Monday, March 24, 2008

Peoria Chiefs Baseball Club

In my last blog, I made mention of my 1994 investment in this LLC organization and my Schedule K-1 showed a 13th consecutive loss, only an $810.00 loss this year probably because of the presence of ex-Cub star, Ryne Sandberg.

I read Roger Monroe's monthly column in the CommunityWord to see who he is attacking in the local community. His one sidekick, the JSEB called them Batman and Robin, is running for the Peoria County Board in November as a Republican. Good sources, a phrase Roger often uses, told me that "Robin" Jeff Lickiss considered running as a Democrat if Allan Mayer won over Ms. Gordon. Allan didn't but no word from the Democrats whether Allan will drop down and run for the County Board again. Anyway good luck to both of them as it is a service to the community for someone to just to have the guts to run for public office. Also good luck to the Peoria Chiefs, a good show for the buck and you'll get to see Ryne (and Rocky).

Back to Monroe, a Republican on the County Board for 22 years; most of those years, Republicans were a majority, he was never elected board chairman. Since I was on the board only two of those 22 years, he convienently passed the blame to me. Was this fair? Hardly, since the Republican caucus, Monroe included, voted unaminously to vote for Lynn Pearson. When the vote was called, Monroe reneged on his promise to vote for Pearson and voted for Williams. The rest of the Republicans kept their promise with the exception of Lickiss who voted for Williams who won and Monroe didn't even get a committee chair.

Once in 22 years, he was elected Vice-Chairman. It rankles him that in only 6 years I was elected Vice-Chairman twice while the board was three to one Democrat.

On 10/1/07 Monroe wrote the following, "Peoria Chiefs End Year With a Great Run", What a year is was for the Peoria Chiefs! With Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg as manager, the Chiefs set some attendance records and tied for 2nd place in the second half of the season. By virtue of some strange point system, the Chiefs didn't get into the playoffs."

Then Monroe wanders off, "I was told by two different people about a "funny" incident of a meeting of Chief stockholders. A well-known local malcontent was complaining about the value of his stock. (two different people told me he was talking about me) He reportedly complained he hadn't received a single dividend and his stock wasn't worth much. (correct so far) A stockholder with far more invested in the walked over to the "malcontent" and said she would buy his stock on the spot. After coughing, the malcontent shut up. Based on what investors tell me, the stock in the Chiefs is worth far more than it originally sold for."

The true story? Not hardly. Joyce Eagleton offered me $8,000.00 (my original investment was $50,000) Then she laughed and quickly withdrew her offer saying it was made in jest. When Batman, I mean Monroe, printed this article on 10/1/07, I called Judge Eagleton who I know quite well (we roomed together when we both played in a Cub Fantasy Camp in 1993). The judge said that his wife didn't own any stock and I knew she was just kidding with her $8,000.00 offer. i knew it too and wouldn't have sold for anything less than my original investment now 13 years old. (I did get two free tickets until the club moved downton; no dividends, though. My Schedule K-1shows a loss of $810 dollars for 2007. Under "ending capital account", it shows a figure of $65,560.00. My offer to Roger or anyone is that I'll sell my stock for my original investment of $50M and the buyer can make a cool $35,000.00 by quickly reselling it to all those "clamoring" buyers waiting for someone to sell.

Monroe over the years has printed a lot of falsehoods and made serious attempts to embarrass community leaders. But he takes a very dim view of anyone telling the truth about him. He will say someone is doing a lousy job and in the same breath will praise that person as he did to ex-Board Chairman Williams in the Community Word. I never listen to the Royce (a great ccmedian and former great athelete) and Roger station because of Monroe and Monroe says he doesn't read my blogs or anyone elses. So maybe someone will forward this blog to him.

Monroe stories speak of his extreme dislike for me. He wrote me a letter quoting, "After all I done for you, (he, Lickiss and Polhemus who later turned Democrat, came to my house to ask me to run against Zan Ransburg) and the Republican party, I am treated the same way Gary Stella, Zan Ransubrg and Rosemary Trump treated me when they conspired with Democrats to cheat me out of the board chairmanship." ( I couldn't nominate ) there would not have been a second let alone nine more votes to win).

