Monday, August 29, 2011

Gun Logic Course #101

Forwarded to me by a friend. I highly recommend that every citizen who loves this country buy and keep one firearm handy for the violence against innocents that is and will continue to spread in this country.

Merle

From: Zeltman
Subject: Gun Logic 101
To:
Date: Friday, August 26, 2011, 8:56 AM




An interesting letter in the Australian Shooter Magazine this
week:

"If you consider that there has been an average of 160,000
troops in the Iraq Theater of operations during the past 22 months, and
a total of 2112 deaths, that gives a firearm death rate of 60 per
100,000 soldiers.

The firearm death rate in Washington , DC is 80.6 per 100,000
for the same period. That means you are about 25 percent more likely to
be shot and killed in the US capital which has some of the strictest gun
control laws in the US , than you are in Iraq .

Conclusion: The U.S. should pull out of Washington."


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Prepare for Double-Dip - Keynesian Theory Doesn't Work

While is may take a while to FULLY hit Peoria, it's coming. The next major building projects that are tax-sucking is Bel-Wood and the County and City's misguided plan to build an Opportunity Center supposedly for minorities who want to open a business. (I attended the first public meeting in 2007 on this plan and the consultant said approximately 30,000 sq. ft. would be needed with dozens of employees Those in attendance were mainly black, including members of the Black Chamber of Commerce).

Sure we have the unneeded Cat Visitors Center offering nothing in return for shareholders like my wife and I. And a 100 million dollar planned Peoria Park District expansion. And the hotel expansion that the public will be eventually paying for as they are still paying for the RiverPlex as you read in the JS, Sunday, August 21. The Riverplex, that draws 51% of it's user's from outside the Park districts tax base, has never been able to meet it's bond payments and interest despite projection of not only covering those costS but was projected in the JS to be making a PROFIT of $600,000 a year by now!!!

Expect new taxes or increased EVA costs to property owners in effect again in 2010 and to be expected in 2011 if lieu of an ACTUAL property tax INCREASES. Expect the County to turn to taxpayers in about the 6th year of new PRM for tax support if the $16 million dollar endowment needed doesn't come through. (The 16 million figure is not mine but a figure in print from the Chairman of the Civic Federation; a group that I believe has now been replaced by Peoria Next and the Angels groups.

Actually, there are a lot of programs like SCOPE, Peoria Next, Peoria Angels, the Innovation Center, Bradley, Workforce Development, ICC, etc. but the Democrats want more voters and the Republicans are still big on compassion, despite the havoc more government welfare has raised.

And then thier is an over-abundance of do-gooders with big egos in the area. Think of FireFly with it's overall bankruptcy costs to all concerned hovering between $60-100 million. Includes over $6 million lost to local taxpayers. Even Peoria County Treasurer, Tripp O'Connor told the County Board, Firely couldn't fail.

Having served with a couple of welfare type groups somewhat similar, most of these "needy" are looking for another government financial handout. Part of Democrat Peoria City Manager Pat Urich's plan to help spread the wealth.

There are no major new building projects on the horizon, most of them with the exception of BASS PRO, are tax sucking, not tax payers. Cat has just announced new building but mainly in foreign countries where most major corporations shield their income tax dollars as the U.S. has the first or second largest punitive earning tax in the world.

Most of the largest employment gains have been in medical in Peoria but the cost of all the new medical buildings and sophisticated equipment will be paid by the "haves" who are going to "have" less under the spend and tax politicians, both Democrats and many Republicans.

No, the Keynesian theory never did work. While it's plan was to spend public money to keep people employed, they were employed largely in the public sector (Federal sector mainly) that is tax collecting not tax paying as is the private sector that supports the public sector with profits on which they are taxed. Yes, money needs to be spent to keep people employed BUT ONLY IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT WITHOUT RAISING TAXES. And spent to support the private sector that turns out a product. More taxes and regulations are especially hard on the small and medium sized businesses that have few places to "hide" their gains from governments greedy hands.

Yes, a 2nd collapse may already be here. Not even people who have fully paid for their homes are safe as your politicians can raise your EVA tax rate even on houses that are going down in value. Look closely at where these "extra" dollars being taken from you, are going.

Obama's spread the wealth plan is working even though some of it major effects won't be noted until AFTER the 2012 election.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Campbell's Law

What is one of the major reasons our public school system is in decline? Teaching to the the test and NCLB.

Also read The Peoria Chronicle blog for more dialogue as to why the continuing decline. The Peoria Public School District #150 and the State of Illinois Department of Education.

And Obama doesn't have the answer for this problem either.

Merle

From FairTest -- The National Center for Fair and Open Testing -- Our thanks to Monty Neill, Executive Director of FairTest for this information. See http://www.fairtest.org/fact-sheet-tests-cheating-and-educational-corrupti
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Tests, Cheating and Educational Corruption

"The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor. . . when test scores become the goal of the teaching process, they both lose their value as indicators of educational status and distort the educational process in undesirable ways." -- Campbell's Law, 1976

Erasing errors and filling in correct test answers is just one of many ways to "cheat" on standardized tests. The scandals in Atlanta, Baltimore, Washington DC, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and many other jurisdictions are the tip of an iceberg. Across the nation, strategies that boost scores without improving learning, including narrow teaching to the test and pushing out low-scoring students, are spreading rapidly. Widespread corruption that undermines educational quality is an inevitable consequence of the overuse and misuse of high-stakes testing, just as Donald Campbell predicted.


. Intensive test preparation undermines learning and drains test scores of their already limited meaning. The damage done by a heavy focus on tests is twofold: It takes time away from broader and deeper learning, leaving students unprepared for the challenges of higher education and life. It also inflates test results by making it look like there's real academic growth when there may be little or none. These are the two kinds of corruption described in Campbell's law.


. Teaching to the test deemphasizes untested subjects and skills. The higher the stakes, the more schools limit instruction to tested material. Subjects not covered by exams, such as science, social studies, music, art and physical education, are reduced or eliminated. The many important skills not measured by standardized tests - such as writing research papers, public speaking or conducting laboratory experiments - are not taught. This narrowing of curriculum is most severe for low-income students, racial minorities, students with disabilities and English language learners because on average they have lower scores.


. Focusing on students most likely to make the jump from failing to passing neglects the rest. There is substantial evidence that many schools direct teachers to focus on children most likely to move from failing to passing -- so-called "bubble kids." They neglect both the kids who are far behind and those who are most advanced.


. Adjusting cut scores and test difficulty creates a false picture of progress. Rather than engage in practices that produce real student learning, officials can make tests easier or lower the required passing score. This misleads the public. New York City Mayor Bloomberg trumpeted soaring test results until an independent review in 2010 showed the exams' difficulty level had been lowered over time.


