Sunday, February 28, 2010


One ex-county employee claims that public meeting room Rm.402 in the Peoria County Courthouse not only has a speaker, known to most all, but also has a listening device connected to at least two administrative offices. Another county employee told me that the statement is true but does not know where the wires run.

Bad news if the claims are true. I'm told the SA's office is looking into it.

Friday, February 26, 2010

'word' on the web

Check out 'word' on the web at blog written by the same journalists, Karen and John, who write "Word on the street" on Mondays in the JS.

This site, with it's "comment" sector should be a very interesting read.

Hope i got it right this time!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Google Pilot Project in Peoria? For How Much Ransom?

Please see the following as forwarded by Alma Brown; starting with the 2nd paragraph.

"The impact on economic development will be enormous"? In Peoria? Depends on what we have to give away to get this pilot project. I've got a Facility Meeting at the Court House at 2 PM or I would like to listen. The statement is pretty broad covering the economic development in the whole world. OOP's, probably not China, Venezuela, Iran, Boliva and Cuba. Will the highly touted local impact be better than Globe Energy?? Or FireFly to date?

Merle Widmer

County Board Members:

As you may have recently seen, Google announced an effort to bring 1GB Internet service to a test market somewhere in the United States. This would be a phenomenal service that would deliver speed up to 100x faster than the best current system available. The impact on economic development will be enormous.

You might also have seen me talk about the importance of this opportunity to Peoria. The City of Peoria has started an application and has now joined the County of Peoria in working collaboratively. We would like to include your community, too. As a first step in getting this off the ground, I would like to invite you to join me at a press conference to unveil our effort. The press conference will be on Tuesday, February 23 at 1:30 pm at the PeoriaNEXT Innovation Center (801 W. Main Street, Peoria). We are trying to arrange for speakers from the business community, educational institutions and local government, but your mere presence in the room will help us send a message that this is a community-wide effort.

I realize this is short notice and that you all have busy schedules. If you can attend, please contact the City's Communications Manager, Alma Brown (494-8554 or

I hope to see many of you on Tuesday. Together, I know we can show Google that high-speed broadband Plays in Peoria.


Jim Ardis

Mayor, City of Peoria

Jenny Zinkel
Director of Strategic Communications
Peoria County Government
(309) 672-6918

Federal Workers Gained Income Under George W. Bush

In a report issued in Sept., 2009, from the U. S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the average compensation (salary and benefits) was 66% higher than the same averages in the private sector. The average federal government employee earns $119,982 per year in compensation and benefits while the average private sector employee earns $59, 909 in compensation and benefits.

To cover the additional pay and benefits of federal employees, $100,000,000,000.00 a year is taken from the private sector in income taxes. Federal employees make up only 2 million of the 20 million employed in the public sector.

More than 90% of the public sector workers have defined benefit pension plans in addition to Social Security. The majority of these employment plans allow public sector workers to retire 10-25 years earlier than is permitted by Social Security. They also provide much higher monthly benefits,

Most public sector workers are provided with free or heavily subsidized health insurance (Peoria County pays $3 to every $1 paid by employees) plus subsidizing health insurance during the term of their early retirement.

Naturally, the great migration of people has been to Washington, D.C., where the feds keep hiring. According to American Van Lines in its annual 2009 report, the biggest loser of people was Michigan followed closely by Illinois (surprise?) and N. Jersey while New York and California have more departures than arrivals.

The bigger the government (and the feds) grows, the longer the recession. U.S. history does not support the theory that BIG GOVERNMENT means shorter recessions. If one believes this recession is about over, re-read your tea leaves or stop listening to politicians up for re-election. Ask how much tax-paying private building construction has been or is going on in Peoria County. No, the museum, the libraries, the sewers, the new ball fields proposed by City Councilman Bill Spears, who is about 6 years behind the first promise the the Peoria Park District made to construct them, , read my blogs, BelWood Nursing Home, ETC., are all tax-COLLECTING entities providing short term union jobs leaving the rest of us on limited incomes or unemployed to pay for the enhancements our leaders say we CAN'T EXIST WITHOUT.

For lifetime educators like Morton Mayor Norm Durflinger, now acting or interim Superintendent of #150, and lifetime public employees like most County Administrators to say that government can't be run like a successful business is correct from their point of view. They never ran a successful business. Didn't I just read that the City of Morton, of all places, is running a financial shortfall? Mortonites, look for more taxes and fees, (think garbage fees) that's one arena where government far excels the private sector.

Morton might also be worrying about the future of the Morton Caterpillar based Distribution Center. Just an educated guess on my part.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Risng Differences of Opinions and Facts

Peoria County Administrator, nine year veteran Patrick Urich, is quoted in today's JS, Terry Bibo's column,"the county has been rigorous about making sure the money is there for both the museum and the new BelWood." Bibo says "he pretty much has to say that, but he is no fiscal Pollyanna. That full list of "priorities" is daunting." Urich continues, "Are we a community growing enough to support it? That's where the census comes in." (Last estimated cost to the taxpayer for the census is, $60,000,000,000.00)

Urich continues "the most important thing to look at in this list of priorities is the amount of private investment. Peoria looks relatively good, with the potential to go further."

I'm probably looking at different balance sheet than the one our County Administrator is looking at. (But then, I had to meet a payroll for 28 years without the benefit of collecting taxes, I paid them.) Making sure the money is there for both the museum and the nursing home? The cost of new nursing home will be from $51 million to a recent statement from Administrator Urich "in the low $40 millions".

According to Mr. Urich, we have approximately property tax collected $4-5 million on hand. The rest will need to be borrowed. The nursing home, which collects $3 million plus and rising in property taxes yearly will have a long term cost of approximately $80 million.

As for the museum? It's been so long in trying to raise money from the private sector, that the $77 million museum (even without all the missing pieces, ask me) and garage, when built, that the public has forgotten it will be funded with 70% tax-payer dollars and is projected to lose $500,000 a year, has a tiny endowment, some of the endowment money it is alleged was lost in bad investments, and turned to the county for financial help as a last resort. Asking first for $24 million, then $34.7 million and now $40 million, all from sales tax dollars.

In May 2009, county administration was asking the board for $190,000 in funding for new signage, probably because so many of the public were asking how to find the 2nd floor. By a 9-8 vote, the new signs were voted down.

