Thursday, September 27, 2018

Blasey Said

they pushed her in a room and locked the door. Question - if door door was locked how did she walk out so easily and down the stairs?

 Also, she said she had only one beer. 14 years old? Who bought her the beer??? All people arrested on DUI ALWAYS LIE about how many drinks they had.

Also, she said another woman was in the room. Why didn't that other 'woman, her friend, who NOW wants to testify, call for help??

Democrats are trying to gain more women's votes by not asking many questions but 'politiziing.

Published at 1:45.Watched until 4:00 A.M. on C-span.

All people lie. She had the 'incident' rolling around in her head for 37 years. Why did she then need a 'sleaze bag' lawyer sitting beside her to prompt her?? One piece swim suit to a house where she knew a party wouod happen later on. Plus why did she lay on the bed on her hack. Thrown on the bed without scratching and screaming.??

I have a farm on Manhattan Island to sell to those believe he said, she said, who believe she was 'tellling a whole story.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Kavanaugh - Even the Dumbest Among Us Should See What the Democrats Are Trying To Do So Late In the Game

The world has changed. Charged is now guilty. It took me seven months to clear my name and 4 years to have the charge sealed by the State of Florida. If I was running a business or running for office, I would have been DOA.

What a shame. Expect more men to hook up with men. Warn your young sons to avoid 3/MS girls. If you rise to power and you have shunned them or of opposite political party or they decide they don't like you, expect to be charged for 'something' in your distant past..

Or in a not friendly divorce as an acquaintance of mine who spent 5 years of  his life in prison before a 'common' sense Judge over ruled the sentence and set him free. The Judge called it the "worst mis-carriage of justice he had ever reviewed.

Have you noticed that the number of black women charging men is far less than their population of approximately 18%?

Interesting, no??

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Christine Blasey Ford Said She Thought About Leaving This Country - Maybe New Zealand

To escape her parents who had different political opinion than this spoiled brat born wealthy? Read up on her history.

I have. At age 15 at an unsupervised party. Wearingg what? A very short mini skirt and no panties?

So sad she didn''t and take the dozens of Hollywood 'Stars' who said they "would leave this country if Trump got elected". None of them kept their promise.

They love the money too much and the wild sex orgies.

Not to mention the 'coke' and opioids.

I have many times mentioned that we need all the 'no nothings' to leave. Why didn't they?????

If Ford was a Medical Doctor, I would be more inclined to believe some of her story. What is she a 'Professor' of? Of course, I know.

Immiigration - Enough Of This Left Leaning Liberal Democrat BS

People from many countries fleeing 'because of gang violence' to enter the U.S.A. ILLEGALLY. These lowlifes "journalists" including Peoria, Il. where gang violence is rampant, constantly write and call ILLEGALS immigrants.

President Trump has ALWAYS said he not opposed to LEGAL  emigration but he "wants  more through screening to stop more gang members from entering this country" (we have about as many gangs as schools here now) and to prevent more terrorists or potential terrorists (we have enough here now, most laying in wait while this country crumbles) from mingling in with the truly oppressed.

The majority of those seeking to enter this 'land of milk and honey' know about our great compassion and our welfare system -  where they will need neither the skill nor ambition but will always be protected by the OVER compassionate citizenry (mainly Democrats) and will always have food clothes heat and air-conditioning and a roof that doesn't leak over their heads.

Democrat leaders, a pot full of hypocrisy, say the more that enter here, by 'hook or crook', will eventually vote Democrat.

They do not look forward to what the future will bring if Democrats control the Presidency and both Houses, Demos and their journalist hacks speak of chaos. They have yet to see chaos once they are in total power.

So really sad.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

55 Protesters Arrested After Swarming Congress - Raise the Bond To $50,000 and keep Them In Jail

This sexual harassment thing has gone way too far. 35 years later this Socialist Democrat 'Profeessor' comes out of the woodwork supposedly months ago and gives her story to another Socialist Democrat named Feinstien who held this 'information' until the Kavanaugh vote was days away

Those who are killing this country are driving it to a DICTATORSHIP at which point sexual harassment will be clearly defined and those making claims that can't be quickly proven will disappear never to be seen again by their families.