Roger did help me get elected but not because of his like for me. We hardly knew each other. He thought I could beat Ransburg and with his help and my door-to-door campaigning, I won easily. Only later did I learn the the Ransburgs were on a board that employed Monroe and Monroe got booted and blamed the Ransburg's and Monroe was seeking revenge thru me. I thanked him by tearing up the $1800 check he gave me too late to submit it as a political contribution and submit it to the state.

But, he got Ransburg beaten with my unwitting help.

Any further interest in some of the facts on Roger Monroe look in the archives of "Letters to the Editor of the Community Word", dated 6/02 and 10/04.

Sounds too Good to be True?

University of Chicago economist Gary Becker writes the media reports a trend of escalating foreclosure proceedings on families (and businesses) in almost all parts of the country. He writes, "People are making too many excuses for their plight (some are legit)saying that they didn't understand what they were getting into and wish to shift the blame elsewhere. Isn't that a common failing especially in the "want it now" era, the "keeping up with the Jones" era,and in the greed of many builders who didn't have a buyer before they built?

He says the "blame game" goes on in not only the sub-prime mess but in divorces, crime, schools, abuse...)investments, etc.

He says "Successful attempts to shift the responsibility for bad decisions toward others and to society more generally create a "moral hazard" in behavior. If individuals are not held accountable for decisions and actions that harm themselves and others, they have less incentive to act responsibly in the first place since they will escape some or all bad consequences of their actions". (now and in the future)

Since I just received my Schedule K-1 from my investment in 1994 in the Peoria Chiefs Baseball team showing my 13th year of consecutive losses to report to my tax man, I naturally look for someone to blame. Myself, I guess for investing in something that sounded too good. It turned out good for the community but bad for at least this investor who has been looking for a buyer of my shares. Since 1998, I've had only one legitimate? offer of $1.80.

The prospectus showed a potential of $153M for the first year out a Meinen Field and suggestions of a better return after the new ball park was built. Too good to be true? For me, yes. Responsibility for a bad financial investment? Mine, I but I do have an excuse, if I had any control over the club, changes would have been made and perhaps a wealthy playboy buyer sought. That won't happen because in a limited liability company you usually have "very limited" input as to how the LLC partnership is run and managers of the club appear to be very well paid.

In the meantime, my shares like many foreclosed properties are for sale. Difference is my shares are paid for and owned by me.

If things are presented to you and you are not sure of what you are hearing and don't hire an attorney to read the fine print, you are probably stuck.

Join the crowd.

Any buyers out there?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Rahm Emanuel - A New Deal for the New Economy

This article in the 3/19 edition of the WSJ quotes Democrat Rahm Emanuel as follows: "Both Clinton and Obama have pledged to renegotiate NAFTA if elected president. I share their concern for all who have lost their jobs to global competition. But here is a bigger idea: Let's renegotiate the social contract with America's workers." Then he writes about how this administration has squeezed the middle class; less income??,health insurance, (the private and public sector picks up a great deal of these increases (Peoria County pays 2 out of every 3 dollars of employees health costs), increases in college costs (that is the Republicans fault??), and the national debt has increased by $3.5 trillion." (Guilty as charged but the Democrats in Congress have been in power for the last 14 months)

He continues, "It is true that if we were to negotiate NAFTA today we'd insist on tough labor and environmental standards that didn't matter to the Bush administration. (Why does he think so many companies are out sourcing and so many companies are fleeing Illinois?) Yet NAFTA is not the main reason workers today are hurting. Nor are new and improved trade agreements, and tougher trade enforcement, the whole answer. What we need now is honest discussion about trade and the opportunities the new economy presents." (What's new about "honest" discussion? When we vote, we believe we are voting for honest politicians)

"Most agree that the Bush administration failed by pursuing a partisan, polarizing strategy rather than showing the world a bipartisan, united front on the importance of strong labor and environmental protection of tough-as-nails enforcement. If we don't keep our competitors honest, they won't be."

