Please don’t choose suicide
In light of my current situation, a Facebook friend reached out to see if I was feeling suicidal. My immediate reaction was one of bewilderment because I hadn’t even given the possibility a second thought. As I said to former Elgin City Councilman John Prigge, they have not yet fashioned the stake that can kill this vampire!
But suddenly faced with that prospect, I realized my current circumstances might be quite difficult for someone who isn’t used to this level of scrutiny and I was grateful for my friend’s concern. But having been forced to suddenly consider it, two recent events stopped me short.
The first one was, a 20-year-old driver at the pizza place my son toils just took his own life. This was especially disconcerting because he’d delivered a pizza to my family two short days before. It’s not like you can make a psychological diagnosis in that short five-minute span, but he seemed like a perfectly happy twentysomething kid to me.
The second was the fashion designer Kate Spade’s recent suicide. How can someone who ostensibly had it all take their life at 55? And how could they leave a suicide note for their daughter explaining it wasn’t her fault? What 13-year-old isn’t going to believe they were responsible?
But Ms. Spade’s sister said she was bi-polar and that kind of mental illness is a very difficult thing to contend with.
As to my son’s co-worker, I would tell every teenager and twenty-year-old that, through the veil of limited life experience, things may seem insurmountable now, but it always get better. Unless you’re dying of a terminal disease, suicide is never the answer. It’s certainly not a victimless endeavor either.
I feel so much pain for that kid’s family, and I’m sure it’s exponentially worse for them.
As far as Ms. Spade, if someone of her means loses a battle with mental illness, it only reinforces what the great Larry Jones and I said on the radio for years. We need to remove the stigma of, and commit new resources to, battling mental illness, including chronic depression.
I’ll ask the question again! What did that holy book say about the least of our brothers?
The bottom line is, if you are feeling like there’s no hope, please reach out to someone before you do anything drastic. I can’t remember the name of the high-school book or short story, but I clearly remember the protagonist’s immediate regret at jumping in front of a train.
If you don’t believe you have someone to talk to, then please call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. No matter who you are or what your circumstances are, rest assured, there are people who care about you.
Venue shopping sucks!
And when I say “venue shopping,” I mean the police officer practice of bringing accused individuals to counties where they’re far more likely to get hammered by the men and women in black than not.
To wit, instead of being taken the short 13 miles to the Markham, Illinois, courthouse, a California man accused of smuggling $2 million in marijuana and cocaine through the Lansing Airport was transported 69 long miles to Kane County.
Which county do you think is gonna be tougher on drug crimes? Kane or Cook?
The accused’s attorney argued that state law requires defendants be taken to the “nearest and most accessible judge,” but Kane County Judge D. J. Tegler inexplicably ruled that he saw “no evidence of forum shopping,” and once the jurisdiction die was cast, there was no point in sending him back to Cook County.
Apparently the judge forgot to put his reading glasses on. So, now we’re rewarding this kind of blatantly bad law enforcement behavior?
The only bright spot in this whole scheme is, in a Kane County Circuit rife with former prosecutors, it landed on former defense attorney Tegeler’s desk. I’m not saying that’s any guarantee of our defendant getting a break, but it does diminish the venue shopping effect somewhat.
But this is exactly why people start loathing the police and justice system. Because when you game the system to get a better result, it makes you no better than, oh, I don’t know, your average drug smuggler.
This ain’t how you negotiate!
I had hoped to write that Teamsters 303 made the kind of strike ending offer to which the Chief Judge and Court Services Director would be willing to respond in kind. Despite all the lingering bad feelings, I was convinced the Kane County probation strike was in its final days.
Then a source sent me a reasonable union letter outlining their willingness to continue to work with Chief Judge Susan Clancy Boles and Court Services Director Lisa Aust to finally solve the strike.
But instead of responding in kind, that same source also sent me Bole’s and Aust’s four-page response essentially stipulating just how much the union and strikers suck.
Remember when JFK received two contradictory missives from the Russians during the Cuban Missile Crisis? He chose to ignore the saber-rattling iteration and go with the conciliatory one instead. And we know it worked because we’re all still here. The nuclear weapons stayed in their silos.
The point being, despite whatever animosity you feel towards the other side, if they open the door for reconciliation, you probably oughtta leap through it. Name calling and tit-for-tat BS generally won’t work.
Where’s Carl Tominberg when you really need him?
There still is hope however, as a full negotiation session is scheduled for Friday. Let’s hope cooler heads prevail and that’s all it takes to resolve this, once and for all.