Saturday, October 27, 2007

English Language - The Official Language of the United States of America

Our elected officials in DC debate whether English should be America's language. Some of them "should get a life". Some of them should not be reelected if for no other reason than they lack common sense. Some of them are posturing to segments of the electorate. Some are very much afraid to not be "politically correct". Personally, I have disdain for many who fit the categories above.

For those who wish to learn other languages; good, as we need translators and teachers who know more than the English language. If you want to be live here because you like it then learn the English language. If you arrived here legally we are pleased to have you and we can enjoy the benefits you add to our knowledge of other places and other languages. But immediately start taking classes to learn the English language. Knowledge of the the most widely used language where you live or plan to live usually offers the best road to success. That is, unless you are blessed with unusual talent. Then no one cares. Example: being a Rap star or a professional anything from sports to art. The most guaranteed route to success is knowing the common language of the land and the ability to understand it. English is the language we use to communicate in the U.SA..


If people are here illegally; that is a problem which most of our elected officials have failed in their approach to the problem to use common sense and we as INFORMED voters ought to vote them out and vote in people with common sense and some guts.

Some of us who blog may not be as smart as some who are grammatically correct. However, it is proven in the comment sector of this site that some of these "intellects" lack common sense.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Decency 10/17/07

"Tickets 'not race based' is a JS front page headline on 10/13 and "Group asks for 'fairness' another JS front page headline on 10/14/07 indicates again how far small segments in this community have taken it upon themselves to call any corrective action involving disrespectful acts as being "unfair racism".

"The American Idea" series by notables in the November, 2007, issue of the Monthly Atlantic best states the ridiculousness of the statements of small segments of local leaders of "victimized" blacks.

Please take the time to read what James Q. Wilson and George L Kelling wrote called "Decency". Their article "Broken Windows" was the cover story of the March 1982 Atlantic.

The article reads "In thinking about the American idea, we decided to revisit a concept we first took up in these pages 25 years ago.
Americans value both order and freedom, and drawing a line between the two is no easy task. This may seem especially true where the more routine aspects of public order are concerned. How much freedom must be sacrificed in order to have quiet streets free of graffiti, aggressive panhandlers, prostitutes and teen age gangs? Taken alone, few of these kinds of disorders constitute major crimes-but taken together, they deeply worry people who want to go about their own public business secure in the sense that our society, and not some disorderly faction within it, controls public spaces.
In 1982, we argued in this magazine that the police should take public disorder as seriously as they take criminal conduct. We urged them to resume doing what was once one of their major tasks:constraining the public activity of drunks, panhandlers, prostitutes and gangs.
We suggested two rationales for this change:First,people feel threatened by public disorder;second, the chance that greater order would reduce crime rates. The first statement is obviously true; the second was a conjecture that has still been only partially tested.
Community order, we argued, would bring decent people back on the streets and discourage criminals from using public places; certain kinds of crimes (assault,robbery, and auto theft). therefore, would subsequently decline.
Virtually all of the evidence we have from studies of the police suggests that restoring order is associated with a drop in crime. this is reassuring, but it may not be conclusive. The idea has never been fully tested.
Public order is achieved neither by leaving alone everyone who is not a serious criminal nor by harassing everyone who uses the streets; it is achieved by a combination of family training, neighborhood norms, and official constraints that induce people to follow widely shared rules of behavior. Social science cannot settle the question of how much order ought to be maintained; that is a question of morality and politics. In this country, the public view seems to be quite clear:People believe, we think rightly, that it is a good thing if routine misconduct is discouraged by the gentle action of opinion and authority. It is rarely necessary to arrest an aggressive drunk, a rowdy gang member, or a graffiti artist: it is usually sufficient to discourage them by firm reminders. True freedom is encouraged by an environment of public decency and discouraged by one of neglect and disorder.
Decency in public places may be only a small part of the American idea, but especially for those people living in dangerous, gang-ridden neighborhoods, it is an important one."