In March, 2010,for the last 7 out of 8 years, (I was successful in stopping it for one year) we are having the same well-paid consultant, a man Mr. Urich met when he worked for Lake County, come to Wildlife Prairie Park to enjoy food and spend 8 hours helping us sort out our priorities. Most board members attend the meeting full time, some half days and some not at all.

With a down economy in 2002, the County froze all but emergency out of state travel for that year. No such ban since then. In 2009, we sent three board members and Mr. Urich to D.C., including one first term member. (In my nine+ years on the board, I and one other board member plus Mr. Urich, went to D.C., my only tax-payer paid trip out of state).

Both the City, County and #150 loves consultants. The City had a respected consulting firm come to Peoria to forecast results of a larger 100,000+ sq. ft. of museum. Then mayor Ransburg did not like the results because the consultants said the museum would not draw a lot of new visitors with open pocket books and said most residents in the Peoria area would be more likely to go to a sporting event than visit a museum. That respected firms report was relegated to the scrap heap.

Not too long ago, we had a highly respected consultant come to town to tell us we had more than adequate highway access. Something quickly dis-regarded by the Journal Star, all politicians and the M & S's.

Well, I'm getting tired of calling attention to what I call "Wake up, Peoria". I fear it is too late. I'm always optimistic that I could be wrong but I read a lot of history. But I do commend all the effort expended. I do project that some in the community are "waking up too late" to see how much these efforts are going to cost in the future. Many of those that have already awoke are going or are on their way out of this soon to be more heavily taxed areas. But, admittedly, those areas to relocate are harder to find these days. We live in a tax and spend society but with less and less money to spend, we owe foreigners too much interest on their loans to us, we may, don't count on it, be forced to spend much less in the public sectors.

$3,000,000,000.00 Not For Underwear"

"Everybody's got a priority list", Terry Bibo, JS columnist writes in today's JS. And the $3 billion she lists doesn't include the $97 million for #150 schools, $100+ million for stormwater controls, $28+ million for new libraries under construction, and $40+ million for a new BelWood Nursing Home. $3 billion is for major expenditures with millions of "wish list priority" projects for the City/County, Park District, Peoria Riverfront Museum, streets and sidewalks and trails to name a few. Not to be overlooked are and growing and under-funded future pension costs.

Overlooked is the millions or billions needed for Illinois River cleanup, dredging, new locks and dams and carp control. Oh, I forgot. That money will come from the Federal Government which all believe is over-spending by far.


Much of this money is being spent in the non-tax paying public sector. Peoria has only two two major industrial firms: Caterpillar with an apparent need to expand elsewhere (keep an eye on the Morton distribution plant as the new plant in Ohio nears completion) and Keystone whose stock trades in the $4 range.

The JSEB header today reads, "A Peoria that works against itself won't see the return of the middle class" is interesting only from the standpoint that what they write is redundant. The middle class will eventually disappear in future years leaving only the somewhat poor and the basically uneducated poor along with a rising upper income class. An upper class that will be able to afford the rising taxes to support the billions in "priority spending" sending their kids to elite schools while those with less money and less scholarships, go to tax supported Community Colleges and State schools.

With many of the upper income folks owning a 2nd home in Florida which they declare as their permanent residence escaping the State of Illinois excessive income tax means less money to help pay the over $5 billion in unpaid bills owed by the state to it's citizens such as the $1,500,000.00 owed to McDonough Hospital in Macomb, just a "tiny" part of the $5 billion past due bills owed to it's citizenry.

PBC's Blank Check to Peoria Public School District #150

Quoting Jim Thornton, executive secretary for the Public Building Commission, "This is not a blank check for the school district. The commission has been a steward of the taxpayers. This commission has worked hard to provide funding for the school district (#150) without a BIG impact on the taxpayers, and the whole end product is the schools--the new schools allow for the advancement in education."

Thornton was speaking about the $97 million (so far) that is being spent and funded by tax-supported bonds. Actually borrowing over $90 million means the actual cost to be borne largely by property owners will total over $150 million.

Will new schools bring the level of student learning up to or above standards set for the state and will property tax payers in the district see "advancement in education"?

Good question especially for the younger people who plan to retire in Peoria and the retirees already here.

Everybody likes "new". Unfortunately, it will be mainly the property owners who will pay for the "new". If these schools will soon allow space in the County Jail and Juvenile Center to be closed, the welfare kitchens eventually be closed except for the very unfortunate, teachers and principals working for less money now that they have beautiful buildings with lots of windows, I could possibly see a return in the investment.

Unfortunately, I won't be around to bear witness.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ballooning Federal Foreign Debt

Lech Walesa is worrying about American declining influence. I quote him, "The world has no leadership. The U.S. was the last resort and hope for all the nations. Today, we have lost that hope." And less hope today if you listened to President Obama make another of his rambling speeches filled with dozens of promises of CHANGE while blaming it all on the "folks across the aisle" while the stock market dropped as he spole. (I believe he sounds more and more like those "leaders" from Venezuela and Cuba)

One reason for former president of Poland, Lech Walesa worry? As a starter, China holds approximately $755 billion in U.S. Treasurys-one fifth of the total held by foreign nations. China is now the largest creditor nation to the U.S.
"Just imagine if China buys less of the Treasury bonds or stops buying Treasury bonds for a couple of months," says noted Victor Gao, a former top official in the Chinese ministry, In fact, they may have already begun to do so.

To lose confidence in U.S. capital markets is to lose faith in democratic capitalism. We are the nation most trusted around the world to champion free markets and free people standing up for the principle and coming to the aid of beleaguered allies is part of the American creed.

To remain a global leader, we must ensure our own financial; viability going forward. The volatility that continue to plague our markets reflect an existential sense of insecurity arising from the nation's precarious fiscal outlook. We simply have too man bills and not enough growth (what growth?), to generate needed revenues.

Unless we radically cut entitlement and non-priority type spending, take dramatic steps to increase growth, and quit monetizing budget shortfalls as if they didn't matter and start paying back the federal debt; 46% owed to foreign countries, we will not be able to overcome the timidity that comes from being reliant on the kindness of others. (Obama feels his meeting with the Dalai Lama is a step in the right direction but most likely not) and the weapon sale to Taiwan, would Obama really come to the aid of Taiwan if China decided to take it back to the homeland? How and with what resources? Money borrowed from China?

Most of the Tea Party people have it right. I believe they believe that democracy relies on the wisdom of its citizens to select representatives who share their values and aspirations. I believe the voter is losing the wisdom to select the right voter partially because those who lead the political parties put up the ones who they think can get elected, not the ones who would do the best job.

