This is the June 29, 2015 edition of Left, Right and You!

Both the Smiling Conservative and I want to thank George Rawlinson for coming up with a great show idea! So today we did our independently hand-craft Top Ten Most Effective Local-ish Politician list. And there were some fascinating surprises.

Top tenBut you’ll have to listen to the show to find out just who we picked!

Oh! And by the way, we love it when listeners come up with interesting show ideas so feel free to contact us here, on facebook, or at

Until Thursday…

Let Left, Right and You be your Monday morning sunshine!

Today! Spurred on by friend of the show George Rawlinson, Larry and I will be listing our top ten effective local(ish) active Illinois politicians. And we want you to call in at 847-931-1410 with your nominations too.

EffectiveWe’re talking about leadership, the ability to get things done, the capacity to play well with others, and an implicit understanding of the political process and the patience to use it wisely. And our independently crafted lists have been hermetically sealed in a number 2 mayonnaise jar on Funk and Wagnall’s back porch since noon yesterday.

That’s Left, Right and You, Mondays from 9 to 10 a.m. and Thursdays from 3 to 4 p.m. with the Smiling Conservative, Larry Jones, and me, the Surly Liberal, on WRMN AM1410. For all of you list lovers like me, this is the show for you! See you there!

This is the June 25, 2015 edition of Left, Right and You!

Wow! The Smiling Conservative and I covered a lot of ground today! And those topics included:

  • Will any Republican contest former LR&Y co-host Allen Skillicorn for the 66th District State Rep race
  • Who will win the race to the Kane County Republican bottom – Coroner Rob Russell or Sheriff Don Kramer
  • The Elgin Tower Building lawsuit was dismissed – but it might come back
  • Like an end-of-the-movie Bond villain, The Longmeadow Loons strike again
  • And why the Democrats are gonna win the White House in 2016 despite whomever the candidates might be

Jeff and Larry2We also want that Val for calling in and thanking us for the Frampton/McDonald concert tickets.

At the behest of listener George Rawlinson, on Monday Larry and I will discuss the most effective local legislators. Until then…

This is the June 22, 2015 edition of Left, Right and You

First, I want to thank Kane County Chief of the Specialty Courts Division, Melynda Benjamin, for coming on and being such a great co-host. She came up with some fascinating questions for our guest.

And that guest, of course, was none other than best-selling author Johann Hari who joined us all the way from London. If his book, “Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs” doesn’t get folks to seriously reconsider that prohibition futility, than nothing will.

Hari2You can find his book right here and if you have an addict in your family, work in law enforcement, are part of the court system, or you simply want to understand why the war on drugs has failed so miserably, then please read it!

MelyndaThe Smiling Conservative will be back on Thursday when we’ll be talking about the Prevailing Wage Law, the fact that conservatives were wrong again – this time it was Illinois business startups, and why Republicans won’t be winning the White House in 2016 – and it has nothing to do with the actual candidates. Until then…

Let Left, Right and You start your Monday off right!

Melynda Benjamin, Chief of the Specialty Courts Division for the Kane County Public Defenders Office, will be filling in for the Smiling Conservative this morning and we’ll be interviewing best-selling author Johann Hari from London. That’s right folks! Left, Right and You is going international.

hariIn his book, “Chasing the Scream,” not only does Johann completely reframe the notion of addiction, but he describes how the war on drugs only makes it so much worse. He might just have the answer to our collar county heroin epidemic too!

That’s Left, Right and You, Mondays from 9 to 10 a.m. and Thursdays from 3 to 4 p.m. with the Smiling Conservative, Larry Jones, and me, the Surly Liberal, on WRMN AM1410. You don’t wanna miss this one folks!

This is the June 18, 2015 edition of Left, Right and You!

Holy crap we covered a lot today! To summarize:

1. North Aurora needs to abandon their new city motto and come up with something that actually makes sense.

2. East Dundee and Carpentersville have to end the Wal-Mart Civil War before the casualties start mounting. Can’t we all just get along?

3. U46 School Board members Cody Holt and Jeanette Ward had better start showing some statesmanship or they will become utterly ineffective on that board. And Ms. Ward’s obvious aversion to anything involving minorities is more than a bit unsettling.

