Thursday, April 30, 2009

Caterpillar Stocks Get Bounce

Caterpillar closed up $1.87 today at approximately $35 plus a share but still down $50 a share from their 52 week high of $85 plus. Anyone owning just 1000 shares at $85 would still have seen their net worth drop by $50,000.00 in less than 365 days.

At the same time Caterpillar announced higher than expected excavator sales in China attributed to China's stimulus plan which puts more money into infrastructure as opposed to Obama's plan to put more money into government and social programs. CEO Jim Owens announced concern over the protectionism attitude building in this administration and the Democrat congress. Much of the concern is the "buy American" in the stimulus package and is definitely a export trade stopper already showing up in high tariffs imposed on U.S. goods entering Mexico. Mexico's move was to offset our unions move to stop Mexican truck drivers operating in the U.S.

Caterpillar does about 65% overseas, higher than I thought if the report I'm reading is correct with less than 10% of this business in Asia. I'm guessing but I believe "overseas" includes Canada and Central America.

Place the Blame Where Most of it Belongs

That's right. It was and is a long way from the Republicans fault that we are in the mess we've been and are in. I also have to keep reminding people, the Democrats have controlled Congress since 2006.

The liberal media is largely responsible for trying to "make" the news fit their liberal beliefs including an article in the JS by Liz Sidoti of the AP who was drooling over Obamas 100 days successes. "She writes "Obama has applied the the same "no drama" leadership and calculated approach to governing as he did in his campaign".

Right. He is still the charming, fluent demagogue that he has been most of his adult life. The liberals and the liberal press wish the annointed Obamas to someday be king and queen except I believe the Obama's ambition is to go beyond those titles.

Anyway, whether the author is legitimate or not, the message is. It's written far better than I could express.

Merle Widmer

Subject: A Marine Sergeant Major speaks out!
Retired marine speaks clearly

Too bad we don't have folks on Capitol Hill willing to speak out like this. J.D. Pendry is a retired Marine Sergeant Major who writes for Random House. He is eloquent, and as taught by the Marines, he seldom beats around the bush!

'The Axis of Idiots'
Jimmy Carter, you are the father of the Islamic Nazi movement. You threw the Shah under the bus, welcomed the Ayatollah home, and then lacked the spine to confront the terrorists when they took our embassy and our people hostage. You're the runner-in-chief.

Bill Clinton, you played ring around the Lewinsky while the terrorists were at war with us. You got us into a fight with them in Somalia and then you ran from it. Your weak-willed responses to the USS Cole and the First Trade Center Bombing and Our Embassy Bombings emboldened the killers. Each time you failed to respond adequately, they grew bolder, until 9/11/2001.

John Kerry, dishonesty is your most prominent attribute. You lied about American Soldiers in Vietnam. Your military service, like your life, is more fiction than fact. You've accused our military of terrorizing women and children in Iraq. You called Iraq the wrong war, wrong place, wrong time, the same words you used to describe Vietnam. You're a fake. You want to run from Iraq and abandon the Iraqis to murderers just as you did to the Vietnamese. Iraq, like Vietnam, is another war that you were for, before you were against it.

John Murtha, you said our military was broken. You said we can't win militarily in Iraq. You accused United States Marines of cold-blooded murder without proof and said we should redeploy to Okinawa. Okinawa, John? And the Democrats call you their military expert! Are you sure you didn't suffer a traumatic brain injury while you were off building
your war hero resume? You're a sad, pitiable, corrupt and washed up politician. You're not a Marine, sir. You wouldn't amount to a good pimple on a real Marine's butt. You're a phony and a disgrace. Run away, John.

Dick Durbin, you accused our Soldiers at Guantanamo of being Nazis, tenders of Soviet style gulags and as bad as the regime of Pol Pot , who murdered two million of his own people after your party abandoned Southeast Asia to the Communists. Now you want to abandon the Iraqis to the same fate. History was not a good teacher for you, was it? Lord, help us! See Dick run.

Ted Kennedy, for days on end you held poster-sized pictures from Abu Ghraib in front of any available television camera. Al Jazeera quoted you saying that Iraqi's torture chambers were open under new management. Did you see the news, Teddy? The Islamic Nazis demonstrated another beheading for you. If you truly supported our troops, you'd show the world poster-sized pictures of that atrocity and demand the annihilation of it. Your legislation stripping support from the South Vietnamese led to a communist victory there. You're a bloated, drunken fool bent on repeating the same historical blunder that turned freedom-seeking people over to homicidal, genocidal maniacs. To paraphrase John Murtha, all while sitting on your wide, gin-soaked rear-end in Washington.

Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Carl Levine, Barbara Boxer, Diane Feinstein, Russ Feingold, Hillary Clinton, Pat Leahy, Barack Obama, Chuck Schumer, the Hollywood Leftist morons, et al, ad nauseam: Every time you stand in front of television cameras and broadcast to the Islamic Nazis that we went to war because our President lied, that the war is wrong and our Soldiers are torturers, that we should leave Iraq, you give the Islamic butchers - the same ones that tortured and mutilated American Soldiers - cause to think that we'll run away again, and all they have to do is hang on a little longer. It is inevitable that we, the infidels, will have to defeat the Islamic jihadists. Better to do it now on their turf, than later on ours after they have gained both strength and momentum.

American news media, the New York Times particularly: Each time you publish stories about national defense secrets and our intelligence gathering methods, you become one united with the sub-human pieces of camel dung that torture and mutilate the bodies of American Soldiers. You can't strike up the courage to publish cartoons, but you can help Al Qaeda destroy my country. Actually, you are more dangerous to us
than Al Qaeda is. Think about that each time you face Mecca to admire your Pulitzer.

You are America 's 'AXIS OF IDIOTS.' Your Collective Stupidity will destroy us. Self-serving politics and terrorist- abetting news scoops are more important to you than our national security or the lives of innocent civilians and Soldiers. It bothers you that defending ourselves gets in the way of your elitist sport of politics and your ignorant editorializing. There is as much blood on your hands as is on the hands of murdering terrorists. Don't ever doubt that. Your frolics will only serve to extend this war as they extended Vietnam. If you want our Soldiers home as you claim, knock off the crap
and try supporting your country ahead of supporting your silly political aims and aiding our enemies.

Yes, I'm questioning your patriotism. Your loyalty ends with self. I'm also questioning why you're stealing air that decent Americans could be breathing. You don't deserve the protection of our men and women in uniform. You need to run away from this war, this country. Leave the war to the people who have the will to see it through and the
country to people who are willing to defend it. Our country has two enemies: Those who want to destroy us from the outside and those who attempt it from within.

Simper Fi,
J. D. Pendry - Sergeant Major, USMC, Retired

This is a savvy man. He has nailed it down pretty good.. Too bad it won't do any good. There won't be 1 in 10 that receive it that will forward it. It sure loses steam that way.


Minor League Baseball Status

While Major league games were reporting an average attendance of 39,000 for yesterday's games, the Burlington, Iowa Bees lost to the Peoria Chiefs in front of 390 fans. Can't blame it on bad weather as all the major league teams have faced bad weather and most do not have roofs. The Peoria Chiefs appear not to have have had a money making crowd yet this year yet is a privately owned club counting me as one of a number of discontented stockholders.

