Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Bias, Liberalism and Pacifists

“In the end, what difference does it make what one candidate did or didn’t do during the Vietnam War? In some ways, that war is as distant as the Napoleonic campaigns.” Yet nine days later Dan Rather was reporting on Mr. Bush’s National Guard service as if it were the story of a lifetime. Once Mr. Rather’s statements were proven false, he said “I want to say personally and directly, I’m sorry” for the story and CBS “can no longer vouch for the authenticity” of the article. (Source WSJ 9/21/04.) Media Bias, you bet!! Had this “boo-boo” been less of a major story, it would have just been another “biased” report made daily by liberal writers and verified by the newspapers that publish their liberal views.

“With the rise of the middle class and a broader prosperity, envy became a diminishing factor in the psyche of the Democratic Party. By the 1960’s, pacifism replaced envy as the defying trait of the social democratic identity. After all, the Democratic Party leadership became dominated by affluent, anti-war activists while the rank-and-file Democrats remained real-world tradesmen. But no matter: Rich Democrats and their accountants know how to avoid paying higher taxes while raising those of the working class.

The declining significance of class envy also transformed the Republican Party. As the GOP became less a gentlemen’s-club-only and more muscular in it’s world view, it became more disciplined, disaffected realists of all economic stripes, most notably Democrats such as Ronald Reagan, William Bennett, Lawrence Kudlow and the whole “neoconservative” movement.” (Excerpts from a “Letter to the Editor” WSJ author, Richard Reay, 9/04.)

Since I have written about the rise of socialism in our country, I must also express my concern about the rise of pacifism in the United States as well as Europe. This is obvious in many of the articles appearing in “Letters to the Editors”, in most printed media and voiced on certain TV stations. You will have determined by now, I am not a believer that terrorists, or most any aggressor, will be stopped by the citizenry being passive. (Definition of passive - rejecting the use of force as an instrument of policy.) Armed terrorists, many of whom have an education but misinterpret the Koran, Bible or other religious documentation or beliefs, lead uneducated and ignorant people to kill themselves along with innocent people and most types of pacifism has ever worked with when dealing with terrorists and their followers..

A picture in the Times magazine dated 9/13/04 show an armed and masked terrorist leading a group of 10 to 14 year old boys. There leadership is teaching them to kill all who disagree with them, even their own people, and to enslave their women after they become old enough to marry. You believe that pacifism will turn these people into moderates? Moderates did not turn commercial airlines into missiles and fly them into buildings on 9/11. The World War of Terror was not started by moderates. Moderates, through negotiation, will not bring and end to this war. Moderates and pacifists have not stopped the terror that goes on every minute in our own country.

Her is an excerpt from the Journal Star and The Associated Press dated 8/26/02, “More than 6 million in corrections system, one out of every 32 adults in the United States were behind bars or on probation or parole by the end of 2001.

Get real!! The world was never a “safe” place. While you keep spilling your ignorance in “Letters to the Editors” and peace marches I suggest you read World, Mideast and American History. Or did you never hear of World War I and II, of Hitler, Pearl Harbor, the Holocaust, our own not so Civil War, the terror of settling our country?

Try not to blame the current leadership for all hatred of us by other countries. These countries are still in the “envy” stage and have no middle class and prosperity. When we help force and lead them to a more democratic form of government, with a middle class and prosperity, only then will our world become safer but never safe.

I close with this thought “liberalisms inability to identify any moral absolutes leaves it adrift” (Source Anonymous)

Friday, September 24, 2004

Whatever Happened to Free Enterprise?

“Government, by going outside its proper province, has caused many, if not most, of the problems that vex us.” (Ronald Reagan, 11/10/1977, Hillsdale College Campus)

Whatever happened to free enterprise?? It’s being covered up by the slow slide to socialism. In a Letter to the Editors in the JS in 1998, I wrote “Daily, we let the government take over more of our responsibilities as we slide into socialism. Maybe the building of so many sports stadiums, movie theaters and viewing arenas has made us passive. The government is seizing every opportunity to expand our dependence on them”. This is happening on every level where bureaucracy is tax supported. Today, I would add zoos, museums and civic centers to the list of passive events that “entertain” us. History said the Emperors gave the publicans “circuses”. This will keep the public entertained so they won’t notice what is going on.