As the leading crime community in the State of Illinois as shown in some statistics, the Chief of Police acting on authority granted him by the City of Peoria believed by issuing tickets his officers were making firm reminders to some of the residents of this community that their actions are beyond the the realm of decency.
That respect for authority has broken down terribly in our families, schools, public places and in our community and our society is more than evident.
The "leaders" who picketed for leniency of law-breakers should realize that compassion and understanding did not stop a 15 year old "kid" from assault, arson and the killing of an innocent vehicle rider. While I am a great believer in dialogue with those who feel they are victimized by the "system", I would encourage more of this dialogue to continue and that firmer action be taken towards those who break "windows" until they are finally caught. For years, I have seen more aggressive attitudes of disrespect by black youths in our public schools and disrespect by walking down the middle of streets with both hands holding their crotches.
I appeal to the City Council to give our Police Chief the 25 or more officers (take some of the money requested by the Library Board; these kids showing disrespect will not be found studying in our public libraries; they don't even use the extensive school libraries. Only 22% of the students at Manual were tested to be proficient in reading last year) he needs to dialogue with all residents of the community and take the aggressive action needed to make people feel more safe where they live, work,drive, go to school and recreate.
Until the mothers and father of aggressively disrespectfully off-spring understand that the lives they all lead end up in chaos and that "parents" are required to be more than child bearers who tell their kids how much they love them as these "kids" are sent away to prisons.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Peoria Park District 10/15/07

A group of us play tennis every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Glen Oak Park when the weather permits. Almost invariably during the summer with the wind usually blowing from the Southwest over the tennis courts, some park employee is mowing grass (and dust) despite our constant pleas to find a different patch of park to mow between 9-11 A.M. these three days a week. Today, a park employee was blowing dust 100 or more feet into the air sending large clouds of dust over the courts where we were playing. Only after a phone call was made to park administration did the leaf blower move elsewhere.

This scenario has played and replayed itself dozens of times over the past decade. Less and less grass grows at Glen Oak so more patches of bare ground create virtual dust storms when park employees are mowing or blowing leaves. If you notice, Glen Oak Park overall is in terrible condition. I understand that even Park Board President Cassidy showed dismay when he went on a tour with a couple of concerned taxpayers.

Where beautiful flower gardens grew this morning at 9:00 A.M., by 10:30 A.M. the flowers were cut down and destroyed by orders of park administration. All over Peoria, many brighly colored flowers are still in full bloom. Not at Glen Oak Park; at two sites, they were chopped down and thrown in a tranport and hauled away.

The park has an almost $50 million dollar budget for 2007. All three board seats up for election were filled by two incumbents and one new member occupying the seat vacated by Stan Budinzki. Three people ran for three seats. The community appears to have lost interest in this poorly run, free spending poor imitation of a country club.

The inconsideration of some park employees and administration toward tennis and Glen Oak Park becomes more apparent each year.

The park just announced they are moving thier headquarters over to Knoxville at a cost of $2.7 million prompting at least one Board Member, Jim Cummings to say "when we are talking about several million dollars, I'd like to see it (the money) in advance." The PPD has borrowed $10 million to complete most of the first phase of the new zoo addition. The park still owes 14 more years of payments on the money they borrowed to build the RiverPlex. Income from the RP operations has never paid the yearly principal and interest payments on the original 20 year loan. Yearly losses on the fitness center approach $600,000.00; this loss shared by an unhappy, I'm told, St. Francis Hospital.

The move of park headquarters to Knoxville is temporary as plans are for park Administration to occupy the 33,000 sq. ft. Lakeview Museum after the new downtown museum is built.

I predicted a $60 million dollar park budget by 2010. Forget the softball complex promised by Cassidy and Noble to be completed by 2006 tournament time. They haven't even broken ground and don't have the money without selling more bonds and continuing to raise property taxes. The swapped land, Meinen Field for acreage out by Dunlap, is still in the name of Bradley University who, I'm told, collects agriculture subsidies paid by the lowly taxpayer.