. Districts or schools can manipulate the pool of tested students for optimal results. Students can be forced to repeat a grade because those who are held back generally score higher the second time around (even though retention hurts students in the long run). They can be classified as having severe special needs so they are not tested with their peers. Suspending or expelling low-scoring students means their scores won't lower the school's average. Encouraging them to leave school makes that solution a permanent one, even though many youth who are pushed out end up unemployed or in prison.

. There are more subtle ways to cheat than erasing wrong test answers and filling in the correct bubble. For example, teachers or proctors can hint at the right answers as students take tests. They can leave material on the walls of the classroom that may help test-takers figure out questions. Teachers may obtain copies of the exam in advance and drill students on slightly altered questions. Most commonly, they may base such drills on the content of previous tests - indeed, such drills are increasingly the focus of instruction.

NCLB and related state and local high-stakes testing policies put intense pressure on teachers, principals and other educators. The Georgia investigation into the Atlanta cheating found, "The targets set by the district were often unreasonable, especially given their cumulative effect over the years. Additionally, the administration put unreasonable pressure on teachers and principals to achieve targets. . . ultimately, the data and meeting 'targets' by whatever means necessary, became more important than true academic progress."


Focusing on the most obvious forms of cheating leads to the false conclusion that better enforcement is the answer. But more policing will not solve the major problems caused by high-stakes testing, from changing student answer sheets to corrupting and distorting teaching, learning, and test results themselves. Policing will damage school climate and increase student alienation, a leading cause of dropping out. High-stakes uses of standardized testing must end because they cheat students out of a high-quality education and cheat the public out of accurate information about public school quality.

--- For more information on the harmful consequences of high stakes testing and better assessment, see the fact sheets and other material at http://www.fairtest.org.


References


Campbell, D. (1976). Assessing the Impact of Planned Social Change. The Public Affairs Center, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH.

Hout, M. and Elliott, S., eds. (2011). Incentives and Test-Based Accountability in Education. National Research Council of the National Academies of Science. http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12521&page=R2

Nichols, S. and Berliner, D. (2005). The Inevitable Corruption of Indicators and Educators through High-Stakes Testing. http://nepc.colorado.edu/publication/the-inevitable-corruption-indicators-and-educators-through-high-stakes-testing


Special Investigation into CRCT Cheating at APS (2011). http://www.ajc.com/news/volume-1-of-special-1000798.html.
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FairTest, P.O. Box 300204, Jamaica Plain, MA 02108 -- fairtest@fairtest.org -- 617-477-9792 -- http://fairtest.org
******************************************************
--

Monday, August 22, 2011

Obama's Three Day Trip - Taxpayer Cost? Well Over $10 Million



Secret Service Buys Two New $1.1 Million Buses For Three-Day Trip…



US President Barack Obama (C) walks to his bus as he arrives in Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Minnesota, August 15, 2011, where he is to begin his three-day bus tour in the Midwest centering on ways to grow the economy. (AFP PHOTO/Jim WATSON)

Sorry, I can't show the picture. Merle





He FLYS into an airport somewhere in the midwest, hops into a brand new 1.1 Million $ bus, paid for by you and me, for a “bus tour” ‘around the midwest’, and after an hour or so, gets driven back to the airport for ANOTHER FLIGHT, lands at another airport where another 1.1 Million $ brand new black bus is waiting for him… and repeats all that until his midwest bus‘tour’ is done?? Oh yes......and THEN he leaves on a 12 day vacation to Martha's Vineyard.......to REST UP from this campaign bus tour!



And don't forget........those brand new shiny black buses aren’t DRIVEN to the location where they meet Obama. Those buses are loaded up on one or more C-17s. Then, they are flown to the destination ahead of AirForce-1.

AND!.......this is REPEATED FOR EVERY CAMPAIGN STOP.



On this 'bus tour', the Prez will lecture the 'little people' on how they need to live within their means and cut-back! Remember when very recently Obama told that family man to GO BUY A HYBRID VAN when he said he couldn’t afford to fill up his truck????



Obama's 'carbon footprint' must be as large as most cities by now.


All of this on the taxpayer's dime.....But remember, this is NOT a campaign trip - it is "Meet with the people" trip only! So that the DNC does NOT pay a cent for all of this.







Sunday, August 21, 2011

Allen Mayer for Illinois State Senate???

For all you property tax owners and those interested in the unevenness of property tax assessments in general may wish to note that Allen Mayer is and has been, Chairman of the Peoria County Tax Committee. While protesters by the dozens came before the County Board to protest, Mr. Mayer always suggested we move on to further business like his approval of new indoor signage for the courthouse at a cost of $190,000 when the country was going into a recession. (The motion to buy failed by a 9-8 vote with Allen voting to buy, The record shows I voted no).

Mayer, a typical Democrat politician is "wily" and there is no doubt he is smart. I quote a March 27, 2009, column by JS columnist Karen McDonald as follows: "A handful of of residents showed up for a Peoria County Tax Committee, chaired by Allen Mayer, to complain about their property tax assessments. What they heard was Democrat Supervisor of Assessments, Dave Ryan, explain how the assessment process works. When Ryan's talk ended, "wily" Mayer asked "if their were any QUESTIONS about what Ryan said". Since the residents were there to complain about the unfairness of their assessments and knew how the assessment process works, they did not have questions; none of them spoke up.

Mayer promptly closed the meeting stating "What we are trying to do is answer questions, get facts out in both directions. I'm sorry you folks didn't get the opportunity". while telling the residents "they should attend the next full board meeting", knowing full well that no board member, under the threat of legal action, could speak up in behalf of any citizens protesting the unfairness of their tax bill or bills.

I chaired the full board meetings four times. Mr. Mayer would do all he could to ignore me or carry on a conversation with other nearby Democrats. Or speak up without being acknowledged. I finally told him to "Allen, please wait and perhaps you will get an opportunity to chair the board someday".

I highly request that voters consider what they have representing them in Congress as we head into anther recession and consider what it will be like if
Mayer is elected to join the "tax and spend" group no embedded in our governmental system.

On the other hand, you have Democrat Dave Koehler, 2nd biggest spender in Illinois state government, running for Congress.

The Republicans, to my knowledge, have not picked a candidate. Pretty hard for a Republican to win in a Democrat controlled 46th District where 90% of the Democrats in that District vote the party line.

Shades of Blago!!

Texas Governor Perry Does NOT Doubt Global Warming

On August 18, 2011, the Peoria Journal Star reported that "Perry doubts global warming". This article was taken from a liberal Associated Press release. As clearly stated in the article Governor Perry "does not believe in MAN-MADE global warming calling it a scientific theory that has not been proven".

Even most poorly educated journalists know that global warming and cooling happens with regularly over spans of millions of years. I suspect most liberal journalists do not know that approximately 10,000 years ago glaciers extended all the way to withing 20 miles of where I was born. Evidently not MAN-made global warming melted them??? Good thing that Al Gore and Michael Moore and their ilk weren't alive back then.

