Friday, June 27, 2008


Anyone who reads me know that I am not skilled in the use of my computer. One reason may be that I do not want to be because just the composing of my lenghty blogs is stressful.

it is also stressful to carefully compose an answer to a comment on my site and then I touch a wrong key or hit preview and publish but my return comment some times does not show up on my blog site.

I have published over 540 blogs that all remain on my sidebar archives. If you are a frequent reader you generally know how I feel on the subjects which you ask me to answer. I remind you that my blogs may not be in sequence because I may create a draft and finish it days later.

But instead of replying to your comment with my comment, I will write a new blog to dialogue with you if what you question is worthy of a continuing swapping of facts or thoughts.

Thanks for reading me. In politics, I many friends of all parties including many who don't vote. I wish they would but that is an individual right. Some smoke, drink and eat to much. I wish they wouldn't but that is an individual right. It is the right of individuals that have made this country the greatest country in the world. If it isn't why does everyone want to get in and no one leaves permanently, even those who our screwing this great country up and might fit in better in some other place in the world. I've mentioned exotic places like Zimbawee, Libya and Saudi Arabia.

In my regular life, it is how you treat me, if you are a contributor to our society as most of us still see our society and culture, if you are "basically" honest, and if you add something that most of us can appreciate and enjoy.

And yes, I have a right to own a gun and will have more reason to if this country slides more toward socialism regardless who is elected President.

I want to mention that as a Chicago Cub follower, I note more Cub hats and shirts being proudly worn. I'm a pragmatist, at least, I believe I am, so I suggest you not bet the house and your husband on a World Series title.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Radical Environmentalists and a Weak Congress - Recent Past and Present

Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2008 6:08 AM

A couple of years ago I published a series of 6 blogs describing how radical environmentalists such as those described in this email attached and a congress burdened by guilt are responsible for the sorry mess that this country is in. They could have done trmendous things to help the environment, while not stifling our economy. The phrase considered by many to be passe "the chickens are coming home to roost" is never more evident than the past few years.

A Gallup Poll last week published its annual survey of public confidence in U.S. institutions. The question was "How much confidence do you have in each of the following American institutions: a great deal or quite a lot"?

Out of the 16 institutions listed; the military was ranked 1st, small business was ranked 2nd and Congress where you might expect it to be; last. Big business, to whom most congressman listen too, is listed 14th and organized labor 12th.

I'm not surprised to see Congress listed last (16th) while the Presidency is listed 9th.

Big business gets a partially bad rap because they are deathly afraid of radical environmentalists and populist congresspeople who can stop, delay, or close down projects offering decent living wages, economic growth and less dependencey from foreign countries who often have a great deal of dislike for us. Radical environmentalists and our huge non-elected bureacracies file endless extensive and costly civil suits over anything their endless research finds to hinder our countries growth.

We must use our own natural resources until additional alternate energies such as solar and nuclear become cost effective.

Here is the email.

Think about it

The OPEC minister will look you in the eyes and state:
" We are at war with you infidels. Have been since
the embargo in the 1970s. You are so arrogant you
haven't even recognized it. You have more missiles,
bombs, and technology; so we are fighting with the
best weapon we have and extracting on a net basis
about $700 billion/year out of your economy. We will
destroy you! Death to the infidels!

While I am here I would like to thank you for the
following: Not developing your 250-300 year supply of oil
shale and tarsands. we know if you did this, it
would create millions of jobs for US citizens,
expand your engineering capabilities, and keep the
wealth in the US instead of sending it to us to
finance our war against you bastards.

Thanks for limiting defense dept. purchases of
oilsands from your neighbors to the north. We love
it when you confuse your allies.

Thanks for over regulating every segment of your
economy and thus delaying, by decades, the
development of alternate fuel technologies.

Thanks for limiting drilling off your coasts, in
Alaska, and anywhere there is a bug, bird, fish, or
plant that might be inconvenienced. Better that your
people suffer! Glad to see our lobbying efforts have
been so effective.

Corn based Ethanol. Praise Allah for this sham
program! Perhaps you will destroy yourself from the
inside with these types of policies. This is a gift
from Allah, praise his name! We never would have
thought of this one! This is better than when you
pay your farmers NOT TO GROW FOOD. Have them use
more energy to create less energy, and
simultaneously drive food prices through the roof.
Thank you US Congress!!!!

And finally, we appreciate you letting us fleece
you without end. You will be glad to know we have
been accumulating shares in your banks, real estate,
and publicly held companies. We also finance a good
portion of your debt and now manipulate your
markets, currency, and economies to our benefit.



Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Profiles of our Elected Officials

Judicial Watch Announces List of Washington’s “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians” for 2007
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today released its 2007 list of Washington’s “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians.” The list, in alphabetical order, includes:

1. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY): In addition to her long and sordid ethics record, Senator Hillary Clinton took a lot of heat in 2007 – and rightly so – for blocking the release her official White House records. Many suspect these records contain a treasure trove of information related to her role in a number of serious Clinton-era scandals. Moreover, in March 2007, Judicial Watch filed an ethics complaint against Senator Clinton for filing false financial disclosure forms with the U.S. Senate (again). And Hillary’s top campaign contributor, Norman Hsu, was exposed as a felon and a fugitive from justice in 2007. Hsu pleaded guilt to one count of grand theft for defrauding investors as part of a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme.

2. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI): Conyers reportedly repeatedly violated the law and House ethics rules, forcing his staff to serve as his personal servants, babysitters, valets and campaign workers while on the government payroll. While the House Ethics Committee investigated these allegations in 2006, and substantiated a number of the accusations against Conyers, the committee blamed the staff and required additional administrative record-keeping and employee training. Judicial Watch obtained documentation in 2007 from a former Conyers staffer that sheds new light on the activities and conduct on the part of the Michigan congressman, which appear to be at a minimum inappropriate and likely unlawful. Judicial Watch called on the Attorney General in 2007 to investigate the matter.

3. Senator Larry Craig (R-ID): In one of the most shocking scandals of 2007, Senator Craig was caught by police attempting to solicit sex in a Minneapolis International Airport men’s bathroom during the summer. Senator Craig reportedly “sent signals” to a police officer in an adjacent stall that he wanted to engage in sexual activity. When the police officer showed Craig his police identification under the bathroom stall divider and pointed toward the exit, the senator reportedly exclaimed 'No!'” When asked to produce identification, Craig presented police his U.S. Senate business card and said, “What do you think of that?” The power play didn’t work. Craig was arrested, charged and entered a guilty plea. Despite enormous pressure from his Republican colleagues to resign from the Senate, Craig refused.

4. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA): As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee's subcommittee on military construction, Feinstein reviewed military construction government contracts, some of which were ultimately awarded to URS Corporation and Perini, companies then owned by Feinstein's husband, Richard Blum. While the Pentagon ultimately awards military contracts, there is a reason for the review process. The Senate's subcommittee on Military Construction's approval carries weight. Sen. Feinstein, therefore, likely had influence over the decision making process. Senator Feinstein also attempted to undermine ethics reform in 2007, arguing in favor of a perk that allows members of Congress to book multiple airline flights and then cancel them without financial penalty. Judicial Watch’s investigation into this matter is ongoing.

5. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R-NY): Giuliani came under fire in late 2007 after it was discovered the former New York mayor’s office “billed obscure city agencies for tens of thousands of dollars in security expenses amassed during the time when he was beginning an extramarital relationship with future wife Judith Nathan in the Hamptons…” ABC News also reported that Giuliani provided Nathan with a police vehicle and a city driver at taxpayer expense. All of this news came on the heels of the federal indictment on corruption charges of Giuliani’s former Police Chief and business partner Bernard Kerik, who pleaded guilty in 2006 to accepting a $165,000 bribe in the form of renovations to his Bronx apartment from a construction company attempting to land city contracts.

6. Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR): Governor Huckabee enjoyed a meteoric rise in the polls in December 2007, which prompted a more thorough review of his ethics record. According to The Associated Press: “[Huckabee’s] career has also been colored by 14 ethics complaints and a volley of questions about his integrity, ranging from his management of campaign cash to his use of a nonprofit organization to subsidize his income to his destruction of state computer files on his way out of the governor’s office.” And what was Governor Huckabee’s response to these ethics allegations? Rather than cooperating with investigators, Huckabee sued the state ethics commission twice and attempted to shut the ethics process down.

7. I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby: Libby, former Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $250,000 for lying and obstructing the Valerie Plame CIA leak investigation. Libby was found guilty of four felonies -- two counts of perjury, one count of making false statements to the FBI and one count of obstructing justice – all serious crimes. Unfortunately, Libby was largely let off the hook. In an appalling lack of judgment, President Bush issued “Executive Clemency” to Libby and commuted the sentence.

8. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL): A “Dishonorable Mention” last year, Senator Obama moves onto the “ten most wanted” list in 2007. In 2006, it was discovered that Obama was involved in a suspicious real estate deal with an indicted political fundraiser, Antoin “Tony” Rezko. In 2007, more reports surfaced of deeper and suspicious business and political connections It was reported that just two months after he joined the Senate, Obama purchased $50,000 worth of stock in speculative companies whose major investors were his biggest campaign contributors. One of the companies was a biotech concern that benefited from legislation Obama pushed just two weeks after the senator purchased $5,000 of the company’s shares. Obama was also nabbed conducting campaign business in his Senate office, a violation of federal law.

9. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who promised a new era of ethics enforcement in the House of Representatives, snuck a $25 million gift to her husband, Paul Pelosi, in a $15 billion Water Resources Development Act recently passed by Congress. The pet project involved renovating ports in Speaker Pelosi's home base of San Francisco. Pelosi just happens to own apartment buildings near the areas targeted for improvement, and will almost certainly experience a significant boost in property value as a result of Pelosi's earmark. Earlier in the year, Pelosi found herself in hot water for demanding access to a luxury Air Force jet to ferry the Speaker and her entourage back and forth from San Francisco non-stop, in unprecedented request which was wisely rejected by the Pentagon. And under Pelosi’s leadership, the House ethics process remains essentially shut down – which protects members in both parties from accountability.

10. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV): Over the last few years, Reid has been embroiled in a series of scandals that cast serious doubt on his credibility as a self-professed champion of government ethics, and 2007 was no different. According to The Los Angeles Times, over the last four years, Reid has used his influence in Washington to help a developer, Havey Whittemore, clear obstacles for a profitable real estate deal. As the project advanced, the Times reported, “Reid received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Whittemore.” Whittemore also hired one of Reid’s sons (Leif) as his personal lawyer and then promptly handed the junior Reid the responsibility of negotiating the real estate deal with federal officials. Leif Reid even called his father’s office to talk about how to obtain the proper EPA permits, a clear conflict of interest.

Judicial Watch is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Judicial Watch neither supports nor opposes candidates for public office. For more information, visit

December 19, 2007


The Journal Star Wins Again

The Journal Star has never in recent years seen a public tax spending project they didn't like. I have incentive to live for at least another 6-7 years to see if all the tax spending entities live up to the the Journal's forecasts. Let's look at the Journals losers todate: The now "getting old" by some Peorians standards, O'Brien "new" ballpark, hasn't turned a profit to this stockholder ever. (My stock has been listed for sale since 1998 with nary an offer) The RiverPlex; The JS is never mentions how much St. Francis has lost every year on their investment in the Fitness Center at the RiverPlex. The PPD Year End Financial Statements show millions of dollars lost since 2001. The JSEB hyped One Technology Center and the Gateway building didn't pan out as expected. The Journal put enormous pressure on the City Council of 2001 to invest a minimum of $500,000.00 in the Southside Library. The council did including an $80,000 elevator to nowhere. Now that building is listed by the library board to be abandoned.

The existing PPD zoo lost a million plus over the last 3 years while the new zoo expansion was running short of money to complete the new addition. In case we've forgotten, the project was to come in at $32,000,000.00. When the pledges and cash didn't come in as projected, the PPD borrowed $12.2 from the zoological society. Yet inside sources at the PPD says the park will only complete about $17,000,000.00 of the expansion now. Why is that if the PPD Board and Administration say they have "plenty of money"?

The Playhouse was to open in 2007 (JS), 2/5/04. What happened, this is the middle of 2008? Is the $2 million dollar renovation of the old IDOT building on Knoxville the problem? I don't see anyone working on it. In case you've forgotten, the zoo was to open in 2006 (JS, 2/5/2004), the Playhouse in 2007 with a new zoo and Playhouse entrance near the pavilion' and the PPD headquarters was to move to the renovated old IDOT building by now. What happened to all these projects if the PPD is so financially sound as they claim?

What is happening to the new $120,000,000.00 Museum and Caterpillar Visitors Center that fell short of pledges all the way around? Rest assured with the stock market down around 300 points today and gas over 4 dollars a gallon, groceries reaching record price levels, new bankruptcies being filed or will be filed before 2009, and few new businesses moving in, the financial situation with other minuses of Peoria Public School District #150, plus perhaps some questions as to the whole museum fund raising process was handled, may indicate every one's unwillingness to be taxed more further delaying the project.

What's the news on the expanded Civic Center? Is it attracting the shows and events that it said it would attract? What if the JS hyped projections don't come true? Who will make up the deficit?

Let's look at what else was supposed to have happened. What happened to the softball fields, JS headline 11/07/03 "Park District nears deal for softball fields".
What softball fields? Where are they?

What happened to the promised skateboard park? Surely the PPD can afford a better skate board park than the one hidden behind the unused softball field in Becker Park on the far west side of Peoria.

Now the JSEB revealed on 6/24/08 that the JSEB hyped Peoria NEXT Innovation Center that cost taxpayers, so far, $8,000,000.00 is 40% empty (and that with Caterpillar occupying the third floor). I understand the building is relatively new but the JSEB told us that "if we build it they will come". They wouldn't have reported that news if they weren't taking a shot at Councilman Ryan Spain. Be not dismayed Ryan, at least if the Innovation Center fulfills it's promise the occupants will be paying taxes, we hope, rather than spending our tax dollars like the library will.

And don't count on $28,000,000.00 of library "improvements" to bring ANY NEW residents to the City of Peoria.

I hope all these tax collecting bodies bring more tax dollars and new jobs to Peoria. PROBLEM IS THAT THESE PROJECTS TAKE DOLLARS OUT OF TAXPAYERS POCKETS WHILE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PAYS TAXES. Don't expect the Journal to call too much attention to the failures of "sacred cows" of which the park and library lead the herd.

And the Mayor isn't what you would call their favorite. If you recall, the JSEB highly endorsed the losing incumbent.

They were wrong again.

And if anyone is interested you might look at the PPD 2008 budget to see how much the PPD budgeted for "erosion control". Pretty much $0 yet they profess to own 8,000 acres and are one of, if not the largest, sources of soil being washed into the Illinois River. After all, their are no Golden Awards for the PPD to win by conserving land. And you won't see "park erosion control" in any JS headlines.

It is sad that the PPD claims to use very little taxpayer dollars when they collect over $11,000,000.00 local tax dollars while collecting millions of state and federal tax dollars. No matter where tax dollars come from they are still "taxpayer dollars".

Oil Facts

This makes a lot of sense to me. What a shame.

A refresher course.

