Our elections in Oak Park are surely a great futility. Along with golf, cheering for the Cubs and finding the perfect gift for your spouse, there is no greater pointlessness than voting in an Oak Park election.
I wish I had known Redd Griffin sooner. Redd died suddenly of a heart attack on Nov. 20. I will leave it to others who knew Redd much longer than I to remember for us the many, many contributions he made to his country, community, friends and family.
Since the mystical is inexpressible, there is nothing more to be said. I think Ludwig was on to something here. In any discussions involving religion, belief, faith, salvation and prayer, liberal use of "perhaps," "possibly," 'I hope," and "I'm not sure, but ..." would seem to be in order. Certainty is slippery in these matters.
Denis Diderot was the co-founder and chief editor of the French Encyclopedie published between 1751 and 1772. He wanted to incorporate all of the world's knowledge into a single reference and make it accessible to the public and future generations. Today we citizens of the Information Age smile at the quaint idea that all knowledge could be contained in a set of books.
In the 16 years I have been writing columns, the greatest reader response I ever received was to a couple of columns I wrote in the summer of 2011 about my oldest son's family's decision to move out of Oak Park. In those columns I discussed how race, crime, diversity, property taxes, income, schools, urbanity, tradition and personal preference all figure into the complicated decision of where a young family decides to live.
In any criminal justice system, there is often a direct relationship between the severity of the penalty and the frequency of the crime. If you increase the penalty, the crime rate will usually go down.
As the end of summer fades to the first cool nights of fall, we know it's almost time to get ready for a new school year. It's time to buy books, new clothes and get back to the nine-month routine. And if you're the District 200 Board Of Education, it's time to renew efforts to close the pernicious achievement gap between the white children and the African-American children.
I have been eager to discuss Anne-Marie Slaughter's provocative essay in the July/August issue of The Atlantic titled, "Why Women Still Can't Have It All," with some young working mothers, but they have been too busy to read the rather lengthy piece.
Earlier this month Oak Park was named one of the Top 10 Best Towns for Families by Family Circle magazine. Like the Best Cheeseburger in Chicago or The Fattest City in America (always somewhere in the South) these awards are either entirely subjective or based on cherry-picked metrics that are easy to manipulate. No one takes them seriously.