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Free Speech in DuPage? Almost

Cross Posted at Kos:…

Yesterday there was supposed to be a trial in DuPage County.

Two anti-war protestors were promised their day in court after 15 months of appearances and continuances and postponements.

They were ready.

The prosecution had the witness and the arresting police officer.

Jeff Zurawski and Sara Hartfield had truth and about 48 supporters on their side.

Judge Sutter was ready.

I Met McCain

(Cross posted at Kos)

Yes, I met McCain years ago.

I remember it well….

The day was overcast but the crowds were bright. People were everywhere cheerful and happy. There was singing and flag waving! There were handmade signs and music! The music was free and joyful and political!

My husband and I walked the streets and laughing people greeted us with friendly smiles.

People we didn’t know offered us drinks and thanked us for being there!

The Real Issue is Not the New Yorker

(cross posted at dailykos)

The real issue is not the New Yorker and what its editors and artists consider satire. I wish it were. But look at the News Headlines for the last weeks. Which Candidate has been in the news? Which Candidate has made a “flub” more often? Which candidate has had a member of his “team” or a famous supporter make a flub. Which candidate has been labeled as having an erosion in his support?

Do you see where I am going?

Laugh for today

A Saturday funk, with a stomach not wanting to cooperate so I decided to read my Docudharma. But the wolves were not helping my mood.

I was answering ek hornbeck when my doorbell rang. My creaky old bones rise and stagger to the door…”why would someone ring a bell at my place at 10 AM on a Sat?”  “Don’t they know I’m cranky?”

Duties of an Election Judge

Cross posted at kos

What does an Election Judge do?

Welllllllll….. the Judge makes the Election process easier. The Judge is not supposed to hinder the Election process.

The Judge’s duties start well before the actual day of the Election. First, there is the training. My county used to give training at the County Offices or other large venue, like a Movie theater where a lot of people could be seated. Then the Judge would sit through a Powerpoint presentation of forms and machine assembly. Finally, a short quiz was given. Some places may still require this.

Now, the Judge takes the online course. It has about 5 parts and takes 4 to 6 hours to complete depending on the score one achieves at the end of each section.

Get your laugh for today!

Cross posted at Kos

This is short for a diary but I had to share.

Today s Sunday and this is the day that Gun Shows like to reserve for their displays. A gun Show is a swap meet/ flea market for gun nuts. Once a month, there is a Gun Show in Northern Illinois for all the gun “aficionados” to buy/sell/swap their wares to other gun crazies.

My Husband is a gun nut. He is a member of the NRA and has been since he was a teen. He is also a Veteran, serving in Korea in 1969 as a Medic. he is also a card carrying member of the Democratic Party and the ACLU and has been for all his adult life.


How to Select a Memorable Gift Book

(Cross posted at Dailykos)

I have been asked to post a list of books for the Holidays….or just general gift-giving… I don’t know if I can do that because the list would really be very long and the number of categories would be really diverse

I am a little out-of-date since I have neglected reading the books my students read (being retired, I have no students but I am active in a couple of organizations that promote literature and literacy). So now, I concentrate on books for ME!!!! Unfortunately, they seem to have taken a current events and political nature and are thoroughly depressing and I can’t recommend them to anyone except people here.

As a Reading Teacher, my philosophy was that there is a book out there for everyone and no one should be afraid to read a book.After all, a book is not god….I know this is debatable, but not here.

So, I decided that, in order to find a book for the reluctant readers of the world, I needed to start reading those books, sometimes to the tune of 100 to 150 per year! (I don’t read anywhere near that now!) It was not as daunting as it sounds….Children’s Lit and Young Adult Lit were usually under 200 pages, often near 100 pages and the reading level was generally around the 5-th Grade level. (Most popular Adult novels – ie. Romance, Mystery, Adventure-Thriller-Spy type novels and Horror novels are written at the 6-th Grade level. That is why it is so easy for a person to read one in a day or two, even if it is 4 or 500 pages thick)

The advent of the huge, wordy, descriptive books has really turned a lot of slower readers off. That is why it has become more urgent for teachers and parents to find the book (or books) that will turn on youngsters to reading. There are several ways to select an appropriate book. The most popular is the “rule of thumb”.  

Celebrate a Birthday memory of my mother with me!

It is my Birthday.

It is the reason my Dad joined the marines…that and the fact he was drafted. And when he returned from the Pacific and got married, his first child was born on December 7….to remind him of things he would never speak about.

So what did I do on my Birthday?

I remembered my parents and missed them. Contemplated on how I look like my mother now that I am the age that she was when I remember her best. I even sound like her.

