For the past few weeks, my wife and I have been out of the country -- in Greece and Spain to be specific. In every aspect, it was a wonderful trip. The scenery, the food, the people were all unforgettable.
And as all of you no doubt know, having conversations with people from another land usually reveals that we do have things in common. On this trip it was one thing in particular. -- I swear to you that I did not initiate discussions that led to this conclusion. But once our new friends determined that my wife and I were somewhat acquainted with world affairs and open to "foreign" views, they felt compelled to ask a burning question: "What in the world is your President Trump doing?!"
They were more than just curious or puzzled, they were deeply concerned, some even a bit frightened. Sadly, we had no answer to give them since we're in the same boat. I suspect that our puzzlement over our President gives us a common bond with people all over the world. -- What a legacy Donald Trump is creating!
But moving beyond that embarrassing reality, I want to pass on a few thoughts that visiting ancient lands stimulated. Any time you travel to places with such deep history, you hope you'll be rewarded with new insights, or at least strong reminders, of how we (the human race) got where we are today and perhaps receive some hints on where we could potentially be headed.
I know that no historian would ever state with certainty that he or she knows what precisely lies ahead for our nation and our world. Having just returned from viewing archeological digs of long-buried cities and crumbling remnants of former empires, I have no doubts that not too many years from now our world will look quite different from what we know today - for better or for worse. I'm holding on to the hope that "for better" wins.
That big changes are ahead for our nation and world is hardly a unique observation on my part. Technology alone is changing every society around the globe with breathtaking speed. Environmental change is, and has always been, another major factor in shaping a society's fate. On my trip I saw one really big example of that. And then there are the organized activities of people that can radically affect a society's future, usually through war. I saw examples of that too.
Twenty-five-hundred years ago, during the golden age of Athens, their populace no doubt thought the life they knew would last forever. (Their slave might have hoped for something else.) But years of war with Sparta, weakened Athens. Then Alexander's dad came down from the north to end their independence and they never regained it until quite recently. Today, the ruined remains of the Parthenon stand over downtown Athens as a majestic reminder of the impermanence of even great civilizations.
However, the place that left the strongest impression on me was in another part of Greece, on the island of Santorini. One thousand years before Athens' golden age, the Minoan culture thrived on the islands of Crete and Thera (Santorini).
On Thera, the city of Akrotiri had over 25,000 inhabitants. Located on the southern tip of the island, Akrotiri was a major seaport boasting buildings that were amazingly modern by our standards. Many were three stories tall with stuccoed walls, light wells and indoor plumbing. (Yes, the toilet was on the third floor with piping into a city system.) The walls of the homes were decorated with sophisticated paintings, and mosaic tile floors.
Until recently, archeologists were unaware of the existence of this place. It was only in the late 1960's that any of it was seriously explored. Today only 3% of the city has been uncovered but it has provided a trove of brilliantly preserved artifacts. So imagine, three thousand five hundred years ago there was a thriving Mediterranean civilization boasting skilled artists, architects, stonemasons, international merchants - a very advanced society. And it disappeared, literally overnight. What happened? The volcano at the island's center blew its top. (Some think this is the source of the legend of Atlantis.)
Certainly all those thousands of Therans, living a life that even by today's standards was comfortable and relatively modern believed that the life they knew would go on "forever." But an environmental catastrophe intervened and ended it all.
I guess what I'm saying is that no matter how certain we might feel that our way of life will be around for many generations to come, we shouldn't take anything for granted. The centuries of man-made and natural disasters remind us to avoid complacency. However, the creativity displayed by mankind over the centuries does keep giving us cause to hope. -- And as for the actions of our President Trump, he just keeps giving us and our friends around the world reasons to worry.
NTDO member since 1973
P.S. Last week a number of readers who use Comcast for their Internet connection may not have received the NTD News. The reason has something to do with Comcast blocking some messages that contain Internet links they suspect are junk solicitations. This has only occurred a few times. But to avoid this problem, we will be putting the full link address in future articles and ask readers to cut and paste the address into their browser.
If you didn't receive last week's NTD News, you can read it by going to the NTD website at ntdo.org. The commentary concerns the environment and contains some interesting facts.
On Friday Morning June 16 in Glenview,
our State Reps Gabel and Fine and our State Senator Biss
will hold their second end-of-session town hall meeting.
The Glenview Park Center
2400 Chestnut Ave.
9:30 am to 11 am in the Lakeview Room
Join Robyn, Laura and Daniel at this important town hall meetings to hear their views on what's been happening in Springfield.
