U46 curriculum continued!

I thought this blog comments section discussion deserved a bit more prominence, so I’m posting it here. Apparently unhappy with some of my statements on Left, Right and You, former Elgin city council candidate and local Tea Partier Julie Schmidt wrote this:

From Dictionary.com:

“Indoctrinating: to instruct in a doctrine, principle, ideology, etc., especially to imbue with a specific partisan or biased belief or point of view.”

Test Questions:
1. If facts are edited from any historical information or if only one perspective is offered, could that be considered a “biased belief or point of view?”
2. Does the word “indoctrination” scare people? If so, why?
3. Are school board members not allowed to use certain words? If so, which ones should be censored? (i.e. the “N” word is rather obvious)

From the StudySync curriculum quoted in the Examiner:

“On an assignment for Rudolfo Anaya’s poem ‘Elegy on the Death of Cesar Chavez’ it asks students to ‘support the evidence that Chavez was a protector of human rights.’ Chavez was a union organizer for migrant workers who was on the political left, and his mantra ‘Si se puede’ was adapted to ‘yes, we can’ for President Barrack Obama’s campaign slogan.”

Test Questions:
4. Where is the word “Communist” in this quote?
5. Is it true that Chavez was on the political “left”?
6. Is it true that Obama’s campaign slogan was “Yes, we can”?

Examiner: “However, by simply copying the redacted portions from the PDF file and pasting to a Word document that login info appeared, and after just a little review of the resources Ward’s concerns appear to have validation.”

Test Questions:
1. Who obtained the links and passwords?
2. Did anyone at LRY read the article?
3. Why do radio show hosts, one being a former reporter, continue to impugn one or more school board member without evidence?
4. How does a former reporter, not editor, know what an editor will do (i.e. NYT revealing national security information that actually does threaten real lives)?

General Test Questions:
1. When and how does “history” evolve?
2. Will 2+2 always equal 4?
3. If elected officials conduct a public town hall to make themselves available to their constituency, shouldn’t they be praised for it?

u46And here’s my reply:

Ms Schmidt,

It’s good that we’re doing it this way, because it’s the only way I’d get a word in edgewise.

But before I get to the questions specifically directed to me, for anyone of any ilk, insipid Tea Partier or otherwise, to claim that Cesar Chavez was anything but a protector of basic human rights belies a level of partisanship and ignorance that’s simply beyond the pale. Agribusinesses at the time devoted a lot of cash to making him go away.

As far as your actual question, for most folks, in certain circumstances, the words “left” and “communist” are interchangeable. The fact that Ms. Ward didn’t actually use that word is immaterial. As you may have noted, the fine folks at Fox News use hyperbole all the time so it would be disingenuous to complain about it when I do.

And to tie Chavez back to Barack Obama just makes the right look petty and stupid – not that it takes all that much to begin with. Now, on to the directed questions:

1. I certainly have no proof, but I personally believe Ms. Ward provided the passwords to the Examiner.

2. Yes! I did read the article, and as a 25+ year database/IT guy, the Examiner’s PDF to word cut-and-paste magically appearing passwords explanation is pure, unadulterated bull bleep. No one at the Examiner is that smart and that ain’t how it works.

3. It should be “former opinion columnist.” Though I have been known to do some digging when necessary. And it’s not only this radio show host, but the other one too! We have both taken the dynamic duo to task for taking the kids out of the equation and pressing an agenda solely for the purpose of their own political self-aggrandizement.

Perhaps, Ms. Schmidt, you weren’t listening when we took Tracy Ellis to task for her attempt to beat Ms. Ward in the race to the U46 School Board bottom. During that same show we praised Phil Costello for appearing to understand there’s at least a year-long school board learning curve.

The “impugning” of which you speak generally goes to their character or complete lack of it. To wit, how many times have we invited them on the show? Ah! But even they know they’re wrong so they’re far too chicken bleep to come on. They know their “ideology” can’t stand up to scrutiny.

And by the way! There’s plenty of evidence! Given how dangerous folks like Ms. Ward and Mr. Holt can be, I’m not nearly ready to move on yet either.

4. Again, it’s former opinion columnist. And I know none of the real local editors would’ve released those passwords because I’ve worked with most of them. None of my former editors would’ve released them either. I know this is difficult for you to understand, but those passwords were there for a reason – the curriculum was not yet under contract.

The real solace here is that the Examiner has only about four readers and none of ‘em know how to use a computer.

And to compare that kind of password passing out pouting to the Snowden revelations regarding an entirely ILLEGAL NSA program shows just how fascinating you and your group really are. Sorry, but the fact that you don’t like this potential curriculum is utterly immaterial to the debate.

As for the town hall meeting. Not only was it not a town hall meeting, but, as I said on the show, Ms. Ward and Mr. Holt don’t seem to realize they’ve already been elected. It’s like a bad Seinfeld episode. That meeting’s sole purpose was to promote a specific agenda, and when it didn’t go their way, Holt and Ward shut it down posthaste. So I firmly believe that praise is unnecessary.

