s name, they failed to note that she isn’t even bothering to campaign.

All that said, and for all the reasons we’ve previously discussed, newspaper endorsements don’t matter, but mine do! You can review them in three separate posts here.