Someone inform me if these protesters who have only heard the claim and put the accused and his family in a horrible situation if these protesters come to Peoria.

Hear she was drunk as a skunk, no insult to the skunk, and why was she alone at an supposedly unsupervised high school party? Where were her friends?

Many years ago a friend of mine was harassed by a guy who thought he was a bigshot. When he tried to pull this crippled girl on the dance floor, I knocked him on his ass. He said he would sue me. After about 55 years has elapsed, I am still waiting for him to sue.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Ron Harris, Obituary #2 and #3 in JS Has Major Error

Sorry that Ron is deceased. I doubt he will see this post and I doubt he wrote his own obit. While I regret making a correction to his obit but I feel whoever wrote his obit intended on obit #2 and #3 to slight myself and my former company. Which today is the leading Office Interior company in down state Illinois.

Ron came back from coaching in Europe in 1976 (Journal Star article) and I hired him as an office furniture outside salesman. I quickly promoted him to Sales Manager. Knowing the community, he did very well; records show he earned $93,000 one year, far more than I the owner of the company earned.

I proceeded in 1982 to buy Jacquins Office Equipment store and their sales manager, Tom Walsh, came to work for my company as General Sales Manager while Ron remained as Design Furniture Sales Manager.

Approximately March 1, 1983, or 7 years after i had hired Ron, I was received an original letter dated February 28, 1983, from one of my better customers, Pekin Insurance, that reads as follows: "We have chosen to leave Widmer, Inc. (one of several names I used over the years, the last name, Widmer Office Products/Interiors by Widmer; Widmer Interiors, the name still used by my buyer) to establish a new company called Design Furniture & Systems of Illinois. Our firm will be handling any fine lines of office furniture, etc.."

The letter was signed, Ron Harris, Furniture Consultant and Bob Rogers. Filing Systems Consultant.

It was then that I learned he had set up his own company while working for me, was taking 3 of my employees from the department he headed, my filing systems specialist and two of my major lines.

Two shorten the story, his company 'went out of businesss' a number of years later. My company quickly recovered under the guidance of Tom Walsh, who I later named President of my company and later became President of the company that bought me.

Sorry folks, but the first obit said he worked for Widmer, Inc. after leaving BB coaching. For 7 years  he honed his furniture selling skills while NOT owning his own company and  not on a basketball court in Europe. Obit #2 and #3 in the JS omitted this and used the wrong date by 7 years before he opened his own business that evidently didn't make it.

This blog would not have been necessary if the first obit had not been replaced by a lie.

What I have written here is a matter of record as I have always been thorough on details.I could write more on this story but have elected not to at this time of grieving.

 query tennis. Sort by date Show aposts


As Queen Bonnie Exits With Accolades.....

there are some facts that should be know. When I was head of the SouthSide Recreation Committee, she did not want to put up tennis courts at John Gwynn Park unless they could also be used as basketball courts. Joe Stowell, then Bradley Basketball coach told her that was illogical. So two separate tennis courts were built and I used those courts for my At Risk tennis programs that were highly successful. A hitting wall was installed on the wrong fence where every ball hit over the wall, landed in private property. I told her the wall needed to be moved so the balls landed on park property. To no avail. I eventually had to turn my program over to the park and it went downhill the first year and then kaput.

I waged a constant battle for tennis courts and maintenance. When the hard courts at Glen Oak and Bradley became badly cracked, contractors tried to scrape the top of the courts off and replacing the cracked tops with new tops. I told her that unless they went to the bottom where the cracks started, the top surface would crack again and very soon. They did and a total of 10 courts had to be redone. In redoing, one net post was set higher than it's mate so that the tennis net tilted downhill. As far as i know this situation prevails today.

