Sunday, August 31, 2008

Peoria County is One of the Top Digital Counties in the Nation

"The county's award winning e-County program has been successful in creating a dynamic, useful website that offers access to government information and operations 24 hours a day, seven days a week." Peoria County made its debut at the number 7 spot for counties in the 150,000-250,000 range and was honored at a national awards ceremony.

The county is fortunate to have Russ Haupert as our innovative IT Director.

For more information visit ou counties website at

Peoria County Receives 2008 Outstanding County of the Year Award

The Illinois State Black Chamber of Commerce has awarded Peoria County the 2008 Outstanding County of the Year Award.

Find details on

Are We Ready for a "Great New Society"?

Quoting Kimberly Strassel, on the WSJ on 8/29/08, she says Obama's agenda would result in the biggest expansion of government and income redistribution since Lyndon Baine Johnson. Obama proposes one of the steepest tax increases in modern history, raising rates on personal income, capital gains, dividends and even death. The money Obama would take from the taxpaying Americans he would hand over to nontaxpaying Americans in the form or "refundable" tax credits. This is called a tax hike and "income redistribution"-even in the Harvard economic department.

Obama is careful to call these new government handouts a "tax cut for the middle class."

Obama would create a new "universal" health plan, which in it's size and scope would be the largest government entitlement since 1965. The ultimate goal is obvious; pull ever more Americans under the government-health umbrella, until such time as the Democrats can kill off private insurance altogether. Obama plans to impose tough new regulations on insurance companies and big new taxes on business. (Peoria County already pays 2 out of every three dollars of employees health premiums under our existing county health plan) This step toward Canadian health care is described by Obama as nothing more than what is offered to federal employees and it would offer choice, portability, affordable premiums, co-pays and deductibles. It would simplify paperwork and rein in health-care costs and "raise quality and "efficiency".

All good sounding terms especially portability and affordabikity which I would support but not in the manner presented.

An Obama administration would slap new rules on every bank and mortgage provider calling it "transparency" and "oversight". He would micromanage the energy industry, punishing oil and nuclear and rewarding wind and solar. His dislike of the oil industry would cause his administration to impose "windfall" profits taxes while freeing America from foreign oil companies. Who cares that the oil companies need to make substantial profits to afford to keep on expensive searching for new sources.

Meanwhile, big labor runs the Democrat shop these days while the Democrats sit on trade deals with with vital allies like South Korea and Columbia all the while they are saying "I (We) believe in free trade".

What the Democrats are offering is "stealth liberalism" while hiding under the conservative rhetoric of "choice," "tax cuts," "free trade" and "freedom".

Voters in 2006 rightly rebuked the Republicans that over 12 years had lost its commitment to reform and limited government. That voter anger remains-as does confusion over today's economy and frustration with Washington gridlock-and it has opened the door to an Obama "change" candidacy. But the center-right country is still a long way from embracing a new Great Society-thus the Democrats attempting to slip liberal policies through the back door.

Respite all the reassuring rhetoric and the promise of a "post-partisan" Washington, many Americans sense in Mr. Obama the ghost of liberals past.

I personally not only sense it, my years of experience in the public and private sector, as a businessman with 22 years of working with a union with not a picket, a grievance or a strike, I have seen the efforts by greedy populist politicians to push us gently toward socialism.

With the election of Obama/Biden expect a disastrous shove.

Sarah Palin - Good Choice by McCain

A reformer, a woman who is a non-feminist, yet every ounce a woman, and a governor with more executive experience than Obama, Biden and McCain combined. Is she ready to be president ask those who think that McCain will die of "old age" before he gets sworn in? Did you see and hear hm on Fox News last night? Young John McCain is going to be effective for a long time, I'm 83, I entered politics at age 75, and still Vice-Chairman of what most observers feel is the best run board in the area, the Peoria County Board. At 73, I was winning gold medals in basketball and tennis. I still do, in tennis.

McCain, with his energy, his quick wit, his compassion, his common sense, his pride of country, his knowledge of what "changes" need to be made and how they will be made in his administration, made Obama look like the elite, Harvard educated, charmistic political hack his record and his documented statements, shows he is.

Both McCain and Palin are a breath of fresh air compared to the allegedly corrupt and arrogant Young and Stevens of Alaska, hacks like Ryan, Hastert, Daley, Governor Blagovich, Obama of Illinois and bible "thumpers" like ar right-winger, Allen Keyes to name a few.

McCain and Palin and their strongest supporters must mobilize change minded Republicans like myself and many other disappointed Republicans and independents who should be assessing the potential disaster of an Obama/Biden socialist four year administration.

The choice for most of us who fear the expansion of big government with their never-ending bureaucracies, should not be too difficult.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Cross Road of a Great Nation

People tend to forget the deadly negative's of those they are planning to elect. These points listed below are basically correct, more facts need be added and hammered over and over to those who have not yet made up their minds. Polls show there are many.

Those unwilling to fight for freedom will lose it. If some say we are not free in this country now, I suggest they make honest comparisons of life in other countries starting with Cuba, Saudia Arabia, Egypt, Venezuela, Iran, Russia, Yeman, Rawanda and Zimbabwe, just to name a few.

Yes, we are not as free as we were 30 years ago but it is the terrorists here at home and those abroad who are largely responsible for the freedoms we have given up.

Read an article in today's WSJ titled "Privacy, We Got Over It" by L. Gordon Crovitz. He tells us that the digital life which we our now living is inherently a public life. He does not say we should stop being vigilant as to the ills of a socialistic big brother government. If Obama supporters think we already have that now in the United States, elect this man supported by all the countries mentioned above and they will find what true socialism is. Some of you would love to live in a socialist country so no big problem to them.

Most of us who value a capitalistic form of government will eventually not accept a socialistic way of life.


ISSUES - JOHN McCAIN'S stance is at the top of each statement.
BARAK OBAMA'S is the other.

Favors new drilling offshore US

Will appoint judges who interpret the law not make it

Served in the US Armed Forces

Amount of time served in the US Senate
173 DAYS

Will institute a socialized national health care plan

Supports abortion throughout the pregnancy

Would pull troops out of Iraq immediately

Supports gun ownership rights

Supports homosexual marriage

Proposed programs will mean a huge tax increase

Voted against making English the official language

Voted to give Social Security benefits to illegals


0% on home sales up to $500,000 per home (couples). McCain does not propose any change in existing home sales income tax.

28% on profit from ALL home sales. (How does this affect you? If you sell your home and make a profit, you will pay 28% of your gain on taxes. If you are heading toward retirement and would like to down-size your home or move into a retirement community, 28% of the money you make from your home will go to taxes. This proposal will adversely affect the elderly who are counting on the income from their homes as part of their retirement income.)


15% (no change)

39.6% - (How will this affect you? If you have any money invested in stock market, IRA, mutual funds, college funds, life insurance, retirement accounts, or anything that pays or reinvests dividends, you will now be paying nearly 40% of the money earned on taxes if Obama becomes president. The experts predict that 'Higher tax rates on dividends and capital gains would crash the stock market, yet do absolutely nothing to cut the deficit.')