The JS is consistent in leaving out the one word that changes the meaning of a whole article and of course the AP will slant any truth to make it a Republican negative.

Many of the uneducated or poorly educated seldom read the contents of an article, making their judgments from the headlines.


May I also note that the stabbing resulting in the death of an innocent, allegedly done by a black man was hardly front page headline stuff. Makes the Journal Star look more like the Enquirer. While sad, blacks stabbing blacks or whites committing any violent action in Peoria is hardly front page headline news.

In Peoria.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Caterpillar Stock Continues Plunge

Caterpillar stock is down over $37 a share this year yet the JS reports nothing but strong growth continuing. On the same day, the WSJ gets it right by writing the truth. The Wall Street Journal says Caterpillar "pace of growth slows" with the sharpest slowdown in the North America.

Profits up but slow growth kills the profit which analysts consider "history".

That's us folks, the land of Lincoln and marred by people like Ryan, Blago and Obama, left wing Democrats, left wing media types, the lobbyists, the special interest groups, radical environmentalists and career bureaucrats.

Who did I leave out? Oh yes, weak kneed Republicans like Ray LaHood, Dave Leitch, etc.

At the same time Cat continues building it's unneeded (they got along without it for 75 years) Visitors Center while there $13 million gift to the underfunded museum has most likely been spent. While shareholders shudder and wonder whether CAt will go to $20 a share as it did during the last recession.

You may recall, I blogged in 2010 that the the museum planners had already spent $12 or 13 million on planning of the now $90+ million (growing I hear with change orders) museum BEFORE a spade of earth was turned. And it appears big screen theatres IMAX or IMAX like, have lost their mystic. IMAX stock down from $37, 3 months ago to $16 a share today.

I stand by my origanl projection - the musuem will lose somehwere in the nigihborhood of $1.5 to $2 million a year after the first year of it's opening.

And underground night parking for the museum in downtown Peoria with the black unemployed, unschooled youths getting bolder? You think England's problems are a long way from Peoria? Think again. Why do you think young city councilman Spain, about halfway there on a learning curve, is pushing the warehouse roadwork to benefit the museum allowing more above ground parking?

I'm told not to worry, these youths will be in studying in our $50+ million new libraries, being educated in our $92+ million new #150 schools, buying minimum priced $47 Civic Center seats or spectating at the ball park or expanded zoo.

And in the museum or visitors center. Whoops, I overlooked "working" at all the high paying jobs requiring some technical skills and a work ethic, now available on Peoria. Or will be at the 15 years too late Vo/Tech school at the last years abandoned Woodruff School.

Illegals, Do-

YOU ARE NOT GOING TO LIKE THIS...

At age 76 when you most need it, you are not eligible for cancer treatment
What Nancy Pelosi didn't want us to know until after the healthcare bill was passed. Remember she said, "pass it and then read it!!." Here it is!
______________________________
Obama Care Highlighted by Page Number

THE CARE BILL HB 3200


JUDGE KITHIL IS THE 2ND OFFICIAL WHO HAS OUTLINED THESE PARTS OF THE CARE BILL.
Judge Kithil of Marble Falls, TX - highlighted the most egregious pages of HB3200

Please read this........ especially the reference to pages 58 & 59


JUDGE KITHIL wrote:

** Page 50/section 152: The bill will provide insurance to all non-U.S. residents, even if they are here illegally.

** Page 58 and 59: The government will have real-time access to an individual's bank account and will have the authority to make electronic fund transfers from those accounts.

** Page 65/section 164: The plan will be subsidized (by the government) for all union members, union retirees and for community organizations (such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now - ACORN).

** Page 203/line 14-15: The tax imposed under this section will not be treated as a tax. (How could anybody in their right mind come up with that?)

** Page 241 and 253: Doctors will all be paid the same regardless of specialty, and the government will set all doctors' fees.

** Page 272. section 1145: Cancer hospital will ration care according to the patient's age.

** Page 317 and 321: The government will impose a prohibition on hospital expansion; however, communities may petition for an exception.

** Page 425, line 4-12: The government mandates advance-care planning consultations. Those on Social Security will be required to attend an "end-of-life planning" seminar every five years. (Death counseling..)

** Page 429, line 13-25: The government will specify which doctors can write an end-of-life order.
HAD ENOUGH???? Judge Kithil then goes on to identify:

"Finally, it is specifically stated that this bill will not apply to members of Congress. Members of Congress are already exempt from the Social Security system, and have a well-funded private plan that covers their retirement needs. If they were on our Social Security plan, I believe they would find a very quick 'fix' to make the plan financially sound for their future."

- Honorable David Kithil of Marble Falls, Texas
All of the above should give you the ammo you need to support your opposition to Obamacare.


=




Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Are We Staggering Past The Point of No Return?

Passed to me by a friend. Many of my blogs have been following this downward theme. A leader of Peoria Promise tell me that 75% of the PP kids attending ICC must take remedial reading.

Before Obama was elected I called him a scary man. (Dial in Obama on my search bar above right hand side) Today, I am calling him an evil man whose Reverend Wright philosophy is to further take down the rich who don't fund his campaigns or agree with his intentional socialist policies, to massively increase our bureaucracies, give the powerful union bosses more power, over-regulate businesses, restrict free trade such as with Columbia, Panama and South Korea; that pact now lost in turmoil created by Obama and his ilk.

Plus his bureaucratic tolerance of radical environmentalists who like our mis-guided Republican Transportation Secretary, follow the leader or else. Greed and insecurity,for these "doubting Thomases". determine for that it is in THEIR best interests to follow the leader. Actually, the radical environmentalists have always been among, they now have a new Messiah.

And not near the least, assist more people who never learned responsibility or how to work, into all types of welfare programs, abetted by Democrat Governors such as Quinn in Illinois.


Merle


Subject: The City Journal | Who Lost the Middle Class?


A question for historians in the not-too-distant future

The article is about New York, but it applies to our shrinking middle-class, nation-wide.

11 August 2011 - By Fred Siegel

Forty years from now, politicians, writers, and historians may struggle to understand how America, once the quintessential middle-class society, became as socially stratified as Europe or even Brazil. Should that dark scenario come to pass, they would do well to turn their attention first to New York City and New York State, which have been in the vanguard of middle-class decline.

It was in mid-1960s New York-under the leadership of a Barack Obama precursor, Hollywood-handsome John Lindsay-that the country's first top-bottom political coalition emerged. In 1965, Gotham had more manufacturing jobs than any other city in the country. But the city's political elites used eminent domain to push manufacturing aside in favor of business services; they also expanded social programs to help African-Americans and Puerto Ricans. The service sector proved rough going for the less educated, and the social programs failed. New York City responded by inflating its unionized public-sector workforce to incorporate minority workers.

