Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Terriers in tuxes and dachshunds in dresses are likely to be among the pooches gathered Nov. 8 in Downtown Oak Park as the village attempts to set a new world record for hosting the largest dog wedding.
The mass dog wedding, "I Do, Doggone It," will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday on Marion Street at Westgate Street, between North Boulevard and Lake Street.
The record, according to Guinness World Records, stands at 178 dog "couples" set May 2007 in Littleton, Colo. So far 10 couples have registered for Oak Park's dog wedding, but organizers remain hopeful a new record will be set.
"I think Oak Park is absolutely able to break the record," said Pat Zubak, executive director of Downtown Oak Park, which is organizing the mass dog wedding. "My hope is that everybody who has dogs will sign up and come out for the event.
"The pressure is on because the Guinness adjudicator will be here," Zubak said.
Bari Saltman, Zak Sawyer, Emily Graham, Nia James, and Jesse Goldberg.
Imagine being in the voting booth and the only thing you have to go on is the candidates' stand on the issues. Imagine voting purely based on a candidate's record. Imagine not knowing anything about a candidate's personality. Imagine not even knowing a candidate's gender or race. Imagine that nothing would get in the way of making an educated, informed decision.
The Upper School Student Council imagined such an election and on October 28, 2008 five candidates addressed the entire Upper School. Under the direction of teacher Taylor Black, they presented issue-oriented platforms, presenting their stance on Iraq, Afghanistan, healthcare, abortion, the bailout, gay marriage, drilling for oil, immigration, death penalty, public education, and Israel.
The students listened and then they voted. It was only after they elected Bari Saltman that they learned they had elected Ralph Nader (Bari received 46% of the votes). Zak Sawyer stood in for McCain and received 4%; Emily Graham, being Obama, got 29% of the votes; Nia James represented the Libertarian Bob Barr and earned 2% of the votes; and Jesse Goldberg was Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney and took 17%.
A thing is about to happen which has not happened since the Elder Days.
- J.R.R. Tolkien
It has been a long and terrible time since tomorrow mattered as much as it does today.
It began with that first terrible election, the media manipulations, the stolen and uncounted votes, the menacing mobs, and a decision by the highest court which sealed our doom. A man who was not chosen came to possess an office he was unworthy of, and everything that since has come to pass now seems almost preordained, fated, inevitable.
We have seen tax cuts which looted our Treasury and further enriched the wealthy, we have seen presidential vetoes of legislation designed to heal the sick and feed the children, and we have seen executive orders designed to shatter the Constitution and erase our rights. We have seen annihilation by fire and water visited upon our cities and ourselves. We have seen wars and rumors of wars. We have seen fear visited upon the populace by design. We have seen terrorists, and all too often, they have been us.
We have known death, and disgrace, and failure, and greed, and theft, and shame, and utter lawlessness. We have lost hope, and been afraid, and fallen to exhaustion and despair. We have seen torture and murder stamped with the seal of highest approval, and we have become what we despise.
But tomorrow is a different matter.
Tomorrow is a place of definitions, where change may come and be welcome even in the smallest degree. Tomorrow will see millions upon millions from every national nook and cranny pour forth in celebration of their own lone and lonesome voices.
Tomorrow, we will know.
It has been a long, strange and entirely preposterous course that has brought us today to the edge of our next tomorrow. Millions of new voters rewrote an old, calcified map. Fifty states one and all had their say, and their say mattered to the last of it. Money mattered less than organization, less than passion, less than hope, less than tomorrow.
There are many eyes upon us today as we prepare to step into tomorrow. The eyes of those lost in fire and smoke of a bright September morning watch us, the eyes of those lost in needless battle watch us, the eyes of those subsumed by an invading sea watch us, the eyes of those lost to disease and poverty and greed watch us, the eyes of all those lost who should not be so are upon us, they remember what we did yesterday, and they will see us tomorrow.
What they call change is nothing more than choice. Tomorrow is another choosing, perhaps the greatest of our lives. Something will happen, and afterward, we will know.
Tomorrow has come at last.
Remembering Gracie Allen's White House Run
by Joe Richman
In 1940, the United States was just emerging from the shadow of the Great Depression and war loomed in Europe.
Into these serious times stepped Gracie Allen, part of the popular comic duo Burns and Allen, who launched a campaign for president.
Allen's Surprise Party began as a publicity stunt, but during a whistle-stop tour across the country the campaign took on a life of its own.
This story was produced by Joe Richman of Radio Diaries.
By Matthew Mosk
Perhaps the most ill-timed press release of the 2008 campaign arrived shortly after 1:30 p.m. today, sent by the Republican National Committee.
The release forwarded word that the California Republican Party filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, in part because of a visit Sen. Barack Obama made to his dying grandmother.
"Obama for America violated federal law by converting its campaign funds to Senator Obama's personal use," the release stated. "Senator Obama recently traveled to Hawaii to visit his sick grandmother. This was the right thing for any grandson to do -- at his own expense -- but it was not travel that his campaign may fund."
At issue was whether the trip should have been paid for with campaign funds, based on the law that forbids candidates from using such funds to pay for personal travel. The Obama campaign said the trip had been vetted with lawyers beforehand and was allowable. The Republicans argued that, because Obama did not campaign during the quick journey to Hawaii, it should not have been a campaign expense.
But filing the complaint today now seems to have been ill-advised, if not legally, then certainly politically.
Hearing that Barack Obama is visiting his ailing grandmother made me think of another old-timer who's hanging in there, hoping to see history made if America elects its first African-American president.
And so I gave him a call. Studs Terkel, now ninety six years old. He's done as much as anyone in this country - and far more than most - to advance civil rights. He wrote oral histories and other books and hosted a radio interview show on Chicago's WFMT for forty-five years.
I asked Studs, if he were to interview Obama, what would he ask him? That got him going. Studs is always "going." When he talks, he's going, still today, full speed ahead with ideas and enthusiasm. The unmistakable ever-crackly voice on the end of the line shouted,
I'd ask Obama, do you plan to follow up on the program of the New Deal of FDR?
I'd tell him, 'don't fool around on a few issues, such as health care. We've got bigger work to do! Read FDR's second inaugural address!'
The free market has to be regulated. And the New Deal did that and they provided jobs. The government has to. The WPA provided jobs. We have got to get back to that. We need more reg-u-la-tion.
I was just watching Alan Greenspan, he's an idiot, and by the way so was Ayn Rand!
Community organizers like Obama know what's going on. If they remember. The important thing is memory. You know in this country, we all have Alzheimer's. Obama has got to remember his days as an organizer. It all comes back to the neighborhood. Well I hope the election is a landslide for Obama.
I started to ask Studs about the pioneering Chicago organizer Saul Alinksy, whose name has been disparaged recently by the Republicans and as soon as he heard that name, he belted out,
The idiots! They label Saul Alinksy - the great neighborhood organizer - as a subversive! He's been dead for 35 years and he was honored by the Catholic Church! He's no subversive. Neither is Bill Ayers! That Sarah Palin - you know, she's Joe McCarthy in drag!
This from a man who was investigated by Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1953. Studs refused to give evidence against other left-wing activists and he was blacklisted and his television contract was canceled.