A blog focusing on politics in Central Illinois.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

NY Times - Bush &%*$#@ up big time


As I remember correctly I was the one labeled as anti-american and un-patriotic because I didn't want our troops sent to die in a place that didn't pose an immediate or long term threat to us. And every day it becomes more blatantly obvious that Iraq did not. Some people might say well they could have started building bio chemical or nuclear weapons. Well oh my god, quick Russia has nuclear weapons, we gotta get them now because they may use them on us someday. 1,500 plus soldiers gone,1,500 plus families destroyed, and George W. Bush is still viewed as a moral person by the right.


Food for thought.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

320 more jobs


I can't say I am stunned by this, but more in disbelief. How much longer are we going to go along trying to develop a retail environment in Decatur, while letting our industrial corp slipping away. People may say, but we have the farm progress show coming. I guess I can only counter that by saying, great 10 weekends over 20 years. This is 320 jobs, 320 families forever.


This is a class act, by a nice guy. Too often Corporate leaders act without a conscious when doing the bad things they do, this is an example of a leader who cares about his business, employees, and town. We need people like this more than ever.

Blogger again

Haven't been up to posting due to Blogger being about as good as Arizona in crunch time. Sorry for the lack of posting. I couldn't even take down the double posting from earlier.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Obama

Dozens of candidates have called Obama's office since December seeking his endorsement — and perhaps more impactful, a smiling photo with him. He has obliged in many cases, from higher-profile offices to trustees and township elections.

For Republicans, a photo with President Bush can be golden. For the Democrats, Obama is the one.

"There are a bunch of candidates across the state that have asked for our support, and we've endorsed or, in some cases, chosen not to take a position," said Dan Shoman, Obama's political director. "A bunch of people really stuck out their necks, risked their political fortunes, for Sen. Obama, and there are those who put in countless hours working for us (during his campaign). Those folks are the core of how we got elected."



Monday, March 28, 2005

Creepy Republican Blogging

Do you want this sweater representing you? Vote Democrat April 5th!

Kathy Bagley, Decatur Township Republican Trustee candidate
I need contributions for creepy republican ideas, got any, click on the Contact TDD link on the right.

School board elections

Steve Bean mentioned the School Board elections coming up, and I figured I would throw together a quick post on the candidates, I don't really want to do a cattle call, because I have no read whatsoever on it.

Terry Robinson - Incumbent 3 termer, teachers union is upset with him because of his refusal to abstain from any matters concering the Director (I believe that is the right term) of Human Resources, who just happens to be his wife. Seems to be a nice guy, as well as a very good speaker.
Jeff Perkins - IBEW 146's own, Jeff is a former school board member coming back to the board. I believe his experience is an asset, and wish him luck on getting back on.

Kevin Moore - Dynamic young guy who works for the Governor's office. He seems to be Wakeland's choice to replace him judging by his sign in Wakeland's front yard. A product of the Decatur schools he thinks it is time to start giving back. Good future ahead of him hopefully.

Jackie Bullard - Absolutely wowed the teachers in the endorsement session from what I hear. Active in Garfield school activities, as well as an assistant public defender for the appelate court in springfield, dealing mainly with juvenile deliquents. I believe she will bring a great approach to the board that hasn't been seen before.

Dan Winter - Teacher for 33 years, retired in 2001. As a former teacher he knows the problems our school district face first hand, but as a former teacher would he be willing to take the approach towards teachers some people think is needed? Time will tell.

Decatur Education Association has endorsed Jeff Perkins, Kevin Moore, Jackie Bullard, and Dan Winter. Five people for four seats, who is the odd man out?

