Monday, July 30, 2012

McConoughey Out?

I've heard no news but I suspect his tenure is in jeopardy. While Peoria has had a tremendous building boom, almost all projects completed are TAX COLLECTING bodies. Those create a handful of above standard living wages with pensions, but minus Cat new jobs, they are not what is expected of the people in charge of bringing new business to Peoria.

If McConoughey is out, he should be followed before the year is over, by at least 4 others wbo have some type of managerial duties under the HEARTLAND umbrella. There and have been for a long time, too many committees and too many people with titles and not enough people out of their comfortable offices and in the selling field.

Plus too many failures. (Think FireFly) Sure Pro Bass, who E. Peoria bought, that's spelled correctly, and Cat expansion bought by union no stoke promises and State, City Federal giveaways, how much, ordinary citizens like me will never know.

TRANSPORT, whose head guy has been on the job starting 7 years. Perhaps I've missed it but the main progress appears to be made in print.

In the meanwhile, expect cost of living to rise rather sharply in Peoria County; the County, of course, includes the City. Plus no project of any size has met projections and the horizon of met projects does not appear rosy.

One bright spot appears to be that the Civic Center has cut their losses compared to last fiscal year.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Caterpillar Stock Moves Up On Strong Earnings and Possible Stimulus From the Fed

Despite the strong 7 poo int move upward by Caterpillar in the last few days, it is still 31 points off it's 52 week high of $116.95.

Now a good time to buy or is another dip on the way before the November elections? Analysts seem to be somewhat split as unemployment remains high. Probably about 16,000,000 unemployed counting those that fell off the record keeping charts.

A lot of people are still hiring illegals. I don't.

I personally bought Smith and Wesson and IMAX yesterday but still am about half on the sidelines.

With this administration, not even a crystal ball would be help full. Best help would be a Republican sweep in November.

But then the Republicans still carry a lot of baggage in their own party and while I'll vote for Romney and probably Rubio, Romney needs to tell the Independents and some of the Republicans nuts who won't vote for him because of his religion, more details on why he would start to set this country on the way back from the cliff where it is heading right now.

Homeway Homes Keeps Building Homes - Good News For the Area

Homeway Homes keeps building and building!
Goodfield-based builder delivers four new homes,
four more on the way to North Dakota
GOODFIELD, IL – While Homeway Homes is known as a central Illinois homebuilder, the company is becoming quite well-known in some other states, particularly North Dakota. In June and July, Homeway Homes built and transported four new homes to North Dakota, and has four more on the way.
These quality hand-built modular homes are 1,800-sq.ft., three-bedroom ranch homes with four additional bedrooms in a full basement. These homes are being built for families coming to work for oil companies in the region, where there is an employment boom. The North Dakota housing market cannot keep up in providing affordable, quality housing, and with a Homeway Home these families will have an well-built, energy-efficient place to call home.
“With so many families moving into the booming North Dakota region, it was critical to get these homes built and delivered on time and within budget,” said Ted Schieler, Sales Manager for Homeway Homes. “Thanks to the hard work and effort of our entire team, those families will have comfortable, energy-efficient homes to move into from Day One.”
Since opening in June 2005, Homeway Homes has built homes as small as 500-sq.ft.vacation cottages, all the way up to 5,000-sq.ft. custom homes, in addition to many apartment, condominiums, and student housing projects. In 2012, the company celebrated the building of its 500th home.Even during this tough housing market, Homeway Homes has been blessed to survive and thrive. Homeway Homes has twice been named in the Top 200 Builders of the US and has been awarded the prestigious 2011 Torch Award for Business Integrity by the Better Business Bureau of Central Illinois.
Homeway Homes is based in Goodfield, Ill., with model home centers in Goodfield, Springfield and Galesburg. There are more than 60 floor plans to choose from, which can be customized to fit any lifestyle. For more information, visit homewayhomes.com.
###

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Romney - Nice Guy But Needs to Carry a "Bigger Stick"





Sent to me by a friend.

To START to remedy all the Obama WRONGS, Romney must be more specific in how he will change these wrongs to RIGHTS.

Take ObamaCare. Too much of this bad plan will already be in full swing by January, 2013, for Romney, with cooperation of a Republican majority Senate and House, to repeal the whole Act. Some of the really correct elements of this plan must be kept, not totally thrown out and started over again.

A RomneyReallyCares plan must be condensed to where businesses and individuals can interpret the wording without hiring additional attorneys and accountants. He needs to be more specific as to repealing regulations that stymie small and smaller business growth, etc.

Merle



Why Mitt Romney is Unlikable!


A lot is being said in the media about Mitt Romney not being "likable" or that he doesn't "relate well" to people. Frankly, we struggled to understand why. So after much research, we have come up with a Top Ten List to explain this"unlikablility."

1. Drop-dead, collar-ad handsome with gracious, statesmanlike aura. Looks like every central casting's #1 choice for Commander-in-Chief.

2. Been married to ONE woman his entire life and has been faithful to her, including through her bouts with breast cancer and MS.

3. No scandals or skeletons in his closet. (How boring is that?)

4. Can't speak in a fake, southern, "black preacher voice" when necessary.

5. Highly intelligent. Graduated cum laude from both Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School . . . and by the way, his academic records are NOT sealed.

6. Doesn't smoke or drink alcohol, and has never done drugs, not even in the counter-culture age when he went to college. Too square for today's America?

7. Represents an America of "yesterday", where people believed in God, went to Church, didn't screw around, worked hard, and became a SUCCESS!

8. Has a family of five great sons .... and none of them have police records or are in drug rehab. But of course, they were raised by a stay-at-home mom, and that "choice" deserves America's scorn.