He wants a new social contract that Americans can count on. He say, "If we don't have a well trained workforce, it won't matter whether we put up walls or hammer out new agreements." He says we must reform health care (why wait for a new president?), giving workers more security or more major employers will shift jobs overseas. "If we don't turn energy from our most expensive habit into our most promising source of new, high-paying jobs, the acronym inscribed on the tombstone of the American Dream won't be NAFTA but OPEC." (So why does he object to the use of nuclear power, the cleanest, cheapest and most efficient energy on the face of our earth? And available and in the U.S. and for decades used to power of fleet of our own submarines.)

He continues "First we must reform the way we educate the the next generation of workers to ensure that our nation stays competitive (we are, we're trying to get them all into college for those high paying white collar jobs, aren't we?), we should require all students to receive one year of training and education after high school be it a community college, technical school or a four year university. And Americans should no longer be allowed to drop out at age 16." (drop out of what? Many of them dropped out of everything but accepting responsibility, show of respect, sex, drugs and drug dealing and laziness long before age 16.) We should make higher education less costly by expanding Hope Scholarships and Lifetime Learning. (I agree and add Peoria Promise) Previous investments (entitlements) have proven that investing in human capital yields large dividends." (No question there)

Then he writes more on workers having quality, affordable health care and the development of new, energy efficient technologies including a new national Energy Institute similar to the National Institute of Health. And finally, he says "we must become a nation of savers with a universal savings plan. Currently 75 million full-time workers don't have a savings or retirement plan. Universal savings accounts would give more workers control over their economic future and their retirement. Like 401(k) plans, these accounts would supplement, not supplant SS. Employers and employees would both contribute 1% of their paychecks on a tax-deductible basis and workers could make additional contributions if they choose.

He says, "With these plans we can forget NAFTA and the best part-the greatest challenge- of renegotiating a new social contract for America's workers: The only government we'll have to negotiate with is our own."

I'll try to help Mr. Emanuel, a Democrat congressman from Illinois and a former senior policy advisor, by asking him to read "David Mamet's Revision" in today's WSJ. Mr. Mamet wrote a piece for the Village Voice last week titled, "Why I Am No Longer a 'Brain Dead Liberal.'" His conversion started while listening to NPR and his facial muscles started to tighten up and the words began to form in his mind to "Shut the (Mamet word) up." He started reading Thomas Sowell, our greatest contemporary philosopher, (I've recommended him in past blogs), Milton Friedman, a great Man among men, active till death at 94, Paul Johnson and Shelby Steele, author of, "A Bound Man: Why We Are Excited about Obama and Why He can't Win, also author of an article in the WSJ March 18, titled "The Obama Bargain", more about this man later, and "found that I agreed with them: a free market understanding of the world meshes more perfectly with my experience than the idealist vision I called liberalism."

Mr. Mamet, in his goodbye to liberalism essay credits the famed newspaper editor William Allen White of Emporia, Kansas fame (I made a sale to the local college when I lived and worked in Topeka, Ks.) with the idea that government should basically stay out of the way of people trying to work out ways to get along and get ahead. He also credits Tom Stoppard, another playwright who just published a piece ripping the student riots in Paris, and elsewhere, in 1968. Mr. Stoppard says he was "dubious of the political left and embarrassed by the slogans and postures of rebellion in a society which in London and Paris...seemed to be the worst system into which one might have been born--the open liberal democracy whose very essence was the toleration of dissent."

Mamet, White and Stoddard all end with the same central point: The autonomy of the individual is echoed all over the place in their writings.

"Most Democrats know that individual autonomy is the moving spirit of our times. The Web is it's relentless, daily metaphor. Left-liberalism breeds many autonomous spirits--but only in their private lives. The party's ethos is as it was in the 1930--dark forces arrayed to thwart the the delivery of benevolence to fragile masses. For the latest standard version, see the end of Obama's speech on "the real culprits of the middle class squeeze".

Unless the Democrats figure out a way to back down big brother, the years ahead will probably bring more Mamet dropouts. Belief in autonomy may even reach Hollywood."

Credit for Mr. Mamet, etc., goes to Daniel Henniger, esteemed writer for the WSJ. Men like Freidman, Sowell, Mamet, Shelby Steele and Tom Stoppard differ considerably from Emanuel and Obama who believe in the government being the force that would bind all of us together. And most evil lies the in the rights of the individual and the seduction of the innocent by the private sector.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Poverty in Peoria Re-Visted

I refer you to my blogs, "Poverty in Peoria", late 04 or early 05, (lost in my computer files), "Growing Class Divide", 12/10/06, "Boot Straps", 7/1/05, and "Poverty Re-Visited", 7/20/05 for some background on this blog.