Next step was that she wanted to close all but 2 of the seven clay courts, claiming the space for parking for the African Exhibit. A group of us banded together and saved the 7 clay courts. She tried to convince the board that Clay courts were more costly to maintain. Her staff took a study that proved the opposite. However, neglect of the clay courts of not enough water or too much water or not enough maintenance remains a problem yet today.This year, the clay courts were blessed with a lot of rain or their would usually be a cloud of dust. That we have 44 free public courts is an asset to tennis players as I have pointed out in previous blogs

When I unsuccessfully ran against Tim Cassidy for Park Board President, Bonnie warned all employees that if they wanted to hold their jobs they would not vote for me nor show any of my signs. In fact, a leading caterer to the park put up two of my signs on Pioneer Parkway. In two days they were down. I asked the owner why and he said he was told by........that if he wanted to do more business with the park he must take down my signs. I asked the owner where the signs were and he showed me but the signs had disappeared.

Bonnie brags of Golden Balls the parks won including the RiverPlex. Not mentioning that the RiverPlex came no where near to meeting their projections and it took them at least 16 years instead of 10 years as projected to pay off the bonds. Which may not even now be paid off.

In order to meet rising maintenance costs of the new 33,000 sq, ft. headquarters, the maintenance of the Knoxville facility, originally planned as the new park headquarter, the maintenance ot the Pavilion, rising pension costs lower than expected attendance at the expanded zoo, erosion control, less grant money, etc. expect that as most public bodies in Peoria, that fees and taxes must raised. In fact fees have been increasing slowly for a long time.

Why are tennis courts free? The park tried to charge but the employee cost offset the revenue. One of the reasons tennis is basically dead at Manual and Peoria High is that the park under Bonnie's direction, had and has little interest in tennis. The Tri-County TennisTournament that for years got free use of the courts now must pay for their use. 6 years ago it was $1800. I do not know what the PTA pays now.

Bonnie and others try to make Peoria into an Indianapolis or a Cincinnati. She would have been a roaring success in a city two to three times larger than Peoria, a city with low growth and a high poverty level..

If Bonnie was being paid $130,000 a year or more, I wonder what the new director will be paid??


How Old is Too Old to....?

do what, was a discussion on Fox TV today.  Play competitive tennis at the age of 89? NO, never too old.  I last wrote a blog on Super Senior Tennis on November, 2004. Much tennis happenings in the last 10 years.. Some sad happenings such as death of the editor of the quarterly new letter, Doug Crary, my European doubles partner one year, Jason Morton, of Phoenix, a world champion many times over, Tom Brown, a Wimbledon or U..S Open winner and my doubles partner on 9/11, and several dozen other senior champions who I had the pleasure of enjoying friendships and playing with or against in my 32 year of enjoying this most aerobic game.

I am fortunate to have the health and competitive spirit to compete and enjoy tennis at the age of 89. I played and won three out of four half hour matches today giving me 8 wins and 3 losses in my last three outings. We have a group that meets every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the clay courts at Glen Oak Park. Any age is welcome to play but most of the players are in their late 50's up to Doc Stafford who won't tell his age but is over 90. We play half an hour matches with winners moving up and everyone switches partners. Today we had twelve players and last Monday we had 17.

I first started playing tennis at age 55 with my former workmate at Widmers'  and and today a State Farm Insurance agent, Bob Humbles. Bob was a four letter winner at Manual and a star basketball player for Bradley. He is also a class act winner of many Tri-County tournaments, this year losing to Mario Palmeri, a local legend. Last year Bob beat Mario.

I have had considerable fortune in playing winning tennis tournaments in Peoria and all over this country, Canada, Cancun, Austria,  Bermuda, etc  accumulating approximately 225 awards. Locally, I won 5 Tri-County's, 5 Twin City Opens in Bloomington-Normal,  Pekin, and 8 championships at the Western Open in Danville. I twice was a finalist at the World Senior Games in St. George Utah,, won a Phoenix, Az. Senior open, and won several Phoenix Park District tournaments.

