Friday, May 25, 2007

Family House Donations More Newsworthy

The Journal Star leadership sometimes wonders why many people take a dim view of their newspaper. The JS has a weird sense of putting titles on letters to the editor and titles to articles written by their own reporters. Sometimes they will lead off with front page articles showing an adult demonstrating the use of what we called in my day were “rubbers”. Another time they front page “so and so dumped from board”. In prominent places they will keep a tally of those killed in Iraq as if those are the only people being killed in this country that averages over 150 vehicular deaths a day.

On 5/22/07, the JS editor decided to put the Family House fundraising efforts on the back page of section B. In an article titled “Family House nears fundraising goal” it stated that OSF donated $500,000.00, Caterpillar donated $400,000.00, Gerald and Helens Stephens donated $100,000.00, Family Houses Board of Directors donated $83,000.00 and William and Theresa Heidrich donated $50,000.00. (Note that the Stephens, the Heidrich’s and the Board of Directors members donated their own money.)

The majority of the community believes that the wealthy should make the major contributions to community benefiting organizations such as Family House and be the major contributions to facilities that they personally are pursuing such as the expanded zoo, the RiverPlex and Museums. These contributions they should be very newsworthy and should not be buried in the lower left hand corner of Section B.

Good grief!

I find it interesting that when a couple of ex-mayors donated five figure amounts to the zoo, their donations were worthy of front page news.

What’s the difference? The current zoo which for the last three years has lost a combined total of $1,100,000.00 with all indications that the expanded zoo will lose over $2,000,000.00 a year meaning the taxpayer and zoo users like the schools will be making up the losses.

Give the most credit to the Stephens, the Heidrich’s and the board, who donated their own money. Put articles of community interest like this at least in Section A.

When publicly held companies like Ameren and Caterpillar donate; (Personal contributors like Glen and Polly Barton donate their own money to causes they believe in.) they are donating stockholders money. Entities like hospitals are donating users (patients) money and the contributions are made up in users costs..

Peoria Park Board

I’m very pleased that Karrie and Sara did get back $27,000 of their expenses to stop the “country club” from doing business as a private entity. By the Peoria Park District settling out of court, the PPD did save more taxpayers money going into the pockets of attorneys and the continuing costs of having personnel involved in helping the PPD to continue this charade. The PPD had already spent in excess of $60,000.00 in attorney fees in defending themselves. So the taxpayer is on the hook for over $87,000.00 plus employee’s time spent to defend themselves for actions of their own doings.

The experienced Board Secretary and her assistant; the Assistant Secretary to the Board is also the Administrator (??) still have their jobs. This is $87,000.00 less to help cover their continuing losses at the RiverPlex, which, by the way, was supposed to have made $1,400,000.00 in excess over expenditures by now. Instead, the RiverPlex has cumulative losses in excess of $8,000,000,000.00 through 2006.Add into this all the business they have taken away from the taxpaying private sector.

Check my previous blogs for the address to send your most appreciated donations. These donations will never be enough to cover their stress and time and energy spent on behalf of you, the taxpayer.

Thanks, Karrie and Sara.

Friday, May 18, 2007


Actually, I have quite a few attorney acquaintances that are very capable. But when I see what some tort attorneys do, my blood boils. Like soliciting clients who never had a health problem until the tort called them. Think asbestos, Vioxx, Celebrex and diving boards to name a very few.

There are other types of lawyers I don’t like. A man by the name of B.J. Khalifah wrote in the WSJ last week that he felt the “three attorneys that represented the Duke students did a good job. The lawyers, who caused the problem, Mike Nifong and his six subordinates, deserve ridicule and reprimand. If lawyers cause problems, then, of course, it takes lawyers to fix the problems.

The general construction of a lawsuit of any nature goes like this: A problem arises. Lawyers get involved. Gasoline is thrown on the fire by the lawyers. Huge sums of money are required to keep the flames and tempers burning on both sides. When someone runs out of gasoline or money a “settlement” is forthcoming and then things cool down.”

Well said, B.J.

Being an attorney is about the only business where you can’t lose unless you’re stupid and arrogant as Nifong. Still you can bet he is drawing his full salary and will leave with all the benefits of the public sector. When he is voted out of office, he could become lead counsel for another Enron or World Com.

Don’t be offended, my lawyer friends, I know you are just doing your job. Besides, I may need you one day but please don’t tell me when I call and tell you my neighbor (long departed) threatened to remove my head in several imaginative ways, to do nothing and it will all blow over because the JS would make you the guilty one.

I didn’t and the JS did.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Peoria Park Board - Summation of Series on Government Boondoggling

This blog wraps up a digest of the happenings to date in the Alms-Partridge lawsuit against the Park District; a case in which a judge has already ruled that the Park Board did indeed break the Open Meetings Act and a trial could take place.

To date there appears to be an effort on the part of the defendants to broker a deal, meanwhile stretching out the costs to the plaintiffs who are not seeking any monetary gain.

This sad tale of a great waste of the publics time and money by both the park and school administrations, could perhaps be more easily followed if you start at Part ONE of this series.

Those who believe in transparent, open, fair and balanced government processes should not hesitate to contribute to the plaintiff’s expenses. Support them with your contributions to RALLY PEORIA %Karrie Alms P.O, Box 44, Peoria, Il, 61650-0044.

These two community caring people are doing the job most of us do not want to take the time or spend the money to do, Meanwhile, Public Elected Officials spend your money to defend themselves, the Peoria Public Park’s own incompetence, arrogance or whatever with your TAX DOLLARS.

