December 15, 2008

It’s All About Power–From Chicago to New Hampshire

By Paul Bieber

Just as the news about Governor Greedy was breaking, I had the privilege of teaching a seminar at the Midwest Glass Show in Chicago. During dinner with some very informed Chicago glaziers, I learned that political power in Chicago is held by a few politicians who dictate who gets elected to what position, on what platform. Governor Greedy, who previously had the support of the power brokers, was going out on his own, trying to gain his own power spot and earn his life’s fortune by selling Mr. Obama’s Senatorial seat.

Governor Greedy embarrassed every Chicago resident, every Illinois family, all Democrats around the country, and the entire United States political system. All for the sake of getting more power and more money.

There were thousands of hard-working glaziers and owners at the Chicago show– people who work hard to run their businesses. They earn their power by building a business, serving customers and helping their co-workers. By participating in the trade show and the teaching seminars, they gave credence to the old aphorism: “Knowledge is Power”. By learning more about glass, metal and running a business, they will be back at their shops with greater power to earn and skills to share.

So, in Chicago I saw the worst of power grabbing and the best of power sharing.

Now to power in New Hampshire. We have power in selecting the Presidential candidates with our early primary. That’s it. I arrived home from Chicago into a freak snow and ice storm that left hundreds of thousands of homes without power (including mine). Since Thursday, my entire town, and many towns around, have no electrical power. No lights, no heat with wood stoves or fireplaces, no water to those with wells.

The real power is to the people who sell generators, which were sold out in the first few minutes of the storm. Our home has a small generator built in, so we have heat about twelve hours a day, limited lighting and water. When we turn off the generator at night, we have candles and flashlights, fireplaces and blankets.

It makes me realize that power is important, I wish I had some, and I would sell Governor Greedy down the river to gain his power at my house.