Thursday, February 28, 2008

Peoria Public Libraries

An article written by the Journal Star Editorial Board today reads "Strong libraries are a core public service, as important to communities as good roads, effective schools and adequate police protection." The word "adequate" caught my attention. The editors are right; we should have adequate libraries. We do have more than adequate public libraries in Peoria. So adequate that in fact the library board is planning to close the Southside Library, the one that they told the City Council in 2001 and 2002 that this library was "bursting at the seams". Now they say it is "underutilized" and will be closed. The new library built recently to serve RiverWest is so underutilized that it is also going to be closed.

Lakeview library is so underutilized, it has over 1000 linear feet of empty bookshelves. Lakeview is the only library that has self checkout machines that never were dependable and have been out of service going on four months. Peoria Public Library is probably the only city of this size in the United States that does not have self checkout service. Why is that important? Self checkout machines relieve employees to do dozens of other activities and allows the patron to more quickly exit the building.

Another approximately 1000 feet of linear shelf space is unused or seldom used reference books stored on valuable shelf space at all libraries. All reference books are on computer of which every library has an "adequate" number.

Of the 10,000 people who voted for the $35,000,000 library expansion, many told me they hadn't set foot in a library for years but the $100,000 spent on promoting the referendum convinced them there was a "great" need. Statistics indicate another large perentage of "yes" voters were NOT property taxpayers, from whom this $35 million will be extracted.

In "selling" this $35 million project the sellers did not mention the relatively new and underutilized Peoria Heights Library and the newly expanded Dunlap Library; both libraries open to all people who live anywhere and has a free Peoria Public library card.

As I did in 2001, I request the City Council to NOT dump $35,000,000 more spending when we already have more than "adequate" libraries in our commuity. Do not dump more taxes on the overtaxed property payers in the City of Peoria.

Most of the City Council members tell me that they seldom visit a public library. Only one took up my offer to visit any library and see for themselves. Eric Turner agreed by email. But he has never set a date. I suspect the $20,000 donated by the Caterpillar Foundation to conduct the survey may have some influence on Councilman Turner's vote. Too bad. My offer is still open.

"Keeping up with the Jones" has already robbed millions of dollars from taxpayers who could have spent that money with entities that PAY TAXES instead of giving it the enhancement spenders who say these expenditures will cause the city to grow when actually it has shrunk in population, quadrupled in square miles causing service costs to sky rocket and in return Peoria is being assessed record high property taxes.

Many of us are saying "Wake up Peoria" before you drive more and more people and businesses out of Peoria and bring back the slogan of yesteryear's of "last one out of Peoria, turn off the light". We are going to be left with tax collecting bodies building financial disasters like the RiverPlex and the $32 million dollar zoo and taxpaying entities are locating elsewhere.

Two major houses of learning, Barnes and Noble and Borders have a far larger choice of books to read and you can set in comfortable chairs, drink coffee and relax most all hours, seven days a week. Both are struggling financially. Note their falling stock prices. Most important, they offer a great literary service to this community and they both pay taxes, not collect and spend taxes.

Repeat of the RiverPlex that has never been able to even meet the principal and interest on their bonds. This expansion is all about more unsupervised computers in competition with those who sell computers, computer training and service.

The library should get it's own house in order before asking for more bricks and mortar (no working self-check-out machines, good grief) to please a few big egos.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Obama's Wife

In a recent speech Mrs. Obama said that for the first time in her adult life she is proud of her country because her husband was winning. She later repeated it and then tried to explain that of course she loved her country.

Columnist Peggy Noonan asks, "Are the Obama's snobs? Do they understand America? Are they of it? Did anyone in their Ivy League universities school them in why they should love America? Do they confuse patriotism with nationalism, or nativism? Are they more inspired by abstractions like "international justice" than by old visions of America as the city on a hill, which is how John Winthrop saw it, and Ronald Reagan and JFK spoke of it?

Have they been, throughout their adulthood, so pampered and praised--so raised in the liberal cocoon--that they are essentially unaware of what and how normal Americans think? Are they in this, like those cosseted yuppies, the Clintons?"

Noonan asks,"Why is this actually not a distraction but a real issue. Because Americans have common sense (most of them) and are bottom line. They think like this. If the president and his first lady are not loyal first to America and its interests who will be? If America's leaders don't love America tenderly, who will? So many Americans fear that they are losing their country and the old America is slipping away and being replaced by something worse, something formless and hollowed out. They can see we are giving up our sovereignty, that our leaders will not control our borders, that we don't teach our our young the old-fashioned love of America, that the government has taken to itself such power, and made things so complex, and at the end of the day when they count up sales tax, property tax, state tax and federal tax the are paying a lot of money to lose the place they love.

And if you feel like you are losing the place you love, you really don't want a couple in the White House whose rope of the affectation to this country seems to be lightly held, casual, provisional. America is backing Obama at the moment, so America is good.

It appears hard for young African-Americans of Mrs. Obama's generation, having been drilled in America's sad racial history, having been told about it every day of their lives, to fully apprehend the struggles of others. Does she know that people look at her and think, "Man, she's got everything, intelligent, strong tall and beautiful, Princeton, Harvard, black at a time when America was trying to make up for it's sins and be helpful, and from a working class family with two functioning parents who made sure she got to school?

That's the great divide in modern America, whether or not you had a functioning family as she apparently came from the privileged part of that divide. A lot of white working class Americans didn't come up with those things. Some of them were raised by a TV and a microwave and love our country, every day.

Does Mrs. Obama know this? I don't know. If she does, love and show gratitude for the place that tries to give everyone an equal shot would seem in order."

To all who have bought into the charisma of this couple; Democrats, Independents and Republicans, please listen carefully to what they are saying. People want change and so do I but we better be carefully studying whether this is the change we are looking for.

Peoria Riverfront Museum New Developments

While this information was passed to all members of the Peoria County Board as "Confidentially, we want to share new developments regarding this important project", I feel that if the museum committee is taking action to reach goals that will convince the taxpayers of the area to accept more of the benefits and the risks of this project, the committee needs to become more, not less, transparent. The new developments are as follows:

1. The CEO Roundtable, which is chaired by Michael Bryant and includes top CEO's and business leaders in the community, has agreed to take the leadership role in raising the additional private monies needed during the remainder of 2008.

2. Senator David Koehler is putting legislative language to submit in the spring legislative session (Refer JS 2/22 article by Adriana Colindres "Museum Funding gets initial backing"). "About $25.5 million has been raised so far toward the museum ,meaning it will still need another $40 to $50 million", Richerson said. Brad McMillan, former co-chair of the Museum Collaboration Group, has agreed to chair a broad based, bi-partisan Museum Referendum Task Force.

3. The project is closely looking at ways to ensure broader regional financial participation.

4. The project has retained a marketing firm to put together an exciting public relations campaign explaining to the community what will be included inside the Peoria Riverfront Museum.

The document concludes "We plan to go public with this new leadership team and communications strategy by the first week in April."

As a taxpayer in this overtaxed community, I will keep myself best informed and pass whatever I feel should be made public to those of you who read this site, and others. As an active member of the County Board, it is my obligation to promote all projects that I deem to be in the best interests of the voters I represent.

More blogs on the subject to follow.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Peoria County Administrator Signs New Contract

The employment contract of Administrator Parick Urich was revised to reflect an increase to $155,000.00 per year effective March 1, 2008, $165,000.00 March 1, 2009 and $175,000.00 effective March 1, 2010. All other aspects of the contract signed in 2006 will remain in force.

His salary is in line with his performance over the past 7 plus years. He will continue to be an asset to this community and perhaps remain as a valuable employee of Peoria County long past 2010.

"We Don't Have all the Facts Yet"

Statement by the new Bradley University President in today's JS on Bradley Basketball player and Co-Captain Dan Ruffin. "You can't base decisions on what you don't know", says Bradley freshman Jesse Reynolds. "If it's true,it sets a bad example (for the rest of team).

Diamond Tyree was upset to hear of another athlete facing criminal charges. "Our athletes get away with murder; so why would it stop?" All it does is increase the rules for us, while it doesn't evens effect the ones doing it...It's not really fair. they don't really get punished."

This the fourth incident of athletes violating codes of conduct. I suggest the new president set up a code of conduct for all who represent the university in after school activities.

If the men's basketball coach had a code of conduct it doesn't appear he is capable of enforcing it. One fact is obvious. There are no curfew codes being enforced. the Bradley basketball player was still active doing something in the early morning hours BEFORE he was to be playing in a basketball game being broadcast on national TV.

Win at all costs sets terrible examples for youths everywhere in this country but then look at the "role models" they emulate from locals to entire country "role models". Look what happened to the men's basketball program at the University of Illinois. Note also that some who disrupted that program also came from Peoria. What does this say about a community that is trying to survive and grow in a very competitive environment?

Guilty or not three or more players in the last 60 days have violated curfew codes of conduct or as it appears the coach does not have codes he is capable of or wants to enforce.