And no, I like Sarah but would not support her for the position of President of the United States of America, unless, of course, she was running against our current president, vice president or an of his cabinet.

Some of this material used in this blog comes from Judy Shelton, a senior fellow at the Atlas Economic Research Foundation.

Geert Wilders Trial

Netherlands Parliamentarian Greet Wilder is on trial for spreading hatred toward Muslims. This trial is a unjust farce. In my reading of his works, he is attempting to show how the spread of radical Islam beliefs and Muslim attempts to force all to exist under Sharia law, has more truth than politically correct Dutch officials dare to admit.

I do not agree with his request to ban the Koran in the Netherlands but I do agree the Koran teaches far more hatred and violence than the Bible.

Radical people in many places in the world, including the United States of America, can verbally and in writing, issue Fatah's, chant "kill all the Jews" or "wipe Israel off the face of the earth", and "kill the infidel"; what appears to be the majority of us, just go on about our business as though the world will return to the same as it was before 9/11. Yes, I know the 9/11 killers were radical extremists from the Arab world, some educated here in the U.S.

The majority of the people that live in this country do not pay much attention to what is going on worldwide. I think ex-President George Bush and his supporters realized what is happening. There approach to the situation was wrong. I believe that President Obama is aware of what is happening but his stance does not indicate a great deal of concern. He was forced by public opinion to take certain actions. The people greatly concerned about this countries future are showing a great deal of concern but not as much as Greet Wilders.

I await a common sense decision in his trial and he is permitted to continue to voice his facts and opinions.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Humble Opinions by DeWayne Bartels - Peoria Times-Observer

The column titled "In my Humble Opinion Mayer has Something to Learn" is, in my "humble opinion, a must read.

DeWayne description of Allen Mayer, a Democrat on the Peoria County Board, hit the nail on the head. Mayer thinks he is a "constitutional scholar". He is now part of the "12' Democrats who make it increasingly known that they run the county board along with Democrat County Administrator Patrick Urich as they (some Republicans do so at times like to spend OPM on non-essentials) take actions that continue to force people to join public unions and drive businesses out of Peoria County.

My first 7 1/2 years on this board were reasonably enjoyable. Our County administrator reported to the County Board Chairman and the Board. Things appear to have changed. Only two Committe Chairman are Republicans and the Executive Committe is made up of all Democrat but these two. Who is in power has been made known.

DeWayne, in my humble opinion, your description fits perfectly with what a fellow board member Democrat once called him "that little ..... period.

Taxpayers had better start attending County Board meeting seeing where we are and/ are in the process of building debt and spending as if there were no recession.

When is Governor Quinn Coming Back to Peoria With More Goodies Funded by the Taxpayers?

The governor was scheduled to be in Peoria the last week in March to take credit for the $5 million of taxpayers money to fund a larger taxpayer funded museum that is destined to be another "white elephant" on the Riverfront. Koehler and Leitch had ALREADY taken credit for this bringing back $5 million out of the $10 million they already helped take from taxpayers. $.50 cents out of every dollar taken in taxes ever makes it's way back to the taxpayer and often in the form of "boondoogles" that cannot support themselves later on) One more "white elephant" much larger and a longer lasting drain on over-taxed area taxpayers. I believe Quinn realized his timing may have been off and cancelled the trip.

But he will be back to take credit due him or not. Maybe he will bring Leitch and Koehler along.

Now today, I read in the JS that Cigna, the company that administers the Quality Health Care program for state employees, owes McDonough Hospital in Macomb, $1.6 million.

Why? Because the state of Illinois owes the money to Cigna and can't pay it.

Hey, you master planners and the "best and the brightest, keep funding with taxpayer dollars everything YOU think is best for the "rest of us" and all this talk about bankruptcy WILL come true. Or you will raise fees and tax us to the grave.

My apologies to all the "well to do" in this community. You can afford it so why don't you just pay for it instead of dumping it back on the taxpayers as you are doing with this museum I plan to visit once, same as most others in the community.

Unfortunately, some of this is going to come true on "my beat". But p;ease read the minutes, hear the facts I am presenting and see how I voted. I'll apologize I made a couple of wrong votes under duress. No more till the end of my term.

Our Peoria Area Free Spending Politicians Led by Senator Koehler

Sent to me by a friend. Read today's JS article on Aaron Schock attendance in East Peoria to announce the awarding of $410,000 stimulus dollars to "update police camera systems and portable radios" after Schock had voted against the ridiculous stimulus plan. Schock was quoted as saying "Democrat over-spending" does not preclude him from advocating for his district.

Frankly, I care ot for Rachel Maddow or the other guy, Olbermann, I believe. I can visualize them as being on the propaganda team of the losing side in Europe 75 years ago.

Have you seen the list of stimulus funded projects Schock is advocating for? Rather interesting.

See why Illinois is headed for bankruptcy in the very near future: click on the link below to see the report on ridiculous spending in the state. We are so going to be buried in taxes....

----- Original Message -----
From: Citizens Against Government Waste
Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 12:08 PM
Subject: 2010 Illinois Piglet Book Unveiled!


Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) and the Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) released the 2010 Illinois Piglet Book on February 9 at press conferences in Chicago and Springfield.

The Piglet Book has generated media coverage across the state, including television news broadcasts on FOX 32 in Chicago and ABC 15 in Champaign and articles in the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Decatur Herald & Review, and Peoria Journal Star, to name just a few.

From $353,000 spent on auto racing to $78,066 to promote quail to $6,500 to pay for a tub of live bass, the 2010 Illinois Piglet Book details more than $350 million in state government waste - enough to make any Illinois taxpayer cringe!

If you haven't already, CAGW urges you to contribute to the 2010 Illinois Piglet Book Fund, which makes it possible for us to publish and distribute this powerful guide to trimming the fat from your state budget - and to fight for its recommendations.

Read the 2010 Illinois Piglet Book online.

Citizens Against Government Waste is the nation's largest taxpayer watchdog group with more than one million members and supporters nationwide. It is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. Contributions to CAGW are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. For more information about CAGW, visit our website at To help CAGW publicize and distribute the 2010 Illinois Piglet Book as widely as possible and fight for its recommendations, make a tax-deductible contribution today.

Help spread the word about the 2010 Illinois Piglet Book by forwarding this message to your friends and neighbors.

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A Mirror to How I feel About Illegal Immigrants

Forwarded to me by a friend.

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 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!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Afraid of Hard Work?