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Money

The Herald & Review did a write up of how much money each candidate has raised, as was the primary Shampine and Edwards on top in fundraising. I'm wondering if Edwards is planning a late hit, or what his ideas are, haven't seen too much of him. Now for the city council roundup:
1. Stockard - I got nothing
2. Edwards - Still no one has given a reason for why he should not be re-elected, this is a race for the open seat so far.
3. Shampine - Appears to have the momentum, the ground game and message seems to grow by the day.
4. McDaniel - Still out there
5. Caulkins - Now is not the time to have your campaign be off-focus, and it looks like it has become that way with the pollwatching/disenfranchising argument
6. Keck

I'll be back tommorow with a wrap up of this week, I haven't been in the blog mood, but there are a lot of issues to be addressed.
TDD

Friday, March 25, 2005

Political Play of the Week

As usual its Friday, and thus its time for the political play of the week. I'm pushing for people to look beyond local politics as well for the political play of the week. I might consider a Political Blunder of the Week, and for that I would award the GOP Political Blunder of the week for the Terry Shiavo blunder. Also accepting nominations for Creepy Republican posting to be up later today.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

First Challenger for Evans stands up

Hat tip to the inside dope on this one
Saying that incumbent U.S. Rep. Lane Evans, D-Ill., is out of step with the
values of his congressional district, a 43-year-old commercial real estate
developer from Rock Island said he will try to unseat the 12-term incumbent
next year. Jim Mowen, a founder of Davenport-based Premier Partners,
said Tuesday that he will run in 2006 for the Republican nomination in the
17th Congressional District. A formal announcement is planned soon, he said.


Time will tell if this is a more serious than the last two candidates, who were about as serious as Gary Crowley for President. I guess this means Mowen already has one newspaper endorsement in hand for the general election, any guesses on which newspaper?

Take it for granted

Instead of constantly asking TDD if I was at a certain event don't waste your time, I'm going to say no. If i was there then that would give you a list of suspects. If I wasn't there, trust me I'll hear about it. TDD is everywhere and nowhere.

A retort

Yesterday Gary Sawyer hit back on my Social Security posting, which was a reply to his post about that little pesky 1 trillion dollar devil. I said Gary didn't understand how Social Security worked or was trying to mislead us, one our the other, here is a recap of what he said originally.
Of course, no one in the Social Security debate is advocating taking all of the
Social Security money and putting it in a private account, or stuffing it in a
mattress. President Bush has mentioned private accounts of relatively small
amounts – 1 to 5 percent of an individual’s contribution.

To which I replied, 1 to 5 percent is a relatively large amount, because thats actually 1 to 5 percent of your pay, currently you pay 6.5 percent in payroll taxes up to 90,000 dollars to Social Security, and Bush is advocating taking almost all of that and throwing it in a private account, I would say thats not a relatively small amount, and thus Gary Sawyer either doesn't get how Social Security works, or is trying to mislead us. But then again I guess I should have said Gary Sawyer doesnt get how social security works, doesn't get how Bush's proposal works, or is trying to mislead us. Either way any of those options isn't a good option for the editor of the largest print information source in our area.

Now on to the rest of his post.
The solutions are basically these – cut back on benefits, raise Social Security
taxes or do a combination of the two.

No Gary indeed there are other solutions, raise or remove all together the cap on Social Security payroll tax. Social Security goes along way towards those who need it the most, so lets not make it a regressive tax which it is now, let's make it fair to everyone. If you raised the cap to 200,000 dollars Social Security would be solvent for as far as the eye can see, but then again you don't want those pesky rich people to pay their fair share, just cut their taxes and leave our children to pay for it.

The private accounts may be one way out of the problem. Bush has asked for other
solutions. The silence so far has been deafening.


The silence is deafening for a good reason, a while ago there was a good idea proposed, and actually passed into law, it works, you may have heard of it, it is called Social Security, that is our proposal, tinker with it sure, but don't ruin it. There haven't been other solutions because there don't have to be, if you did something as simple as raise the cap on Social Security which by the way was done under Reagan, then there wouldn't even be this discussion.

Let’s say a young person were allowed to divert some of their Social Security
funds into a private account and that the private account performed moderately
well. That person would have more money available at retirment than the person
who put all of their money in Social Security.


In a generation that is floundering in more debt, be it credit card, student loans, and other loans, than any generation before them, I think it would be a bad idea to say by the way even though you are a terrible financial planner right now you need to start planning for 50 years down the road, good luck! I know many young people that don't even balance their checkbook, and I have asked them what they think about this, and the response, "I would have no idea what to do." So much for the security part.