9. Oh yes . . . he's a MORMON. We need to be very afraid of that very strange religion that teaches its members to be clean-living, patriotic,fiscally conservative, charitable, self-reliant, and honest.

10. And one more point . . . pundits say because of his wealth, he can't relate to ordinary Americans. I guess that's because he made that money HIMSELF . . . as opposed to marrying it or inheriting it from Dad. Apparently, he didn't understand that actually working at a job and earning your own money made you un-relatable to Americans.

My goodness, it's a strange world, isn't it?




Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What Would Be Dictators and Pacifists Don't Like - Facts

The Duty of Self-Defense
By Jed Babbin on 7.23.12 @ 6:08AM

Ignoring the lessons we should have learned from the Aurora and previous massacres.

The movie theater slaughter in Aurora, Colorado last Friday cost at least 12 people their lives, and scores of others were injured, some of whom may yet die. The reactions to it, from liberals and some conservatives, have been assiduously ignoring the lessons we should have learned from this incident and those like it in the past.

Liberals react by condemning the NRA, calling for more gun control, and engaging in an orgy of political hand-wringing. The vacuity of the gun control debate was illustrated all too well by the exchange between Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) yesterday on Fox News Sunday.

Di-Fi called for a reinstatement of the so-called "assault weapons ban" she authored in 1994. She said that Holmes's weapon, apparently an AR-15 rifle with a 100-round magazine, was a weapon of war that shouldn't be sold in America. Di-Fi believes that massacres occur because the high-capacity rifle and pistol magazines (by her definition, those that hold more than ten cartridges) are in Americans' hands. Millions are, though probably fewer than a dozen have been used by the mass murderers.

Johnson, in response, pointed out that Holmes could have killed just as many people with a bomb. But his conclusion -- that there's nothing society can do to prevent more massacres in the future -- is as nonsensical as Di-Fi's idea that the availability of the high-capacity magazines is the cause of mass murders.

In 1966, Charles Whitman killed 16 people at the University of Texas with a hunting rifle. In the Columbine High School massacre of 1999, which took 12 lives, the killers used a variety of weapons including a semi-automatic pistol, a shotgun, and a carbine. The 2007 Virginia Tech shootings took 33 lives, and the shooter didn't have an "assault rifle" (a term susceptible to no precise definition, as the now-expired assault weapons ban showed). Islamist Nidal Hassan killed 13 with a pistol in the Fort Hood 2009 massacre. Six died in the 2011 shootings that injured Rep. Gabby Giffords in Tucson, the shooter again using a pistol. Now Holmes has allegedly killed a dozen people using a rifle with a high-capacity magazine while tossing tear gas grenades into the crowd. He was reportedly wearing some Kevlar body armor and carrying one or more pistols and a shotgun.

There are several facts these mass murders have in common. The least important is that they were all committed with firearms.

The two most important facts are that all the shooters were mentally ill and that in all of the incidents -- except the Texas Tower massacre in which Whitman shot from too high a vantage point to be vulnerable to his victims -- these mass murders could have been limited or even prevented by people defending themselves.

As Charles Krauthammer pointed out, states' concern for civil liberties has resulted in a situation in which it has become almost impossible to commit mentally ill people without their consent. Even in cases such as that of the Virginia Tech shooter, people who are known to suffer from dangerous mental conditions are left on the streets. The Army had ample warning about Nidal Hassan. The fact that it ignored the warning signs because he is a Muslim should be a national scandal.

The Constitution's Bill of Rights was crafted to protect the individual citizen from tyranny. The Founders didn't trust government and neither should we. The Second Amendment, we know from the Supreme Court's D.C. v. Heller decision, protects individuals' right to keep and bear arms. The court emphasized that the right to self-defense can be thwarted by law such as those it overturned. The Fifth Amendment says that no person can be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.

That means, in the case of the mentally ill, that they must be protected from the kind of politically-generated diagnosis of mental illness prevalent in Soviet Russia and many other despotisms. But that is not to say that we shouldn't make it easier -- a lot easier -- to involuntarily commit dangerous people to mental institutions and deny them, as best we can, the ability to purchase or possess guns.

All of the shooters in these incidents were mentally ill by our standards. (The Fort Hood shooter, Maj. Hassan, was acting out of his religious-ideological beliefs. He will have to abandon his beliefs to plead not guilty by reason of insanity.) Some were not yet determined to be insane. Universities and state governments should be changing their rules and laws to make it easier and faster to identify the dangerous mentally ill and get them off the streets.

For the rest of us, we have to rethink our right of self-defense. It's a right that has become a duty.

Picture yourself in the Fort Hood building, in a Virginia Tech classroom, standing near Gabby Giffords in Tucson or in that movie theater on Friday night. You're working or studying or out for a fun time. Suddenly, there's someone shooting at you and those near you. You're helpless unless you're armed and well trained to respond with deadly force.

If you're not a cop -- and if you're following the rules that were in place at Fort Hood or in that movie theater (thanks to the army in one case and the theater owner who prohibited guns in the theater in the other) -- you're unarmed. All you can do is run or hug the floor, shielding your spouse or date with your body and possibly sacrificing your own life in the process. You may be lucky enough to be uninjured and close to the shooter when he pauses to reload. In the Tucson incident, one lady who found herself in that situation began a wrestling match with the shooter which others joined, subduing him and ending his shooting spree.

Regardless of where you stand or lie or run, the incident will be over by the time the police arrive. You, your spouse, and friends will either have survived or been killed or injured.

Page: 1 2 >


About the Author
Jed Babbin served as a Deputy Undersecretary of Defense under George H.W. Bush. He is the author of several bestselling books including Inside the Asylum and In the Words of Our Enemies. You can follow him on Twitter @jedbabbin.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Peoria High on the List of Hiring Skilled FOREIGN Workers

Staff of the Heartland Partnership Group believe that is a good thing adding diversity to the area. I interpret it as a different fact. THE FAILURE OF OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES TO EDUCATE AMERICAN BORN STUDENTS TO FILL THESE SKILLED JOBS.