In July of 2005, I wrote a somewhat critical review of a popular book titled "Nickle and Dimed". On April 11, 2007, I received and email from Jenna Siok, a Bradley student who was writing an article on poverty in Peoria. She said "I read your 7/05 blog on poverty. For a reporting class, we just read "Nickle and Dimed". I agreed with many of your comments about the book.. it was difficult for me to get past the slant the author put on poverty. I felt that she wrote it in such a way that readers should think every low-wage earning person is a victim. Some information I found is that from 1976-2004, the percentage of whites below poverty level has increased by 15.7%. Blacks below poverty level have decreased by 20.6%, and Hispanics below poverty level have decreased by 11.3%."

Ms. Soik then asked me these questions:

Why do you think the percentage of blacks below poverty level have increased? What correlation does this have to stereotypes, if any?
Does it surprise you that whites below poverty level have increased?
What about Hispanics below poverty level?What implications does this have for Peoria specifically?
Any additional comments about poverty?

I answered on April 16 as follows:

"People do less stereotyping since 1976; less on a national basis. More opportunities have opened for all people of any race, gender or color. Are you including Hispanics who entered this country illegally?

An article written in the WSJ dated 6/025/02 titled "Lies, Damned Lies and the Census", says that in the 1990's a record 11 million foreigners immigrated to the U.S. and millions of poor immigrants moved into that bottom (poverty level) category but many more moved out of it, some because of welfare reform. But most of these immigrants moved out of poverty because they were determined not to stay poor forever". (As some moved out of poverty, they were replaced by others moving into poverty, warping some of the poverty levels quoted by some ultra liberals)

Most Hispanics are hard working and tend to pool and save their resources. Savings and good investments tend to elevate people out of poverty. Most Hispanics know that it is imperative that they learn the English language and get some type of job training. Many illegal (and legal) are hired for jobs poorer whites and blacks do not wish to do.

Whether white, black or Hispanic, if uneducated, it is very difficult to rise above what is called the poverty level. In Peoria, all of our public schools are directed to get kids to pass tests to qualify for college. (Since I wrote this, some changes have been made offering a wider selection of curriculum). This belief that everybody is "college material" was and is a large mistake of our local elite and intellectuals. I suggest you read excerpts from two books: William A. Henry - "In Defense of Elitism" and Myron Magnet - "The Dream and the Nightmare - The Legacy of the Sixties".

The implication of past and present mistakes in Peoria are widespread. When Peoria Public Schools dropped Vocational Training (1994) AND COUNSELING EVERYONE TO GO TO COLLEGE; this act helped doom a generation (now two generations) into dropping out of school for lack of interest, helped push them into gangs, into drug dealing and eventually into prison. (On release, 70% eventually are re-incarcerated, because of our terribly wrong warehousing system)

I have written many blogs about the success and failures of our public school systems. Usually, lack of involvement of the student in the school system leads to lack of involvement in society. In Peoria, we appear to have failed generations producing more failed of failing generations. There is, in many cases, a total disconnect of blacks from the white community, especially the upper class white community. And many poorer whites disconnect from higher earning whites also.

If generations of black, white Hispanic, etc., continue to feel that they are being victimized, future generations will continue to use this excuse for their failings.

Bashir Ali, Director of Central Illinois Workforce wrote in the June 2005 issue of IB, "In 1992, 54.3% of high school graduates immediately enrolled in college. 10 years later the rate was 56.7%. However, according to the Manhattan Institute, only 71% of high school students graduated on time. The figures for disadvantaged minority students ranged from 52% to 56%. The study also warns that only 54% of our students graduate from high school with sufficient skills for college work. For blacks, the figure is 23% and for Hispanics, it's 20%.

Hope I was of some help and ask again."

Ms. Siok emailed me back, " Wow! Thank you so much for taking time to answer all my questions. You offered tons of insight, which will help a lot! I will be in touch with you if I have any other questions."

