Quick Hits – A Curmudgeon Book Chapter!

With the morning having gotten away from me due to a number of strange issues, I did not manage to make it to Quick Hits. But fear not dear reader, as my second book is progressing, I thought it might be fun to share another chapter from “A Curmudgeon’s Guide to Life.”

And this particular passage explains why we don’t need to be “fixed,” or somehow turned into fun-loving extroverts. Enjoy!

 

We don’t need to be fixed!

But you know, I’m the negative-Nancy, curmudgeon, glass-half-empty-with-a-leak-in-it guy – which is basically the fuel that fires me up anyway. Without that, we wouldn’t have me.

Maynard James Keenan

 

If I could drag Walt Disney’s sorry anti-Semitic frozen ass out of that secret compartment beneath the Pirates of the Caribbean exhibit, I’d bring him back to life just so I could kick it all the way to Agrabah.

Though I’m thinkin’ that proposition might be problematic!

First, no self-respecting curmudgeon would ever be caught dead in a place of eternal damnation like Disneyland. Second, the whole cryogenic thing is an urban myth, and third, no one’s ever conclusively proven that Uncle Walt went out of his way to inspire Mel Gibson.

But since the truth never stopped any American from blaming everyone else for their self-inflicted sad lot in life, I’m gonna throw caution into the wind and go with that sentiment, because Disney and his irrepressible ilk have done more damage to my people than Donald Trump has done to the presidency.

Can someone please explain why every third Pixar movie has to be about some cranky old man who, but for the wisdom and love of an errant, ebullient boy scout, has been living a life of not-so-quiet desperation waiting to be rescued from the kind of self-inflicted inner torment of which they were completely unaware. Is there some federal law I haven’t heard about before?

Alright! Alright! The biplane flying dogs were funny, but that doesn’t change a damn thing.

Get off my lawn

Then, to make matters so much worse, we have horror novels like ‘A Man Called Ove,’ a truly terrifying tale of curmudgeonly redemption if there ever was one. Stephen King ain’t got nuthin’ on Fredrik Backman.

No self-respecting curmudgeon would ever consider suicide. Our existence is far too important and we have no intention of letting the rest of you off the hook. We would never allow ourselves to be “adopted” by a young family with two children and a third on the way, either.

Talk about Dante’s first circle of Hell!

No! If the book were true-to-life, the hero would be screaming at those children to stay off his lawn from the comfort of a front porch swing. And while we’re certainly capable of solving any neighborhood problem that might arise, no one ever listens to us but other curmudgeons, so what’s the flippin’ point?

“Oh! C’mon Jeff! Who cares about movies and books? If you don’t like ‘em, then don’t avail yourself of them!”

I’d generally agree with your assessment, but unfortunately, this stilted silver-screen portrayal of curmudgeons as lost souls who can be rendered “normal” by a child’s loving presence completely destroys the experience for those of us who truly enjoy it.

Armed with the latest Disney flight of fancy, some of y’all are convinced that, if I would just open myself up to the magic of existence and let you love me with all of your freaking heart, I would quickly see the lifelong error of my way only to carpe diem the bleep out of everyone and everything in the kind of Grinch-esque heart enlarging frenzy that would make that ‘From Here to Eternity’ beach scene pale in comparison.

(Now that’s a run-on sentence!)

No! No! No! That’s not the way it works! The truth is, though it does have its highlights, existence generally sucks and so do extroverts, and nothing – not even someone as “irresistible” as you – is going to change that. Paul McCartney was wrong, all I need is me. I like being a curmudgeon and I have absolutely no intention of abandoning that halcyon role anytime soon.

A good friend recently told me he hopes I find the peace I’m looking for. After successfully stifling the urge to dig his still-beating heart out with a dull spoon just to prove a point (no jury would ever convict me), I responded, “This is my peace! Not only do I enjoy sitting well out on the autistic bell curve but making people uncomfortable is one of my favorite things.”

That means no small talk, no stupid people, no parties, no bars, no movie theatres, no neighbors, no ill-mannered children, and no time-wasting endeavors in general. It means seeing the truth and regularly pointing out the error of your ways as a result. It means not caring what you, or anyone else thinks about us, never considering the consequence of speaking our minds, and never having to say we’re sorry, because we’re never wrong.