Currency Conversion Results 6/24/08 1311 hrs MDT:

Symbol Euro Exchange
Rate U.S. Dollar Bid Ask
EURUSD=X 1 Jun 24 1.5577 1.5577 1.5577 1.5579

> To: Date: Sunday, June 15, 2008, 11:11 AM

> although this may be a bit biased because it's obviously from an
> 'oil guy,' he makes a lot of sense to me. maybe some of you out
> there who have been around the oil industry and know how that
> business really works have a different view. if so, the rest of
> us (as well as bill phillips) would love to hear it.
> Subject: BIG OIL
> -----
> Bill spent nearly 50 years in the US oil and gas industry; most
> of his career was with the Phillips Petroleum Company. Bill is
> a descendant of Frank Phillips. Frank Phillips, along with his
> brother Lee Eldas (L.E.) Phillips, Sr., founded the original
> Phillips Petroleum Company in 1917 in Bartlesville, OK. Do you
> remember Phillips 66 gas stations? Phillips Petroleum Company
> merged with Conoco, Inc., in 2002 to form the current
> ConocoPhillips oil company.
> So, when Bill talks about oil and gas issues, I tend to listen
> - very closely. I think that you will find Bill's thoughts and
> facts very revealing, very compelling and very difficult to
> argue with.
> As you prepare to cast your crucial ballots this Fall, please
> think long and hard about the far-reaching, cumulative effects
> of the US political philosophies, policies and legislation that
> have contributed to the current and future US oil supply
> situation.
> May 28, 2008
> 'Big Oil'
> Did you know that the United States does NOT have any big oil
> companies. It's true: the largest American oil company, Exxon
> Mobil, is only the 14th largest in the world, and is dwarfed by
> the really big oil companies--all owned by foreign governments
> or government-sponsored monopolies--that dominate the world's
> oil supply.
> This graph below tells the story; you can barely see the
> American oil companies as minor players on the right side of the
> chart in gray. The chart was presented to the House committee
> last week by Chevron.
> With 94% of the world's oil supply locked up by foreign
> governments, most of which are hostile to the United States, the
> relatively puny American oil companies do not have access to
> enough crude oil to significantly affect the market and help
> bring prices down. Thus, ExxonMobil, a 'small' oil company,
> buys 90% of the crude oil that
> it refines for the U.S. market from the big players, i.e.,
> mostly-hostile foreign governments. The price at the U.S. pump
> is rising because the price the big oil companies charge
> ExxonMobil and the other small American companies for crude oil
> is going up as the value of the American dollar goes down. They
> will eventually bleed this country into printing even more money
> and we will go into runway inflation once again as we did under
> the Carter Democratic reign.
> This is obviously a tough situation for the American
> consumer. The irony is that it doesn't have to be that way. The
> United States--unlike, say, France--actually has vast petroleum
> reserves. It would be possible for American oil companies to
> develop those reserves, play a far bigger role in international
> markets, and deliver gas at the pump to American consumers at a
> much lower price, while creating many thousands of jobs for
> Americans. This would be infinitely preferable to shipping
> endless billions of dollars to Saudi Arabia, Russia, and
> Venezuela to be used in propping up their economies.
> So, why doesn't it happen? Because the Democrat Party--aided,
> sadly, by a handful of Republicans--deliberately keeps gas
> prices high and our domestic oil companies small by putting most
> of our reserves off limits to development. China is now drilling
> in the Caribbean, off Cuba, but our own companies are barred by
> law from developing large oil fields off the coasts of Florida
> and California. Enormous oil-shale deposits in the Rocky
> Mountain states could go a long way toward supplying American
> consumers' needs, but the Democratic Congress won't allow those
> resources to be developed. ANWR contains vast petroleum reserves,
> but we don't know how vast, because Congress, not wanting the
> American people to know how badly its policies are hurting our
> economy, has made it illegal to explore and map those reserves,
> let alone develop them.
> In short, all Americans are paying a terrible price for the
> Democratic Party's perverse energy policies. I own some small
> interests in tiny, 4 barrel-per-day oil wells in Wyoming. We
> have 14 agencies that have iron-hand jurisdiction over us. If
> we drop any oil on the ground when the refinery truck comes to
> pick up oil from our holding tanks, we are fined. Yet down the
> road the state will spray thousands of gallons of used oil on a
> dirt road to control dirt. When it rains that oil runs into
> rivers and creeks. Yet a cup of oil on the ground at our
> wellhead is a $50,000 EPA fine plus additional fines from state
> regulating agencies. They treat oil as if it were plutonium
> that has the potential to leak into the environment. We are
> fined if our dirt berms are not high enough around a holding
> tank, yet the truck that picks up our oil runs down the road at
> 60 mph with no berm around it. People wonder why there is no
> more exploration in this country. It's because of the
> regulators; people who have lived their whole lives doing nothing
> but imposing fines on small operators like us for doing mostly
> nothing.
> So, America enjoy your $4.00 per gallon gasoline. Your dollar
> is now worth 0.62 Euro-Cents. The lack of American production
> of GNP, the massive trade deficit (as labor markets have moved
> overseas to fight insanely high union imposed labor costs in
> America) and the run away printing of money (backed by nothing
> of value here in America) has caused the dollar to become more
> worthless on the international market. And that's where our oil
> comes from. It's paid for with dollars that become more
> worthless everyday. If we had just kept par with the Euro, we'd
> be paying $62 dollars per barrel for oil (42 gallons) or about
> $1.50 instead of $2.50 a gallon for crude oil.
> What the US government also does not tell you is that it is the
> leaseholder and royalty recipient of most oil production, and
> receives 25% of the gross oil sales before we pay for
> electricity to lift the oil, and propane to keep the oil-water
> separators from freezing in the winters. We pay a pumper to
> visit each well everyday plus we have equipment failures all the
> time. We pay for that out of our 75% of gross sales. The
> government does not share in any expenses to run any production
> well. So, if the Big Oil Companies are making record profits,
> then so is the federal government from it's 25% tax on every
> molecule of oil sold to a refinery in this country. Why isn't
> the government on the stand for 'record' profits? What you
> don't
> see is this 25% of the sales price of crude oil being siphoned
> away by the government. That money, plus the road taxes, state
> taxes, etc., amounts to over $1 per gallon of gasoline you are
> buying while the governments only admit to about 50 cents per
> gallon.
> To all you Democrats, when you go vote for your candidate, a
> blazing liberal like Barrack Hussein Obama or Hillary Clinton,
> just keep in mind that their liberal spending habits will
> further decrease the value of the American dollar on the world
> market and your gasoline costs will hike even higher. As they
> introduce more give-away programs, raise taxes on everyone to
> pay people not to produce or work, your dollar will continue to
> dwindle on the world market and you will be paying $10.00 per
> gallon at the next election. Cheap hydrocarbon fuel is all over.
> Enjoy! Enjoy the fruits of your decision to elect these folks
> when you are there in that voting booth and you stab your pin
> through a Democrat's name.
> William 'Bill' Phillips

The supreme goal of all theory is to make the irreducible basic elements as simple and as few as possible without having to surrender the adequate representation of a single datum of experience. EINSTEIN


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Immigration - A Word Abused by Liberal Media

Whether there is a lady by this name who wrote a letter unpublished by a newspaper, I AGREE with the contents of the letter. As I've written in previous blogs, my Dad, sister and their parents entered this country through Ellis Island and they all applied and were eventually sworn in as citizens to honor the law and customs of this country, not Switzerland, the country of their birth.

I know my Dad would be extremely disappointed to see the direction a majority of our "leaders" are "guiding" this "still" great country.

Not knowing the political bent of this newspaper or their "letters to the editors" policy, it is possible that this letter was deemed to have too many words. I'll give then the benefit of doubt but will republish as I have written several times on solutions to the illegal immigrants problem.

And it is a much larger problem than many see it and that in itself is a major part of the problem.

Orange County California Newspaper
This is a very good letter to the editor. This woman made some good points.
For some reason, people have difficulty structuring their arguments when arguing against supporting the currently proposed immigration revisions. This lady made the argument pretty simple. NOT printed in the Orange County Paper..................