I am writing these blogs as an individual who strongly supports the Open Meeting Act and transparency in government dealings. As you know, I am also a member of the Peoria County Board and our Administrator would not allow or authorize the erasure of any tapes of the importance of these tapes. The tapes “accidentally” erased were detailing very controversial RECENT actions. Any tapes of Executive Sessions are not erased by the County WITHOUT the approval of our Administrator, the approval our Attorney and full board signing off on the erasure. If controversial tapes were erased before they were translated by any employee reporting to our administrator, I’m positive some very strong action would be quickly taken.

It appears the Park Board just got around to setting a policy of the handling of tape recordings. Shouldn’t that strike we taxpayers as UNUSUAL? This policy wasn’t set until May 9th, 2007!!

If you are interested in the Counties LONG standing policy, contact our administrator at 672-6056.

The Park District is paying outside attorneys as well as their own law firm with the meter running up legal bills for the property tax payer to eventually pay.

On May 6, 2006 the Peoria Journal Star reported that a Lawsuit had been filed against the Peoria Park District stating that “the Peoria Park District should not have discussed plans to build a new school near Glen Oak Park during a closed meeting.”

The concern that the plaintiffs have had for some time is that the whole matter of the location of a new public school, the Glen Oak School, at Glen Oak Park site was done without sufficient exposure to the public and opportunity for dialogue,” said Bill Shay, attorney for Karrie Alms and Sarah Partridge.

As previously mentioned, the Journal Star filed a complaint in March with the Illinois Attorney General’s office alleging violations regarding the Open Meeting Act.

On May 9, 2006 the JS reported that the Attorney General’s office sent a letter to the Peoria Park Board on Monday asking it to respond to a Journal Star allegation that the board broke the law.

As to the “accidentally” erased tapes? Our local States Attorney has ruled against any action because “the person admitting to erasing the tapes was not a member of the board.”

Peoria Park Board - Part 7 of a Series

Continuing with reports printed in the JS on 4/17/06, “What strikes us is that two school board member aren’t speaking of proposed locations. They write as if this was pretty much a done deal. And if they are waiting for the Peoria Public Park District’s approval, why were they talking to the McCord’s?

Something else is puzzling; why didn’t the Park Board seek public input before agreeing to the deal?

In 1994, a developer wanted some of the park for a new store, and Park Board President Tim Cassidys response was: It’s not my land, it’s the public’s land and the public has a right to know what is going on and to be heard.” Hmmmmmm.

On April 25,2006, the JS reported “District 150 superintendent Ken Hinton announced Monday that the district will “suspend” its efforts to buy properties near Glen oak Park so that the School Board can hold a public forum and decide whether it want to continue its pursuit of the Glen Oak Park school site.” Hinton said the district “would continue to negotiating with property owners until 9:00 A.M Wednesday. Hinton said the district has already made commitments to six owners and intends to follow thru with these purchases and with others that may be agree upon before the deadline. Hinton said it’s the district’s intent to buy these properties even if the Glen Oak school site is abandoned.

On May 2, the JS reported that a forum attended by approximately 250 people to solicit opinions of on the proposed school site on park property that out of thirty community members who stepped to the podium, not a single one voiced support for the park site.

On May 3, 2006, Superintendent Kin Hinton of Dist 150 said that the school district would research the cost to rebuild and renovate the existing school site and investigate all proposals that had been made on May 2.

This is Part 7 of a Series I am blogging as to why certain Park Board Tapes MIGHT have been "accidently" ERASED.

Peoria Park Board - Part 6 of a Series

On April 17, 2006 the JS printed “When did the Peoria School District #150 and the Peoria Park Board decide to partner to use 5 acres of Glen Oak park for a new proposed school?

And whose idea was it? And why is so hard to get an answer?

There seems to be mounting evidence that the School Board had settled on Glen Oak Park sooner than later. Linda Taggart, whose home is one of the 21 parcels of private property that District 150 needs for this project, says she got a letter from the District realtor (Keller Williams) one day and read about it in the JS the next day, March 29. That was her notice. “It was like a butcher was doing it,” Taggart was quoted as saying.

Emails obtained through the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, suggest the School Board was set on its site as early as March 3, 2006.

In an email response to a request from Bob Manning, City Council person for the Glen Oak neighborhood, to Sean Matheson, Dist 150 Board Member, Sean is quoted as saying “the Board and Administration were unanimous in choosing the Glen Oak Park site.” Sean continues, “All that said, it would be wonderful if we could head off any trouble ahead of time and quietly. I think if the Neighborhood Associations were made aware of what we are planning, they would change their minds. (Yes indeed and Sean did not run for reelection) Sean continues “We have been tight-lipped for now because we are waiting for the park district to tentatively OK the plan and because we have not yet notified the homeowners that will be affected.”

The date of response was March 3, 2006.

Early in my blogs I asked the reader to keep track of the dates which apparently lead to a pattern that some, somehow knew what was going on earlier than some involved have publicly stated.

This blog is mainly comprised from quotes printed in the JS

This is Part 6 of a series I am blogging as to why certain Park Board Tapes MIGHT have been “accidentally” erased.

Peoria Park Board - Part 5 of a Series

On April 13.2006, the JS reported that “The Illinois Attorney General’s Office is still investigating a complaint brought by the Journal Star, that the Park Board violated the Open Meetings Act by holding two closed-door discussions in March about its land partnership with District 150.