Some of my Democrat friends should forward this blog to Senator's Obama and Clinton. Too many people leading us or trying to lead us continue to live in "ivory towers"

So sad.

Obama Buys Into Half-Truths

Yesterday, in his defense of the views of his "mentor", Obama talked about racial injustice citing a lack of funding for inner-city schools and a general lack of economic opportunity for blacks. He didn't mention the massive amounts of government dollars already spent that were supposed to address these problems nor did he mention the culture of dependency they ingrained. He talked about black anger mirrored in white resentment. He talked about white woman's failures to break the glass ceiling, (wrong again as more are breaking this "glass mirror" every day) the shuttered mill and the laid off white man, lack of health care and soldiers who fought in a war that should have never been started. By including whites, while avoiding mentioning illegal Hispanics and other minorities, he talks of the changes he would make as binding all of this country's particular grievances lamented by all those who feel oppressed.

The cause of all this misery? The usual; short term greed, corporate excesses, cheating by the elite; white elite, of course, the power of lobbyists with special interests gaining economic policies that favor the few over the many, the straw men populists of Wall Street and the GOP.

His typical ultra-liberal Democrat policies are to raise taxes, invest more in social programs, many are failing like the Boys and Girls Club in Peoria (come visit with me and see for yourself) restrict trade and retreat from Iraq where he says he would never have gone anyway. His "change" ideas are nothing new and his "chattering" about lack of education and opportunity are dead wrong. As to lack of opportunity in education, he should visit some of the classrooms I visit and see what these failing kids do with their time. Martin Luther King would be very sad and possibly angry but his message would be far different from the message of victimization preached by Obama and his ilk. Why does Obama think that there are 11 million (a guess) illegals in the U.S.A. right now doing jobs that could be filled by the uneducated and dropout people who are always blaming someone else for their failures?

The future of this country lies in the hands of those with a work ethic and a desire to learn a skill being sought by both the private and public sector.

This is not the man that will unite the country. This is a man that will revive Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society" that has had only a modicum of success and are responsible for the three or four failed generations now dragging down our public school systems.

Some truths in what he says and believes? Absolutely, that is the way of those who seek to offer false hope to those who are truly in need.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Obama Explains - It's the Great Racial Divide

Dear Senator Obama,

I listened to your speech today explaining that it's all the "great racial divide" in this country between black and white people, rich and poor, privileged and those not. Sorry, the informed voter is not going to buy that. I believe the informed voter believes that any black person, any inter-racial person, any person of any race or color or gender, can be friends, can be their equals or superiors, their governor or president. It's all in the "culture" of the individual, not the race.

A while back I blogged that there is some discrimination against everybody. Men, women, bosses, smokers, non-smokers, hookers, drinkers, non-drinkers, church goers, secular folks, ACLU, radical environmentalists, big businesses, farmers both rich and poor, shop workers, day laborers, gays, Italians, Jews, Hispanics, Irish, rich and richer, Chinese, Japanese, bloggers, writers, coaches who were promoted to principals, union members, non-union members, Democrats, Republicans, mother-in-laws, black people, Yale vs. Eureka College, Greeks on campuses, country clubs among themselves or non country club members, independents - how far do I need to go to get my message across that all of these above named groups are most often friends, sometimes enemies, sometimes ignored or tolerated, sometimes bullied or put down, sometimes friendly acquaintances,etc?

A few radical black people, yes, Barack Obama, your wife, your minister and many of the members of your and his church are radicals, some of them are open about it like Farakand sp? and Pastor Wright. Others, like you, are educated to know they must pose in what I call "sheep's clothing" believing they have the knowledge to advise all the black (and some white people) who they have an opportunity to lead that their followers are "victims of a white society".

I ask that you look in my sidebar archive dated 9/19/05, where I wrote a blog called "Victimization". This blog pretty well sums up real life and not the one the Obama's live. Leaders like the educated Obama's subtiety blame the white's for causing discrimination and racial hatred accepted almost as gospel by many educated and uneducated blacks, the poor, the downtrodden, the lazy, the unemployed and the wise guys; drug dealers and many users, robbers, murderers and thiefs.

Are there discrimination's and are some people victimized? You bet. Just don't make victimization a theme song. Lead the way as Robert Kennedy said, "Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others or strikes out against injustice, (not perceived injustice) s/he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."

