Quick Hits – March 19, 2024

Quick Hits – March 19, 2024


Oh, my bleepin’ lord! Illinois FINALLY gets something right and all it takes is one well-intentioned state rep to completely screw it up.

As it stands now, the Land of Lincoln insists that all motorists over 75 years of age take an annual road test to retain their driver’s license. The State’s accurate assessment being that most mid-range septuagenarians face some sort of cognitive decline and they have an administrative duty to determine if they’ve become a hazard.

For reference purposes, Illinois is the only state that mandates age-based road testing.

But Republican state rep Jeff Keicher (Sycamore) wants to do away with all that claiming old folks aren’t nearly as prone to fatal accidents as the rest of us non-teenagers. The basis for his contention is his years in the insurance industry.

I’ll give him that one, but our illustrious state rep is missing the entire point. It’s not that old folks are involved in that many accidents, fatal or otherwise. They drive far too slowly for that to happen. It’s that they cause more fatal accidents when impatient drivers throw caution into the wind in their attempts to get around them.

State rep Jeff Keicher

Despite the difficulties involved in measuring that statistic, we all know from personal experience it’s true – particularly for those of us who live anywhere near a retirement community like I do. One of the worst things that can befall my already tragic life is getting behind someone who just pulled out of The Geneva Crossing’s parking lot.

To be fair, there are some fine Crossings folks who put people half their age to shame. Take my friend Rick, for example. Rick regularly patrols Fisher Farms with stick and bag in hand, dispatching all the litter he encounters (Thanks Rick!). And he does so at a faster walking pace than this runner. He’s better behind the wheel than most of you bleeps, too.

But Rick is the exception that proves the rule. Because just last week I fell in behind an elderly Crossings resident who refused to go faster than 15 mph, stopping at every intersection to intently peer at the street sign in an effort to determine if it was time to turn.

The previous week I got behind a similar Crossings resident, who did make it up to 20 mph on occasion, but then she stopped at every intersection for the next two miles whether there was a stop sign or not – and there were no stop signs.

Before she moved in with her daughter, one of our elderly neighbors would drive down the center of the road, sliding into oncoming traffic whenever she made a right turn.

Thankfully, I don’t drive very much and I’m never in a hurry when I do, but I’ve seen irritable motorists fly around these terrible drivers with the kind of angry abandon that will eventually get someone killed.

None of those people should be on the road, which only proves that the State need to do a better job screening older drivers. The answer certainly isn’t having state rep Keicher turn Illinois into Florida.  

I understand that taking away someone’s driver’s license is worse than taking away their guns. But driving is a privilege and not a right. And if the passage of time has rendered you incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle, then it’s time to give it up. And if you refuse to do so, then the State needs to make that decision for you.


They didn’t really say that, did they?

Oh yes they did!

To give credit where credit is due, it was WRMN AM1410 morning host Mark Bialek’s impeccable due diligence that brought me this story.

Despondent over being cast aside like quarterback Justin Fields after he applied for a job with the Chicago Bears, DePaul law student and Batavia resident Jonathan Bresser was mad as hell and he wasn’t going to take it anymore. So, like any good American who feels the least bit slighted, he filed a federal civil rights lawsuit accusing the organization of “a conspiracy against white men.”

That kind of snowflaky flight of fancy would typically win Mr. Bresser The First Ward’s not-so-highly-coveted Loon of the Year Award, but there’s a bit more to this story. You see, Bresser applied to be the Bears’ “legal diversity fellow,” a job that listed “a person of color and/or female law student” among its requirements.

Say what????

For those progressives who don’t see a problem with that, let’s apply the famous First Ward flip-it test to determine if it would fly under and and all circumstances. Had the job requirement read “a white male law student,” the ensuing shrieking and howling would’ve set a planetary record.

The Bears rejected his application on the following basis:

Your qualifications have been carefully reviewed. We regret to inform you that we have chosen to pursue other applicants whose experience and qualifications more closely match our needs.

Since Mr. Bresser meets all of the posted qualification criteria but the one in question, he actually has a point.

While we certainly want to applaud major employers who seriously consider female and minority applicants, given the EEOC’s prying eyes, the last thing you want to do is make that kind of blatantly discriminatory declaration in print. Because, in addition to government intervention, you’ll probably get sued.

This lunacy falls directly under our recurring “the rules, standards, social expectations, and common decency that applied before the plague, no longer do so” theme. There’s no law against employers having a certain type of candidate in mind, but there certainly is one that covers hiring on the basis of race or gender.

And the fact that a halcyon organization like the Chicago Bears didn’t catch that serious blunder before it went public says quite a bit about their general competency, or the lack thereof. There certainly isn’t much competency on the football field.

Though I have no clue about what the legal remedy might be, I’m predicting that the Bears will either settle or Bresser will win the lawsuit outright.


And speaking of the Bears…

Though GM Ryan Poles did the right thing by trading quarterback Justin Fields to his preferred team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, they never gave the young man the opportunity to succeed on the field. That’s eventually going to come back to bite them in the butt because, whenever it comes to Chicago sports (Lou Brock, Greg Maddux, Greg Olsen, etc…), it always does.

Like the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson, Fields is a play-action rollout quarterback who can make up for a host of errors by running the football. But more often that not, Bears coaches – all of whom should’ve been fired – forced him into the pocket with a subpar offensive line exacerbated by some of the worst play calling in Chicago history.

Fields is the kind of player who needs to think less and rely on his reflexes and speed more, but the Bears never gave him the chance to prove it. And if anyone thinks Caleb Williams will be the answer then I have a few choice first round draft choice words for you:

  •         Frankie Albert
  •         Bob Williams
  •         Bobby Douglass (Actually second round, but a perfect example of what we speak)
  •         Jim Harbaugh
  •         Cade McNown (Yikes!), and
  •         Mitch Trubisky

Despite being surrounded by fools, you were a class act, Justin. You will be a star quarterback before it’s over.

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