On April 15,2006, the JS reported that neither the JS or the Park District had heard from the Attorney ?General’s Office about the Open Meeting Violation complaint. Terry Mutchler, public access counselor said she had called Park Board President Tim Cassidy and told him her office was investigating the complaint and that a letter from her office would go out this week.

On Monday, Mutchler explained the investigating process. The letter to the park district will ask it to respond to specific questions about the closed meeting within 10 days. After Mutchler receives a response, she will discuss the situation further with park district representatives. Shortly thereafter, the AG’s Office will notify the park district and the Journal Star of a determination and any penalties that may accompany it. (All this information is taken from the Journal Star)

This is Part 5 of a Series I am blogging as to why certain Park Board Tapes MIGHT have been “accidentally erased.

Peoria Park Board - Part 4 of a Series

On April 10, the JS reported “The East Bluff is in an uproar – and other neighborhoods are watching their backs – as these government s seemingly work out deals behind the scenes to share and swap land that a new school and new public housing can be built in their back yard” (District 150 was alleged to be trying to sell the building to be used as “public housing”.

On April 11, 2006, the JS wrote “It is the public policy of this State that public bodies exist to aid in the conduct of the people’s businesses and that the people have a right to be informed as to the conduct of their business.

Thus begins the Illinois Open Meetings Act, which requires boards, committees and councils to keep meeting as transparent as possible, with limited exceptions. But recent Peoria Park Board sessions regarding a proposed Glen Oak Park school are looking mighty opaque.

Board attorney, Jim Konsky maintains these meeting were permissible, citing one of the Open Meeting Act exemptions: “the setting of a price for sale or lease of property.

That hasn’t convinced the Illinois Attorney General’s office because the board wasn’t setting any prices. It’s a land sharing deal, plain and simple.”

The JS continues, “Beyond our philosophical revulsion, from a practical standpoint it just gets in the way of what local government leaders are trying to accomplish.”

This is Part 4 of a series I will blog as to why certain Park Board tapes MIGHT have been “accidentally” erased.

Peoria Park Board - Part 3 of a Series

On April 10, 2006 the JS reported that “apparently the verdict is still out as to whether the Park Board violated the Illinois Open Meeting Act when it held closed-door discussions about partnering with district 150 to use part of Glen Oak PARK for a new school.”

Terry Mutchler, public access counsel for the Illinois Attorney General, said it appeared to be “a violation of the act” at first blush. But her office is still investigating and has yet to make an official ruling, according to Cassidy. Tim Cassidy is President of the Peoria Public Park Board.

On 4/9/07 the JS wrote “In December 2006, a judge ruled that the board violated the act when she accidentally erased audiotapes of executive sessions meetings and the lawsuit filed by Alms and Partridge can go to trial.”

This is the 3rd part of a series I will blog on as to why certain Park Board Tapes MIGHT have been erased.

Peoria Park Board - Evidence Appears to Show Some Lies Were Told

Yesterday, I quoted Secretary to the Peoria Park Board, V. Joyce McLemore as saying “Realizing the tape record you were discussing couldn’t be transcribed because of what I had done (erased the tapes) – it hit me like a ton of bricks.” This letter is dated August 7, 2006.

Remember that date.

On March 29, 2006, the JS reported the following: “District may use Park Land – Today’s vote – the plan: Build a new grade school property within Glen Oak Park and buy 21 other adjacent parcels of land, including occupied homes. What’s next: The District 150 Board and the Peoria Park Board meet today to approve a “letter of intent”. It states the two board plan to agree to the plan. – When: 10:AM. – Where: Valeska Hinton School.”

On April 6, 2006, the JS reported “Three weeks before announcing it publicly, District 150 told a commercial property owner near Glen Oak Park it intended to buy 21 parcels of land in the area.”

Robert McCord, now deceased, lawyer, business mogul, former City Councilman and Civic leader and husband of property owner Vicki McCord, said Wednesday, the district lawyer (Walvoord) and a realtor told the couple in early March the district wanted to buy the commercial property and 20 other nearby properties.

“They said that a decision had been made to acquire all that property –our property and all the residences,” Robert McCord said.

District 150 attorney David Walvoord remembers the March 7 conversation differently. He said no mention was made of a decision because the district hadn’t made a decision about the site at that time. He said the meeting was intended to inform the McCord’s of a general interest in the property.

“We are trying to make inquiries. We were doing our preliminary work,” he said.

Walvoord said the school district wanted to make sure the Park District was willing to form a partnership before residents and the public were notified.

“You don’t approach a bunch of homeowners and get them all upset and have these stories floating around until you’re ready to start beginning the process of making offers,” Walvoord said.

District 150 Superintendent Ken Hinton said the two groups began discussions in February and informally agreed to partner with each other at a meeting less than a week before the announcement. Several officials from both groups were present at the meeting.

If anyone is lying in this situation that has resulted in a lawsuit against the Park District for Violations of the Open Meeting Act and “ordinary tape erasures and housekeeping, I know one thing for sure; it wasn’t Robert McCord.

This is the 2nd part of a series I will blog on why certain Park Board Tapes MIGHT have been erased.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Incompetence or Coverups or Both? 5/12/07

Whatever of the above title fits the descrition of the described proceedings as detailed in this blog. Some may have to look in the mirror.

On December 12, 2006 the JS reported as follows: "Judge: Park Board Broke Law; Erasing audiotapes violated Open Meeting Act: lawsuit over closed sessions can go to trial." The tapes contained information about "discussions" allowing the Peoria Public School District #150 to use 5 acres of Glen Oak Park as part of a new school. As anyone following this story is aware, after these "discussions" the Peoria Public School District #150 proceeded to buy property on these five acres for $800,000.00 plus. Apparently the school district owns these properties and at least one has been demolished as being unsafe.