It means Ebenezer Scrooge is my literary hero, right up to the moment when he changed! Talk about a tragic ending!

Scrooge was right! Christmas is a horrifying proposition, and it’s gonna take a lot more than three spirits to get me to willingly endure the spirit of that godforsaken season, which, as far as I can tell, includes mobs of angry shoppers, motorists bent on their own and my destruction, and the kind of rampant crass commercialism that makes me long to be Amish.

“War on Christmas?” Wait till Fox News sees what I have to say about it! Of all people, Dr. Seuss should’ve known that an enlarged heart is never a good thing.

But I digress!

Stop trying to fix us! It only makes us angry, and you don’t like us when we’re angry.

 

The next bleep who utters the word “microaggression” dies!

The concept of “microaggression” is just one of many tactics used to stifle differences of opinion by declaring some opinions to be “hate speech,” instead of debating those differences in a marketplace of ideas. To accuse people of aggression for not marching in lockstep with political correctness is to set the stage for justifying real aggression against them. ― Thomas Sowell

And for reference purposes, the sage Mr. Sowell is black.

Meanwhile, Merriam-Webster defines microaggression as, “A comment or action that subtly and often unconsciously or unintentionally expresses a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group (such as a racial minority).”

To be more specific, telling a black person they’re particularly “articulate,” a male “re-explaining” what a female coworker just said at a meeting, or asking an Asian where they’re from are all examples of “microaggressions.”

Leave it to liberals, and especially the vapid college campus variety, to criminalize “unconscious or unintentional” behavior. How in the bleep can something possibly be considered an “aggression” when it’s an entirely unconscious act? There’s massive difference between being overtly racist and simply being ignorant.

Ignorance is generally curable with the clear exception of Trump voters!

Victim 2

The problem with bludgeoning someone over the head with their own obliviousness is it fails to encourage change and generally drives the hapless victim even deeper into darkness. But it sure makes progressives feel better about themselves, doesn’t it?

To wit, immediately after Bruce Jenner “transitioned” to “Caitlyn” in 2015, liberals would go absolutely nuts if anyone dared refer to “her” with an errant pronoun. Did my fellow liberals ever freakin’ think that, after 64 years of being male, it might take some time for the rest of us to get used to calling him “her.”

Some things aren’t “microaggressions,” they’re simply habits. And habits can be changed, too!

I’m no fan of Maya Angelou who practiced a particularly pernicious form of racism, but she was dead on when she said, “I did then what I knew best, when I knew better, I did better.”

At our evolutionary core, human beings are tribal by nature. It’s an instinctual imprint that allowed us to survive a plethora of prehistoric perils. But just like our modern sugar, fat and processed food diet has outstripped our evolutionary foundation, our drive to seek and bond with similar folks doesn’t serve us nearly as well as it once did, either.

I moved to Geneva, Illinois, for the schools and the ability to run and ride my road bike west into the safer rural areas right from my front door. But I do have regrets about moving into a city that’s so completely Caucasian (96.36 percent), I call it “The City of Whites.” There’s just one Asian family, two black families, and one Hispanic family in the entire southern section of our subdivision.

So, when my then 8-year-old son asked me why there were so many “brown people” on the Chicago Bears, it was quite a shock to my south Evanston, Illinois, system. But rather than lay him out for that comment, I realized I had some work to do.

I explained that the Chicago metropolitan area is still very segregated, that diversity is something to be sought after, and our Geneva neighborhood in no way represented the racial, ethnic, and religious variety that defines this country.

But most liberals just don’t get it. In their headlong pursuit of who can claim the purity prize, like the Saudi Arabian Religious Police, they insist upon beating hapless people about the head and demeaning folks who haven’t had the benefit of the same life lessons and experiences.

DON’T GET ME WRONG! I’m not talking about your garden variety bigot who knows exactly what he or she is doing. I’m not talking about those insipid white folks who call the cops on blacks for breathing, either. And I’m not talking about adults who gleefully choose to court ignorance.

