I’m veering off topic again, partly for selfish reasons as I’m in dire need of a catharsis, and partly because it’s becoming too hard to ignore.  Bear with me.

If you’ve followed our blog for the last few months, you read about our trailer theft.  Since the theft, about 2 weeks later, we received a “red light” ticket in the mail.  The ticket was issued the night our trailer was stolen.  From the photo, you can clearly see it’s our trailer and our plates.  You can also see that the truck pulling the trailer is not ours.  We had yet another piece of evidence.  As the police explained to us, the red light camera took a photo of the back of the trailer/plates and wait for it, the camera also took a photo of the truck, driver and front license plate!  So, a ticket had also been issued to the driver (a.k.a. thief).  Now, of course, the police would not tell us where the other ticket had been sent; however, they did say our local police department could request a copy of the photo/video/ticket.  I really felt we might be getting somewhere.  Justice was, for a moment, just a subpoena away.  Alas, it has been over a month since this discovery, and we have again – nothing.  Frequent calls yield the same results.  Nothing.

Now, is it me?  Am I asking too much?  Am I asking the police to do something outside their responsibilities/capabilities?  I think not.  I think the problem is, I’m expecting too much, and that is a problem within itself.

Another local business owner, while performing a high-profile job in the city, fell victim to yet another theft, in broad daylight, in front of a crowd.  A van pulled up and stole a bunch of equipment from the job site.  The crowd began yelling at the thief who quickly took off.  The business owner chased the van, making sure to get a good description of the vehicle and most importantly the plate numbers.  The police were called to the scene.  The business owner proceeded to give the officer the details of the crime and vehicle, only to be patronized.  Patronized for thinking taking something that does not belong to you is a crime.  No, good readers, the officer on-site explained to the business owner that “everyone has to eat”.  That’s right.  Everyone has to eat –  thus forgiving the thieves and excusing them from their crime because the thieves will sell the equipment to make money, so they can feed their families.  The business owner will purchase replacement equipment, so the retailer can feed his family.  Are you following this line of thinking?  It’s disgraceful.  It’s disgusting, and it’s wrong!  If this is the mind set of America, then surely we all know what will follow.  Anarchy.  Anarchy.  Anarchy.  This is not what our forefathers had intended, and it’s not the America I know and love.

How about these teachers? Both CPS and Lake Forest teachers are on strike.  I can barely contain my anger, frustration and disappointment as I listen to their demands, their reasons for striking and holding out.  CPS got the money they wanted, during a recession nonetheless, but they do not want the accountability that comes with it.  They do not want to be evaluated as they know it will lead to job loss.  Sound familiar anyone?  If I don’t perform my job as expected, guess what, I’m fired.  This is lunacy.  This is heartbreaking, and don’t kid yourself for a moment that it’s all about the children.   They ditched that notion eons ago.  Am I generalizing here?  Yes, a bit.  I know there are good teachers.  I’ve met them.  I’ve worked with them.  I applaud them.

Our local school district, like many, offers free and reduced lunch programs for those in need.  I stress “for those in need”.  More than 50% of the local school district’s students are either on the reduced or free lunch program.  Over 50%!  When did it become the responsibility of the school/state to feed our children?  Where is the parental responsibility and pride?  I’ve met some of these “free lunch” parents.  They’re the same ones who drive fancy SUV’s, carry the latest smart phones and almost always have manicured nails.  What is happening?  I know there are truly some families in need, and I believe it’s our responsibility as a community to lend a helping hand – not the state’s.

On a final note, I thank you for allowing me to rant.  It’s not like you had a choice, I suppose, and if you were wondering, I am not better off now than I was four years ago, and neither, from what I have experienced, is our country.

“We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken,  society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American  precept that each individual is accountable for his actions”.

– Ronald Reagan

Best wishes,

Kim Sweeney