Palin's widely publicized true statement that "you can put lipstick on a bureaucrat" (she really didn't mean a pig or did she?) but they are still a pig." There are so many politicians and bureaucrats "oinking" at the public trough both locally and nationally.

Hopefully, this YOUNG bureaucrat says, "these foreigners will settle in this country and become citizens." I believe the record will show that once they learn American secrets and ingenuity, a large number return to their own countries, especially if they have skilled sorely needed in their country of birth and once they have learned the American way. Other than perhaps doctors who enjoy our country clubs and board positions plus the freedoms we still have.

United States of America is Moving in a Rapid Destruction Mode

Sent to me by a friend who closely follows what is happening to our country, much of it over the past five and one half years. I totally agree.

Merle

The Sad part is most Americans don’t care:
BRILLIANTLY EXPLAINED.

>
This rather brilliantly cuts thru all the political doublespeak we get.
> It puts it into a much better perspective.
>
> Lesson # 1:
>

>
* U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
> * Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
> * New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
> * National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
> * Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000
>
> Let's now remove 8 zeros and pretend it's a household budget:
>

>
* Annual family income: $21,700
> * Money the family spent: $38,200
> * New debt on the credit card: $16,500
> * Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
> * Total budget cuts so far: $38.50
>
> Got It ?????
>

>
OK now Lesson # 2: Here's another way to look at the Debt Ceiling:
>

> Let's say, You come home from work and find there has been a sewer
> backup in your neighborhood....and your home has sewage all the way up
> to your ceilings.
>
>
What do you think you should do ......
>

>
Raise the ceilings, or pump out the crap?
>

> Your choice is coming Nov. 2012.

>

>

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Little Realistic Humor on a Hot Day

Too hot to blog and besides, everybody knows the news anyway. I'm sure everybody reads the JS and the advertising, whoa, I meant the news. Same goes for the local stations.

Hmm

.PARAPROSDOKIANS (Winston Churchill loved them) are figures of speech, in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous.
1. Where there's a will, I want to be in it.
2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you; but, it's still on my list.
3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
4. If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.
5. We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.
6. War does not determine who is right - only who is left.
7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
8. They begin the evening news with 'Good Evening,' then proceed to tell you why it isn't.
9. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
10. Buses stop in bus stations. Trains stop in train stations. Why is my desk a work station.
11. I thought I wanted a career. Turns out I just wanted paychecks.
12. In filling out an application, where it says, 'In case of emergency, notify:' I put 'DOCTOR.'
13. I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
14. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.
15. Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.
16. A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.
17. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
18. Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.
19. There's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away.
20. I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure.
21. You're never too old to learn something stupid.
22. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
23. Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
24. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
25 Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
26. Where there's a will, there's a relative.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Cubs Baseball Uniform for Sale



Complete, great condition Chicago Cubs baseball team uniform for sale.

My motive? To let someone else enjoy these items, make a few bucks, and reduce the clutter. (In case a "journalist" is already suspicious of why anyone would sell things and there must be some hidden, sinister motive -- see my post on Bradley Memorabilia for Sale. LOL)

NOTE: I purchased this complete uniform in 1993 when I played in a Cub's (Randy Hundley) Fantasy Campin Mesa, AZ. Hohokum Field, the last year before it was replaced.

I was 5'11 and weighed 172 lbs.

Cleaned and stored ever since. Uniform #78.

Interested? Leave a comment on this post with your email address and phone number...

...or EMAIL me at:


















Thursday, July 19, 2012

G & D Integrated, Morton, Il. Plans to Fire or Lay Off 500 Employees



A little noticed article in the local media said that locally based G & D Integrated planned to cut 535 jobs in Decatur after losing a contract with Caterpillar. The company said it would hire about the same number number of logistics employees. But these new employees would have to go through the job applying process.

G & D was involved in a couple of ways with the bankrupt FireFly which local media indicated G & D owned the building FireFly leased out on Galena Rd. I'm not sure who is occuppying the building now but there does seem to some activity.

Nothing more has appeared in the media since 7/7/12. I wonder if the employees being laid off were union and the new logistic employees would be non-union.

Hmm?

Caterpillar has a large truck plant in Decatur. I had a store there at one time and did some business with Cat.

Bureacracies Run Our Governments - Politicians Do As They Are Told


Except the good, brave, common sense, and outspoken politicians of which there appear to be less and less especially among the Democrats. And many Republicans.

Back in 1980, in an article written by Rick Baker, long deceased author and columnist for the Journal Star wrote a lengthy column about my efforts to collect about $4000 legally owed me by the now going bankrupt State of Illinois. If anyone cares to look it up, Rick titled his column, "GUESS WHO LOSES...Peoria Businessman Tackles State Over Unpaid Bill, dated May 21, 1980.

Baker wrote, "Widmer is by no means alone. While a spokesman for the Court of Appeals said he couldn't provide a dollar figure for the number of claims backlogged in the system, it was indicated to be in the millions, An assistant attorney general with the Court of Claims, said, 'The businessmen are dealing with a large bureaucracy. They should be aware of this when dealing with the state. As the bureaucracy grows constantly...,"

My representative to Springfield, long deceased Mary Lou Sumner of Dunlap, one of those types of politicians I mentioned in the first paragraph, first sentence, helped me take my plea to a hearing on the subject representing all who where having problems being paid by the state. Eventually, an attorney from Chicago came to my aid and at no charge helped me collect my money.

So here it is 32 years later, the government bureaucracy continues to grow at an accelerated pace and I still have a low tolerance for fools in any way connected to the public body. Or for the private sector.