Or "Whom the Gods wish to destroy, they first make mad." (attributed to Euripides) By just being overly angry over perceived or actual acts of injustice will only lead to the incarceration of more angry proportionately uneducated black people.

No, Senator Obama, your speech today did not explain your statements that you did not know your 20 year friend, mentor and minister was preaching racial hatred and division. Your charisma and demagoguery should be "seen through" by the informed voter. If not, I fear for this great country.

I suspect Bill Cosby has not endorsed you nor do I suspect he will. You should read Cosby, Juan Williams, Ward Connerly and Bill Gates to name a very few. They understand the problems among the cultures far better than you.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Obama - Could be first President in my Lifetime I feel Would be a Threat to Our Nation

Obama has been listening to "hate America" all of his life. More sad truths will come out in the upcoming months. If half of the stories circulating now are true, he should drop out of the campaign and out of political office.

How can Obama claim to not know what his preacher is saying; a man he calls his "mentor", a man that married he and his wife and baptized his children?
How can you know person this well, attend his church and listen to his mentoring without really knowing what this preacher is saying to his flock?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Conviction Versus Persuasion

A letter to the editors of the WSJ from Tom Mader of Walnut Grove, California, former home of my deceased sister Henrietta (Honey) Waldbuser, caught my attention. Mr. Mader writes "It's better when conviction and persuasion coincide". He says "that conviction is a "belief that" something is true: persuasion requires a "belief in" a principle or value. For example, a person might believe that "smoking is injurious to my health," but continue to smoke. However,the persons "belief in" the necessity of safeguarding his or her health will lead to action. Conviction and belief should go hand in hand but you have to learn how to get people's attention. The truth will make you free only if you're hearing it".

What I fear that voters who support Obama have a "belief that" electing him to affect "change" with out ever gaining enough knowledge of who this man and wife really are or a real "belief in" that they understand his meanings of "change", his ability to understand consequences of changes and his ability to implement these changes for the benefit of the this nation and the world governed without the use of terror.

On the other hand, Columnist Peggy Noonan believes that McCain has the conviction but it is time for him to get disciplined and get serious to persuade the voters to understand his philosophy, who is the real man inside him and what he is doing and will do that will improve the well being of all who are citizens of this still great nation. Read her full column "Declaration" in today's issue of the WSJ. She says "that in most successful political careers there is a purpose, a guiding philosophy. Not an ideology (think Obama). Philosophy isn't imposed from above, it bubbles up from the ground, from life. And it's expression is still missing from McCain.

If McCain gets serious and tells us about how he views life, and politics, and Americas purpose in the world, people may just start looking at this older man and see him as the new man and find that the word "change" fits him better than other running for the most important office in the United States of America".

Environmentalists- The Radical Ones are Helping our False Friends and Enemies

Most of the oil that we import comes from Canada and Mexico. Most of the fossil source fuels that we use for energy could come from our own country if it wasn't for the constant opposition from a small minority of radical environmentalists and our politicians worrying about reelection.

Also, uranium is the cheapest and cleanest energy source on the planet but our politicians are afraid of the power of these small minorities.

I blogged on this subject before but I received it in a different format from an email friend so I am putting it again on my blog site. Comment if you wish or challenge the contents of this blog.

Gas rationing in the 80's worked even though we grumbled about it.
It might even be good for us!

The Saudis are boycotting American goods.

We should return the favor.

An interesting thought is to boycott their GAS.
Every time you fill up the car, you can avoid putting more money into the coffers of Saudi Arabia Just buy from gas companies that don't import their oil from the Saudis.

Nothing is more frustrating than the feeling that every time I fill-up the tank, I am sending my money to people who are trying to kill me, my family, and my friends.

I thought it might be interesting for you to know which oil companies are the best to buy gas from and which major companies import Middle Eastern oil.

These companies import Middle Eastern oil:

Shell........................... 205,742,000 barrels
Chevron/Texaco..........144,332,000 barrels
Exxon /Mobil..............130,082,000 barre! ls
Ma rathon/Speedway...117,740,000 barrels
Amoco...........................62,231,000 barrels

Citgo Gas comes from South America, from a Dictator who hates Americans.

