Conservatives irked by extreme right-wingers Regarding ‘Ill’ Bill: Conservative article: Wow! Very powerful. Not making racist comments publicly can be a tricky task for some, because racism penetrates the subconscious mind, and then has this pesky way of slipping out inopportunely. But as Shrek the ogre says, “better out than in.” The evil empire of racism must be exposed. Those “slips” reveal a reality in conflict with one’s self-perceptions, perhaps contrary to one’s own conscience.

I’m a conservative, but I really don’t know what that means anymore. To me it means to, well, conserve. Conserve financial resources by spending less than comes in as taxes; spend it as frugally as in private business. Conserve natural resources through sustainable environmental practices. Conserve human resources by eliminating abortion.

The conservative movement had strong roots in academia (von Hayek, Russell Kirk, Leo Strauss, Thomas Sowell, Robert Nozick, or Gertrude Himmelfarb), but conservatism has been railroaded and its fundamentals distorted over time. So, I’m a conservative, to be sure ?” but the “pop” usage of the term is not an expression of what I am at all. Like Islam, it’s been hijacked!

My point in saying all of this is, if you took all the liberals and so-called conservatives, mixed ’em all together, then tried to sort ’em out, with a textbook conservatism as your gauge, all you have are varying shades of liberalism ?” Bill Bennett, Rush Limbaugh and President Bush included.

The Republican mechanism is liberally exploitive of the American people, now and for generations to come (i.e. national debt), but they are mere comrades to Democrats in that respect. Conservatism, truly, now that’s something altogether different from what we see in Republican Party leadership. They are no more conservative than I am Martian.

I’m not Democrat either (was once, but that’s another story); I’m just a conservative lost in a sea of liberalism. In three primary ways I am civically conservative: fiscally (tax less, waste less, gut government’s largess); culturally (anti-abortion, pro-capitalism, pro-Bill of Rights); and personally (voter, debater, father, husband, parishioner). I imagine many Democrats are also conservative like me.

Back on point: Great article, sir. Made me see something I would have totally missed, even if I had been there. Thanks.

Dr. Paul Ransdell
General manager,
Berea, Kentucky

Help keep a baby warm this holiday
It’s that time of year again. As you may know, each holiday season African Accents spearheads an effort to donate handmade quilts to the newborns in the Special Care Unit at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Our son, Emmanuel spent a month in that intensive care unit when he was born prematurely in 2002, and we would like to continue making donations in his name. We thank God that he is a happy, healthy little boy and will be three years old in December.

This year we want to donate at least 20 quilts, but we need all the help we can get to accomplish this ambitious goal.

If you would like to be a part of this rewarding experience join us for our fun and exciting quilting sessions. Bring your sewing machine if you have one, or use one of ours. Even if you don’t know how to quilt we will instruct you. It is really easy and lots of fun. We will provide everything you need.

Our first quilting session at African Accents, 5847 W. Chicago Ave. on Wednesday, November 9 at 12:30 pm. Harry Porterfield from ABC-7 News planned to be there to film us for his TV news segment called “Someone You Should Know.”

Please call us at 773/626-4497 and let us know if you can lend a hand.

If you would like to make a monetary donation to help purchase fabrics, batting, thread and trim it would also be greatly appreciated.

We thank you and Emmanuel thanks you!

Stacia & Malcolm Crawford
Owners, African Accents

Austin residents should look into heating assistance now
As Illinois faces record prices for natural gas, many families barely making ends meet will be stretched even further. Home heating bills could jump as much as 70 percent, costing the average family an extra $800 this winter. For low-income families and the elderly on fixed incomes, an extra $800 could mean a choice between food, medicine and heat.

Fortunately, there are state and federal programs available to help with heating costs. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides grants to struggling families to be used for heating bills. The Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program also helps low-income families lower their bills by providing maintenance such as window sealing and weatherstripping.

Staying warm this winter is important, and before anyone goes without heat, I urge them to contact my oflice to learn about these and other available options. Helpful tips and contact information can also be found at

Karen A. Yarbrough
State Representative, 7th District