Larry and I also want to thank Frampton/McDonald ticket winners Donna, Chuck, Darlene and Rosemarie. They were all good sports who answered the questions in the spirit of SNL’s Celebrity Jeopardy. We also want to thank Lisa for calling in and straightening us out on some specific curriculum issues!

On Monday, Kane County Chief of the Specialty Court Division, Melinda Benjamin, will fill in for Larry as we interview best selling author Johann Hari. His book “Chasing the Scream” reframes the drug war and our notion of drug addiction. Until then…

Jeff and Larry2

Left, Right and You = political enlightenment!

With the Smiling Conservative firmly back in his seat, we’ve got a lot more to talk about. And we’ll start off the Thursday festivities with the ongoing kerfuffle between East Dundee and Carpentersville. Apparently, the Wal-Mart Civil War rages on!

Then we’ll discuss the two hard core U46 Tea Party school board members’ fascinating Monday performance. And, trust me, it was a performance.

WardWhy does Jeanette Ward seem to have such a problem with any minority initiative? And BTW, both she and Cody Holt have, once again, been invited to participate in the show.

Time permitting, we’ll also talk about how the Prevailing Wage Law has become the talk of Kane County (and the U46 School Board) these days.

Oh! And we’ll be giving away more Peter Frampton / Michael McDonald concert tickets!

Of course, that’s Left, Right and You, Mondays from 9 to 10 a.m. and Thursdays from 3 to 4 p.m. with the Smiling Conservative, Larry Jones, and me, the Liberal Curmudgeon, on WRMN AM1410. You don’t wanna miss this one!

White like me?

Before we get started, I want to make it perfectly clear that Elgin, Illinois City Councilwoman Tish Powell encouraged me to write this piece. So if you find it as offensive as I believe you will, please contact her first. In the immortal words of George Carlin, Tish “just happens to be black” and she was not amused by the recent Washington state white woman who tried to pass herself off as black – for 10 long years!

And you really have to give our racial chameleon credit for pulling this off because I couldn’t pass for black for 10 short seconds. With all due respect to Lenny Kravitz, my eminently Jewish facial features would immediately give me away. I’m so bleepin’ white that if I walked around naked in snowstorm, no one would notice. And if my Caucasian butt gets any bonier, they’re going to have to come up with an entirely new race just to describe me.

All that said, I do enjoy soul food, especially black eyed peas and onions, but that isn’t nearly enough to earn that honorary African-American award. With my WASC (white Anglo-Saxon Catholic) digestive tract, you probably wouldn’t want to be within ten miles of me after that meal anyway.

But sadly, not only did these considerations fail to stop Spokane, Washington resident Rachel Dolezal from a race change operation, but she did so well that she rose to the Director of the local NAACP chapter. And you all keep trying to tell me that fiction is far stranger than truth!

Rachel Dolezal

Rachel Dolezal

It wasn’t until Ms. Dolezal’s pasty white parents blew her cover that she finally admitted she was actually a white woman. And I lay the blame for this white-people-wanna-be-black phenomenon squarely at the feet of Vanilla Ice.

That’s right! Vanilla Ice!

Apparently, being the dominant majority, not getting stopped for driving through the wrong neighborhood, never experiencing a clerk’s terrified look when you hand them a credit card, and actually having the “nude” pantyhose color work for you, isn’t nearly enough for some of us.

No! It would seem the lure of rap music is so strong that all white folks want to be black, until they don’t – like when they’re standing before a judge or applying for a loan. If it wasn’t for that black rapper Eminem keeping it real, God knows where that musical genre would…wait a minute…never mind. And can someone please explain what an Iggy Azalea is?

But the best proof is in the most brilliant comedy bit ever conceived, in which Dave Chapelle played a blind black white supremacist named Clayton Bigsby. When Clayton came upon a group of twentysomething white boys in their hood uniforms blasting rap music, he hurled the N-word at them. As you might imagine, their response was, “Did he just call us N-words? Awesome!”