The question is who is running the basketball program? If the coach is being paid in the $300,000.00 a year range and he hasn't yet won a conference or a Valley Tournament title, is it too much for the money to hold his recruits to a code of conduct without the help of the president and board of directors?

Friday, February 22, 2008

About Some Things

Jim Les HAS a team that plays like a team and has a great possbility to win the Valley basketball tournament in St. Louis. In Bradley wins over Creighton and Drake both opponents played like they were a bit "frighted" and Bradley played smart and confident. Good luck in St. Looie.

I went to Bradley Student Center on February 13 and enjoyed two intelligent people talk about the upcoming Presidential election. Of course, my blogs and actions more mirrored the main thoughts of Republican columnist and pundit,Jonah Goldberg. I was impressed with his clear thinking including his predicting a win for the Democrats and Obama in November. Goldberg's comments on the stimulus plan was "I don't want to commit to the word idiotic, but it's pretty bad."

In his column in the JS on 2/17, Goldberg talks about compassionate conservatism. Who the heck ever coined that term? Is a compassionate conservative someone like Michael Bloomberg who wants a new "post partisian" movement of "We know what's best for you, buddy" type government? Or Mike Huckabbe who wants to ban smoking nationwide. Didn't we try that with booze and drugs and if you think our drug intradiction policies are stopping people from using drugs, you aren't paying attention to the one's involved in enforcing these failed policies are privately saying. Or banning tranfat, kids running in the park like some Florida Communities, or banning Ringling Bros. and Walmart, just to name a few.

The do-gooders always believe that people want to be saved from themselves. To them "free" means living the "right" way. Maybe true but not at the price some people are willing to pay. Some of us remember the Nazi Youth programs that stated that "nutrition is not a private matter"--and the Nazi slogans like "one for all and all for one". Like homeless people whose only freedom is being able to stay homeless if they want to. That's why most homeless programs fail and the one underway in Peoria will fail also unless the compassionates want do all the giving.

Goldberg say that Alexis de Tocqueville, in his book "Democracy in the United States warned: "It must not be forgotten that it is especially dangerous to enslave men in the minor details of life."

Goldberg concludes, "I would be inclined to think freedom less necessary in great things (like national intelligence gathering) than in little ones."

Don't get me wrong, Ken Hinton is an asset to the community. He just happens to be part of a system that spends over 10M a year per student and only comes up with half a loaf. He says on grading principals, that the school board wants more accountability. (We would grade the board by having more people running for election who are more qualified to change the system.) But who wants a 5 year sentence, I mean job, at no pay and and lots of abuse. Pretty progressive, grading principals, don't you think. Next thing you know they will be grading kids on how well they are preparing themselves to get a job, yes I know, we want them to go to college, but a college degree is like a hunting liscense; hunting liscences and degrees make no guarantee of a kill or getting and holding a job when students enter the real world. That's why some of them never do hold a real job.

And then there are the Republicans of which I seldom brag about being one. I'm not afraid to say I'm a Republican but some of them are no better than some Democrats.
the Republicans just need a major overhaul at most levels. When I vote, I have little choice as there is no real conservative party. Other parties have shaky platforms I don't agree with and have real problem with creditability. I have a goodly number of Democrat friends and aquaintances and a bunch of friends that I could care less what party they belong to. The Democrat candidates and platforms don't move me to become a part of their party. Kind of like the days I belonged to the Peoria Country Club; lots of acquantainces and good people, but not the style of life where my wife and I felt comfortable. PCC membership was mainly Republican and the only black that slipped in was married to a doctor and she was from another country originally.

But I digress, (I ususally do) but I wanted to comment on Jeff Flake a Republican Congressman from Arizona. Flake, a guy I personanly met and have followed his career started raising hell about earmarks such as bridges from unoccuppied islands to Alaska and maybe such priorities as the Charles Rangel Center for Public Service, a fake prison in Kansas, (Bet the kids will see right through that one) anothr few million for a study of a ring road that if it was ever going to be built should have been 30 years ago, or maybe a few million more to "study" to make Rt. 29 an interstate. MAMA, DON'T LET YOUR KIDS GROW UP TO BE COWBOYS AND GIRLS; INSTEAD SHOW THEM WHERE THE PRESTIGE AND THE MONEY IS; LET THEM BE CONSULTANTS.

Everybody that is elected to DC is espected to bring a part of what their constituents sent to DC. They want it brought back home. Now if we could stop them from taking so much to DC, we could have money to pay for the real needs in our communities like ballparks, RiverPlexes, zoos, parking lots and maybe a new American Ballet Theatre, if we had one. Just kidding.

Back to Flake. Newly elected House Minority Leader, Republican John Boehmer who is asking congress to swear off earmarks, bypassed Flake for a seat on the Appropriation Committee, the one that hands out the goodies, for Alabam's Jo Bonner who has less seniority; they are big on getting in line in DC, but ususally votes for the earmarks Flake opposses. Flake voted against 50 earmarks and Bonner voted for 49 of the same earmarks. Those Republicans really know how to control spending.

Well, dinner time, got to go.

Thanks for reading me and pass this site to your friends.

An Almost Universal Dogma

This article in Forbes on 1/30 deserves to be reprinted almost as wrtten. The article, "Pernicious Pretension" asks, "Why is there an almost universal dogma that government can play significant positive roles in economic activity, that they can fine tune economic activity and prevent excesses and cushion downturns?

It's a colossal conceit, and one that does immeasurable harm. Economics are not like engines that can be mechanically manipulated to run better. (Sure, tax rebates, like a couple of martini's might give you a temporary attitude adjustment, but rarely do much for your pocketbook in the long run.)

In fact, it's usually government actions that CAUSE destructive troubles and excesses. The GREAT DEPRESSION, (yes, I very well remember, Dad and Mom with nine kids and mortage payments never went broke, and niether have I or anyone in our family) for instance, is always cited as prima facie proof as to why we need active government involvement. To the contrary, government blundering brought on the diaster, starting with the Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1929-30, which began a devastating trade war that, in turn, dried up internationl trade and flows of government capital. That horrible error was compounded in the U.S. by Herbert Hoover's massive tax increase to balance the budget in 1932. Hoover thought a balanced budget would revive confidence. Instead, the deficit ballooned, as the high taxes deepened the the slump. Compunding Hoover's errors, FDR retarded recovery through major tax increases and destructve regulatory meddling. For the first and only time in history a recovery didn't surpass the peak of the previous economic expansion.

The horrific inflation that racked the U.S. and most of the world in the 1970s and 1980s was clearly the result of excess money created by the Federal Reserve, abetted by other central banks. Preident Nixon cut the U.S. dollar from gold in 1971,and central banks floundered.

Today, the weak dollar is roiling financial markets and hurting our economy.

As for the cures for economic contractions, government spending isn't one of them. If government spending, like the new stimulus package would be one of them, then the Soviet Union would have won the Cold War.

What governments can do is create environments in which entrepreneurial activity can flourish--a sane legal system with property rights, low taxes, sound money and minimal barriers to doing business. But rebates and "emergency" spending measures or the Fed playing with interest rates to encourage or discourage economic activity? Bah, humbug."

As a Peoria County board member, one of 18, I try to make Peoria as economically friendly as one individual can without giving away the key to the County bank. This article pretty well sums up my beliefs on how to avoid depressions; economic slowdowns and activity troughs are part of life. So are banruptcies and belt tightening. Unfortuantely, there are those that believe in handouts (the stimulus package) are the way to be compassionate, stay in office or get elected or reelected.)

Too bad.

Priorities for America

It's too bad more politicians don't think like Robert Lohman of Bartonville. Robert wrote in a LTTE in the JS on 2/21 a to-do list for our next president:
Encourage private business to start rebuilding our rail transportation,(they are, thousands of miles are in planning or now being built) build new oil refineries, (we are not, too much resistance from the radical environmentalists) Drill for oil in the West and Alaska, get the EPA of our backs, (and the radical enviromentalists and the Bureau of Land Use) get the federal government out of the school business and leave these affairs up to the state, (before that can happen the structure of public schools have to be completly rebuilt as they are in some larger communities) If people smoke and cannot afford medical insurance, then they should not be elgible for federal medical assistance for the purchase of insurance. If they can afford tobacco, they can afford to buy insurance, (let's go for drug addicts and alcoholics also) no more free medical care for illegal's. When they come to the emergency room for treatment they should be taken care of and deported. No more free anything for illegals. If a child is born in this country to an illegal, then the child should not automatically become a citizen. How and when did this ever get started? (A question not hard to handle. Politicians catering to special interests and seeking reelection. Churches and privately funded agencies should handle medical care costs. They are the ones who shelter illegals, find jobs for them and encourage them to stay here. The hospitals who give free medical care pass the costs on to private pay or the government who makes up the deficit by tax collections. Illegals do pay sales taxes and other fees but they ship most of this money that could be used to support education, public safety and medical care here, back to the country they come from.)

Robert concludes, "Finally, we need to move away from our trek towards socialism and in November elect a president who will give more attention to the American taxpayer and what is good for th U.S.A."

