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Rural Requiem

Rural Requiem

By Kevin Gaither
Taking on the Toughest Issues, Listening to Voters Where They Live and Work
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"Both Parties Suck Here"
Coles County Board remarks in early August.  Earlier in the meeting, it became public information that County Board member Gail Mason had not only petitioned to be on the Democratic primary ballot for re-election, she had also decided to vote in the Republican primary. Doing so is an illegal act in Illinois.  It was this mind-blowing revelation that was a springboard for much of my commentary. I'll be laying out the case regarding Gail Mason when it is complete.
August 14, 2022
MTC: Vulnerability and Trigger Warnings
More to Consider. It's easy to attack trigger warnings. It's far more difficult to explore their origin story. Illustration by Nicholas Konrad/The New Yorker
August 14, 2022
Miller's Fruit of Nostalgia Plain
Excerpt: 'Politicians are known by their fruit. “Politicians are known by their votes and the policies that they promote, ” Miller went on to say. We know how she started her career on Capitol Hill. We know what she has voted to bring home to our district: Nothing at all. She’s the farmer that brings nothing to the farmer’s market but takes the biggest subsidy check home to cash anyways. She’s got to pay the nanny to homeschool her kids that yours are all going to hell.' I dive deep into the political divide, exploring the deep emotions that naturally erupt when lives and livelihoods are on the line. You will not want to miss this episode.
June 15, 2022
Who Owns the Second Amendment?
I don't shy away from tough issues and difficult conversations. This is one of those issues that you always bring up . . . or hate to hear someone talking about in the next room you're about to walk into before tasting some of what just was hauled out of the smoker out back.  Regardless of your position, or your assumptions on what my positions might be, I urge you to listen, and get engaged on this issue with an open mind again. Our constitutional rights are definitely at the heart of the struggle over the next half century. 
June 02, 2022
The Windows to Nowhere 2: Look Inside the Contract, 'Guaranteed Savings' and the History of a Board Member
You won't want to miss how much the Coles County Board missed in the contract they signed for $3.1 million dollars to replace the Coles County Courthouse windows. You won't believe the amount we are set to save per month. It's offensive. And, that's just the beginning of this continuation of our series on these Windows to Nowhere.  Last time, we began a history lesson in the 90s regarding County Board member Darrell Cox, who then brought a case all the way to the Appellate Court against the county. You won't believe the details and how it relates to today's $3.1 million Windows controversy. James DiNaso of the Concerned Taxpayers of Coles County is back for more of his sit down conversation with the Rural Requiem.
May 23, 2022
National Guard Shouldn't Sacrifice Education Over Schedule
We shouldn’t be asking the National Guard to sacrifice anything else at all. They shouldn’t have to sacrifice anything in their college and university education.  We need to be thinking more about how we can better serve each of them!
May 20, 2022
The Windows to Nowhere: Coles County's $3.1 Million Courthouse Catnip: Part ONE
Coles County Board Member, and former Sheriff, Darrell Cox, said everyone would benefit from these $3.1 million new courthouse windows. When the community finds out how much of their taxpayer money is being blown out the windows, quite literally, I think they will look a little bit harder into the history of some of their board members.  In this podcast, we explore the Coles County Board's engagement, or lack thereof, with the public, on the use of Covid ARPA funds on these windows, touching on recent and past history.  James Di Naso, a leader in the Concerned Taxpayers of Coles County, sits down with me to discuss their multi-year fight with the Coles County Board on property taxes, employee contracts, and now misuse of ARPA funds.  There are some jaw-dropping moments that will leave you wanting more. And, more is coming.  Here's a link to our public comments at the last county board meeting. 
May 18, 2022
The $3.1 Million Windows the Coles County Board Just Knows You Need
It couldn't fall any further from the tree before you begin to wonder if it wasn't fruit to begin with.  There were bridges to nowhere long before there were windows to see how out of touch a county board could truly be. On one side, you meet James Di Naso, one of the leaders of the Concerned Taxpayers of Coles County. He has been at Coles County board meetings for 6 years. Here is his public comment from this month's meeting, which took place this Tuesday. And, then, there's me. I am there noting the abysmal record as the board wants to silence any critics before they have time to reconsider.  And, they should, and would be applauded for doing so.  Who thinks replacing windows with about a 1/3 of the funds is helping address any of our lingering pandemic malaise while inflation burns us nearly everywhere we turn?  Keep watch here for a round of podcasts about Coles County Board's $3.1 million windows. James sat down with me earlier today for a 3 hour recording session. You do not want to miss what we both discovered when we put our heads together. If you aren't paying attention to our local elected officials and what they are doing with millions of taxpayer dollars, you will want to start digging to find out what is going on in your own community.  Drop me a line if you want to join the conversation!  These were LIVE recordings of public events, so apologies for some of the extraneous noises. I softened them up a bit, but didn't want to lose the county board members that at least engaged our comments. As a side note, there were comments I stripped out in between our comments. I didn't leave them out for any personal or professional reason. I simply wanted to showcase James and myself ahead of our series of podcasts on the misuse of ARPA funds by the Coles County Board.  Thank you!
May 14, 2022
Roe Falling, Filibusters, and County Board Broken Windows
I cannot believe that some Progressive Democratic House members are yet again calling for the Senate's filibuster to be nuked in order to force through a narrow vote on a pro-choice rights bill. Makes no sense.  Here, I have a conversation about this century's filibuster history, intermingled with rural county board broken logic regarding pandemic relief funds, $3.1 million out of $9.8 million to be spent on Coles County Courthouse windows. If anything says they're out of touch with helping people who have struggled through a pandemic, it's the windows they'll be looking through on Election Day.
May 11, 2022
Mary Miller Was 'Right' About One Thing
So, don’t blame Mary Miller. Blame the culture that dangles a character such as Graven in front of a Miller, providing a shelter from seeing the direct results of all actions and definitive non-actions. That culture is often a beast we feed daily. We often lend it our ears, and spread it by mouth. 
May 07, 2022
A Necessary Conversation about America, Suicide, the Military, Culture, and Mental Health, with a Special Guest.
This candid exploration of suicide in America's military since September 11th leads into a broader conversation about our culture's political and tangible human failures in the realm of mental health. It's a tough conversation. Be prepared to face an honest exchange of perspectives, painful experiences, and difficult lessons learned.
May 05, 2022
A Preview of a Talk on Mental Health, Suicide, and Unfunded War
The first 10 minutes of this podcast are as raw as they are jaw dropping . . .  It will leave you needing to hear the rest of the conversation.
May 04, 2022
Don't Burn Down the Library: Full Version
Earlier version was missing the first 10 or so minutes. Here you go.  Outrage and the need to eradicate the voices of others is not owned by either fringe. Both sides want to burn the library. They just have different reasons.
April 30, 2022
Don't Burn Down the Library
Outrage and the need to eradicate the voices of others is not owned by either fringe. Both sides want to burn the library. They just have different reasons. 
April 29, 2022
Debating Inflation with Blamers
Debate primarily to learn. What are the chances the person you debate will ever change their position? Exactly. It's the other people that matter.
April 21, 2022
High Price of Gas: Solutions or Anger Only?
The politicians that focus on stoking anger and anxiety in voters about gas prices seek to bring out the worst in us.
February 22, 2022