I failed to mention, I took my case to then Governor James R. Thompson, who answered me politiely in a letter I have retained, that he could not help ,me because that "Under the present law, you must proceed thru the Court of Claims.......

I add that the law was eventually changed. I hope but I do not know because shortly thereafter, I ceased doing business with the State of Illinois. Presently, I fear there are many business people who wish they had never obligated themselves to be paid by this state; I've read over $6 billion in backlogged payments.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Bradley Memorabilia For Sale And a Smart Ass Email Received

I received an email from a "just out of college" reporter for a local TV station. He asked if he could come over and view the items shown on my Bradley blog. He left a phone #. Within a couple of hours, I called him. He was out, so I left a message that he was welcome, but to call first. When about 36 hours went by, I sent a polite request email asking why he did not return my call.

I received an email back asking me what my motive was and was I trying to make a profit.

If he had any common sense, he could have read the opening line of my memorabilia blog post that says "for sale." Had he any common sense, he might have read where I am proud to post that I am 87 years old. Had he any common sense, he might have suspected I was down sizing and that over the years I paid dearly for these pictured items.

I have donated well over $60 grand to Bradley University and I never attended Bradley. Nor did any of my children. I also headed a one year fund raising drive (1977-78) where we set a record in donations.

I retired from the board in 1983, largely because I had opened a new business in Phoenix and was flying back and forth to my business in Peoria.

Anyway, you recent graduate from a school in Tennessee, you have a lot to learn.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Old Bradley University Memorabilia for Sale




Are you a Bradley University alumnus, fan, professor, or employee?



Check out the nice collection of rare Bradley University memorabilia that I am offering to sell.



If you're interested, contact me, or post a comment with your phone number or email address.



You can contact me at:



merlewidmer [at] msn [dot] com


























Saturday, July 14, 2012

Jonah Goldberg - One Man's Truth Trying to Offset the Racism and Liberalism of Robinson and Pitts in the JS




Thanks to the liberal bent local Journal Star for printing a "breath of fresh air", by nationally renowned columnist Jonah Goldberg.

"Churning the waters of our sick culture" is the subject of his column today. He says, "It's true that culture is more important than politics. However, you could impose Sweden's laws on the Middle East tomorrow but don't hold your breath waiting for the Saudis to turn into the Swedes of the Arabian Peninsula."

Our culture also has it's sickness more than ever before seen or heard in my lifetime. Goldberg talks of the South Florida lifeguard who left his designated location to save a drowning man 1500 feet away only to be fired next day by his superiors for dereliction of his duties. (Under public pressure, he was offered his job back, but his common sense, so lacking in much of our culture in the U.S., advised him not to accept the sadly belated offer)

Goldberg also reported that in California, going bankrupt California, of course, a suicidal man walked into the ocean and police and firefighters on the scene made no move to save him because of 'union rules'. They stood on the beach and watched.

And you wonder why I have a strong dislike for union bosses and the elected boards who grant these bosses this kind of power.

Liberal Nancy Pelosi brags how ObamaCare, the bill she admits she never read, "will allow us to be more creative, be a musician, a policeman or whatever, you can LEAVE your work and pursue your dreams."

Sure.

Read Goldberg's entire column in today's JS Editorial Page (JSEB) He is a down-to-earth, factual writer.

Japanese Beetles - Traps Work But Don't Work


Neither does the pesticide recommended by one prominent nursery. Last year, we killed probably 60,000 beetles with one beetle trap, only to find out that our trap was attracting beetles from far away. We learned that unless everybody in the neighborhood had traps in front of leaves and fruit that beetles eat, (they will even eat birch and maple tree leaves) the beetles and possums would all come to our trees. We could see beetles flying in across our wide large yard ususally riding with the wind.

Between the possums and the beetles, not one peach was spared.

One Peoria Journal Star "reporter" said Peoria had fewer beetles than last year. The next day, that report was reversed. We had fewer beetles but just as destructive as last year. This year we discarded the traps.

This year, we used the spray recommended by the nursery. It worked for two days so we sprayed again with the same results except the possums are winning.

Japanese beetles breed faster than Islamic terrorist ignorant or frightened, clit removed, wives.

It appears, even with drones and beetle spray and beetle traps, we are losing both battles.

Read more, click here: Japanese beetles.

Pakistan - Another of the Counties Accepting our Money and Protection While Laughing Behind Our "Leaders" Backs




Dr. Shakil Afridi’s
(see photo above) appeal to be freed from prison in Pakistan is scheduled for July 19. As you may know, Dr. Afridi is facing a 33-year prison sentence for aiding the CIA in the successful mission that led to the death of Osama Bin Laden.

Pakistan is supposedly our ally in the war on terror.

Yet when this courageous doctor assisted our military in hunting down the man behind the mass murder of over 3,000 American citizens, Pakistan’s government fabricated charges to jail Dr. Afridi.Some ally.

Our budget is beyond busted, and our foreign policy rewarding the worst of the world’s dictators because “the other guy” might be worse traps us in an endless cycle of funneling your hard-earned money to autocrats who do not share our values or promote America’s interests.And that weakens our national security.

But you and I have a chance to put a stop to that.I am demanding a vote on my amendment to strip Pakistan of all foreign aid unless Dr. Afridi is released from prison on July 20.

This up or down vote will force every senator on the record, and will draw a line between those who stand with the taxpayers and those who wish to continue a policy of looking the other way as the world’s worst governments subvert America’s objectives.

But Harry Reid has blocked a vote on this amendment in the past and is likely to run interference again.

That’s why I hope you’ll sign the petition demanding the Senate vote on my amendment to end Pakistan freeloading off the American taxpayer while working against America’s objectives.

