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02.19 Bees brought Bavarians together. And they have a lesson for us all

02.19 Florida is drowning. Condos are still being built. Can't humans see the writing on the wall? [Fear that Trump & Fox News incite makes us avoid unpleasant information we need to know]

02.18 Tesla big battery is holding its own in a burgeoning energy storage market

02.18 Trump administration condemned over delaying action on toxic drinking water

02.16 New experimental drug rapidly repairs age-related memory loss and improves mood

02.16 Toxic black snow covers Siberian coalmining region [0:49 video; If its killing us, stop doing it]

02.16 Renewable energy will be world's main power source by 2040, says BP [But in America's capitalistic bubble, bribed-to-be-biased media and government defy reality]

02.16 My generation trashed the planet. So I salute the children striking back

02.16 US coastal businesses hit by everyday impact of climate change, study shows

02.16 What the pesticides in our urine tell us about organic food [What does inaction tell us about capitalism and our government?]

02.14 Exposure to Glyphosate-Based Herbicides and Risk for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: A Meta-Analysis and Supporting Evidence [If its killing us, make it illegal]

02.14 To avoid environmental catastrophe, everything must change [Consider why this headline is laughable or confusing to many, if not most, Americans...]02.13 Study Shows Toxic Pesticide Levels in Families Dropped by 60% After One-Week Organic Diet [2:10 video; Produce and canned vegetables laced with toxic chemicals—from fertilizers and herbicides, too—must be quickly phased out to use safe organic alternatives]

02.12 Biggest offshore windfarm to start UK supply this week

02.12 Scientists Are Totally Rethinking Animal Cognition

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02.22 So How's Your Tax Refund? Thanks to GOP Tax Scam, Big Banks Made Extra $28 Billion Last Year

02.21 Why Bernie Sanders Matters More Than People Think

02.21 Bezos Says Amazon Drones Ready to Deliver Mueller Report to Every American Household

02.21 Devin Nunes Was Trump’s Mole Inside the Gang of Eight

02.21 Alec Baldwin fears for family's safety after Trump 'retribution' threats [0:40 video]

02.20 Intimidation, Pressure and Humiliation: Inside Trump’s Two-Year War on the Investigations Encircling Him

02.20 ‘Sustained and ongoing’ disinformation assault targets Dem presidential candidates [If you can sense them, block them!]

02.20 The 2020 U.S. Presidential Race: A Cheat Sheet

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02.20 Why vote for Sanders when you can have Elizabeth Warren instead?

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02.20 Despite the slaughter in Yemen, Britain is still chasing arms sales [and the Great-Again-America is too...Capitalism without morality is horrible]

02.16 Elliott Abrams Defends War Crimes As Happening Back In The ’80s When Everyone Was Doing It

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Sanders Has an Advantage, and It’s Not [Just] About Economics

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02.22 Trump has turned foreign aid into shabby political theatre [Psychopaths are a sub-human species without empathy or morals.]

02.21 John Oliver Compares Brexit ‘Disaster’ to Will Smith’s Genie in Live-Action ‘Aladdin’ (Video) [21:26 video; we’re approaching an Idiocracy-type of society, where stupidity is “normal”]

02.20 House report lays bare White House feud over Saudi nuclear push [Its hard to keep up with all the criminal crap going on...]

02.20 My grandfather was a Nazi. I’ve seen why we need the EU

02.19 Centrism isn’t the solution to the mess we’re in

02.19 Renewables need urgent investment to ease Australia's transmission bottlenecks, experts warn

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  Thinking About The Elections
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COMMENTARY:

Thinking About The Elections

by Fred Cederholm
Please take the time to vote in Tuesday’s elections. THINK about how much we all depend on local officials, and are impacted by their decisions. If you see any of them face to face, please tell them you appreciate their dedication and sacrifices for all of us.
I’ve been thinking about the elections. Actually I’ve been thinking about localness, Tip O’Neill, daily services, reality, and voting. We tend to focus our “election attention” every other year on those contests for public office that occur on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Such is when we select our national and statewide executives, our national and statewide legislators, and countywide officials. It is not until the following “first Tuesday in April” that we select those individuals to represent us at the municipal, township, and other area levels. Spring is when we choose those who govern/ administer our schools, our parks, our libraries, fire districts, and other sundry local bodies. The importance of these public servants cannot be underestimated!

You see Thomas "Tip" O'Neill—a longtime Speaker of the House in the U.S. Congress— once declared, "All politics is local." At the time, he was explaining how the problems and concerns of towns and cities around the country affect the actions of their representatives and senators in D.C. THAT is true, but it the local officials who have the greatest impact on our everyday lives. We so often forget this reality of life because the big BUCK campaigns and brouhaha that take place in the Fall elections. TH*NK about how much we depend upon the decisions made by the local officials and board members in maintaining (and administering) the critical services we need for our very safety, health, and existence? These folks are the real unsung heroes of representative democracy in America. Their powers are pretty much capped, they cannot arbitrarily print money - or issue debt, and they must deal with public animosity face to face with no “buffer staffs” or PR firewalls.

It is the true face to face campaigning that tends to occur in these Spring elections. This is the real retail politics. These races for public office usually do not depend on huge campaign budgets, prime time television ads, or highly publicized debates. Instead, they use more basic approaches and give us a vivid picture of democracy in action. There is a bonding and a dialogue between the candidates and the electorate that is really missing to a large extent in the Fall election cycle.

The decision to run for local office is clearly NOT done for personal gain, or to fulfill any egotistical power/clout needs. It requires a sense of community, dedication, and toughness of skin that defies the normal laws of natural selection and self-preservation/ well-being. Still... people choose to run for office and serve their friends and neighbors in so many necessary capacities. I tip my hat to them and want to take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt thanks to all. My late father, Ted, was a local mayor for something like 27 years and held the job until he literally dropped over. He once told me that you are lucky if you have pleased 51% of the people 51% of the time. I’m not so dedicated as my father, but I will participate and help those elected by serving on boards and ad hoc committees set up by them.

Those selected/elected in Tuesday’s elections will be facing a particularly long and difficult row to hoe now. Never in my lifetime have I sensed so many challenges rising to the surface in an environment having ever-so-limited resources and revenues. The present financial/economic and business status quo is far from any rosy scenario – even though our corner of Ogle County in Illinois is doing amazingly well when compared to travails barraging the rest of this nation. Local entities cannot depend on the largesse of Springfield and Washington DC to cover our financial shortfalls. Let’s face it, both Illinois and the Federal Government are broke, and are only theatrically putting on the “don’t worry be happy” faces that governments are known to do. Local units must get by with revenues generated by the existing proceeds from property taxes and sales taxes – enough said!

Please take the time to vote in Tuesday’s elections. TH*NK about how much we all depend on local officials, and are impacted by their decisions. If you see any of them face to face, please tell them you appreciate their dedication and sacrifices for all of us.

I’m Fred Cederholm and I’ve been thinking. You should be thinking, too.


Copyright 2008 Questions, Inc. All rights reserved. Fred Cederholm is a CPA/CFE, a forensic accountant, and writer. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.A., M.A. and M.A.S.). He can be reached at asklet@rochelle.net.


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This story was published on April 6, 2009.

 

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