Word is that the ball parks largest contributor has not contributed one dime to the Chiefs this year yet one of its past presidents sits on an unelected committee of some sort that supposedly runs the club. By this time in past years, stockholders would have been invited to a stockholder meeting. So far in the past more than a year, no invitation has been issued.

Palm trees that die at the first freeze, were planted again this year at an unknown cost but usually the cost to the stockholders is around $15,000. The act is now becoming the butt of jokes about the club's management.

O'Brien gets free advertising as the stadiums name even though they quit paying for the rights last year. From the "street" I hear talk that O'Brien needs all the advertising they can get. This so called management group that runs the Chiefs, did not have the foresight to write in the "naming" contract that if they failed to pay the Chiefs to renew the contract, O'Brien would be responsible to take the name down.

So the Chiefs are responsible for taking the name down yet why would they because that is how the public perceived the ball park. Since Pete Vonachen gets all the credit for the ball park I recommend the ball park sign be replaced and Petes name go up just like Vonachen's Old Place and Vonachen Grill. Opps, I forgot, they are out of business.

So now the original naming company gets free publicity as long as the Chiefs can't sell naming rights to another or no longer stays in business. Some foresight by the so called "managing board" which I believe consists of Don Fites, Chappy Chapman, Ralph Converse and Dave Beilfeldt.

Every year we don't make money and we haven't made money one year since 1994, Chief officials "blame it on the weather". That old line is used every year. Guess they didn't pay attention, Peoria has almost without exception, has cold and wet springs. Also it's blame it on the economy. Guess they haven't talked to the mayor and some elected officials.

Monday, April 27, 2009

"Tax protest no different from Selma"

So says Dave Hughes from Washington in reply to Pam Adams socialistic view on the Tea Bag movement. "Just like M.L.K. did at Selma, other than the tea baggers were real working taxpayers who took time off from their jobs to march nationwide-rather than being bused in from ACORN or the DNC. Both were serious groups protesting their treatment by others, be it government or society."

Dave says Pam's column in the JS was a letdown from her usual "Let's perpetuate racism so that her her friends Al and Jesse can keep their jobs."

Thanks, Dave for labeling Adams for what she is. Adams signed off her column by saying "Glen, Sean and Rush have already told us what to say". Mostly not, Dave and folks like me have seen how people like Adams try to promote socialism and racism even in almost every column she writes. Recently she wrote an article praising the good points about Peoria from a person who moved away from Peoria 20 years ago. She didn't say how things have changed here in 20 years such as described the same day by JS Reporter John Sharp titled "New policies aimed at stopping festival fights".

Keep up the LTR's, my friend Dave Hughes, and John Sharp, keep reporting statements such as the one from Principal Randy Simmons from Peoria High who said "All the city kids get a bad rap, and I think that is unfair". And "people within the community can help the cause , but it's up to the people who are causing this problem, to stop", said 17 year old Timpestt Jones. I agree.

And it's up to the parents, principals teachers and mentors to step in and stop this nonsense that eventually fills our juvenile court system and our jails. And up to people like Pam Adams and other syndicated writers like Gene Robinson and Leonard Pitts (why did the JS stop printing Columinst William Rasberry?) to stop perpetuating racial divisions not only here but all across the country.

I found it interesting that John Sharp was assigned to cover the people problems in Peoria and Adams was assigned to report positive statements made by an ex-Peorian who left here 20 years ago.

"Machinery Stocks Not Sharpened"

Local folks may want to read this article in today's WSJ. "For investors in the sector, '09 is a largely done deal. The message alongside first quarter results was that of hunkering down with cost cuts to cope with weak demand.

The issue is duration. Take Caterpillar. Reduced '09 earnings-per-share projections of $1.25 imply a price/earnings multiple of 27 times. Investors are clearly looking through the trough: After all, not so long ago the company was earning more than $5 a share.

For 2010, the consensus forecast implies a multiple of 21 time. But look at the range: The highest estimate, according to Thomson Reuters, is 8 time the lowest.

With the outlook so foggy, why pay so much for Caterpillar on a 2-year deal? Caterpillar did well from a construction boom in the U.S and Middle East that isn't coming back soon. U.S. shipments of steel for construction and contractor's products fell 58% in the first 2 months of '09.

Chinese infrastructure offers some hope. But brokerage Stern Agee estimates all of Asia accounts for only 15% of Caterpillar's sales. And with China a buzzword of all competing companies seeking growth, it's questionable how high margins on such business will be."

The article goes on to say corporate executives are still cutting capacity and leaving question marks hanging over dividends. "Investor should take their cue from that."

Some are. We believe we can buy the stock back in the mid twenty range before 2011.

We will see.

Interesting Statements From and about Caterpillar #2

Since my computer will not accept my password (for the fortieth time) to comment on Cal Skinner' question, I'll create a new blog.

Cal, This information should have been made public both before and after the referendum. This failure to be honest with the public fits one of my most previous blogs about truth. Thanks, Cal.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

"Oink, oink: Keep Our Roadsides Clean"

This statement has been an ongoing theme by the JSEB but it appears those of us who attempt to slow the littering problem are as they say "preaching to the choir." The editors write "This stretch of southbound (northbound also) Illinois Rt. 29 running just past Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe through Rome has provide Piggy plenty of trash to roll around in."

No question as to how the litter gets there. A couple of months ago I fell in behind a school bus on Rt. 29 just north of it's intersection with Rt.6. For approximately 4miles a continuous stream of litter was being pitched out of this northbound bus windows on the back right hand side. When the bus stopped to let out a student, I walked around to the drivers side of the bus and asked him to roll down his window which he did. I asked him if he knew litter was being thrown out the rear windows. He said he didn't and didn't think there was because the windows are supposed to be closed. An adult appeared from the back of the bus and she claimed she didn't know litter was being thrown out the windows. I asked the age of the students on the bus and where told they were around 16. I told them the area into which litter was being pitched and said I would report it to the school superintendent of Chillicothe schools.

I was able to talk to the principal and told him the situation. I asked him why food and fast food drinks were allowed on the bus. He said I should go see the Transportation Director. I said, no, you are the principal and that it is your responsibility to take action to prevent this occurrence. He reluctantly took the bus #34 and licence #57 265 SB and said he would look into the incident. But he said kids put food and soft drinks in their bags and he couldn't stop them from doing that. He also indicated that adults sometimes take food on the bus so the kids think they can do the same. I indicated a no food or drink on buses hauling kids to and from home should be an enforceable policy. He had no comment.

So all of us litter protesters should have long ago taken note as the people who litter are the ones going through our failing school systems and from people who don't vote and could actually care less what there kids do when they are supposedly under school supervision.

So I can talk to all the people responsible for allowing litter and the JSEB can print all the oink, oink's they want too, but as Journalist Caitlin wrote in the WSJ on April 17, 2009, "The High Cost of Coddling", "It is, of course, the responsibility of the state and community to provide some sort of education to all children under the age of 18, and so for a host of legal, moral and economic reasons we end up with the ugly truth about our nations schools. Who would not be willing to side not with the students of an institution--those fun-loving creatures of the now-but with the institution itself, a place ostensibly devoted, above all else, to the well-being of it's population.

