Discussing écrivain engagé, Andre Malraux with Smash McKenna at Keegan’s Pub during half-time of the Bears/Greenbay abortion, I quoted the author of La Condition humaine to make plain my point about the 4th Ward Alderman “There is always a need for intoxication: China has opium, Islam has hashish, the West has woman.”
It appears that Terry O'Brien will get the vote of many, many Cook County voters - nevertheless! Alas, as Andre Gide might offer!
As Mike Houlihan pointed out -
O’Brien has served as President of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, (MWRDGC), for 13 years and has served on the board of Commissioners for 21 years. He has overseen a budget in excess of $1 billion and runs one of the few government agencies in the State of Illinois to have an AAA bond rating from all three bond rating agencies.
O’Brien boasts of a “professional workforce”, because his employees are “hired for what they know and not who they know! They are required to take exams!”
Exams for public employees? Now that’s an idea that should strike fear into the heart of every loafer who ever picked up a paycheck from the county payroll. Maybe we should start holding exams for public office.
If an administrative exam were given for President of the Cook County Board could all the candidates pass? Would they ask to be graded on a curve? And who in the world would be grading these exams? Hopefully it wouldn’t be Todd Stroger’s cousin.
If Terry O’Brien can get his message out to all Cook County voters we might actually turn the corner on the ineptitude of the last few years. O’Brien represents the best opportunity for greater financial accountability and real leadership for the Cook County Board. He says, “I want to do for Cook County what I have done for the Water Reclamation District.”
It sure would be nice to wake up some morning next year and know that there is a professional in charge. If the electorate has the opportunity to learn more about Terry O'Brien, Cook County's days of misery may soon be over. Let's hope so.
Nevertheless the heady words of earnest activist polemicist Malraux popped out from my discourse - " Smash let me offer this from Malraux, 'The great mystery is not that we should have been thrown down here at random between the profusion of matter and that of the stars; it is that from our very prison we should draw, from our own selves, images powerful enough to deny our nothingness.'"
To which pipe-coverer McKenna cocked an eye-brow and rejoined, ” You poor simple Sonavabitch Hickey, it is not the need to feel proletarian that smokes our meats, but the “will” to be prolertarian – Toni Preckwinkle falls down manholes and your Little Flower cravat is in my Smithwicks.”