If that happens enough, then the increase in Social Security taxes wouldn’t have
to be as great.
Now you throw me off here, because frankly I have no idea what you are talking about. No where have you mentioned an increase in Social Security taxes, which would solve any problem there may be, and then now you say if you come out ahead often enough then we won't have to raise social security taxes as much. Well umm if you raised Social Security taxes then there wouldn't be a problem. So I'm glad you finally realized the solution.

My point is simply this. What’s so wrong with giving a young person the option
of diverting some of their Social Security money into a private account?

Because that isn't how the system works! You can't save the system by completely undermining it.

And finally,
It’s probably not a good idea to make a habit of answering anonymous bloggers,

Umm Gary, don't you publish unsigned editorials almost well you know ALL THE TIME!

Apologies

I had a great post responding to Gary Sawyer's response on Social Security, but erased it, so I'll give a little preview and post the rest tommorow.


Social Security Privatization is a terrible idea. News at six.


Ill be back
TDD

Monday, March 21, 2005

Sawyer's blog - Again

Gary Sawyer brings up Social Security in his blog again.

Maybe I’m missing something, but I just don’t get the arguments some people have against private investment accounts for Social Security.

I’ll admit up front that the devil is in the details and anytime the federal government gets involved in something it’s smart to keep your eyes open.


Well I guess the Devil is a 1 Trillion Dollar Devil, thats $1,000,000,000,000 just to let that sink in. That is the cost for to transition into private accounts over a decade, e.g. the money that should be paid to retirees that is instead diverted to big investment companies pockets, im sorry individual retirment accounts....I got a little off track. Gary says that social security privitization will only effect young people, but I disagree. I say coming up with a trillion dollars at least in the federal government's budget over a decade will effect everyone. But then again thats all part of Bush & Co. plans, run the deficit sky high so that the United States is crushed under the it to the point where the only thing we can do to save ourselves is cut government spending to entitlement programs and everything else, headstart, low income housing, aid to children in living in poverty, medicaid, medicare, all those terrible liberal ideas that allow people to get a chance in life. I'm on a rant, but unless Gary Sawyer has a trillion dollars lying around Social Security Privatization effects everyone. By the way, Gary Sawyer still hasn't answered whether he doesn't understand how social security works, or if he just is trying to mislead us.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Reminder

Long Creek has their annual Pancake and Sausage breakfast tommorow.
  • What - Long Creek Pancake and Sausage Breakfast
  • When - 7-11 AM
  • Where - Long Creek Township Building
  • How Much - 5 Dollars all you can eat
  • Why - Because the godfather claims to have "the best sausage in the county"
  • And Finally - Because this guy is going to be there
  • >

City Council Roundup

1. Stockard - Suprise of all suprises, she is still on top. Though TDD hears she had no clue what she was talking about at the Environmental forum. Hopefully she keeps that streak up.

2. Edwards - The thing that people gunning to knock Edwards out is that you have to offer a compelling reason why the incumbent should not be re-elected, as well as offering a compelling reason of why you should be elected. No one has offered a reason why Shad shouldn't be, so at second he stays.

3. Shampine - I'm going to get flamed for putting Shampine at third, but I'll say this, Shampine has the appearance of momentum on his side, and thats what counts in the final weeks. Ground game, momentum, base, its all coming together.

4. McDaniel - I'm still not convinced he is alive, has done nothing to capitalize on his third place finish.

5. Caulkins - Great website, bad ideas. I think it would be a good idea to keep people that in jail, in well jail. Caulkins' idea to empty a medium security prison to clean up Decatur..........thumbs down.

6. Keck - Keep on keeping on Sister.

Political Play of the Week

Air your thoughts out. Who is up who is down, we want to know. By the way if it seems this week has been slow for posting, IT HAS. Blogger has been killing me the last two weeks. Hopefully it gets all its kinks worked out so we can be back to business as usual.