Do the math at $30/barrel, these imports amount to over $18 BILLION! (Oil is now $90-$95 a barrel)

Here are some large companies that
DO NOT import Middle Eastern oil:

Sunoco............... 0 barrels
Conoco................ 0 barrels
Sinclair................ 0 barrels
BP/Phillips........... 0 barrels
Hess.................... 0 barrels
ARC0. ................... 0 barrels
Also: Pilot, Flying J, Love's, RaceTrac, Valero

All of this information is available from the Department of Energy
and each is required to state where they get their oil and how much
they are importing.


It's Tax Time! Get tips, forms and advice on AOL

Friday, March 14, 2008

Obama - A Racist Wolf in a Sheep's Costume

"All that Glitters is Not Gold" is an old saying. I was of the hope that the truth about this demagogue, populist and deep down racist and his racist wife would not be brought to the forefront until after he had become the the Democrat nominee. I believed that when the true character of this man and wife started being exposed by a fawning liberal media (The JSEB said that "what impresses us now is the intellect, balance, SEEMING sincerity and self confidence; the courage to invite challenges to his ideas, the desire to seek solutions no matter who gets the credit"), that the chances of getting a person of the caliber of John McCain elected would be greatly improved.

On 2/13 on this site I compared Obama to Hugo Chavez. I was partly wrong. Chavez never tried to cover up who he was; Obama did try and has been exposed to be envious of European descendants and a player of God to all who believe they are victims of American society. In fact, Obama was earlier exposed by millions like myself but he continued to be the great minority hope of the liberal media and their chattering followers. Many of his follower are good people just taken in by all his charm, his attractive wife and their elite school manners.

On February 21, I continued to expose him for what he really was. On February 27,I blogged that his wife stated that "she never felt like she was part of this country until her husband ran for the presidency". I was never fooled by the Obamas, no more than I was fooled by George Ryan, Alan Keyes and our current embarrassing governor. (I was originally fooled by Kay Royster, I admit.)

The political game is really on now and Hillary is stuck with all her statements about how she as President and he as VP would be a dream ticket. Some dream ticket. She must be more confused than she is excited about her increasing opportunity to be the Democrat nominee.

A growing number of voters in this country have gone completely socialist and pacifist. If they become a majority, I fear the decline of this great nation will be accelerated.

I believe that angry black and white men and women; angry about the way many Republicans and Democrats have treated this country as their own private country clubs will see John McCain as the only active candidate who can possibly start to bring this country out of the grips of the arrogance of power and the grip of radical minorities of which there are legion.

As long as those in poverty, for whatever reason including the lack of taking advantage of education offered them free, or for any cause, to be unable to hold a job are encouraged by socialists like Obama and many Berkeley and Harvard graduates to continue to feel that they are victims of our Democratic capitalist and compassionate way of American society, will the pendulum of reason swing back from the left to the center.

Angry white men and women? Count my family in and most of my relatives.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year

If you watched any of the tournament games from the stands or on TV, there was no doubt that Drake had "the horses" and a coach who knew how to coach them. And Illinois State was a better team than the one you saw lose today by 30 points.

Bradley ended their season with an opening round loss to a team they beat by approximately 30 points less than three weeks ago. On a neutral floor in the Valley Conference Tournament in St. Louis, the game had possibilities of going either way until the last 1:32. At that point, an ill advised attempt for a three pointer by a guard who was 2 for 11for the game, clanged off the rim, while the best shooter on the team who was 5 for 8 never got his hands on the ball. Not a sign of a well coached team.

From what was projected to be a great year for Bradley picked to finish 2nd behind Creighton, turned into a very mediocre 17-15 season. For coach of the year in the Missouri Valley Conference, Drake coach Keno Davis received 116 votes to 3 for the Bradley coach. Drake was ranked at the bottom or near the bottom before any games were played. Now they are heading for the NCAA and Bradley may be heading for a tournament devised mainly to make money off of die hard fans.

This Bradley team may play again but for all intents, this season is history.

In reviewing Bradley's past years under coach Les, his biggest wins recently; over Drake at Drake, Kansas and Pittsburgh in the NCAA, appear to have come because the of the loser's over confidence and a "hyped up, nothing to lose", team effort by the Bradley players.