I'll tell you who would not: Adults, remember them?"

So make fun of me for trying. I know who you are by your words. I'll not make fun of the JSEB for trying. They are. But they can't reach the ones who say "who cares", who can't read and if they can, read the wrong stuff and the ones who care not to vote or even register. And the ones who think their kids can do no wrong because, after all, they are just kids.

Remember Columbine? And what about the riots at Kent State today. And the article in today's JS, "New policies aimed at stopping festival fights."

As I sat in a local restaurant having dinner last night a two young Muslim women with 3 kids, the oldest about 5 and with a kid each "in the basket" let the oldest stand on top of the table where they were eating, scream and slap at his mother and they did absolutely nothing. Why do I identify them as an ethnic group? Because they are just adapting to our customs in the United States. Isn't that what we want?

Keep putting your kids on pedestals, they will grow up just like you and they will mostly become bleeding liberals, "who cares" people, don't vote, everybody else is doing it people, who love violence, hate discipline and this country will be soon be under total Socialism and eventually worse.

Caterpillar Flush With Cash

So says Paul Gordon of the JS in his column today. "It ended the first quarter with $3.6 billion in cash."

Paul probably didn't read the WSJ who reported that on Feb. 5, 2009, Caterpillar conducted a $3 billion bond sale to raise cash. This was at least the 2nd time in the past 8 months that Caterpillar has sold bonds to raise cash.

I don't know what Cat's debt load is and what doubtful account receivable they have in their financing arms as they have revolving credit lines with companies that buy their equipment such as the $29 million they lent last month to Allis-Chalmers Energy to buy two drilling rigs (Cat makes the engines).

I do know this. Stockholders who kept their stock have taken one heck of a beating while Cat executives earned more than they did in 2007. In 2007, Mr. Owens took home $14.4 million and 17.4 million in 2008 while the stockholders took a bath. I also know that layoffs will continue at least through June and the quarterly dividend is under a "fulsome" discussion as to whether it will be reduced or dropped.

Interesting Statements From Caterpillar

I received a copy of a letter dated 4/9/09 that reads as follows: "Caterpillar is pleased about the vote to move forward with the Build a Block. We made a commitment in 2002 to support a new regional (note REGIONAL, my comment) museum and we will stay true to this commitment. Caterpillar's funding of this project will be in the near future but will not occur in 2009.

The budgeted cost of the Visitors Center is $41 million. Planning for this project will be modified to reflect our current financial circumstance.

The Caterpillar Foundation has pledged $13.5 million to the museum. We have made the decision to temporarily suspend outright cash payments, however, the Foundation will continue to match payments to the museum from employees and retirees."

This information changes the private funding arrangements. Surely the PRM Committee informed the media of these changes yet I believe I am the only one to bring this forward.

I believe there will be many revelations about the private funding of the museum before the contract is signed giving ownership to Peoria County. As a board member, I will be asking for FULL FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE before any document is signed transferring ownership of the museum to the Peoria County.

You can only speculate as to why this information I am disclosing was not made public. If it was, I apologize.

Property Tax Bill -2008

My property tax bill received yesterday, showed a decrease of $94 with the only taxing body showing an increase was the Peoria Public Library of $75. The Airport tax, now spread over a larger portion of the populace was down $55. City pensions were up $8 and #150 overall was down $21. The largest increase came from the the current tax rate, up from 8.22696 to 8.40647.

I see property tax bills for 2008 as being the "lull before the storm" unless the article in the JS today is incorrect saying "the average selling price of homes continued to drop, hitting $125,499 for the first quarter of 2009. That was nearly $10,000 lower than the average price a year ago."

And unless the County Board Chairman believes it is still not time to take action toward what appears to be a very unrealistic Board of Review. Also, a badly needed change in the state law would make it simpler for people to file a protest and a more reasonable Board of Review would erase the worry protesters have that they wouldn't be retaliated against by having their taxes raised for protesting.

As a reminder, if you have filed a protest and haven't learned the results of your request for reduction, when you pay this year in June. mark your check with the term "paid under protest".

Saturday, April 25, 2009

"Mark Johnson, Spearhead of Cat center retiring"

So said the JS today. Believe I predicted his retirement about 3 week ago on this site. To be a very active part of a group that spent approximately $640,000. to educate the public how to vote and then won by a margin of 410 out of almost 30,000 votes cast, must have been quite a disappointment to Mr. Johnson. Especially, when the small organized vote "no" group only spent around $3,000.

I'm glad to see him stay a part of the Peoria Historical Society, a group, who, without strong representation, could come out on the short end of what history of Peoria is displayed in the new museum.

District #150 - Flashback 1/4/03

Dennis Bailey, co-partner at Clifton Gunderson, the accounting firm said "This school district has to stop overspending. Time is running out. You really need to take immediate action. The board is responsible for setting policy, including the adoption of the district's annual budget, and administration is responsible for implementing board policy. Last year, in my closing comments to the board, I stated that the district was facing an impending financial crisis. Well, that crisis is getting much closer."

So said Dennis Bailey in statements made 6 years and 4 months ago. U.S. Representative Aaron Schock, during part of this period, was not only on this board but president of this board. That elected, non-paid, 5 year term board was not competent then to run #150 and it is not competent to run it 76 months later. I do not say that these are not good people but they lack the experience and skills to manage 16,000 human bodies and an $150,000,000.00 budget.

If the state hasn't taken this district over, these statements will be repeated with accuracy 76 month from now.

Wake, up, Peoria, stop making museums, etc., as your top priorities or you would have put a stop to this nonsense years ago. Peoria has put itself in such a position that no one qualified wants to run for the board as was proven again this past election.

Good copy for the media though who can't write Peoria is really a "dull" city with all spending of money with such doubtful results.

Good grief. Maybe we should invite Jay Leno to do a show from some of the "golden eggs" all our taxes have laid. Start with In-Play, Damon's, RiverStation, Tillys, the Gateway Building, One Tech Plaza, the booming downtown, soon to be enlivened by a museum and a Caterpillar Visitors Center with underground parking, our river filling up with silt, our potholded streets, our crumbling curbs and sidewalks and our flooded streets on the south side and finishing with a tour of all the closed commercial buildings for sale, some on the market for up to 10 years. View some of the mismatched architecture such as the mostly deserted new (old) Bank Plus Building, Furniture Row out at the Shoppes, the expensive homes sitting empty on the north and northwest side of Peoria and invite some of the extremely overtaxed property owners to comment about our partially defunct property tax system. Or the bare ground where ballparks promised for years by the PPD were never built or the new northside library (if you can find the projected site). Not to forget the 400 or so structurally unsound or abandoned homes in Peoria City and County.

Be sure to show him the results of all our TIF 'ing' of our "blighted" city, enterprise zones and the former Cub's Grocery on Knoxville

Then, visit all the money losing already built "enhancement" projects which we have adopted as our priorities. I think Leno would be the right person to "spread the word" for our under funded Convention Bureau.

Last stop, have Jay visit a Monday night #150 school board meeting whose actions are helping "grow the city".