Creepy Republican Blogging

I would be remiss if this man did not come up some point in my creepy Republican blogging.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Support our troops, not our veterans, a look from the Senate Republicans

Yesterday the U.S. Senate was debating the next fiscal year budget. After examining some of their votes its clear what their message is, support our troops, not our veterans.
Republicans Voted Against An Amendment to Provide for the Health Care Needs of Our Veterans. Senate Republicans voted against the Akaka/Murray amendment that would have increased the Veterans Affairs budget by $2.85 billion. The amendment would also rejects the President's proposal to cut funding to State veterans' homes, eliminate the means-test for veterans to enroll for VA care, provide for much-needed mental health services, rejects the President's proposal to drive veterans away from the VA with annual user fees and increased prescription drug costs. The amendment failed 47-53.
It is so nice to see that we send our troops to a poorly planned, unneeded war, and once they come home injured as veterans, well good luck guys thanks for the help! False patriotism is one of the worst crimes a person can commit. If we look at the incredible number of sacrifices our men and women in the armed service have made over the last 200 years to make this the greatest country in the world, and then compare them to the Republicans who have wrapped themselves in the flag and called any dissent un-American, well it's a no brainer who the better of the two groups are. My message to Republicans, support your troops and your veterans. Welcome new readers, sorry but there wont be much new content today. Happy St. Patricks Day!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

H & R on Social Security - Just Make It Up

I, as usual, opened up todays Herald & Review eagerly anticipating the derth of news this morning, and saw a headline that made me think wow looks like the H & R has a story I've read no where else, or someone is just making up headlines. The headline was Both parties agree Social Security needs help. So then I read it and realized their idea of agreeing Social Security needs help is the one paragraph where the Senate agreed that "strengthening Social Security was a vital national priority." ,and by one paragraph, I mean half a sentence. I guess they were struggling to come up with a headline that accurately portarys this 5 Republican Senators side with Democrats in saying Bush is %^&#*(% Nuts. Seriously in an article that devoted almost the entirety of its copy to talking about how 5 Republican Senators sided with the ENTIRE Democratic Senate Caucus in adopting a resolution that states "Congress should reject any Social Security plan that requires deep benefit cuts or a massive increase in debt.", an apt title would have even been Half of US Senate rejects Bush privatization plan. But no, they just made up something that stretches almost as far as it can go, the truth. If you asked anyone in the know if Both parties agree Social Security needs help was the main thing coming out of the Senate yesterday they would LAUGH at you. I guess this is what happens when your editor starts pushing the Heritage Foundation's agenda. I don't even know what to say. I'll be back on this later, but for now I'm just in disbelief.

Memo

To: Daniel Caulkins
From: The Decatur Democrat

Subject: website

Daniel,
Please be advised in the future it would be a good idea to actually have a website at www.dancaulkins.com before advertising it on your literature. I believe it will help your campaign more than this:

I guess you could say it gives it that personal touch. This is not a good sign of a campaign going places.
Sincerely,
TDD

Monday, March 14, 2005

Big Mac makes Big Stacks

The Herald & Review on Sunday gave us a gem of an article on governmental salaries, included in that piece was this nugget:
McPherson’s salary of $136,047 is possibly on the low side for what a superintendent of a large unit school district would earn, said Linda Dawson, editor of the Illinois School Board Journal. A salary study published in the journal recently found the mean salary for unit school districts to be $110,493 in for the 2004-2005 school year.


Just as a follow up that number is a little low, because well it is a little low. It appears that the School District provided the Herald and Review with base salary only numbers, and did not include things such as McPherson's car allowance, cell phone allowance etc. If you add all of those numbers in you get an even more eyebrow raising number of $175,976. Not bad for a guy who was making only $91891 Siz years ago.

New kid on the block

A new blog has emerged from Decatur, and I like it's style. Decaturite or What is up with Decatur Illinois? are the two names, though I prefer to refer to it as Decaturite. Anyways check it out, its a good blog.

Tom Durbin going for the taxpayers' Triple Crown

Well it appears that Tom Durbin is indeed going to go for the taxpayers' Triple Crown, and by that I mean he is going to try and make it onto 3 different public payrolls. Making just over $60,000 most likely as a firefighter I can understand, its a public service and he deserves it. And, I think its great that on his off time he is willing to serve as a public official on the county board. But, when you add in the roughly $55,000 from the Decatur Township Supervisor's position that he wants to add under his belt that gets to be a bit ridiculous. I want someone in the Supervisor's office who is going to be the Supervisor full time, not when they are off duty from their other job. $120,000 a year from the public payrolls might just be the taxpayers' Triple Crown, we haven't seen a triple crown winner in baseball in a long long time, and I doubt we'll be seeing Durbin as one either.