Jim Les returned to this community promising a return to the greatness of many years past. As a longtime observer of Bradley basketball, I have not seen a fulfillment of that promise nor do I see it in the future.

Also, unanswered is not only whether or not a player is guilty of assault or speeding while drinking, but why were they "messing" around in the early morning hours especially the day of a nationally televised game? All indications are that the athletic director and the coach do not have the respect of some of the players or rules are lax or both.

It's a shame because Bradley basketball, except for the point shaving scandal of the early 50's, has had a sterling reputation in the basketball arena. As a longtime fan, friend, past Chiefs's Club Vice-President and financial supporter, I am disappointed.

As Hugh Seigel of New York writes in the WSJ that Americans are inclined to align themselves with an image and a person's skill with words, demeanor, and attire creating an intuitive understanding that image trumps substance to such a degree that image becomes substance.

Too bad.

Age and Ability to Perform

"Is McCain too Old?" is the same as saying, yes, he is too old at 72 to be president. Age is relative and can no longer be used as a measuring stick the same as "Are all people born of poor, unresponsible people (I hesitate to call some of them, parents) bound to be poor and unresponsible when they reach the milestone of being totally responsible for their own actions." Many of our most successful leaders hardly came from most desirable backgrounds.

Many of our greatest leaders were older than John McCain. Let me name a few. Winston Churchill, was 80 when he left office.
Konrad Adenauer, Chancellor of Germany left that office when he was 87.
Charles de Gaulle, elected President of the Fifth Republic of France, retiring at the age of 78.
Nelson Mandela--after 27 years in prison became the first democratically elected president of South Africa at the age of 75. He was 80 when he retired from that office.
Guida Meir was 70 when she became the fourth prime minister of Israel. She retired as a heroine at the age of 76.
Ronald Reagan was 69 when elected as president of the U.S.A and and left office at the age of 77.

All of this diverse group of leaders share a common denominator: They faced trying challenges in office and held the reins of power at momentous times in their country's history.

Age does bring its share of infirmities, but with age also come knowledge, understanding and experience.

The facts above are gathered from Ryan Cole, a writer based in D.C. and published in the WSJ.

As I write this blog I am approaching 83 years of increasing knowledge and experience. I still could play tennis everyday if I had the time and beat anyone in Peoria that is my age or older. (Challenges, anyone?) At the age of 73 I played on a 3 on 3 basketball team out of Mesa, Arizona that won the Southwest Region Senior Olympics tournament played at ASU in Phoenix, scoring a high of 7 points in one game hitting a three-pointer on my first shot. (My wife as witness and a gold medal with my name on it for winning the tournament.) I played my last full court basketball game at the age of 75 at the Clubs at RiverCity. (Some of my friends who played at the same time remember my shooting and defensive ability). And I can still coach from the bleachers!

I'm serving my third term on the Peoria County Board (age 75 when I won my first election) and have been elected to two consecutive terms as Vice-Chairman by ny peers. The press and the public seems to think the county has been pretty well run for the period of time of my service.

Bragging? Maybe, but also stating facts, not promises I couldn't keep like at least two of the presidential candidates are doing as I blog.

Sure, age has it's problems but age affects people differently. John McCain will hold his own far better than any other candidate currently running for the Presidency of the United States of America. He is also the most trusted, proven and honorable person with a chance to win this extremely important position.

Guns and Safety

"Would more guns make us safe"?, is the question asked by the JSEB today. A one line sentence in the the 3/07/08 issue of USA Today partially answers the question. The story was "Gunman kills 8 at the library of a rabbinical seminary in Jerusalem". The sentence was, Yitzhak Dadon, a student, said he shot the attacker twice in the head. "I laid on the rooftop of the study hall, cocked my gun and waited for him. He came out of the library spraying automatic fire," he said.

The question is hardly more guns. The answer is put guns in the hands of people who want to carry, go through a minimum of 6 months background checks, including training and have experience in the use of firearms.

It is more than obvious that weapons in the hands of more experienced and sane people will save thousands of lives in the future as this country becomes an increasingly more dangerous place to live.

In the history of this country, we have never had enough lawman to protect the innocent from our own local terrorists.