(no changes)
Single making 30K - tax $4,500
Single making 50K - tax $12,500
Single making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 60K- tax $9,000
Married making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 125K - tax $31,250

OBAMA (reversion to pre-Bush tax cuts)
Single making 30K - tax $8,400
Single making 50K - tax $14,000
Single making 75K - tax $23,250
Married making 60K - tax $16,800
Married making 75K - tax $21,000
Married making 125K - tax $38,750
Under Obama, your taxes could almost double!


- 0% (No change, Bush repealed this tax)

Restore the inheritance tax

Many families have lost businesses, farms, ranches, and homes that have been in their families for generations because they could not afford the inheritance tax. Those willing their assets to loved ones will only lose them to these taxes.


New government taxes proposed on homes that are more than 2400 square feet. New gasoline taxes (as if gas weren't high enough already) New taxes on natural resources consumption (heating gas, water, electricity) New taxes on retirement accounts, and last but not least....New taxes to pay for socialized medicine so we can receive the same level of medical care as other third-world countries!!!

You can verify the above at the following web sites:

Monday, August 25, 2008

Ever Present Danger - We Must Not Drop Our Guard

Passed on to me by a friend. This slow slide to socialism is the same socialism I have been warning those who will read and listen, by writing letters to the editors, sending or forwarding emails and blogging.

Pass on, please.

>> >>> > Catching Wild Pigs
>> >>> >
>> >>> > A chemistry professor in a large college that had
>> >>> some exchange
>> >>> > students in the class. One day while the class was
>> >>> in the lab the
>> >>> > Professor noticed one young man (exchange student)
>> >>> who kept rubbing
>> >>> > his back, and stretching as if his back hurt.
>> >>> >
>> >>> > The professor asked the young man what was the
>> >>> matter. The student
>> >>> > told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He
>> >>> had been shot while
>> >>> > fighting communists in his native country who were
>> >>> trying to
>> >>> > overthrow his country's government and install a
>> >>> new communist
>> >>> > government.
>> >>> >
>> >>> > In the midst of his story he looked at the
>> >>> professor and asked a
>> >>> > strange question. He asked, 'Do you know how to
>> >>> catch wild pigs?'
>> >>> >
>> >>> > The professor thought it was a joke and asked for
>> >>> the punch line.
>> >>> > The young man said this was no joke. 'You catch
>> >>> wild pigs by finding
>> >>> > a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on
>> >>> the ground. The
>> >>> > pigs find it and begin to come everyday to eat the
>> >>> free corn. When
>> >>> > they are used to coming every day, you put a fence
>> >>> down one side of
>> >>> > the place where they are used to coming.
>> >>> >
>> >>> > When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat
>> >>> the corn again
>> >>> > and you put up another side of the fence. They get
>> >>> used to that and
>> >>> > start to eat again. You continue until you have
>> >>> all four sides of
>> >>> > the fence up with a gate in The last side. The
>> >>> pigs, who are used to
>> >>> > the free corn, start to come through the gate to
>> >>> eat, you slam the
>> >>> > gate on them and catch the whole herd.
>> >>> >
>> >>> > Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom.
>> >>> They run around and
>> >>> > around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon
>> >>> they go back to
>> >>> > eating the free corn. They are so used to it that
>> >>> they have
>> >>> > forgotten how to forage in the woods for
>> >>> themselves, so they accept
>> >>> > their captivity.
>> >>> > The young man then told the professor that is
>> >>> exactly what he sees
>> >>> > happening to America. The government keeps pushing
>> >>> us toward
>> >>> > socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in
>> >>> the form of
>> >>> > programs such as supplemental income, tax credit
>> >>> for unearned
>> >>> > income, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies,
>> >>> payments not to plant
>> >>> > crops (CRP), welfare, medicine, drugs, etc.. While
>> >>> we continually
>> >>> > lose our freedoms -- just a little at a time.
>> >>> >
>> >>> > One should always remember: There is no such thing
>> >>> as a free lunch!
>> >>> > Also, a politician will never provide a service
>> >>> for you cheaper than
>> >>> > you can do it yourself.
>> >>> >
>> >>> > Also, if you see that all of this wonderful
>> >>> government 'help' is a
>> >>> > problem confronting the future of democracy in
>> >>> America , you might
>> >>> > want to send this on to your friends. If you think
>> >>> the free ride is
>> >>> > essential to your way of life then you will
>> >>> probably delete this
>> >>> > email, but God help you when the gate slams shut!
>> >>> >
>> >>> > In this 'very important' election year, listen
>> >>> closely to what the
>> >>> > candidates are promising you !!
>> >>> >
>> >>> > Just maybe you will be able to tell who is about
>> >>> to slam the gate on
>> >>> > America.
>> >>> >
>> >>> > 'A government big enough to give! you everything
>> >>> you want, is big
>> >>> > enough to take away everything you have.' - Thomas
>> >>> Jefferson
>> >>> >

Obama's Contradiction - Joe Biden

I have Dan Proft's standing permission to put his commentaries on my blog site.

My additional comments. Obama and Biden are now a dangerous duo to the well being of our country, so different but so alike in their thinking. Both voted against an amendment to the Immigration Bill 1348, to make English America's official language. Both opposed the surge that to those of us claiming to have some common sense, is succeeding. Both support the radical environmentalists who would take us back to the stone age while continuing to support the importing of oil from our enemies or psuedo-enemies for our lamps.

Merle Widmer

Monday, August 25, 2008

Contact: Dan Proft
(p) 312-575-9500
(c) 312-446-6488

Proft's latest featured commentary on Don Wade & Roma:

Biden Choice Shows Obama Doesn't Believe His Own Rhetoric

Click here to listen to an .mp3 of this commentary as heard on this morning's Don Wade & Roma Morning Show on WLS AM-890.

Click here to email Dan Proft

Barack Obama learned an important lesson from John Kerry's 2004 Presidential campaign--do not express two contradictory positions in the same sentence. Instead, wait awhile.

Kerry infamously contended in a single statement that he had voted for funding for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan before he voted against the funding.

Conversely, Obama has smartly spread out his flip-flops. During the primary, Obama asserted that qualification for the Presidency should be measured primarily on the basis of one's judgment not their experience.

During the primary, we were told by Obama that Washington was broken and that Washington insiders were the problem.

During the primary, we were invited to feast on the munificence of Obama's fierce urgency for a new kind of politics marinated in the special sauce of his uplifting rhetoric.

And then on Saturday, it turned out that experience does matter; that being a Washington insider for 35 years is not such a bad thing; and that the trite class envy political rhetoric of the Left should indeed be central to this campaign.

It turned out that those things are also more important than one's personal judgment particularly relative to their public integrity, as Obama's running mate has a troubling tendency of confusing the work and words of others for his own.

Just as we are entering the homestretch of this possibly historic and probably transformational campaign (so we were told), it turns out that Obama is just another craven politician.

Thus, the spectacle of Obama, the great consensus-builder, gleefully presiding over Hacksaw Joe Biden's formulaic pillorying of McCain during what passed for his acceptance speech as Obama's vice presidential nominee on Saturday in Springfield.

"Ladies and gentlemen, your kitchen table is like mine," said Biden. "You talk about how much you are worried about being able to pay the bills. Well, ladies and gentlemen, that's not a worry John McCain has to worry about. It's a pretty hard experience. He'll have to figure out which of the seven kitchen tables to sit at."

