Chris' Original Blogbeque

A fresh, vinegar-based examination of life

Archive for the ‘other’ Category

Local elections, Champaign County/Illinois- UPDATED

Posted by Chris on October 29, 2008

This is to provide resources for you if you would like to be a more informed voter next Tuesday, especially in our State and local elections here in Illinois.  Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of information out there in any one place.  Here’s my suggestions for becoming more informed

1. Decide on what is important to you.  Are you passionate about the justice system?  (You should spend more time reading about judges and the State’s Attorney).  Are you concerned with environmental issues?  That is part of the platform of Naomi Jakobbson, who is running for a state congressional position.  Etc… Then, really read up on those races.  Google search for the candidates to see if they have web sites, which should hopefully have more info than any other source.

2. Familiarize yourself with all the races so that you can make an informed decision on as many as possible.  Figure out what exactly each elected official does, and make an effort to think about what qualities and/or beliefs you think are important for that job.  Then browse through the News-Gazette articles and the Voter’s Guide.

3. Talk to others.  Today at work I learned that my co-worker used to work for the Forest Preserve.  It just so happens that one of the things on the ballot is a property tax increase to give the Forest Preserve more money.  I now know much more about the Forest Preserve than I did before.  Consider what people would know at your job.  I work for a bank.  Thus, I plan to talk to people who work with releasing mortgages about what they know about the County Recorder’s office and see if they have an opinion on what could be done better, because one of the races is for the County Recorder.

4.  Vote.  It’s free.

The race I am most passionate about at this time is State’s Attorney.  I am supporting the challenger, Janie Miller-Jones.  I won’t get on a soapbox here but if you’d like to know more reasons, please ask.  And if you don’t care, vote for her!


UPDATE: I’m not going to delete all the News-Gazette info below, but they’ve put it all on a free section of their web site, found here:

And here’s the direct link to the County Clerk page where you find out where you vote and all the district information as well as a sample ballot so you know exactly which contests you will vote on:

County Clerk’s Office. Here you can find where you go to vote and information on the elections.  Everyone should read the Voter’s guide, especially the part that lists all the positions up for election and the names of each candidate.  Also there are pretty good descriptions of the Referenda on the ballot.  The voter’s guide is a PDF and is found here.  It’s also important so that you can know which district you are in.

Second, I went through all the News-Gazette’s from this month.  Unfortunately, they require you to pay to read the archives online, so you’ll have to go to the library (or to that neighbor’s house who keeps all the newspapers for months at a time).  You can find them at the Champaign Library, upstairs in the back left corner near all the magazines.  I’m going to list by race where you can find articles and a list of the editorial choices.  They’re not in very good order so you’ll just have to sort through them.  For each position I’m listing the date and page #, and editorial date in italics.

Third, the political party sites.

I myself plan to go back because I didn’t know which district I was in for different races so I need to look that up first.

Recorder: 10/29, A5.  10/16

Circuit Clerk: 10/28, A5.  10/21

Champaign Co Board, Dist 1: 10/20, A5.

Champaign Co Board, Dist 7: 10/23, A5. 10/24, A1.

Champaign Co Board, Dist 8: 10/22, A2.

Champaign Co Board, Dist 9: 10/25, A4.

All 9 districts for Champaign County Board discussed in editorial on 10/30

US House of Representatives: 10/14, A3. 10/24, A5.  10/28

IL House 103th District: 10/18, A1.  10/14

IL House 104th District: 10/17, A1.  10/12

Auditor: 10/18, A5.  10/22

Coroner, 10/20

US Senate, 10/31

State’s Attorney, 10/16

Champaign County judges, 10/20

Forest Preserve tax: 10/28, D1.

Champaign City property tax increase for general assistance fund, 11/1.  10/31

School sales tax: a lot of places


Champaign County Democrats’ candidates

Champaign County Republicans’ candidates


IL State Board of Elections

Champaign County


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Pres. Bush’s speech on the economic bailout Sept 24, 2008

Posted by Chris on September 27, 2008

From the White House web site:

I’m a strong believer in free enterprise. So my natural instinct is to oppose government intervention. I believe companies that make bad decisions should be allowed to go out of business. Under normal circumstances, I would have followed this course. But these are not normal circumstances. The market is not functioning properly. There’s been a widespread loss of confidence. And major sectors of America’s financial system are at risk of shutting down.

The government’s top economic experts warn that without immediate action by Congress, America could slip into a financial panic, and a distressing scenario would unfold:

More banks could fail, including some in your community. The stock market would drop even more, which would reduce the value of your retirement account The value of your home could plummet. Foreclosures would rise dramatically And if you own a business or a farm, you would find it harder and more expensive to get credit. More businesses would close their doors, and millions of Americans could lose their jobs. Even if you have good credit history, it would be more difficult for you to get the loans you need to buy a car or send your children to college. And ultimately, our country could experience a long and painful recession.

Ima this, Ima that.  Iva had enough of that!  I made a rhyme!

This language really annoys me.  As president, I would have to make many tough decisions.  Things aren’t black and white.  I’d have to do or support or reluctantly compromise on things I wouldn’t like.  But it seems like GWB has had to compromise a little too much.

Most economists, wall street types, politicians, etc… think the government needs to do something (although many disagree with the original proposed $700B plan, which now seems to be off the table).  So I have no problem with him going against his normal desire to support free enterprise… but how many times does this have to happen?  This isn’t the first time.  Bush has not stuck with orthodox conservative economic policy.  Some liberals and progressives might celebrate that but as a fiscal conservative, I am disappointed and I’m more annoyed by the larger integrity issue.

Furthermore, federal government intervention in general has increased way too much under his watch.  It may not have been his idea but he’s been at least an approving bystander.  Then, he paints such a bleak picture as if those things are certain to happen if the government does nothing, but will not happen if we act quickly.

Look, either being president is hard and you have to make tough decisions in gray areas, or it’s easy and you just make black and white decisions in accordance with your ideological view.  In fact sometimes it’s both, but let’s not act as if it’s both at the same time.  That’s really not helpful.

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Hilarious benign spam email

Posted by Chris on May 23, 2008

From: “I’m Mike.Not Junk”
Date: Sat, 24 May 2008 0:31:22 +0000
Subject: RE: Hello

Hey dude i found the shop that we were talking about last time.
In this store you can buy a great rep1ica-watch with a great discount !
You can save 15% if you buy 2 or more watches!
Go to that cocktail party with this watch, and be sure to catch people’s attention.
You’ll have all the class, and still have all your money.

Here it is:

Oh, you’re Mike, not junk.

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Maybe I’ll keep blogging this time

Posted by Chris on March 10, 2008

I’m going to try and begin blogging again. I have regular internet access again (as opposed to when I first came back from India), so I’ve lost that excuse. I’m not super busy and I work in the evenings and on Saturdays, so I’ve lost any excuse about time because there’s not a lot going on between 9 and 4. And I again realize it’s good for me (see this post) and I’m really trying to focus on doing more with my time while I have it. I hope to really use this as a time to intellectually journal what’s going on with me when I read a cool quote at 1 pm and have no-one with whom to share it, if nothing else… that being said, the first post is a passage from one of the books I’m currently reading.

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