Well said, Robert. I hope you are involved in politics at some level. For the man you described who would work to do most of this, there is only one candidate, even with all his warts, and that is John McCain.

The () are all mine, but Robert and I are pretty much on the same page. I hope all who think like us vote in November.

Intelligence Gathering

I would wildly guess estimate that there are probably 8 billion telephone numbers through out the world. If you read the book on terrorism I just recommended, you will understand our intelligence community only has time to follow approximately 300,000 of these numbers and they follow for a reason or they wouldn't waste their insufficient budget dollars to do so. They are in constant worry that another 9/11 or a World Trade building attack is being planned right now.

Nancy Pelosi and her crowd are playing partsian politics with the lives of people currently in the United States. They are catering to the ACLU and the pacifist crowd and playing partisian politics. The minority who believe that since we have not been attacked since 9/11, the tort attorneys can now sue the telecommunications companies for cooperating with their own government during a time of extreme stress on most of the citizenry of this country. Sure,the Pelosi crowd might give them some exemptions now but what confidence would the communications industry have that maybe five years from now they would not be sued again? So why cooperate now?

The WSJ says "Intelligence-gathering has changed since the end of the Cold War. We live in a weorld of fiber optics and packet switching. The NSA can't get what it needs by merely scanning the airwaves for telephone calls and code words. Terrorists also communicate through the internet. To eavesdrop on those communications the NSA needs the help of private companies, which voluntarily cooperated after 9/11 when the President and the Attorney General asked them to do so."

And what do they get for their patriotic troubles? They get paid nothing. They get $40 billion worth of lawsuits they have to defend, grief, trashing, but they do it. Any president should have the right to order wiretaps to save lives. Why should the telephone companies now cooperate without the protection of a court order? By the time the court order goes through the process advocated by the Pelosi crowd, the attack may have already happened. Then who will be blamed? The current adminstration, of course.

Why would the telephone companies cooperate with the govenment now? To be sued for billions and then sued by their sharholders for failure to perform financially? i think not.

Remeber their is no defense against a lawsuit. You can be sued by anybody and you need to defend yourself. Cases can run into hundred of millions of dollars of lawyer fees and court costs.

The WJS continues, "Democrats could vote directly to to restrict wiretapping by the executive branch, but they don't have the votes. So instead, they're trying to do it through the backdoor by unleashing the trial bar to punish the telephone companies that cooperated with the government. Then if there is another terrorist attack they will blame the telephone companies for not cooperating."

To be safe than sorry results in giving up certain rights. That's why the great majority of us don't do drugs. We drive with or seat belts buckled. We drive somewhat whithin speed limits especially in school zones. We don't carry loaded weapons. We don't drink while driving. We drive viewed often times by radar but does that take away our rights? What is so difficult to understand these premises?

Washington, as well as many states, play dirty political games. Any half-truth way to convince the poorly educated or half educated or bureacrats or party hacks, to believe everything the admistration in power does is harming them.

If those of you who believe putting the Democrats in total power of of government are not paying attention or are part of the group I just described.

Too bad out country is coming to what many believe to be the eventual demise of this great nation.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Obama Working Across Party Lines - I Think Not

The more I hear this candidate talk, the more I fear for the future of this country. Did you listen to his demagoguery in Houston? An idealist? Maybe so at this time but once elected, I think not. Even Democrats should be listening to what he is saying, not just read his books, "ghosted" by others to make him sound as Terry Bibo of the JS, would say, a "mild mannered Arthur Ashe".

In Houston, he came off his "we are not red and blue but all partisians working for a common goal." In Houston, he advocated that he was about as far left wing as he could go. One person said she was put in mind of Rosemary Clooney's hit "Come on a-My-House, I'm gonna give you everything."

This man is about as socialistic and populist as any candidate for office I have ever listened to. I reiterate; he is scary. Listen carefully to the words he is saying and try not be carried away by his charisma. The world has been led down many a "primrose path" by men who could charm their way into a woman's pants and a man's wallet.

The ability to charm and promise voters who haven't voted in their lifetimes to stop this and that, promise everybody a $2500 rebate on their health insurance, to to bring our troops home now. All without the slighest idea of how he is going to do this without taxing us similar to Denmark, is not a valid reason to elect a man with NO record of ever working across party lines, to be President of this still great country.

The Little Noticed Terrorist Watch

For anyone who thinks that the Bush Administration is not protecting this country should read a book titled, "The Terrorist Watch" - Inside the Desperate Race to Stop the Next Attack - by Ronald Kessler. I quote, "While legitimate criticism should be welcome, the critics appear to think that the enemy is our own government, not the Islamic murderers. With so many people--especially those in the media--saying America is on the wrong course and the government can not be trusted, one wonders why Americans are so gloomy. Did too many of us watch too much television when we were young, altering the brain's structure and causing a short attention span? How about not enough fat in our diets, reducding the serotonin levels? Or did some Americans smoke too much marijuana, causing depression?

All of the above may be the culprit, but one thing is certain: Americans are spoiled.

What are Americans so unhappy about? Is it because we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day? Could it be that 95% of us have a job? That we have the freedom of speech, press and religion enjoyed by few other countries in the world? Or that we see more food in any supermarket than Darfur has seen in a year?

"Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen," writes Craig Smith, a conservative columnist. "No wonder the world loves the U.S.A. but has a great didain for it's citizens. They see us for what we are--the most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don't have and what we hate about the country instead of thankng the Lord that we live here."

What the critics do not appreciate is that America is in a war for it's survival when bin Laden and his followers declared war on the United States in his fatwa of 1998. Critics do not report that thousands of people are working for our security and that we owe a debt of gratitude to the brave public servants who devote their lives to finding the terrorists and stopping them.

I have no problem with free speech. It is too bad that so many of those speaking appear to have brain damage. Probably too much of a lack of attention span to read this book and most of my postings.

The President and his advisors have done a tremendous number of things right in this administration but he and many other leaders will not get much credit until later on in history. This book tells where credit for keeping us safe in our country from outside terrorists should be going and why and how. Yes, a lot of mistakes have been made but those of us who read history know that worse mistakes were made by the Allied Commanders in WW11 and certainly by Lyndon Johnson, John Kennedy and have we forgotten the mistakes of the Civil War commanders, a war that killed hundereds of thousands of our own people and took the country more than 50 year to partially recover. (I say partially because Charley Rangle and his ilk are still seeking "war reparations").

Probably will get them too, if socialist and populist charismatic Obama is elected.

Generally Ignored Facts


Bet you didn't know the following! I surely did not. These are some rather eye-opening facts: Since the start of the war on terror in Iraq and Afganistan, the sacrifice has been enormous. In the time period from the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 through now, we have lost over 3000 military personnel to enemy action and accidents. As tragic as the loss of any member of the US Armed Forces is, consider the following statistics:

The annual fatalities of military members while actively serving in the armed forces from 1980 through 2006:

>>1980 ......... 2,392
>>1981 ......... 2,380
>>1984 ......... 1,999
>>1988 ......... 1,819
>>1989 ......... 1,636
>>1990 ......... 1,508
>>1991 ......... 1,787
>>1992 ......... 1,293
>>1993 ......... 1,213
>>1994 ......... 1,075
>>1995 ......... 2,465
>>1996 ......... 2,318 8 Clinton years @ 13,417 deaths
>>1997 ......... 817
>>1998 ......... 2,252
>>1999 ......... 1,984

>>2000 ......... 1,983
>>2001 ......... 890
>>2002 ......... 1,007 7 Bush years @ 9,016 deaths
>>2003 ......... 1,410
>>2004 ......... 1,887
>>2005 ......... 919
>>2006.......... 920

If you are confused when you look at these was I.

Do these figures mean that the loss from the two latest conflicts in the Middle East are LESS than the loss of military personnel during Mr. Clinton 's presidency when America wasn't even involved in a war? And, I was even more confused when I read that in 1980, during the reign of President (Nobel Peace Prize) Jimmy Carter, there were 2,392 US military fatalities!

These figures indicate that many of our Media & Politicians will pick and choose. They present only those 'facts' which support their agenda-driven reporting. Why do so many of them march in lock-step to twist the truth? Where do so many of them get their marching orders for their agenda?

Our mainstream print and TV media and many politicians like to slant that these brave men and women who are losing their lives in Iraq are mostly minorities! Wrong AGAIN! This is just one more media lie! The latest census of Americans shows the following distribution of American citizens, by race:

>>European descent (White) .... 69.12%
>>Hispanic ................................... 12.5%
>>Black.......................................... 12.3%
>>Asian ......................................... 3.7%
>>Native American ...................... 1.0%
>>Other ........................................ 2.6%

Now... here are the fatalities by race over the past three years in Iraqi Freedom:

>>European descent (white) .... 74.31%
>>Hispanic .................................... 10.74%
>>Black .......................................... 9.67%
>>Asian .......................................... 1.81%
>>Native American ...................... 1.09%
>>Other .......................................... 33.00%

These statistics are published by Congressional Research Service, and they may be confirmed by anyone at: (Please look at this report site if you have the chance.)

