My flight is delayed but there is just something in the air besides Fall.

Anne and I are flying off to New York for the weekend. It’s our 35th wedding anniversary. We’ll celebrate with our kids and grandkids and others in our Brooklyn family.

Our flight is delayed for maintenance. I never really like hearing that.

I’m watching CNN report breaking news that Obama is bringing all US troops home from Iraq by Christmas. Good. But I heard this two weeks ago. And they’re not coming home. They’re being redeployed to Kuwait.

Not good.

I’m hearing Romney attacking the end of the war. Brilliant campaign platform: More Iraq war.

This morning I met with teachers at Washington School. I gave my talk on SB 512. That’s the pension killing bill written by the one percenters of the Civic Committee and then handed off to House Speaker Michael Madigan.

The teachers at Washington each made a commitment to send an email to legislators each morning between now and the conclusion of the veto session. And to get teachers who weren’t at the meeting to do the same.

Here is an odd thing. I have made lots of presentations on SB512 since last Spring. Not one administrator has ever attended. Not one. They’re in TRS too. Their retirement is threatened too. But apparently they would rather have teachers do the heavy lifting.

Screw ’em.

While in New York we will head over to Occupy Wall Street. We will look for Sam and Aaron and others among our much younger friends who are camping there. They make us proud.

Thirty-five years ago when Anne and I got married the US had just pulled out of Vietnam.

In America you mark the stages of your life by which war we are beginning, in or ending.

As I think about the Iraq war I recall that it started almost ten years ago. My fifth graders were just babies. It has cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Americans. How stupid.

In the months leading up to Bush’s war we marched in protests in hopes of stopping it. Anne and I marched with hundreds of thousands in Washington DC and New York.

I remember at one demonstration that we were at in New York after the war began, Yoko Ono came up to my daughter Jessica who was holding our grand daughter Lucy. She was just a baby then. Lucy is eight years old now.

Yoko was wearing a white hat. I don’t know what you call that kind of hat. It was big with a front brim and a button on the top. Big and puffy. There were always pictures of Yoko in that hat. Yoko had a blue balloon with a white peace sign on it, of course.

“All she was saying….”

Somewhere we have a photo of Jessica, Lucy and Yoko together with the blue peace balloon.

Such a shame we couldn’t stop the war. Bush and Cheney and the New York Times were intent on fighting it and nobody was going to stop them.

We are now minutes from boarding our flight to New York (I guess they fixed whatever was broken. Hope so.) I’m feeling good and optimistic about the ability to change things now.

I keep hearing the voice of that kid marching behind me on Michigan Avenue last Columbus Day for Take Back Chicago.

“This is history man!”

Others say they feel it too. There is just something in the air besides Fall.

4 thoughts on “My flight is delayed but there is just something in the air besides Fall.

  1. In the end, I think this sordid business almost completely destroys Speaker Madigan’s carefully wrought image as the big boy democrat in Springfield. Break it down, Fred: He’s no John Wayner, when he hears from Ty Fahner. He get’s in line, cause its a no brainer. Mad Mikey rolls over and barks, like a seal for its trainer.

  2. You know Fred I often wonder about that too. In the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund principals get their pension also. They have a current trustee on the board. It seems he votes with the CPS appointed trustees. Why would you vote against the interests of your own pension fund?

    Teachers have a trustee election on November 4 and if two teachers who are running. Tina Padilla and Ray Wuhl, win there would then be six active teachers and one retiree who will look out for our interests. Unfortunately the other two retirees running for re-election often vote with the CPS crew. Again I don’t understand that.

    Now the legislature also wants to give Mayor Emanuel 4 appointees and teachers 2 active and 1 retiree trustees. We have been calling and emailing our reps on both bills. Anyone reading this please tell your state reps and senators to vote no on SB512 and HB 3827. Thanks.

    Happy anniversary Fred. Enjoy the weekend.

    Jim

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