This blog is mostly written "tongue in cheek" make believe but that is the kind of city we have become and will be once the "world class" museum is built and the 33,000sq. ft. old Lakeview Museum in a center city, potentially beautiful location, sits as another empty. Unless, of course, the PPD relocates their offices there and reaches the $60,000,000.00 budget I predicted not in the too distant future. Remember, the goal at Glen Oak Park is to spend $129 million over a period of time.

District #150 in Process of Issuing $38 Million Bond

As reported by Dave Haney in the JS, District #150 is in the process of issuing as much as $38 million in working cash bonds. Estimates put the interest rate at 5.7% over 15 years or an approximate cost to property tax payers of not $38 million but approximately $55 million. An owner of a home valued at $100,000 would be expected to pay and addition $76 annually.

When asked if the district coukld survive without the bonds, Interim Controller, Brock Butts, offered a firm, "I don't know."

Peoria School District #150 Public Hearing on May 4

After this meeting the school board will take action on whether to seek to issue a second series of bonds. (See previous blog) The public could take the bond issue to a referendum providing 6,384 residents in the district sign a petition.

Sooner or later, more of the voters than showed up in April had better be paying closer attention where some of our leaders are leading us.

I've warned for years. While the future is impossible to correctly predict, i will again not predict but tell those of you who pay taxes, especially property taxes, you haven't seen anything yet. Watch while more salaries and pensions, especially in the public sector, continue to rise and especially if we mimic our president and most Democrats, whose aim is to expand government at every level.

Sure, some are going to profit by expanded government but in the general populace, there will be more losers than gainers.

Peoria - More Taxes

The JS reminds us that our tax bills will be coming out starting next week and will include new taxes for the $27 million library expansion, thanks, folks, and new taxes from the Airport Authority. Also, coming soon is the $76.67 additional tax to pay for the new bonds, this go-around of maybe $38 million translated at interest of 5.7 over 15 years to approximately $60 million overall. And this is just the beginning.

Peoria County expects to take in more property tax dollars this year and next year which means every bodies property tax will be substantially boosted and each year property taxes can only go one way and that is up as health and pensions cost accelerate.

Just as a reminder for those of you eager to vote for more taxes, libraries, museums, park districts, schools, Gateway Building, etc., are all tax collecting bodies, not tax paying bodies. Translation - the more of these we build the more property taxes you will eventually pay and don't count the PRM, soon to be owned by Peoria County, as not being immune from hitting property tax payers, sometime over the upcoming years. Peoria County will own the museum after Jan. 1, 2010. If projections are not met, the county could help fund the endowment, etc., which means the counties shortfall could be made up in raised fees or increasing the tax levy as part of the county doing business.

Another reminder, again, while all this spending has been going on median income statewide grew by 3.5% from 2005-2006 while Peoria's region fell by over 1.0%. Over the past 7 years, Illinois had a population growth of 3.25 while Peoria's region grew only 1.2% (Study, Heart of Illinois United Way)

We sure must be doing a lot of things right, oops, I meant wrong, right here in Peoria.

More Enhancement Money For the Money Losing Civic Center

"Civic Center plans $500,000 upgrade" with funding to come from TIF district according to an article in yesterday's JS by JS reporter, Gary Childs. "Unfortunately, there is not enough money to do what we call the dream list", said committee Chairman, Ken Goldin. Correction of tilting sidewalks, elimination of a driveway and replacing it with a sidewalk, and landscape to compliment the landscaping of the "planned" Riverfront Museum; this CC landscaping to be the first phase of landscaping being planned.

Civic Center General Manager Debbie Ritschel, who isn't necessarily counting on TIF money to pay for the landscaping portion, said, "We'll take money wherever we can get it from"."

How true, they already do, and I'm sure these are "must do" priorities and maybe they will provide jobs for some of the 9,000 people laid off or fired in the Peoria area since the start of this "recession".

Do You?

Received from a friend. And, no, I didn't.

Merle Widmer

Do you know the Preamble for your state? . . .
I found this very interesting.

Alabama 1901, Preamble
We the people of the State of Alabama, invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish the following Constitution.
Alaska 1956, Preamble We, the people of Alaska, grateful to God and to those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land.
Arizona 1911, Preamble We, the people of the State of Arizona, grateful to Almighty God for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution...
Arkansas 1874, Preamble We, the people of the State of Arkansas, grateful to Almighty God for the privilege of choosing our own form of government...
California 1879, Preamble We, the People of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom...
Colorado 1876, Preamble We, the people of Colorado, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of Universe...
Connecticut 1818, Preamble. The People of Connecticut, acknowledging with gratitude the good Providence of God in permitting them to enjoy.
Delaware 1897, Preamble Through Divine Goodness all men have, by nature, the rights of worshipping and serving their Creator according to the dictates of their consciences.
Florida 1885, Preamble We, the people of the State of Florida, grateful to Almighty God for our constitutional liberty, establish this Constitution....
Georgia 1777, Preamble We, the people of Georgia, relying upon protection and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish this Constitution...
Hawaii 1959, Preamble We , the people of Hawaii, Grateful for Divine Guidance ... Establish this Constitution.
Idaho 1889, Preamble We, the people of the State of Idaho, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings.
Illinois 1870, Preamble We, the people of the State of Illinois, grateful to Almighty God for the civil , political and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors.
Indiana 1851, Preamble We, the People of the State of Indiana, grateful to Almighty God for the free exercise of the right to choose our form of government.
Iowa 1857, Preamble We, the People of the St ate of Iowa, grateful to the Supreme Being for the blessings hitherto enjoyed, and feeling our dependence on Him for a continuation of these blessings, establish this Constitution.
Kansas 1859, Preamble We, the people of Kansas, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious privileges establish this Constitution.
Kentucky 1891, Preamble.. We, the people of the Commonwealth are grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties..
Louisiana 1921, Preamble We, the people of the State of Louisiana, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties we enjoy.
Maine 1820, Preamble We the People of Maine acknowledging with grateful hearts the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe in affording us an opportunity .. And imploring His aid and direction.
Maryland 1776, Preamble We, the people of the state of Maryland, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberty...
Massachusetts 1780, Preamble We...the people of Massachusetts, acknowledging with grateful hearts, the goodness of the Great Legislator of the Universe In the course of His Providence, an opportunity and devoutly imploring His direction
Michigan 1908, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Michigan, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of freedom, establish this Constitution.
Minnesota, 1857, Preamble We, the people of the State of Minnesota, grateful to God for our civil and religious liberty, and desiring to perpetuate its blessings:
Mississippi 1890, Preamble We, the people of Mississippi in convention assembled, grateful to Almighty God, and invoking His blessing on our work.
Missouri 1845, Preamble We, the people of Missouri, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and grateful for His goodness . Establish this Constitution...
Montana 1889, Preamble. We, the people of Montana, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty establish this Constitution ..
Nebraska 1875, Preamble We, the people, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom . Establish this Constitution.
Nevada 1864, Preamble We the people of the State of Nevada, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, establish this Constitution...
New Hampshire 1792, Part I. Art. I. Sec. V Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience.
New Jersey 1844, Preamble We, the people of the State of New Jersey, grateful to Almighty God for civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors.
New Mexico 1911, Preamble We, the People of New Mexico, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty.
New York 1846, Preamble We, the people of the State of New York, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessings.
North Carolina 1868, Preamble We the people of the State of North Carolina, grateful to Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of Nations, for our civil, political, and religious liberties, and acknowledging our dependence upon Him for the continuance of those...
North Dakota 1889, Preamble We , the people of North Dakota , grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, do ordain...
Ohio 1852, Preamble We the people of the state of Ohio, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and to promote our common.
Oklahoma 1907, Preamble Invoking the guidance of Almighty God, in order to secure and perpetuate the blessings of liberty, establish this
Oregon 1857, Bill of Rights, Article I Section 2. All men shall be secure in the Natural right, to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their consciences
Pennsylvania 1776, Preamble We, the people of Pennsylvania, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, and humbly invoking His guidance....
Rhode Island 1842, Preamble. We the People of the State of Rhode Island grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing...
South Carolina, 1778, Preamble We, the people of he State of South Carolina grateful to God for our liberties, do ordain and establish this Constitution.
South Dakota 1889, Preamble We, the people of South Dakota , grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberties .
Tennessee 1796, Art. XI..III. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their conscience...
Texas 1845, Preamble We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
Utah 1896, Preamble Grateful to Almighty God for life and liberty, we establish this Constitution.
Vermont 1777, Preamble Whereas all government ought to enable the individuals who compose it to enjoy their natural rights, and other blessings which the Author of Existence has bestowed on man .
Virginia 1776, Bill of Rights, XVI Religion, or the Duty which we owe our Creator can be directed only by Reason and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian Forbearance, Love and Charity towards each other
Washington 1889, Preamble We the People of the State of Washington, grateful to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution
West Virginia 1872, Preamble Since through Divine Providence we enjoy the blessings of civil, political and religious liberty, we, the people of West Virginia reaffirm our faith in and constant reliance upon God ...
Wisconsin 1848, Preamble We, the people of Wisconsin, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, domestic tranquility...
Wyoming 1890, Preamble We, the people of the State of Wyoming, grateful to God for our civil, political, and religious liberties, establish this Constitution...