Creepy Republican Blogging Late

Due to Blogger being a mess the last few days I missed out on creepy Republican Blogging. I took my potshot at Caulkins last week, and I think we have a good one for this week. I don't know what it is about this picture, but it just makes my skin crawl.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Political Play of the week

Now that we are back up running throw up your ideas for the political play of the week.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Problems

Ive heard from a few people that they have had problems commenting today, if you have too let me know, and if you still cant leave a comment email me.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Where are the new David Livingstons?

From Bob Sampson via Marucco's blog on the passing of County Board Member David Livingston.
DAvid Livingston was truly a historic figure in Decatur. What many people may not realize is that he had a distinguished career long before he joined the county board, eventually serving from two different districts. The Livingston family, including David, were among the civil rights pioneers in Decatur. I'm talking 1930s and 1940s, long before there was any federal legislation or public opinion to defend or encourage the effort to make our society a fairer one, one that actually lived up to the Declaration of Independence. David was a man of courage, conviction and quiet leadership. It was my great privilege to campaign with him and serve with him. Like many others, I will miss his example of courage in the face of pain and ill health and the inspiration he provided all who came in contact with him. I will especially miss his steadying, dependable influence on the board where a few words from David more than equaled a lengthy speech from others. His pain is over. HIs memory and example live on to inspire those in pubic service. Rest in peace, good friend.
Bob Sampson
Where are people like David Livingston these days? The thing i remember most vividly about David is the wall in his basement on the far north end. It is a testament to his life's work of achieving equality for all. From certificates of service as a youth mentor to man of the year awards dating back to the 60's and earlier, it was quite easy to see that David was devoted to a righteous and just cause at a time when it wasn't easy. Too often we get along and go along instead of making waves, and in doing so we co-opt our beliefs. Maybe we fake a laugh when others are even though we know what they're laughing at is wrong. Maybe we pretend we don't hear something that we do, because it's easier than saying something. Speak up for your beliefs people, because if you don't do that, then do you stand for anything at all? The world needs more courage as exemplified by David Livingston, God Bless my friend.
              Dear lovely Death
That taketh all things under wing -
Never to kill -
Only to change
Into some other thing
This suffering flesh,
To make it either more or less,
But not again the same -

Dear lovely Death,
Change is thy other name.
- Langston Hughes

Tip 1

TDD hears that the Decatur School Board has hired a new assistant principal for MacArthur High School, my understanding is she is now the number two authority in one of the two largest high schools in our county. Lets take a look at her qualifications.
  1. Teacher for Five years
  2. Working on masters degree
  3. Daughter of a schoolboard member
Now I might be wrong here, but I have it on pretty good knowledge that their are plenty of more qualified indidviduals within the district, and by more qualified, I mean teachers that have taught more than five years for goodness sakes. I do believe this will do nothing to help with the discipline problem currently being had at MacArthur. 17 fights in 10 days is unreal, and something should have been done about it that was a little more far reaching than a school assembly. Decatur......we like it here?

Somebody gets it

Somebody at least gets it. I need your tips and ideas to keep this thing entertaining and enthralling. Hear some backroom chatter, won't it confirmed, got some backroom chatter, it is confirmed, want to see it up hear? Email me your ideas, tips, topics, questions of the day, anything else you might want to see. I even made it easy right under my counter all you have to do is click on where it says Contact the Decatur Democrat, and an email from your email client will pop up. If you use webmail, well then mail me TheDecaturDemocrat@Gmail.com

City Council Roundup

1. Stockard - No surpise here, unless something changes expect her to be the top vote getter from here to eternity, though you were missed Monday night Betsy?
2. Edwards - Keep on keeping on, I don't expect any signfigant changes here either, Shad will most likely stay in second all the way through.
3. McDaniel - Are you alive?
4. Caulkins - Shampine - I would be hard pressed to believe they dont have a final big push planned. Little Daniel your new billboard at the end of the Franklin Overpass looks creepy at night with a spotlight on your face.
5. Keck - You know what, I've got admiration for this lady. She isn't going to win, I don't know if she knows that or not, but she is running for the right reasons, she believes she can do something to help all of us. Kudos to you, hopefully you can come back in 2007 and get on.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Barack Obama, Basketball Expert