Lastly, Ms. Schmidt, This isn’t about one viewpoint versus another or you’d either call in or come on the show (we will most certainly be discussing this on Thursday). No! It’s about you and your group’s continual failure to gain any traction and the death throes of the Tea Party movement.

As the past few weeks have clearly shown, the ultra-conservative folks whose idea of governing is to regularly throw temper tantrums are losing. And the reason they’re losing is their ideology is one of fear, pettiness, bigotry, control, domination and power. It has absolutely nothing to do with improving the human condition.

Just as it has always been with previous untenable historic political tangents, this one will also be relegated to history’s dustbin. I know that prospect terrifies you, but despite your best efforts to the contrary, that doesn’t make it my problem.

I hope this answers all your questions.

This is the Monday July 13, 2015 Edition of Left, Right and You

First, the Smiling Conservative and I want to thank Kane County Specialty Courts head honcho Melynda Benjamin for filling in as co-host today. She always does a great job.

We also want to thank 1st District Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin for calling in today and explaining his seven point plan to end gun violence on the Chicago’s South and West sides. It’s certainly an ambitious undertaking, but I’m convinced, if anyone call put it off, he can!

Boykin2At least someone has a plan that doesn’t included more jails! And I gotta tell ya, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the Commissioner ran for Mayor in four years.

Larry will be back on Thursday and we’ll continue the discussion then! Thanks for listening.


Left, Right and You discusses gun violence

With Kane County Chief of Specialty Courts Melynda Benjamin graciously filling in for Larry, we welcome Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin to the show this morning.

BoykinCommissioner Boykin just wrote a fascinating Tribune column on how to better contend with gun violence on Chicago’s South and West sides. And his precepts apply to any city facing a similar situation. After that horrific Fourth of July Chicago weekend, it’s time to stop attacking the symptoms and start talking about solutions.

An that’s exactly what we’re going to do on Left, Right and You.

Of course, 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. Don’t miss it!

This is the July 9, 2015 edition of Left, Right and You!

Which didn’t quite work out as we expected, but as the great Inspector Clouseau once said, “It is all part of life’s rich pageant.” Ms. Chapa Lavia had to turn her full attention to the state budget impasse and she will endeavor to come on the show as soon as she possibly can. Larry and I look  forward to hearing what she has to say about her Aurora mayoral run.

Jeff n LarryBut we did discuss:

  • How the Longmeadow Loons threatened a Kane County Board member
  • How the Algonquin Village Board stood up to the Longmeadow Loons
  • How Kane County Coroner Rob Russell is winning the race to the Republican bottom with his “press secretary”
  • How U-46 School Board member Jeanette Ward is a bigger loon than the Longmeadow folks
  • How the Gasthaus Zur Linde in Elgin is on the way out

Monday, Melynda Benjamin will fill in for the Smiling Conservative once again as we discuss how to end inner city violence with Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin. Commissioner Boykin put forth some interesting ideas in recent Tribune article. Until then…

Linda Chapa Lavia on Left, Right and You!

That’s right folks! The Smiling Conservative and I landed an exclusive first interview with our 83rd District State Rep since she announced her Aurora mayoral candidacy. An you thought we were nuthin’ but another pair of pretty faces!

chapa laviaWe’ll briefly discuss the Springfield deadlock, but after that it’s all about Aurora and how Linda will contend with that difficult job and what she hopes to accomplish as Mayor.

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. Be there if you want to be the first to know!

I love Grand Victoria concerts!

I was done! Finshed! Kaput! It was over! I’d had enough! In the inimitable words of the almighty Eagles, I was “already gone.”

Oh sure! We did bear wonderful witness to the late, great B.B. King at the Paramount in Aurora and there was no way I was gonna miss 12-string guitar virtuoso Leo Kottke at the ECC Arts Center, but as far as outdoor concerts went, the only way you could get me there was to drag me kicking and screaming the entire way.

The venues weren’t that great, general admission is essentially an adult game of cutthroat musical chairs, the sound systems frequently sucked, the younger crowds didn’t know how to behave, and getting in and out if ‘em made Theseus’ ordeal in Crete look like child’s play.

So, without a second thought, I gave it all up cold turkey. Sure! That choice limited my performer choices, but it was something I could most certainly live with.

But then a funny thing happened on my way to seeking more solitude! The Grand Victora Casino started hosting concerts at the adjoining Festival Park in Elgin. So last summer I decided to break my self-sworn vow and go see Marshall Tucker and Deep Purple.

And those two events were so good that my lovely wife and I have already gone to this summer’s GVC concert series a number of time. George Thorogood, Heart, and Boston concerts with Huey Lewis and the News coming up to be exact!

So what brought about this change of heart and shifted concert consciousness? The GVC managed to eliminate everything I’d grown to hate about outdoor concerts. And in doing so, they proved it really isn’t that hard to get it right. So let’s go through what I love about these show point by point!