After reviewing acknowledgments of God from all 50 state constitutions, one is faced with the prospect that maybe, the ACLU and the out-of-control federal courts are wrong! If you found this to be 'Food for thought' send to as many as you think will be enlightened as I hope you were.

(Please note that at no time is anyone told that they "MUST" worship God.)



Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Search For Truth

On January 17, the Wall Street Journal printed a review of Dashiell Hammett's fifth novel, "The Thin Man". The title "Masterpiece - The Anatomy of a classic". The author is Tom Nolan, the editor of Ross Macdonald's "The Archer Files: The Complete Short Stories of Lew Archer, Private Investigator." Nolan points out some of the flaws in Hammett's character, the fact that Hammett himself thought The Thin Man was boring reading even to himself. Also that the book was considered one of the lesser of Hammett's novels. Yet the book produced a number of screwball comedy movies starring William Powell and Myrna Loy that perpetuated that impression.

But Nolan believes this book is worth a reread as it is "still a sparkling comedy of manners within which lurks a vision of human affairs as grim as any social realist's."

What enticed me to write this blog is Nolan's quote, "The Thin Man", in obvious and subtle ways is concerned with the search for truth--and with the many sorts of lies told by those who wish to evade or conceal the truth. There are blatant lies, crafty lies, polite lies, partial lies, laughable lies, meaningless lies, and just-practising lies. In the pursuit of truth you are told one lie and when found to be a lie that lie is corrected to another lie and continues until you'll find yourself believing the lie because it appears to be the truth and you become tired of being a disbeliever."

How true. But it appears people wish to shorten the time between the first lie and the truth because they have been deceived so many times by so many, especially those lies told by so many politicians, so many big ego people and so much of the media.

Not to mention much of the populace in general.

On 8/06/04, I wrote a blog titled, "Conceptions, Misconceptions, Perceptions, Truths, Subtle Falsehoods and Outright Lies". Also, my blog on 6/07/05, "Lies and the Ability to Defend Oneself". Also, 5/19/05, "Blind Beliefs" where I closed by saying "Facts are better than dreams of blind faith. It is far better to infuse the entire process with the brutal facts of reality". These blogs can be easily found in my sidebar archives and may be interesting reading to some of you.

I believe things never really change and are similar today as the famous quote attributed to Cecil B. DeMille "predictions are very difficult to make, especially about the future".

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

PPD up to Old Tricks

On April 17, 2009, JS reporter Catherine Schaidle Bonnie Noble and the Peoria Park District combined in a "pull the wool" over a naive and sometime apathetic Peoria citizenry. Schaidle wrote "East Bluff land catches Park District's Eye". This property on Glen Oak Park was to be used to build Glen Oak School.

Had Ms. Schaidle looked a little deeper, she would have found $1.2 million in Republican Rep. Schock's appropriations and stimulus ill for guess what?? Glen Oak Park Open Space Acquisition.

So lets see how this plays out. The badly run #150 School District bought this East Bluff land and houses for approximately $850,000.00 and with the park's permission, planned to tear these houses down and build a school on this public property, also using existing PPD land. The deal fell through when the community rose up in arms and by a 4 to 3 vote, the PPD backed out of what appeared to be a "done deal" between the PPD and #150. These actions and the unauthorized erasure of Executive Tapes by the Executive Secretary; note Administrator Bonnie Noble is Assistant Executive Secretary (Hmmmmm), led to a lawsuit against the PPD by community concerned Karrie Alms and Sara Partridge; a lawsuit that the PPD elected to settle out of court even though Judge Barra found The PPD in violation of the Open Meeting Act.

So now Schock, susposedly acting in the best interests of the public, is getting $1.2million stimulus earmark money to give to the PPD to buy these houses and land back from #150. When the cooperative deal fell through, #150 hired Chinese teachers and housed the Chinese teachers in these homes. #150 no longer offers Chinese classes and kids are back to reading and understanding English.

So Schock, Noble, Hinton and Co. are sticking the taxpayer again. Property taxes were lost when the schools bought the homes, property taxpayers paid to buy these homes through #150, Schock's Earmark will cost the taxpayers another $1.2 million to give to the PPD to buy this boondoggle back to use as open space that the park needs like another hole in administrations heads.

Oh, what wicked webs we weave. Schock, Lahood and Leitch and Co. berate the Democrats for our fiscal problems when the only difference between the two parties when it comes to OPM is that the Democrats tax and spend and the Republicans tax and borrow.

For the 10th time I've blogged on it, wake up Peoria, your top leaders are leading you like sheep into a fantasy la-la land.

Just as a reminder, all this stimulus money and earmark money has to someday be paid back with more taxes. Expect them, they are coming at an accelerated rate.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cat CEO Makes $17.7 Million in 2008

While many stockholders saw the value of their Cat stock drop up to 60%.

Maybe name the new riverfront center The Jim Owens Caterpillar Visitors Center that will be built with stockholder dollars, if it's built. The JS should print what the other Cat executives made in 2008 compared to 2009. Also the Cat board members.

The Tea Party people got it 2/3 rds right. The other 1/3 lies in the greedy executives and board members in the private sector. Suggested reading, "House of Cards, A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street", by William D. Cohan.