Bill Shay, attorney for Alms and Partridge (Rally Peoria) agrued that the closed meeting violated the Open Meeting Act and that "Closed meetings make it easy for public officials to shield themselves from public acccountability."

Tim Bertschy and his team were hired as an outside counsel for the Park District and are defending the PPD from these proven violations. This lawsuit was filed by community leaders Karrie Alms and Sarah Partridge.

The same article quotes attorney Bertschy as saying, "A number of tapes were deleted. It's a significant violation and we addressed it." However, that did not appear to be a correct statement as on May 10, 2007, the JS reported, "Board (Park) adapts rules for recording; decision comes 5 months after Open Meetings Act Violations." (Almost 10 months after the original discovery.) The article says that "trustees approved a resolution to outline who will handle such recordings and under what conditions they can be destroyed. Furthermore, the board determined its secretary, or whoever is keeping the minutes will operate the recorder: each will include the time, place and people involved and the tapes must be kept for at least 18 months. Only one meeting can be used per tape and the board will approve when the tapes can be destroyed."

It is absolutely asinine to think a entity with an almost $50,000,000.00 (that's millions) budget would act like they could do anything they want and not have to keep a record of the transactions.

Note that the outside attorney representing the Park at taxpayer expense, said that the tape erasures were "a significant violation and we have addressed it". However, it appears by the report on May 10,2007 that the board had taken no formal action on the violation.

The States Attorney's Office decided to take no action against the PPD because the person who admitted to destroying the tapes was only an officer of the board and not a board member. She is Joyce McLemore who holds the title of Secretary and Officer of the Board. On August 7, 2006 McLemore wrote, "Feeling that I could do so, I discarded discussion tapes associated with the written released minutes. I felt I had this backlog of tapes, starting in January 2004, and I systematicly worked through the list of released minutes to erase tapes that had not been transcribed to match up with the corresponding discussion tapes, which tapes I marked "released". I have been a board secretary for over 6 years. Realizing that the tape recordings you were discussing couldn't be transcribed because of what I had done-it hit me like a ton of bricks."

The States Attorney further stated that HAD it been a board member who admitted to erasing the tapes, (she is not a board member) that office would have looked at the situation in an entirely different manner.

Interesting is the fact that the assistant secretary to the Board is Park Board Superintendent Bonnie Noble who is also the Treasurer of the Peoria Public Park District. Hmmmm.

My next blog will review where the lawsuit filed by community leaders Alms and Partridge stands and what the approximate cost is to the taxpayer is to defend this legitmate lawsuit. The outcome of this lawsuit affects all citizens anywhere and points out the obvious "lack of transparency" and ineffectiveness of many public employees and public entities that are run by elected officials who often look at them as their personal fiefdoms and as "country clubs". People have less and less confidence in our tax supported governmental bodies.

The Peoria Park District is a classic example and I am asking all fellow bloggers to post my blog and ask other bloggers to forward it and keep forwarding it.

Responsible citizens should feel an obligation to send some money to Rally Peoria @ Karrie Alms, P. O. Box 44, Peoria, IL, 61650-0044. This would ensure Rally Peoria would have the funds to continue should this case ever go to trial. A message must be sent to tax collecting entities like the PPD and that these organizations must not be permittted to do "creative" bookeeping and not to make serious "mistakes". Tax supported entities have an obligation to be well run and an obligation to operate in transparency.

Every statement as to time, place, people involved and money are true statements backed up by data.

The Peoria Park District has a budget for 2007 of $49,800,000.00 and rising rapidly each year. Look at your tax bill.

These are real facts 5/12/07

From: Bill
To: Undisclosed-Recipient:;
Sent: Saturday, May 12, 2007 5:17 AM
Subject: Fw:

An extremly well written article, and to the point. Read it!

Subject: Benchmarks in history

Santayana: "Those who ignore history are destined to repeat it."


This is an EXCELLENT essay which provides historical perspective regarding worldwide conflicts and the implications of current events. Well thought out and presented. Its author is Raymond S . Kraft is a writer living in Northern California who has studied the Middle Eastern culture and religion.

Historical Significance for today's world:

Sixty-three years ago, Nazi Germany had overrun almost all of Europe and hammered England to the verge of bankruptcy and defeat. The Nazis had sunk more than 400 British ships in their convoys between England and America taking food and war materials

At that time the US was in an isolationist, pacifist mood, and most Americans wanted nothing to do with the European or the Asian war

Then along came Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 , and in outrage Congress unanimously declared war on Japan , and the following day on Germany , who had not yet attacked us . It was a dicey thing . We had few allies

France was not an ally, as the Vichy government of France quickly aligned itself with its German occupiers . Germany was certainly not an ally, as Hitler was intent on setting up a Thousand Year Reich in Europe. Japan was not an ally, as it was well on its way to owning and controlling all of Asia.

Together, Japan and Germany had long-range plans of invading Canada and Mexico , as launching pads to get into the United States over our northern and southern borders, after they finished gaining control of Asia and Europe.

America 's only allies then were England , Ireland , Scotland , Canada , Australia, and Russia . That was about it All of Europe, from Norway to Italy (except Russia in the East) was already under the Nazi heel

The US was certainly not prepared for war. The US had drastically downgraded most of its military forces after WW I because of the depression, so that at the outbreak of WW II, Army units were training with broomsticks because they didn't have guns, and cars with "tank" painted on the doors because they didn't have real tanks A huge chunk of our Navy had just been sunk or damaged at Pearl Harbor.