So the City of Peoria, will one day own the Hotel Pere Marquette because Caterpillar, the Mayor and some council people want this hotel saved!! And our State Representative Dave Leitch supports Caterpillar because Caterpillar is one of his major financial contributors. Leitch says “bailing out the Pere is a no brainer”!! And our Mayor dances around the subject but everyone who cares knows our Mayor supports this taxpayer funded subsidy. He has received and will receive again backing for his upcoming mayoral campaign, from some of the parties who stand to benefit from his stance. Nothing wrong with that but the voter should know who makes the bigger contributions and let the voter and taxpayer figure out the whys. And the City Manager who is new in town knows the golden rule “those who have the most gold, rules”.

Peoria, wake up!! Your current leadership is failing you. Your money is being used to subsidize businesses with your tax dollars; these subsidized businesses that are your competitors in what should be capitalist and free enterprise. Every bureaucracy in town is trying and succeeding in expanding their base of power with your money. The City is already spending millions of your tax dollars to just study the buyout of the water company. Soon, they will be in the hotel business. Then what next?

If the current Civic Center is doing such a great job, why is the Hotel Pere Marquette failing? The Pere is only one block away from the Civic Center. And why is the Mark Twain not filled up every night? I can show you quotes that people made as they were asking for your dollars to support the RiverPlex, Ball Park, Gateway Center, One Technology Plaza, and other city subsidized projects, saying how paying visitors and businesses would flock to our downtown areas and new businesses would spring up around these new projects. We may have the numbers of visitors but I don’t see the dollars.

Look at all the vital needs in our community, that are barely, if at all, being met while the city invests your money in projects beyond their level of expertise, that compete against the private sector, do not attract higher paying jobs and raise our taxes beyond reasonable levels.

Am I the last of a “dying breed” as one journalist put it? For the sake of the future, I hope not!

I write these “blogs” as a citizen living in the City and County of Peoria. I remind you that in a socialist society, the ones working behind the scenes are always the wealthy and the people “fronting” for them have positions of power and control which the “front” people accept instead of wealth. Again I say, wake up, Peoria. I’ve read about and experienced enough life to clearly see the directions we are being led and I protest as best I know how. Please support me where you feel I am right!

I leave you with this Dilbert saying with some liberties. (Government or subsidized bureaucracy): “if you buy our system, it will pay for itself in three years”. (Taxpayer) “Approximately how much does it cost”? (Government or subsidized bureaucracy) “It’s hard to say, it depends on many factors”. As a private business, take that to the bank when you are seeking a loan and see how far you get!

Thanks for your support!

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Shoppes at Grand Prairie and the Promenade

Some famous and not so famous quotations:

“I really didn’t say everything I said.” (Yogi Berra)

Now let’s go back to what people where saying about the proposed Promenade Shopping Mall in 1999.

“The total ultimate taxpayer cost of the mall (Promenade) as proposed by the Agreement between the City of Peoria and the developers, will be about $99,930,000.00. If the Agreement were amended to remove the City’s obligations to provide on site improvements and Sales Tax Rebates, as recommended in E and F of above, the total taxpayer cost would still be $70,900,000.00.” (Bob McCord, President and Board Chairman, Illinois Mutual Insurance Company, 11/24/99)

“I suggest this community should let their elected officials know how they feel about all the ways Peoria can grow and still be affordable.” (Merle Widmer – PJS 1999)

“Bottom line for me is that that this project represents real investment in and real job opportunities for this community. Very few opportunities of this magnitude are offered to cities: let’s not miss it.” (Jan Wright Vergon, President of Illinois Business Publishers 11/30/99)

“8.23% of Peoria households, that’s 17,246 people here, receive some public assistance. The Promenade will create entry level jobs that will help with the transition of unemployed people into the workforce. It would be hard to imagine that anyone would be against the advances this (Promenade) has for the Peoria area.” (Sandy Moldovan, President, Clark Engineers, 11/30/99.)