Here is what our founding fathers said: Frequent traveler John Adams in a letter to his wife Abigal, "The education of our children is never out of my mind..Fire them to be useful and make them disdain to be destitute of any useful or ornamental knowledge or accomplishment. Fix their ambitions upon great and solid objects."

The Founding Fathers were not inclined, as today's parents are, to lavish their students with praise. "Good job" was not in their vocabulary. Nor did they leave it up to their children to "make good choices". Instead, they moralized endlessly on the perils of indolence, time-wasting and thriftlessness. Jefferson reproved his daughter Nancy, "If at any moment , my dear, you catch yourself in idleness, start from it as you would a precipice of a gulph. Be assured that it gives you much more pain to the mind to be in debt, than to do without any article which we may seem to want."

The Founding Fathers would be twisting in their graves if they could see how we are producing a greater Welfare State than the one created by Lyndon Johnson. We are creating a nation of wimps (See my blog "Safe Fat Kids With Wimp Supervision". And certainly not just overweight kids. Also, "Opinion" in the Times-Observer on 8/20/08, "Employers want people with a healthy work ethic. Employers complain they see young people coming to them totally unprepared for the world of work."

Too many young people are growing up without the slightest perception of what the term "hard work" means unless of course they are learning from watching MTV.

Sorry, the "wrong" skills that may require "hard work" are being taught on that TV Station. Maybe they are learning more by text messaging at all hours of the night. So now these "so chic" kids are also worn out by lack of sleep or both.

So sad.

Another article written by Leo M. Murray of Belvidere, NJ who writes about times in 1933-36 and beyond, that "families in my working-class neighborhood reduced their trips to local merchants and started buying only the absolute necessary necessities". Those working-class workers would have taken ANY job, not today's products of computer games, text-messaging, welfare families and schools whose teachers mistakenly or are forced to "teach for the test".

On 1/20/10, J. Kenneth Blackwell, a senior fellow at the Family Research Council in D.C., wrote in the WSJ "No Role Model", "I fully support what Barack Obama's election means to my fellow Americans of African descent, I totally dissent from his policies. The Obama administration is presently working to undo welfare reform-the most important bipartisan achievement of the past 20 years. That reform stressed marriage and WORK over single parenthood and dependency.

It is not only black people who often shun hard work, it is also a large culture of white people who seek government largees, welfare and entitlements.

Some in Peoria, think all kids should go to college. I disagree, especially right after many of them have been partly "socially promoted" (75% of the kids going to "college" at ICC through Peoria Promise need to take remedial reading) but I do agree that the "college" experience is often a waste of parental and taxpayer dollars and are similar to our prisons where "inmates" come out more unprepared to be a society contributor than when they entered. Most parents have no idea what some of their kids are doing in either place. And the "elite" in Peoria, of which there appear to be many, do not wants kids and especially their kids to take Vocational training when their friends at the "clubs" brag that THEIR kids are graduating with a law or business degree.

Unfortunately for a lot of people, they are now forced to learn how to work and now perhaps harder work than they have previously done.

Some wonder why so many of the Tea Party types are upset with the way the country in descending into welfare Socialism. Perhaps, even worse if the public new all the subtle changes this administration is making or trying to make. Some Democrats are also seeing that the "change" promised may not get them re-elected.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Phil Luciano's JS Column

On 2/10/2010, Phil wrote in the Journal Star, "Are some jobless just afraid of hard work?" Phil asks a question I could have answered years ago. Why do you think we have some many illegal immigrants seeking and often find hard work in the U.S.?

Hard work seldom killed anyone. All original 11 Widmers worked hard and only 2 died before age 85. Six made it into the 90's. Four are still living.

Concerned people should visit school classrooms or notice the rundown conditions of houses with front porches where many young men often congregate during working hours? When kids don't learn to work at home, in the summers or in school, why would you expect them to work when they drop out or are socially promoted through the school system? Does one really believe that ALL incarcerated people; those in court, juvenile detention, county jails and prisons are there because there was no learning opportunity or no jobs available? Our public schools are free and most teachers are good teachers in any school in any location.

A major problem still remains. Those many "leaders" still preaching "victimization" and who are trying to put themselves in positions to profit by convincing other there is no opportunity for jobs.

To get a job, one usually has to seek a job. But that in itself is hard work so if one never learned to work, why would they seek work? Or enough know how to seek? And who, except a welfare agency, (also think ACORN) a patronage provider and some unions would hire someone who doesn't know how to work, to be dependable, accept responsibility and be honest?

I stop[ed donating to one prominent welfare agency when I noted weeds growing up around the grounds. The agency said they had no money to hire someone. I said why not use the people coming in for free meals, etc.? I was told they couldn't ask the clientele because of the possibility of Workmen's Compensation claims. Is this a great country or not?

No entry level job need be a dead end. I did good work as a waiter, a job I sought. That was observed by some eating at the restaurant and soon I was hired into better paying jobs. With the help of the G.I. Bill and these extra jobs, I was able to put myself through college, into a teaching job that led to a business career, 28 years of which I was the owner. I've been retired 18 years and still know how to put in a "hard days work".

The G.I. Bill is a whole lot better today but the services are looking for people who will work hard. And the possibility of death or injury is less per capita of any war since the 1940's. And even with the risk of death or service related injuries, service to the nation should be far more desirable then incarceration. But maybe welfare is better, depends on ones ambition or lack of.

I was in business of hiring people for almost 36 years. For every person I sought to work hard at a profit producing job, about three were not even hireable. I believe it may be worse today because people are even less flexible about continuing to educate themselves for changing horizons.

Phil, one other businessman in Peoria said it was tough to find good people who wanted to work and got himself "cremated" by the press and Ray LaHood. We live in an era of new hires being told not too work to hard and show "your buddies up", especially in the some sectors. And now we have an administration in D.C. promising a "goose that lays golden eggs for some people"; a goose who is not in the pot but doing the cooking and employers looking for hard-working people, are the ones "in the pot".

Again, Phil, I can say these things but you may still have to hold a job and be "politically correct" most of the time.

I don't.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Public-Union Ascendancy

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported recently that 51.4 of America's 15.4 million union member, or about 7.91 million workers, were employed by government in 2009. As recently as 20 years ago, there were twice as many private as public union members.

Overall union workers keeps declining, with the loss of 771,000 union jobs last year. Only one in eight workers now belong to a union, with private union employment hitting a record low of 7.2% of all jobs. Only 1 in 13 U.S. workers in the private economy pays union dues. In government, by contrast, the union employees share rose to 37.4% from 36.8% the previous year.