I’m talking about those Americans who don’t realize that saying “some of my best friends are black” is a lot like running your nails down a chalkboard. Per the late Ms. Angelou, those folks need to be educated, not berated. Once educated, they’ll do better.

Most human beings want to learn, understand, and grow, which ironically, can lead to asking minorities and women some suspect questions. But without parental intervention, how is a Geneva kid supposed to develop a diverse sensitivity when, out of 1,900 high school students, just 150 are Hispanic, 87 are Asian, and a whopping 19 are black.

And minorities certainly aren’t above exploiting this dynamic either. Prolific bestselling author David Sedaris likes to regale his audiences with tales of book signings where he attempts to acknowledge readers from previous signings. But when he made a mistake with an Asian woman, she immediately launched into a “So, apparently you think all Asians look alike” tirade.

Sedaris responded, “No! I simply thought I’d met you before.”

The problem with a ridiculous construct like a “microaggression” is that the progressives who love to wield it as a weapon always insist upon taking it to is illogical extreme. Like the great Sigmund Freud once said, “Sometimes a bleepin’ cigar is just a bleepin’ cigar.”

But here’s the amazing irony in the whole “microaggression” phenomenon – it truly is the highest form of bigotry! It is beyond patronizing for white progressives to somehow believe they can automatically assume the mantel of the protector of women and minorities everywhere.

I’ve never met an adult woman or minority who couldn’t take care of themselves. If they ask for my journalistic help, and some have, I’ll be more than happy to tell their story. But I would never assume they’d require any unasked intervention on my part. And for white liberals to believe that’s the case is so much worse than those Charlottesville white supremacists. One might even call it a “microagression.”

The reason it’s so much worse is because that’s the very same argument slave owners used to justify that practice. They claimed that blacks were incapable of taking care of themselves. Social justice warriors my bony white posterior!

So, with that in mind, I am officially and unilaterally removing the word “microaggression” from the lexicon such that it will never be uttered again. And I fully plan on enforcing that fiat, too! I know where you live.

 

Quick Hits – Evolution has outstripped the game!

I can only imagine how terrifying it must’ve been for Aiden Carlson’s parents, coaches and teammates to watch him collapse in the parking lot after last week’s St. Charles East – North High School football game. It’s certainly something I never want to have to witness.

Apparently injured on the last play of the game, Carlson managed to make it off the field under his own power but lost consciousness shortly thereafter. He was swiftly airlifted to Delnor Hospital in Geneva, Illinois, where the Delnor doctors put him into a medically induced coma and performed emergency neurosurgery to repair what turned out to be severe brain damage.

Carlson did wake up on his own shortly after the operation, and while our sophomore’s prognosis is quite good, a long and arduous rehabilitation road awaits. And sadly, I’m guessing his football playing days are over.

Considering the inevitably enormity of the medical bills, a GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help his parents cope.

Hard hit

But before we continue, let me clearly stipulate that I did not see the play in question. For all we know, it could’ve been a freak accident or perhaps Carlson had a predisposition to that type of injury. But we do know is football is the mitigating factor such that it was unlikely to occur in any other setting.

All I can say is, I’m beyond grateful that neither one of my two sons had any inclination to play the sport because I’m not sure I would’ve said “no” to something they truly wanted to pursue.

Don’t get me wrong, playing high school football confers a number of amazing benefits, not the least of which are learning how to win, learning how to lose, teamwork, and a camaraderie people who don’t participate in sports will never understand. But the exponentially growing peril – just in the brief span of my lifetime – has rendered it not worth the risk.

When I was a fast Evanston Township High School sophomore back in 1973, some of the players asked me to go out for the JV team. But at 5 foot 9 and all of 130 pounds, I thought I wouldn’t be long for this planet if I did. Some of those linebackers were somewhat large.

But the truth is, there weren’t all that many oversize players and I was only a little lighter in the weight department than most of the other players.

Fast forward to 2005, and in a Plimpton-esque pursuit of a Geneva Patch column, Geneva High School Coach Rob Wicinski was kind enough to let me “try out” for the varsity team. And let me tell you, as a 6 foot, 185 pounds 44-year-old walk on, those teenagers dwarfed me in every possible way. I felt a lot like the thinnest tree in a vast, tall forest and the amount of free weights these “kids” could handle was rather stunning.