Britain had already gone bankrupt, saved only by the donation of $600 million in gold bullion in the Bank of England (that was actually the property of Belgium ) given by Belgium to England to carry on the war when Belgium was overrun by Hitler (a little known fact).

Actually, Belgium surrendered on one day, because it was unable to oppose the German invasion, and the Germans bombed Brussels into rubble the next day just to prove they could

Britain had already been holding out for two years in the face of staggering losses and the near decimation of its Royal Air Force in the Battle of Britain, and was saved from being overrun by Germany only because Hitler made the mistake of thinking the Brits were a relatively minor threat that could be dealt with later. Hitler, first turned his attention to Russia, in the late summer of 1940 at a time when England was on the verge of collapse.

Ironically, Russia saved America 's butt by putting up a desperate fight for two years, until the US got geared up to begin hammering away at Germany .

Russia lost something like 24,000,000 people in the sieges of Stalingrad and Moscow alone . . 90% of them from cold and starvation, mostly civilians, but also more than a 1,000,000 soldiers

Had Russia surrendered, Hitler would have been able to focus his entire war effort against the Brits, then America. If that had happened, the Nazis could possibly have won the war

All of this has been brought out to illustrate that turning points in history are often dicey things. Now, we find ourselves at another one of those key moments in history.

There is a very dangerous minority in Islam that either has, or wants, and may soon have, the ability to deliver small nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons, almost anywhere in the world

The Jihadis, the militant Muslims, are basically Nazis in Kaffiyahs -- they believe that Islam, a radically conservative form of Wahhabi Islam, should own and control the Middle East first, then Europe, then the world. To them, all who do not bow to their will of thinking should be killed, enslaved, or subjugated . They want to finish the Holocaust, destroy Israel , and purge the world of Jews . This is their mantra . (goal)

There is also a civil war raging in the Middle East -- for the most part not a hot war, but a war of ideas. Islam is having its Inquisition and its Reformation, but it is not yet known which side will win -- the Inquisitors, or the Reformationists.

If the Inquisition wins, then the Wahhabis, the Jihadis, will control the Middle East, the OPEC oil, and the US , European, and Asian economies.

The techno-industrial economies will be at the mercy of OPEC -- not an OPEC dominated by the educated, rational Saudis of today, but an OPEC dominated by the Jihadis. Do you want gas in your car? Do you want heating oil next winter? Do you want the dollar to be worth anything? You had better hope the Jihad, the Muslim Inquisition, loses, and the Islamic Reformation wins.

If the Reformation movement wins, that is, the moderate Muslims who believe that Islam can respect and tolerate other religions, live in peace with the rest of the world, and move out of the 10th century into the 21st, then the troubles in the Middle East will eventually fade away. A moderate and prosperous Middle East will emerge.

We have to help the Reformation win, and to do that we have to fight the Inquisition, i.e., the Wahhabi movement, the Jihad, Al Qaeda and the Islamic terrorist movements. We have to do it somewhere. We can't do it everywhere at once. We have created a focal point for the battle at a time and place of our choosing . . . . . . . . in Iraq . Not in New York , not in London , or Paris or Berlin , but in Iraq, where we are doing two important things.

(1) We deposed Saddam Hussein. Whether Saddam Hussein was directly involved in the 9/11 terrorist attack or not, it is undisputed that Saddam has been actively supporting the terrorist movement for decades Saddam is a terrorist! Saddam is, or was, a weapon of mass destruction, responsible for the deaths of probably more than a 1,000,000 Iraqis and 2,000,000 Iranians .

(2) We created a battle, a confrontation, a flash point, with Islamic terrorism in Iraq. We have focused the battle. We are killing bad people, and the ones we get there we won't have to get here. We also have a good shot at creating a democratic, peaceful Iraq, which will be a catalyst for democratic change in the rest of the Middle East, and an outpost for a stabilizing American military presence in the Middle East for as long as it is needed

WW II, the war with the Japanese and German Nazis, really began with a "whimper" in 1928. It did not begin with Pearl Harbor. It began with the Japanese invasion of China. It was a war for fourteen years before the US joined it. It officially ended in 1945 -- a 17 year war -- and was followed by another decade of US occupation in Germany and Japan to get those countries reconstructed and running on their own a gain . . a 27 year war.

WW II cost the United States an amount equal to approximately a full year's GDP -- adjusted for inflation, equal to about $12 trillion dollars. WW II cost America more than 400,000 soldiers killed in action, and nearly 100,000 still missing in action.

The Iraq war has, so far, cost the United States about $160,000,000,000, which is roughly what the 9/11 terrorist attack cost New York. It has also cost about 3,000 American lives, which is roughly equivilant to lives that the Jihad killed (within the United States) in the 9/11 terrorist attack .

The cost of not fighting and winning WW II would have been unimaginably greater -- a world dominated by Japanese Imperialism and German Nazism .

This is not a 60-Minutes TV show, or a 2-hour movie in which everything comes out okay . The real world is not like that. It is messy, uncertain, and sometimes bloody and ugly. It always has been, and probably always will be

The bottom line is that we will have to deal with Islamic terrorism until we defeat it, whenever that is. It will not go away if we ignore it

If the US can create a reasonably democratic and stable Iraq, then we have an ally, like England , in the Middle East, a platform, from which we can work to help modernize and moderate the Middle East. The history of the world is the clash between the forces of relative civility and civilization, and the barbarians clamoring at the gates to conquer the world.