Newspapers simply won't publish letters to the editor which they either deem politically incorrect (read below) or which does not agree with the philosophy they're pushing on the public. This woman wrote a great letter to the editor that should have been published; but, with your help it will get published via cyberspace!

From: 'David LaBonte'
My wife, Rosemary, wrote a wonderful letter to the editor of the OC Register which, of course, was not printed. So, I decided to 'print' it myself by sending it out on the Internet. Pass it along if you feel so inclined. Written in response to a series of letters to the editor in the Orange County Register:

Dear Editor:
So many letter writers have based their arguments on how this land is made up of immigrants. Ernie Lujan for one, suggests we should tear down the Statue of Liberty because the people now in question aren't being treated the same as those who passed through Ellis Island and other ports of entry.

Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people like Mr. Lujan why today's American is not willing to accept this new kind of immigrant any longer. Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to the United States, people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in New York and be documented . Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times. They made learning English a primary rule in their new American households and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home.

They had waved good bye to their birth place to give their children a new life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture. Nothing was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labor laws to protect them. All they had were the skills and craftsmanship they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity.

Most of their children came of age when World War II broke out. My father fought along side men whose parents had come straight over from Germany , Italy , France and Japan . None of these 1st generation Americans ever gave any thought about what country their parents had come from. They were Americans fighting Hitler, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan .. They were defending the United States of America as one people.

When we liberated France , no one in those villages were looking for the French-American or the German American or the Irish American. The people of France saw only Americans. And we carried one flag that represented one country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about picking up another country's flag and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here. These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be an American. They stirred the melting pot into one red, white and blue bowl.

And here we are in 2008 with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same rights and privileges. Only they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules, one that includes the entitlement card and a guarantee of being faithful to their mother country. I'm sorry, that's not what being an American is all about. I believe that the immigrants who landed on Ellis Island in the early 1900's deserve better than that for all the toil, hard work and sacrifice in raising future generations to create a land that has become a beacon for those legally searching for a better life. I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those waving foreign country flags.

And for that suggestion about taking down the Statue of Liberty , it happens to mean a lot to the citizens who are voting on the immigration bill. I wouldn't start talking about dismantling the United States just yet.

(signed) Rosemary LaBonte


I sincerely hope this letter gets read by millions of people all across the nation!!�
Love is not blind - it sees more, not less. But because it sees more, it is willing to see less.

Author: Unknown

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Anonymous Comments

Some are intelligent even if they don't agree with me. I appreciate them. I like a sincere, respectful debate.

Those "commenter's" who personally attack me are likely to have their "comments" removed. Other show the ignorance of the commenter and they will stand for the reader to view.

Sorry. I suggest some of you anonymous detractors open your own blog sites. I may even make a comment on your site.

Peoria County News Bulletin

This free paper is a good read. The 6/11/08 copy lists the dates of the "Brown Bag It" entertainment events on the courthouse square. Starting at 11:30 to 1:00 every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday through August 29. Find who is performing by clicking on Better yet, pick up a copy of this paper at the library, County Courhouse, etc.

The Bulletin publishes interesting articles from the "left" such as "McCain Myth Buster: John McCain and Transparency", describing how McCain is not quite as forthcoming as he might be.

The article lists the sources of the claims in the article. Proves again that politicians are under the microscope of both theindependent, moderate and liberal press. Also that politicians can't be everything to everybody. What might appear to be a popular position might not be a popular position when all the various facts are laid out to be picked apart by whatever enterprising journalists puts forth the efforts to find the actual facts. All candidates alter their comments after an hones press "calls the out".

From the "right" comes, "Republican National Committee: Obama Must Answer Questions So the American People Can Decide" such as "Did Obama or His Office Do Favors for Tony Rezko"? and vice versa and "With Supporters Like These" listing Michael Pfleger, Jeremiah Wright, the Reverend Otis Moss, Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan and Al Sharpton not to mention the Communist leaning Acorn Group, as key supporters.Who one keeps company with determines who you are and these are people who all demonstrate to the world what a racist country America really is. These people hate America and the white race so much that they have no concept of how out of the mainstream they are. (Or are they?)

This paper is always an interesting read plus it publishes community legal notices and has one half page for comics which I love to read.

Then there is "The National Review", June 30 issue ia must read for all fact seekers, conservatives, moderates and independents. Every paragraph is worth a read. Especially the article "Chilling Effect" that tells how Canadians are no longer free and why the future belongs to the Canadian Islamic Congress whose founder once claimed on Canadian radio that all adult Israelis were justifiable targets of Palestinian violence. When exposed for the radical Muslims they are by a writer, Mark Steyn and "MACLEANS', the magazine that carried his expose, this radical Islamic group filed a complaint with the national governments human-rights commission that may eventually result in civil penalties to the writer and the newsweekly.

Also, a cover story, "The Organizer - What did Barack Obama really do in Chicago". Obama came to be known as a community organizer, best described in a book by left-wing Chicago activist Saul Alinsky who said that an organizer should be "an abrasive agent to rub raw the resentments of the people of the community, to fan latent hostilities of of the people to a "fighting pitch".

Does the meaningless word "Change" (to and for what?) mean to "rub raw......"?

A must read for conservatives, all who love our country and are concerned that its future is on a "slippery slope", moderates who tend to listen to all sides but often have trouble making a decision so they just don't vote for anyone, and independents who are not led like sheep and pragmatic people who deal with matters with regard to their practical requirements of consequences.

And anyone else who loves to read about things that are happening in this world that may not be of importance to them now but may as they mature, will become extremely important to their own lives, their families, their friends, their community and the world around them. It is human nature that most people do not pay to much attention as to the goings on around then until something vital causes them to start asking questions and demanding truthful answers.

But by then, it may be too late. I'm told the story last week of the person on a strained budget got her property tax bill with a large increase and started to cry when she realized it was too late to do anything about it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Why We "Can't All Just Get Along"

Barack says we need to have a conversation
about race in America .

Fair enough. But this time, it has to be a
two-way conversation. White America needs to be heard from, not just lectured to.

This time, the Silent Majority needs to have
its convictions, grievances, and demands heard. And among them are these:

First, America has been the best country on
earth for black folks. It was here that 600,000
black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced
to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest
levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known.

The Reverend Wright ought to go down on his knees and
thank God he is an American.

Second, no people anywhere has done more to lift up blacks than white Americans. Untold trillions have been spent since the '60's on welfare,
food stamps, rent supplements, Section 8 housing, Pell grants, student loans, legal services, Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credits, and poverty
programs designed to bring the African-American
community into the mainstream.

Governments, businesses, and colleges have engaged in discrimination against white folks --
with affirmative action, contract set-asides, and
quotas -- to advance black applicants over white applicants.

Churches, foundations, civic groups, schools,
and individuals all over America have donated time
and money to support soup kitchens, adult education, day care, and retirement and nursing homes for blacks.

We hear the grievances. Where is the gratitude?

Barack talks about new 'ladders of opportunity' for blacks.

Let him go to Altoona and Johnstown, and ask the white kids in Catholic schools how many were visited lately by Ivy League recruiters handing out scholarships for 'deserving' white kids?

Is white America really responsible for the
fact that the crime and incarceration rates for
African-Americans are seven times those of white America? Is it really white America's fault that illegitimacy in the African-American community has
hit 70 percent, and the black dropout rate from high schools in some cities has reached 75 percent?

Is that the fault of white America or, first
and foremost, a failure of the black community

As for racism, its ugliest manifestation is
in interracial crime, and especially interracial
crimes of violence. Is Barack Obama aware that while
white criminals choose black victims 3 percent of the time, black criminals choose white victims 45 percent of the time?

Is Barack aware that black-on-white rapes
are 100 times more common than the reverse, that
black-on-white robberies were 139 times as common in
the first three years of this decade as the reverse?