Obama and Biden are apparently living paycheck-to-paycheck.

Obama speaks of hope and employs cynicism. Obama speaks of judgment and he abides the lack of it. Obama fancies himself transcendental and yet, other than the telegenic physical packaging, remains mired in the failed conventions of big government liberalism.

So then if Obama doesn't believe his own rhetoric, why should we?


Dan Proft is a Principal of Urquhart Media LLC, a Chicago-based public affairs firm and political commentator for the Don Wade & Roma Morning Show (5-9am) on Chicago's number one news talk radio station, WLS-AM 890. He can be reached at

For other Dan Proft commentaries (radio & print), please visit:

For other recent Don Wade & Roma interviews, commentary, and discussions visit:

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Safe Fat Kids With Wimp Supervision

It appears that we have a majority of our leaders and parents making sure our kids are growing up overly safe. It appears to be creating disastrous results. Charles Sykes, author of "50 Rules Kids Won't Learn in School" says that colleges across the country now require permits or permission slips for undergraduate pranks. (What the Bradley "kids" did was not a prank, but a sheer act of possible drunken stupidity. There is a difference).

In Cincinnati, te nannies who run the Little League have decided to ban chatter on the diamond. The league president explained: "If the catcher is saying, Swing, batter, swing and the poor kid is swinging at everything ,he feels bad and may turn to the catcher and get mad". Wow. I remember playing baseball with a team from Danvers and the opposition catcher from a team in Peoria kept saying "he's going to hit you with the nest pitch" and on the next pitch I hit a triple accounting for 2 of our 4 runs. I'm proud to still have the newspaper article. Self-esteem? Sure, I accomplished something.

A Colorado Springs Elementary School is one of the latest to ban "tag" on its playground. Running will be allowed as long as there is no chasing. It wasn't administration but parents who "complained that they'd been chased and harassed against their will". Other schools have already banned swings, teeter-totters, crawl tubes and sandboxes and even hugs. Wonder how these wimps reacted when they saw all the hugging of Olympic kids by their coaches and the young kids and some older particpants hugging each other. Maybe these wimps were the ones protesting outside the arena.

In some schools free play has been replaced by organized adult-supervised activities in order to protect children from spontaneous outburst of creativity.

One California school district worried about bullying, violence, self-esteem and lawsuits so they banned tag, cops and robbers touch football and every activity that involved bodily contact.

Childhood-or at least the fun part of it-is falling victim to a potent stew of psychobabble, litigation and overwrought protectiveness. In North Carolin principals in at least eight schools, worried about how kids would cope with summer heat, wanted to raise large canopies and shelters over playgrounds.

Ride to schoolo. Don't walk, it's too dangerous. ABC warned that playgrounds had GERMS! Maybe that's why our MOMS told us to wash our hands. However, kids, washing your hands will not prevent you from spreading a social disease usually contracted by those particpating in the wrong "sport".

In the mid nineties, I put on summer tennis for what I called at risk kids. One recreation supervisor called her kids off the court saying 80% temperature was too hot to play tennis. Another said she didn't want her kids walking from the social center to the tennis courts. I asked if that was the attitude they would display if working for their liveyhood on a hot day? Or playing on the school team on a hot day? She said, these are just kids. Oh.

We are paying for this "wimppyness" by producing a segment of society that doesn't want to work and get up a sweat.

When I eventually turned my program over to the PPD, I showed up one day at John Gwynn tennis courts to find the park instructor with a bucket of balls hitting to thirty five kids with one racket, one at a time. I asked why the one racket was being passed hand to hand when I had given the park over 40 rackets. The park "instructor" told me she was told to make sure no one got hurt. She also complained why she had to do this even though she was being paid??

Phillip K. Howard, a lawyer and writer; Chairman of Common Good, a non-profit, nonpartisan legal reform coalition, wrote "Why Safe Kids Are Becoming Fat Kids", stating "just when we thought playgrounds were accident-proof--no more merry-go-rounds, high slides, jungle gyms, seesaws, or pretty much anything that's fun--it turns out that safety itself can be dangerous. A recent heat wave in New York caused safety matting to get hot calling for an immediate outrage, "Playgrounds should be designed with canopies. How many burn cases will it take before before the city wakes up and acts", said Betsy Gotbaum, the cities public advocate.

Good grief!

I quote Howard, "The harmful effects of our nations safety obsession ripple out into society. One in six children in America is obese. (Other studies show it is higher especially here in Peoria) According to the Center for Disease Control, this problem would basically cure itself if children were engaged in informal outdoor activities that used to be normal. But how do we lure children off the sofa. One key attraction is risk.

Risk is fun, at least the moderate risks that were common in prior generations. America unfortunately is going in the opposite direction. Exercise in schools is carefully programmed, when it exists at all. Running is banned at recess in many schools, sliding into a base is banned in most Little Leagues. Sledding and high diving are banned. Kids are not learning how to manage risk".

Summing up Mr. Howard, "Someone on behalf of society must be authorized to make choices between safety and the trad-offs of risk. Courts must honor these decisions. Otherwise, the pious accusations of safety fanatics, empowered by the nearly universal fear of being sued, will guarantee a cultural downwards toward the lowest common denominator. A little common sense goes a long way".

Competition such as we just witnessed at the Olympics, show that many Americans are not wimps and not afraid to take calculated risks. As Mr. Sykes says, "Competitive sports,(and competetion in general) shape a nations character. Unless we plan, of course, to go to war against an enemy who also values non-competitive, risk-free, self esteem building play activities for its young".

I fear that our young do take extreme risks; drug abuse, alcohol abuse, violence, sexual aggression, bullying, stealing thinking they won't get caught, shirking responsibility, avoiding honest work and competition at all costs. No wonder we have so many "chatterers" trying to get us to lose the war against terrorism. They never learned to compete and win and lose with some element of good graces.

They are too busy teaching and building "self-esteem". (Let me clarify my interpretation of self_esteem. Self-esteem is achieved by doing something worth while and a benefit to others as well as oneself). It's not achieved by giving ever body a trophy for just showing up.

We are at great risk of becoming a nation of welfare for all, absolute safety in all endeavors, pacifists retreating from aggressive and threatening fundamentalists who believe we will "give in" and compromise for fear of our immediate and individual safety. Yes, there are plenty of places and times to compromise but not with someone avowed to kill all non-believers.

The performance of our athletes in China gives me hope that my generation who read and pretended to be like Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, will not give in to the likes of Barack Hussein Obama and Joe Biden, both who voted against Immigration Bill 1348 that would have made English America's official language. It was Obama who said we should all learn Spanish, which some of us should and will, but should have said all Hispanics who plan to live here must learn English, the official language of our country.

Remember, Biden said that Obama didn't have the experience to be President and Obama said that people like Biden have been in Washington too long.

Is there still hope that this country will not become a country of socialists, populists and pacifists? I believe there are leaders perhaps not in the political arena who are heeding the "wake up" warning bells of past generations.

