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My corporations are not me.

September 29, 2014


Raunerian ethics and voter fraud. Here and in North Carolina.

September 29, 2014

Moral Monday protests in North Carolina.

Man. Did I catch it when I accused Republican candidate for the 17th Illinois House District of voter fraud. She is running against Democrat Laura Fine.

The Sun-Times had reported that Kathy Myalls was registered to vote for many years in Illinois and in Wisconsin, where she has a second home in Fontana.

Although you can only have one primary residence for the purpose of voter registration, Kathy will pick one home or the other as her primary residence to fit her political desires.

“‘In violation of the intent of the law.’ Go home. You’re drunk!” wrote one reader.

“I am home. Not drunk. Yet,” I responded.

I knew I was home because I know where my home is.

I only have one home. 

I am part of a large section of the American working class that is second-homeless.

That’s not to say I don’t have friends who have second homes. They’re not rich by any stretch. Mostly very nice and modest places. They invite us to visit. Sometimes we get to stay.

Some Myalls’ defenders excused this scamming of the electoral system by pointing out although she was registered in two states – claiming two primary residences depending on whether she wanted to vote for Scott Walker or not – she wasn’t voting in the same election in two states.

That made it legal.

Of course, we don’t know if she voted twice in the same election. There is no national data base that cross checks such things.

This is perfect  example of Raunerian Ethics.

One man, one vote has been replaced by many houses, many votes. A privilege of the wealthy.

Raunerian Ethics are those that tip-toe on the edge of the law. It’s the ethics of fudge a little but don’t get caught.

Take the issue of primary residence. Bruce Rauner has nine homes (the last time I counted). His primary residence was on the north shore.

Until he wanted to get his kid clouted into CPS’ selective admission Walter Payton. So he bought a condo in the City.


Who knows in how many places Bruce is registered to vote. Maybe nine. But who checks?

In North Carolina Republican voter fraud has taken a different, and even more anti-democratic form.

A few days ago, the Koch money-backed advocacy group, Americans For Prosperity (AFP) mailed out incorrect voter registration information to hundreds of citizens in North Carolina.

Despite hundreds of complaints from North Carolina voters who received misleading official-looking voter registration forms, the North Carolina State Board of Elections has not yet investigated this attempt at voter suppression. According to the board’s public information officer, misinformation about voter registration can be a felony if it is intentionally misleading and is proven to suppress voters.

These forms (from the conservative group Americans for Prosperity) misled voters about the deadline for registration and the address to which the forms should be mailed, both of which could result in people thinking they had registered to vote when they had not.

You can sign a petition here asking the North Carolina Board of Elections to investigate AFP’s attempts at voter fraud.

In the 17th District race in Illinois you can send Kathy Myalls a message by making sure she fails at her attempt to circumvent residency requirements for voting.

Karen Lewis. We can’t think in silos any longer.

September 28, 2014

Signatures far outnumber votes in school board election. Hinsdale clock is ticking.

September 28, 2014


For Immediate Release




Over 1,100 Community Members Sign Petition to Accept Teachers’ Proposal

Hinsdale, IL – September 29, 2014 – A petition created by Darien resident Anna Cepeda asks the Hinsdale District 86 school board to accept the teachers’ latest contract proposal.

As of September 29, over 1,100 people—mostly community members, alumni, and current students—have signed the petition, which states: “We ask that you accept the latest HHSTA contract proposal dated September 8, 2014. We believe that this proposal is fair and keeps District 86 competitive with neighboring districts.”

Along with the petition, the D86 board has received over 1,000 emails with the same message.

“The teachers of District 86 would like to thank the community for this outpouring of support.  We sincerely hope that the board listens to the strong message sent by so many community members,” said John Bowman, President of the teachers’ association.

The petition is an effort to convince the board majority, which won majority by 143 votes last April, to maintain the history of excellence in District 86.

The teachers are currently in contract negotiations with the school board and recently initiated the public posting process.  The process sets a 28-day calendar in motion that could culminate in a strike if the two sides cannot reach agreement.


ABOUT HHSTA: The Hinsdale High School Teachers Association (HHSTA) was founded in 1957 through the leadership of its first president Harvey Dickinson, for whom Dickinson Field at Central is named. The Association represents more than 350 professional educators within Hinsdale School District #86 at both Hinsdale Central and Hinsdale South High Schools in Hinsdale, IL. HHSTA is a member of the Illinois Education Association (IEA – Region 57) and the National Education Association (NEA). Look for HHSTA at on Facebook at and on Twitter at


Sunday reads.

September 28, 2014


Following a teacher strike, the Galesburg, Illinois school board refuses to return school days to the calendar.

Why don’t we have real data on charter schools?

The Koch brothers toxic empire. It extends to Chicago’s 10th Ward. Vote for Susan Sadlowski Garza for Alderman.

“No excuses” charter schools make Zombie Kids.

Chicago’s privatization strategy is symbolized by the disastrous parking meter deal.

Ohio cops killing a Black man in the back is called justifiable. A white woman witnesses it and dies of a heart attack. That’s declared a homicide.

White high school dropouts have more wealth than Black and Hispanic college grads.