We have all heard ad nauseam from the Reverend
Al about Tawana Brawley, the Duke rape case, and Jena. And all turned out to be hoaxes. But about the epidemic of black assaults on whites that are real,
we hear nothing!

Sorry, Barack, some of us have heard it all
before, about 40 years and 40 trillion tax dollars

My Comments:

This article is susposed to have been written by Patrick Buchanan who is a little too protectionist, a little too right wing but ususally pretty not "politically correct". I do wish more of the people I admire like Ward Connerly; read his article in the WSJ titled "Obama is no post-Racial Candidate; Juan Williams article in the WSJ 0n 6/14/08 titled "The Tragedy of America's Disappearing Fathers" Bill Cosby, James David Manning, PHD who can be found on ATLAH WORLDWIDE, and "Fair Enough" - Obama's Rise Has Americans Debating Whether Affirmative Action has Run Its Course"; WSJ, 6/14/08 by Jonathan Kaufaman or found on, could be read by ALL concerned citizens.

Gas - Comments From a Reader

We've done most of this to ourselves. We haven't built a refinery here in years. In fact Wally worked on the last one in St. Paul long before he retired. We've buried all the technology that would help get better mileage on cars. We've sold all our assets and half the country along with them. We've sent all jobs overseas and now we are in crisis and we wonder why? What is the government going to do about this? This is the same government that we allowed to do this to us and now we want them to fix it? I don't think so. Also, I'm sick of our sending trillions of dollars over to rebuild a country that doesn't even want us there and two thirds of the stuff is sitting in storage not being used. Personally I'd like to take a broom to the entire government and clean house and start from scratch. We couldn't be any worse off than we are now, and who knows, it might actually be of benefit.

My comments:

Wow,I'd say this reader wants a change. So do I but Obama and his supporters are not the answer. I'd start with a lot of the present leadership in Congress and the Governor of Illinois, the radical Islamics and then the radical environmentalists. Send all illegals in jail back, bill the Mexican government for the costs of incarceration and shipping and send back all the pregnant illegal women.

That would be a good start.

Monday, June 16, 2008


Glen Beck said last night that over 6,000 Mexicans had been killed in drug wars along the Mexico-U.S.A. border in the last 2 1/2 years. Figure at least twice that many killed in drug wars in our country over the same period of time. Figure 25,000 killed each year in the U.S.; 16,000 vehicle related, through abuse of alcohol. Figure approximately 3000 killed on 9/11 by terrorists.

Compare with approximately 300,000 Iraqi's killed by the Saddam regime. Compare with the loss of life of approximately 4,000 Americans and allies in 5 years of terrorist attacks in Iraq with American deaths showing a rapid descent. Compare 13,000 service deaths during the 8 years Clinton was president.

Compare with Democrat Harry Truman dropping two atomic bombs on Japan to prevent further Allied and Japanese deaths.

Now prove that the war on drugs is winning. Statistics clearly show this is a war we are losing. Statistics show that 70% of the 2 million plus people incarcerated in the U.S. have a drug or mental health issue or both. What great strides are we making to win this drug and mental health war?

I have a Grandson patrolling in Baghdad. He says his unit has a job to do and they intend to do it. Compare what he is doing with what a large number of you are doing; whining about George Bush and shouting about what a great citizen of this country we have in Barack Hussein Obama. At least 25% of Obama supporters read less than 4 books a year. His college supporters are being taught by left wing and pacifist teachers. Many who support him believe that the government has all the answers to a peaceful, prosperous society. Others who support him, some of them my friends have bought into his charisma. Please read more history and read more facts about both candidates.

While neither candidate is ideal, this country has never had a perfect president, one should stand out as the one you would most trust to lead us.

I have read more than a dozen books on the Mideast and dozens of columnists, liberal, far left, moderate and far right. One cannot make any type of informed judgments without separating facts from fiction, facts from half-truths and facts from outright lies. Informed judgments come from all these sources. By reading, listening carefully, asking the right questions and using ours brains to comprehend, it should not be difficult to elect the one who represents experience, knowledge and wisdom.

While some of you are whining, what are you doing about the Islamic schools in our big cities teaching Jihad, teaching kids to kill apostates, adulters and anyone who doesn't agree with their fundamentalist beliefs? Do we believe that the radical and fundamentalist Syrians, Iranians, Saudia Arabians, Usama and the Taliban, the Hezbollah and Fatah to name a few who would love to see all Jews dead, anyone who helps protect them and all non-believers dead by any means, care about most of us?

We have a very large number of cowards in this country giving solace to our enemies; not just enemies in the traditional sense but terrorists or faux terrorists who hid behind viscous attacks on those who try to keep this a relatively free country.

I personally resent anyone who keeps attacking our administration while we have friends, loved ones and citizens protecting us while we live in relatively safe environments with tremendous opportunities. We still live in what is still considered by those trying to enter our country by ANY means as the greatest country on the face of the earth.

Many of us are trying, against increasingly mounting odds, as generations before us dreamed, worked, struggled, fought and died, injured physically and mentally, most all because of a sense of duty to preserve and create a better now and a better future for our successors.

The day everyone is pleased, happy, satisfied, dependent on government to cure our ills, and lazy; is the day we will face another Hitler type and there will be no United States of America to save this world.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Harrison K-8 School

We will soon find out the inside layout of this school. If it doesn't have a library, gym, computer center and meeting room accessible to the public in the evenings and on Saturdays, it will be a sad affair. Lay out these four community Center necessites in a way that hallways can be closed off so that only these four areas plus restrooms can be accessed by the public. Man the building with the hyped "Community Builders" volunteers and use a school policeperson for security just like Trewyn does when the Boys and Girls Club members are in the building after hours.

But then again, maybe the planners are way ahead of me.

Driving Distances

Let's try to get over the notion that people mind driving distances. If they don't want to drive why do they build so far out? I haven't heard much from the north siders, excluding any that work for the library, complaining that they don't have libraries next door. Correct me if I'm wrong but grocery stores, far more needed than libraries, are rather widely spaced. Gas stations that were once on every block corner are now sometimes hard to find if you are new in town. Only one small grocer at "pay to park" in downtown Peoria, not much on the South side and Cubs up on Knoxville which sometimes looks more like a liquor store.

Face it, we people on the north side like to get in oue expensive vehicles and drive.

Maybe we should move the Courthouse and City Hall out to "the center of the city", wherever that is. How about moving the Civic Center, Ball park and RiverPlex further north and leave the Lakeview Museum where it is.

I know that Heights Library is underutilized and I believe Dunlap will also be underutilized as a library. A Peoria Library card is now good in 198 communities in central Illinois.

Peoria, stop trying to keep up with your neighbors in everything. We are failing in many ways more important than libraries. Ask me where? Read my older archives. No need to wonder why the African-American Museum at Proctor Center has been closed this year; lack of volunteers, they say. What happened to hyped Community Builders year round programs that were to bring families together for learning experiences? Our schools were supposed to be open for all but only Trewyn is open to a handful of grade school kids. Why is the B & G Club on the south side closed; they are the ones using Trewyn, for 13 months, why did so few people ever use the Southside Library or the RiverWest library and the failure of Manual except for sports and a fair number in academics?

No, it's more important to build stand alone libraries for people who love to drive, expand libraries for people who use them less for books other than romances and more for computers; you don't need a library to surf computers. The library administration could take a burden off the library "clerks" and install self-check-out machines at all locations.

It' more important to expand a zoo that will raise your property bill higher next year and forever unless a philanthropist comes along other than Caterpillar, a museum at the present, I will not support for many reasons and for goodness sakes whatever happened to the "world class" softball fields promised by the PPD (Noble and Noble)since 2003??