Read "Adult Supervision" by Charles Sykes; 11/08/07, WSJ, and read "Why Safe Kids Are Becoming Fat Kids"; Phillip Howard, 8/13/08, WSJ who I quote extensively in this blog.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Our Good Earth - Can We Save It?

"The future rests on the soil beneath our feet", is the title of an excellent and disturbing article in the September 2008 issue of the National Geographic. The article should be required reading and pictorial viewing for everyone on this universe.

One of pictures is of northern China's Loess Plateau where collapsing terraced fields contribute to one of the world's highest erosion rates. In Wisconsin and other grain growing mid-country states, giant machines weighing up to 15 tons compressmash wet soil into nigh impenetrable slabs--a process called compaction which may eventually destroy their own livelihood's.

In Europe, soil compaction is thought to negatively affect 130,000 square miles of farmland and compaction is estimated to cost Midwestern farmers in the U.S, over $100million dollars in lost revenue every year.

The National Geographic article details dozens of the methods of conservation and water retention used worldwide including "no till", tree seeding, artificially created water control basins, terracing, an ancient soil system called terra preta, testing of new crop varieties, rotation, plowing in different patterns to prevent earth concrete like compaction, plus programs similar to CREP as practiced by many farmers in Peoria County.

"Even as humankind is ratcheting up its demands on soil, we are destroying it faster than ever before". While soil saving practices are commonplace in most parts of the world, other lands are and have been degraded by erosion, pesticides and fertilizers.

"Dirt Poor" - Haiti has lost its soil and the means to feed itself - is another article in this months National Geographic. This poorest country in the Western Hemisphere will be in constant conflict unless changes are made in managing it's most valuable resource - it's soil. Rice makes up 20% of the typical Haitian's diet, and that percentage is growing. In 1981 Haiti imported 18,000 tons of rice. Now the country imports more than 400,000 tons of rice annually. Haitians say the earth is tired. Less than 4% of their forests remain and in many places soil has eroded down to the bedrock. The article asks "what do you do with no food? The answer, you go hungry and so do your children". When people are hungry they die or they rebell.

With over 8.3 billion mouths to feed by 2030, a short 21 years from now, we may find more wars being fought over food than over any other resource. The two most basic primal needs are water and food. Shortages of either will result in more bloodshed than the world has ever seen. We can live without oil, gas, minerals, love and faith but we cannot live without adequate supplies of food and drinkable water.

I encourage you to read more about the coming shortage of the basic needs of mankind and less about Brittany Spears or even Barack Obama. Starving people will make most of our excesses and circuses irrelevant in civilizations survival.

Their are solutions and many dedicated and hardworking people are involved. Without our support, they may not succeed.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Peoria Park Update - Softball

"Park District Nears Deal for Softball Fields" was a JS headline on 11/07/03, almost five years ago. While not at liberty to disclose the location, Tim Cassidy, Park Board President said that "construction of the estimated $2 million dollar facility wouldn't begin until 2005, largely because the PPD 2004 budget has no funds allocated for the project". Cassidy continued "we're confident we'll have a softball facility on land swapped with Bradley for Meinen Field (now Shea Soccer Stadium and owned by Bradly University) by 2006".

In September of 2004 the JSEB gave the park and Bradley a "thumbs up" for "creating a land swap that appears to benefit them both, Meinen Field for 80 acres of land at the corner of Fox Rd. and Rt. 91." The Recorder of Deeds Office show that Bradley purchased 162 acres of land at this location for $13,000 an acre in November of 2003. All of that land still remains in the name of Bradley University and is farm land.....


In light of an article in the JS "Fun as far as the eye can see" dated 6/15/08, that quoted PPD Board Member Roger Allen, "our finances are in superb condition", why have they reneged on a promise they made to the public (up to 10 new fields to supplement EastSide facilities to draw more and larger national tournaments to the area) during a park board political race?

A ray of hope for softball fans albeit a couple of years late was legal notice in today's JS under "Advertisement for Bids", Lake Avenue (Peoria Stadium) Softball Fields, bids due September 4, 2008. I understand two softball fields and one baseball field are to be constructed on that site ready for the 2009 season. Ken Hinton had sent me an email answer on 6/18/08 saying that the school district and the park "are working together and our stadium property will be taking on a new look". An article in the JS dated 7/04/06 stated that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources will pay half of the renovations cost.

For all the plaudits the park district receives, one must be reminded that many great things should be accomplished with the park's budget at over $48 million.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Spanking in Schools

Hooray, Comcast has allowed me to connect to the Internet today after being unable to sign in for more than half of this month. After going out Monday morning, I connected late this afternoon. I'm not cancelling Comcast's visit between 8 and 10 tomorrow as I may get a disconnect at any time.

Watching a debate about spanking on our public schools on CNN this afternoon, I am irritated enough to blog on the subject.

As a former school teacher, in three years in elementary, only four kids were spanked by our PRINCIPAL, in front of a teacher witness. No teacher was permitted to spank a child. One eighth grade student was was the son of the school board president. We had NO discipline problems in this school. The kid's dad had the same attitude as my Dad; you get spanked in school you get spanked at home. My Dad used a leather razor strap which I proudly own today.

CNN showed as board about as big as a two by four. How stupid can CNN get? Our principal used a wide, flat "3/8 inch paddle stick. The only damage done to the kids was to their ego's. No problem with any of them after the three slaps on their butt.

Our inability to discipline our kids both at home or in the public arena has led to the mess our country is in now with over nine million people incarcerated as I write, some for just an overnight and some heading for death row.

I am a strong believer in the broken window theory. I am saddened when the JSEB asks "what is going wrong with our kids?" when condemning those who do try to show kids the errors of their ways

Even a fool should know you do not beat a kid. Three solid slaps on a bent over butt early on in their "stupidity" years, accompanied by a few words of fatherly advice, usually ends the discipline problem.

There is a big difference between spanking and beating up a kid. Anyone in their right mind knows that beating up any juvenile is not going to change their attitude.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Dan Proft on Charter Schools

I have Mr. Proft's permission to run his email of August 5 as a blog.

In today's JS, "Word on the Street", I quote "There is a school district meeting Tuesday at 6:00 P.M to continue the discussing of charter schools." The only way charter schools will become an actually in Peoria is not with District #150 permission but because of community pressure and actions to form schools that are not in any way under the jurisdiction of the school board and their stifling union but by groups pressuring the State of Illinois for permission to form more private charter schools in our community and in the state and the transfer of some public funding to help support them.

Charter schools are not public school run academies. District #150 ran unsuccessful "academies" for years before abandoning them in 2006.

The math, science and technology school that Superintendent Hinton is talking about is not a privately run charter school but be an academy staffed and run by #150.

Merle Widmer

Proft's latest featured commentary on Don Wade & Roma:

Rethinking Meeks

Click here to listen to an .mp3 of this commentary as heard on this morning's Don Wade & Roma Morning Show on WLS AM-890.

Click here to email Dan Proft

I was too tough on Illinois State Senator James Meeks.

Last week, I offered both a commentary and rigorous interview of Rev. Meeks on the WLS airwaves as to Meeks' controversial declaration that he will bus thousands of Chicago Public School (CPS) students up to New Trier High School on Chicago's ritzy North Shore for the first day of school next month to protest state education funding inequities.