Or could it be that we Caucasians are so bored with all that interminable white privilege we want to be able to use the N-Word without repercussion. Think about it! If Dr. Laura, Paula Deen, Madonna, Mel Gibson, John Mayer, Dog the Bounty Hunter, Charlie Sheen, Elvis Presley, Gwyneth Paltrow, Paris Hilton, Justin Bieber, Quentin Tarantino, Jennifer Lopez, Michael Richards, Axl Rose, Jesse James, Alec Baldwin, and Tim Allen had only followed in Ms. Dolezal’s footsteps, they might have gotten away with it.

C’mon white people! Can’t we give our black brethren something? I mean besides the drug war, mass incarceration, and an inescapable cycle of poverty? Letting them have the N-word is, literally, the least we could do.

As if being black wasn’t tough enough already, now they have to deal with white people stealing their culture at every turn. All I can tell you is that gay white men really need to stop acting like black women. Apparently being one oppressed minority isn’t enough for some people.

So help me, if I see one one more white woman wearing corn rows or have to watch another rapping bee cereal commercial, someone’s going to have to come up with bail money.

Up till now, black folks had pretty much gotten used to overweight middle-aged white men stealing their style. Then they knew they’d have to come up with something new. But how do you defend yourself against white people “becoming” black?

I considered encouraging my black friends to retaliate by acting white, but what self-respecting African-American would want to age badly, give up the capacity to dance in any meaningful way, and regularly get a sunburn. It didn’t work out too well for Michael Jackson either.

And just when you thought this tale could get any more perplexing, African-American USC college professor Camille Gear Rich actually wrote a CNN piece entitled, “Rachel Dolezal has a right to be black.”

No she doesn’t!

This is no better that wearing blackface. Because no matter what your life experience is, no white person knows what it’s like to face bigotry on a daily basis. No white person knows what it’s like to start 50 yards back in life’s 100 yard dash. No white person knows what’s like to have to fight a justice system that’s stacked against you and no white person knows what it’s like to have someone cross the street simply because you’re walking towards them.

That’s what defines being black – having lived it every single day of your life. You can’t simply say you’re an African-American! And to co-opt the best parts of being black, without having had to endure the worst of it? I think the word for that is “opportunist.”

Yes! We should laud Ms. Dolezal’s efforts to bring about racial equality, but the great Dave Chapelle said it best. “The world’s become ridiculous! There’s a white lady posing as a black lady. There is not one thing that woman accomplished that she couldn’t have done as a white woman. There’s no reason! She just needed the braids! I don’t know what she was doing.”

Neither do I Dave.

This is the June 15, 2015 edition of Left, Right and You!

Sorry for the delay in getting the show up, but I had to get ahold of all of our Peter Frampton/McDonald concert ticket winners and that took some time. To wit, Larry and I want to thank Joe, Dennis, Charlene, and Hector for calling in and, in the spirit of SNL’s Celebrity Jeopardy, getting all of our trivia questions wrong.

We truly hope our fortunate listeners enjoy the show!

Meanwhile the Smiling Conservative and talked about a ton of local stuff so you’ll want to listen the the show for yourself. Thursday! We continue the same conversation. Until then…

Jeff and Larry2

Put Left, Right and You on your monday morning radar!

And the Smiling Conservative and I have a lot to talk about today! We’ll be covering:

  • The Heart concert in which one of us threw our underwear up on stage. I bet you can’t guess which one! And you’d be amazed how many female listeners took us up on our offer to sign body parts last night.
  • Whether Huntley paramedics should’ve have called the cops on a doctor who was only trying to help his patient. Larry and I don’t nearly agree on this one folks, but I can tell you from personal experience, there really is something in the water in Huntley!
  • Should any Elgin public officials be trying to skirt the no RV’s in your driveway law? Hint: No!
  • Time permitting, why did the Kane County Coroner just hire a press secretary? To make the Sheriff look better?

And just when you thought we couldn’t get any better, we’ll be giving away Peter Frampton/Michael McDonald Festival Park tickets again this morning.

That’s Left, Right and You, Mondays from 9 to 10 a.m. and Thursdays from 3 to 4 p.m. with the Smiling Conservative, Larry Jones, and me, the Liberal Curmudgeon, on WRMN AM1410. Trust me! We look forward to talking with you all.

This is only a rough approximation of Larry and me.

This is only a rough approximation of Larry and me.