Now ask yourself these two questions:

1. Why does the mainstream Print and TV Media never provide statistics like these?

2. Why do the mainstream media hate the web as much as they do?

You do the math! These figures don't lie... but, media-liars figure...and they sway public opinion!

---- The Left-Wing Media Lies Forever-----


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Creativity Gap

An article in The School Administrator in February discusses the creativity gap between Americans and Asians. It states that Asians think more as a group and their constant obligations to the group and not to bring shame to the group. American parents and educators overall have low academic expectations of their students which is a sign that American parents and educators define success more broadly and strongly emphasis children as individuls and that it is important to respect their wishes and abilities.

Asian parents put a higher value on grades and test scores pressuring their kids that academic success is important not for personal reasons, but to please others. Asians are more apt to use a standardized and centralized curriculum.
The article states that "teaching at the same pace and from the same textbook for all students leaves little time for exploring individual interests. Creativity cannot be taught but it can be killed. The creativity gap exists because American schools teach creativity and do not kill it as much as do Asians."

Asians parents place an extremely high value on external indicators-grades, test scdores,and most importantly, admission to prestigous universities. Excessive or exclusive focus on external indicators of success such as grades and test scores can pressure children, sending the message that academic success is important, not for personal reasons, but to please others.

The article continues stating that more people crossing national borders requires communities to become increasingly diverse culturally and racially. Communities need to provide services that are culturally sensistive and linguistically competent to new immigrants, to attract international investments and tourists, and to get on the global stage. What used to be required of a small group of individuals - diplomats, translators,cross-cultural communications or international tour guides - has become necessary for most all professions.

Many American students lack sufficient knowledge about the rest of the world including languages and cultures and are not prepared to compete and lead in a global workforce. Most American schools do not teach foreign languages until high school which is a little too late and even in high school, most students are not required to take any foreign language. By contrast, in China, English is required beginning, in some cases, as early the first grade.

Much the same is true in South Korea, Taiwan and other nations. Whatever is happening in distant places of the world now affects communities worldwide. Terrorism, environmental destruction, disease and political unrest have all acquired a global nature. To understand what is going on in the world and the requirement to appreciate the interconnectedness and interdependence of peoples to respect and protect cultural diversity is required to ensure the very survival and continuity of human civilization.

This is a difficult assignment for American educators. NCLB already has squeezed out most room for any subjects other than what is being tested. The frightening description of job losses due to offshoring, trade deficit, foreign terrorists and the rise of developing countries and how children in other countries will "eat the lunch" of American children adds to the challenge for educators to convince a very American-centric public that helping our children develop a sense of global citizenship is actually a good thing.

Our well-being is is forever connected to that of other people in other countries. Our prosperity cannot be sustained in isolation from other countries.

"We know test scores don't predict the future of other individuals and nations. Author Daniel Goleman wrote the following in his classic book Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More Than IQ: "One of psychology's open secret is the relative inability of grades, IQ or SAT scores, desite their popular mystique, to predict unerringly who will succeed in life..At best, IQ contributes about 20% to the factors that determine life success, which leaves 80% to other forces."

I have written several blogs saying that there is too much emphasis on test scores. If we want to retain the creativity that has always separated this country from many others, especially in times of conflict, will not come from holding schools accountable for just adequate yearly progress in test scores. AP, AYP and similar measures have the greatest potential to destroy students' chances of success by forcing schools to narrow their curriculum, teachers to teach to the test and the public to adopt a single criteria to measure the success of students, teachers and schools. It aims to equip our children with knowledge easily found in other countries while squelching creativity and talents that are truly valuable.

"Instead of becoming more like others who are eager to become Americans, American education needs to be more American-to preserve flexibility, protect individuality and promote multiple intelligences. American education also needs to become more global - adopt a global perspective, add foreign languages and cultures and advocate global inter-realtionships."

Many people in Peoria thought it was wrong to bring in Chinese teachers and they made some good points. So many kids have no interest in learning and can hardly read and write. Often, at levels far below the level of many of thier peers. We must accelerate separating those who do not see the advantage of learning, after repeated failures of parents and teachers to show them why they need to learn, especially to read and reason well, from many who are eager to learn all they can. We fail because too many people believe one can only succeed without a higher education degree. We fail because we believe all our kids are higher level college material. They are not. Just because someone graduates from a college or university and makes more money than another or has an impressive title, does not make that person a greater success. Life was never going to a utopia where everybody is a Chief. Getting kids to believe that they are all going to be Chiefs' is a major failing of our American system.

You will not find my name in the top half of any high school or college graduating class. But I would not trade the creativity I acquired for all the rigourous, structured "rote" learning of any American or Asian school. Now this rote learning in America is driving many kids out of school before they are ready to accept and handle responsibility. They are not being sold or buying why they need to study and learn and pass all types of tests other than grade tests. And many teachers are caught in the middle; good scores or you are not a good teacher.

Too bad.

Creative people have ideas, behaviors, beliefs and lifestyles that that deviate from the norm and tradition. Research has found that, in general, tolerance of deviation from tradition and norm results in more creativity. Without American creativity, we would today probably not be a free country.

Much of the content of this blog comes from Yong Zhoa, director of the U.S.-China Center for Research on Educational Excellence at Michigan State University.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Grading Our Students

Grading - so it's all about grades and a teacher's ability to teach kids so they get good grades. Grades - important enough for a parent to carry a complaint all the way to the school board. A complaint about a grade given to a student found unacceptable to the student, the parent and 5 members of a 7 member school board.

Wrong. All wrong. And I'm not just talking about 5 of 7 board members ruling against the teacher. Way too much emphasis on assigning a letter, A+--F to school work assigned. A recent article says, "More Illinois students failing AP exams. About 67% of 2007 graduates who took the end-of-the-year AP exam posted a 3 or higher; the score needed to to earn a college credit on a scale of 1 to 5. Five years ago, 72% made the grade.

The results mirror what is happening across the country, where record numbers of students are sitting through AP classes, but a greater proportion are failing the exam.

Experts say the results suggest the explosion of AP courses has resulted in watered- down curriculum in some districts."

So at Richwoods, a veteran and respected teacher in an enriched class did not "water down" her students efforts but graded them on the way they will be graded in the college they wish to attend where admittance is often based mainly on grades. Then a "chatterer" writes to the JSEB that he too would have questioned what was wrong with her teaching skills because the majority of the class failed the assignment.

If a student wants to go to college and one of Ivy League caliber, they are going to need grades standards set by the college that others applying for entry have also achieved. Or they go to a "lesser" college. The teacher knows from experience that giving higher than earned grades to a student may get them in a more elite school.
These good teachers also know that many who received "compassionate" grades can't handle tough courses or compete with students from other schools with better teachers who do not grade students just to get them in the college they believe they are entitled to attend.

In past, and maybe better generations, kids often disliked tough teachers when they were in school. Seldom did the parent or school board try to interfere. As adults, those most successful realized what an asset these teachers were to them. I believe Mrs. Moe is one of them and I regret these attacks on her. In the many classrooms I have visited, I have seen so many teachers trying to be "friends or buddies" to their kids. Therin lies the failure of so many of today's adults.

Without the teacher gaining respect from her students, there is a sub-par learning atmosphere. It is not necessary to like someone you respect. If a student both respects and "likes" a teacher the learning atmosphere is perhaps better but not necessarily so as most will learn when they enter the job market.

As an employer for at least 33 years of my life my criteria in hiring and retaining was as follows: Skills necessary for the position offered-Conduct during the hiring process and conduct after hiring-Attitude-Work or education levels attained-Ability to express themselves-Common sense-Responsibility-Integrity-Dependablity and willingness to learn. At no time did I ever ask to see their report card.

Those hired who had the most success were those who were the ones most rounded in the art of living and working together and respecting themselves and others around them.

I do not down play the importance of learning while in school but to judge students by the grades they receive on their report cards while they are in grade and high school is just plain wrong.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Lemons and Other Humanly Handled Additives to Your Drinks

I recently sent out an email warning of possible contamination of your drinks by bacteria that may be harmful on your lemon lemon peels you squeeze and drop in your drink. I should have researched further. While there is a possibility of bacteria, lemons are far from being alone.

I refer you to

Illegal Immigration Alleged Costs to our Country

This information was passed to me by my son-in-law. I can verify most of it from the files I have accumulated and from my two blogs on the strongly debated problem. Little action can be expected before 2009 because all politicians are fearful of offending a possible vote. Correct any mis-information you can prove if you wish.

To Merle,



Subject: What's More Costly

than Iraq?

Look who is responsible at the

end of this message.

I hope the following 14 reasons

are forwarded over and over

again until they are read so

many times that the reader gets

sick of reading them. I have

included the URL's for

verification of the following :

1. $11 Billion to $22 billion is

spent on welfare to illegal

aliens each year.

2. $2.2 Billion dollars a year

is spent on food assistance

programs such as food stamps,

WIC, and free school lunches for

illegal aliens.