1. Parking

There’s nothing like paying $2,724 for a ticket only to be hit with a $30 parking fee the second you arrive at the show. Then all that gets you is the far end of the farm field which offers no real hope of getting home before January.

Ah! But at the GVC concerts, parking is always free and there’s plenty of it. If you can’t find a spot at the Casino lots, there are plenty of municipal parking lots and garages well within walking distance. And because all that parking is reasonably spread out, there aren’t the kind of bottlenecks the plague so many other outdoor venues.

2. Ticket Prices

Did I mention paying $2,724 to get into some of these summer concerts with subpar sound systems? In a strange, but welcome twist, when it comes to the GVC, you can forget about filling out that second mortgage application. All of the reserved seats (only the lawn is general admission) are under a hundred bucks and there ain’t a bad one in the house.

For those bottom line budget kind of folks, lawn seats are a mere thirty bucks and, unlike other venues, you can actually  see the stage from those cheaper seats.

3. Concession Prices

The same thing goes for concession prices. There’s no need to stop at a payday loan store before the show. From food to drinks, it’s all reasonably priced and the lines move like lightning.

4. Older Audiences Behave Better

Don’t get me wrong! I’m not sayin’ folks shouldn’t have a good time. But I can do without the fights, the various and sundry alcohol induced hijinks, and the generally inconsiderate behavior that plagues so many other outdoor concert venues. Call me crazy, but I firmly believe these shows be a bit more enjoyable than your average military survival training.

GVC crowds “get it” to the point where even this solitary soul enjoys being at Festival Park.

5. Security

These fine folks seem to have a firm grasp on the notion that it ain’t the Stones at Altamont. As a result, they’re actually quite friendly and helpful, and when it comes to keeping the aisles clear and ensuing that no one’s view is unduly blocked, I don’t think I’ve seen a more efficient group of people.

6. The EPD

Even if you exit with the herd at the most crowded GVC concert, the efficiency experts at the Elgin Police Department get you out of the parking lots and on your way home in no time. No sitting around and swearing in traffic necessary!

After the sold out Boston show, my wife and I were back in Geneva in a scant 20 minutes. What more could you ask for?

7. The Show Times

I don’t know about you, but I ‘m getting up there and staying up late is pretty much off the table. Thankfully, the GVC concerts start at 7 and 7:30 which means you’re back home by 10:30. Even I can handle that. As for the more adventurous souls, those reasonable show times leave plenty of time to enjoy some of Elgin’s finer dining and drinking establishments.

So suddenly, thanks to the Grand Victoria, instead of dreading them, I’m actually looking forward to outdoor concerts again. Who’d a thunk it?

I hope to see you there soon!

This is the July 6, 2015 edition of Left, Right and You!

The Smiling Conservative and I want to thank State Senator  and 8th District Congressional contender Tom Cullerton for coming into the studio today. Larry may disagree, but why is it that only the Democrats seem to have any political common sense these days?

Tom CullertonWe covered a lot of ground today so please listen to the show. When you consider Tom’s ascent from Villa Park Board Member to State Senate to a Congressional run, all you 8th District listeners should give him some serious consideration.

Thursday! State Rep and Aurora Mayoral Candidate Linda Chapa Lavia! Until then…

Start the 2016 political season with Left, Right and You!

Is it that time already? Yes it is folks! The candidates are warming up for those all-important 2016 races and we got one of ’em on Left, Right and You this morning! Illinois 23rd District State Senator and 8th District Congressional contender Tom Cullerton joins us in the studio.

cullertonWe’ll talk about why he’s running, what he hopes to accomplish, and whether anyone willing to run for Congress should have to endure a full mental evaluation.

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. Don’t miss it!

This is the July 2, 2015 edition of Left, Right and You!

And the Smiling Conservative and I covered it all!

We agreed on the South Elgin Confederate flag kerfuffle. We disagreed on various aspect of the looming Illinois government shutdown. And we had mixed but similar feelings on the former Cook County prosecutor who suggested bringing the National Guard into the south and west sides of Chicago.

But why listen to me when you can listen for yourself!

Monday! State Senator and Congressional candidate Tom Cullerton will join us for the entire hour. Until then…


It’s always 82 degrees and sunny on Left, Right and You!

Today! The Smiling Conservative and I will tackle a number of things, including, but possibly not limited to:

  1. The South Elgin Confederate flag flying kerfuffle. You might be surprised what this Curmudgeonly Liberal thinks about it.
  2. Why do addle-minded Republicans always think that a temper tantrum is good governance? Bruce Rauner going for a government shutdown less than 200 days in office will not work out well for him or the Illinois GOP.
  3. Time permitting, in today’s Tribune, former Cook County First Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Milan called for the National Guard to occupy the South and West sides of Chicago. After all, it worked so well in Baghdad. I actually thought his column was satire at first!

rebel-flagThat’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. Don’t forget to call in at 847-931-1410.