Higher taxes to pay for bigger government joined higher crime to produce a massive exodus of manufacturing and middle-class jobs. Over the last 45 years, New York has led the country in outmigration. A recent study by E. J. McMahon and Robert Scardamalia of the Empire Center for New York State Policy notes that since 1960, New York has lost 7.3 million residents to the rest of the country. For the last 20 years, "New York's net population loss due to domestic migration has been the highest of any state as a percentage of population."

New York City, meanwhile, solidified its standing as the most unequal city in America. Twenty-five percent of New York was middle-class in 1970, according to a Brookings Institution study. By 2008, that figure had dropped to 16 percent, and the numbers have only plunged further since the financial crisis, with virtually all the new jobs in the city's hourglass economy coming at either the high end or the low. Only high-end businesses can succeed in a local economy that has the nation's highest taxes and highest cost of living-and even those businesses, in many cases, weathered the downturn only by living off the Fed's policy of subsidizing banks. Despite the federal largesse, more of the city's new jobs are in the low-wage hospitality and food-services industries than in the financial sector. The middle has lost its political voice in a city dominated by the politically wired wealthy and the public-sector unions that service the poor.

New York is the picture of what the Tea Party fears for the country at large. In the 1970s, liberal mandarins seized the high ground of American institutions in the name of managing social, racial, gender, and environmental justice on behalf of the disadvantaged. Their job, as they saw it, was to protect minorities from the depredations of middle-class mores. In the wake of the Aquarian age, the U.S. developed the first mass upper-middle class in the history of the world. These well-to-do, often politically connected professionals-including the increasingly intertwined wealthy of Wall Street, Hollywood, and Silicon Valley-espoused what might be called gentry liberalism, a creed according to which the middle classes had to be punished for their racism, sexism, and excess consumption.

And they have been punished-with job losses. These losses are the inevitable result of the costs of an ever-expanding, European-style public sector; environmental restrictions on manufacturing, mining, and forestry, which push high-paying jobs offshore; and illegal immigration, which reduces overall wage levels. At the same time, the decline in the quality of K-12 schools has undermined what was once a ladder of economic ascent. After completing high school today, students are likely to require a raft of remedial courses in college. Then, after college, many middle-class students graduate not with an education but with a credential-and a bag of enormous college loans that paid for the intermittent attention of a highly paid, tenured faculty.

The private-sector middle class's plight has been exacerbated by international competition and technological innovation, which have undermined job security, including for unionized manufacturing workers, who had enjoyed an unprecedented prosperity for about a quarter-century. Median household incomes have grown only marginally since the early 1970s, despite the mass movement of women into the workplace. Many dual-earner families have been caught in the two-income tax trap: on the one hand, they pay for services once performed by the homemaker; on the other, notes economist Todd Zywicki, they're pushed into a higher tax bracket when the wife's salary is added to the husband's.

Adding to the woes of the middle and lower classes is that their families are far less stable than they were a generation ago. The decline of marriage has been driven not only by changing mores but also by a decline in male employment. In 1970, only one of 14 working-age men was out of the workforce. Today, notes Nina Easton, one in five is either "collecting unemployment, in prison, on disability, operating in the underground economy, or getting by on the paychecks of wives or girlfriends or parents." Whites who don't attend college have out-of-wedlock birthrates approaching those that triggered Daniel Patrick Moynihan's concerns about the black family in 1965. Today, four in ten American babies are born out of wedlock.

During the current downturn, the black and Hispanic middle class has been particularly hard hit. From 2005 to 2009, according to a recent Pew survey, inflation-adjusted wealth fell by 66 percent among Hispanic households and by 53 percent among black households, compared with 16 percent among white households. These families worry with good reason that in the face of continuing high unemployment, they may fall out of the middle class. For the Obama administration and the public-sector unions, the solution to this slide is to force the nearly one in four employers that have contracts with the federal government to pay above-market wages. Here again, New York has been a pacesetter. Recently, public-sector unions and their allies tried to force a developer rebuilding a decayed Bronx armory to follow their wage and hiring guidelines; the deal collapsed, leaving one of the poorest sections of Gotham in the lurch.

There's a major difference, though, between New York and the country as a whole. The New York option-move somewhere else-doesn't apply to private-sector middle-class workers fighting adverse conditions that exist throughout America. So they've exercised the classic democratic right of political action, organizing themselves to compete in elections. The Tea Party is the national voice of the private-sector middle class-despite the demonizations heaped upon it by public-policy elites whose own judgment and competence leave much to be desired.

Middle-class decline should be front and center in 2012, which is shaping up as a firestorm of an election. It's likely to be a bitter contest, in which the polarized class interests of those who identify with the growth of government and those who are being undermined by its expansion face off without the buffer of mutual goodwill. Liberals, unless they change their tune, will blame Tea Party "terrorists" for the tragedy of a fading middle class. They will continue to delude themselves into thinking, as Al Gore said in 2000, that their rivals represent "the powerful" and that they themselves act on behalf of "the people," even though President Obama's policies have poured money into Wall Street and the politically connected "green" businesses that form the upper half of his top-bottom electoral coalition. The question is whether the country will buy this line and, more broadly, whether it will follow the New York model. Should it do so, those future historians will no doubt look at the election of 2012 as the contest in which the middle class staggered past the point of no return.

Fred Siegel is a contributing editor of City Journal, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and a scholar in residence at St. Francis College in Brooklyn.

http://www.city-journal.org/2011/eon0811fs.html



Monday, August 15, 2011

Peoria is Not Chicago or Springfield. However,......

We do have State Rep.Jehan Gordon. She accepted $100,000 in campaign funds from an outfit promoting changes in our public school system. When the vote on the bill they sponsored came up, Ms. Gordon was an enthusiastic supporter.

Her quote, "I planned to vote for this bill anyway". She is not alone in accepting large amounts of money from "special interest" groups. She just made the local newspaper.

Prior to that vote, Gordon was quoted in a local Newspaper under the headline, "Gordon Pushes Ethic Reform, "we should shine a light on unethical behavior".

Then again, what is the definition of unethical? These days after Clinton.

All elected officials say they "are going to change things in government". Why haven't they over all these decades? They are beholden to the special interests who funds their campaigns. I gave Aaron Schock $100 last year. What did he say? "One hundred collars"? and laughed. He then said he wanted to talk to me about an issue. I'm still waiting.

Not bragging but stating a fact. In my three successful campaigns for the Peoria County Board, I accepted $100 from a Democrat and free printing of my brochure paid for my a long retired friend. And a free lunch from a friend who did have a county issue. His issue which was supported by 7 other board members lost when one of his proclaimed supporters failed to show up the night of the vote. One of Jeff Joyce's many absences.

Period.