“Our market studies indicate that the Promenade development would cause a significant sales transfer from Bergner’s Sheridan Village store.” (Paul E. Ruby, senior vice-president, Milwaukee based Saks, Inc. owner of Bergner’s)

“The results of too many stores chasing too few customers are clear. All you are doing is going after market share from other stores” (Daniel Nordstrom, Co-President, Nordstrom Department store, WSJ 5/28/1996)

“It’s a vast, zero sum game. They rob the public of funds that could be used to pay for better schools and roads.” (Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor, 11/21/99, JS)

“I’m convinced that the strategy of the opponents of this project (Promenade) is to confuse, divide, delay and ultimately conquer. They’ve done a pretty good job at it.” (Then Mayor Bud Grieves, 8/8/99, Observer) In a headline in the JS dated approximately 12/20/99, then Mayor Grieves is quoted after the council declined to go along with his proposed $35.2 million mall-assistance package, “it’s the same as killing it. I think you know that.” (Addressing the city council when they voted 7-4 to delay a decision until 1/11.2000)

In a story in the Observer on 8/8/01, writer DeWayne Bartels said the developer was asking the city to rebate two-third of the property, sales and utility taxes generated for the project. (Promenade)

An ad appeared in the Journal Star on 11/29/99 listed the City Council people who were pro-subsidy as being of course Mayor Grieves, Charles Grayeb, John Morris Camille Gibson and Christopher Duncan. Morris and Grayeb are still on the City Council. Eric Turner is listed as undecided. Jim Ardis who is running for mayor was shown as against the tax subsidy.

“I believe District 150’s risk in this project is much greater than any other participant.” (Bradley University professor Robert Scott, JS, 1999)

So what happened back in 1999-00? The Promenade was not built so the developer came back with a new project on the same site now known as the “Shoppes at Grand Prairie.” Lo and behold, the Shoppes were built with some but not nearly all the subsidies requested when the project was to be developed as the Promenade.

You have some extremely important elections coming. You will be tested to determine who is pro-growth at any cost and those who want to keep the community affordable. I have earned the disdain of some of the leadership of this community by my support of the capitalist form of government, who believes in not subsidizing one competitor in favor of another. I believe most in this community agree with me but by the clever manipulation of facts, some leaders, especially on the Chamber of Commerce Committee and the Journal Star, try to paint me as anti-growth. I also earned the undying disdain of the developer who stood to make millions of dollars more at taxpayer’s expense.

When I was first elected to the County Board, this developer wrote me a letter reminding me that I won by a small majority. Wonder who she will support for President, since Bush also won by a small majority?

“The fault of our cities are not the fault of decadence or impending decline, but exuberant vibrancy crowding it’s way forward with tremendous pressure” (author unknown)

Consider this as a lead in to my next subject “the Pere”, and one day I will tell the complete saga of the Riverplex and all those who are involved in trying to cover up the “facts.”

Note the article about the Riverplex in the JS by Sarah Okeson today. Note that she says “membership” not memberships!! Big difference, my friend has 9 members on one paying membership. If the Riverplex figures are correct, remember that one-third of the members or memberships are still free. I stand by my figures for 2003, $6,000.00 to $7,000.00 a day losses. Page 59 of the 2003 Park Financial statement shows a loss of $577,171.00 by the Riverplex fitness partner. Add in the other half the Park is responsible for and it totals $1,154.000.00 loss plus the approximately $850,000.00 principal and interest which the Park now says should not be figured in the cost of the Riverplex. Then you still have the $135,000.00 of operating expense for the Riverplex buried in a new $3,000,000.00 plus new bond issued in January, 2004. Then you have to guess what amount was credited by the park to the RiverPlex to reimburse them for the one-third free members. Not hard to figure!!

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Elections - Subtle Falsehoods and Outright Lies

