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Everyday People and the American Revolution PDF Print E-mail
Guest Commentaries
Written by John W. Whitehead   
Tuesday, 03 July 2012 08:50

We elevate the events of the American Revolution to near-mythic status all too often and forget that the real revolutionaries were people just like you and me. Caught up in the drama of Red Coats marching, muskets exploding, and flags waving in the night, we lose sight of the enduring significance of the Revolution and what makes it relevant to our world today. Those revolutionaries, by and large, were neither agitators nor hotheads. They were not looking for trouble or trying to start a fight. Like many today, they were simply trying to make it from one day to another, a task that was increasingly difficult as Britain’s rule became more and more oppressive.

Embarrassing House Member Might Be on the Way Out PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 01 July 2012 05:19

Derrick SmithFinally, a little bit of good news for Illinois Democrats.

In stark contrast to the glacially paced House Committee on Investigations, the panel charged with deciding indicted state Representative Derrick Smith’s punishment looks like it will move forward much more quickly.

The investigations committee took two months to decide that there was enough evidence against Smith (D-Chicago) to warrant punishment. Smith was arrested and then indicted just before the March primary on charges that he accepted $7,000 in cash bribes. It was June before that committee took final action.

The two House leaders then appointed members to the Select Committee on Discipline, and that committee’s first meeting was last week.

I Am Staying in My Post as Iowa/Nebraska NAACP Education Chair PDF Print E-mail
Letters to the Editor
Written by Jonathan Narcisse   
Thursday, 28 June 2012 14:17

After the resignation of the Reverend Keith Ratliff as the president of the Iowa/Nebraska Conference of the NAACP, which followed the National Board’s decision to support gay marriage as a civil right, I have been asked by several members of the media if I intend to stay on as education chair for the Iowa/Nebraska Conference of the NAACP.

I do not mean to diminish the issue, but over the past few years, the advocates of marriage equality and the opponents of same-sex marriage have, through their actions, asserted this is the only issue that matters.


As education chair of the Iowa/Nebraska conference of the NAACP and as a former director of the Des Moines School Board, I have witnessed Iowa’s academic crisis, especially the urban academic crisis, worsen to a near state of emergency. Yet, most Iowans remain ignorant of the important data and proposed solutions to these solvable problems while the body politic and the media refuse to report, and at times, even acknowledge the severity of this crisis.

Did Governor Break a Promise on Facility Closures? PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 24 June 2012 05:34

Several Downstate Illinois legislators were furious last week that Governor Pat Quinn decided to go ahead and close some state facilities, including prisons, in their districts.

They weren’t just upset about the lost jobs, however. Some also claim that Quinn brazenly broke a deal on the closures. “If the governor proceeds with this, he has gone back on his word,” Representative Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) told a crowd gathered to protest the planned closures last week. Bost and others indicated that the trade was made over revenue issues, but he didn’t get more specific.

Bost did not return a phone call, but he was almost surely referring to the cigarette-tax increase.

Changing of the Iowa GOP Guard PDF Print E-mail
Written by Todd McGreevy   
Thursday, 21 June 2012 05:44

Twice at the Iowa GOP state convention, efforts were made to restrict any criticism of a Republican from anyone holding an elected state-party position. Twice those efforts failed, thankfully. The insularity that the big-government, war-mongering Republicans want to impose on their fellow Republicans is stifling.

It’s no secret that 23 of 28 non-bound voting delegates from Iowa at the Republican National Convention in Tampa in August are Ron Paul loyalists or supporters – including new Iowa party chair A.J. Spiker, who was formerly a Ron Paul paid staffer. The Ron Paulistas, as some refer to them, have taken over the Republican Party of Iowa, and nothing was more evidence of this than the peaceful, professional, and controversy-free manner in which last Saturday’s statewide convention played out.

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