Thank God it was a no-contact practice because, aside from speed, I’ve never felt so athletically overmatched in my entire life.

Let’s, once again, fast forward to today’s NFL. Steeler’s quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Saints quarterback Drew Brees are already out for the season. Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky has a dislocated shoulder, and Bronco’s cornerback De’Vante Bausby said he was paralyzed for 30 minutes after a collision with his own teammate during Sunday’s game.

And it’s only going to get worse.

Think back to that halcyon 1985 Bears team when Gary Fencik, who still holds the team record for tackles and interception, was an All-Pro free safety. At 6’, 1” and 195 pounds he might not make it today’s NFL. The same goes for the similarly sized 70’s Bears feared strong safety, Doug Plank.

Part of the reason they asked me to go out for that ETHS football team was my capacity to run a 4.4 forty-yard dash. But current 6’, 6”, 262-pound Redskin’s defensive end Montez Sweat is equally as fast. If he ran into me on a football field at that speed there’d be nothing left but a cloud of dust.

So, when future Colts’ Hall of Fame quarterback Andrew Luck shocked the NFL by retiring in the middle of the preseason because he was tired of playing with the pain, I had to stand up and applaud.

Have any of you watched “Iron” Mike Ditka or Hall of Fame defensive tackle Dan Hampton simply try to walk? It ain’t pretty. And then there’s all the retired NFL players with varying degrees of CTE. The price of playing high school, college, or professional is truly frightening.

You can fix baseball and basketball by simple rule changes, but how is the NFL supposed to deal with players who’ve evolved beyond what league founder George Halas could’ve ever possibly envisioned? And the players are only going to continue to get larger and faster.

To make matters much worse, we tend to focus on the stars, but the truth is, the average NFL career is a scant 3.5 years – just long enough to do real physical damage.

Despite the vast amount of money involved, I don’t see how the sport survives. Those great life lessons notwithstanding, my current theory is, the physical toll makes it no longer worth playing the game.

Quick Hits – More on that morass at Rt. 38 and Peck Road

Kane County Judicial Center

Kane County Judicial Center

Delicate flowers all!

I do have a tendency to chide my journalistic brethren and sistren for harboring a vast capacity to dish it out, but absolutely none to take it. To wit, being semi-regularly confronted in public by the mediocre-at-best Daily Herald reporters I’ve correctly criticized is always a fascinating proposition.

But the sad truth is, the most severe cases of snowflake-itis generally occur among the assistant state’s attorneys (ASAs) in the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office. You’d think those charged with putting people in jail through an adversarial legal system would be able to deflect even the most pernicious verbal shot without breaking a sweat.

But no! Our most recent example of this abject fragility comes at the hands of ASA Greg Sams, who just wrapped up a reasonably successful prosecution of Geneva Dr. Mark Lewis.

Greg Sams 2

Greg Sams

For background purposes, the aforementioned MD was recently convicted of criminal sexual assault, a class one felony. Considering the strange combination of Clonazepam, Demerol and alcohol in the victim’s system, I can’t believe the defendant opted for a jury trial. And sure enough, those jurors deliberated less than an hour before rendering their verdict.

But we can’t have possibly have a happy ending in the Kane County judicial center, can we? There always has to be some dysfunction twist, doesn’t there?

Yes! The doctor’s daughter certainly did not acquit herself well during the trial. She nodded at the jury during her father’s testimony, she spoke with the victim outside the courtroom, and then she asked ASA Sams if he was nervous in that same third-floor hallway. When Sams replied he wasn’t, she added, “You sure look nervous.”

While it’s not the kind of court comportment I’d recommend, compared to what I’ve witnessed and heard over the last 13 years, it’s generally benign. I’ve seen a woman go after her exe’s new paramour to the point where she had to be put in a cell. Judges have regaled me with tales of various items being thrown at them, very specific threats made against them, and courtroom tirades that would curl your toenails.

But because they generally understand the often-desperate nature of the proceedings, most judges just take it in stride. So, Judge John Barsanti simply admonished the daughter for her errant ways and that should’ve been the end of it.