The Iraq War is merely another battle in this ancient and never ending war. Now, for the first time ever, the barbarians are about to get nuclear weapons. Unless some body prevents them from getting them.

We have four options:

1 . We can defeat the Jihad now, before it gets nuclear weapons.

2 . We can fight the Jihad later, after it gets nuclear weapons (which may be as early as next year, if Iran 's progress on nuclear weapons is what Iran claims it is).

3 . We can surrender to the Jihad and accept its dominance in the Middle East now; in Europe in the next few years or decades, and ultimately in America.


4 . We can stand down now, and pick up the fight later when the Jihad is more widespread and better armed, perhaps after the Jihad has dominated France and Germany and possibly most of the rest of Europe. It will, of course, be more dangerous, more expensive, and much bloodier.

If you oppose this war, I hope you like the idea that your children, or grandchildren, may live in an Islamic America under the Mullahs and the Sharia, an America that resembles Iran today.

The history of the world is the history of civilization clashes, cultural clashes. All wars are about ideas, ideas about what society and civilization should be like, and the most determined always win.

Those who are willing to be the most ruthless always win . The pacifists always lose, because the anti-pacifists kill them .

Remember, perspective is every thing, and America 's schools teach too little history for perspective to be clear, especially in the young American mind.

The Cold War lasted from about 1947 at least until the Berlin Wall came down in 1989; forty-two years!

Europe spent the first half of the 19th century fighting Napoleon, and from 1870 to 1945 fighting Germany !

World War II began in 1928, lasted 17 years, plus a ten year occupation, and the US still has troops in Germany and Japan . World War II resulted in the death of more than 50,000,000 people, maybe more than 100,000,000 people, depending on which estimates you accept.

The US has taken more than 3,000 killed in action in Iraq.. The US took more than 4,000 killed in action on the morning of June 6, 1944 , the first day of the Normandy Invasion to rid Europe of Nazi Imperialism.

In WW II the US averaged 2,000 KIA a week -- for four years. Most of the individual battles of WW II lost more Americans than the entire Iraq war has done so far

The stakes are at least as high . . A world dominated by representative governments with civil rights, human rights, and personal freedoms . . or a world dominated by a radical Islamic Wahhabi movement, by the Jihad, under the Mullahs and the Sharia (Islamic law)

It's difficult to understand why the average American does not grasp this. They favor human rights, civil rights, liberty and freedom, but evidently not for Iraqis.

"Peace Activists" always seem to demonstrate here in America , where it's safe.

Why don't we see Peace Activist demonstrating in Iran , Syria , Iraq , Sudan , North Korea , in the places that really need peace activism the most? I'll tell you why! They would be killed!

The liberal mentality is supposed to favor human rights, civil rights, democracy, multiculturalism, diversity, etc . , but if the Jihad wins, wherever the Jihad wins, it is the end of civil rights, human rights, democracy, multiculturalism, diversity, etc.

Americans who oppose the liberation of Iraq are coming down on the side of their own worst enemy!

Please consider passing along copies of this article to friends and students as it contains information about our American past that is very meaningful today -- history about America that very likely is mostly unknown by many of us (and our instructors, too). By being denied the facts of our history, we are at a decided disadvantage when it comes to reasoning and thinking through the issues of today. We are prime targets for misinformation campaigns beamed at enlisting us in liberal causes and beliefs that are special interest agenda driven. I am not advocating war, just wanting to understand the greater picture and preserving our country's independence.


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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Emails 5/10/07

Just a reminder. I receive a lot of emails that I do not recognize the sender or cannot identify the sender. Because of my fear of viruses, I do not open them.

I also receive emails with attachments my computer can not open because my computer says I am not on the same system as the sender. I am in the phone book or you can write me or send your email address through a friend I know.


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Are Majorities Always Right?

To borrow some info from Tom Dietrich of Dunlap back in 2/04, "Majorities are not always right". At one time in this country, the majority of the people thought that slavery was acceptable. The people sent Jesus to be nailed to the cross. Tom writes, "The philospher Arthur Schopenhauer said that public receptiveness to minority viewpoints often goes through three stages: At first it is ridiculed. Then it is opposed. Finally it is accepted as self-evident."

I realize I am probably in the minority in my opposition to the City Council approving $35,000,000.00 plus burden on the property tax payers for the Peoria Public Library System but I am preparing my case for the thousands that agree with me. I have spent countless hours accumulating facts and recounting the hundreds of times I have visited libraries all over the area and in different parts of the country.

Sunday, I visited the Normal Public Library and asked to see the system they used for materials check-out. They had a self check-out machine like a grocery store only faster. They had an electronic device that scanned and handed you a computer generated slip without using an out dated "stamping system" as all Peoria Public Libraries use. Our library could have purchased the same faster system. Why didn't they? The time saved would have justified the extra cost of the system in months.

Probably the same reason they demanded that a 2nd floor be added to the remodeled Harrison Library only to find it is now "undertilized and poorly served" and will be closed.

Soon I will post my library FACTS but only after I have submitted them to all Peoria Council Members. What they do with them is up to them. They were elected by the majority.

Only time will tell whether my opposition is correct.

When my fact finding is complete, I'll get back to my regular blogging.

Get well soon, Bob Manning and may some judge get trash like his alleged attacker off the street. And to Sheriff McCoy, if you need more funding to put people like this trash away, present your plans. You have more of an eager ear than ever.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Dr. Becker is a veritable garden of information as to what is going on in our educational fields.