In private industries, union workers are subject to vagaries of the marketplace and economic growth. Thus in 2009 10.% of private union jobs were eliminated, which was more than twice the 4.4% rate of overall private job loses. On the other hand, government unions offer what is close to lifetime job security and benefits, subject only to gross negligence of duty. (and sometimes, not even then)

Once a city, county or state's workers are organized by a union, the jobs almost never go away. (Of course not. That is the major reason bureaucracies keep growing)
This means government is the main playing field of modern-unionism, which explains why the AFL-CIO AND SEIU, AFSCME have become advocates for higher taxes and government expansion in states like Illinois.

After Governor Quinn announced the potential layoff of 2600 employees, the AFSCME won an agreement to prohibit any state facility closures or mass layoff. The union says these layoffs and forced furloughs would harm the state's prospects for economic recovery and avoids putting state union workers in long lines seeking employment.

Oh, Heaven forbid that public union workers would have to stand in the same line as laid off or fired private union workers. Plus alongside of non-union laid-off or fired workers.

Obama came to office vowing to cut expenditures and reduce government. Instead, he has done just the opposite. In fiscal 2010, the Administration expects to add another 170,000 workers. The 2.148 million federal employees, not counting the Postal Service, will be the largest number of federal employees since 1992.

The real boom is in federal agencies, (not the military which has shrunk from 973,000 in 1992 to 720,000 this year) - to 1.428 million in 2010 from 1/09 million in 2009.

Presumably these tens of thousands of new workers will be needed to hand out stimulus grants, or monitor new programs or investigate private businesses (a 10% increase in SEC staff) and war crimes? supposedly committed by our security forces.

All this before health care, census workers, and cap and trade, etc.

Other reasons why union jobs and benefits keep growing have been laid out in previous blogs.

As I've said before, mommas don't let your babies grow up to work in the the private sector, unless, of course, it's the consulting business, but have them head for city, county state and federal government jobs.

That's where all the new jobs and security are to be found.

However,you might want to look more carefully at the fiscal woes of Illinois, California, New Jersey, New York and Michigan first.

Illinois Government State Pensions

A 2009 report by The National Taxpayers United of Illinois (NTUI) reports that 3,195 former Illinois government employees receive pensions of over $100,000 a year.

Surprising? No, not to me. In a Reuters New Release dated 12/8/09, "Moody's downgrades Illinois debt rating" general obligation bond rating from an A1 to an A2. Moody's also cut other Illinois ratings, affecting about $24 billion of outstanding debt, including the state's Build A Block, OPPS, Build Illinois sales tax revenue bonds, also cut from A1 to A 2.

Is it surprising that Illinois ranks in the top four of states LOSING population, maybe not, if you count the illegal tax COLLECTING people. With ACORN doing some of the counting in the big cities like Chicago, perhaps census figures will be reported higher than they actually are.

I note home sales are down 12 1/2% largely because people who would ;like to sell, have taken their homes off the market and people who are still trying to sell, can't.

No, I'm not drinking the K-A. Many discouraged people in the area are drinking stronger stuff than that.

Senator Dave Koehler - Big Spender of Taxpayer $

Democrat Dave Koehler was declared an enemy of taxpayers in a report released by the National Taxpayers United of Illinois established in 1976. For the period January 2007 - January 2009, members of the Illinois House and Illinois Senate were scored 0-100 as to how many times that they voted against tax hikes and against tax cuts.

Koehler, from Peoria, was the worst in voting scoring a 15%.
Republican Representative David Leitch was 2nd worst in scoring a 38 tied with Don Moffit of Galesburg. Leitch rails at the big spenders down in Springfield when addressing Republicans.
Republican Senator Dale Risinger was close with a 46% tied with Mike Smith of Canton

Best local friends of the taxpayer were Republicans Keith Sommers of Tazewell County with a 69% and Aaron Schock with a 62%. Best friends in the Senate were Senators Gary Dahl of Peru and John Jones of Mt. Vernon.

The average score in the House was 34% and in the Senate, 27%. The average score by party was House Democrats 22% and 13% in the Senate Democrats. (Surprised??) The majority of the taxpayer enemies were from Chicago or the Chicago area. Surprised, again???

The average score for House Republicans was 49% in the House and 50% in the Senate.

Still, there are not nearly enough friends of the taxpayers in Springfield. Thus, I'm hopeful the Tea Party people will do more than hold rallies. Holding rallies is helpful but NOT the solution. The solution is to get the more conservative, common sense types to run for office and then the big problem of funding them so they can get their stories out to the voters, 18% in the last local election.

So sad.

All significant tax increases or tax cuts and spending bills were included in the survey. Complete results can be found at the NTUI web-site

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Pfizer Phonies

"Pfizer Policy Benefits Shareholders and the Public", says Greg Simon, a Senior V.P, with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, Inc. and a former Al Gore storyteller. Simon's article can be read in full in the comment section of today's WSJ.

Let's review Pfizer's shareholder record. Ten years ago, February, 2000, Pfizer stock was trading at $48 a share. Without any stock split, this stock is today trading at $17.88. A few years ago, as Pfizer ran shareholder values nearly straight downward, Hank Kimmel, CEO and as smooth a liar as I ever heard talk, was given a golden parachute of $177 million on retirement that totals well over $250 million today including benefits which the stockholders still pay.

Plus Pfizer dividends are mediocre.

A few years ago, Pfizer also used "eminent domain" to drive citizens from their homes to build a new Pfizer plant, their pockets also lined with substantial other local government incentives. Now they are or have closed that plant. The story is available on the Internet.

I understand the public anger at the "big" businesses like the bailed out banks, etc. Pfizer has always been a leader in performance bonuses for the "brightest and the best". After all, they did bring us Viagra which I'm sure still delights many a harassed working mother today. Of course, they brought us many drugs that were beneficial but to claim they work for "the best interests of our shareholders" is quite a stretch from the truth.

And speaking of Tort Big Business, who can forget Countrywide Financial CFO Angelo Mozilla and his coziness with people like their man in D.C., Chris Dodd. Mozilla received nearly $250 million of compensation between 1998 and 2007 and $406 million for sales of Countrywide stock while the company was going broke.

He was bright all right, and one of the "best" at his trade of "taking the stock holders for a ride".