While I stand by the substance of what I said, I violated a cardinal rule of politics in making the perfect the enemy of the good.

On The Don & Roma Morning Show last week, in addition to discussing his PR stunt, Meeks also explained that he would be introducing legislation to effectively create statewide school choice whereby students could take state dollars and attend any public school they wish.

Meeks is on the right street but he's at the wrong address. While I have no philosophical aversion to his approach, major surgery on Illinois education is only politically salable at present to the sucking chest wound that is CPS.

Rather than creating regional conflicts that further push off the promise of choice in education, Meeks should use his political capital both in Springfield and among minority families in Chicago to apply pressure on a system whose results are indefensible by any measure.

While Meeks corrected identified the multitude of problems with CPS, Meeks failed to embrace the inescapable conclusion that followed his premise when he suggested that Illinois taxpayers pour $2 billion more into a system he concedes has proven to be incapable of educating our young people.

CPS should not be given more money; it should be subjected to a RICO prosecution.

His internal contradictions notwithstanding, Meeks is doing more than any other legislator, Republican or Democrat, to spotlight the ongoing criminal enterprise that is the Chicago Public School system, robbing young people of their futures, and demand justice.

If Meeks can shed his misdirected allegiance to the CPS bureaucracy, he has the opportunity to be for Chicago what Polly Williams was for Milwaukee nearly two decades ago--a black, inner city legislator with the courage to take on the teachers unions on behalf of low-income families whose children deserve so much more. In other words, Meeks has a chance to be a hero.


Dan Proft is a Principal of Urquhart Media LLC, a Chicago-based public affairs firm and political commentator for the Don Wade & Roma Morning Show (5-9am) on Chicago's number one news talk radio station, WLS-AM 890. He can be reached at

For other Dan Proft commentaries (radio & print), please visit:

For other recent Don Wade & Roma interviews, commentary, and discussions visit:

© All Rights Reserved



News on Those Who Serve and Protect us

My friend, ex-secretary and office manager, Sue Stephenson, sends this news from the battlefields of our ongoing War on Terror.

First Lieutentant Troy Van Cannon is Sue's Son-In-Law.

First Lieutenant Troy Van Cannon, United States Army distinguished himself by exceptionally meritorious service to the United States as Platoon Leader serving third Platoon, Alpha Company 1-181st FA BN, Multi-National Force- Iraq, from 01 September 2007 to 15 May 2008 during OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM. 1LT Cannon demonstrated outstanding professional skill, knowledge, and inter-service leadership in organizing, developing and reforming the Quick Reaction Force. 1LT Cannon’s attention to detail, decisive decision making, and persistence ensure all mission reports, spot reports, and sitreps were reported correct and on time every time. 1LT Cannon led his platoon in one hundred fifty nine logged missions continually dealing with the detainees, contraband, and the compounds. 1LT Cannon lead the first push into a Hasty Compound with a portion of his platoon, thirty nine personnel, subduing one hundred thirty seven detainees whom over came the guard force and bridging the wall between the water closet and the compound. During the push into compounds 31 and 32, 1LT Cannon distinguished himself by consistently placing himself inside the compounds with the Quick Reaction Force in close combat with over four hundred detainees heavily armed with hand made lethal weapons knowing we were outnumbered by three to one. 1LT Cannon conducted the first raid into the most hostile compound at the Theater Interment Facility to gather counter intelligence information hidden in the compound or on detainees and performed this without firing any lethal or not lethal weapons. He has played a significant role in supporting his platoon on numerous raid missions where the Quick Reaction Force was required to extract detainees from their domicile, occasionally with resistance and non-compliance, in order to gather important intelligence information; this has proven on many accounts to be extremely valuable in learning how the detainees network their communication with their external correspondents and gather information relating to the security of the Theatre Interment Facility. While conducting Dig, Search, and Sweep Operations, the Quick Reaction Force discovered a great number of tunnels constructed by detainees to aide them in the escape and evasion of the guard force. These discoveries contributed greatly to the prevention of planned escape attempts of the detainees which would integrate them back into the community. He participated in several mass moves of detainees from one compound to another in order to better segregate and in some cases integrate detainees from different religious backgrounds with the intention of either protecting or educating the detainees. 1LT Cannon’s outstanding leadership was not only recognized by his soldiers, but by the Naval Criminal investigative Service agents working at the compounds stating they would take his plan of action for a raid back to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service School House to implement into their training. 1LT Cannon’s actions leading his Quick Reaction Force teams with little to no concern for his safety ensured the teams stayed on line, continually moved forward toward the hostile detainees, and rules of engagement and escalation of force were followed ensuring no unnecessary harm was done to the detainees or his soldiers. First Lieutenant Cannon’s actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of the military service and reflect distinct credit upon himself, the Multi-National Force-Iraq, and the United States Army.

Obamaisms - Obamas Energy Crisis Solutions?

If the people who support Obama would only read about his positions that are appearing daily in print, McCain would win in a landslide.

This is not a lengthy report and is well worth reading.


August 4th, 2008
By Nick Loris
Barack Obama released his "New Energy for America" plan today during his speech at Michigan State University. His entire energy plan is laid out here. Relieving America from its foreign oil addiction was the gist of his speech:

Without a doubt, this addiction is one of the most dangerous and urgent threats this nation has ever faced - from the gas prices that are wiping out your paychecks and straining businesses to the jobs that are disappearing from this state; from the instability and terror bred in the Middle East to the rising oceans and record drought and spreading famine that could engulf our planet.

Though there was some good in Obama's speech and in his plan, it was mostly bad. The bad policies include:

Immediately Provide Emergency Energy Rebate: To compensate for the high costs of gas and energy prices and revamp the struggling economy, Obama conjured up a plan to give $500 to individuals and $1,000 to families as soon as this fall. The Foundry has written more extensively on this here, but to summarize this idea, it would reduce supply, increase the demand for gas, and rely on windfall profits taxes on big oil, which have been tried and failed miserably. Economist Don Boudreaux puts it this way: It's like trying to put out a fire by dowsing it with jet fuel.
Tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve: The SPR, created after the 1973-1974 Arab oil embargo, is a federally maintained petroleum stockpile intended to make up for any shortfall caused by a temporary supply disruption. Granted, an extra 3 million to 4 million barrels per day would lower prices at the margin, but the SPR could maintain that pace for no more than six months. After that, the price of oil would likely return to its previous level, and the SPR would be empty and thus no longer available for its intended purpose as an insurance policy against a supply disruption. What would Obama do if the U.S. were hit with a severe energy crisis and the SPR were tapped dry? Think of the national security and economic implications.
Cracking Down on Speculators: Speculators have been receiving a lot of the blame for the rise in oil prices, but this is misleading. Heritage economist David Kreutzer gives a good primer on how speculators can help consumers at the pump, and J.D. Foster writes that the speculators' role in increased oil prices is marginal, at best. Ultimately, speculators do little to affect supply and demand.
Capping-and-Taxing: I mean, trading. Obama plans to implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. The Lieberman-Warner cap-and-trade legislation that quickly died on the Senate floor in June proposed 70% reduction of 2005 levels by 2050. The Heritage Foundation released a study on the economic costs of the Lieberman-Warner climate change legislation that detailed the burden cap-and-trade legislation would impose on the economy. If the Lieberman-Warner bill would have imposed a $4.8 trillion hit to GDP by 2030 and nearly 1 million jobs lost in certain years, just imagine what Obama's plan would do. The Heritage analysis of the Lieberman-Warner bill also projects a huge jump in energy prices, including gasoline. So, is Obama for lowering gas prices or raising them? Hmm.
Renewable Fuels Mandates and Fuel Economy Standards: Under Obama's new energy plan, 10% of America's electricity will come from renewable sources by 2012, and 25% by 2025. Now that food prices have risen dramatically, there is bipartisan consent, along with statements from environmental and global hunger groups, that the ethanol mandate has been an absolute failure.
Furthermore, Obama proposes to have 1 million plug-in hybrid cars - cars that can get up to 150 miles per gallon - on the road by 2015, and he suggests that they all be built here in America. (We'll save the protectionist argument for another day.) The question now is: Where is the electricity generated that the hybrids receive? Howard Learner, executive director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center, a Chicago-based advocacy group notes that "plug-in hybrids are not good for all areas. . [S]tates that are heavily coal, that equation doesn't work out very well for the environment." And aren't hybrids more expensive?

