The First Ward Report – Random thoughts!

The First Ward Report – Random thoughts!

I’m not sure whether it’s 2020 fatigue, but I’ve been enduing a rather strange stretch in which I’m not sure what I’m gonna write about until my fingers finally hit the keyboard. The truth is that I’m typically about five to ten columns out in my head.

So, when I woke up this morning with that late summer slothiosity sitting heavily upon me, and, in the words of that legendary philosopher Chuck Berry, “with no particular journalistic place to go,” I considered taking the day off.

But then I had an epiphany! How could I possibly let my adoring throng down in such a heinous and callous manner? If they don’t have a Jeff Ward to excoriate and a column to rail against, their already empty and miserable lives would be swiftly rendered completely meaningless and how could I possibly live with that lack of ink on my hands?

Just like it is with that ageless Peter Parker, great power always confers great responsibility.

And while I was smack dab in the middle of this interesting internal dialog, for some unbeknownst reason, I remembered that, on occasion, the great former Sun-Times columnist, Roger Simon, would compose a collection of his most recent random thoughts and I always enjoyed them.

What could possibly go wrong with a semi-autistic, massively ADHD, and somewhat outspoken opinion columnist revealing the most inner workings of his consciousness in real time? So, without any concern for my Cancel Culture safety, and since I’m always willing to concede to the rabble’s demands, off we go!

Maybe I’m getting soft in my advanced years, but Fox Sports and Cincinnati Reds broadcaster Thom Brennaman should not forfeit a blemish free 26-year career because he cavalierly uttered the f-bomb homophobic slur when he thought his mic was off.

A suspension, yes, but does erasing Brennaman mitigate homophobia in any positive way? Were I a member of the LBGTQ community, I’d answer his heartfelt apology with forgiveness and turn it into an inclusive and invaluable teaching moment.

Considering their third best team in baseball status, I’m willing to stipulate that, as myself and the great Terry Hunt frequently mused, former manager Joe Maddon was clearly the problem with the post-2016 Chicago Cubs. Maddon may be the best managerial influence on young players in the game, but once imbued with the strident belief that he’s smarter than the game, he’s horrifically “cute” with veterans, and that dog won’t hunt!

Put more simply, he didn’t “try not to suck” nearly hard enough.

Having read his fascinating book, David Ross was my managerial replacement pick, and aside from the failed Kris Bryant leadoff experiment, Grandpa Rossie is doing a great job. Go Cubs!

To all the progressives who went nuts over Ryan Reynolds’ and Blake Lively’s 2012 Southern plantation wedding, in an effort to demonstrate your seriously “woke” sincerity, I want you to immediately issue a quit claim ceding your home to whatever Native America tribe treaty land it’s sittin’ on.

That would go a lot further towards demonstrating that you’re a lot more than all that pointless shrieking, howling, and rending of garments.

I mean, I liked Ryan in Deadpool, but does anyone really care all that much about what either one of ‘em did in 2012? I didn’t think so!

And speaking of progressives, if you react to every last Trump maneuver as if you’ve just been stabbed in the groin, it makes you every bit as bad as his mindless minions. To wit, I’m surprised random mailboxes still exist anywhere in in the 21st Century. When you consider the USPS’s dire fiscal straits, the recent mass removal of what’s left of them in some cities doesn’t surprise me one bit.

In fact, I could be wrong, but I don’t think there’s a single non-post office bound mailbox left in all eight square miles of Geneva. And as one who keeps track of these things, of the 170,000 likely Kane county November voters, only 27,000 of ‘em have taken the Clerk up on his invitation to apply for a Vote by Mail ballot.

If you do choose to vote by mail, it’s not too terribly difficult to drop the ballot off at your nearest post office or local election authority. So, in the words of that great thinker, Snoop Doggy Dogg, “Just chill ‘til the next episode.”

But Trump certainly doesn’t make it any easier on himself when he issues absurd proclamations like he’s gonna send sheriffs to secure all of our local polling places when it clearly can’t be done.

County sheriffs’ offices are covered by a loose gaggle of laws collectively known as the “Internal Control Statute,” which, beyond allowing a city council/county board/state legislature to set a reasonable budget, prevent any governor/chairman/mayor from interfering in another elected official’s office process.