Michelle Malkin - Culture of Corruption

Conservative Republican Malin has come out with a New York Times #1 Best Seller, in "Culture of Corruption". Ms. Malkin tells in 250 pages of mainly Democrat corruption, the grievous part is that most of these individuals and organizations such as ACORN and it's many affiliates are still part of the Obama Trust. Most of the Republicans are gone.

Summing up this book, Ms. Malkin writes "Washington is broken," Obama lamented on the campaign trail. Yet, under now President Obama, the business of Washington is booming. The collapse of his Era of HopeNChangeyness demonstrates the first and last law of politics physics: As government grows, corruption flows. Massive new federal spending plus tens of thousands of pages of new regulation plus unprecedented new powers over taxpayers and the economy=limitless new opportunities for sleaze, favor-trading, deal cutting, and influence peddling. The president's blind faithful still cling to the belief that he can work miracles. But no one, not even Barack Obama can drain a swamp by flooding it.

A must read. This new York Times #1 seller, strangely, is not stocked by the Peoria Public Library System but can be ordered.

Laborers' Union Letter to County Board Members Regarding the Asphalt Material Paving Ordinance

I received a letter dated 2/1/10, from this union's business manager stating, "I am disheartened at the attempt of the opposition to create a diversion from the intent of this ordinance, which is consumer protection." "The ordinance has no bearing on job loss. Any contractor has the opportunity to sign a collective bargaining agreement with the Laborers. Experienced and qualified craftsman are always being sought after and are welcome into the Laborers."

I support most unions where the workers WANT to join the union and make their desires know by SECRET ballot. I oppose this "free" Employees Free Choice Act (EFCA)which is OPEN balloting so union members can see who voted yes or no. Only a fool cannot see the consequences the "no" voters would reap. Fortunately, a number of Democrats up for re-election see the folly of this Obama proposal he is still trying to push through.

There is a mistaken belief that card carrying workers do the best job. A union plumber broke part of what he was supposed to fix and never came back to repair it. A union paver did my driveway that started to disintegrate in less than a year. When I threatened to sue him if he didn't redo it, he said I would force him into bankruptcy so I settled for reimbursement of one fifth of what I paid for the job.


Monday, February 08, 2010

Peoria County Board Members Were Elected to Ask Questions

Or should have all our representatives in D.C. just voted "yes" on the 2100 page non-read health care bill as it came "out of committee"??

As most people know, those serving on the Peoria County Board are elected as Democrats or Republicans (the City Council is not). When I was first elected as a Republican Board Member in 2000, the majority of the board was and still is, Democrats, usually 12 Democrats and 6 Republicans as it is now. As a result, our chairman is almost automatically, a Democrat. For 2 terms, I was elected by my peers to the position of Vice-Chairman of the County Board; one term with Dave Williams and the other with Bill Prather. In 2008, I asked for for no office as I had announced my pending retirement effective at the end of 2010. Therefore, I am not a member of the Executive Committee. Here is how the system works.

The County has a Standing Committee form of government. The County Board Chairman appoints the Chairs of these 8 Committees, appointed or re-appointed every two years. This election term, 2 Republicans and 6 Democrats were appointed Standing Committee Chairs. These 8 chairs plus the Board Chairman and Vice-Chairman make up the 10 member Executive Committee. This committee meets in open session once a month. Since the overall board consists of 18 members, 8 members, those not appointed as chairs or elected V-C, usually do not attend the Executive Committee Meetings.

When the full board meets once each month (except for special meetings) on the 2nd Thursday of the month, resolutions determined by the Standing Committees and reviewed in Executive Committee make up the major Agenda for once a month full board meetings.

Since Standing Committees are usually composed of 5 board member holding monthly meeting of an hour or more, 8-10 hours of discussion, and Full County Board Meetings once a month for periods seldom exceeding 2 hours, much discussion takes place that approximately half of the full board never hears. While questions may be asked during the full board agenda, most board members believe that if an item was approved in committee, the committee recommendations should be approved by the full board. And most are approved after a brief explanation by the Standing Committee Chair. Full board meeting agendas always have Unfinished Business and Miscellaneous allowing further information or input from board members.

Being described by several on the County Board as a person who "does his homework" I often have facts, opinions and questions that I strongly believe should be brought forward. Unless I attended every Standing Committee meeting and every Executive Committee meeting, I, and others, would sometimes not have enough information to make a decisive vote that would be in the best interests of the citizenry we represent. Elected officials should take actions that they deem are in the best interest of ALL citizens in the county.

Since board members sit through countless hours of testimony, do considerable homework, (some, more than others), read the emails, letters and listen to phone calls they receive, try to understand the financial aspects of all decisions, etc.,the board should have more information that the great majority of the citizenry.

The board is elected to make decisions based on the facts presented to them, whether they listen or read or not, and must carefully analyze the pressures of special interest groups such as unions, lobbyists and other special interest groups, etc., before casting a single vote. If board members need more information, as States Attorney Keven Lyons testified last week before the "the Committee as a Whole, (subject Peoria Riverfront Museum), those questions should be asked now, not after votes are counted.

In JS Reporter "Word on the street" article Monday, Ms. McDonald wrote, "Nonetheless, the questions, WHICH SHOULD BE ASKED IN COMMITTEE, UNNECESSARILY prolong meetings to the chagrin of other board members," is a statement in printed in error. It is not possible to ask questions in committees you are not required to attend or are absent from for one reason or another. (I note more absentees of board members in the last 14 months than at any other period of my community service). While minutes of the meetings are kept, only a summary comes to board members.

Unless one goes in and asks for a copy of the tape. Then you hear all "comments" like "let's push this museum deal through without further discussion and allow no comments from the audience". Strange that politician Dave Koehler, (more on Dave later) was allowed to make an impassioned speech about why this boondoggle, opps, now called REGIONAL AGAIN museum should be built.

At the end of December, MS. McDonald reported a shortage of over $7 million remained, a low estimate as out of the $13+ million donated in cash, only $1+ million remains and uncollected pledges remain around $11 million.

And the endowment usually funded by philanthropists, has $1 million plus on hand and the balance of $6, $7 or $13 million required, depending on whose figures one uses, is being sought from, guess who, NMTC, these credits from the government eventually must be paid by taxpayers somewhere in the U.S.A.

Don't ask questions? Sure that is why the country is in the mess its in. People like myself do ask questions, without us, a dictatorship looms in the not too distant future. We have already taken large steps in that direction.

