Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Warm Springs: HBO film

I saw Warm Springs last night.

Warm Springs tells the story of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's experience being afflicted with polio. FDR is portrayed as a self-indulgent punk who is humbled and then transformed into a genuinely loving and compassionate figure through his experience helping other polio victims in rural Georgia.

Eleanor Roosevelt grows along FDR. She goes from being somewhat indifferent to his political career to someone willing to get outside her comfort zone to advance her husband's interests. She is proud, but also ambitious. Initially she sides with FDR's mother that spending FDR's trust fund to buy Warm Springs is a waste.

Leave your comments about FDR, Eleanor Roosevelt or other great American political and social leaders of the 20th Century.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago

Sarah Marcus is a high school friend and historian that was part of the team that created the Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago. The website was just launched in the past few days.

It should be to bloggers that want to provide links for background information.

On the front page of Yahoo

"Ill. governor's office subpoenaed on finances" is one of the top eight stories on Yahoo.

CHICAGO - Gov. Rod Blagojevich's office has received subpoenas from a grand jury investigating allegations that his chief fundraiser traded jobs for campaign contributions, a source close to the investigation said Monday.

The governor refused to say if he had been subpoenaed, insisting it would be illegal to discuss the matter while it is before a grand jury.
Since the money was going to Blagojevich's campaign it doesn't much matter if he had to testify or if he just provided records. Blagojevich is the beneficiary of the corruption.

George Ryan wanted the people of Illinois to believe his employees were breaking the law to raise him money, but he did everything on the level himself. Now Blagojevich is gonna be using the same spin.

I didn't believe Ryan and I don't believe Blagojevich.

political reform

I'm a skeptic about campaign finance reform.

Ron Faucheux once told me the history of campaign finance reform is the history of incumbents enacting rules that make it harder for challengers to beat incumbents.

What political reform would benefit Illinois?

value of good government?

I was good friends with Ali ElSaffar when he was township assessor for both Oak Park Township and Berwyn Township. (Yes, he was assessor in two distinct townships at once.)

Oak Park and Berwyn are about the same size. IIRC village government is considerably less expensive, but more corrupt in Berwyn.

If substantially reducing corruption actually cost more than allowing it to continue at its current level, how much more taxes would you be willing to spend to have less corrupt government?

Saturday, May 14, 2005

let's draft a primary opponent for Blagojevich

I'm sick of hearing Democrats bad mouth Blagojevich and in the next breath declare his warchest makes him invinsible in the Democratic primary.

I propose the grassroots hold it's own pre-primary and run some regular citizen Democrat against Blagojevich.

There could be an online forum for citizens to ask questions of the candidates and discuss real policy issues.

The nominating signatures are due in December and it will probably take over a month to get them. But that means we can have a meaningful dialogue and deliberatvie process up to about Halloween.

Vote for one
* Roderick Blagojevich
* Thoughtful citizen Democrat

My read of the polls is that "not Rod" starts with a base of about 35% in the Dem primary.

Monday, May 09, 2005

equality in education is a bad thing

I'll post the full essay in the comments.


I. Striving for education equality is bad politics and policy.
II. Policy
A. It doesn't work to make education more equal.
B. It diverts resources from things that could make education better.
C. It cedes the initiative to the Right who seek to undermine public education.
III. Politics
A. People don't want education to be equal.
B. Liberals don't seek average schools.
C. Lower-middle income "Whites" realize the most likely path to equality is to reduce the quality of education for their kids to match the quality provided to Blacks, immigrants and the poor.
IV. Why does Dem Party focus on equality?
A. Teachers unions
1. Like more money for contracts.
2. Avoids uncomfortable changes.
B. Identity politics liberals
1. Avoid dealing with discipline issues.
2. Allow IPLs to feel morally superior.
V. Quality education: society's leaders should discuss what skills and experiences should be part of a quality education.
What do you think?

I need help

Anybody want to be part of the Blogging Blagojevich's Blunders team?

Obviously I'm having trouble keeping up with posting.