3. $2.5 Billion dollars a year

is spent on Medicaid for illegal


4. $12 Billion dollars a year is

spent on primary and secondary

school education for children

here illegally and they cannot

speak a word of English!

5. $17 Billion dollars a year is

spent for education for the

American-born children of

illegal aliens, known as anchor


6. $3 Million Dollars a DAY is

spent to incarcerate illegal


7. 30% percent of all Federal

Prison inmates are illegal


8. $90 Billion Dollars a year is

spent on illegal aliens for

Welfare and Social Services by

the American taxpayers.

9. $200 Billion Dollars a year

in suppressed American wages are

caused by the illegal aliens.

10. The illegal aliens in the

United States have a crime rate

that's two-and-a-half times that

of white non-illegal aliens. In

particular, their children, are

going to make a huge additional

crime problem in the US.

11. During the year of 2005

there were 4 to 10 MILLION

illegal aliens that crossed our

Southern Border also, as many as

19,500 illegal aliens from

Terrorist Countries. Millions of

pounds of drugs, cocaine, meth,

heroin and marijuana, crossed

into the U. S from the Southern

border. Homeland Security


12. The National Policy

Institute, "estimated that the

total cost of mass deportation

would be between $206 and $230

billion or an average cost of

between $41 and $46 billion

annually over a five year


13. In 2006 illegal aliens sent

home $45 BILLION in remittances

back to their countries of


14. "The Dark Side of Illegal

Immigration: Nearly One Million

Sex Crimes Committed by Illegal

Immigrants In TheUnited States".

Total cost is a whooping...

$338.3 BILLION A YEAR!!!

If this doesn't bother you then

just delete the message, but on

the other hand, if it does raise

the hair on the back of your

neck, then forward it.

Snopes is provided for doubters:

Social Security Change For 2008

The United States Senate voted

to extend Social Security

Benefits to Illegal Aliens

beginning in 2008. The following

are the senators who voted to

give illegal aliens Social

Security benefits. They are

grouped by home state. If a

state is not listed, there was

no voting representative.

Alaska: Stevens (R)

Arizona : McCain (R)

Arkansas : Lincoln (D) Pryor (D)

California : Boxer (D) Feinstein


Colorado : Salazar (D)

Connecticut : Dodd (D) Lieberman


Delaware : Biden (D) Carper (D)

Florida : Martinez (R)

Hawaii : Akaka (D) Inouye (D)

Illinois : Durbin (D) Obama (D)

Indiana : Bayh (D) Lugar (R)

Iowa : Harkin (D)

Kansas : Brownback (R)

Louisiana : Landrieu (D)

Maryland : Mikulski (D) Sarbanes


Massachusetts : Kennedy (D)

Kerry (D)

Montana : Baucus (D)

Nebraska : Hagel (R)

Nevada : Reid (D)

New Jersey : Lautenberg (D)

Menendez (D)

New Mexico : Bingaman (D)

New York : Clinton (D) Schumer


North Dakota : Dorgan (D)

Ohio : DeWine (R) Voinovich(R)

Oregon : Wyden (D)

Pennsylvania : Specter (R)

Rhode Island : Chafee (R) Reed


South Carolina : Graham (R)

South Dakota : Johnson (D)

Vermont : Jeffords (I) Leahy (D)

Washing ton : Cantwell (D)

Murray (D)

West Virginia : Rockefeller (D),

by Not Voting

Wisconsin : Feingold (D) Kohl


(note there are 9

Republicans, including

Presidential candidate McCain!)







who didn't pay in a dime

Bill Greytak




This information comes from my son-in-law and most of these facts have been verified in numerous articles I have on file. Some you may debate. Feel free to do so.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum 2/17/08

On 2/02/08, the JS reported that the Lincoln Museum is upping admission costs from $ to $10 effective March 1. Attendance in the first year the museum opened was 575,000 and dropped to 490,000 in 2nd year. A "decline in attendance could be expected after a new facility is opened", says Director Rick Beard. "It takes three to four years to establish a baseline".

The library and museum's annual budget is about 12.8 million of which 8.25 million comes from the State of Illinois. This budget figures also cover Union Station and Union Square Park.

The yearly operating projections for the Peoria Museum appears to be slightly in excess of 4 million and in combination with the Caterpillar Visitor Center appears to expect 360,000combined visitors per year. An annual one half million dollar fund drive for the Peoria Museum is planned each year. The Visitors Center finances will be the responsibility of Caterpillar.

As a referendum publicity drive gears up to be launched in April, this site will shed as much tranparency on this project as facts are available.

Blog Links 2/17/08

You may wish to be added to my links. Please email your title,url and your profile. Add me to yours. I am still wary of opening emails from people I can't identify. But I'm in the phone book.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez 2/13/08

Populist Presidential candidate Obama is sounding more and more like the President of Venezuelan. I reprint an article from an interview with African-American renowned economist, author and columnist, Thomas Sowell about his new book, "Economoic Facts and Fallacies":

Q: What is an example of a fallacy from your book?

A: "One is the income gap between the rich and the poor. It's maddening to me to keep hearing how the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, and so on. The fundamental difference is the difference between talking about abstract statistical categories and talking about flesh-and-blood human beings. Since my book came out, for example, there has been a study released by the Treasuary Department based on income tax returns. There they are talking about following the same human beings over a span of years, which is wholly different from following income brackets over a span of years, because in all the brackets more than half the people change in the course of a decade. So what happens to a bracket is an abstract question, what happens to the flesh-and-blood human beings is different.

For example, for the flesh-and-blood people who were in the bottom 20% of taxpayers in income in 1996, their average increase in income over the next decade was 91%-so they almost doubled their incomes. Meanwhile, for the people in the top 1%-presumably the rich who are getting richer-their average declined 26%. That's diametrically the opposite from what we are hearing from nearly every newspaper and practically every political platform.

But of course it's also true that if you look at the income tax brackets, the distance of the top bracket from the lowest bracket has increased. One reason is that the very lowest tax bracket is zero, so it can't go any lower. So as you pay people more and more money and as the economy grows and skills become more sophisticated, obviously the ratio from the top to the bottom is going to increase."

I have great respect for Thomas Sowell, Juan Williams, Colin Powell, William Strawberry,the columnist, Ward Connerly and thousands of other great black leaders. In the Journal Star we get the likes of Robinson and Pitts, both usually highly prejudicial. We did at one time have Sowell and Strawberry. Most of us would prefer them over some of the present JS columnists. Keep Goldberg and Parker,they report fairly.

Almost every time Obama talks, he strikes out against the rich. He intends to take from those who are capable of making money, who invest it, provide jobs to people who also want to make money, produce something of benefit to the general well-being of a nation, educate and train those who are willing to learn and work, grow the economy, enhance our quality of life and protect us from those who wish to do us harm. He wants to TAKE from the rich and spread it evenly among the whole of Americans and illegal immigrants. (Sure, some make more money than they are worth or can justify. It's the government's job to see that they make it legally and if not crack down hard. The government has had many successes, but admitedly, the wealthy can afford better lawyers. Fortunately, most of us learn early that life is not always fair).

Obama is like a work of fiction. A Robin Hood riding to the rescue of the supposedly downtrodden and those who are in true need. There is a difference. Most all of us try to support those in need in many different ways but not by taking but rather by giving. It may soon be too late to wake up from his demogoguery, his play acting and charm. Be very, very wary of this man. What he is saying is very real, and what many are believing is fiction. This is no sitcom or soap.

People are chanting "we want change" and so do I. but Obama and his chief supporters will disappoint all but those who wish to blame others for their problems and change this country so it will go backwards into socialism; the way many other great nations have gone. A way NOT acceptable to most of us.

Assessing Peoria County Assessments 2/13/08

A "Letter to the Editors" of the Journal Star.

My home fair value was increased by my Township Assessor by $46,0 00 for year 2008. The County Board of Appeals denied my request to have it assessed at it's actual lower value. No one asked to look inside my home, or outside either (aerial photo) they just calculated by a formula. My only recourse is to appeal to the state. Four houses nearby sold recently, some on the market 2 years, were all sold below asking price. One was withdrawn for lack or a reasonable price. A new sale nearby went 20% below the asking price.

It's said by many that unless we build a new museum, expand our zoo, build new schools, build and expand our city libraries (50% of all voters in Peoria do not pay property tax) that we will drive people and businesses out of Peoria. Many believe that the acceleration of property taxes will be that driving force instead. A neighbor moved to Tennessee recently where he pays 2/3 less tax on a same value home close by a large city. Houses in Minnesota, Missouri, Texas and Arizona are taxed one half or less than in Peoria.

Look at your tax bill, Peoria County gets 13%, the Peoria City 11%, School District #150, about 58% and the balance to other taxing bodies like the park, libraries and I.C.C. The County Board does not set the property tax formula.

A recent email from a County homeowner says "How can a man's home be his castle, if a man's house is a heavy yoke around his neck?", and an article in the 12/18/07 WSJ, "High Property Taxes Spark Outcry", (and revolt), I suggest Peoria County is operating under a flawed assessment system. It appears all valuations are either black or white.