After you sign the petition, please chip in a contribution so RANDPAC can continue to mobilize grassroots activists to force Harry Reid to schedule a vote on my amendment.


I’m not giving up on this fight, Rand.


Voter ID Political Nonsense


Not being politically correct here. Seldom in my life have I been.

Obama, Holder and their ilk want illegals, unregistered Acorn recruits and the like to be able to VOTE WITHOUT SHOWING THE SAME ID AS I AM REQUIRED TO SHOW.

What a political scam reeking of corruption.

My advise to Repubican candidates is to state common sense in as few words as possible:

EVERYONE NEEDS TO CARRY SOME TYPE OF PROVABLE ID AT ALL TIMES.

All are required to show ID when opening a charge account.

All are required to show ID if buying or renting and driving any vehicle.

We are all required to show ID when --

* borrowing money

* buying an alcoholic drink

* buying a house

* being stopped for a violation

* asking to do work on my property

* applying for a passport

* being accepted into emergency facilities

* renting or buying a house

...and the list goes on.

Stop the conversation at this point and ask, "What you hell are you 'bleeding liberals' talking about? Now get out of my face, you aren't voting for me under any circumstances and I will do everything I can to stop these illiterate, illegal, and free loaders from voting without the same type of ID I am required to present."

Period.

It's time to toughen up. The leaders of other countries like China, Russia and Argentina, are smiling and saying thank you and other platitudes to our face and laughing behind our backs. Organized terrorists are open in their hatred of us and know they do not need to terrorize us anymore in our own country.

We wimps our own worst enemy and they know who we are. So does Obama and his ilk.

(Still working the bugs out of my new system. Neither "preview" nor "spell-check" is working.)

Mark Steyn, David Limbaugh, Dick Morris and Eileen McGann, Etc. - They Reveal Who Obama is and How He is Destroying Our Great Country


Mark Steyns book, "After America - Get Ready For Armageddon", David Limbaugh's book, "The Great Destroyer" and Morris-McGann book, "Screwed", are must reading for all Tea Party People, Republicans, Independents, and many Democrats.

There is information in these books about what Obama and his ilk are doing to this country; information that will seldom be factually reported in the local and major media.

Nor will this material be discussed by the the liberals who dominate our failed public and collegiate education system. Especially in the cities the size of Peoria on up. Never overlooking that we have many teachers who are apolitical, who disseminate the actual facts about all parties, especially in our smaller communties..

All polls I have seen or read about indicate that those polled are not happy about the direction this country is definitely heading.

Obama is the Possible Felon - Not Romney




One of Obama's minions called Romney a possible felon because of his dealing with Bain and possible mis-statements he made about his dealing with Bain, which Romney denies. Obama immediately jumped on Romney also.

Obama is at the point where he will do anything to distract the voters from his overall terrible record. I have in the past listed a FEW of the under-handed and most probable or possible illegal deals Obama has made before and while in any office or position of leadership. In the last year, he has stepped up the pace.

A big issue has been made by Obama and some Democrats; I say some because some Democrats and possibly most Democrats believe in venture capitalism. In Peoria politics many loans (venture capital) are made using taxpayer dollars. Peoria County has what they call Gap Loans. I'm not sure what the City calls their taxpayer loan system. Both both county and city lend to most projects that come hat in hand.

Years ago I helped stop the request to GIVE $8,000,000 to Van Mauer to locate in the Shoppes. I was very unsuccessful in stopping both the City and The County from lending $6,000,000 or so to the now bankrupt Firefly.

Other relatively recent loans totaling more than a million dollars were made by both entities to Globe Energy, In-Play, and River Station.

All are bankrupt.

What is the big difference?

Bain was lending money mainly to EXISTING COMPANIES with mainly PRIVATE capital investments. Any loans the City or County make is with TAXPAYERS money. In either case, if the firm makes it, it a financial gain to the private sector and a public gain to the community. Both entities try to help the capitalists to make a profit and stay in business.

Both the City and the County has some successs, Palace Skating Rink comes to mind. The private sector like Bain is prepared to take losses which is typical of all private Venture Capitalists. They are part of the system that has made America great. Many who don't succeed but enough that do succeed to make the profits to support all all employees and pay taxes to government bodies.

One large difference is that the private venture capitalists have many financial experts on board to help them make the loan decision. In some cases, if local labor is not competitive or cooperative, some of the business may NEED to be outsourced. Gap and City loans also, as there is not enough staff to even monitor what the companies do that they have invested in.

Quite different in the private sector is that they monitor their investments constantly.

By contrast, the current combined boards, City and County, have a committee that is qualified to make loans. They depend on the recommendation of the bank or banks that are making the loan.

The problem with this? The loan officers of the banks only loan what they believe they can recoup in event of bankruptcy. They are in #1 position to get all or most of their money bank. Leasing companies are next in line and in all loans, the City and County is last. In the above mentioned bankruptcies, neither the City or the County re-coup any of the taxpayer money they invested.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

New Computer


I bought a new HP 2000-369WM Notebook PC with Windows 7 .

I've had to adjust to a few things, so that's why I have not posted to my blog recently, but now I'm back.

Steven Streight came over today and helped me fix some browser and Blogger interface issues. He gave my blog a new design, with new background, new header, width adjustments, sidebar widgets ("gadgets"), and a new list of Recommended Reading blogs.


Congressman Bobby Schilling
and Steven Streight.

If you need help with your blog, social media, website, internet marketing, or computer, Steven can be reached through me, or directly at:

Steven Streight

steven [dot] streight [at] gmail [dot] com

(309) 686-7102

You can expect my normal blogging schedule to kick in. Thanks for your patience and understanding.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Senator Jim Webb - Help Him Re-Shape the Criminal Justice System


Another old overlooked draft I'm publishing today to see what progress is being made in the failed "war on drugs".