Other upcoming events and news items:
Friday, June 9 through Sunday, June 11
Sunday, June 4 in Chicago --
Chicago Organizer Fair
: Sunday, June 4, 2017 from 1:30pm until 4:30 pm
: Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N. Lincoln, Chicago, IL, 60626
: Learn how to be an organizer. The theme of this event is how we build our organizations and how you can too. We'll have a panel discussion by the founders of the various grassroots organizations and will have political directors from various organizations talking about the collaboration between traditional political organizers and grassroots folks. Members of the community will have an opportunity to network and sign-up to volunteer with one of the organizations that match well with the kind of activism they would like to participate in. For more information, please visit
Stand Organized's website
Phone Banks in Highland Park --
for John Ossoff, Georgia Dem Candidate
(Choose your day and time)
: Saturday, June 10, 2017 from 10:00am - 1:00pm
: Tuesday, June 13, 2017 from 5:00 - 8:00pm
: Saturday, June 17, 2017 from 10:00am - 1:00pm
: Monday, June 19, 2017 from 5:00 - 8:00pm
Highland Park Democratic Headquarters - Moraine Township Democrats, 474 Central Ave., Highland Park, IL. Suite 200, 2nd floor above Mizuki Grill. Plenty of free parking in the lot a half-block to the east of the office.
What: Help turn Georgia's 6th Congressional District from red to blue on June 20.
For more information or to RSVP, contact Tenth Dems at
or call 847-266-VOTE (8683). Please bring a cell phone and laptop/tablet (if you have).
Or... This Saturday Afternoon, June 10 in Northfield
Flip a Georgia Congressional Seat with Team Brad
Saturday, June 10, 2017 from 1:00 - 4:00pm
Democrats of Northfield Township, Suite 310, 1926 Waukegan Rd., Glenview
Join Team Brad making calls into Georgia for Democrat Jon Ossoff. Early voting has already started, so we will be calling Democrats and encouraging them to vote early. Be a part of history and help send Jon Ossoff to Congress to work with Brad Schneider and other Democrats.
Please bring a charged laptop and cell phone.
This Friday, June 9 in Chicago --
The People's Summit with Senator Bernie Sanders.
McCormick Place, Chicago
What: People's Summit 2.0. A gathering of several thousand progressive activists with the theme, "Beyond Resistance: A People's Movement for a Just World." Keynote speaker: Senator Bernie Sanders. The event continues through Sunday, June 11.
For additional information or to register online, visit the People's Summit website.
Monday, June 19 in Chicago - A reception in support of
Congressman Bill Foster, Illinois 11th Congressional Districe.
Sen. Adlai & Nancy Stevenson, Marvin & Allison Brustin,
Bapu Arekapudi, Tony Augustine, Joe Carlasare, Michael Carter,
Kevin & Claudia Conlon, Judy & Mickey Gaynor, Christie Hefner,
Jim Holzhauer, Jim Klutznick, Don Lamb,
Howard A. Learner & Lauren S. Rosenthal,
Paul Lehman & Ronna Stamm, Karen Lennon,
William & Hon. Eleanor Revelle, Mark & Nikki Shields,
Hon. Debra Shore, Sheila Smith, Steve & Stephanie Victor,
Bernice Weissbourd, Mark Zivin, and Lois Zoller & Jim Mills
You're invited to an evening reception in support of Congressman Bill Foster
Monday, June 19th 6:00 - 7:30
The Home of Marvin and Allison Brustin
1040 N Lake Shore Dr, #12A, Chicago, IL 60611
$2,700 Patron: $1,000 Friend: $500 Supporter: $250
To RSVP contact Ben Huntley at (630) 310-6588 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Unable to attend but want to contribute? Go to:
Checks can be made payable to:
Bill Foster for Congress, P.O. Box 9104, Aurora, IL 60598
Contributions or gifts are not tax deductible. Bill Foster for Congress may accept contributions from an individual totaling up to
$2,700 for the 2018 Primary election and $2,700 for the 2018 General election. Federal law prohibits contributions to the
campaign from corporations, labor organizations, and national banks; from any person contributing another person's funds; from
foreign nationals who lack permanent resident status; and from federal government contractors. To comply with federal law,
we must use best efforts to obtain, maintain and submit the name, mailing address, occupation and name of employer for individuals
whose contributions exceed $200 per election.
Tuesday, June 20 in Chicago -- EMILY's List Cocktails for Change.
When: Tuesday, June 20, 2017 from 5:30 - 7:00pm
Joy District, 112 W. Hubbard St., Chicago
EMILY's List hosts a cocktail reception to ignite change in Chicago and across the country and put more Democratic women into office.