But no! Apparently as a result of the hallway encounter and an incredibly fragile ego, Sams just had to file a contempt complaint and Barsanti signed off on it. According to a number of former ASAs, Sams thin skin confers an utter inability any perceived slight go.

Had the daughter simply shown up to court, Barsanti would’ve done nothing more than scold her again and send her on her way. But she didn’t show up which was an incredibly stupid move. Since the court can’t ignore that kind of flagrant transgression, Barsanti had no choice but to issue a warrant for her arrest.

All I can say is, this is your Kane County State’s Attorney hard at work people!

They love to turn mole hills into mountains and, by doing so, waste an inordinate amount of their time, and your tax dollars. Now the St. Charles Police have to find and arrest this woman and she’ll spend a couple of days in the Kane County jail as a guest of the Kane County taxpayer as a result. And then there’s the absurd waste of a number of court and jail employees’ time, too.

And it’s all because one imperious ASA couldn’t let a stupid and generally innocuous comment go.

 

Bill Engerman a judge? No way!

Now, I know he’s put his name in for judge, but so have dozens of other Kane County attorneys. Who wouldn’t want a $200,000 a year gig where you can sneak out at 1 p.m. on a regular basis? But there is a rumor that Engerman and former 16th Circuit judge and current Republican State’s Attorney candidate Bob Spence made a deal.

Purportedly, if Engerman gave up on his quest for the GOP state’s attorney nomination, Spence would help him be appointed judge. It’s not a far-fetched possibility as many candidates offer quid pro quos to avoid the hassle of a primary opponent.

To be fair, this is probably just a rumor because Spence ain’t the deal makin’ type and I don’t believe he doesn’t have the clout to pull it off. Since previously writing about him, I’ve learned he burned quite a few bridges during his time as a prosecutor by filing all sorts of Judicial Inquiry Board and ARDC complaints against his peers. Though I have to give him a boatload of credit for being willing to call out his compatriots, those kinds of actions tend to have far-reaching equal and opposite reactions.

But I’ve made this mistake before. Having previously dismissed similar gossip only to later learn it was dead on, I want to remind those full circuit judges – the ones who appoint the associate judges – exactly what kind of candidate they’re dealing with.

As previously reported here, Engerman was fired from the DeKalb County State’s Attorney’s office for sexual harassment. But when DeKalb Judge Robbin Stuckert begged Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon to hire him despite the inherent peril, McMahon did just that.

So, Engerman became a member of the “Welcoming Committee,” a group of male KCSAO prosecutors who raced to “date” newest female ASA hires. When he was made Chief Felony Prosecutor, he used that power to berate female ASAs to the point where many of them quit. They have a nickname for him, too – “Angry Man.”

Since Engerman clearly isn’t judicial material on any number of levels, I would hope those same circuit judges understand this potential appointment would reflect very poorly on them for quite some time. Let’s hope that common sense prevails in this regard.

 

To the anonymous snail mailer concerned with our Public Defender

Normally, I don’t give an anonymous anything a second thought! If you aren’t willing to put your name on it, then it ain’t worth the paper upon which it’s printed.

Not only that, but most of my anonymous snail mail comes from a disgraced former Kane County Chronicle “columnist” who’s bizarrely infatuated and obsessed with me. Why can’t it be beautiful female journalists (Please call me Brooke Baldwin!) instead of absurdly angry old white men?

But considering this is a case of particular interest to me, I’ll make an exception and will respond.

I couldn’t agree more that having a Public Defender who spends no time in the office and refuses to take any cases is beyond problematic. And it’s particularly problematic when the average PD can barely keep up with their crushing caseloads.

Milk Carton 2

And yes! Considering those circumstances, it is also incomprehensible that those 16th Circuit judges – the ones who can vote her out at any time – continue to allow her “serve.”

But we do have to give “the system” a change to work it out first. We have a new Chief Judge, Clint Hull, which would make it patently unfair to excoriate him for something like this before he takes office December first. He’s barely had a chance to take a deep breath, much less survey the enormity of the task before him.