Satisfied with your assessment? Then make up the $24 million shortfall for the museum or join me in protest.

Merle Widmer
Vice-Chairman, Peoria County Board
612 W. Collingwood Cr.
Peoria 61614

My thanks to Mike Bailey of the JSEB for running this letter in today's JS.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Jerry Klein - Art Funding is More Important Than Some Realize

Jerry, of the JS writes Sunday "It takes no great perception to determine that most people would probably be against the use of their tax dollars for a Downtown museum, or for the rescue of WTVP-TV Channel 47, for that matter". You may or may not have read his whole column but I'll sum it up. Jerry believes "you people" in Peoria just don't get it. You would rather have your money spent on more practical matters like good roads and safety. Never mind that a kid playing a violin is "off the streets",(did I ever tell you about one of my high school basketball players telling me in later life that during his music lessons with his female teacher that they were "getting it on"), but Jerry is correct, he was off the streets.

Jerry says, why the Civic Center would have never been built, the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Statue of Liberty (built, shipped and erected in the nation's largest city by France)would never have been built with the attitudes "you people" have here in Peoria.

He ends, "This battle to save the arts to celebrate beauty, to lift us to something higher should not be allowed to be defeated by those whose battle cry has become 'not with my tax dollars'. We all deserve better than this".

Well, Jerry, its different strokes for different folks. You are from the "artsy set" and many of us aren't. Most of us enjoy the arts, we just don't think we need to build "Eiffel Towers" to enjoy arts. If you want to donate your money, please do. Some us will donate, and some of us will pay the price of admission as the people in Tazewell, Woodford, and other surrounding residents do when they visit what we built with our property tax dollars.

In the meantime, you wll be reading about the hue and cry of what many perceive to be "outrageous" property tax assessments for many of us who live and pay property taxes in Peoria. (I could not find a Jerry Klein in the phone book. Interesting. I'll look him up downtown at the assessors office tomorrow to see if he is a Peoria County Property taxpayer). So many who tell us how to spend our money don't pay property taxes in Peoria County (which this year have turned out to be outrageous to many of us and I personnaly am not in the mood to promote any project that puts more burden on those of us who pay property taxes in Peoria County. We appear to be one of the most property overtaxed communities in the country).

The Peoria County Board meets this Thursday at 6:00 PM fourth floor of the Courthouse. Visitors are welcome to listen and speak if you wish. You must sign in so that we know you want to speak. Be resonable and we will listen well, and maybe join in. I understand there may some visitors this Thursday who may have some comments about how the Peoria County Assessor and the Board of Review of Assessments handled property taxes and appeals this year.

Always bear in mind that half the people who vote for expenditures, are not property tax payers.

Some things I read and agree with

"Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable--attributed to John Galbraith

"Stop worrying about what junior will be doing when he grows up. Better go see what he is doing now".

A prisoner talking to his cellmate, "DNA proves I was unjustly convicted. However, I'm guilty of seven other crimes"--Salt and Pepper

I enjoy reading letters to Editor in the WSJ. A recent one I quote as written by Mike Staats of Peoria. Mike writes "Money isn't everything when it comes to legacies". Your (WSJ) article "When Inheritance is Negative" pretty much nailed the issues involved in caring for parents. My wife and I are primary caregivers for our four "90-somethings." We never really think in terms of positive or negative inheritances. However, there is some significant stress, considerable time restraints, tension and emotional toll. We hope our kids and grandkids are paying attention.

Bottom line: It's a fairly easy matter to arrive on this earth; making your exit from this big blue marble can be a whole lot tougher, and you better be planning ahead".

Good article, Mike and nice to see a common sense letter from a local.

Tazewell Stunner 2/11/08

"Incumbents generally ruled Tuesday, but in the race for the Tazewell County Board, incumbent Mike Godar's ouster has some county officials bewildered". Godar finished 863 votes lower than newcomer and 2nd place finisher, Paul Hahn. Godar blamed the loss on himself but I suspect not for the reasons he told "Word on the Sreet" writers Karen McDonald and John Sharp of the JS. Mr. Godar's background may be closer to the truth. Let's take a peak:

"Group organizes to lend support for 'eastern bypass'" is an article by John Sharp and Karen McDonald in the 7/18/07 edition of the JS. The group has a new name the "Eastern Bypass Regional Coalition" and a new President Tazewell County Board Member Mike Godar.

Let's take a step back in history. In the April 15, 1997 edition of the JS, Kari Siegle quotes Mr. Godar as stating, "any ringroad would be built over my dead body". Anthony Smith of the JS quotes Mr. Godar, Co-Founder of of Communities Aganst Ring-Road Encroachment or C.A.R.E.,the organizations goal is to keep the ring road from being built. The organization claimed to have 7,000 signatures of people opposed to the ring road. JS writer Steven Susens quotes Mr. Godar on June 20,1997, in noting that Peoria County Board endorsed the ring road, "The Peoria County Board doesn't have a clue". Mr. Godar also noted that Peoria County lacked the leadership and economic support showed the greediness of business people and some politicians.He also took some shots at IDOT.

On April 21, 1997 the JSEB had criticized comments by Mr. Godar stating "that (PUATS) was authored in 1972 and included plans for a completed ringroad far before the overwhelming majority of homes, businesses and people involved were present". I personally believe that had action had been taken then to build the ring road, the ringroad could have been an asset to this part of Central Illinois. I believe it is too late, too costly, too disruptive and that most people affected in Tazewell County do not want it. I believe Mr. Godar's change in positions as being the real reason that the incumbent got "blown" out of his seat on the Tazewell County Board.

There is an old saying that "when the facts change, I change my facts". Unfortunately, for Mr. Godar, facts haven't changed but his position has done an 100%change and voters do remember politicans who change their "spots".

In Mr. Godar's defense of his position of "no proven economic benefits", then IDOT engineer Dale Risinger was quoted in the Bloominton Pantagraph in the late 90's as talking about the highly debated Highway to Chicago that "none of the four routes proposed showed any outstanding economic benefit because jobs created along the corridor would be at the expense of other Central Illinois communities".

I suggest the reopened ringroad debate will get the JS lots of copy, engineers will get multi-million dollar contracts to study alternate routes again; one has already been awarded $3,000,000 for another "study", that the now billion dollar plus ringroad and bridge will never be built in the careers of it's current batch of supporters.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Peoria County - Breaking News 2/08/08

Peoria County has been fortunate to have had a very capable Adeministrator for going on 8 years. He is sought after by other governmental bodies recently by members of the Peoria City Council. I do not believe he is interested in that position. He is currently being sought by Joliet to be their City Manager. Expect the news medias to soon announce that he will be interviewing for that position.

Before they do, all County Board Members will be aware of interview. As I understand the position offers some attractions not available in this community and the pay substantially higher.

As someone who hired people for 36 years, I learned to tell my employees that they were the ones to decide whether it was time to move on but they could stay as long as they were doing the job and moving the company forward. If they were competent we tried to retain them. Our adminstrator has done an outstanding job for the county. I for one and I believe all County Board members will make strong efforts to try to retain him.

Whatever Mr. Urich decides, I wish him well but hope that he will raise his family in Peoria.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Aaron Schock - An Open Letter 2/07/08

Congratulations on your major step to be elected to represent those of us who live in the 18th Congressional District. You and other Republicans who wish to step across the aisle and work with all Congress people have a great opportunity to help reshape the Republican party. After you are elected you can help reshape the local Republican Central committee by asking some of those who served a cause for many years but are now "out of step", to step aside. Some like Mary Alice Erickson, right hand of Ray Lahood,(she has been a faithful party leader for many years) who sent out a letter representing the State Central Committee from the 18th District asking that all Republicans support my friend Jim McConoughey. Mentioned in that letter of support were the Mayor and State Senator Dale Risinger, yet Mr. McConoughey drew no more that 17 Republican votes out of every 100 cast while you drew 72 votes out of every 100. Out of step? I guess. Also those who brought that far right Maryland carpetbagger, Alan Keyes, in to run for a spot in Washington,DC and embarrased most Republicans.

You also survived some viscious hits from the local media who endorsed Mr. McConoughy and will be watching you even more carefully to cricize any perceived or actual mistake you will make after your election in November.

You shrugged off all the negativeness and were a gracious winner. You have the grace to make friends of non-supporters and help make the changes badly needed if the Illinois Republican Party is ever to be a force in State and National politices in the upcoming years.

More and more former solid Republicans now call themselves independents yet must pick up a Republican ballot for the primaries. In November they will vote for the candidate who represents them best on things that matter most to them; taxes, spending,decaying infrastructures, trade barriers, affordable health care with costs fairly distributed, bloated bureaucracies, less union and government interference in education,over-regulation and national defense.

You will need to appeal to those with their hands out. I believe the large turnouts for Obama see him as a populist offering a pig in every roaster and a crutch for their failure to educate themselves. And those who fail to work productively and save to provide for their future.