Of course, not to be overlooked is the recent Owens Family donation of $1 million to OSF and up to $1 million to the PRM. Actually, partially stockholders money.

Hope I'm around to comment on his 2009 income. No change, I'll wager, if he brings Cat stock up to $50 which would still be $35 below where some stockholder bought it..

Wonder how much of the Cat stockholders money was part of the $640,000 the PRM Committee spent to "sell" this (not fully understood project by the ordinary taxpayer) riverfront development.

More on this project as it becomes more transparent that this museum will be more than 65% funded by the taxpayer. Someone challenge me on this figure. The $14 million or more of stimulus money just promised (sought) doesn't fall from trees. That's in addition to the $14 million from the city, taxpayer dollars, and the $4 million already secured by Ray LaHood in 2007 as a Highway Bill Earmark. Remember? And the $6 million already secured from other state and federal sources. Nor the $1,250,000 in stimulus earmarks being sought by Rep. Schock. No, sorry, Virginia, it comes from taxpayers, many who can not afford it. Promoters like LaHood and Schock can afford it. Being high level politicians, they are set for life.

Sorry I haven't blogged much lately. Not too much good news and a reminder today by the JS that the entire cities (possibly your) obligation, and absolutely your risk, on the new Pere Hotel expansion is $81 million counting interest, until 2032. Thanks, John Sharp, for printing more of the "whole story".

It was never acknowledged by the "$640,000 RFM Committee" that the "small" two-bit sales tax will actually add up to as high as $72 plus over 20 years.

If all the spending and planning don't turnout as promised, so what? It will be built, just like the RiverPlex and ballpark. The drivers will all point to their accomplishments despite the fact that these like most other "downtown type" developments, haven't yet lived up to their projections.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Museum and Vistors Center Rejection

As the JSEB used to say, before they got enamoured over the unfilled "hole" on the riverfront, "the failure of the Peoria Park District to raise the donations and "earmarks" to complete the new African Exhibit may be a forewarning to the museum planners". (JSEB Editorial 2007 - I'll find the exact date later). Now considering this $640,000 effort to get a 1/4% majority to vote yes (out of approximately 30,000 votes is clearly not a mandate that people will flock to this site to the tune of 360-400 thousand per year and fill 55,000 hotel rooms.

What happened is that the general populace rejected this project and that includes the populace who didn't show enough interest to even vote.

Do the museum promoters believe these non-voters are going to be big museum fans?

and what happened to the $10,000,000 the CEO Roundtable Executives were going to raise? Is that the $10 million that the JS says is coming from the State of Illinois? I would not be surprised.

We will see, as the JSEB said these "forebodings" of things to come.

Earmarks and Illegal Immigrants

I can't verify whether it is all true or not. Illegals aren't the only ones who put up grafitti, topple tombstones, litter the countryside and rape and commit murder.

Some of them may fall into the same class like Representative Schock who put up these "doozies" of earmarks in the "stimulus" bill:

Institute for Principled Leadership-Bradley University: $100,000. Bet the professors get this money added on to their paychecks.

Manufacturing Lab for next generation Engineers at Bradley, $2 million: Who gets this money? The Professors? Oh, that's right, that will be determined by the receipients.

Peoria Riverfron Museum, $750,000. How will this taxpayer money be used? To pay for the $640,000 "Educational Promotion (Advertising Campaign)?

Lakeview Museum Construction, $500,000??? What lakeview Museum construction are they talking about. You mean the Lakeview Board is going to remodel Lakeview before they abandon this rent free building and become the PRM? Or is this going to pay for the PRM $640,000 promotion expenses?

What's this Glen Oak Park Open Space Acquisition: $1.2 to buy a "Friend of the Parks" land at an inflated price? And why does the PPD need more land when they can't take care of the 8.000 acres they have now?

Proctor Center Park Redevelopment: $2 million. This is owned by the Peoria Park District and the site loses about $400,000 a year and is totally underutilized. Oh, I forgot, it houses the African American Exhibit open by appointment only. Can't overlook minorities, can they?

Peoria Park District Building Construction: $1.4 million. Will this money help make up the $5 million shortfall for a parking lot and entrance for the delayed June oepening of this huge money losing newly expanded zoo that cost $17 million, $22 million, $27 million or %32 million, pick one of the above, mostly taxpayers money.

Grandview Drive, $1.8 million? For what? They recently spent millions of taxpayer dollars to redo the streets and sidewalks on GD. Those movers and shakers really know how to shake the taxpayer tree.

Bel-Wood Nursing Home - $1 million for sprinklers. In 2007, the county budgeted $200,000 for sprinklers at Bel-Wood. Where did that money go?

$5 million for Millionaire Glen Barton's and friends Next Generation Biodiesel Construction in Mapleton to be built while alternate energy Aventine just declared bankruptcy. Anybody know who many taxpayer dollars Aventine received in taxpayer grants and subsidies?

What really pisses most the little guy off is that the politicians know where they get their campaigns funds and they pay these "donors" back in amounts 1000 fold.
Then Republicans like Schock and Leitch get before the Republican "faithful" and tell them how the Democrats are spending the state broke.

Bear in mind, Schock and company have little of this money on hand; it will be coming from taxes on us. It is being printed now by government presses running 24/7 with nothing but "projections" to back this paper.

No need to wonder why people don't get out to vote. They feel helpless and ususally are as this "phony" money talks. What real jokers most our politicians are. And what suckers the general populace are. But still, poll show that 30% of the populace prefer a Socialist type government. They are happy as clams to see the money spread to everyone with their hands out.

And politicians will tell you, "if we don't shake this money tree, those other "big
spenders will". This money is 90% earmaks and another 90% deadend producing no other project and mainly temporary jobs.