By the way, who is running the City of Peoria's Public Works Department? The manager, the planning department or the union. Or all three in their own way. By the messes most of us drive by every day, it sure doesn't look like they are working in tandem. Good illustrations, the intersection of Glen and University, the sidewalks on the opposite side of Kellar School and Mt. Hawley Road, and the prolonged mess at Sheridan and Northmoor. Sidewalks and street widening seem to be be big these days while our streets like Glen go further to pot.

And then there is the boondoggle millions spent in the Warehouse District, most of it to be redone later.

See Comments in Previous Blog to Roger Keats Letter


Sadly Illinois is unlikely to be unique.


Former State Senator and Republican Cook County Board President candidate Roger Keats and his wife Tina are leaving Illinois to live in Texas . They bid farewell to their Illinois friends in a Wilmette Beacon article and with this letter this weekend, saying they're "voting with their feet and their wallets":

GOOD BYE AND GOOD LUCK

As we leave Illinois for good, I wanted to say goodbye to my friends and wish all of you well. I am a lifelong son of the heartland and proud of it. After 60 years, I leave Illinois with a heavy heart. BUT enough is enough! The leaders of Illinois refuse to see we cant continue going in the direction we are and expect people who have options to stay here. I remember when Illinois had 25 congressmen. In 2012 we will have 18. Compared to the rest of the country we have lost 1/4rd of our population. Dont blame the weather, because I love 4 seasons.

Illinois just sold still more bonds and our credit rating is so bad we pay higher interest rates than junk bonds! Junk Bonds! Illinois is ranked 50th for fiscal policy; 47th in job creation; 1st in unfunded pension liabilities; 2nd largest budget deficit; 1st in failing schools; 1st in bonded indebtedness; highest sales tax in the nation; most judges indicted (Operations Greylord and Gambat); and 5 of our last 9 elected governors have been indicted. That is more than the other 49 states added together! Then add 32 Chicago Aldermen and (according to the Chicago Tribune) over 1000 state and municipal employees indicted. The corruption tax is a real cost of doing business. We are the butt of jokes for stand up comics.

We live in the most corrupt big city, in the most corrupt big county in the most corrupt state inAmerica . I am sick and tired of subsidizing crooks. A day rarely passes without an article about the corruption and incompetence. Chicago even got caught rigging the tests to hire police and fire! Our Crook County CORPORATE property tax system is intentionally corrupt. The Democrat State Chairman who is also the Speaker of the Illinois House (Spkr. Mike Madigan) and the most senior alderman in Chicago each make well over a million dollars a year putting the fix in for their clients tax assessments.

We are moving to Texas where there is no income tax while Illinois just went up 67%. Texas sales tax is ½ of ours, which is the highest in the nation. Southern states are supportive of job producers, tax payers and folks who offer opportunities to their residents. Illinois shakes them down for every penny that can be extorted from them.

In The Hill Country of Texas (near Austin and San Antonio ) we bought a gracious home on almost 2 acres with a swimming pool. It is new, will cost us around 40% of what our home in Wilmette just sold for and the property taxes are 1/3rd of what they are here. Crook County's property tax system is a disaster: Wilmette homes near ours sell for 50% more and their property taxes are ½ of ours. Our assessed home value was 50% higher than the sales price. The system is unfair and incompetent.

Our home value is down 40%, our property taxes are up 20% and our local schools have still another referendum on the ballot to increase taxes over 20% in one year. I could go on, but enough is enough. I feel as if we are standing on the deck of the Titanic and I can see the icebergs right in front of us. I will miss our friends a great deal. I have called Illinois home for essentially my entire life. But it is time to go where there is honest, competent and cost effective government. We have chosen to vote with our feet and our wallets. My best to all of you and Good luck!

http://www.wilmettebeacon.com/Articles-c-2011-03-18-218533.114133-Political-couple-leaves-legacy-in-Wilmette.html%5C%22






















Leave Illinois?? If I Could Sell My House.......

Political couple leaves legacy in Wilmette

Keats' have seen enough Illinois politics

by Alan P. Henry
March 18, 2011 | 11:42 AM

When Roger and Tina Keats drive away from their Sheridan Road home in Wilmette for the last time in a few weeks and head for their new home in Texas, they will be leaving behind a formidable political legacy.

Keats, who served as the Republican state senator for much of the North Shore from 1978 to 1992, worked closely with Harold Washington to enact legislation that adopt judicial sub-circuits for Cook County and cleared the way for minorities and Republicans to hold judgeships.

The reform, fought by many Democrats, was an integral part of the cleanup of corruption in the Cook County court system that was uncovered by Operations Greylord and Gambat.

Keats was also the point man for legislation that reformed the Illinois banking system by creating branch banking, which improved access and lowered costs. In addition, he pushed through legislation that brought the public transit system back from the brink of bankruptcy by requiring that fares cover a minimum percentage of costs.

"I was the last legislator to get the better of Michael Madigan and I did it three times," said Keats, 62. "We formed bipartisan coalitions to get those reforms, something that has not been done since."

After losing to Grace Mary Stern in 1992, Keats continued to run his construction business until 1994, became a manager with J.P. Morgan for 10 years and finally worked for Oppenheimer.

Along the way, Keats was also active in campaigns for Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and John McCain, and volunteered in the Chicago area on drug abuse and child sexual abuse issues.

Tina Keats, also 62, moved to Wilmette in 1988. The Harvard MBA graduate sold her baby bedding business in 1994, and got involved in politics in part because she had experienced "how government interference makes it hard for people to run a small business."

She ran unsuccessfully for state representative in 1996, then played a key role in Mark Kirk's first Congressional win in 2000 by helping deliver New Trier Township.

"He was behind when we started," Tina said. "We managed through grassroots campaigning to turn it around, and that won him the election."

She was Kirk's campaign manager in 2007.

Tina has also been active in local school board and referenda elections, including work that led to the demise of the Wilmette school caucus in the 1990s.

"What we have done is given voters a choice and we have fought for open government," she said.

They are moving outside Austin, she and Roger said, in part because of the weather and because family is there. But also because they wanted to live in a Red state with lower taxes, a stronger financial future and less corruption.

"This is a wonderful place to live," Roger said. "But I am tired of subsidizing crooks, and I don't want any more of it."

Because of the duo's strong history in state politics, they are in-the-know. And that isn't always a good thing.

"We have the disadvantage of knowing too much," Tina said. "During the last election I would talk to people about the state's pension liability and the budget deficit and they wouldn't know what I was talking about. Where does it stop? I don't know. Even states like California and New York know they have to do something to get their house in order. This state has not accepted that."