Kirk Wessler, seen any ground breaking at the corner of Fox Road and Rt. 91, supposedly 80 acres of park property that is still in the name of Bradley U.? Bradley paid $13,000 an acre about 4 years ago. Pretty expensive for farmland but of course us city folk subsidize farmland. THIS WWAS THE SWAP FOR MEINEN FIELD FOR A SOFTBALL WORLD CLASS COMPLEX and a full sized 80 acre Peoria Park District. What happened? What about the work planned for Peoria Stadium? Park Board members blame the delay on #150. Why not, they get blamed for everything else.

Why do librarians at Heights and Dunlap library complain that Peorians are using their libraries. I'm told by the same librarians that as public libraries that they can't restrict anyone from entering and using the facilities nor can anyone tell them anything because they are the bastions of free speech and free press. Filter computers? Yes, but some kids, and some adults, are smarter than librarians when it comes to things they can do the Internet. Shortage of library space? You haven't been listening to the right people. Librarians are also short of books, space, computers, help; that's one I'll agree on.

Librarians don't particularly want self-check-out machines because they want prefer face to face checkouts so they get to know their patrons better. That's okay but then don't complain you need more help. Librarians are running multi-million dollar businesses efficiency is what most patrons are seeking.

So are property tax payers.

Don't overlook the 1000 romance books on sale for $.25 at the Heights Library. I recently bought hardcover a Linda Fairstein and a like new Susanna Clarke hardcover, origanal list price $27.95, for $.25 at the Downtown Library.

Library Debating

Unproven needs got lost in a "location" debate. Unproven needs were pushed in front of $35 more million required for actual needs that PROPERTY taxpayers are going to pay.

On my visit to Five Points Library in Washington I was told that library boards are capable of making their own decisions and everybody else should stick to doing their own jobs. Sorry, I said, that is not the way it should work. All communities with their elected and appointed bodies should work together to plan the present and future of their communities.

Perhaps Washington Five Points will be an example. Community leaders got together and figured out a comprehensive plan that would benefit the whole community. So, the library became part of a community center. What a great idea for a small town. Is everybody happy? No, not even the librarian who would have preferred a separate site. But at the present it looks like the community benefited. They not only got a library but they got at least at least 8 other indoor services lacking in the community.

If our leadership's had the foresight we would have asked what could be combined with or within the immediate area of a new library. How about a senior center not connected to a church? How about an outdoor skateboard park, an outdoor ice skating rink, all visible from the street, a new Northside CityLink transfer center with day care (Thomas Lucek, General Manager said it might be worth while looking into)? How about outdoor full court basketball courts of which I believe there are none except on the far south side. I hesitate to add any amenities that would compete with the private sector but perhaps a therapy and children's pool? Or street visible tennis courts as the PPD Master plan I'm told eliminates the 13 tennis courts at upper Glen Oak.

How about a real hard look with all involved of the possibility of using the huge expanse of EXPO GARDENS and the available acres of District #150. And all would be within easy driving distance, close to some schools and plenty of parking space. Actually this was Bill Spear's idea reinforced by the JSEB who on 3/4/06 asked Ken Hinton why not link public libraries to schools? Hinton said "he would like to incorporate city libraries in the two new schools planned".

It may be time to consider reducing the space needed for EXPO's Midway and to help EXPO by helping share some of their costs. Lakeview Library, a scant two miles away could be given back to the it's owners, the park district, who might use it as a children's museum.

I suggested that to a former library board member and this person said that no one had thought of that. Of course, nothing came of my suggestion.

I've been accused of not "thinking beyond the box". Never heard of Widmers, once the largest locally owned office equipment company in Peoria? I started that company with 3 people and at one time had stores or offices in 9 locations and 90 employees, all from seed money of $5,000, a number of good employees and many long hours.

I guess I was tagged by the JSEB with that label because I didn't support the push for a four lane highway from somewhere in the Peoria area to Chicago. We might have gotten it if we had "pork Don Young" from Alaska; he of the $297 million dollar highway to nowhere where his buddy wanted to develop some property.

We have too much parochialism and too much apathy in Peoria and I don't see it changing soon. The library board showed theirs when they put half a million into the long underutilized SouthSide Library now slated for demolition. I asked PHA Superintendent Roger Johns if the homes surrounding the library were scheduled to be demolished and he said "yes". I asked "why build a library there"? He then said "they have their board; we have ours".

How sad.

Back to Five Points. If you haven't visited you are missing an area education. However, not everything they offer is applicable to Peoria.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

A Library District? - Solves Funding Problems

Why doesn't the Library Board come before the City Council and ask to create their own Library District? Seems like they could make their own requests directly to the public taxpayer rather than going through the City Council. They could but I'll bet they won't.

Why not?

I still suspect their is more news on the situation in Indianapolis that brought our Director from the big city to a much smaller one. Maybe someone knows a reporter for the Indianapolis Star. The Star reported that a small project turned into a $100 million dollar project under the supervision of Mr. Szynaka. I'm suspicious when some one wants to spend $35 million while adding 40-50,000 sq. feet, yet claims no boost in overhead costs to the property taxpayer for 5 years?

Want to make small bet? As a member of the Peoria County Board I'm familiar with "change orders" asking for more money to cover unforeseen obstacles. Most appear to be legitimate but they boost the projected costs of project completions.

Most businesses like change orders because they are "no bid" and one could if he wanted to, charge whatever the market would bear. In my 28 years of business, I only recall two or three times that we asked for change orders. When we received the first order for the expanded Bloomington Airport furnishing, our salesman erred and sold the job at our cost. We ate the loss. Usually the price we quoted was what we were paid regardless of problems we encountered.

If this project is approved and I hope it isn't in it's entirety, someone more knowledgeable than the existing library board had better keep a sharp eye on who pays the invoices and approves the credit card expenditures.

Peoria Public Libraries - Questions to the Library Board

The JS today asks the public how they would answer the 49 questions posed by the City Council to the Library Board. How could the public answer these questions when most don’t know. It appears a majority of "yes" voters hadn’t set foot in a public library for years. One yes voter thought they would need ladders to reach the seventh shelf which is the most popular height manufactured by library stack sellers. All Peoria Public Libraries but Lakeview use all seven shelves if needed. Peoria Heights library uses a quantity of 14” high stools on wheels called "Kick Steps to reach the seventh shelf and to sit on when accessing the bottom shelf. Lakeview has one if you can find it.

The Lakeview Library has 1100 feet (think 3 football fields) of empty book space. Why would the library board be possibly thinking of expanding it especially as they are claiming that a new north side library would have more activity than any other public library in Peoria? The JS reported on 9/26/01 that ‘employees routinely squeeze into tiny spaces’. If so why not put the books on the 1100 feet of empty shelves, take down two stacks or more and free up more space for larger work areas and computers. Good question, why not?

Here are a few other questions that have gone unanswered:

The library Board claims it will do all this expansion without coming to the property taxpayer for more overhead expenses; no more money to operate than it does now. Does that sound resonable? If so, I have the traditional bridge....

Why comfortable easy chairs for the Downtown Library when up to 20% of the users will be “street people”? The first time the library discriminates, expect a lawsuit.

Do not use taxpayer dollars to compete with a sinking Borders and a struggling Barnes and Noble. Look for B & n to buy Borders before the year is over. They both pay taxes and contribute in other ways to make this a better community.

Question. The library board says that they need free computer use for people who can’t afford them. Give a laptop to the poverty and below level frequent users because all information needed for learning is available on the expanding internet. They could then bring their own computers to any library and do their research. They could work at home and be connected wireless to any library. 5,000 computers at $500 a computer would only amount to $2.5 million dollars. Within 4 years, 20,000 computers would be available to practically every poor family in Peoria for $10 million dollars. What a great service to the community as they could also take them to school.

Why not? Look at all the costly space that would be saved. Think outside the box!

Long time library expansion supporter, the Journal Star Editorial Board, used Schaumberg’s library as an example of what Peoria should have, a library built in a “busy shopping center” (JSEB) 9/27/01. None of the proposed locations are near a “busy” shopping center.