It was not the kind life that Ms. Poo had envisioned. As a young woman, she dreamed of becoming a potter and then settled on women’s studies at Columbia University. Her parents arrived in the United States as graduate students — her father is a molecular neurobiologist, her mother an oncologist — and there were no nannies, no housekeepers in her household.

It was her volunteer work in college with an Asian community organization in Manhattan that first put her in touch with the workers she would champion when she created Domestic Workers United in 2000, which is now an affiliate of her umbrella group.

She was moved by the women’s accounts of being underpaid and exploited, and by the pride they took in their work.

“I didn’t think much then about what kind of organization it was going to be,” said Ms. Poo, who plans to use her MacArthur grant to endow a fellowship for domestic workers to do organizing and policy work. “I just knew we needed one. There was such a hunger for it.”

These days, Ms. Poo is also focusing on building alliances between home health aides and the patients they care for, working to ensure that a better paid, better trained work force is in place to support aging Americans. She is adjusting to new rhythms in her own life, as well.

In June, Ms. Poo moved to Chicago, where she lives with her boyfriend. For the first time in decades, she has a house, not an apartment, to care for. So, is she considering hiring any household help?

She hesitated before answering.

“I often think it would be great to have some support,” said Ms. Poo, who commutes to her Manhattan office several times a month. “But I haven’t crossed that bridge yet.” Rachel Swarns, NY Times.

Keeping retirement weird. Seasonals.

September 27, 2014


My friend Rainy Kaplan posted on Facebook today that she had to remember not to store her Fall decorations in the closet behind her Christmas decorations.

When I laughingly questioned her about the concept of Fall decorations, she warned me against underestimating her. No holiday or season goes unrecognized in her home, she said.

And I always believe Rainy.

Who by the way is running again for NEA Director. She would be a good choice.

All this talk about holiday and seasonal decorations reminded me of my early days of teaching.

My very first year I got a stern warning from The Art Department Chair that having the kindergarten kids draw turkeys for Thanksgiving was unacceptable.

“We don’t do seasonals,” she told me.

“Autumn trees?”


“Paint snowmen?”


“No snowmen?”

“Absolutely not.”

“And no kindergarten turkeys?”

“That is for the classroom teachers to do. Seasonals demean our curriculum.”

“The kids love to make them.” I mumbled to myself.

The year The Department Chair retired, an art teacher from another building and I conspired to celebrate with a month-long December of holiday projects that were more Martha Stewart than Eliot Eisner.

And the art room was filled with children’s laughter.

We cut back after a while. But I had kindergarten kids making coiled-paper snow flakes for years.

And our snowmen got bigger and bigger. I kept them going until my last year teaching.

And giant Dias de los Muertos dancing skeletons and calaveras.

Seasonals galore.

And the curriculum didn’t seem to mind that it was being demeaned.

“I made a mistake.”

September 27, 2014

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson tries to join protesters. Another riot nearly ensues.


The other day Rahm said he made a mistake.

He’s made many. But he only copped to one: Naming the planned north side selective admission high school after Barack Obama.

“In my rush to honor our favorite son, I made a mistake. I heard the community. And it’s not gonna be named after the president. My goal is to have a library named after him here in the city of Chicago,” said Rahm.

This was strange because I’m not aware of any community that objected to naming a high school after President Barack Obama. I am not sure what community he was listening too about this.

Although I have an idea which community he mostly listens to. It is a small and very rich community.

The objections were never about naming rights. It was always about equity, racism and resources.  Just ask the parents of Dyett High School students, current and former, about equity, racism and resources.

I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a community on the south or west side.

The community objections I heard were to building another selective admission high school a few blocks from the current one, Walter Payton, on the near north side.

At the rate Rahm is going there will be more selective admission high schools on the north side than there are Starbucks and Whole Foods stores.

As for having a library named for Obama, you can be pretty sure that it won’t be one of the over 200 Chicago public schools that don’t have libraries.

According to the CTU’s analysis of a September 5 CPS memo, close to 190 elementary CPS schools are without a library, up from 135 in 2011. Currently, 56 percent of CPS high schools, or 50 in total, do not have a library, which is double the figure in 2011.

And then the was this mistake.

The police chief of Ferguson, Missouri went on TV to apologize to Mike Brown’s parents.

Like Rahm, he also said he had made a mistake.

It wasn’t really an apology. It was more like one of those if I offended anybody apologies.

He apologized for leaving Mike Brown’s body on the street, uncovered, for four hours the day Mike Brown was murdered.

Then Jackson undid the apology and said that the police were just doing their job.

Following this sad excuse for an apology  the Ferguson police chief made another mistake. He joined a march of Ferguson protestors upset about the fire that was set at a street memorial to Mike Brown.

“I don’t think he was marching with the protesters more than 30 seconds before the riot cops came out into the crowd and tried to get themselves closer to him and protect him,” said French, a St. Louis elected official who has been following demonstrations since the Aug. 9 shooting and who supports calls for Jackson’s resignation. “Just them being out there pushing started stuff — it’s a complete misread of the situation. His very presence agitated the crowd.”

Was leaving the body of Mike Brown in the hot sun uncovered for four hours a mistake?

How do you make that kind of mistake?

Was his shooting a mistake?

From the number of videos showing police shootings and brutality directed at people of color that appear almost daily on the internet and television it seems more like an epidemic than a mistake.

The only thing new about this is that smart phones now come with a video recorder.


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