Elections; Subtle Falsehoods & Lies

As Election Day draws near, swing voters will need to determine who is telling the most “subtle falsehoods or the most outright lies.” I’ll use an election in March, 2003 in which I unsuccessfully ran for the Presidency of the Peoria Park District. Here are excerpts from quotes from Gary Martin of Martin-Fager Communications on 2/22/03:
“The Park District takes a minute percentage of local property taxes”. Fact- the Peoria Park District collected $11,786,827.00 in property taxes last year!! Hardly minute!!
“While Widmer has served on the Peoria County Board, its taxes have increased by 25 percent. Curious, isn’t it?” Fact –“Peoria County lowered their 2002 tax rate compared with the year before, while other taxing districts, including the Peoria Park District raised their rates.”(Jennifer Davis, Peoria Journal Star reporter)
“In fact, the Riverplex is far ahead of projection” Quote from Gary Martin on 2/22/2003.
Fact: Riverplex Financial update (9/18/2002) from the Peoria Park District showed the Riverplex lost $1,187,845.00 for the period ending 2001 actual not including scholarships!!
Fact: The Riverplex is losing between $6,000.00 to $$7,000.00 a day according to the 12/31/03 Park Financial report and is rumored to be losing even more this year.
On 11/16/01, Reporter Jennifer Davis wrote that Merle Widmer voted against the Peoria County 2002 budget which did include a .07 percent property tax rate hike.
On 4/2/02, reporter Jennifer Davis quoted Peoria County Administrator Pat Urich as saying “the lion’s share of what we spend is under the control of bodies that are outside our control. (Sheriff, Recorder of Deeds, Circuit Clerk, Treasurer, ect.) I control only 37 percent of the total budget.” That is correct.
Fact: When I was elected to the County Board in 2000, the County had gone through 5 administrators in 8 years. (Reporter Jennifer Davis, JS, 11/24s/02.
Fact: Patrick Urich was selected as County Administrator at approximately the same time I was elected to the Board. Under Mr. Urich’s leadership and the County Board’s direction, we have chosen to have a “financially solvent” county government as our top goal. We are succeeding.
Fact: At no point did I vote for any tax raise and it is not my intention to be voting for any property tax rate raise as long as I remain on the Peoria County Board.

Now back to Gary Martin. Why did he successfully assassinate me with Letter to the Editor in both the Journal Star signed just “Gary Martin” and a letter to the Observer where the Editor at least printed the name of the company who he represented? Keep reading and you be the judge.

Martin-Fager is the major supplier of communication equipment to the Peoria Park District. Martin-Fager Communications was paid $15,546.12 by “Friends of Tim Cassidy” to handle the promotion of the incumbent Park Board President, Tim Cassidy, in the 2003 election. Mr. Cassidy was reelected and “rumor” has it that Martin-Fager is still the major supplier of communication services to the Peoria Park District.

Log on to this site to learn the “stories behind the stories.”

I leave you with this thought. “A big lie is more plausible than the truth. People tend to believe that.”

Monday, September 13, 2004

Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce

Some conceptions and misconceptions about the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce:

It is not a free standing operation. It operates under the umbrella of The Heartland Partnership.

It by no means represents the opinions of many businesses who are members.

It often represents “special interests groups.” These groups make certain that they have the right people on the Board of Directors.

Even though they are under The Heartland Partnership, the Chamber has their own Progressive Political Action Committee. This group not only recommends candidates but often times support them with money. For example during my campaign for Peoria Park District President, this group gave $2,000.00 to my opponent. After all, all I had done for area was to establish a business in Peoria, pay large amounts of sales taxes and meet a payroll up to ninety employees while occupying 73,000 sq. ft of space in Peoria alone. My opponent was partner in a small law firm and President of a tax collecting body, who collected over $11,000,000.00 of your tax dollars last year.

Three months after my opponent was reelected to office, Roberta Parks, Vice President of the Chamber stated that the Chamber had run out of money to continue supporting an advertising campaign called “It’s All Right Here”, which was to promote growth in this area. (JS 7/8/03)

Interesting!! Guess they didn’t like my position on spending $800 Million dollars on the Highway to Chicago. More details on the money apparently wasted on studying this dubious but highly Chamber touted project later. (Close to $10,000,000.00 just for studying.) Remember the favorite whine of the JS and the Chamber as they attempted to discredit me was, “and he didn’t support the highway to Chicago.”

While I was brought dollars into the community (I sold my business in 1992), my Chamber supported opponent was seeking an assessed property valuation reduction for a prominent west side client of his, a reduction of $2,790,714.00 and he was asking that a decision be made without holding a hearing. Then he later filed without allowing the Board of Review to testify and cross examine himself at a hearing and asked the decision be made by the PTAB without holding a hearing. Election records show that my opponent received a sizeable contribution to his campaign from this client. What I am saying is all a matter of public record, the Editorial Board of the Journal star knew about it but didn’t think it was of any interest to the voter. I believe, based on the Journals past history, had it been me, they would have made it a story.

Anyway, for various good reasons, Peoria County was not a member of the Chamber when I was elected is and not likely to be during the remainder of my term on the County Board. By the way, The Peoria Chamber of Commerce committees are a matter of public record and there are many good community people serving the Chamber. Then again, remember what I said about “special interests” and those in power.