Read all the news. Will Caterpillar "pull the plug" Friday as they threatened? Or are they beginning to ask questions as to why a project discussed for 11 or more years and kicked off in 2002 has still only $1+ million cash in the bank and isn't the JSEB question asked on 6/11/99, "Fundraising will gauge interest in the museum" come true?

Illinois Moves Toward Police State

So much for February shut down....Please make these calls today....another freedom being jeopardized!

"Tens of thousands of pages of new regulations plus unprecedented power over taxpayers" part of a quote from black renowned Conservative Michelle Malkin in her latest New York Times #1 bestseller book "Culture of Corruption".

Another effort by Daley and his ilk to impose an Orwellian Police State on the law-abiding citizenry of Illinois.

Please speak out loudly.


Late last week, Daley sympathizers in the Illinois House passed HB180 out of the Rules Committee and on to the floor of the House. A vote on HB 180 is expected as early as this coming Tuesday.

Should you be worried about HB 180? ABSOLUTELY!

HB 180 would include the following:

1. Require all Illinois gun shops to secure a license to operate issued by the Illinois State Police. Under this bill, the State Police may issue a license to a gun shop and would establish all rules and regulations required to keep the license. You know what that means either nobody would be granted a license, or those who did get licenses would be so burdened by regulations that they could not make a profit.
BOTTOM LINE: HB 180 would shut down all gun shops in Illinois.

2. HB 180 requires that all your gun purchases be registered with the state police.
BOTTOM LINE: HB 180 is a licensing/registration scheme designed to keep track of how many guns you own so they may be easily confiscated at a later date.

3. HB 180 allows any police officer in the state go to any gun shop in the state to conduct so-called record reviews.
BOTTOM LINE: The Chicago CAGE Unit could, and would, inspect gun shops across the state doing these record reviews. Shop owners, no matter where they are located, would be forced to cooperate with the CAGE unit or lose their licenses. The true purpose of these visits is to cost gun shops time and money and ultimately cause them to go out of business.


1. Starting Monday morning, call your State Representative and politely tell him/her that you oppose HB 180 and that you would like to see him/her vote against the bill when it comes to the House Floor. If you do now know who your state representative is, go to the following web site and follow the directions for looking up your legislators: Illinois State Board of Elections. If you know who your State Representative is, you can look up the phone numbers of their Springfield and district offices here.

2. Pass this alert on to all your friends and family, ask them to make calls as well.

3. Please post this alert to any and all blogs and bulletin boards to which you may belong.

Thanks in advance for your help in this matter. The future of lawful gun ownership in Illinois depends on you!

Forward this email to another Illinois Gun Owner!

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Friday, February 05, 2010

Thoughts on Recent County Board Happenings

When enough bureaucratic prestige has been invested in a project, it is easier to see it fail, than to abandon it. Facts also do not cease to exist, just because they are ignored. I have no problem when workers control the unions. I have a problem when the union controls the worker. Samuel Gompers argued passionately that no one should be forced to join the union.

These are all quotes attributed to many others. I just thought they are appros to the museum and the Peoria County asphalt ordinance.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

County Board Open Executive Committee Meeting - Museum Topic

I listened today to the tape of last week's Peoria County Board Executive Committee meeting and heard Mike Phelan, Democrat County Board member, a former businesss owner and from a lifetime family of strong union supporters, telling the OPEN TO THE PUBLIC Executive Committee to disregard Merle Widmer and get on with building this museum. He said the public voted on it and the public wants this museum. (He could have added "the unions want these jobs".) He also said board members comments should be limited tommorrow afternoon and Board Chairman, Tom O'Neill said something about "putting a sleeping pill in his water". Sorry, Mike, but facts do not change and the "facts" presented by the PRM to the public before this referendum have been proven proven not "factual" including statements made that "$20 million is in the bank", an out right mis-statement, made by the Doug Stewart, a banker, and chairman of the committee who also said $14 million would be needed as an endowment, a very true statement, yet the PRM people have less than $2 million and are asking taxpayers to make up at least 70% of deficits.

The conditions presented by the PRM Committee have not been met plus pledges are still just "pledges".

The board will be asked to increase the amount voted to give the museum committee to $40 million instead of the $34.7 million the board voted on to help make up the shortage in the endowment.

My dealings over the years with bankers who ask you how much you have in the "bank" means CASH, not promises. As of 12/31/09, the PRM gave the county figures showing that they had on $1.8 million in "cash" partly because $11,516,757.00 had alread been spent. Not including what is in current accounts payable.

And now the PRM people are asking the taxpayers to make up the large shortages!! And a County Board majority willing to go along.

And 3 long years after this statement was made, the money "in the bank" should have INCREASED, not DECREASED especially after the JS reported the Museum Administrator said that "now that the referendum has passed, those who were waiting to contribute would step forward".

It is common knowledge that local unions need jobs; as one union boss told me, "we don't give a damn what is built, just build it". A poor excuse to support a badly flawed project.


Sobeit but my blogs tell the only truth and no one yet has refuted any of my facts and figures. Why not? They are all in print, some many times.

I suspect that the open meeting of the "Committee as a Whole" this Thursday at 3 PM will be packed with museum supporters. However Phelan also said, and O'Neill agreed that there would be no comments or questions from the audience.

To accept ownership of the building, the County Board will be asked to approve a minimum of three contracts totaling 120 pages drawn up by 5 groups of attorneys, all but one, at taxpayer cost, and containing such language "that a board member can be removed without cause", an advisory committee (all agreeing to the museum mission) of not more than 60, several layers of boards with the county owning the building forever.

Next week the county will risk more tax dollars than the previous 9 years I've been on the board. Caterpillar will build a $41 million, opps, now $37 million Visitors Center that will cost an estimated $2 million a year in operations, etc. This very valuable piece of land where the museum and underground parking lot will sit will be a tax-collecting body instead of businesses who would PAY taxes.

Plus Caterpillar could use these millions plus the millions they are donating to increase stockholder value.

With a $100 million new BelWood just over the horizon, $100 or more million because the County has only $4 million on hand so the balance will need to be borrowed and paid back with anticipated rising property taxes, I am very glad this is my last year on a board controlled by card carrying union members.

No Need to Check Scopes on This One

This mis-taken claim was meant to cause more fear in the world about global warming. (it takes only a little unbiased reading to know the earth has always gone through cooling and warming phases, just read geographic history)

A quote attributed to Demosthenes 2500 or so years ago reads, "Nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what every man wishes; that he also wishes to be true".

Fame can also be fleeting.