So sad, but read on.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007 3:12 PM
> Subject: Fw: What a shame!!!
>> This one tells it like it really is...........Hope you read it
>> all.........
>> This English teacher has phrased it the best I've seen yet
>> Tomatoes and Cheap Labor
>> This should make everyone think, be you Democrat, Republican or
>> Independent
>> From a California school teacher - - -
>> "As you listen to the news about the student protests over illegal
>> immigration, there are some things that you should be aware of:
>> I am in charge of the English-as-a-second-language department at a large
>> southern California high school which is designated a Title 1 school,
>> meaning that its students average lower socioeconomic and income levels.
>> Most of the schools you are hearing about, South Gate High, Bell Gardens,
>> Huntington Park, etc., where these students are protesting, are also
>> Title
>> 1
>> schools.
>> Title 1 schools are on the free breakfast and free lunch program.
>> When I say free breakfast, I'm not talking a glass of milk and roll --
>> but
>> a
>> full breakfast and cereal bar with fruits and juices that would make a
>> Marriott proud. The waste of this food is monumental, with trays and
>> trays
>> of it being dumped in the trash uneaten. (OUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK)
>> I estimate that well over 50% of these students are obese or at least
>> moderately overweight. About 75% or more DO have cell phones. The school
>> also provides day care centers for the unwed teenage pregnant girls (some
>> as
>> young as 13) so they can attend class without the inconvenience of having
>> to
>> arrange for babysitters or having family watch their kids. (OUR TAX
>> I was ordered to spend $700,000 on my department or risk losing funding
>> for
>> the upcoming year even though there was little need for anything; my
>> budget
>> was already substantial.. I ended up buying new computers for the
>> computer
>> learning center, half of which, one month later, have been carved with
>> graffiti by the appreciative students who obviously feel humbled and
>> grateful to have a free education in America. (OUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK)
>> I have had to intervene several times for young and substitute teachers
>> whose classes consist of many illegal immigrant students here in the
>> country
>> less than 3 months who raised so much hell with the female teachers,
>> calling
>> them "Putas" whores and throwing things that the teachers were in tears.
>> Free medical, free education, free food, day care etc., etc, etc.
>> Is it any wonder they feel entitled to not only be in this country but to
>> demand rights, privileges and entitlements?
>> To those who want to point out how much these illegal immigrants
>> contribute
>> to our society because they LIKE their gardener and housekeeper and they
>> like to pay less for tomatoes: spend some time in the real world of
>> illegal
>> immigration and see the TRUE costs.
>> Higher insurance, medical facilities closing, higher medical costs, more
>> crime, lower standards of education in our schools, overcrowding, new
>> diseases etc., etc., etc. For me, I'd rather pay more for tomatoes.
>> We need to wake up. The guest worker program will be a disaster because
>> we
>> won't have the guts to enforce it.
>> Does anyone in their right mind really think they will voluntarily leave
>> and
>> return?
>> There are many hardworking Hispanic/American citizens that contribute to
>> our
>> country and many that I consider my true friends. I encour age and accept
>> those Hispanics who have done it the right and legal way.
>> It does, however, have everything to do with culture: A third-world
>> culture
>> that does not value education, that accepts children getting pregnant and
>> dropping out of school by 15 and that refuse to assimilate, and an
>> American
>> culture that has become so weak and worried about "politically
>> correctness"
>> that we don't have the will to do anything about it.
>> If this makes your blood boil, as it did mine, forward this to everyone
>> you
>> know.
>> CHEAP LABOR? Isn't that what the whole immigration issue is about?
>> Business doesn't want to pay a decent wage.
>> Consumers don't want expensive produce.
>> Government will tell you American s don' t want the jobs.
>> But the bottom line is cheap labor. The phrase "cheap labor" is a myth, a
>> farce, and a lie. There is no such thing as " cheap labor."
>> Take, for example, an illegal alien with a wife and five children. He
>> takes
>> a job for $5.00 or $6.00/hour. At that wage, with six dependents, he pays
>> no
>> income tax, yet at the end of the year, if he files an Income Tax Return,
>> he
>> gets an "earned income credit" of up to $3,200 free. He qualifies for
>> Section 8 housing and subsidized rent. He qualifies for food stamps. He
>> qualifies for free (no deductible, no co-pay) health care His children
>> get
>> free breakfasts and lunches at school. He requires bilingual teachers
>> and
>> books. He qualifies for relief from high energy bills. If they are or
>> become, aged, blind or disabled, they qualify for SSI. Once qualified for
>> SSI they can qualify for Medicare. All of this is at (our) taxpayer's
>> expense. He doesn't worry about car insurance, life insurance, or
>> homeowners insurance. Taxpayers provide Spanish language signs,
>> bulletins
>> and printed BR material. He and his family receive the equivalent of
>> $20.00
>> to $30.00/hour in benefits. Working Americans are lucky to have $5.00 or
>> $6.00/hour left after paying their bills and his. The American taxpayers
>> also pay for increased crime, graffiti and trash clean-up.
>> Cheap labor? YEAH RIGHT! Wake up people.

Unsigned Document I received by email today.
> --
> Internal Virus Database is out-of-date.
> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> Version: 7.5.516 / Virus Database: 269.21.0/1296 - Release Date: 2/24/2008
> 12:19 PM

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Gary Shadid

Now that Mr. Shadid's political career appears to be ended, his next step should be to resign from the Peoria County Board of Review where he is just as popular to property tax payers as he was in his expensive loss in his race for Treasurer.

Museum Expectations as a Result of the "Landslide" Referendum Win

I would expect Jim Richerson to resign but of course he won't.
I would expect Mark Johnson from Caterpillar to take early retirement. He may.
I expect the problems of the museum group are just beginning.
I would expect Caterpillar to keep their headquarters in Peoria and their stock in 5 years to rise to half the value it was in 2007, then $82 per share and now $29 a share and sinking.
I expect Caterpillar to stop paying a dividend before September 30.
I expect a lot of Peorians will "wake up and smell what a mixture of perfume and manure smells like; manure", in the next few years.
I expect to see more empty buildings and houses for sale over the coming few years.

I would make more "predictions" of this communities future but I'm in too good of a mood and am going to go to bed.

P.S. If you think I used too many "I's" in this post, please substitute "we" whenever you feel it is appropriate.

Museum Predictions

OK, $640,000 and the strong support of the media led by the Journal got the referendum passed by the landslide margin of 1/4%. I therefore predict that the museum when up and running will in a relatively short time, prove to be the largest mainly publicly funded disaster in the downtown area. It in time will be surpassed by a larger failure of the $106 million dollar hotel project guaranteed by the City Council and will be paid for by taxpayer dollars to the tune of $30 million or more.

I plan to live long enough to see my predictions come true as have all my others except I did not believe Bergner"s could support two stores in Peoria. Other.wise, I'm 100%.

Good luck, Peoria.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Public Facility Tax - I Strongly Advise a "No" Vote


Fed up? Had enough? Reminded of Old McDonald’s pig …here an oink, there an oink, everywhere an oink oink …..?

YOU get to vote on a binding referendum, a rare opportunity to decide if YOU want to voluntarily raise your taxes. At last the opportunity to keep your hard earned money for yourself and your family by voting NO on April 7th.

Taxpayers, voters, residents are tired of being bullied, threatened and taxed to death for every want while the needs are ignored. We are doomed if we do not approve the latest ‘build it they will come’ project, the next ‘fix’ to rejuvenate Peoria. Tax increases are harmful, especially when there is no end in sight for who is reaching into your wallet for yet another “tiny’ amount. $17 per year sales tax per person for 20 years would equal a Peoria County property tax rate increase of 13 cents per $100 assessed valuation ($130 per year for 20 years on a $100,000 home). Regrettably, the debt cancer will spread throughout Peoria County if this referendum is approved.

Why are taxpayers giving tax money to a not-for-profit organization, Lakeview, to build a public facility known as a museum? Something is wrong with this picture and so the questions go on and on and on.

To sum it up … Wrong plan. Wrong funding mechanism. Wrong time..

On every level, federal, state and local, we see that spending our way to posterity is not working. Whatever happened to our time tested values of needs vs. wants, living within your means, and saving for a rainy day? Please help each other to give our posterity a debt free future. It begins with you and your vote.

Peoria County voters please vote NO on April 7.
Karrie E. Alms
Citizens for Responsible Spending
P.O. Box 641
Peoria, IL 61652-0641
Home residence:
1005 NE Perry Avenue
Peoria, IL 61603-4041

Sunday, April 05, 2009

C.J. Summers _ The Peoria Chronicle

Blogger must read.

Museum Project and Location In Question by Fema and IEPA?