Now you know a little more about what the Chamber does and how they operate, which might explain the whys about some of my previous posts. Remember the old saying “no good deed goes unpunished”

Friday, September 10, 2004

Rick Baker Remembered

Remember Rick Baker? I certainly do. He was a great individual and an excellent writer for the Journal Star. His untimely death created much sadness in the community and created a journalist gap that has never been replaced by the JS. On May 21,1980, Rick wrote “Dealing with state government can at times be like dealing with an enormous, all powerful dolt that simply won’t listen to reason” His article was entitled “Peoria Businessman Tackles State Over Unpaid Bill.” My company had unfortunately received an order from the State of Illinois and when the State unpacked the merchandise, they discovered one item slightly damaged. They would not pay the bill until my company replaced the damaged part. We promptly reordered the part which we had to pay for it because the trucking company had a receiving copy signed by the State that the merchandise was received in good condition. In the meantime the period of time in which the State had to pay their bill to my company elapsed and I was told by law I must hire an attorney to sue the State for payment. This was despite the fact that the State did not deny they owed the money. A year and two letters from then Governor Jim Thompson, who while agreeing with me, stated I still had to sue the State to collect. Baker then wrote his article on my behalf saying “These millions of dollars are being withheld from businessmen who are paying high interest rates on the money while it sits in limbo.”

More than a year later, with help from our local representatives, Prescott Bloom, Mary Lou Sumner and Fred Schraeder, we got paid but lost money on the order.
My local support group working with a Chicago Law firm eventually got the law changed to make sense, no credit to Thompson and an arrogant attorney by the name of Tim Johnson who said “you are only attempting to beat attorneys out of business rightfully due them and that “young” attorneys need the business.” I believe this guy is still being elected each year to Springfield and we wonder why the State is in such a mess!! By the way, Johnson later made the Champaign-Urbana, (he at that time represented that area) newspapers showing a paper clip stuck in his personal voting device so that it would always show he voted whether he was present or not. Terry Bibo asked me for this clipping a few years ago. She never returned the clipping nor never mentioned it in her column. Bibo who was married to Baker at the time of his death also failed to act when I gave her information that some of the Social Clubs in Peoria were hiring a company to solicit funds for their clubs with only 10% of the receipts going to the club and the solicitor keeping 90%. Maybe silence is better because the Journal Star is also a solicitor and suspicion might be cast on where all the money donated to the JS Christmas Fund goes.
If JS has ever issued a public accounting, I apologize but I’ve never seen it. Someone help me out on this one. Maybe Barbara because I gave her the same facts I gave Terry.

Why am I bringing some of these issues up? Because “blogging” gives the little people like me a voice, (albeit small), to compete with media who buy their ink by the barrel and paper by the railcar load. Also, because I am now in County politics and I want to know when County government uses their power to lock out the voice and rights of the people.

Also, the name Big Jim came up and brought back some sour memories. I’ve been around long enough to bring up a few more over the next few months.

Fortunately, most people in politics try to do well by their constituents, back then it was politicians like Sumner, Schraeder, Fred Tuerk and competent and missed, Prescott Bloom.

I close with this quote “We not only praise individual liberty, but our Constitution has the unique distinction of ensuring it”. (Charles Evans Hughes)

Peoria School District #150

In response to a second guesser, Abraham Lincoln said “Be assured, dear sir, there are men who think you are performing your part as poorly as you think I am performing mine”. Today he would have said “men and women and others” to be politically correct.

CY, the Cynic, was asked, “Does it bother you to be called a cynic”? “No way,” CY replied. “The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by people who lack it.” Anyway, I’m an Optimist. I even belong to the Noon Optimist Club that meets every Tuesday around 11:30 at Barracks Catering located on Pioneer Parkway. Our motto is “Friends of Youth”, and as program chair this month, I invited Peoria School District 150 newest seated board member, Mary Spangler, to be our speaker. Her subject was “Moving Forward.” Bob Carruthers, was Mary’s guest. Bob has returned to Dist 150 as Head of Student Affairs and he also addressed us. Both speakers sincerity left us optimistic about the future of our cities public schools. On Tuesday, September 28, “Chuck” Fabish, Interim Superintendent will be our speaker and his topic will be “Education First in District 150.” Our meetings are open to the public and potential members have their delicious buffet paid for by the club on their initial visit.