An unknowing source informed me the other day that he spotted Senator Obama on TV expounding on Air Jordans and their impact on inner city youth. Last night I spotted Obama pontificating on the Harlem Globetrotters and how they served as a great influence to african american males of previous generations. I can't help but think that our good Senator has been brushing up on his basketball knowledge, hopefully he'll have better results than Bill Bradley.

Social Security History Lesson

  • In 1936, 99% of House Republicans and 63% of Senate Republicans against founding Social Security.
  • In 1939, 75% of Congressional Republicans voted against Social Security as we know it.
  • In 1950, 89% of Congressional Republicans voted against Social Security as we know it.
  • In 1956, 86% of Senate Republicans voted against Social Security as we know it.
  • In 1985, Senate Republicans voted to eliminate Cost of Living Adjustments
Now I can pretend to be a right wing radio hack by asking this question they would ask a liberal, Republicans why do you hate seniors, why do you want them to live the last days broke and destitute? If you want to break something put a Republican in charge.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Send out the Search Party

Anyone want to join the Search Party for Lightner, he hasn't been heard from since the 26th. I am a bit worried that their may have been a coup de tat at the Lightner homestead, and now it is Mrs.LightnerForMayor who will be joining us.

HB 758

HB 758 is a bill before the state house right now that would change the amount of petition signatures needed by third parties and independent candidates need to get on the ballot. Let me give you a real quick run down on signatures neccesary to be on the ballot.
State Representative
  • Independent - 6,040 Signatures
  • Third Party - 3,020 Signatures
  • Democrat - 300 Signatures
Congress
  • Third Party -15,380 Signatures
  • Democrat - 458 Signatures
Coming off an election year where fully 50% of our state representatives and state senators ran unopposed, I am hard pressed to see how competition could hurt us. Much hurrah was made last month when Iraq held free and open elections, and yet they were more open then ours. Let me repeat that, the first election after the fall of a brutal dictator and regime, and they have more open elections than us.
Luckily there is something we can do about this. State Rep. Bob Flider - D Mt. Zion, our state rep. serves on the Campaign and Election Reform Committee, right now this bill is bottled up in Executive Committee, but next time you see Rep. Flider tell him we need to have free and open elections in Illinois too.

Late Edit: I guess I should explain what the bill does, DUH! The bill would lower the limit of signatures of third parties and indepedents to twice what the limit for established parties are. To become an established party for a race you must have recieved over 5% of the vote in that race in the previous election I believe. If you are not an established party then you must obtain 5% of the voters who voted in the last election signatures on your petition, whereas a demorat or republican only needs one percent i believe, and in congressional races I believe its one half of one percent versus five percent.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

I am speechless

by amprather
Fri Mar 4th, 2005 at 16:07:33 PST

[Promoted from the diaries by DavidNYC. My father is a Holocaust survivor - and my grandfather a victim of it - so I imagined this diary might have special meaning for me as I read it. But I could never have imagined the stunning conclusion. I insist that you read to the very end of this miraculous story.]

After writing my diary "A Promise to My Grandfather" yesterday, I received over 40 emails from all over the country (I am still getting some right now) from those that were also impacted by the Holocaust. I read each one of them and shed a tear for every word. Many thanked me for sharing the story of my grandfather, but I should thank all of them for their stories. It helped me see that I am not alone in my pain, but also to see that there is hope. Hope that there are those that want to fight the hate that is now forming and stop it before we repeat it.

However, there was one email from BettyG in San Rafael, California that moved me that it is taking me way too long to write this diary.

Here is my follow up with BettyG's email.

Diaries :: amprather's diary ::

The original diary:

Last year at my grandfather's funeral, I made a promise to both him and myself that I would fight to the very end to prevent the evil that he had to endure in his life from happening again. Everyday when I look into the blue eyes of my daughter, the same blue eyes my grandfather had, I am reminded of that promise and know that it is not only a promise to him, but to her as well.

