13 years ago on the campus of Illinois State University, I came across then Governor Rod Blagojevich signing books on the quad. Thankfully I had my camera with me that day, grabbed a picture, and wrote down what happened.

Gov. "Hot Rod" Blagojevich @ Illinois State University

This is taken from my Flickr account 13 years ago:

I was walking to class and it looked like a press conference was being set up [on the quad]. So after class was done I came out and saw all these black Suburbans and guessed that it was some politician. I asked the guards what was going on, to which one replied “Nothing, just enjoying the weather.”

Then I saw a mob of people and recognized Hot Rod’s mop of hair. Although he doesn’t have my support, I probably should have stuck around longer so he could have signed one of my textbooks. I just wonder if the re-sale value would be higher with his signature in it.

The circus of Trump and his politics has now landed in Illinois. The man who went to jail for trying to sell Obama’s senate seat, is now a private citizen in a state currently governed by one of the people he spoke to about selling the senate seat to [J.B Pritzker].

I’m disappointed that Blagojevich was released. There are too many people in the prison system in this country, but I really do not like how white collar criminals are the ones being freed, especially one who shows no remorse or atonement. Guess we’ll just have to wait and read the inevitable book deal or docu-series to see who he’ll throw under the bus. Realistically, he’ll probably just work at Fox News as the token Democrat talking head for the 2020 election.

The Acquittal

It’s taken me two years, but I’ve almost finished watching Ken Burn’s The Vietnam War documentary. In the second to last episode, there’s a decent focus on Watergate and the congressional hearings. Watching it in 2020 while another president is undergoing something similar, I was surprised how it took months and months before the House approved articles of impeachment against President Nixon.

I don’t have much to say on the acquittal, but I’m writing my thoughts down so when my children ask me about it in the years ahead, I can remember exactly what I felt at the time.

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Naperville and the Rhetoric of Opting-Out

I recently moved back to my hometown of Naperville, IL and since I’ve moved back the town has been in the throes of a heated conversation about recreational marijuana. 

The Illinois legislature approved the sale of recreational marijuana that becomes effective January 1, 2020. While the law allows recreational marijuana, it allows local municipalities the ability to prohibit the selling of recreational marijuana; this is known as opting-in and opting-out respectively. And here is where the rhetorical issues start to emerge.

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The Air Force Loves DMX

Did you know that that the Air Force’s 124th Fighter Wing loves DMX?

Here’s how I feel about the 124’s DMX love. I enjoy late 90s and early 2000s hip-hop as much as the next person, and the Ruff Ryders have a sweet spot in my heart. “Double R What” slaps so hard. And then when the Pink Floyd sample comes in, it’s just magical. DMX is just ok, but he’s got some real club bangers.

But then it dawned on me that while the 124th Fighter Wing may love DMX, the intent of their comment is pride that a stealth bomber can murder people like DMX does in his songs. confirms this.

This probably isn’t the first time songs are being misappropriated. The legend goes that in the first Gulf War, the fighter pilots played “Rock the Casbah” in their cockpits; upon learning of this Joe Strummer cried.

I find it in poor taste that a verified account of the Air Force is openly using the lyrics of a song about drive-by shootings to boast about their air power prowess. But I’m not sure that using jingoistic songs instead would be any better.