There is a bit of silver lining, however, but even the good news comes with some bad.

Increase Domestic Supply: Obama recently shifted his position on off-shore drilling, but the only time in his eight-page energy plan that offshore is mentioned is during his use or lose it initiative, which requires that "oil companies to diligently develop these leases or turn them over so that another company can develop them." His plan recognizes that U.S. oil and gas play a critical role in America's energy policy and includes drilling in Bakken Shale in Montana and North Dakota, Barnett Shale formation in Texas and the Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas, and the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A). It also includes recovering more oil from existing fields and Prioritizing the construction of the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline. Search his plan and see if you can find the words "outer continental shelf." What about "ANWR"? Nothing.
Increase Nuclear Power: The presidential nominee does recognize that "It is unlikely that we can meet our aggressive climate goals if we eliminate nuclear power as an option." But here's the problem. His "New Energy for America" plan calls the geologic repository Yucca Mountain "not suitable." Instead, he will lead federal efforts to look for safe, long-term storage. Yucca Mountain, as critical as it is to the management of used nuclear fuel, is not alone a long-term solution. The amount of used nuclear fuel already accumulated in this country is near the 70,000-ton statutory limit. Furthermore, if nuclear power production increased by 1.8% annually after 2010, a 120,000-ton (what most scientists believe its actual capacity is) Yucca would be full by 2030. Fortunately, Heritage's Jack Spencer outlined a free-market approach to managing used nuclear fuel that would better serve consumers as well as the nuclear industry.
Granted, Obama's plan does take some baby steps in the right direction by increasing supply and advocating nuclear, but even these parts of his plans have flaws. No mention of the Outer Continental Shelf. No mention of ANWR. No clear solution to nuclear waste. And those are the good parts.

The unfortunate part his plan is that it repeats the same mistakes of the failed policies introduced in the 1970s, along with a few other bad ideas for good measure. These policies will lead to more restrictions on energy supply and higher costs for Americans - all to change the earth's temperature 0.1 of a degree.

Darin LaHood - More Reasons We Should Support Him

For Immediate Release: For More Information:

DATE: August 6, 2008 Darin LaHood 309/370-8504

Darin LaHood Continues Sweep of Police Endorsements:

Correctional Officers Vote Unanimous Support

Peoria, IL – Citing his experience as an “aggressive prosecutor and keen understanding of Peoria County,” the Peoria County Correctional Officer’s FOP Union voted unanimously to endorse Darin LaHood for Peoria County State’s Attorney. LaHood has pitched a shutout among law enforcement union endorsements—gaining all five endorsements that have been made thus far.

“Darin LaHood’s experience as an aggressive prosecutor and his keen understanding of Peoria County indicate that he can provide the new leadership that law enforcement sorely needs,” said Daniel Basfield, President of the Fraternal Order of Police Local 157-3, representing the Peoria County Correctional Officers. Citing the State’s Attorney’s direct impact on the safety of correctional officers, Basfield added, “With LaHood, we can ensure that incarcerated individuals will respect correctional officers and make for a safer workplace.”

Basfield continued, “Our officers believe it is time for a change in the State’s Attorney’s office because the current State’s Attorney has not tried cases for correctional officers as diligently as they should be tried thereby putting the officers in harm’s way. The present State’s Attorney’s support of our Department has dwindled over the years by not prosecuting violent crimes committed against our officers.”

LaHood said the collective voice of the correctional officers, along with the overwhelming support of other law enforcement in Peoria County speaks volumes. “These are the individuals who are on the front lines here in Peoria. They interact daily with murderers, rapists and other violent criminals. If they receive no support from the State’s Attorney, something is terribly wrong. I wholeheartedly respect what these people put on the line on a daily basis and know they go the extra mile to protect all of our families. As State’s Attorney, I intend to go the extra mile to give them the assurance and support that they desperately need.”

The Correctional Officers endorsement follows prior endorsements from the Peoria Police Department, the Peoria County Sheriff’s Deputies, the Bartonville Police Department and the Chillicothe Police Department.

Darin LaHood, 40, was born and raised in Peoria. He is a former Chief Terrorism and Federal Prosecutor who served four years with the U.S. Department of Justice in Las Vegas, Nevada. LaHood was also an Assistant State’s Attorney in both Tazewell and Cook counties. LaHood and his wife, Kristen, returned home to Peoria in 2005 to raise their three children: McKay, Luke, and Teddy. LaHood currently practices with the Peoria law firm of Miller, Hall, & Triggs. Darin and Kristen are active in numerous Peoria charitable and civic organizations and are members of St. Vincent de Paul Church. Visit to learn more about Darin, volunteer opportunities, or to contribute to the campaign.