That said, rest assured dear anonymous reader, yours truly and a number of other erstwhile individuals are equally as fed up with this and we’re working on this resolving this issue behind the scenes – for now. We know we desperately need a new Public Defender and since Brenda Willett is already doing an excellent job filling in for the eternally absent Kelli Childress, she’s certainly earned a shot at the job.

Let’s hope those same judges act as swiftly and as reasonably possible in this regard.

Quick Hits – October 4, 2019

Let’s take this opportunity to tackle some of the issues that some of y’all refuse to let go of. Because the rabble’s capacity to simply make it up as they go along while offering no evidence beyond their flappin’ gums to support their beyond bizarre thought processes is really starting to get on my last good nerve.

I understand that the facts are the first casualty in the era of Trump, but the fact that you can’t handle the truth doesn’t make it any less true. So, without further ado, let’s set the record straight!

Kane County Branch Court

Kane County traffic court

In the column castigating Tri-Cities police departments for their blatant bias against minorities, some of y’all had the most fascinating excuses for why they’re disproportionally represented in court. So, let’s dispense with those flights of fancy one-by-one!

1. A branch court traffic call covers the entire county

NO IT DOESN’T! But some of you’ve decided it does and that’s all that seems to matter.

If you decided to head up to the Randall Road branch courtroom today 10/4), you would bear witness to the Illinois State Police court call. Next Friday might be the Sheriff’s deputies’ turn, Thursday tends to be St. Charles, Geneva’s call is on Wednesday, and so forth and so on.

And it’s done this way due to the fact that most, but not all, Kane County municipalities hire their own attorneys to prosecute traffic violations that occur within those city limits. A Geneva prosecutor can’t act on behalf of the City of Batavia because they would have absolutely no authority to do so.

2. It’s all of “the people” from Elgin and Aurora

First, we know what you mean by “the people,” and no, that’s not nearly the case. Both Elgin and Aurora have their own branch courts that deal with traffic tickets written within their municipal boundaries.

Put more simply, if you get a traffic ticket in Aurora and you choose to fight it, you will do so in Aurora, NOT at the Kane County branch court in St. Charles.

Though it utterly fascinates me that some of you firmly believe that Aurora and Elgin Hispanics and blacks have nothing better to do than drive back and forth through the Tri-Cities.

3. “But Jeff! It was only one court call. You suck!”

As is par for the course, those bleeps didn’t bother to read the column where I explained that, as a journalist, I’ve been in more Kane County courtrooms than most attorneys. But fine! Don’t take my word for it. Let’s take it straight from the Tri-Cities police departments’ mouths!

Every Illinois police department is required to regularly submit traffic stop data to the Illinois Department of Transportation, and every year, IDOT compiles that information and issues a formal “study”  that’s annually released on their website.

And the 2018 report clearly notes that:

  • In 88 percent white St. Charles, minorities account for 30 percent of the traffic stops
  • In 95 percent white Geneva, minorities account for 20 percent of the traffic stops
  • In 91 percent white Batavia, minorities account for 32 percent of the traffic stops

As a more circumspect Samuel L. Jackson might correctly respond, “That’s utter and abject bovine excrement!” And please don’t try to tell me that at any given time, 30 percent of St. Charles motorists are minorities, because not even you’d believe yourself.

As my wife said to me in the process of discussing this sad truth, “Because they can’t afford to hire a lawyer, traffic court is nothing more than an opportunity to separate minorities from their money.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

 

My yellow car theory stands!

To reiterate, that theory is, whenever the police see a yellow car, they immediately assume it contains an Hispanic driver. And I don’t care what y’all say, it’s the truth and here’s more proof of this hypothesis.

My son recently visited the Batavia, Illinois, target, and upon returning to his vehicle, he discovered a windshield advertisement composed solely in Spanish. And as he subsequently surveyed the rest of the parking lot, he noted his yellow Chevy was the only such recipient.

Case closed!

Quick Hits – We’re descending to the least common liberal denominator!

And we’re gonna hit rock bottom far sooner than later, too!