The drug war is failing. Similair to the drug alcohol probition failed. this new "war" has far more crimanal activity, needless imprisonments on many users and deaths. To my knowledge, Bill S306 is still on hold in the House dominated today by Republicans?

Am I correct on the hold-up? If so, why. The failure is acknowledged by a large majority of public safety officers.

If this country didn't have so many other politically caused problems, we could have time for a national debate on the success and failure of our present system.

Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) has reintroduced the National Criminal Justice Commission Act, legisation to "create a blue-ribbon commission to look at every aspect of our criminal justice system with an eye toward reshaping the criminal justice system from top to bottom."

The NCJCA, S. 306 in the current Congress, had broad and bipartisan support and passed the House of Representatives in 2010, but did not make the Senate calendar before the end of the year.

Please use web form at StoptheDrugWar.org to urge your US Representative and your two US Senators to pass S. 306 so the commission can get started!

Please follow-up by calling their offices too -- if you don't know their numbers (or aren't sure who they are), you can reach them by calling the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

The need for S. 306 is urgent. As Sen. Webb's web site notes:

* With 5% of the world's population, our country now houses 25% of the world's reported prisoners.

* The number of incarcerated drug offenders has soared 1200% since 1980.

* Four times as many mentally ill people are in prisons than in mental health hospitals.

* Approximately 1 million gang members reside in the US, many of them foreign-based, and Mexican cartels operate in 230+ communities across the country.

* Post-incarceration re-entry programs are haphazard and often nonexistent, undermining public safety and making it extremely difficult for ex-offenders to become full, contributing members of society.

Every day that passes without criminal justice reform is a day that thousands of people who don't need to be in prison, who may have never deserved to go there, continue to languish needlessly behind bars, separated from their friends and families who want them back. Thank you for taking action.

Click here to take action now: Stop the Drug War.

THANKS for helping to improve America.


Peoria County Continues Spending

I'm publishing an old "draft". When I left the board in December, 2010 after 10 years of building up fund balances, the JS announced this year that the County would run an approximate $1.2 million deficit.

Here is the old unpublished draft.

Despite warnings that the economy may very well be entering the feared double dip recession, Peoria County Administration and Board continues spending on non-priority items.

The latest release from the County says the "County will be running a bus for board members on Tuesday and Thursday to visit the site of tornado damage in Elmwood and the vicinity.

I have made two trips personally on my own nickel to view the damage and talk with some residents. The Land Use Committee has recommended unanimously to waive building permits (with parameters) for reconstruction and repaid of damaged buildings and there is NO doubt the the full board will approve our action this Thursday.

So why tie up drivers, administration and board members for taxpayer paid trips to Elmwood? Unless, of course Elmwood is going to ask for more taxpayer dollars as I understand that some of the buildings were uninsured????Notice of this planned trip was received by email Friday and the Courthouse is closed Monday. Some board members do not have personal email addresses.

Board members were also notified that a search team has been hired to recommend a replacement for our departed Financial Officer. Some of us on the board have hired dozens of employees successfully and our administrator has been on the job at the our courthouse for 9 and one half years. We have had for some time a Human Resources Manager.

At Thursdays meeting, the board will be asked to commit to borrowing.

Prudential Annuities - A Compliment

I haven't had a lot of dealing with this Prudential Division but once they made a mistake, when I advised them, they immediately took steps to reimburse me for their error.

Thanks, Prudential, I would recommend Prudential Annuities to all seeking a company that know knows how to do business and do it quickly.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Perry Klopfenstein - Good Friend and Author

This is an email I received from Perry recently. Scroll to below this email for the names of the books and comments in one of the books about our relationship.

Merle




Merle,, Special best wishes!



Today Carol and I observed 35 years of being in business at Pontiac, a store we purchased from you. Thank you for selling it to me, and helping me get established. At 73, I am still eager to work, and plan to continue on. I jog each morning, seven days per week, and seem to be in good health. Carol and I will celebrate 40 years of marriage, on July 30, the good Lord willing.



So...I thought of you and your wife today, several times, since my mind went back many years. I am glad I bought the store. The cost? I only paid for the inventory! You were very generous; and helpful. I still think of the advice you gave me -- especially to look over an office, and see what they need. In Fairbury yesterday, I noted a fertilizer office using a scale ticket. I asked if I could bid on it. Sure enough, they consented willingly. :-)



Sincerely,



Perry


Perry's first book, written in 1984 is titled, "Marching to Zion" - A history of the Apostolic Christian Church of America 1847-1982. The 2nd book is titled, "A Pilgrim's Journey" and there are a couple of pages devoted to a thumbnail sketch of how our relationship started and the success Perry attributes to my help to him in his ongoing business career.

.Merle

Tim Dawson - Best Computer Guy Around

That's right The best. I had problems so bad I wanted to pitch my computer but today, everything is back up and running. I am using Explorer as my entry now instead of MSN, a company that has given me many a headache.

Monday, July 02, 2012

My 87 Birthday And Some Backward Glances

Thanks to all who sent me birthday wishes one way or another. I hope I did not overlook anyone when I make a feeble effort to say thanks.

Since I became computer semi-literate (I still don't fully understand how to use and post on Facebook or LinkedIn), I have posted over 2100 blogs, all of which remain accessible by those who read me. (Just enter a subject on the search bar above my profile and click.)

I have made many predictions, most fortunately or unfortunately have come true. I have been reminded by several that what I may have opposed went ahead, over my opposition. However, a closer examination shows that not one met their publicized revenue projections.

In an atictle printed in the Peoria Journal Star on 3/16/1999, (regarding the potential move of the Peoria Chiefs Baseball from Meinen Field to its present money losing site), I was quoted, "I do not believe in using public funds for a private organization."