Reader Feedback

YOU CITIZENS OF ILLINOIS
May 08, 2011 | 12:23 PM

CITIZENS OF ILLINOIS - I have known Roger Keats as a classmate from Evanston High School days in the 60's to the time he entered state politics in the 1970's in the northern suburbs as a very bright, personable 'red headed' go getter that wanted to change Illinois for the better. It was impossible not like Roger Keats! You all know the definition of insanity coined by Albert Einstein….'doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. When applied to Illinois politics some of us have seen this insanity sooner…some later, and Roger Keats has finally got it right. He tired to make Illinois better, wanted to make Illinois better, and like so many in Illinois still wants you all to wake, smell the coffee and work to get it better. (Don't think for a second Roger doesn't want it better for you!....he does!)

Now, I lived in Evanston and Wilmette for over 40 years before moving to Florida in 1990 to start a business. While living in the idyllic Chicago suburbs at that time, I focused on my career, earning a living, and raising a family. Then the extras - the Cubs, Blackhawks, Michael Jordans Bulls, beautiful lakefront, Art Institute, museums, Bears, Northwestern, Malnati's Pizza, Portillos, etc. At the time, I loved Illinois, the rich diversity of its people, the upstate/downstate mentality, its rich place in history and thought the state generally well run, taxes high, but not as high as New York, and very colorful. Back then there was always work in Chicago for everyone who wanted to work. The new state income tax at 4% was going to put the entire state on an even stronger footing. We winked and grinned along with Mike Royko as he watched and told us humorously about all the Chicago political shenanigans from 'Da Mayor' to Washington, to Bilandic, to Jayne Byrne, to 'Da Mayor's son again, the park district, the sanitary district, toll way authority, cook county, etc.. Back then, all that seemed in order, normal, the way it was, everything trucking along just as it should. We then tuned in our floppy eared black and white TVfor Fahey Flynn at 10 pm for more soothing, tongue in check Chicago updates. Pie getting bigger all the time….Illinois getting smarter and stronger all the time.

After moving to Florida and returning often to the Chicago area over the past 20 years, I have gotten new perspectives each time on the "City that used to Work' and the State that surely "Doesn't Work." Roger Keats list of problems are the top ones that have manifested themselves in the past decade to save a political system that 'Doesn't Work.' You citizens of Illinois have been subjected to the worst political system outside New York's infamous Tammany Hall and allowed those that serve you do the greatest disservice and harm to the future of Illinois and its people imaginable. You all have been in this…winking all along the way! Roger Keats has just listed the results above. Wake up before you turn into Michigan!

Roger's sacrifice by leaving is Illinois, believe it or not, YOUR gain, if you understand the message he is politely trying to convey to you. If you will do something about it. (I wish he'd moved to Florida. He would fit right in here and Can make a difference.) Most of you in Illinois are still brain washed into thinking everything is normal and AOK, and you in good hands, like Allstate, but look around. Take a good look. This economy since 2006 has exposed everything that is bad in our society. What works and what doesn't work. What needs to be changed and what needs to be fixed. But how? The score card is the state UNEMPLOYMENT RATE, the PRICE OF A GALLON OF GAS, AND THE POPULATION. Take a good look at the score. The problems you have are all identified. Changing the mess you are in will take decades of men and woman's effort a lot smarter than me to fix your stew. It's about changing habits. About changing your attitude. It's about changing a Illinois political system that has rolled Abe Lincoln over in his Springfield grave so many times he is in a perpetual spin as we speak. Carl Sandburg, if alive today, could probably find a 'painted lady' in Chicago, but no broad shoulders and not one hog exists probably in the whole state. Where did the business go that drove the engine? Where are the mighty corporations of Illinois's birth? The Illinois Central Railroad-Now owned by the Canadians. The International Stockyards – moved to Omaha. International Harvester – Now owned by Fiat in Italy. Montgomery Ward, Carsons, Marshall Field, Goldblatt's, Weiboldts, south side steel mills, Old Chicago Beer, and many more all gone all together. Caterpillar would like to move out of Illinois today, as you are putting the tax squeeze on them, but they have just swallowed the Governors' 'chill pill' fix on their taxes. (Quinn is not that dumb to let them slide away!) However, that won't keep them from moving from Illinois. Probably to Texas! It's just a Band Aid on the problem of Illinois government. Just wait!

Now, if you still believe your elected officials have done a great job for the State of Illinois in its totality to date, your are part of the problem…continually fostering the illusion that you can afford the political mess you are paying for. The mess these guys and gals have put you in in the last decades. The dividend of HHD (Hopelessness, Helplessness and Despair) foisted on you Citizens of Illinois. Are you waiting for the next big political fix to make everything right? The political silver bullet? The ghost of Paul Powell and his 'shoebox' is what you are worshiping. Can the kool aid cocktail solution be far behind? One sip and you won't have to worry about Illinois's problems anymore. To start with, adopt this as the new state motto: 'ACTUALLY NOBODY OWES YOU JACK CRAP'. All it takes is a first step you Citizens of Illinois!

L. STOUFFER, former Wilmette resident

He's not moving to Austin
March 25, 2011 | 07:59 AM

As the text of the article says, he's moving to just outside Austin, and out here in rural Travis County and in the surrounding counties we're like a wall of red containing the Socialist Republic so it doesn't contaminate the rest of the state.

Dave

Dave Nalle

Hey, Fred!
March 23, 2011 | 04:07 AM

Every state has an insane asylum, in Texas it is called Travis county.

As to your "sea of blue" comment the only "sea of blue" here are the Bluebonnets which are beginning to bloom. In case you have not noticed with the exception of a few "Chicago style" race warrior Marxist whack jobs like Sheila Jackson-Lee (and you can thank Ken Ley of Enron fame for her) most Texas Democrats would be considered "'reich whing" Republicans in Illinois.

If you want to see what the "average" Texas Democrat is like take a look at the current mayor of Houston Annise Parker. I bet you did not know that she is the first openly Lesbian mayor of a major US city, too. You see, despite what the MSM and your "progressive" fellow travelers tell you down here we really don't give a damn what color a candidate is or who they sleep with-it is their policies and agenda that count.

I, for one, say a big Texas "Howdy!" to Roger and Tina Keats, they are welcome here. What is becoming increasingly unwelcome are all of the blue state refugees coming here in droves because Texas is the only state that is actually creating jobs in the private sector. It is OK, though-we have ways of running all the die hard "liberal/progressive" ones off. We don't like taxes. There will NEVER be a state income tax. We don't like criminals, we shoot them-we have a little thing called the "Castle Law" which is known in the vernacular as the "He needed killin'" law. We view welfare as a helping hand not a lifestyle (ask all the "Katrina queens" about that-they cleared out once the fed money dried up). Folks here like to go to church on Sunday. We will tell you that if you don't like it here then don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out. To top things off all the guns in the hands of law abiding citizens here make the "liberal/progressive" types really, really nervous.

Kate in Houston, Texas

I wonder if he realizes that he's moving
March 21, 2011 | 11:01 AM

to a sea of Texas blue.