Why was $500,000 of taxpayer money (the JSEB on 9/26/01 thought it would cost $100,000) spent on the two story Southside Library with an $80,000 elevator? Why was it built in an area when it was known that the housing in this area was going to be demolished; half of it is now gone with the balance to be demolished when funds are available from HUD?

This Southside Library was built in 2001-2 after it was described by the JSEB on 9/26/01 as “crowded”. If is was crowded in 2001 and two stories requested renovated, why is it now six years later underutilized, under staffed and with insufficient programs and slated to be demolished.? (Source – Peoria Public Library Proposed Strategic Plan – THE FACTS) What happened to the computer lab that required a 2nd floor that now consists of only one working computer? On one visit this spring there were three but two have now been transferred elsewhere.

The facts? I don’t believe the nostalgia driven politicians who passionately supported the referendum could say no. How would it look at the next election when their opponent claimed they did not support libraries. Just like Obama using McCain’s ‘figure of speech’ of a "hundred years in Iraq if it takes it". Bet most of Obama’s supporters don’t realize we have had our troops stationed on foreign land for at least 60 years.

The JS reported that in 2006 that 868,062 items of all kinds were checked out in 2006, yet Library Board president McKenzie said in an article printed on 5/24/08 in the JS that "2100 items of all kinds were checked out in 2007". 2100 times a generous 354 days equals 743,400 or SHRINKAGE of 125,000 items, not an INCREASE as the library proponent’s claim.

Why the discrepancy?

The library board acknowledged that they knew their new head director was fired from his last job and justified it to the public as “being politics”. The Attorney General of the State of Indiana put it in these words as reported by the Indianapolis Star: “Nearly $60,000 has been returned to the Indianapolis/Marion County Public Library’s operating budget since a state audit revealed misappropriated public funds. A final check of $22,446 has been received to cover their audit charges against former Chief Executive Officer Ed Szynaka for questionable purchases on the libraries credit card.. We have worked with all parties involved to recover the thousands of dollars inappropriately depleted from the public library’s operating budget—etc”.
Question: Did the yes voters have knowledge of this/? None I talked to knew this story. Also as an aside, why did the JS NOT report it?

On 9/27/07, the JS reported that “a massive $1 million dollar taxsspayer supported complex system would link 198 Central Illinois libraries together by internet”. The article says that “from Galva to Jacksonville; Quincy to Streator, this modern internet system will help get books in the hands of patrons faster and more easily along with a long list of the benefits”. Why then the need for so many books, as many as 7 identical, needed on most all the shelves in Peoria’s Public Library System? Good question. Why?

Why the need for all the bulky unusede reference books at each location when all that information is computerized?

The library says it filters porn from the users screen. Why did I see a totally naked woman committing what most would agree was an interesting sexual act being view by 4 young men; no I wasn’t viewing, I was seeing how my tax dollars are spent) on a Downtown Library monitor. (Maybe this prompted the reference to Elliott’s) Does the system filter or not? Also, since the computers accept discs, why couldn’t somebody bring in a “how to make a bomb” disc to show their friends? How is this problem monitored?

The library expansion includes hundreds of unsupervised computers. An article in the JS recently told of man using a Collinsville Public library to scam people out of thousands of dollars on 30 different stolen credit card numbers. I personally saw a monitor with the screen labeled “How to Create Your Own Social Security Card at Lakeview library.. How does the library plan to do a better job of monitoring or will kids be able to look at things their parents deny at home on the tax funded public library computers?

A reminder: Both the African-American Museum and the Boys and Girls Club are closed. The museum has been closed for more than 6 months and the B&G Club since May 1, 2007. That Equal opportunities offered is the duty of the City Council. If the opportunities are not used in some parts of the city, it is not the council’s responsibility to expand with taxpayer dollars.

All three libraries on the Southside by the library board admission are underused. How will the small group of users get from the closed Southside Library and RiverWest to Lincoln Library? School Superintendent Hinton has said he will have a sizeable library with book check-out privileges at the new Harrison K-8 School.

Where is the proof that the underused Lincoln Library will be overwhelmed by new users?

Why are only 5 of the 8 computers in the lower level at Lincoln out of order if the demand for their use is so great?

The National Endowment of Art in a report issued several years ago said “that for the first time in modern history less than half of the adult population reads literature. The decline is most experienced in college age kids and young people are likely to read less.”

Why didn’t the library board ask the high school principals and librarians about the future needs of all people who valued learning and the relaxation of reading good works, fiction or non-fiction? They didn’t. I asked each one including Mary Ward, Head of Libraries and Technology at Peoria Public School District #150. The Library Administrator says he talked with Ken Hinton because he would know more than the librarians? With all the districts problems, there is room for doubt on that statement also.

Why not? Did they ask the private schools? I hear they didn’t ask them either.

Why did the library board in 2001 pick out a location north on Allen Road, pleading with the council to give them the money to buy the land?

The good news. In 2001, the library was going to spend $17 million to expand Lakeview if the council would have given them the funds. (JS 9/26/01). They also wanted to purchase 7 acres of land and build a branch on N. Allen road for $6.9 million. The council made a wise decision in not giving them the money in 2001.

Council, this $35 million is not one of our most pressing priorities. Remember that Senator David Koehler said on 3/18/08 that “he did not care what the polls showed”. This referendum was a poll with many facts glossed over by the library board and the media. As to a large showing of support, if you worked for the library it was “suggested” that you attend the public hearings.

School Chaos - Blame it all on the Teachers? I Think Not

How did our PUBLIC schools reach this condition? Almost all of us have foolishly participated in this mess? We elected weak school board members. They made poor decisions in hiring administrators, the unions made it next to impossible to fire a teacher, the ACLU and slick attorneys took on any case knowing it would be cheaper for the school to settle than go through the lengthy, costly court process, parents who weren't "parents" at all, liberal teacher colleges turning out liberal teachers, and an apathetic community.

Add curriculum's that fail to reach the interest of those 50% of kids nationwide that drop out before their senior year. Our belief in equal opportunity for everyone and the belief that this false "equality" will guarantee equal outcomes for all.

And we want to spend $35 million for libraries that most school kids don't even use at their own schools? They are too busy posing naked on Youtube or some type of questionable Internet to learn how to apply their brains to any serious matter for longer than 10 minutes. As to learning how to develop a work ethic? They ask, what's your definition of work?

I'm not saying everyone and everything is guilty. We fortunately have enough good in all things including kids to carry the rest of the non-learners along but only so far when we lose them all together. But we are becoming a socialistic country where minorities have a better chance of screwing up our school systems (and other systems)than the majority.

From the Rochester [NY] Democrat and Chronicle, Wednesday, June 4, 2008. *************************
Teachers cannot teach if students refuse to learn

By Latoya Manon [Guest essayist]

Seemingly, many people who are not teachers think they could do a
better job than most teachers.

Everyone has gone to school and has had teachers, so how hard could
it be to teach? Well, I would like to give you an opportunity to walk
in our shoes by posing some questions that we teachers often deal

# What would you do if all you have ever wanted to do is teach, but
you find yourself doing mostly test prep?

# What would you do if you had to dip into your personal budget to
buy school supplies for students who refused to come to class with
those supplies? Never mind that their brand-new shoes probably cost
more than your entire outfit.

# What would you do if you had planned a wonderful lesson, but more
than half of your class failed to show up for no particular reason at
all? Do you teach that lesson to those in class and then teach it
over and over so the other kids get caught up? (Remember, you don't
want to leave anyone behind.)

# What would do if you held after-school and/or Saturday extra-help
sessions and no one showed up even after you called homes, sent
letters and offered extra credit for those attending? Remember, you
have to get as many students as you can to pass the Regents exams or
New York state will say you're an ineffective teacher.