Look at all the money losing enhancements going on around you and wake up, Peoria. All these park and school bonds, including the $35 million library bonds will all have to be repaid someday with (at the present, at least), cheaper dollars. If the housing boom stops (or slows dramatically) in Peoria and no new property tax paying businesses of any size move in, who is going to pay the future bills?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

United States Wars 10/10/07

'The greatest good we can do our country is to heal its party divisions and make them one people.'
-- Thomas Jefferson (letter to John Dickinson, 1801)


John Glenn said this that should make you think a little: There were 39 combat related killings in Iraq in January.In the fair city of Detroit there were 35 murders in the month of January. That's just one American city,about as deadly as the entire war-torn country of Iraq When some claim that President Bush shouldn'thave started this war, state the following: a. FDR led us into World War II.b. Germany never attacked us ; Japan did.From 1941-1945, 450,000 lives were lost average of 112,500 per year. c. Truman finished that war and started one in North Korea who never attacked us .From 1950-1953, 55,000 lives were lost average of 18,334 per year. d John F. Kennedy started the Vietnam conflict in 1962. Vietnam never attacked us. e. Johnson and many in Congress turned Vietnam into a quagmire. From 1965-1975, 58,000 lives were lost average of 5,800 per year. f. Clinton went to war in Bosnia without UN or French consent. Bosnia never attacked us. He was offered Osama bin Laden's head on a platter threetimes by Sudan and did nothing. Osama has attacked us onmultiple occasions. g. In the years since terrorists attacked us , President Bush has liberated two countries, crushed the Taliban, crippled al-Qaida, put nuclear inspectors in Libya , Iran , and, North Korea without firing a shot, and captured a terrorist who slaughtered 300,000 of his own people. Many Democrats are complaining about how long the war is taking. But wait It took less time to take Iraq than it took Janet Reno to take the Branch Davidian compound. That was a 51-day operation.. We've been looking for evidence for chemical weaponsin Iraq for less time than it took Hillary Clinton to find the Rose Law Firm billing records. It took less time for the 3rd Infantry Division and the Marines to destroy the Medina Republican Guard than it took Ted Kennedy to call the police after his Oldsmobile sank at Chappaquiddick. It took less time to take Iraq than it took to count the votes in Florida!!!

Our Commander-In-Chief is doing a GREAT JOB !The Military morale is high!The biased media hopes we are too ignorant to realize the facts. But Wait There's more!JOHN GLENN (on the Senate floor - January 26, 2004)Some people still don't understand why military personnel do what they do for a living. This exchange between Senators John Glenn and Senator Howard Metzenbaum < BR> is worth reading. Not only is it a pretty impressive impromptu speech, but it's also a good example of one man's explanation of why men and women in the armed services do what they do for a living. This IS a typical, though sad, example of what some who have never served think of the military. Senator Metzenbaum (speaking to Senator Glenn):"How can you run for Senate when you've never held a real job?" Senator Glenn (D-Ohio): "I served 23 years in the United States Marine Corps. I served through two wars. I flew 149 missions.My plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire on 12 different occasions. I was in the space program. It wasn't my checkbook, Howard; it was my life on the line. It was not a nine-to-five job, where I took time off to take the daily cash receipts to the bank.''I ask you to go with me .. . as I went the other a veteran's hospital and look those men ..with their mangled bodies . in the eye, and tell THEM they didn't hold a job! You go with me to the Space Program at NASA and go, as I have gone, to the widows and Orphans of Ed White, Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee...and you look those kids in the eye and tell them that their DADS didn't hold a job. You go with me on Memorial Day and you stand in Arlington National Cemetery , where I have more friends buried than I'd like to remember, and you watch those waving flags. You stand there, and you think about this nation,
and you tell ME that those people didn't have a job? < BR>
What about you?'