Travis county sent Tom DeLay (R-Gerrymander) a strong message. Neighboring counties share similar reality-based viewpoints as well.

Watch out for those crazy rednecks. They're working class too.

Fred Rogers

A loss for chicago
March 19, 2011 | 05:48 AM

i wish i could get this couple and many more like them to come out and keep fighting to get back the city and state government.

My name is Tom Caravette and I am running in the 38th ward against a candidate that dumps money and lies to trick and confuse voters. Amazing about the old saying...razzle dazzle them and ... people just are not getting the message to move to reform and change. There might be something to the electoral college!

Tom Caravette

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mutual of Omaha "Aha Moment" is Now on the Net

You will can find me by entering http://ahamoment.com/moments/2217 on your search bar. Your vote will be appreciated.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

lllinois Commision to End Hunger

Who are people making up this commission? Appointed in 2010 by guess who, Governor Quinn. How many are Republicans? How many Democrats? How much is their budget? How man new bureaucrats employed? Where do they get the figures such as another $11.3 million needed for Peoria County per year (2009 figures, they say)?
"Board member Karacic and her colleagues traveled to Peoria Tuesday as part of a statewide listening tour", wrote JS's favorite socialist Pam Adams yesterday.

Republican Dave Leitch says, "We need to be every bit upset that people are hungry as we are about the stock market", as he looked for a few votes, the only person not on the speaking agenda. Leitch is the 2nd largest spender of tax payer dollars in the State of Illinois. (Dial in Dave Leitch on my blogger Search Bar for facts)

After years of dropouts and non learners in Peoria Public Schools we are FINALLY getting a Vocational School to be located in the vacated Woodruff High School building. Maybe some people will learn how to work or even learn how to tend a garden and some of these poor parents will learn how to can the produce. I worked for awhile in a local Food Bank but was disillusioned by the number of young "gang Bangers" and healthy people who came in to take most anything and all they wanted, with or without permission. One white man brought in his pretty 5 year old grand daughter who was constantly scratching her crotch. Her "grandpa" said, "she just loves to go fishing with me".

I'll bet.

I have always donated to charities but the system is so abused today that the really needy are had to separate from the lazy people who can't hold a job because they don't want to work. The facts are in Peoria, you don't really need to work to survive. Even medical care is free.

And now Obama wants to kill the big capitalists who didn't make their major campaign contributions to him and his ilk. No wonder most of the governments in this country are going broke. And no wonder why Obama will probably be elected in 2012. So many depend on his "spread the wealth" Chavez type government. No wonder so many believe he is doing a good job. Many of them were recipient's of his stimulus bill and call it a success.

This is not a politically correct blog. I've heard Leitch "rail" at the Democrats at every Republican meeting he attended about their socialist free spending. Another reason I am an Independent and support MOST of the Tea Party people and their agendas.

Folks, the bad news is we are never going to financially recover under Democrat leadership. And I'll bet this Illinois Commission to End Hunger is dominated by Democrats with a few "bleeding heart" Republicans.

Obama - Good Questions

I have read one person comments about classmate Obama on the Internet. There may have been more. As to who he is, I have known for a long time. He was a "dear" friend of Reverend Wright and his ilk.

Why did he get elected the first time ever? He was a Democrat in Illinois.

Enough said.

Merle

A SLEEPER AMONG US : This is a very interesting article!



Obama: Where are his girl friends????? Or "boy" friends????


Where are his girl friends????? Strange that none have popped up!!!!

Strange to the point of being down right WEIRD!


OK... this is past the 'birthers' questions.... this is just plain old

common sense, no political agendas for either side.


Just common knowledge for citizens of a country, especially American

citizens, who even know that Andrew Jackson's wife smoked a corn cob
pipe


and was accused of adultery, or that Lincoln never went to school or

Kennedy wore a back brace or Truman played the piano.


We are Americans! We are known for our humanitarian interests and caring


for our 'fellow man.' We care, but none of us know one single
humanizing


fact about the history of our own president.


Honestly, and this is a personal thing...but it's niggled at me for ages


that no one who ever dated him ever showed up. The simple fact of his

charisma, which caused the women to be drawn to him so obviously during


his campaign, looks like some lady would not have missed the
opportunity....



We all know about JFK's magnetism, McCain was no monk, Palin's
courtship


and even her athletic prowess were probed. Biden's aneurisms are no

secret. Look at Cheney and Clinton--we all know about their heart

problems. How could I have left out Wild Bill before or during the White
House?



Nope... not one lady has stepped up and said, "He was soooo shy," or

"What a great dancer!" Now look at the rest of this.... no classmates, (Yes, one finally came forward recently) Remember, the liberal press has claimed him as one of them, so speak no evil, see no evil..........

not even the recorder for the Columbia class notes ever heard of him.


I just don't know about this fellow.


Who was the best man at his wedding? Start there. Then check groomsmen.


Then get the footage of the graduation ceremony.


Has anyone talked to the professors? It is odd that no one is bragging

that they knew him or taught him or lived with him.


When did he meet Michele and how? Are there photos? Every president

gives to the public all their photos, etc. for their library. What has

he released?


And who in hell voted for him to be the most popular man in 2010?????


Does this make you wonder?


Ever wonder why no one ever came forward from Obama's past, saying they


knew him, attended school with him, was his friend, etc. ? Not one
person


has ever come forward from his past.


VERY, VERY STRANGE… This should really be a cause for great concern. To

those who voted for him, you may have elected an unqualified,
inexperienced


shadow man.


Did you see a picture called The Manchurian Candidate?


Let's face it. As insignificant as we all are... someone whom we went
to


school with remembers our name or face ... someone remembers we were
the


clown or the dork or the brain or the quiet one or the bully or
something


about us.


George Stephanopoulos of ABC News said the same thing during the 2008

campaign. He questions why no one has acknowledged the president was in


their classroom or ate in the same cafeteria or made impromptu speeches


on campus. Stephanopoulos also was a classmate of Obama at
Columbia--the


class of 1984. He says he never had a single class with him.


While he is such a great orator, why doesn't anyone in Obama's college

class remember him? And why won't he allow Columbia to release his

records?


NOBODY REMEMBERS OBAMA AT COLUMBIA


Looking for evidence of Obama's past, Fox News contacted 400 Columbia

University students from the period when Obama claims to have been
there,


but none remembered him. For example, Wayne Allyn Root was, like Obama,


a political science major at Columbia, who also graduated in 1983. In

2008, Root says of Obama, "I don't know a single person at Columbia
that


knew him, and they all know me. I don't have a classmate who ever knew

Barack Obama at Columbia ... EVER!


Nobody recalls him. Root adds that he was also, like Obama, "Class of
'83


political science, pre-law" and says, "You don't get more exact or
closer


than that. Never met him in my life, don't know anyone who ever met
him."



