Monthly Archives: June 2015

Jesus as strong and one to follow, to honor as a leader

Company Man

In Matthew 8.23-27, Jesus wakes up in the boat to the cries for help of his disciples, chides them for their lack of faith, and then “rebuked” the wind and waves, who entered on a “profound calm.”

This is Jesus meek and humble of heart whom we prayed to as kids in the ’40s? Or is that Jesus the product of zealous preaching of one kind in reaction to another kind?

In either case, we have here Jesus as Matthew remembered him, speaking with authority, being anything but meek and humble in ordinary sense. He spoke and acted with authority, was a man of strength, a leader of men.

Personally, I’ve had enough of the meek and humble Jesus in my life as to make him inhuman and distant, which is why I find myself taken with him as, face it, an authority figure, which he was — someone I can…

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Listen up, Your Holiness . . .

Your big boost for human climate-changing will hurt freezing poor people.

School mandates and does Oak Park get too much money from the state? The senator from Maywood asking.

Oak Park senator and legislator colleagues at an Oak Park middle school, October of 2013

Berkeley on the Prairie

Returning to the October 2013 gathering of eagles, at Oak Park’s Percy Julian Middle School . . .

A CLAIM mother asked about the funding of mandates, what the state requires and the district pays for.

“It depends on how you define mandate,” said Sen. Lightford. It had become “very popular” to refer to compulsory kindergarten as unfunded, for instance, she said..

(The Oregon School Boards Association and Confederation of Oregon School Administrators did so as recently as two and a half years earlier, favoring kindergarten but regretting it as unaffordable.)

She said she was “lukewarm” about the problem and preferred a “happy-medium” solution.

Wanting not to put the questioner “on the spot,” the Oak Park senator, our hero for this series, asked for examples of “significant” added costs of a mandate.

The questioner turned to ask the superintendent, who wasn’t there! It was an important gathering, he had said earlier…

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Middle-school mothers quiz the senator and others, October, 2013

Berkeley on the Prairie

The next gathering of legislative eagles was a solemn-high affair, an organized interrogation of legislators by parents at Oak Park’s Percy Julian middle school on Oct. 9, 2013.

The Oak Park schools superintendent cheerily greeted the assembled “citizenry” who had come for the “festivities,” which had been many months in the planning.

He welcomed the legislators — two senators and two representatives — who had come to be questioned by three schools-connected women, probably each a mother of a student.

He further noted “gridlock in Washington” as a problem, ignoring the recently concluded Springfield version, in which legislators were locked in combat about state pension reform. Indeed, they had only recently received their two months’ late pay checks, with interest, after a judge had ruled the governor out of order in cutting them off to get them to stop disagreeing with each other.

Additionally, the citizenry had not materialized as expected…

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Ald. Graham learns something, Rep. Lilly defends herself: Galewood town hall, 2013

Berkeley on the Prairie

Galewood, September 2013, continued . . .

Questions and complaints continued — about illegal immigrants using scarce resources while not paying taxes, declining property values in their racially threatened neighborhood, lack of a public library “we can take our kids to,” a North Avenue pawn shop.

“Residents need a voice,” a woman said. “We are stuck. You have to listen.”

The airing of North Avenue problems prompted a call for comment from the alderman, Deborah Graham, who had sat quietly through it all in the audience.

Graham had been a state representative for Oak Park and Austin from 2002, when she defeated an Oak Park woman in a challenge election following her loss to by a coin toss — not kidding — to break a tie some months earlier.

After the second election, more than a hundred uncounted ballots were found in an Austin polling place, perhaps held in reserve…

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You disagree with the same-sex marriage decision? Watch who you tell about it . . .

Alito Warns: Defenders of Traditional Marriage Now Risk Being Treated as Bigots by Governments, Employers, Schools.

( – In his dissent from the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which declared that same-sex marriage is a right, Justice Samuel Alito said the court had falsely likened opposition to same-sex marriage to racism and that its decision “will be used to vilify Americans unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy.”

Alito warned that in the wake of the court’s ruling, Americans who dare to publicly express views in favor the traditional understanding that marriage is between a man and a woman will risk recrimination.

And saying it has to do with your religious belief will be a non-starter for those who vilify you.

(I deleted comment stream which was going nowhere in that the commenter made no sense that I could gather. Strange.)

The Oak Park senator in 2013 promotes taxes as fiscal solution, but fudges on what to call them

Berkeley on the Prairie

We left the Senator at the Carleton Hotel, June of 2013, assuring Oak Park’s Business and Civic Council and other concerned citizens that the fiscal crisis in Springfield was being overblown by over-zealous Republicans.

The senator continued in a vein of all-conquering optimism with praise for the January 2011 temporary income-tax rate increase — from 3% to 5%, which he helpfully explained was a 2% raise, though “Republicans [the rascals!] say 67%.”

He also helpfully ignored well known Republican outlets such as Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, and Huffington Post, each of whom called it a 66% raise, the latter unconscionably adding that it was a “massive increase.” Conspiratorially.

So what? The senator had something else in mind, a “fair tax” — higher rates for higher earners — that would satisfy budgetary and vote-getting needs simultaneously. He was being clever about it, rebranding the graduated or “progressive,”…

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Founding fathers’ guiding light. Do Catholic leaders echo this?

The founding fathers quoted John Locke (1632-1704) more than any other non-biblical writer. A pungent sample:

It cannot be supposed that they [free people] should intend, had they a power so to do, to give to any one, or more, an absolute arbitrary power over their persons and estates, and put a force into the magistrate’s hand to execute his unlimited will arbitrarily upon them.

Arbitrary the significant word.

This were to put themselves into a worse condition than the state of nature, wherein they had a liberty to defend their right against the injuries of others, and were upon equal terms of force to maintain it, whether invaded by a single man, or many in combination.

State of nature: before government.

Whereas by supposing they have given up themselves to the absolute arbitrary power and will of a legislator, they have disarmed themselves, and armed him, to make a prey of them when he pleases; he being in a much worse condition, who is exposed to the arbitrary power of one man, who has the command of 100,000, than he that is exposed to the arbitrary power of 100,000 single men; no body being secure, that his will, who has such a command, is better than that of other men, though his force be 100,000 times stronger.

One in charge not to be presumed better than other men.

Question: Have we ever heard our Roman Catholic church so praising freedom and warning against absolutism? Tell me, please.

Short History, contd: The senator in calm, peaceful Wood Dale

Berkeley on the Prairie

Next stop for the Senator was far suburban Wood Dale, where he partnered with Rep. Kathleen Willis, of Addison, an Elmhurst College librarian recently elected for the 77th house district.

Twenty-five or so citizens turned up to hear them at Wood Dale City Hall On July 23, for the third and least contentious of the town hall meetings of 2013.

For instance, when questioned about the lack of urgency in solving the pension problem, the Senator was more circumspect than he’d been in a Wednesday Journal column, where he had put “crisis” in quotes. This time he called it a crisis “according to a tough standard,” namely “assuming pensioners live to 90” — which some of us consider a perfectly reasonable standard. By that standard, he said, the state had 32 years before the money would run out  — which some of us consider neither reasonable nor reassuring.

He also…

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A ban that bombed

Who’d a-thunk it? Unintended consequences from a bottled water ban on a college campus? – AEI | Carpe Diem Blog » AEIdeas.

. The bottled water ban did not reduce the number of bottles entering the waste stream from the university campus, the ultimate goal of the ban. With the removal of bottled water, consumers increased their consumption of less healthy bottled beverages.

Gosh. You try and try to make things better, and then what? (Sigh)

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