For those who don't remember
During W.W.II, Howard Metzenbaum was an attorney
representing the Communist Party in the USA .

Now he's a Senator!

If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you are reading it in English thank a Veteran.

It might not be a bad idea to keep this circulating. I AM!!!

So am I.

Merle Widmer

May God bless America

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Peoria County Gap Loan Program 10/10/07

A statement was made on my blog site about my malfeasance in voting for GAP Loans. Here is data from our EDC lisason Sally Hanley. I believe Peoria County has a sterling record to date in helping Peoria County companies to stay located in Peoria County and help new businesses get off the ground.

All loan projects when presented to the full County Board were passed unanimously. All were previously debated were both in committee and before the full board. Several loan requests have been turned down as deemed not meeting GAP Loans Policy.

All applications must be recommended by the EDC before any action is taken by any Committee or the full County Board.

Aattached is information from the EDC.

Thanks, Sally

"Merle, per your request please see the GAP results below for your Blog. The report reflects activity from 2002 when I started. We have had only 3 out of 50 loans go "bad" since the inception back in 1986."

2002-2007 Peoria County Government Assistance Program (GAP) Activity

Total New Capital Invested: $30,252,619.50

Peoria County GAP Loan Portion: $1,612,000.00

13 Businesses Involved:
Ser-Wieg, Inc. *
The Palace Roller Rink *
MHCR, LLC (Culvers Restaurant) *
Allied Packaging, LLC *
inPlay *
Roecker Partnership
Firefly *
eServe LLC
Doehrmann's Ace Hardware *
River Station *
Globe Energy *
* indicates a new business (9 out of 13)

New Jobs Created: 239

Jobs Retained: 71

Sally Hanley
Development Director
Economic Development Council for Central Illinois
124 SW Adams Street, Suite 300
Peoria, Illinois 61602-1388
309.495.5953 v
309.495.5963 f

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Tim Riggenbach

Tim Riggenbach will not be running for Aaron Shock’s seat. Riggenbach, a Republican, will run for re-election to the County Board. Riggenbach has twice been appointed by Democrat County Board Chairmen as Chairman of the Legislative/Finance Committee of the board. As a former businessman who serves on his committee, I can attest that he does a superior job with his leadership.

Riggenbach is the type of politician the community continues to ask to represent them as an honest, common sense, vibrant and industrious community servant. My more than four years of working with him on committees and the full board qualify me to say that if I were in business today; Tim is the type of leader I would seek out for my company.

As Branch Manager of a major bank in Peoria, Tim brings a knowledge of finance and legislation that is a distinct asset to the Peoria County Board.

The community should lay aside partisan politics and elect a person with a proven financial background who is supported by a family with strong interest in the present and future of Peoria. He will have my full support in the elections of 2008.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Ray LaHood 10/01/07

Congressman LaHood is one of the best and it this country's loss to see him retire. I disagreed with him in areas where I had first hand knowledge. It is my experienced opinion that Ray was wrong to twice endorse the Peoria Public Library referendum. It is evident he didn't "go to school" on these $35 million questionable expenditures. Trying to keep up with the "Joneses" while being overly politically correct is seldom easy. What politican can say "no" to libraries while at the same time seeking taxpayer dollars for zoos and museums? Sorry Ray but those of us who understand the Peoria Public Libray situation hope the City Council looks closely at who are using the libraries and in what way before pushing the property taxpayers off a higher cliff. More unsupervised computers are not in the best interests of this community. Nor more easy chairs. These are available at tax-paying B & N.

Ray pushed for a four lane highway; Rt.29, when almost everyone said no. We should have stopped spending another dime on studying Rt 29 when the second "estimated" cost came in at $600 million dollars. The original estimate was $300 million. Sorry Ray, you should have stopped asking for more money to "study" Rt.29 right then. But no, you asked for almost another 1.6 million for further land buying in this corridor and more studies just this year. Instead of "studies" those taxpayer dollars should be used to repair more of our roadway infrastructure and keep that roadbed (Rt. 29) in good repair. Add a couple of "pullovers" so our speedier drivers can pass slower drivers. When asked, IDOT said they never considered building pullovers on Rt. 29 similar to those used in so many states with winding roads.