From the San Francisco Chronicle, Thursday, April 26, 2007, p. B 1.

Surveys show frustration among teachers, parents

WHY EDUCATORS QUIT: Lack of support, too much paperwork

By Nanette Asimov and Amr Emam

If working conditions at the middle school where Jim Lammers taught
for 11 years had not been "set up to fail," he might have stuck
around. But like thousands of other teachers across California, the
former Marin County teacher of the year quit the profession in

"I just finally wore out dealing with it the way it was," said
Lammers, who left in 2002 to pursue writing. "Too many kids, and not
enough time to feel like I was accomplishing strong academics. To me,
the system is almost set up to fail."

At a time when California is short of qualified instructors, the
problem of teacher attrition is largely preventable, says a new
California State University study of more than 1,900 teachers.

"Teachers need to be asked to identify features of their work
environment that are problematic and need to be addressed," said the
study's author, Ken Futernick, director of K12 studies at CSU's
Center for Teacher Quality.

Addressing teachers' needs is one of a half dozen recommendations
that the study concludes could lower California's yearly teacher
shortage by 30 percent, or by about 5,400 teachers.

Among the other recommendations is establishing statewide standards
for teaching conditions.

The study cites figures from the National Center for Educational
Statistics that estimate about
18,000 California teachers quit every year.

The purpose of the study was to learn why so many teachers leave --
and what California can do to stop them, Futernick said.

Using a Web-based survey, the researchers interviewed not only
teachers who had quit or were thinking about switching schools, but
those who were satisfied enough to keep teaching.

Futernick concedes that the small sample size -- made smaller because
some questions pertain only to some responders -- means the teachers'
answers are not always reliable measures of all teachers statewide.

But he said the findings are nonetheless helpful in addressing a
vexing problem in the state: How to keep good teachers teaching.

Teachers who stayed reported they felt strongly supported at their
schools, not only by administrators, but by colleagues.

The survey found that many teachers quit because there was too little
planning time, too much paperwork, unreliable assistance from the
school district, and a general lack of support.

More than half of the ex-teachers surveyed said they had quit because
they were dissatisfied with the pay or the conditions at their school.

One was Lammers, a resident of San Anselmo and Marin County's Teacher
of the Year in 1999.

"Marin's a sweet place to teach, so I don't mean to be a moaner and
groaner," he said.

But even in well-to-do Marin County, he said, children have
tremendous needs that aren't always addressed at home.

"More and more children came without family support. Teachers are
required to do many things in a limited period of time. It is simply
not possible to be expert in all subjects, given such limited time. I
rarely got a day off. I worked during weekends and summer vacations.
This exhausted me. I always felt that our kids needed more time," he

Lammers called the issue of teacher retention "a major problem around
the country."

Sherry Jacobs understands what happens when teachers lack the support
they need.

Jacobs, who teaches students with emotional and cognitive
disabilities, worked for a year once at a school where the principal
refused to bring in a psychologist to help with a troubled boy.

"She didn't want anyone from the outside coming into the school,"
Jacobs recalled.

Jacobs went over the principal's head, but it was too late. The day
the specialist finally arrived, the boy became violent, and he and
Jacobs both suffered burns.

"It wasn't the student's fault," she said. "It was the lack of support."

She left that school -- but not the profession.

Today Jacobs is one of the rarest -- and most sought after -- kinds
of teachers in the state: an experienced special education instructor
who is willing to work in a high-poverty school.

She works at Franklin Elementary School in Oakland under Principal
Jeannette MacDonald.

"I've had great support from the principal, from the office, and from
the teachers," said Jacobs, who was among the satisfied teachers in
the survey.

It means that if Jacobs needs to visit a family during the day, or
pick up a parent who can't find transportation to a school meeting,
"the principal will find someone to help cover my classroom so I can
go do that.

"There's a trust there. They look at me as a professional, and it
really makes or breaks whether you stay."
Teacher study highlights

Here are the six recommendations included in the study "A Possible
Dream: Retaining California Teachers So All Students Can Learn":

1. School administrators should continuously assess teaching conditions.

2. California should increase education funding to at least adequate levels.

3. Introduce administrative policies that support teachers'
instructional needs.

4. Principals should focus on "high-quality teaching and learning conditions."

5. The state should establish standards for teaching and learning conditions.

6. Administrators should address specific challenges in retaining
special education teachers.

The full report is at:

Source: "A Possible Dream: Retaining California Teachers So All
Students Can Learn"
E-mail the writers at and
Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
625 Wham Drive
Mail Code 4610
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610
Phone: (618) 453-4241 [O]
(618) 457-8903 [H]
Fax: (618) 453-4244

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Jerry Klein -- Columnist with the Journal Star

On Sunday, April 28, Jerry Klein wrote “U.S. is becoming its own worst enemy.” Mr. Klein talks about the freedoms we have given up to accommodate the sensitive people who are immigrating to our country. “We drop names like the “Crusaders” for nicknames that might be more appropriately named the Wimps or the Weasels.” Jerry says “Strange, because I do not see Muslims making any attempt to abandon their traditions to conform to ours. The evidence so far is that they would require us to conform to their traditions. My assumption is that they have no intention of assimilating at all, but will remain Muslims first and Americans (perhaps) later.”

“It hardly bears repeating, but at one time immigrants to America had a few basic goals. Get a job. Become an American. Learn English. They soon stopped wearing lederhosen, tassel caps and layers of ornate petticoats and dressed and acted like everyone else. True, they kept their own societies, sometimes even preserved their native language at home, and attended ethnic churches. They inter-married and became a great melting pot.