Though this won’t nearly mitigate the bleeps who insist upon commenting on the column without reading it first, for the record, I firmly fall into what they used to call the “Blue Dog” Democrat camp. That means I’m socially liberal, fiscally conservative, and libertarian about forcing my beliefs on others. This planet managed to get along long before I arrived, and it will continue to do so long after I’m gone.

Furthermore, my socially progressive tendencies provide me with a particular gravitas when it comes to calling out the current crop of crazy-assed liberals.

Because while Donald Trump is doing his damndest to hand the looming election over to the Democrats, just like the Chicago Cubs, my progressive partners are bound and determined to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

And they’re making it happen in the most fascinatingly insidious ways, too!

For a perfect example of this least common denominator nanny state nefariousness, let’s harken back to my hometown of Evanston, Illinois, an experiment in liberal lunacy if there ever was one. All I can say is, it was more than strange growing up as the only Republican family in our south Evanston neighborhood.

Without any discussion whatsoever, Lincoln Elementary School, a fine educational institution in the abjectly mediocre D65 hierarchy, decided to unilaterally “cancel” Halloween. And the vast majority of parents and virtually all of the students are hoppin’ mad about it, too.

Halloween Cancelled

To wit, Lincoln Principal, Michelle Cooney issued the following poorly worded non-statement statement:

While we recognize that Halloween is a fun tradition for many families, it is not a holiday that is celebrated by all members of our school community and for various reasons. There are also inequities in how we have traditionally observed the holiday as part of our school day. Our goal at Lincoln is to provide space and opportunities for all students to be part of the community — not to create an environment that may feel exclusive or unwelcoming to any child.”

What? Her capacity to say absolutely nothing in an 82-word paragraph clearly indicates she shoulda been a politician.

Despite the blatant obfuscation, Lincoln parents correctly surmised that an absurdly small minority of Halloween objectors were the impetus behind this boneheaded move. The irony of liberal administrators caving in to overly religious parents isn’t nearly lost on me, either.

Yet another illimitable irony here is, this “inclusive cancellation” completely casts aside Evanston’s 10 percent Hispanic population by implicitly eliminating Dia de los Muertos as well. And that’s even bigger than Halloween in their culture. So, now we’ve squandered yet another opportunity to bring two cultures together.

Look, I’m no fan of Halloween. Not only do I fail to see the virtue in people regularly ringing my doorbell, but the thought of state sanctioned disguised children begging for free treats on my front porch is utterly horrifying.

And in that proud American tradition of less can never possibly be more, some of the beyond macabre, gory and utterly overdone neighborhood Halloween displays have Wes Craven doin’ 360s in his coffin.

But just like it was with those Star Trek Borg, even I understand the futility of Halloween resistance. It’s become the second biggest “holiday” after Christmas, with Americans spending $9 billion a year on costumes, candy and decorations. And Elementary school children love Halloween because, unlike Christmas, they get to celebrate it with their similarly costumed classmates.

And if this complete curmudgeon can endure one day of absurd national overindulgence, so can the minority of eminently delicate Evanston parents who firmly fail to believe that their religious beliefs stop right at the end of their collective noses.

Our third irony is, by “including” two percent of the student body, Lincoln School is excluding everyone else. So, please tell me, when did liberalism turn into the “everyone has to feel good all the time” movement? If I’d have known that everyone picked last for the gym class basketball team would become teachers and school administrators, I would’ve left for Iceland a long time ago.

But back to our general thesis.

All this “cancellation” does is destroy the progressive cause. C’mon! Voters don’t vote on the issues because they don’t give a flyin’ bleep about the issues. They vote on emotion because emotional memories last a lifetime. Every white, moderate Christian Evanston parent who fervently believes their culture is being slowly stripped from them for no good reason will cast a much more conservative ballot in the next election.

And their children will NEVER forget the time Halloween was cancelled, either.

The fact that the rabble generally ignores me notwithstanding, I’ll say it again! Politics is nothing more than a series of equal and opposite reactions such that progress only comes through a series of small smart compromises. As a wise political pundit once said, “Win the election first, and then you can start the revolution.”

Put more simply, in the words of the great Walt Kelly, “We have met the enemy and he is us!”

Put even more simply, have I said my fellow liberals suck?