Why not? There is no glory gained in repairing and updating. You only get major credit when you build new things, not update and repair.

Most everyone who reads my letters and blogs and anyone reading the JSEB knows I strongly opposed the "Highway to Chicago". I had studied enough to know that USDOT had gone from a policy of "mobility and efficiency" to a policy of "feel and function" long before the heavy push to spend what would now be well over $1,000,000,000.00 Sorry, had too many 000's, it's one billion, not a trillion) to destroy farmland, isolate towns and for a trip saving of 12 minutes. And thats a maybe. One thing I do know it would make it easier for Peorians to go to Chicago and suburbs to shop and a quicker run for our illegal drug trade. Out of town shoppers do not pay local taxes. Nor do drug dealers from Chicago or Peoria.

Then there was Ray's effort for the ring road. Lots of money was spent "studying" it over the past decade or so. Now it is back using more taxpayers dollars to study it again. When I asked if a study was made or is being made, comparing it's economic impact to cost, I was told no such study was underway. Hmmmmm.

As an individual I do not support a costly ring road and another bridge. I see it creating more sprawl and would cost 700 million or more of taxpayer dollars. That money can be swpent on repairing our deteriorating infrastructures. It would benefit some people and one major manufacturer. I have asked Peoria County Board Members to take a position on this project and they have so far declined. My opinion is personal but my studied opionion is from a man who spent 36 years in ownership or management in the private sector. I have driven over 1.6 million miles in my lifetime todate. (Refer to my blog on "highways" in my archives dated 8/02/07)

Ray was correct in stating that the City and County Election Commissions should be merged into the county. Where the commission should be located can be decided later. He was hesitant about his position being made public. Elected official always are worrying about getting reelected, who they will please and who they will offend and that is a major problem.

If you suffer from anger and anxiety I recommend that you DO NOT READ "Outrage" by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann. This book describes "How Illegal Immigration, the UN, many members of Congress, Tobacco companies, Trade Protection and Drug Companies plus Student Loan Overcharges, are RIPPING US OFF.

For some lighter reading with slightly less anger and anxiety read "The Tin Roof Blowdown" by James Lee Burke and don't forget "Enough" by Juan Williams. Burke's book is based on facts turned out as fiction and Juan Williams is all facts.

Congressman LaHood, to my relief was not even mentioned in Morris's book. But then I believe that Ray is basically honest. Unfortunately, politicians need a lot of money and they must please a lot of different special interests to get reelected every two years. I think a two year term is ridiculous. You no sooner get elected than you are back campaigning again. Then again, 5 years on District #150 board is two years too many.

I handled our State Farm Insurance account when I owned Widmer's. In discussing fair prices for Widmer's to make a profit and stay in business and still benefit State Farm,I told Doug Finn, Purchasing Director for the whole company, that I felt I was "basically honest". He got a big kick out of my statement; he appreciated my honesty, and my business with his buyers increased. My company rendered a service his company sought and we negotiated prices. When a manufacturer I represented tried to go direct, State farm told me to find another source and that they would continue to buy from my company. State Farm is a major account with Widmer Interiors today.

Dick Durbin had one mention in Morris's book and that was positive.

Back in 1994, I asked Ray to get involved in some of the perpetual problems of School District #150. Ray said he "did not get involved in local issues". Later, Ray did get involved in too many local issues such as school locations and library emotional issues. I hope he does not get involved in the local PBC Bond issues as taxpayers surely know that these bonds must be paid off sometime and mostly if not all, with taxpayer dollars.

Overall, if all our Congressmen were as competent as Ray LaHood, we would be a better and more respected country.

Best wishes to Congressman LaHood in retirement. I hope we elect someone to follow him in most of his footsteps.