A lot of decision makers at District 150 appear to be “working on the same page.” This is refreshing. My experience with Chuck & Ken and the majority of the Board members, makes me believe that Principals will be given more authority and the voices of good teachers will be heard. Better discipline and more parental involvement are some of their major goals. They believe that all kids should be given the same opportunity, and the tools they need to achieve, but acknowledge that not all kids are going to go to college and hold white collar jobs. I believe that they will be putting a greater emphasis on developing skills that will make more kids hirable and, when ready for parenthood, better parents

Quoting from an article written by Rod Paige, Secretary of Education and appearing in the 7/15/04 edition of the Wall Street Journal, “Millions of children have been pushed through the school system in years past with little regard as to whether they have learned.” None of my friends believe in social promotion. I believe most board members and Regional Superintendent Dr. Jerry Brookhart, do not agree with “social promotion”. Secretary Paige, a lifelong member of the NAACP further states “Sadly, the current NAACP leadership has managed to take a proud, effective organization in a totally new direction: naked partisan politics, pure and simple.” He could be speaking about the direction of the local organization leadership. Fortunately, my African-American friends say that the local NAACP seldom speaks from their viewpoint.

Maybe under new leadership and more diversity training, everyone responsible will get on the same page and the perception of Peoria Public Schools will be such that newcomers will want to reside in urban Peoria.

I leave this site with this thought – “self esteem isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, as a brief recounting of Ex-Senator Bob Torricelli’s career would usefully illustrate, it can be a huge part of the problem.” “Time Magazine 10/14/02.)” I mention this because the “modern educator” went overboard on this subject, setting Peoria and the whole country a large step backwards. I was always taught “self esteem” was something you earned and not just given. I hope the new and old District 150 School System administration agrees!!

Wednesday, September 08, 2004


If you are viewing my postings for the first time, I urge you to log on my first posting titled “in the beginning” which is found by logging on “archives” and scrolling forward to this posting.

To those interested in why I am using my retirement time to research and do these postings, I offer these thoughts, statements and visions:

As a resident, business owner and politician in Peoria area for the past 40 years my vision of this community is the same as the majority of those who live here; good schools, libraries, churches for all denominations, varieties of recreational facilities from youth to seniors, well maintained parks with amenities, modern museums and unspoiled waterways. Jobs paying a living wage and affordable housing are absolute necessities.

Many of us will retire here. We don’t want to see our neighborhoods, our city or county deteriorate. We don’t object to paying reasonable taxes to achieve these visions. We know it takes money to provide public safety, good roads and streets, waste disposal and other vital services. We must stay informed and involved in what our elected officials are doing for us or to us and pay attention to what is going on in our community is it really needed and, more importantly, how are we going to pay for it?

“Government of the people” means all the people have the right of input into the decision making process by our elected officials. We must be certain that those we elect to positions of power don’t lock us out of power. Elected officials must respond responsibly to the greater demand for our tax dollars. That is why I try to provide leadership on community issues where I feel qualified and informed.

I support the orderly growth of all communities in Peoria County and the rebuilding and expansion of our older neighborhoods, all with easy access to public services and conveniences.

I’ve been outspoken about the conditions of our roadways and put maintenance of exiting roads and highways over new roadways that are not proven to be worth their cost. I do not put steel, asphalt and concrete over development of the “whole person”. This development is done within our families and with family involvement in our most important resource, our school systems. A 2001 article by JS writer Omar Sofradzija quoting David Hartgen, director of the transportation department at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, reads as follows, “There are hundreds of cities that are growing rapidly without (superior) highway access". Highway access is a key. It’s not the key to most cities’ futures. Fix your roads? No. Fix your schools”.

I have written and spoken many times about what are the priorities of this community and strongly believe that many who are in positions of power, are putting their own desires ahead of community needs. My postings have already called attention that we are spending too much time and money on amenities and not enough on necessities such as education.

This leads into my next posting “Forward Peoria School District #150”

I close with these thoughts: “Schools need to discover a person’s talent and then seek the best outcomes to develop these talents. Developing these talents does not necessarily mean creating a rocket scientist”.

