Quick Hits – August 4, 2022

Quick Hits – August 4, 2022

The silence of the Elgin City Council lambs

Tish Powell

It was the Gang of Four’s big chance to finally put their money where their overly large mouths are, but when it came time to put up or shut up, they were even quieter than Ellen DeGeneres at at a reunion of her ex-staffers.

For reference purposes, the Gang of Four consists of Elgin city councilpersons Tish Powell, Corey Dixon, John Steffen, and Carol Rauschenberger, and the issue that nearly struck them dumb was the impending contract renewal for police, or resource officers, to remain in Elgin’s U-46 schools.

Tish Powell offered no glorious oratories. John Steffen didn’t launch into a lengthy irrelevant family story. Carol Rauschenberger tried to pretend she wasn’t there, and Corey Dixon didn’t pull out his tired old megachurch preacher act, either.

In fact, there was no debate whatsoever. All the Gang managed to come up with is a request for the EPD to provide more resource officer statistics.

John Steffen
Carol Rauschenberger

This was their big chance to strike a blow against their white oppressors, play Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power,” and stand in solidarity with the Elgin Community Task Force on Policing – a body they created with Powell handpicking the members.

But because that task force has been an abject nightmare and the progressive faction is more prone to political expediency than the Grand Cheeto, showing all the backbone of a January 6th insurrectionist in front of a judge, they unanimously voted to move the contract renewal to a final vote.

I’m not saying it was the wrong decision, but it was quite the anticlimactic denouement to what was a fiercely debated issue just two short years agon.

So, why does the Bard’s quote, “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing,” come to mind whenever I think of our ultimately embarrassing quartet? Because it’s time to vote them out of office, Elgin!



D303 gets COVID right?

Considering some of his earliest proclamations, I wasn’t holding out much hope that brand new D303 Superintendent Paul Gordon would be any better than the string of supremely mediocre head honchos who’ve previously presided over the St. Charles school district.

There was good reason for that general despair, too. This is the district that insisted on conducting a pointless equity audit, their school board continues to concoct illegal “rules” to prevent the public from speaking at meetings, and the aforementioned Mr. Gordon wants to have “listening sessions” that he believes “would help bring the community together.”

So, as you might imagine, I’d pretty much concluded that Gordon was just another masochistic ex-hippie who has somehow remained blissfully unaware of the ongoing hyper-partisan political debate.

But just like the Cubs in game seven of the 2016 World Series, Gordon managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. The journalistic jury may still be out on the Superintendent’s too-short tenure, but his COVID stance is a sign that he actually might be on to something.

After much discussion with staff, not only did Gordon come out against any further mitigations, but he managed to convince the board to see it his way, too. That means there will be no:

  • Mandatory masking
  • Enforced social distancing
  • Pointless SHIELD testing

and D303 will happily welcome back volunteers to their classrooms. It’s two years too late, but a victory is a victory, nonetheless. To quote the superintendent:

Schools can do a lot of great things, but I think one of the things that we learned that we’re not fantastic at is being a health clinic for a large number of students. When we’re having to test hundreds, if not thousands, of young people and staff, it becomes overwhelming for an organization that’s true mission is about educating students.”

I would’ve added that children are not at risk for a serious case of COVID and the 2021 parental rancor also unnecessarily detracted from that mission, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Simply hearing that kind of supremely sane declaration from a major public figure makes me want to break into a rousing rendition of “I Feel Pretty.”

Finally! A superintendent who realizes that whatever “precautions” they might take in school will be summarily undone the second those children return to their utterly un-mitigated homes to play in close indoor proximity with their maskless friends.

Good for you Paul Gordon! There might be hope for you yet.


Please put the satire down and walk away!

The Lake Bluff Lawn Mower Precision Drill Team found themselves back in that furiously boiling hot water as a result of their hilarious 2022 Fourth of July Parade entry. Specializing in the lost arts of satire and hyperbole, the Team’s previous parade entries have included dressing up as:

  • Monica Lewinsky in knee pads while carrying leaf blowers in 1998
  • ISIS terrorists in 2015
  • The Dancing Blagojeviches in 2011
  • North Korean despot Kim Jung Un in 2018

But despite that unheralded mockery, no one’s complained about the group until, you guessed it, 2022, better known as the Era of Perpetual Outrage.

So, what possible performance finally brought the wrath of the local cancel culture down on them, you ask? It was a combined spoof of the controversial Saudi Arabian LIV Golf Invitational and a local golf course to wetlands debate in which Team donned Arab Sheik costumes and tossed fake gold coins along the parade route

Now, I think it was freakin’ funny, but the Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) didn’t quite see it the same way. They derided the act as “racist” claiming:

There is no excuse to dress up and caricature an entire ethnic group. This is reinforcing a stereotype about Muslim Americans – and particularly Arabs – that has a cascade effect that eventually leads to hate crimes.

Which ironically, only proves the stereotype that Arabs have absolutely no sense of humor.

And speaking of stereotypes, I’m not so sure that portraying Arabs as being wealthy is the stuff of intolerant legend. It’s kind of like depicting Asian males as math whizzes. What’s the harm? I don’t know about you, but were I CAIR, I’d be far more worried about Arabs being characterized as terrorists, hijackers, human rights abrogators, and journalist murderers.

Of course, as is par for the course, Lake Bluff Mayor Regis Charlot showed all the backbone of a progressive Elgin city council member when he publicly stated that he regrets the Team’s behavior and that the performance was out of bounds.

And the movie “Idiocracy” starts to look a lot more like a documentary every day.

Really! That’s the performance that was “out of bounds?” Though, come to think of it, I kind of understand why the mayor backed down so swiftly. With a name like “Regis Charlot” he probably got beaten up a lot in school.

C’mon people! I know satire can be a dangerous thing, particularly these days, but the whole Arab sheik thing was much milder than anything Mark Twain, Jonathan Swift or Jon Stewart regularly proposed. And if we can’t make light of each other in a lighthearted way then it all rapidly descends into a take-no-prisoners hyper-partisan debate where the truth doesn’t matter and people get cancelled for the slightest…

Wait a minute…

Since Lake Bluff doesn’t know a good thing when they see it, I want to extend a personal invitation for the Drill Team to participate in Geneva’s 2023 Swedish Days Parade. I already have some interesting thoughts!

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