Diaries :: amprather's diary ::
In the fall of 1943, after being captured by the Nazis in the Ukraine, my grandfather was sent to Auschwitz. At first, he was just one of many Soviet POWs held at the camp, but it was later discovered that he was Jewish, so he was removed from the Soviet soldiers and placed with the other European Jews. My grandfather never knew why he survived while others parished, but there was never a day that passed after liberation in 1945 that he thanked God for that gift of life.

My grandfather was able to get to England and then on to America to restart his life. He raised 5 children and later cherished his 22 grandchildren. He loved to work in his garden, even on the hottest of days. As a child, I always wondered why he wore long shirts even on those August days when it would easily be 100 degrees (even in the shade). When I was 9, I caught my grandfather shaving in the bathroom and that is when I saw it: His Camp Number - 58877241.

Not knowing any better, I asked him why he got such a "stupid tattoo". He told me that he really didn't want to get it and quickly tried to cover it with a towel. I followed him asking him, "Why don't you get it removed then?" He stop dead in the hallway and without turning around said "So I don't forget." We never discussed it again.

When he died last summer, I told myself that he was finally at peace. As I stood over his coffin with my wife, I reached down and took his arm in mine. I unbuttoned his sleeve and rolled it up. I looked at the number again - 58877241. My wife looked at me and asked "Why are you doing that?" All I could say was "So I don't forget." Right then I made my promise to him - Never again.

Now when I see the hate and bigotry that comes out of those that call them "Christians" or "Moral People", I know that this is how it began seven decades ago in Europe. It was too late, when people finally woke up, millions had been carted away in cattle cars to their deaths.

I don't want to see that here or anywhere else. I do not want there to be cattle cars filled with people that these hate mongers scream out against. I do not want to see gays, liberals, Mexicans, hippies, Hollywood Actors, or anyone else have to be tattooed with a number. No more 58877241s.

This summer, my family and I will be traveling to Auschwitz, so my children understand what there grandfather went through. I want my daughter to know why I see him in her eyes. And then everytime I look in her eyes I will see hope and love and not 58877241.

So to the Phelps and Coulters of the world, you are on notice, we will fight your hate because we will not have this happen again.

Here is BettyG's email-

Roman Edemskoi (58877241) was my grandfather.

I am traveling to San Rafael next week to talk to BettyG. If you don't think the Web is a powerful, earth-shattering tool, I hope you think differently.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Glad to see

I am glad to see more people starting to use handles to post with rather than anonymous. Just a reminder, you can stay anonymous and still have a handle. If you don't want to set up a blogger account just enter in a Handle and a website if you wish when posting comments. It will make everything smoother, I swear.

Political Play of the Week

Your call, let's hear them

Precinct Committeeman meeting

There is a committee call for the Macon County Democrat Central Committee on Monday, anyone have any ideas on what might be up for discussion? I have my suspicions we'll see if they prove to be correct, anyone have a guess?

I do not believe in the Chief

Well Illinois has now moved on to 29-0 and finished their home stretch undefeated. This brings me to my blog rant of today. I do not believe in Chief Illinwek. Some supporters of the Chief claim that he is the honoroed mascot of the University of Illinois, and people who feel disrespected should feel honored that they have chosen to use the Chief. My main disagreement with that is, they don't want to be honored. It is plain and simple, if you think you're honoring a group of people, and they're saying don't honor us we find this disrespectful, then don't do it. Other people might say well TDD you didn't go to Illinois, why should your opinion matter. Well my opinion should matter for a number of reason, first the University of Illinois is the land grant, flag ship University of this state, and thus does represent me. Hoosiers, Sooners, Long Horns, Bulldogs, Seminole, Hurricanes, they all are associated with a specific region or state, even though the people there might not be associated with it. I am sure I will draw much flack for this post, because it is a very unpopular idea in this area, but I speak out for what I believe no matter how unpopular the idea may be. I'm going to keep this a short post, but I'll leave you with this though, was Pekin, Illinois honoring the Chinese with its mascot the Chinks, or just being racist and ignorant, though the chief is not as bad, it isn't much different, better but still wrong if you will.