Friday, September 03, 2004


Someone was speaking about an ex-(thank goodness!!) councilwoman who is greatly concerned about our riverfront. Guess her concern hasn’t done much good. Her accomplishments on the council in years past weren’t much either. Look at our riverfront today. I haven’t heard many compliments from visitors coming in from the East side! Mike Bailey of the JS recently called attention to the empty buildings and money losing taxpayer supported structures that aren’t even aesthetically pleasing.

Many years ago I inquired with Michael McKnight, (I believe at that time he was in planning and zoning), about relocating in the downtown area. Mr. McKnight said I should go talk to James Polk because that was his district. Hmmmm. Then somehow, this councilwoman who is now active on the Riverfront Commission got involved. When I appeared before the council, she said she didn’t want “big” trucks running around the downtown streets. So I moved my business further out. It’s now way out on Allen Road where the new owners moved it a few years ago.

A couple of years ago this ex-councilwoman told me she couldn’t vote for me because I didn’t support the downtown area. (I’m told her husband is also thinks highly of me.) Wouldn’t know him if I saw him and I don’t remember anything he did for Peoria either.

In earlier articles, I said I would probably not be politically correct and I didn’t suffer fools gladly. And speaking of fools, someone posted a “three word” comment on a post I made that alluded to the Peoria Park District. I suspect it’s the same person, (who does have a limited vocabulary, “yes mam” which is only two words), who was in the area the day my Sharp Viewcam Camera disappeared from a Park bench where I left it minutes earlier... On this camera were anniversary pictures as well as pictures of a couple of the PPD finest managers in action. Hope this person enjoys looking at my wife. Might as well stop by and pick up the carrying case and accessories. You’ll be welcomed!!

Talk to you next week. Have a great Labor Day weekend!!

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Keyes Revisted

WMBD TV visited me this morning, no, I don’t call them, they call me. I really enjoy their representatives. Today it was the talented and attractive Liza & their very competent and business like photographer, Ben. They sought my opinion regarding Alan Keyes the Maryland carpetbagger and now candidate for election to be the U.S Senator from Illinois. I was asked my opinion on comments Keyes made this week on satellite radio. While I did not personally hear what he said, I know his platform. I believe in some parts of his program, but his far rights leaning on some issues are disturbing not only to me, but to most of my Republican friends.

I am a lifelong member of the Republican Party. However, I do not take sides saying it’s “them against us” as most Republicans and Democrats do. I have seldom voted a straight ticket. Who I will vote for in November? I do not know. I will not vote for Keyes just because John Shimkus from Collinsville said “He’s our nominee; I don’t walk away.” Shimkus, Hastert and Syverson, believe he was the right candidate. Senate Republican Leader Frank Watson states “I think we would have a certain comfort level in most of downstate. He sings our song.” Republicans, you are overdue to get more inclusive representation on your Central Committees!!

What has happened and is happening is that many voters, certainly including Republicans as well as Independents; feel left out of the decision making process and only voice their opinions to their friends and their coffee cups. So the decision making process is left to those who do step forward. Many times they are die hard people who never vote for or work with anyone who has some different viewpoints or who belongs to a different party. They form a type of clique who is unanimous on almost candidate or issue. Republicans who are not in this select group are listened to, (sometimes, I think) but they are basically locked out of the decision making process. Since many Republicans and Democrats and Independents are basically the same, it’s easier to believe that their “leaders” are doing the best for all and vote the candidates their Central Committees recommend. PAC’s attached to the Chamber of Commerce, unions and other organizations whose members serve, representing some type of special interest, ask that you support their picks. Unfortunately, they have the money and the power to influence our vote.

I believe that until more moderate and neo-moderate people like myself, get involved in at least some of the process besides just voting, your choice in the voting booth will continue to limited.

That’s the case here. I’m not sold on Obama. I might write in Jack Ryan even though I always thought he was a little arrogant. Subtle falsehoods and outright lies arise in divorce proceeding because there is usually at lot of money at stake as in the Ryan proceedings. Truth is seldom heard in any divorce proceedings. In these days of greater women’s rights, why didn’t she just say “Jack, I don’t want to go in” and even if she did go in, and once in, if she didn’t like what was going on, why didn’t she call a cab or a friend and leave?

Need I stoop to bring up Bill and Hillary? I believe they are still married.

I leave you with you with this thought: Hyper sanctimony in the media and in individuals is making this planet uninhabitable by politicians, professionals and commerce. Stop talking to just your coffee cups!!