So what will become of us? Will the United States become balkanized, like so many parts of Europe, with powerful minorities setting up their own enclaves, keeping their own languages and resisting all efforts to participate with all ethnic groups as the multicultural crowd looks own approvingly? Can we afford to be inclusive and sensitive as our values are siphoned away one by one and those of other cultures are imposed on us?”

Many of you read Jerry so I won’t belabor the point but Jerry is correct. We are letting an easily offended group of minorities tell us more and more how wrong we are and how we are letting multiculturalists insist we allow these recent arrivals to our country to live in the manner they lived before arriving on our shores. He suggests that our president (despite his many mistakes) might be one of the few in government to recognize that a threat to our civilization exists, that we are a nation at war and that our American ideals are under assault here and abroad. Giving in to the suicide boomers and beheaders is not a solution for us.

I commend Mr. Klein for saying what many in the community say to me and occasionally write in letters to the editors and books of warnings. He confirms what I have been saying for a long time.

My Dad emigrated from Switzerland and never wanted to go back saying “if it wasn’t good enough for my (his) dad, it is not good enough for me.” Both Mom and Dad spoke German but wanted us to speak English which they did speak, communicating to each other occasionally in German so we kids didn’t know what they were saying because they did not want us to spread gossip.(Or talk about sex?)

Those who occupied this country before the arrival of the “whites” were so greatly outnumbered and overwhelmed that their choices of being excluded or included were limited. Tribes spoke different languages and organized and disorganized in different ways so many times that the outcome was inevitable. The early settlers learned from them and in the end the Indians learned from us and gained a tremendous amount of wealth through gambling casinos exempted from competition except with each other. Many across the United States carry on their own traditions as do many other ethnic groups but most all have an extended welcome to all “other” to participate freely. That’s the way most of us want it to be. Jerry and I and others worry greatly that inclusion as our forefathers knew it, is changing and not to the better.
There were humans here before the Indians. I doubt if these first ever settlers treated new arrivals with love and inclusion. I suspect differences were settled much the way they were settled when the whites arrived except today all mankind has fearful weapons that could destroy all aggressors or pacifists. This country and its lawful inhabitants must be among the survivors.

I don’t want to write another history of how the early and late settlers and early poor and late wealthy original inhabitants came to eventually live together peacefully. The point is we did do reasonably well up until the 60’s and things seem to be slowly sliding in the wrong direction since then.

The early inhabitors of what is now our section of North America are not a problem to the well being of our country but the newest arrivals could be a far greater concern than the Indians ever were for the early white settlers emigrating on territories claimed by the Indians.

Mr. Klein is one of many who are saying we better be paying attention.

"The Soul of a New Laptop"

How about a laptop computer that sells for $100.00? In “Networks Breakthrough Designs” in the May 7 issue of Forbes, describes how this dramatically new innovation came into being and is scheduled to go into production late this summer. The article written by Jonathon Fahey says the idea is to get millions of computers in the hands of Third World kids. Nicholas Negroponte, Former director of the Mit media lab started building interest in this idea in 2005. He enlisted the help eventually of 1500 people from all different technical fields and from around the world, whose efforts have resulted in thousands of late-stage prototypes already built. “The laptop is called XO designed thru a network of ideas-some borrowed, some stolen-that cross pollinate. It took 500 years to cobble together St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice with parts and ideas from far flung places that were incorporated into this church”. Compare with two years to develop a $100 laptop.

Negroponte’s nonprofit group, One Laptop per Child, has raised $31 million from donors such as Google, Nortel, News Corp., Red Hat and the computer is being built by Quanta using Amd and Marvel chips and Red Hat—Linux-based open-source—software. The suppliers expect to make a small profit on the laptops.

This country we live in has many kids and adults now and a lot more coming that will not be much better off than most third world countries today. I know, I visit the classrooms to observe the students (and teachers) and ask questions.

If the laptops work as expected, expect something similar to be available shortly here in the U.S.—affordable computers for all to own.

Read the article, especially if you’re sold on the Public Library System spending $35,000,000.00 a year of new tax dollars without even talking to the people on the line in the public school system in Peoria. Most of those working with kids now see what is coming down the line and while we must have books, eventually less will be read as hard copy. Fiction and romance will always be popular but remember that those who would catch us, surpass us and enslave us, are not reading much fiction and romance or playing endless, sit on your butt, games.

The Peoria Public Library officials did not seek input from principals and librarians in #150 including Mary Ward who is over all #150 school libraries. I visited all of them and asked each the same question and the answer was no; they did not. Who should know better how kids will be using libraries in the future, than those who work with these kids 180 days out the year?

What is coming down the line is exciting and scary. Most kids and many adults will be computer savvy in the next decade and those who aren’t, will either be in charge or in professional positions where they have others do the computer work for them. The rest, mainly non-readers and dropouts, may be competing hard for some of the better trade positions that pay well and don’t require computing skills. The rest of the rest, most likely will be working and competing with those whose major asset may be a work ethic, integrity and willingness to accept responsibility. These competitors may continue to come into the U.S. as legal or illegal immigrants to take most of the low skill jobs.

Count on it and count on outsourcing of ordinary skills to continue, no matter which party is in power. Expect our welfare role supporting our own not working society to increase.

This article is interesting and I can’t do it justice on this site. Well worth reading or look it up @ ( If it works as planned, stay tuned.