Well, today we went to a luncheon where the speaker was FDR! An actor dressed and imitated FDR, quoting from his speeches and answering questions from the audience. It was obvious he didn’t like Republicans…too bad.

What got me was the old wheelchair and the braces! He even wore the old-style braces!

My mother contracted polio(infantile paralysis) in the same year FDR did. He was 39, she was 3. Like FDR, she had gone to the beach (at Lake Michigan in Chicago, probably Rainbow Beach,) to swim and cool off in the water. The next day she was sick. It was painful. Her Aunt and her mother were by her bedside day and night. She was totally paralyzed for a time. She even went blind. Then she began to recover. Slowly she regained movement in her arms and hands. Her sight returned. She could even move her legs, a little. One foot could even show some movement in the toes and flex her foot. However, the movement was slight and the other leg was totally immoveable. It was only a movement paralysis, since there was still pain, and hot and cold sensations. She always felt paralysis was an inappropriate term because she still had feeling sensations in her limbs.

The cute little three-year-old, sitting in a chair with a kitten would never run and dance again. When the five-year-old is managing the stairs withher new doll(whose head is ceramic), she falls and drops it and the head breaks. She is still sad after 50 years.

It was strange the way the muscles atrophied on her body. No muscles in the legs, just skin and bone with huge knobby knees. Her back seemed to have some muscles missing. The ripples of thick muscles next to grooves of absent ones was always a mystery. Even her hand displayed the ravages of polio. The thick, fat, muscle of the thumb was totally absent.

My Mom used heavy braces and crutches all her life. The braces made of steel and leather weighed 10 pounds. She used the same braces until one broke from metal fatigue about five years before she died. That means the braces were close to 40 years old. When my parents found a brace-maker, he remarked at how well-made they were. Her new pair were not quite as good.  

Studies have shown that polio victims experience a relapse around the age of 60. She became very weak and died of congestive heart failure at that age.

My mother was very strong, she used her arms to walk, and used to be able to navigate stairs and ride buses with ease. My parents met at the Art Institute. She was a professional artist working for the WPA for many years. A pattern maker for work uniforms and a commercial free-lance artist in Downtown Chicago.

It was funny to see her walk on all fours down the hall when she did not have her braces on.

Her greatest worry was that her children would contract polio and she made sure we received all the vacinations. She was so glad that a vaccine had been found! Salk and Sabin were her heroes.


Although Roosevelt was good…he really didn’t move well with his braces….he had a few of the movements down. The tappinf of the side of the knee to straighten the races as he stood up and the swaying from side to side using the back and chest muscles to walk with the heavy braces.

My best memories are of my conversations with my mother and her teaching me how to draw, showing me techniques that I still use today.

My favorite memory is of her holding my first son, her first grandchild.

My memories are the best part of my birthday. They are a way of keeping her close to me.

Novak Needs to Resign

(Cross posted at DailyKos)

I saw this over the weekend and filed it in my “dead issue” mental file.

But, today, it is still there!

My question is: why would anyone believe anything that Novak writes anymore? The man should not even be allowed to write a column, even from a jail cell.

He traitorously outed a CIA spy and experienced no charges or reprimand. Now he publishes a little gossip rag and someone actually believes it!!!!! He should put up and shut up. If he has proof, surrender it. If he knows who is planting this trash, expose them or else cease and desist.

14 Students allowed back in Morton West

Crossposted at DailyKos

The Superintendant of Morton West High School District has allowed 14 students to return to classes today. The others will be allowed to return on Friday. No students will be expelled.

Rita Maniotis, President of the PTO said that it is “wonderful news” and that “it’s not like our kids are walking away with nothing.” Especially since most of the students have served most of their suspension time. At least they will not be up for expulsion hearings which would have occurred in December.

A victory for “Freedom of Speech”!

Stossel debunks Gore

I posted a similar diary at dailykos so if you don’t want to read this, it is OK.
Stossel diary

(I just got so frustrated with the 300 to 1150 characters thing….it took me an hour to figure it out!)

Last night, I watched John Stossel on 20/20. I hadn’t watched 20/20 in a long time, now I remember why!

My Dad in the War

Today, Ken Burns will and PBS will air FUBAR on The War. It will discuss Peleliu.  My Dad was on Peleliu. He always pronounced it Pel-Lee-You.
It was always glossed over in the history books about the war in the Pacific. I would read about Midway. Or Iwo Jima which he missed. Or Tarawa which he also missed, but Peleliu was always kind of a footnote.

As a kid, I had figured that the reason he survived was because not much fighting went on. The War to me was in Europe.

I thought his great accomplishment in the war was guarding a Catholic Cemetery in China after the War. Or meeting a 12 foot cobra on the path on Pavuvu.

But I was wrong.

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