)Amazongate: new evidence of the IPCC's failures
The IPCC is beginning to melt as global tempers rise, says Christopher Booker
By Christopher Booker at the Daily Telegraph
Published: 7:12PM GMT 30 Jan 2010

The claim in an IPCC report that 40 per cent of the Amazon rainforest could disappear through global warming turned out to be unfounded Photo: LEE FOSTER/ALAMY
It is now six weeks since I launched an investigation, with my colleague Richard North, into the affairs of Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the hugely influential body which for 20 years has been the central driver of worldwide alarm about global warming. Since then the story has grown almost daily, leading to worldwide calls for Dr Pachauri's resignation. But increasingly this has also widened out to question the authority of the IPCC itself. Contrary to the tendentious claim that its reports represent a "consensus of the world's top 2,500 climate scientists" (most of its contributors are not climate experts at all), it has now emerged, for instance, that one of the more widely quoted scare stories from its 2007 report was drawn from the work of a British "green activist" who occasionally writes as a freelance for The Guardian and The Independent.

Last week I reported on "Glaciergate", the scandal which has forced the IPCC's top officials, led by Dr Pachauri, to disown a claim originating from an Indian glaciologist, Dr Syed Husnain, that the Himalayan glaciers could vanish by 2035. What has made this reckless claim in the IPCC's 2007 report even more embarrassing was the fact that Dr Husnain, as we revealed, was then employed by Dr Pachauri's own Delhi-based Energy and Resources Institute (Teri). His baseless scaremongering about the Himalayas helped to win Teri a share in two lucrative research contracts, one funded by the EU.

The source the IPCC cited as its "scientific" authority for this claim, however (as Dr North first reported on his EU Referendum blog), was a propagandist pamphlet published in 2005 by the WWF, the environmentalist pressure group, citing a magazine interview with Dr Husnain six years earlier.

Dr North next uncovered "Amazongate". The IPCC made a prominent claim in its 2007 report, again citing the WWF as its authority, that climate change could endanger "up to 40 per cent" of the Amazon rainforest – as iconic to warmists as those Himalayan glaciers and polar bears. This WWF report, it turned out, was co-authored by Andy Rowell, an anti-smoking and food safety campaigner who has worked for WWF and Greenpeace, and contributed pieces to Britain's two most committed environmentalist newspapers. Rowell and his co-author claimed their findings were based on an article in Nature. But the focus of that piece, it emerges, was not global warming at all but the effects of logging.

A Canadian analyst has identified more than 20 passages in the IPCC's report which cite similarly non-peer-reviewed WWF or Greenpeace reports as their authority, and other researchers have been uncovering a host of similarly dubious claims and attributions all through the report. These range from groundless allegations about the increased frequency of "extreme weather events" such as hurricanes, droughts and heatwaves, to a headline claim that global warming would put billions of people at the mercy of water shortages – when the study cited as its authority indicated exactly the opposite, that rising temperatures could increase the supply of water.

Little of this has come as a surprise to those who have studied the workings of the IPCC over the years. As I show in my book The Real Global Warming Disaster, there is no greater misconception about the IPCC than that it was intended to be an impartial body, weighing scientific evidence for and against global warming. It was set up in 1988 by a small group of scientists all firmly committed to the theory of "human-induced climate change", and its chief purpose ever since has been to promote that belief.

The blatant bias of each of its four reports has been pointed out by scientists – notably the rewriting of key passages in its 1995 report after the contributing scientists had approved the final text. This provoked a magisterial blast from Professor Frederick Seitz, a former president of the US National Academy of Sciences, who wrote that in all his 60 years as a scientist he had never seen "a more disturbing corruption" of the scientific process, and that if the IPCC was "incapable of following its most basic procedures", it was best it should be "abandoned".

The centrepiece of the IPCC's 2001 report was Michael Mann's notorious "hockey stick", the graph purporting to show temperatures in the late 20th century soaring at an unprecedented rate – later exposed as a statistical artefact. Another new book, The Hockey Stick Illusion by A W Montford, brilliantly tells the bizarre tale of how Mann's colleagues, calling themselves "the Hockey Team" and now at the heart of the IPCC, managed to resurrect the discredited graph for inclusion in its 2007 report. Montford's book, if inevitably technical, expertly recounts a remarkable scientific detective story. And of course, it was incriminating leaked emails between members of the Hockey Team that were at the centre of the recent "Climategate" scandal at the University of East Anglia.

Most disturbing of all are the glimpses the story gives of the inner workings of the IPCC, an institution now so discredited and scientifically corrupted that only those determined to shut their eyes could possibly defend it. This is now compounded by the recent revelations by Dr North and myself in these pages of how its chairman, Dr Pachauri, has built a worldwide network of business links which provide his Delhi institute with a sizeable income.

It is noticeable how many of those now calling for Dr Pachauri's resignation, led by Professor Andrew Weaver, a senior IPCC insider, are passionate global warming believers. Fearing that Pachauri damages their cause, they want him thrown overboard in the hope of saving the IPCC itself. But it is not just Pachauri who has been holed below the waterline. So has the entire IPCC process. And beyond that – and despite the pleading of Barack Obama, Gordon Brown and the BBC that none of this detracts from the evidence for man-made global warming – so has the warmist cause itself. Bereft of scientific or moral authority, the most expensive show the world has ever seen may soon be nearing its end.

LaHood Speaks - Stockholders Weep

When Transportation Secretary misspoke about owning certain Toyota Series and stop driving them, Toyota stock dropped as much as 7% causing a lot of grief to stockholders and drivers. LaHood corrected his mistake and admitted he mis-spoke but the damage had already been done. What he meant to say was that the driver should take their Toyota to a dealer.

Even that was incorrect as the corrective parts haven't arrived at most, if any, of the dealers.

People in high places should know all the facts before they speak or write letters. reminds of the recent Caterpillar letter to Peoria County.

They mis-spoke and have yet to apologize. Nor do I expect one from the most powerful entity in the area.

Oh, well.

Peoria County Board Meeting 2/4/10

The board "Committee as a whole" meeting is tomorrow at 3 PM, Rm 403, County Court House with the topic, "Museum Discussion".

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Peoria Museum - The Truth

If you have been reading my blogs on the truth of the museum status, please come to the meeting this Thursday, 6 PM, Rm 403, Peoria County Courthouse. I've been told to expect the meeting room will be packed with museum supporters.

Some members on this County Board appear to react to outside pressure from special interest groups.

Look for my blog tomorrow as I am awaiting more information.