Tag Archives: Illinois

This is why so many us are sick of the status quo!

A $138,400
annual paycheck

from the feds
for corrupt
Jesse Jackson Jr.!?

From the front page of The Chicago Tribune. An investigation shows disgraced, criminally convicted former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. is being paid $138,400 every year from the federal trough. That's taxpayer money!

Despite having been convicted and imprisoned for corruption, former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. collects a hefty salary, milking the taxpayers for even more. Meanwhile, shootings and murders in Chicago continue to plague the populace, the homeless and the poor continue to struggle, and the politicians continue to bilk the system.


Never send the original!

The site where Abraham Lincoln’s parents, Thomas and Sarah Bush Lincoln, lived during the 1840s is planning a celebration of his birthday. They lived near some of my ancestors, the Parkers and the Goodells.

I learned something, a historical sidenote, that I did not know.

The original cabin was disassembled and shipped to Chicago for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition and was never seen again.”

Why would anyone dismantle and send the cabin to Chicago? Why not just make a replica?

I am convinced that some of my relatives knew Thomas and Sarah and possibly Abraham as well, when he was working as congressman and then a lawyer in Illinois.

And another strange fact is that a great-great grandfather and his family lived in Chicago during the World’s Columbian Exposition.

So don’t forget, everyone is a witness to history— you, me, every single one of us.



Forty-five years in the Illinois legislature!? What ever happened to citizen legislators?

Finally Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives Michael Madigan, the man on top, gets a challenger. (Pun intended.)

of Representatives is a man named Madigan, Michael Madigan. Madigan has been in office for 45 years, 31 of those as speaker.

Forty-five years!? To me this is just ridiculous. No one should hold political power for that long.

Many election cycles he hasn’t even had an opponent. He mostly runs unopposed. No wonder he’s all smiles.

He’s so open and honest that his Twitter feed isn’t even public. It’s protected. Only those going through a screening process are awarded access.

And they wonder why corruption is such a problem. It’s a particular issue in Illinois.


So long, farewell federal school lunch program. Bye, bye.


Hey, whaddya know? Leaving federal programs with onerous rules, and the money attached, works. It has numerous benefits.

The latest example is the school lunch program. Public schools in Kane County, Illinois¹ did it, as have others.

“The problem with the federal school lunch program was that foods being offered were not what the students wanted to eat . . . ”

As one administrator explained, changes to the federal school lunch program, spearheaded by First Lady Michelle Obama, were “well-intended, but it had unintended consequences. Giving kids what they want to eat – it’s a subjective thing.”

And the bureaucrats clearly aren’t the answer.

“Let parents and students make that choice on their own.”

Freedom is a great thing.


1. Kane County is where some of my ancestors — the Reynolds, the Walkers, and the Tallmans — lived and worked, hence my interest in the place. That’s why I happened to find this. I browse through the papers of places where the family lived, even if it was more than a hundred and sixty-five years ago.

Will Talks Lincoln

IL_NG (1)

I’m a big fan of George Will, and I love history, so I have to check this out later, including the podcast. What will he say about Lincoln and what he means for the modern era? He always has thoughtful insight.

I witnessed one of his appearances, at Willamette University in my hometown, in 2005. I honestly can’t remember what he talked about. But I’ll look it up.

Of course, the subject of politics was big, given the previous year’s presidential election, George W. Bush versus John Kerry. It was mostly members of the College Republicans, from a variety of institutions, in the audience.


The battle flag of the 103rd regiment.

Today — Memorial Day — one of the men I’m remembering is Hiram Goodell, one of my great great uncles.

He joined up with the 103rd Illinois Infantry Volunteers during the Civil War, serving in Company D. While in Tennessee he came down with dysentery, like many of his comrades. He apparently died in a makeshift army hospital in Memphis in December of 1863, leaving behind a wife, Elizabeth Frances, and three surviving children, and was, or may have been, buried in Fairview Cemetery, Dyer County, Tennessee. I’m still working on confirming these details.

Hiram was a farmer who lived in Cass Township, Fulton County, Illinois. He was about my height, five feet, nine and a quarter inches tall. He had blue eyes, brown hair which he often kept long, flowing over his ears, and a full beard with a neatly trimmed mustache.

His brothers, James and Levi, served as well, in the 55th Illinois, but thankfully survived the war.

I’ve written about Hiram, and others who have served, before. I’m trying to make a tradition out of it, writing every Memorial Day about family who made that ultimate sacrifice.


Sugar Grove Meets Progress

SUGAR GROVE, ILLINOIS – Sugar Grove is small. Although close to Chicago, among the far west side suburbs, the town hasn’t been overrun with development. But “progress” keeps edging closer and closer.

I have an interest in the place because it’s where Morgan Reynolds married Hannah Tallman in March of 1850. They’re my great-great-great grandparents, from my father’s side of the family.

Now, more than 150 years later, Sugar Grove is getting a McDonald’s. It opens next week, in a maroon brick building near the Chase bank.

Not only is it the village’s first McDonald’s, it also is Sugar Grove’s first drive-thru fast food restaurant.

“We are hoping to still get a Dunkin’ Donuts or a Starbucks, which people have also been asking for,” the Village President said.

While it’s nice to see some good economic news, I’d rather the town of Sugar Grove avoid the trappings of the big city, including the fast food chains and the mega coffee outfits.