Put more simply, Kane County Chairman Chris Lauzen has no power to instruct Sheriff Ron Hain to embark upon, or not to embark upon, on any direct course of action. He can ask politely, but that’s about it.

So, Donald Trump certainly can’t tell them what to do, either.

The courts are the only entity that can issue an edict that the Sheriff, or any other elected official, must comply with. So, what did Snoop say about chillin’ ‘til the next episode?

Given my persistent fascination for nature, I want to thank St. Charles Park District naturalist and Kane County Chronicle columnist, Pam Otto, for always graciously answering my often-off-the-wall bird-based inquiries.

The latest question revolved the startling absence of August geese, starlings, and red wing blackbirds. I thought perhaps 2020 was trying to top itself in yet another other regard, but it appears we’re having quite the quiet avian molting season.

Thank you Pam!

Coming back around to Mr. Brennaman, the happiest man in that on-air slur regard has to be former Cub all-star and current Marquee Network color man, Mark Grace, who thrice referred to his ex-wife as a “dingbat” during a game.

Of course, that led to an unofficial five-game suspension with former cub pitcher Ryan Dempster filling in for now.

Perhaps it’s because I’m such a cad, but I thought it was kinda fun to hear that rather unique word resurrected. But despite the obvious All in the Family reference, my wife thought saying it more than once was a bit offensive.

But truth be told, don’t cable TV stations hire colorful folks like Gracie and former NBAer Charles Barkley because you never know what they’re gonna say next? This ain’t nearly the first time Mark Grace has opened mouth and inserted foot.

As an inveterate runner, not only was I beyond saddened to hear about the female Texas cancer researcher’s murder while jogging, but I was astonished to learn that 43 percent of women have experienced harassment while running.

What? Almost half? That kind of abject bovine manure has got to stop. Just when I think Homo Sapiens have actually managed to scratch out a few millimeters of progress, I realize just how far we have to go.

No protesting on her block? The bloom is certainly off Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s rose isn’t it?

Sister Jean turn 101 this week! God bless her and go maroon and gold!

Is it just me, but after the whole George Soros and liberal prosecutors trope kerfuffle, hasn’t Tribune columnist John Kass taken an unusually high dive off the deep end? He wasn’t a scion of logic to begin with, but reading snippets of this weeks’ offerings was a lot like trying to decipher a set of twin’s private language.

I firmly believe I have a better shot at cracking the highest levels of Chinese military encryption than I do of understanding today’s piece on Pritzker potentially appointing himself senator. His attempt at applying satire to Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Fox fell flat, and his theories on violence in Democrat controlled cities bore no resemblance to any reality I’ve ever encountered.

I suppose if you speak only in Gollum-esque riddles, you can’t possibly get yourself in trouble!


Well, that was fun. Maybe we’ll do it again sometime!

7 thoughts on “The First Ward Report – Random thoughts!

  1. Last time I drove by (about a week ago) there was still one of those blue things off Kaneville Road on one of the south entrances to Pepper Valley. Of course we Pepperites have always been considered a little less than progressive….as someone once said to me….”OH you are going to purchase ‘existing’ housing” (and there was a tone in their voice)… was then that I learned if I wasn’t going to live in historic Geneva or in a 400k or higher priced house…..then I guess I really would never be considered a true Geneva resident…which sometimes is A-OK with me.

    1. Debbie,

      That’s right! We lived in Pepper Valley for a few years (I wish we’d stayed) and, though I think we may have only used that mailbox once, I do remember it! And I’ll never be considered a “real” Genevan, either, so don’t worry!

  2. My random thoughts: I thought post office mailboxes were taken down after 9/11 or the Boston bombing. Maybe not here but definitely in cities
    I agree with you about Brennaman but since grandfathered in is now racists I doubt he will be back anytime soon. How would you like to see look faces of college student if you used that word as intended a bunch of kindling to start a fire. Or the councilman who got roasted for saying the budget was too niggardly. They are coming for words now

  3. I agree, Pam Otto is the best. When we lived in St. Charles I asked Pam a few questions and always got a quick response along with good and accurate information. I’m happy to hear Pam is still doing so.

  4. Couldn’t resist Jeff since your column (and its responses at least thus far) seem to deal with words. Here is one to ponder……This column was a bit desultory to say the least. (look it up) lol But I thoroughly enjoyed the mix of information. Keep on entertaining those of us who need to smile once in a while.

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