Obama Facts? - Part 2

> July 7, 2008 . Issue 27 . AMERICAN FREE PRESS
> New Questions Arise About Obama's Citizenship
> It now appears that Barack Hussein Obama is constitutionally ineligible
> for the office of president. John McCain's eligibility was established
> in 1964, when courts ruled Sen. Barry Goldwater was eligible although
> he was born in Arizona when it was a territory, not a state. McCain was
> born in the Panama Canal Zone when it was a U.S. territory. And, even
> as the controlled media continues to ignore the ineligibility of Obama,
> it will not go away. While few doubt that the Democrats will manage to
> pull off his nomination, all remain poised to view the
> legal
> performance
> The first hurdle will be having Obama produce his birth certificate,
> which so far he has refused to do, and prove that he was born in Hawaii
> on August 4, 1961, as he has always claimed. There is speculation that
> his American mother may have brought him to Honolulu shortly after his
> birth in Kenya, but no proof of that has been shown.
> According to the law on the books at the time of Obama's birth, the
> office of president requires that a candidate be a natural born citizen
> if the child was not born to two U. S. citizen parents. Since he was
> not, should it be proven that Obama was not born in Hawaii, as claimed,
> he is ineligible without further debate. But assuming that he was born
> there, he has another problem.
> According to a legal researcher who has contacted AFP, U.S. law very
> clearly states: "If only one parent is a U.S. citizen at the time of
> one's birth, that parent must have resided in the United States for a
> minimum of 10 years, five of which must be after the age of 16." And
> therein lies Obama's new problem.
> Barack Obama's father was never a U.S. citizen.
> Interestingly, there isn't much paperwork on the marriage of Obama's
> parents, and this has a few researchers speculating that it never took
> place at all. On page 27 of Obama: From Promise to Power, David Mendell
> writes: "Obama later confessed that he never searched for the
> government documen
> ts on the marriage, although Madelyn (Obama's
> maternal grandmother) insisted they were legally married." He also
> notes that Obama's father apparently was not legally divorced from his
> first wife back in Kenya at the time, a point of contention that
> ultimately led to their separation. This also would suggest that there
> may never have been any legal marriage by Obama's parents at all, but
> the Constitution does not ban an illegitimate child from the White
> House, as long as he was born inside the U.S.
> Obama's mother was born in Kansas and was only 18 when Obama was born.
> This means even though she satisfies the citizen requirement for 10
> years, she was not a citizen for at least five years prior to Barack
> Obama's birth.
> In essence, the mother alone is not old enough to qualify her son for
> automatic U.S. citizenship. At most, two years elapsed from his mother
> turning 16 to the time of Barack Hussein Obama's birth when she was 18.
> His mother would have needed to have been 16 + 5 = 21 years old at the
> time of Barack Hussein Obama's birth for him to be a natural-born
> citizen.
> Barack Hussein Obama was already three years old at the time his mother
> turned 21.
> Technically, Obama should have been naturalized as a citizen, but that,
> of course, would disqualify him from holding the office of president.
> If these allegations are accurate, America could install in January of
> 2009 a new president=2
> 0who is not even a U.S. citizen, neither born nor
> naturalized.
> It should be demanded that Obama produce his 1961 Hawaiian birth
> certificate.
> If he cannot satisfactorily do so, he should be deemed immediately
> ineligible to hold the office of president.

America - Land of the Free and Home of the Brave

I'm passing this message on to others. Too many of us have taken and are taking our freedoms as something owed to us.

Not hardly.

It is embarrassing that many kids don't know much about about our history. Too many of our new generations don't know how and why we are the most free country in the world.

Merle Widmer says if you haven't heard from me lately is because my computer system was down for eight days.

Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2007 5:44 PM

Subject: A Great Teacher

Back in September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a
social studies school teacher at Robinson High School in Little Rock, did
something not to be forgotten.

On the first day of school, with permission of the school superintendent,
the principal and the building supervisor, she took all of the desks out
of the classroom.

The kids came into first period and there were no desks. They obviously
looked around and said, "Ms. Cothren, where's our desk?" And she said,
"You can't have a desk until you tell me how you earn them."

They thought, "Well, maybe it's our grades." "No," she said. "Maybe it's
our behavior." And she told them, "No, it's not even your behavior."

And so they came and went in the first period, still no desks in the
classroom. Second period, same thing, third period too. By early
television news crews had gathered in Ms. Cothren's class to find out
a bout this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of the

The last period of the day, Martha Cothren gathered her class. They were
at this time sitting on the floor around the sides of the room. And she
says, "Throughout the day no one has really understood how you earn the
desks that sit in this classroom ordinarily." She said, "Now I'm going to
tell you."

Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it, and
as she did 27 U.S. veterans, wearing their uniforms, walked into that
classroom, each one carrying a school desk. And they placed those school
desks in rows, and then they stood along the wall. And by the time they
had finished placing those desks, those kids, for the first time I think
perhaps in their lives, understood how they earned those desks.

Martha said, "You don't have to earn those desks. These guys did it for
you. They put them out there for you, but it's up to you to sit her e
responsibly to learn, to be good students and good citizens, because they
paid a price for you to have that desk, and don't ever forget it."

Friends, I think sometimes we forget that the freedoms that we have are
freedoms not because of celebrities. The freedoms are because of ordinary
people who did extraordinary things, who loved this country more than
life itself, and who not only earned a school desk for a kid at the
Robinson High School in Little Rock, but who earned a seat for you and me
to enjoy this great land we call home, this wonderful nation that we
better love enough to protect and preserve with the kind of conservative,
solid values and principles that made us a great nation.

"We live in the Land of the Free because of the brave."

Please remember our Troops!


A follow-up to the above


Sent to me from a friend. I agree.

>>> As many pundits have noted, never in anyone's collective
memory has a
>>> situation occurred like this where, leading up to an election,
>>> political agenda item was against the party holding the White
>>> causing everyone to be certain a landslide for the other party was
>>> order. Then, along come two tremendous gifts from
"heaven" for the
>>> Republicans, high gas prices and "peace" in Iraq
(success of the
>>> "surge"), that have the potential to totally reverse the
course of near
>>> term political history.
>>> The House voted 213 (all Democrats) to 212 to go on vacation
rather than
>>> get a comprehensive energy plan done. The Senate did the same. As
>>> by the author, Pelosi and Reid are desperate to avoid a vote.
>>> because she would have mass desertions on her hands. Reid because
a vote
>>> would put Obama in an impossible situation right before the
>>> Obama would either have to vote against drilling, natural gas,
coal and
>>> nuclear to hold up his base or he would have to break with the
party and
>>> vote for "all of the above" and totally alienate his
base. Either way he
>>> loses and the Democrat leadership knows it.
>>> If the Republicans are smart, they will use the next five weeks to
>>> hammer the Democrats on the energy issue. They should run ads
>>> gasoline prices at the pump, do live interviews in front of gas
>>> and beat Democrat obstructionism into the forefront of the minds
of the
>>> American voters. The theme should be that the only way gas prices
>>> going to come down is to put the Republicans into the majority in
>>> houses of Congress and the White House. They should note that, as
>>> as Pelosi and Reid are in power, there will be no increase in
>>> energy production because they will continue to obstruct that
>>> legislation as majority leaders. The Republicans also need to note
>>> returning sympathetic Democrats ("blue dogs" and others)
to Washington
>>> will not solve the problem because it will only keep Pelosi and
Reid in
>>> power. The Republicans need to say that "real change"
needs to occur and
>>> that real change is putting the Republicans back in charge of
>>> Nothing else will get it done.
>>> The opening is here. The Republicans need to seize it and pound it
>>> relentlessly for the next ninety days. McCain basically needs only
>>> talking point and this is it.
> --

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Fort Scott, Kansas

On 5/24/05, I blogged on a book written by a Republican turned Democrat, Thomas Frank on "What's the Matter With Kansas?" Frank wrote, "no matter how far its drifted into delusion---."

Now comes breaking news from Fort Scott, Kansas; "Hundreds of volunteers have proven pennies can go a long way. Miles, in fact. Three days after the first coin was placed on the ground, the volunteers had assembled a 40 mile long chain of pennies in the parking lot of Fort Scott Middle School. It's the longest line of pennies ever assembled, eclipsing the old mark by more than five miles according to Guinness Book of World Records officials."

By gummy, I knew they could do it, especially after I learned that it costs the taxpayer 2 1/2 cents to produce one cent. I knew Kansas would find a use for pennies. I can see them dumping lunch pails full of pennies in the collection plate every Sunday.

