Four Years Ago

Four years ago I sat in the Cincinnati airport one night. I don’t travel all the time for work, but I’ve flown to Cincinnati more than any other place. It’s an ok airport. I’m a man of simple pleasures; it’s clean and not crowded, and very easy to get in and out of. But its size also works against it.

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I was planning to write another reasons to be cheerful post today, but there’s not a lot to be cheerful about the last several days. I’m saddened and horrified by what happened to George Floyd, Breanna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. I’m mad and frustrated. I’ve been reflecting how how I, a WASP male who lives in an affluent suburb, may have contributed to the systems that failed George, Breanna, and Ahmaud.

I stand with the protesters and I empathize with their anger. The white hegemony in this country must come to an end. I condemn the use of violence as a means to express their frustration at the institutions who have failed them.


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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