Those ultra liberals and pacifists who believe we will all love each other should be reminded of the recent bombing where the bomber blew up his car with 3 of his innocent kids in it. Remind them that we have too many terroists here now that are home grown and are part of an over permissive society while those who terrorize the world are mostly uneducated or educated by the wrong teachers.

Those who still believe we should leave Iraq now should be reminded that we atually were winning the war in Vietnam until our medias and government propaganda, mis-reporting by a confused and terrified press and a pacifist congress turned a clear U.S. victory at Tet into a defeat. After our failure to support those who supported us, Southeast Asia turned into an era of "killing" fields, killing an estimated
two million people including 30% of the entire Cambodian population.

Your remark on Taiwan were totally overblown by the liberals at the Journal Star. Any of us who follow history know that Taiwan would now be part of China if it was not for the strong military presence of the U.S. in the FarEast. Upset the Chinese? Look at their Communistic record of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness not to mention free speech. Your position was correct; your words could have been better (you will learn) but I don't believe the JSEB position cost you many votes. It may have added some.

When you promised the use of up to 20% ethanol in our gas, I'm sure you were placating the farmers. If you plan to help keep bloating the farm bill, I suggest that you do not hinder an entrepenurial spirit that built this country before everybody found out Congress was an easy mark for major special interest groups.

In my 5 successful campaigns for County Board (2 primaries included) I never had the official endorsement of the Republican Central Committee. My last campaign cost less than $900, donated without my asking, and the only yard signs I used were leftovers placed at the voting places the day of the election. The only time the JSEB endorsed me, a local favorite pundit called the endorsement "smarzy".

Until some of the "out of touch" "movers and shakers" in the Republican Party retire or are replaced or "get with" the Republican Party of the future, do not overlook us Repubublicans who have an independent streak. Many of us no longer vote a straight party ticket.

Think of the man who will be our next President of the United States of America, John McCain. He may have warts like all politicans have but he has warts that can be removed or lived with and be a better president by far than George Bush.

As to your position on Iraq, I ask that you read yesterdays Wall Street Journal, "The Lies of Tet" by Arthur Herman and "From the Jaws of Victory" by Nadia Scdhadlow, today's edition

My best wishes to you and I forgive you Kay Royster.

Mitt Romney 2/07/08

We all have to be proud of Mitt Romney. He ran a clean, hard race using $87 million of his own money. His withdrawal speech was made with great sincerity. He made it very clear that neither Clinton or Obama if elected would be good for this country.

I hope that in time all Republicans and Independents reconcile their differences with John McCain. McCain has shown that when facts change, he can change his viewpoints. No one agrees 100% with any Republican candidate but a choice must be made supporting who has the best opportunity to sort out priorities, cut taxes, reduce or cut most subsidies, examine bureaucratic grants more closely that few of the grantors ever follow up to see what the use of the money accomplished, work across the aisle, help unite ethnic groups that want to assimilate, keep a close eye on those who don't, respect a force greater than ourselves, deal harshly with terrorists, both abroad or in our country and use common sense and don't try to placate every special interest group with their hands out for money.

The Republican most electable and probably best able to do that is McCain. I have accumulated quite a file on him and will blog on some of this material off and on in the months ahead. That loudmouths like Limbaugh, Coulter and some Republican talking heads makes me support McCain more because, as I've said before on this site, the Republicans need new blood in their local, state and national organizations.

Please pass my blog site to all your email friends.


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

John Cox - Chicago 2/06/08

John Cox in a WSJ editorial says Mrs. Clinton does have a plan. (See next blog)

He says she wants "more government spending and more government interference in the free market. This is exactly the opposite of what should be done. The reason health care is so expensive is that there is pumped up demand (partly caused by government handouts)which restricts competition and protects trial lawyers. The law of supply and demand says you have to reduce demand or increase supply to bring down the cost. Her government centered plan will do neither. The same holds for energy and education. In both demand is high and supply is failing to keep up; hence rising prices. The prescrition is more supply, more competition, a larger, freer market."

Mr. Cox continues "How will she pay for her "plan"? Repeal the Bush tax cuts, she says. Wrong, says Mr. Cox. The Bush tax cuts were not a break for the wealthy; they were an incentive for capital investment, which is essential to increasing supply in the private sector. You get there by increasing supply and more competition, to ensure a a freer, less expensive marketplace, more capital investment and risk taking on the part of the investors. We need more marginal rate cuts and ultimately and end to income tax, not higher tax rates if we are to remain competetive in a smaller world.

Entrenched interests typically want less competition. They favor government interference because it limits new entrants that could increase supply, reduce prices, take market share or reduce their prices. The history of the Clinton's (and the Bush's) is to curry favor favor and reward those entrenched interests, whether they are oil companies, big farms or the teachers unions. Shared prosperity is well within our grasp from a free market less encumbered from government.

We will not get that from Mr. Clinton". Typo - Mrs. Clinton

Well said, Mr. Cox. Listen up Mr. Leitch and Mr. Schock. Someday, there will be changes made, real changes that will benefit all. Or we will be further down the road to Socialism which is where I see we are heading.

Mike Tune - Annandale, Va. 2/06/08

In a letter to the editors of the WSJ today, Mr. Tune is asking Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama for more details on their recent WSJ columns; "My Plan for Shared Prosperity" and "The Obama Opportunity". Mr. Tune wants to know what programs exactly and where is the money coming from? Hillary wants "an aggressive plan to lower-health costs and coverage for all Americans and a $1000 tax cut for all tax payinng Americans, solve the homeless problem, raise the minimum wage and rebuild New Orleans,"(in the same undersea level spaces?) just to name a few costly projects.

Mr. Obama wants to give every child a world-class education from early childhood through college, end our addition on oil and end the war in Iraq.

Neither one tells us how we are going to accomplish these things, how they will be paid for and if everyone has a college degree and everybody is middle class who will be the "blue collar" workers? (I'll give you a clue, illegal immigrants.)

Mr. Tune continues "Let us not be fooled. The candidates thus far have nothing substantial to offer us. The problems we face are huge, and the candidates not only seem to have no clue, but no real plan". Mr. Tune wants leaders who will plainly and forcibly say "This is what we ought to do, so this is what we are going to do, and this is how we are going to get it done. It's a greater shame that we lack the intellectual and moral fortidude to vote for such a plain-speaking person.

We are about to get the government we deserve."

Time for a change, these candidates say. From what? A capitalistic, free trade, entrepenurial type government to a one that subsidizes (watch what you are promising, Aaron) us into Socialism? Leadership that believes the government can do it better like like Cuba and Venezuela to name a few?

Well written, Mr. Tune

Better be looking at past records and listening and reading carefully. We are about to get change, allright.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Vote Tomorrow

I'll vote for John McCain with all his warts as the best chance against Obama with all all his charm and his populist views.

I can't say how I'm voting for Congress because I don't know at this time. Aaron wants to increase the use of ethanol to up to 20% of the fuel we use in our vehicles and that is fine if he said he would cut most of the subsidies out of the farm bill and lower the tariff to allow more import of ethanol from Brazil. (I feel he is pandering for the farm vote). Less subsidizing would lower prices of corn and soybean products to the consumers on dozens of products, from meat to cereals. Planting the same soil destructive crops on the same land year after year after year will wear out the topsoil someday no matter what the "experts" say. Less subsidies to the farmers for corn and beans would force the use of cheap alternates like sugarcane, switchgrass, wood chips, etc., and let every body else become more innovative.

We have more than 100 years of natural resources in and off shore the 50 states if the radical environmentalists and the Bureau of Land Control were not Pollyanna's. One hundred years would be plenty of time to develop alternate energies including nuclear energy which is cleaner and probaly cheaper than any fuel being used widely today. (Go to the library and check out "Power to Save the World" - the truth about nuclear energy, by Gwyneth Cravens).

John wants to round up all illegal immigrants and ship them back and is 100% against any type of abortion. Both stands defy reality. He says he is always on the side of the taxpayers but his voting record shows that is not always correct. John is a hearty fellow, well met.

Jim is certainly pro-business and certainly a likeable guy, but there is more to the job than just being a strong pro-business person with a nice wife and a good looking family. All appear to be good "family" men but we we are electing only the person on the ballot. Aaron is single but is only 26 and he has been a very busy young man. I did not marry until I was 26 and my wife did not marry until she was 32, so what are some people trying to say?

No complaints to me on Ms.Ingersoll and I believe Carol is hardworking and honest. Talk has been around for a while to eliminate the Auditor position but believe that can only be done some day by referendum. We'll see how the new County Financial Officer works out over the next couple of years. For Aaron's position, I'll be supporting Mrs. Krupa in November.

I'll vote for one of the three Washington, D.C. candidates tomorrow; I congratulate them all for running strong campaigns. I'll also support the winner and would have no problem supporting Romney but at this time I am looking for Republicans (with all their flaws) to win in November.

Still can't get my spell-check to work so sorry if you find more grammatical errors.