At the class reunion, our 20th reunion five years ago, who was asked to


be the speaker of the class? Me. No one ever heard of Barack! And
five


years ago, nobody even knew who he was. The guy who writes the class

notes, who's kind of the, as we say in New York, 'the macha' who knows

everybody, has yet to find a person, a human who ever met him."


Obama's photograph does not appear in the school's yearbook, and
Obama


consistently declines requests to talk about his years at Columbia ,

provide school records, or provide the name of any former classmates or

friends while at Columbia ...


NOTE: Root graduated as valedictorian from his high school,

Thornton-Donovan School , then graduated from Columbia University in
1983


as a political science major in the same class in which Barack Hussein

Obama states he was.


Some other interesting questions…


Why was Obama's law license inactivated in 2002?


Why was Michelle's law license inactivated by court order?


It is circulating that according to the U.S. Census, there is only one


Barack Obama but 27 Social Security numbers and over 80 aliases.


WHAT?????????????????????????????????


The Social Security number he uses now originated in Connecticut where
he


is never reported to have lived.


No wonder all his records are sealed!


Please continue sending this out to everyone. Somewhere, someone had to


know him in school...before he "reorganized" Chicago and burst upon the

scene at the 2004 Democratic Convention and made us swoon with his
charm,


poise, and speaking pizzazz

Billions for Stimulus But What Jobs Created?

"What Jobs?" says an article from the Associated Press. Phony numbers, feel good numbers, well we ought to know about numbers here in Peoria. "A Colorada company said it created 4,231 jobs with stimulus money help." The real number; less than 1000. "A child care center in Florida (nothing surprises me when it comes to lies and fraud in sunny Florida) said it saved 129 jobs with stimulus money. Instead it gave pay raises to its existing employees."

$789 billion for trails and recreation, some money for filling potholes and capping road beds, private sector workers leaving their jobs to fill government-sponsored jobs created by the "unprecdented effort" says a White House spokseman for the budget office.

The White House data is skewed to make this administration look good. "Because these data do not tell us where these new workers came from and what happens to the slots when they leave, he numbers cannot answer the ultimate question: How many NET jobs were created? A similair point holds for those who are reported as RETAINED, only in this case the issue is that some of those retained would have moved to different jobs rather than to the pool of unempolyed had they been let go. This government is reporting gross number not the relevant net numbers.

Few jobs were permanenetly created in the private sector while new federal employees were hired by the thousands.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

My Mutual of Omaha "Aha" Moment

A week ago Tuesday, I was one of the people in this area selected to tell my Mutual of Omaha "Aha" Moment. My moment was how my learning to play tennis at the age of 55 led me to be at The Army-Navy Country Club playing in a National Tournament when the American Airline plane commandeered by Islamic terrorist flew over our heads at about 300 yards, changing direction and moments later striking the Pentagon.

My story, along with everyone else interviewed by Mutual of Omaha in their film studio equipped van traveled across the U.S., can be found on the Internet. When their tour in completed all stories will be voted by Mutual of Omaha net viewers with the winner appearing in a Mutual of Omaha advertisement later on.

It was a nice experience that got better when Jessica Henry told me that her grandfather was a tournament volunteer at the Arlington Army-Navy Country Club. I remember meeting him. All of the people who ran the tournament were super nice. One time, I forgot a jacket and tie for a dinner event and the volunteers found me a coat and tie.

Great experiences with mostly great people who volunteer to run Senior tournaments in the U.S. After a leg enjury this late spring, I hope to be back to normal soon and continue playing the game that promises to keep me young forever???

Did WMBD TV Deliberately Mis-Lead Viewers?

At 6;00 PM this liberal station had several interviews with people about the effect the 600 point crash of the market Monday had on their lives. The market closed 436 points up today. WMBD had 3 hours to announce the good news.

Was it deliberately done to keep the people in a further state of worry? Or a lack of good reporting?

Hmmmm.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

What is Considered "Poor" in America?

The Heritage Foundation reports says that the Census Bureau reported last fall that 43 million Americans were poor. The report also says that half of the families defined as poor has a computer, more than three out of four have air conditioning, almost 2/3 have cable or satellite TV's, 92% have microwaves (and 80% don't know how to cook, my figures), the typical poor family have at least 2 color TV's, a VCR, and a DVD player, while they typical poor family with children has a video-game system such as an Xbox of Playstation...(and all the younger typical poor person has a cell-phone, expensive tennis shoes, free food and clothes and even free housing. AS well as vending machines and fast food money.

Also, as well as cars or almost free transportation. Plus welfare benefits of many kinds.

Government figures show that only 1 in 70 poor persons is homeless. (And that is generally by choice, my comment)

Today's description as a liberal says that 17 million kids go to bed hungry. Some might go hungry by choice as free food is offered in dozens of places including schools.

The USDA reports that 980,000 children (1.3% of all American children experienced very low food security. 99% of children did not skip a single meal during 2009 because of lack of financial resources. (And those that did skip meals did so by choice. I know. I often visited schools where free food was on the serving tables yet many kids ignored the food and did other things including use of the vending machines),

I had 1 brother and 7 sisters; we had none of the above amenities, we did have a Victrola, a radio and 1 car and were certainly poor, but we never missed a meal. Why? Our mom knew how to cook and my 7 sisters learned to cook. In Peoria School District #150, most "poor" kids mom's do not know how to cook and this school system dropped teaching cooking in 1994.

Poverty, like Bill Clinton said, what is the definition of poverty in America?

Caterpillars $50+-Million Visitors Center

Peoria has more than it's share of naive adults. That includes those who thought this "out of stockholders pocket" center that Cat didn't need for 80 years or more would be a like "free lunch". If you read the JS today, you read what I blogged on some time ago and the JS figured out yesterday. Cat will get the $28 million drop in assessed property valuation and the public community will have about $800,000 less dollars to spend each year.

On the other hand, maybe less is better in the free spending public sector where the pay and benefits are far better than in the private sector. During the most recent recession, public wages increased by 17% overall while the private sector last ground.

I don't begrudge Cat for asking for a property tax reduction. I know the current method evaluating property does not work. I know the property tax is an unfair tax (as are hundreds of others). I do begrudge a wealthy CAT asking that the other property owners pay more without Cat complaining publicly of the habits of the free spending bureaucrats running our County, State and Federal governments. (think the museum under construction and the City of Peoria Council allowing the Library Board to spend $32 million, actually $50 some million including interest on the borrowed money while books sellers like Borders goes bankrupt and Barnes and Noble is for sale).

So I recommend that any property holder who feels their property taxes are too high, to follow established procedure and protest. I protested to the State and won. I may protest again as my property is certainly not increasing in value. A house, 100 yds from me has been for sale for going on four years.