Friday Republican Blogging

Well keeping in line with the City Council Race, and thanks to our anonymous poster the only thing I can think to say now is; Dan, Dan he's a man?

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

New blog

I have a new blog where I focus on what catches my fancy that isnt political related. You can find it at www.porkchopinfusion.blogspot.com The Porkchop Infusion Central Illinois travels and travails blogged.

Echoed

But we can't duck the fact that Matt Hale is a creation of central Illinois as a whole. He learned his racism in the schools he attended and the home in which he grew up. As society grew up and matured, expressions of overt racism grew out of favor, and the socially polite opinion to express was one of tolerance. Hale never got the message. He remained trapped in an old way of thinking, a way that the majority of his white neighbors had for the most part rejected. But I can assure you that most of the white people who heard Hale's nonsense kept their mouths shut and walked away. Few Peorians would have bothered to confront him. We're not a confrontational people. We have our notions of propriety. We tend to not seek out confrontation. Perhaps if the more of the majority of good people here had bothered to take a stand when encountering overt racism, some of that might have rubbed off on a young Matt Hale. It wouldn't have made him into a great civil libertarian, but it might have deprived the World Church of the Creator its leader.

From Peoria Pundit.

How many times have we knowingly witnessed or heard something racist, in an effort to be polite or not make ripples, we've ignored it or pretended to laugh along with everyone else. Unless you are willing to speak out when you see or hear hate displayed, then aren't you just as much an enabler of racism as any follower of it? I would like to think Decatur is a great utopia of racial harmony, but alas it's not. We still live in two seperate worlds here. A white world, and a black world, with a smattering in between that we refer to as a cross section. How many times have you awoken to read the paper or watch the news to see the latest outburst of violence in Decatur, and not have to worry its about someone you know, or someplace you know. I couldn't help but notice in the Herald & Review on Sunday the pictures of the 2005 Illinois State Scholars in Decatur, all but one were white. We have a far way to go before we reached the promised land of equality in Decatur, but a start is to speak out for what is right.

Richland

Richlad launched the push for its referendum on the April 5th ballot yesterday.
The campaign seeks approval April 5 of a tax increase that would keep property
taxes paid to Richland from going down. The proposal would raise the college's
tax levy by 6 cents per $100 equalized assessed valuation starting in 2006, just
as Richland pays off debts that make up that portion of the levy.The shift would
amount to $17.12 annually on an $85,950 house - an amount the taxpayer is
already paying - but it would add up to $1.1 million a year in additional
revenue for Richland. It would also eliminate the need for program cuts to avoid
a projected deficit of at least $2 million by 2010.N. Duane Noland, co-chairman
of Friends of Richland with Macon County Sheriff Jerry Dawson, said passing the
tax shift is even more critical, now that Richland's state funding is projected
to be cut about $800,000 for the fiscal year starting July 1.

I am proud to say I am on board with Richland 2014. As time progresses I think we will see more of an emphasis put onto the community college form of education. Particulary, amongst newly graduated young people, aka traditional four year college freshman. The only thing that suprises me from this article is that the committee claims they will be doing door to door canvassing. Any ideas on who will benefit the most from a Richland 2014 GOTV program in the city council election?


Yes!

Decatur our problems are solved, all is well, brace yourselves for we have a Target!

"We knew there was a lot of bloodletting," said City Manager Steve Garman. "We
were losing money out of Decatur because Target was being shopped in other
areas."Target's projected annual sales are more than $32 million. That would
mean more than $800,000 in sales tax revenues for the city each year, said
Assistant City Manager Dane Bragg.

Now any one want to calculate how many years it will take from that sales tax to pay for the hole downtown and to pay for the property Target sits on? One day your children might see a net gain!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Words fail me

Gresham, the youngest member of the 79th Ordnance Battalion to achieve the rank of staff sergeant, was killed by a roadside bomb Thursday while rushing to the scene of an earlier bombing.One of his soldiers, Sgt. Brian Doyne, was injured in the blast; he is in stable but critical condition at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.Gresham, who was born in Lincoln and attended New Wine Christian School and Lincoln Community High School, was killed five years after his Army career began on Feb. 24, 2000.