The city of Peoria spent somewhere around $5 million and Governor Jim Ryan, now jailed, kicked in $2 million through his Build Illinois campaign. I think we may have gotten into riverfront mania.

We (the Chiefs) haven't made money for 5 years and the city runs the risk of funding a white elephant. From the reports in the JS that prediction may come true.

My accountant tells me I have no more losses to write off on the $50,000.00 investment I made in 1994 when the club was still at Meinen Field now called Shea Stadium. The swap of this land from the PPD to Bradley is another interesting story I have factually told in past blogs while the JS has said typically nothing about this "deal".

Next came the RiverPlex that I opposed mainly because it would be largely competing with private, property tax paying entities and take gymnasium and swimming pool business away from private as well as other publicly funded swimming pools.

Also I questioned the figures posted in the JS on 6/16/1999, that quoted Roger Allen and Bonnie Noble of the park district as saying by the "fifth year, with 5,000 members the operations would generate a profit of $515,494.

It is now in it's eleventh year and the RiverPlex claims over 5,000 members. New General Obligation bonds are sold each year to cover principal and interest over the next nine years to pay off the remaing approximately $6,000,000.00 left to pay off the original bonds.

Operating budgets have been in the black for the past 6 years but when annual payments are made to reduce the debt, the RiverPlex budgets are in the red. Even after the park district picks up part of the operating costs or maintenance or both. (JS, August 21, 2011)

The city also took a big loss by trading the RiverPlex riverfront land for a long time vacant lot overvalued by far at $5 per square foot. Anyone wanting to see this land, I will be glad to show them inculding the $430,000.00 appraisal made for this property by James W. Klopfenstein on August 24, 1999.

Before Dave Ransburg left office, he told me approximately $40,000,000.00 had been spent on the riverfront, and the city is still spending, while property tax in the area shrinks; this shrinkage made up by taxing other entities.

I also predicted that the "African Experience" at the Glen Oak Zoo would be difficult to fund, would operate at a substantial loss and would not draw the number of visitors projected year in and year out. Recently, the Glen Barton Family had to fund $5 million to finish the parking lot and entrance, appearently now under construction.

As to affecting services to other areas: The ball parks promised in 2002 were never constructed. Erosion control in the 9,000 acre park owned hills and valleys are eroding badly, helping make a large delta in the Illinois River, fees have been in some cases tripled.

The clay tennis courts had no new cover added this year and are a cloud of dust, the historic cannons are at risk of falling into Glen Oak Lake, areas are lacking water and toilet facilities such as at Becker Park and a "Mickey Mouse" type skateboard park was located in an area were reputed drug deals have taken place. (Back end of Becker Park -- unobserved and underused by the general public).

Do the kids and most parents in Peoria know where this park is? Last time I checked, there was neither toilet or drinking water facilities. But Becker Park does have a rarely used trail!

Then there is the expanded Civic Center that is operating at a capacity far below normal according to a very recent paid audit, losses projected to be under $218,295 (JS, 7/24/09) came in at -$432,000, or a total net loss of $4,764,988.00 for fiscal year 2011. Since losses are paid by taxes, the Civic Center should be under-bidding the competition unless this is the way all publicly funded entities operate.

I spoke before the City Council opposing the councils evetual backing $37,000,000.00 General Obligation bonds to fund the new Marriot and the public still doesn't know how much the now closed Big Al's will be reimbursed for lost business and its relocation, estimated by some familair with the situation, to be up to $11,000,000.00.

And then of course, there is the still apparently unfunded Peoria Riverfront Museum, which I predict will lose about $2 million a year after the first 3 years, or sooner. (Where the approximately new $ 5 million added to a too skimpy endowment came from remains a mystery. Even one of the veteran board members has not been able to find out and there sure wasn't any publicity about the donor or donors).

While all of these projects lend a certain value to parts of the citizenry, they are pure examples as to why the City, County, State and Federal governments are running growing deficits to be paid by some worried tax payers at some later dates.

It appears many of the promised 'silk purses' turned out be be not silk, and the gooses I wrote about in a LTE in 1999 (the city's misspent money can't be recovered) failed, as yet, to lay the promised golden eggs.

Yet Caterpillar, whose stock keeps dropping and competition grows stronger, probably won't benefit that much from the billions to be spent, susposedly mainly on bridge repair and on union laborers, engineers and consultants, etc. (new Transportation bill passed by Congress) Cat management has confidence that all is well in the growth of the downtown district and that their substantial stockholders investments will make the downtown more like it was in days gone past.

Time will tell and I hope I am wrong, yet always remembering that "projections" in this country are a 'dime a dozen'. My new goal is to live to at least ninety, see a new administration this November, see less jobless and an economy that is REALLY on the grow.

Sadly lacking in this community is media investigating reporters reporting the real facts about what appears to be intentionally "covered up". Some of us bloggers try to get out the truth -- not only in Peoria, but bloggers all over the nation.

My spell-check is not working. Hope you don't find more errors than I find in our local major newspaper who has less local reporters than I can ever remember.

P.S. While not exactly downtown, I am told by good authority that the taxpayer owned BelWood nursing home is losing more money, revenues are up but expenses are higher than revenues, The $3 million now funded by property taxes may be inadequate as the census continues to drop. (190 in the 300 bed capacity building).

While the new 214 bed Heading Oaks, it's new name to be, is going to be a world class safety net for the poor, the future lies somewhat unknown with the going bankrupt State of Illinois most likely to cut back Medicaid funding and drop more costs on Peoria County property taxpayer while Peoria County pays the taxes for residents coming in from other counties.

Hmm.