Carpools may be available from the North Shore - call Lauren Beth Gash at 847-266-VOTE (8683).
Register online (cut and paste to browser):
Saturday, June 24 in Winnetka --
Meet Daniel Biss, Candidate for Governor
When: Saturday, June 24, from 4:30 - 6:30pm
: Home of Nancy Pred and Wade Thoma (Winnetka, IL address given upon RSVP)
: Event for Daniel Biss, Illinois State Senator who is a candidate in the Democratic gubernatorial primary election.
For more information or to RSVP, please contact Liz or Lauren at RSVP@danielbiss.com or 773-372-6488
Have you visited Senator Biss' website "The Road Back" --
click on the link to his video -- then, throughout the summer follow his plan's development on the website.
Daniel explains a lot about how Illinois got where it is today and how we can begin the journey on the road back toward achieving our state's tremendous economic potential.
FYI: The NTDO Events Calendar
for the rest of 2017
June 23-24 GLENCOE SIDEWALK SALE
9 am-5 pm Downtown Glencoe
July 14 -15
WINNETKA SIDEWALK SALE
9 am-5 pm Downtown Winnetka
July 17 ANNUAL MEET AND GREET AVLI ESTIATORIO
566 Chestnut, Winnetka, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
July 22 -23 WILMETTE SIDEWALK SALE
9am-5pm Downtown Wilmette
Sept. 10 NTDO ANNUAL MEETING AND PICNIC
Lake View Room and Beach Pavilion 1 pm - 4 pm
Oct. 8 2017 NTDO ANNUAL DINNER
Maggiano's Old Orchard, Skokie, 5 pm-9 pm
Nov. (Date & Place TBA)
"HEAD START FOR 2018" CONFERENCE
All North Shore Democrats Invited
who represent New Trier Township in
Washington, Springfield and Cook County
You'll be hearing a lot from these exceptional public servants. --
And they want to be hearing a lot from you.
The fact is, they need to hear from you and want to hear from you in order to represent you most effectively. So, the first thing you can do is get to know who these people are. The links below to their campaign websites are a good place to start.
, 9th U.S. Congressional District Representative
and Chief Deputy House Democratic Whip. The new Ninth District boundaries include all of New Trier except for Glencoe.
, 10th U.S. Congressional District Representative which includes a number of precincts in Glencoe.
Julie Morrison, State Senator for Illinois' 29th State Senate District
State Senator for Illinois' 9th State Senate Distric
t.The Ninth District includes all of New Trier Township.
. The district includes New Trier's northernmost precincts.
IL 18th District State Representative
. The 18th District includes much of New Trier up to Hazel Avenue and Dundee Road.
, IL 17th District State Representative.
The 17th District includes the East Glenview and West Wilmette areas of New Trier Township.
IL 58th District State Representative.
The 58th District includes the northernmost precincts in Glencoe.
Larry Suffredin, Cook County 13th District Commissioner. The 13th District includes all of New Trier, Evanston and Niles Townships.
Dear Fellow Democrats,
If you are not already an NTDO member, and enjoy our Newsletter, we hope you consider joining us as a dues-paying member. NTDO is a not-for-profit political action organization. We depend on our membership dues to support our Democratic causes and candidates.
There are two options for dues payments: by check or credit card.
By Check: Make check payable to NTDO and mail to our office:
800 Oak St., Suite 112
Winnetka, IL 60093
By Credit Card: visit our website by clicking here
Click on the "Join/Contribute" button
Find the link for "contribute with ActBlue"
or go directly to ActBlue by clicking here.
|Still not a member of the New Trier Dems? Your participation in grassroots political action will make a difference. -- Come join us.
When you're a member of the New Trier Democratic Organization, you have an active role in affecting the political process; participating in grassroots campaigns, staying in touch with elected officials, playing a role in deciding which candidates are endorsed. You'll also gain free admission to select forums and events throughout the year.
Come be a part of New Trier's grassroots political community.
The New Trier Democratic Organization is made up of hundreds of grassroots volunteers dedicated to advancing progressive ideals through the political process. We welcome your participation.
Dean T. Maragos, Committeeman New Trier Township
We are located at 800 Oak Street, Suite 112, in Winnetka, IL. Ph: 847-446-8030
*This Internet communication paid for by the New Trier Democratic Organization and not authorized by any federal or state candidate or campaign committee. A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is available for purchase from the State Board of Elections in Springfield, Illinois.