I received a call from someone who is pretty sharp saying a person close to the Museum Project said that an announcement will be made after the election that the location and design of the PRM has come under scrutiny by FEMA and the IEPA. The scrutiny may cause the cost of the museum to rise considerably. This may be old news about the parking deck cost rising from $6 million to over $9 million or it might be something new.

We will see.

Museum Letters of Support

Between weeping and gagging I'm been reading Pro-museum supporters letters to the editor of the JS. Some of them haven't ever taken their kids to Lakeview Museum, the best general purpose museum between St. Louis and Chicago. The one guys kids are grown and moved from the area. Maybe a Cat visitors center and downtown museum will cause them to move back.

What one letter writer will really be saying to his kids or grandkids is that "we did build the museum but most people can't afford to pay to see what's inside. And the taxes have risen so high in Peoria, that many people have moved out of the city". And the PRM no longer offers the 15% discount to locals. Sorry, kids but we can go to the Caterpillar Visitors Center since it's free. What, you mean I have to pay there too? Well, kids we can look through the windows."

The JSEB made several bo-bo's today like the one that said the parking garage is costing $6 million. The parking garage is costing over $9 million, $4 hopefully from the stimulus bill, opps, earmark, and $4 already "in hold" from the 2007 Highway Transportation Bill, Another LaHood "earmark"'.

Who were the ones saying Caterpillar would move out town if the they don't get a Visitors Center? A Visitor's Center that most stockholders and fired and laid off ex-Caterpillar workers hope they don't build, but would take that money and pay off some of Caterpillar's heavy debt load. Maybe increase the value of depressed Cat stock and hire some laid off and fired workers back. The museum promoters and some city council people and some people scared of their own shadow were the ones trying to scare people into a "yes" vote. We have a lot of those in the Peoria, you might say they have a "Big Yellow streak".

Accusing some who are just "aginers"? Let's add up all the big construction successes we have had in Peoria and ask a single question. Where's the population growth? Illinois grew 3.2% and Peoria grew 0.5% from 2000-2007. The Peoria region grew 1.5%. (Courtesy of a study paid for by the United Way)Some growth. Oh, I know why we didn't grow much, we didn't have the PRM and VC. Since 2007, probably no growth at all and when all these taxes on the horizon come home to roost, expect more homeowners going than coming.

Oh, I forgot about all those tourists and conventioneers taking up 55,000 more hotel rooms. This hotel figure courtesy of Dr.s Scott and Lewer from Bradley U. Hope a lot of them are home buyers and property tax payers to relieve some of the burden on those off us being billed property taxes way beyond the value of our property.
But if they don't settle here, at least this $136,000,000.00 expenditure will make our kids a lot smarter than they are today. Guaranteed by all the educators who wrote LTE and got them printed. Some who wrote letter giving a different outcome, never had their letters printed.


Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Merle's Musings

WSJ today says "Borders (the bookseller) Profit Plunges, sales fell 13% and Borders has laid off 900 workers so far this year. Which reminds me, your City Fathers approved $27 million in new and expanded libraries, those taxes will start coming home to roost in about another year or so.

WSJ today says "Global Slump Seen Deepening" while Jim Vergon, Museum Committee key spokesman says "if we don't build the museum, every year will see a $4 million dollar rise in construction costs and the museum has already been delayed three years because lack of PUBLIC funding". What happened to all that PRIVATE money that was to be contributed so that the public would only pay 33%? (Brad McMillan before the Peoria County Board in February) If the referendum passes, the public would be paying approximately $80 million of the overall development of the block contains a new mental health treatment center, a new drug rehab center, a new school, more pothole filler, whoa, stop me, I got confused over our spending priorities; oh yes, a museum, the number one priority of the "movers and shakers" (those with guaranteed large pensions, handed down wealth, huge salaries and bonuses and smart tax attorneys)and who are behind the spending of $640,000.00 to "educate" the public to vote yes.

On 1/28/09, Karen McDonald who can only repeat figures she is given, she is not going to make them up, wrote "About $35 million in public funding is needed to make the project happen; the museum's backers expect to secure private contributions and grants totaling $42.5 million". Actually, it is the other way around with about $80 million in public funding.

And grants from the government come from your money.

These promoters are well schooled in promoting the "benefits" without mentioning the risks of maintaining this now $80 million dollar museum (using Vergon's statement of escalating construction costs). Remember why museum spokesperson, Methodist Hospital CEO Michael Bryant said Methodist was stopping construction because the business climate dictated that this was not the right to to keep building? Has it occurred to anyone that the Cat Visitors Center construction costs have only risen from $40 million to $41 million? (JS, 1/28/09) Think about it. Also that the museum is to be built by ALL UNION labor and that some of the construction will not need to be bid? Or that PIPCO headquarters building is surrounded by 8 Build a Block signs?

Remember One Technology Plaza building downtown that Diane Cullinan, now Oberhelman, whose husband Doug, a Caterpillar VP, and Clark Engineering, now Farnsworth, I believe, sold space to a largely naive Peoria County Board for approximately $1,000,000.00 in 2000? Guess who is leasing all or part of that property from the county? You are right, Caterpillar. After years of trying to sell the property, the county has found no buyer and the building is not being used as a high tech incubator type building as hyped by the promoters. Another missed projection?

Another headline is "Accounting Firms That Missed Fraud at Madoff May be Liable". the accounting firms contend that their primary role is to make sure the financial numbers their clients supply, add up, and but now to detect fraud. And another article "Consultants Touted Firm Accused in Fraud". No, don't tell your kids to grow up to be cowboys, consultants make the best money and will almost always give you the answers you are seeking as they are accused of doing in the Madoff fraud.

This old saying fits some projections in Peoria, "Figures lie and lairs figure". At the risk of repeating myself, financial people and accountants work with figures presented to them, not the other way around.

And in closing, a picture of anarchists organizing to disrupt the Group of 20 in London shows one of the protesters with rings all over his face, including one in his nose. We put rings in our pigs noses to keep them from reeking destruction before we rendered them into ham and bacon. This pig anarchist has no redeeming or edible value to the world. A larger ring fitted snugly above his shoulders would be more appropriate.

Whoa, more yet. Hidden from most every bodies view was a small article in today's WSJ "Social Security Increases Face Hit from Recession", the recession is projected to wipe out increases for 50 million Social Security beneficiaries for the next three years. This news will bring more tears to those living on a fixed income and who listened to their financial planners and saw their investments drop by 50% or more. And to the elderly disabled lady who I talked with yesterday; a lady who had her property over valued by an eager County Assessor and a questionable Peoria County Board of Review; appealed to the state, was advised she had a refund coming but is still waiting for her check. I'm sure Koehler, Leitch and company feel good about getting $10 million for a "museum" while this widow cries over her sad financial situation. Dump more taxes on the public and raise the "fee to see" these "public" facilities. The fixed income people say thanks for building the museum. Just what we need is another tax-sucking enhancement. But it "adds to the areas beauty" as Jerry Klein of Metamora, formerly of the JS, says in his LTE. I suggest Jerry never visited a Peoria Public School where 70% of the kids are eligible for poverty assistance. Nor will he ever spend any of his retirement living in the large poverty pockets of this community. Nor pay Peoria's escalating property taxes.

I'll leave with some good new. The market was up today. But then again tomorrow.....