Galesburg - Are Corporations Most Loyal to Their own Bottom Line? 2/04/08

In Saturday's JS an article contributed by the JS's owner reads, "Galesburg wants Maytag jobs back". "Company closes Mexico facility where work was moved after plant closure". The headers are misleading. The article states that Maytag was sold to Whirlpool some time ago. So it hasn't been "Maytag" for a couple of years. The article doesn't state that Whirlpool's stock is down from a 52 week high of $118 to $81 today. The unions and the politicians are saying that if it wasn't for corporate greed, Maytag would still be in Galesburg and that Mexicans can never compete with the quality of midwestern workers.

That begs the question of why approximately 7 million illegal Mexicans are employed right now in the U.S.?

Further into the article, where most people don't continue reading, it says that production was shifted to an existing Whirpool plant in Mexico and that a former U.S. Maytag plant was shifted to another U.S Whirlpool plant. Sounds like sound business decisions. That why I put in a buy order for WHR today.

Corporate bashing is becoming more popular with the uneducated, poorly educated, lack of common sense leadership; both union and management, and those wrapped up in computer games, watching and listening to Hollywood ultra liberals and types. Recent reports indicate that high school students cheat on tests; most of these students move on to be workers and a many become managers. These days a lot of people cheat and it seems okay. (Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?)Teachers can hardly say that a lot of athletes and corporate types such as World Com, Enron and many UN supported companies cheat when some teachers and most students also do.

Corporations and almost all companies are in business to make a profit. So, without profit, no company anywhere. But that answer does not satisy the unions or the more populist politicians. Probably why they aren't business people or if they were, some of them didn't do too well. Corporations and many companies offer jobs and benefits to their employees, who would not have a job but would probaly live on one type of welfare or another. When competition causes companies to make changes to stay in business, they make changes. Sometimes if they find that communities no longer offer original advantges, they lay off, change products and marketing procedures, look for lower costs of production, or relocate. So they are going to disappoint some and delight others. If stockholders see the value of their stock go down, they demand changes. Corporations must have stockholders who demand a return on their investment if they are to stay in business and provide jobs for somebody someplace.

Here in Peoria, you hear both private business types and competent union leaders decrying the lack of trained and trainable people to fill the jobs locally and many of these jobs are being taken by "outsiders". Many are coming from Knox County.

I just put a buy order in for depressed Whirlpool stock. It's my money, I buy their stock and I expect them to help me make a living off my stock investments. Management either does that or the company is sold, merged or goes out of business.

Or I sell my stock at a loss. Do you know of anybody who is "happy" when their stock goes down and doesn't recover?

Too many people are expecing someone besides themselves to look after their lives. Corporations and companies that look after their employees expect the employees to look after them. With polls showing that 75% of the people living in the U.S. are disatisfied so there must be a lot of disappointed people; mangagers, politicians, workers, union and non-union, kids and coporate types.

If so many people are disatified why are people from every country in the world trying to get into the U.S. while so few U.S. citizens are moving out?

It is obvious that Galesburg is one of those communities in between other larger cities that offer more attractions.(See my recent blog) Galesburg,like Peoria, must make their communities more attractive to businesses and newcomers who would find "middle cities" affordable places to live with good schools and reasonable safety. Otherwise, position themselves to afford what they currently have and get their priorities in order. Come out of denial as to who they are, cut spending and reduce taxes. Stop buying what they can't afford.

Listen carefully what ALL politicans are saying because some are promising to "put a chicken in every pot" including those who could work but find in our growing socialist state, why work or get educated? The rich can afford to share, so as Hillary says in her article in tody's WSJ "My Plan for Shared Prosperity," "We don't need more government burueacracies to raise everyone from poverty to middle class." But almost every program she would put in place costs more money from taxes. If the first year of a Democrat Congress is any indication of cost cutting, look out in 2009-12. They can blame Bush for another couple of years. Then even the dumbest among us should be able to figure it out, that it is not Republicans or Democrats but the people we elect. Even those uneducated should be able to figure it out.

I always remember my Dad's saying, "IF frogs had wings they wouldn't be bouncing around on their buts".

Friday, February 01, 2008

What's Happening in the Muslim World 2/01/08

Today, most citizens of the world are incredulous at what is happening in the Muslim world, with the riots, suicide bombings, beheadings, abuse of women, restrictions of free speech by journalists, killing and threats, all in the name of Allah. The literal interpretation of the Koran calls for the desth of anyone that does not follow it's principles.

In November of 2002, George Melloan, then of the WSJ wrote, "Whoever approved the having a Miss World contest in a Nigerian city where Muslims are at a war with Christins must have had a tin ear for politics. Islamic objections to nubile women showing off before strangers touched off rioting that lasted a week and left 220 dead." The beauty pageant was moved to London. On 9/07/07 Cal Thomas wrote in the JS that now Britons are fleeing London from a rising tide of immigrants, most of them Muslims. "Life in Britain has become unbearable for them. The threat of terrorism from this growing population is exacerbated by the growing refusal of the public shools to teach the history and the culture of the nation to the next generation. In Britain, as many pacifists offer illegals as in the some U.S., more benefits to immnigrants than to long time legal residents. Most in the name of politcal correctness. Some believe that if you break the law long enough, you aquire rights, not penalties."

For those in the U. S. and Britain, and there are many, who welcome immigrants both legal and illegal, who do not want to be fully American. In many cases, these "immigrants" wish to destroy the countries they are overrunning and many of our leaders refuse to stop them.

When our local Muslim Kahlah Al-Marri, was arrested on suspicion of abetting terrorism, back in December of 2001, I thought that he had to be part of a larger local cell. In 2007, the JS reported that a former local Muslim leader had left Peoria for England and has "now changed his tune". Abu Usamah At-Thalabio preached tolerance while in Peoria. He also preached that Bush was a pathological lair (as do members of MoveOn,Org and Keith Obermann of CNN, (probably mispelled)and the Jew's controlled the media.

He now says in England such things as "Whoever changes his religion from al-Islam to anything else, kill him in the Islamic state. If the inman wants to crucify him, he should do so. Put the person up on the wood and let hoim bleed to death for three days."

Western Civilizations liberal elements see no harm in the proliferation of people whose goal is not to assimilate, but intend nothing less than to acheive Muslim domination over the whole world.

After 9/11 many Muslim leaders did condemn the treacherous act but the liberal media chose to cover angry Muslims blaming America's support of Israel and other misleading factors. Most moderate Muslims seem to be rather quiet on condeming radical actions by both Muslims, Afghans, and Arabs yet acts of their worldwide violence appear in the media almost daily.

Thre is no question that we should support those Muslims leaders such as Dr. Amir Al-Khafaji from Bradley (formerly from Iraq) who has been asked by our Mayor to help examine racial relationships in our community. I plan to call Dr. Amir, who I had as a speaker before the Noon Optimist Club, where these meeting are being held and whether Bradley Muslim men and women are attending. I will ask to attend and participate. Dr. Muhammadf F. Malik, a member of the Islamic Foundation of Peoria, should be a part of this racial examination. Does anyone know if Dr. Malik is a citizen of this country? Members of the Islamic Church on North Street should also be involved in this examination.

Muslims should not forget that the United States is one of the few places where Sunni, Shite, Wahhabi can freely and openly worship without fear of persecution by our government and their own brethern.

I believe that Dr. Amir is a U.S. citizen or has made application and plans to stay in the U.S. and continues to be active in promoting democracy both here and in Iraq.

An aide to Louis Farrakhan (wasn't he a former member of the Christian Chuch where Barak Ombama is now a member?), Khalid Muhahammad, was leaving messages on college campuses saying "We will kill everything white...We will kill the women, the babies, the children, the faggots the lesbians; we will kill them all. Chicago Representative Vic Fazio head of the Democratic Congressional Champaign,(Bill Clinton)refused to vote for a resolution condemning these statements.

Has anyone outright asked Obama if he believes in the Koran? Let me recite three pertinent verses from the Koran {4.76} "Those who believe fight in the way of Allah, and those who disbelive fight in the way of Satan. (Partial)
{9.29} "Fight those who do not believe in Allah, Nor in the Last Day, nor do they prohit what Allah and His Apostle have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the book {Bible, meaning Jews and Christians} until they pay the tax in acknowledgement of superiority and they are in a state of subjecdtion."
{4.74} "Therefore let those fight in the way of Allah, who sell this world's life for aa the hereafter; and whover fights in the way of Allah, then he be slain or be he victorious, we shall grant him a mighty reward. 70 some virgins?

There are 125 verses in the Koran that use the word "unbelievers" referring to Jews and Christians. These passages all display malice toward the unbelievers.

True believing Muslims will have a tremendous problem reconciling with the modern world. Those with a well-rounded education have the greatest opportunity to convert and assimilate into largely peaceful societies.

Do not be swayed by "charisma". The world has seen enough of this type of leader. This time before you vote, look deeper into the man or woman you may or may not help to elect. There are maany questions to ask this man (and other candidates. Fortunatley, there will be 9 months to dig deep. More and more people appear to be taken in by his charm and their desire for a "change". Sometimes you get your changes such as Ryan to Governor Blago.

Some change.

My spell-check is on the blink. Sorry.