# What would you do if you had a student on the verge of dropping out
or refusing to do any work because he felt that his teacher didn't
care about him, and refused to see that his lack of effort and his
disrespect for people and rules were actually the issue? "My teacher
doesn't like me" was an unacceptable excuse for failure in my home.

# What would you do if sports became more important to your students
than reading, writing or thinking?

# What would you do if you called parents to notify them of their
child's belligerent behavior and they responded, "Well, you must have
done something to him because Sam doesn't just cuss people out for no

# What would you do if parents told you not to call them anymore
about their children, or even hung up on you?

# How do you teach pupils who want to learn while making sure that
you don't leave behind those who don't want to learn?

# How do you teach students to be respectful and responsible adults
and positive contributors to society when bureaucracy has made it
acceptable to be less than that? You can't hold students accountable
for lost books, missed assignments or bad behavior because, as some
would say, "They are poor; they don't know any better."

# What would you do if a student often slept in your class because
she had to watch siblings or her own children all night, or maybe
just hung out and went to bed very late? Remember, detention is not
an option because students may play a sport after school or they
might have more important things to do than stay for detention.

# What would you do if you knew students were graduating without
being ready for college or having any alternative plan?

# What would you do if a student threatened you with bodily harm but
suspension was no longer an option because the district was trying to
keep a lid on suspension numbers?

# What would you do if you wanted to spend time with your family but
you had to plan lessons, grade papers, assist in school events, etc.?
Your day doesn't end when the bell rings.

Many of you may have the answers to these questions - and I challenge
the community, corporations and parents to take a more active role in
the schools and in the lives of children and young adult students.
Everyone has something to offer that may change the life of a child
or young adult.

I am a graduate of the City School District where I now teach, and I
am also a parent of a ninth-grader in the CSD - and it is obvious
that something has gone terribly wrong. Our kids are learning how to
shortchange themselves from a flawed system that refuses to make them
accountable and promotes mediocrity. How can we expect young people
to become productive contributors to society if we refuse to give
them the basic tools they need?

Parenting doesn't stop once your child goes to school. However, the
sad part is that even if the community, schools and parents work
together, if the student refuses to see that he or she has to take an
active role in learning, then change will be difficult. Whether they
believe it or not, students have to be vested in their own education.
They have to want to learn and to better themselves.
Manon is a teacher in the City School District.
Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
625 Wham Drive
Mail Code 4610
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610
Phone: (618) 453-4241 [O]
(618) 457-8903 [H]
Fax: (618) 453-4244

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

America's Isolation According to Barack

I listen carefully to what Senator Obama is saying such as America is "isolated".
Question: If America is so isolated why are so many people trying to get to this land of opportunity legally or by "hook or crook"?

His whole speech tonight was socialist and populist. Free government money for all who have their hands out. Almost every program supported even by Clinton and Bush administration were wrong according to this demagogue.

We don't have free health care for all? He evidently hasn't visited a hospital emergency room on a Saturday night, even here in Peoria, let alone Philadelphia.

If he is elected the future of this country will be frightening. Keep following what is being uncovered about the "real" Barack Obama. Listen to black people like Juan Williams. Hope you have read his book "Enough". This book will not be required reading by the young college liberal students or recommended by their teachers.

For a man who preaches unity he sure hates everyone with wealth while collecting millions of dollars in income each year

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Library Blogs

For anyone interested in reading my older blogs on Peoria Public Libraries, try some of these dates: 8/15/07; 2/28/08; 4/1/07; 5/3/07; 4/10/07; 5/01/07; 4/23/07.

It's not like we don't have libraries. What I try to do is get out the facts. As has been said many times; there are those who try to make you believe that facts, if ignored, will eventually disappear.

I hope we have not come to that point in this commuity, state, country and world.

It is my studied opinion that the facts that were presented to many who endorsed and supported the referendum where not accurate nor complete. That's why I have a standing offer for anyone to accompany me to any of Peoria's Public Libraries and show me where I am wrong on my assessments. To date only 4 people have taken me up. They have not posted any comments stating facts that I am wrong. Blanket denials and personal attacks don't fill the bill.

I also believe that many people were not and are not now aware of the conditions that prompted the firing of Mr.Szynaka's firing by the Marion County Public Library Board.

It's hard to refute statements from the Indiana Attorney Generals Office.

Free Computers

Since receiving Congressman Ray LaHood's letter "appealling letter" that there were no free computer use in the City of Peoria except in public libraries, I have "discovered" at least 400 including Workforce Networks 20 at Manual (and downtown for those serious about getting a job) and the same amount at RiverWest. The ones at RiverWest are not in the RiverWest library and are under lock and key. Also, Goodwill industries offer free lessons for a deposit of $25 refundable upon completion of the free classes.

The Recycling Center on Rock island sells them for as low as $25 and throws in free training. In time people will see the the $35 million "fleecing" of the property tax payers is not about educational learning but about 100's of UNSUPERVISED computers used mainly for surfing and game playing and some pornography all at the total expense of property tax payers. Did I leave out "bricks, glass and mortar?

Easy chairs, food and drink bars and amenities offered by struggling Borders and their perhaps potential buyer, Barnes and Noble (JS) 3/28/08 would be taxpayer competition to those who pay property taxes to help support free libraries. The article continues that book sales are flat and are expected to remain so. "In fact, the segment expected to see the most growth in the near future is the textbook section where booksellers can make their greatest profit on a nearly captive audience".

Some one said I probably support the airport tax. Only if it helps bring in more carriers, boosts profits for those who offer well paying jobs and makes commuting cheaper, faster and simpler. I'd rather fly out of Peoria that to drive to Bloomington.

The person was comparing the airport tax to the library tax. Sort of like comparing acorns to walnuts. Of course we need libraries, we have 8 free libraries in a 17 mile radius; didn't he notice? Or is he one out of four adults who read no books last year and then only an average of four checked out. Checking books out doesn't mean everyone actually reads them.

Consider that. One third of the books I check out, I do not completely read. Some are real "POTBOILERS" like Nora Roberts and available by the dozens at garage sales and library book sales for 10 cents on the original dollar cost.

Property Taxes Rising - Are Values Real in Peoria?

The county recently received a letter from a property taxpayer unhappy with the 25-33%? rise she discovered upon receiving her tax bill. She wants to tar and hang us on fenceposts and that's just the nice part of what she would like to do to County Board members.

Look to the Assessor's office and the three person Board of Appeals and new formulas and not easily understood paperwork requirements. I believe people's protests are catching our County Board Chairman's attention. The rumblings do not appear to be just the usual disgruntled taxpayer who always think their taxes are too high.
Or I could take up Gary S. invitation to move to his neighborhood where he will pay $410.00 for 2007 including $16.50 for his library tax "share".

I note a home in New York City's Riverdale, a leafy neighborhood in the borough of the Bronx, is listed in the WSJ for $4.9 million.

Annual property tax - $12,178.00.

Million dollars homes are listed with less property taxes by far than my modest (by comparison) house in Peoria.

Interesting and of course Peoria tax payers haven't seen anything yet if all the tax collecting projects in progress and on the drawing boards come to fruition.

Some property tax payers are starting to pay more attention to rising taxes and more will later on IF the economy drag ever hits Peoria County.

Senate Bill 2077 - Sales Tax

This bill sponsored by our local legislators would let Peoria County hold a referendum on whether to impose a special sales tax to raise money for the proposed riverfront museum and perhaps to replace or renovate the county-operated Bellwood Nursing Home ($24-$32 million).

The referendum could be as soon as February, 2009.

My position as both a government elected official and a resident of Peoria is at the present time with the information I have available I would recommend voting no. At this point it appear to be unfair to the business owners and taxpayers of Peoria County.

Special sales taxes have a habit of never going away. Higher taxes than in other communities help drive buyers to buy in other counties with lower sales tax rates.

I believe this bill would make it easier for public schools systems to raise taxes but I have not read the bill in it's entirety.

Facts in the form of comments if you please.