Corruption Comes From Too Long in Power

As long ago (1887) an atributed quote by Lord Acton (John Edward Dalberg), "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men (and today, women) are almost always bad men and (women), even when they excercise influence and not authority, still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainy of corruption by authority  There is no worse heresy than that the office sactifies the holder of it....."

I served 10 years in minor public office. It is seldom in the best interests of the overall when people become career politicians. I have witnessed it first hand.

Nor was it the intent of our 1770 fathers.

Look where it has gotten this country that showed such tremendous promise and now is occuppied by people under fear, worry and the resulting stress.

Majority View of the State of our U.S.A.

 
July 1, 2012

Have We Reached the New Tipping Point?

By Jim Yardley

To paraphrase Larry the Cable Guy, I don't care who you are -- you have to admit that Thomas Jefferson certainly had a way with words. In this one short section from the Declaration of Independence, he not only describes the duty of citizens to oust an oppressive, despotic government, but identifies the major reason why it hasn't happened already. Take another look at what is arguably the key phrase in the paragraph cited above:

... accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

Under George III, the accumulation of abuses hit a tipping point that moved Americans from the "suffer [evil], while evils are sufferable" to viewing those abuses as intolerable.

Under Barack Obama, and those of a similar mind in subordinate positions, such as Eric Holder, Michael Bloomberg, and others, the abuses which we have suffered have accumulated to the same point we were at in 1776. They can no longer be tolerated. We can not afford, as a nation, a continuance of such violations of the underpinning of our democratic republic, the Constitution.



Progressives ignore history in many cases because they feel that they are so much smarter and more intellectual than people were in the past, and that whatever mistakes were made back then (whenever then was) will not be repeated since they are so much smarter that they couldn't possible make those mistakes again.



But any examination of history tells us that it is not the huge screw-ups by the elites that trigger revolutions. It is invariably something that looks minor (to the elites) and yet causes a reaction that catches those self-same elites totally by surprise. The difference is that it is most often the small things that affect people personally.



For example, the Fast and Furious "gun tracking" program is looked on by most citizens as being flawed, and an overreach, and yet it does not rise to the level of triggering a revolt. Why? Because it does not affect most of us individually and personally.



The idea that the White House leaked all that classified information annoys people, but most view it as not affecting most of them individually and personally.



But consider ObamaCare, Mayor Bloomberg's assertion that he has the authority to tell you what size soda you are allowed to buy, Janet Napolitano's TSA "pat-downs," Ken Salazar's "boot on the neck" attitudes that help gas prices climb, the claim that the president can decide what and what is not actually part of a religion, and the continuing economic disaster that surrounds each and every one of our citizens. Each of these things affects most people personally, which is why there is such pushback against both ideas.



It appears that we have finally reached that tipping point, where nearly everything from this point forward is likely to be viewed by voters as impacting them individually and personally -- and that impact will probably not be applauded. Each new thing will be an irritant.



President Eisenhower enjoyed his rounds of golf, and President Clinton enjoyed mingling with the Hollywood elites, yet there was not a groundswell of bitterness toward either man. The economy was humming along, and the ordinary person-in-the-street was reasonably content with the condition of his or her life, and the world seemed relatively safe and stable.



But take a quick look at what the person-in-the-street sees around him today:



The American economy is still in the tank, and domestic unemployment of 8%-plus appears to be a permanent fixture.

Nations in the Middle East are building nuclear weapons or are melting down into civil war and starting to involve their neighbors.

The North African nations along the Mediterranean coast are being taken over by religious zealots with an ax to grind against the United States and a jihadist desire to martyr themselves.

Europe is on the verge of imploding economically and, perhaps, politically.

The People's Republic of China is flexing its military muscle in the southwest Pacific, while its economy is reacting to the rest of the globe's economic malaise and beginning to contract.

Russia has a new president who dreams longingly of become the next tsar (one not appointed by Obama).

U.S. soldiers serving in Pakistan and Afghanistan are unable to turn their backs on their "allies" for fear of being killed by one of their partners in the war against al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

With this environment, when compared to the Eisenhower or Clinton periods, is it any wonder why the average American feels that there is something amiss when the president appears to be (a) constantly playing golf, (b) attending yet another fundraiser with the glitterati, or (c) dashing off for a vacation on the taxpayers' dime to revel in another exotic locale -- and accomplishing not much of anything to alleviate any of the above crises?



His mantra of change revolves around raising taxes, allowing anyone at all to stroll into our country and suffer no penalty, and announcing that Catholics must set aside a basic doctrine of their faith to satisfy his desire to look like a hero to women. This, by the way, is the same man who claims to be reading Thomas Aquinas and Saint Augustine in the situation room of the White House while doling out death from the sky on a retail basis, and claiming that such actions make him a really, really gutsy guy.



The Chicago re-election campaign staff of the president seems unable to convince Obama to change his self-centered and insensitive behaviors. That assumes of course that they even notice that his attitudes and behaviors are beginning to grate on the nerves of the ordinary American, who is wondering how he is going to feed his kids this week.



None of Obama's behaviors individually rise to the level of being insufferable evils, but when taken in the aggregate, they appear to be the embodiment of what Mr. Jefferson said so eloquently:



... when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security ...



There is a strong probability that Mr. Obama will be just as surprised in November by election returns that are clearly the result of his ideas of governing a nation as was George III in 1778 was in the reaction to his ideas of governing. I am fairly that George III must have said something (couched in well-educated, upper-class British idiom) akin to "Whaddaya mean, I lost an entire country?" I look forward to hearing how President Obama phrases the same reaction.



Jim Yardley is a retired financial controller for a variety of manufacturing firms, a Vietnam veteran and an independent voter. Jim blogs at http://jimyardley.wordpress.com, or he can be contacted directly at james.v.yardley@gmail.com.



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