Proves that if you want to have fun on a low cost budget, move to Kansas. Nothing like keeping the kids busy than counting pennies. Oh well, now Fort Scott, a bustling community of 8000, is back in the news again.

As the JSEB said on 7/19, in an editorial titled "Peoria Perilous for Pedestrians", "here in Peoria, such an enormous amount of time and energy would be far better spent retrofitting existing streets with sidewalks and bike lanes." They left out, "or visiting the new north branch library" probably out of embarrassment over this "pedestrian friendly" location for this library the JS deemed more important than infrastructure and public safety, which IS in an area "perilous for pedestrians".

And bikes also.

As I wrote in my "What the Matter with Kansas, you could lift parts of Kansas and set them down in some parts of middle Illinois and the Kansans' wouldn't know the difference.

I started this blog 3 days ago and when I hit my spell-check, I lost contact with the Internet. After trying time after time to connect and started calling all the places we are susposed to call for help. After several hours on the phone and a visit from our experienced technician friend, it was determined the problem was with Comcast. The earliest anyone could come out was Wednesday (tomorrow) between one and five. This evening, I turned the computer on to do my emails and hit on home and presto, I was connected. I immediately called Comcast Tech Support to cancel. After going through the process of reaching the place where I was to cancel, I was put on hold for 20 some minutes while I listened to the same stupid music over and over. I finally hung up. If the technician comes tomorrow, I may or may not be home.

I believe my wife and I have had it with Comcast but don't know who would be better.

Any recommendations?

Sports Over Emphasis

I had just blogged about Giant pitcher Barry Zito obscene salary when two items appeared about Zito. One was in the 8/1/08 WSJ titled, "A Colorful Pitcher's Comeback Plan" and the other in today's JS sports page that showed Zito had won a game 2-0 over San Diego, a team with the third worst record in major league baseball. Zito record was 6 wins and 13 losses for the season. His contract was for $126,000,000.00 but with endorsements, he should earn over $150 million. Since signing the seven year contract, Zito's record since he signed the 126 million contract is now 17 wins and 26 losses. Zito says "you get older and you go through free agency, you start to feel like "s--",this is pretty serious. You've got to have fun." You can have a lot of fun on a guaranteed $18 million a year not counting endorsements.

I can't feel sorry for the owners, the over paid players, the gullible fans, but I feel sorry for the sport and most professional sports in general. What should be fun for all involved has turned into businesses where the idea to perform well, make big money, live high and win is so intense that teams and players cheat.

Wonder if it's worth it and whether players like Bonds, NcQuire, Sosa and Palmerio will die at a ripe old age in good health. Also, would the country be a better place if the addicted fans and the pressuring parents got more involved in what is really happening in this country.

What I saw as a mentor and followed kids in schools, that the boys careers where going to be in big money sports participation. They are as sure as a person playing the Illinois lottery or the slots across the river that they were going to be the one who would "hit the jackpot" or be highly paid like a Thome or a Livingston.

It's great to have high ambitions but someone should be teaching them about what a work ethic is, the theory of odds and planning for real life careers. I don't blame the players for the money. If owners and fans will pay for it, take it. Just don't cheat. Try to be worth what you're being paid.

Read the WSJ column on Zito; "Tatics", by Matthew Futterman. I'ts interesting.

Friday, August 01, 2008

An Anonymous Letter

This unsigned letter was passed to me by an acquaintance; this aquaintance received it in the mail in an unmarked envelope.

It's contents are interesting reading.

The letter reads:

"A few short days ago, while in Peoria, I was introduced to some stockholders of the Peoria Chiefs baseball team. I was very much taken back of what happened to the original group of stockholders' money. The most sad thing is not anyone can find out or exercise any litigation to find out what happened to the money invested in the original team. It seems as though a few people have complete access to this very important information. These people - some who have invested 60,000 - 70,000 - 80,000 dollars -- have nowhere to turn to get any information on this very important investment.

There is one family who has all of these properties: Salaries, benefits, who owns shares and net worth, debt of corporation,(it is a limited liability corporation), Ground (ballpark) who owns it?, what is it worth? This organization has not provided stockholders with any information as original stock is watered down, so are they worthless paper? A lady who needed her money very badly invested 60-80,000 dollars was told it has no value and was offered very, very low return to sell back at pennies on the dollar.

A very well known and respected family has all the answer to all these questions. Are they afraid to tell all if there is nothing going astray? Please bring forth something that will have some meaning for a lot of these people who invested in the original.

Who knows, maybe there is a lot of hanky-panky going on. Maybe it is time to step up to the plate and confess your sins. Surely a family so important to the city of Peoria as this one has nothing to hide.

I for one --- representing a couple of people --- would like some answers. Surely the management and family know that we (I and a couple of investors) would like to have some answers.

Tell the city of Peoria, the citizens whose property it was originally, and all interested parties what you have to offer.

I remain - an interested bystander"

This is a reprint of the document handed me by an acquaintance, knowing I was a Chiefs original stockholder, who recived the document unsigned in an unmarked envelope. I would let the writer, if i knew who it was, see my financial statement but I have not received one from Chiefs management in many years. I might suggest those who want answers and say they can't get them might want to contact a law firm who has had success in getting whatever stockholders information they seek from limited liability corporations, in this case, from the Chiefs management, a Limited Liability Corporation.

Interesting letter, indeed.


My Oxford Dictionary says a politician is a person engaged in or concerned with politics as a practitioner - a person skilled in politics, a person with self-interested political concerns. This email I received states that there are 545 people who determine our destiny and the destiny of many other people throughtout the world. This document is an interesting read whether or not it was written by the person whose name appears at the bottom.

Subject: 545 People

This is the simplest, most understandable and truest explanation of the
woes of the nation and who caused them, as well as how to cure them.
This should be sent to every person in the U.S., including the '545'

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and
then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and the Republicans
are against deficits, we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered why, if all the politicians are against inflation
and high taxes, we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don't propose a federal budget. The president does.

You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on
appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don't control monetary policy, The Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president and nine Supreme
Court justices - 545 human beings out of the 300 million - are directly,
legally, morally and individually responsible for the domestic problems
that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem
was created by the Congress.

In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound
currency to a federally chartered but private central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason.
They have no legal authority.

They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman or a president
to do one cotton-picking thing.

I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The
politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the
lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine
how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that
what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con
regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive
amount of gall.

No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and
criticized the President for creating deficits.

The president can only propose a budget.

He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole
responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and
approving appropriations and taxes.

Who is the speaker of the House?

She is the leader of the majority party.

She and fellow House members, not the president, can approve any budget
they want.

If the president vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they
agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million can not
replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts - of
incompetence and irresponsibility.

I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable
directly to those 545 people.

When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power
of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what
they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red.

If the Marines are in IRAQ, it's because they want them in IRAQ.

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement
plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they
hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and
advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to
regulate and from whom they can take this power.

Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists
disembodied mystical forces like 'the economy,' 'inflation'
or 'politics' that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

They, and they alone, have the power.

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are
their bosses - provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own

We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

Written by:
Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel


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