Keeping retirement weird. In the drink and in a pickle.


It is a beautiful morning in Brooklyn. There’s a Spring chill. But the sun promises a warmer day.

Later we will take the kids and head off to the the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue between E. 25th & E. 26th Street for a comic book and graphic novel art show.

My kids and grand kids make fun of me since I refuse to watch animated movies. Even the ones that are allegedly for adults.

I didn’t mind them when they were three minutes long, starred a duck and ended with, “Th-th-th-that’s all folks!”

Now I like my movies with real actors and not just their voices.

But cartoons that don’t move?

I’m all in.

For years I did a graphic novel project with my fourth grade students. They had to take a portion of a Greek myth and turn it into a three panel cartoon strip. The kids favorite was the story of Theseus and the Minotaur.

Or maybe it was my favorite.

That story includes the subplot of Daedalus and Icarus. Daedalus was the architect who designed the labyrinth that held the Minotaur. Daedalus was later imprisoned with his son, Icarus. It was then that Daedalus designed the wings of wood, wax and feathers and planned their escape, warning his young son Icarus not to fly too close to the sun.

“Kids never listen,” I would tell my fourth graders.

The fourth graders would giggle and laugh until I told them that Icarus didn’t listen to his father, flew high into the sky. The wax melted. The feathers came off.

I would look up from the book with a sorry look. “Icarus ended up in the drink!”

First there was stunned silence.


“In the drink!”

They all shouted and laughed some more at this odd idiom.

If I told the fourth graders that Squeezy, Rahm Emanuel and Michael Madigan were in a pickle, imagine how that expression would make them laugh.

But that is exactly how the Chicago Tribune described their situation.

Gov. Pat Quinn finds himself in a bit of a political pickle: he’s running for re-election on a pledge to cut property taxes, but Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to raise Chicago property taxes as part of a plan to shore up the city’s ailing government worker pension systems.

Asked Thursday whether he’d sign the mayor’s pension bill if it reached his desk, the Democratic governor declined to say where he stands.

Nobody wants to run for election in 2014 or 2015 having raised property taxes.

They are in a pickle because the We Are One Chicago coalition of public employee unions has made it dangerous to vote for another pension theft in this session which ends with voters going to the polls in November.

The Chicago Teachers Union proved how politically expensive that can be when they went all in – challenging the conventional wisdom – against Christian Mitchell in supporting Jay Travis. Mitchell had voted for pension theft.

Not even the promise by the scab leadership of the SEIU local 73 that they will throw a life saver to politicians who support their sellout of public employees is convincing.

So they are in a pickle.


3 thoughts on “Keeping retirement weird. In the drink and in a pickle.

  1. The SEIU illustrates why Royko said the city’s unofficial motto was “Ubi Est Mea” (where’s mine?)

  2. SEIU v CTU what a joke SEIUs influence grew while IEA and IFT were napping. If these giants would wake up and follow the CTU lead …well December would not have happened …

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s