On 9/11, I was playing a National Tournament; there are 4 a year, clay, grass, indoor hard court and outdoor hard court, at the Army-Navy Club in Arlington, Va. where we witnessed the American Airlines plane piloted by Muslim terrorist seconds before it hit the Pentagon  A year later I was back to Arlington winning 4 singles matches in a 32 entry consolation bracket before losing a 3-setter in the semi-finals to the champion.

I was Peoria Country Club open winner, ( I once won 33 consecutive senior doubles sets at the club).  I won a number of Senior Olympics tournaments and a finalist in St. Louis losing to a national ranked player. I had pulled a hamstring winning 2nd in the long jump and was unable to play my finalist tennis match.

Bob Orr from Pekin and I won a Mid-west Sectional tournament (5 states)  at Lansing, Michigan in year 2000, winning 8 straight matches over three days. In a tournament at Baton Rouge, La. I won a 3 3/4 hour singles match but paid for it the next day by pulling a hamstring, disappointing my doubles partner now deceased, John Moorhouse who was Bradley tennis coach  for 10 years. Local notable finals wins were over John and Bob Orr in Twin-City singles finals.

I was several times kidded about why I couldn't beat Terry Glynn, a local legend and my only defense was that Terry was nine years younger than me. Same with John Seigrist, 10 years younger,another local legend who I lost all 3 tournament matches, all 3 setters

Anyway, what experiences! Playing against Pancho Gonzales, Torbin Ulrich, Hugh Stewart, Bob Sherman, Jason Morton, Bob Brown, Ed Kauder etc.,all once world ranked players. And once being selected to play the National Sectionals at Tuscon, Az. and being selected to represent the East in a tournament against the West at Morgan Run Country Club in lower California, playing at some of the best clubs in the country including the Foothills at Santa Barbara, Seattle Yacht and Tennis Club, Pinehurst, N;.C., clubs all over the Gulf Coast of Florida, Vancouver, Canada, Sn Diego, Bermuda Island, and Fountain Hills and Sun Lakes, AZ. where Claire and I owned a home.

If I am successful in winning my battle against cancer, (won't know until the end of October) I plan to play at least 2 National tournaments next year as I'm eligible to play in the 90's in January, 2015. And providing I can find a doubles I can no longer handle singles with my health problems recently mentioned. I'll also be playing at my favorite club, Payne Park, in downtown Sarasota. I had won 82 out 104 sets before returning to Peoria this spring.

So much to look forward to and remembering that "how old is too old" a myth as long as one can avoid pushing up daisies.

"Buy Local" - How Many Thousands Or Millions Have Heard or Seen' Buy Local'

So buy local here in the U.S.A., start new businesses here and 'quityerbitching' about the tariffs that the Trump Administration is adjusting fairly..

To 'level the playing field; this 'field' that other presidents DIDN'T HAVE THE GUTS TO DO.


Reduce your consumption of the most belly building drinks in the world, sodas and beers. Stop using so many drugs including alcohol and give up the smoke that kills..

Anderson Cooper's CCN Faulty Florence News

He now claims he was rescuing a child 10 YEARS ago ut he and his Semi-Socialist CNN made it appears he had the shot taken in the Carolinas'.

One of CNN biggest fake news reporters. Why did he do this dirty trick?


Monday, September 17, 2018

War On Drugs Massive Failure

Nixon's War on Drugs Has Lost All Legitimacy
Adam Sharp, Co-Founder, Early Investing

Editor's Note: Surprise, surprise... we're not the only ones talking about pot.

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And that's exactly what we've been doing in our monthly newsletter. In fact, our marijuana recommendations have scored gains ranging from 172%... to an amazing 582%!

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- Rebecca Barshop, Managing Editor

Since Richard Nixon kicked off the war on drugs in 1971, more than $1 trillion has been spent on the effort.

An estimated 45 million arrests have been made in the U.S.

And the result? Drugs are still widely available, and profits for the cartels have never been higher.

A primary consequence of the war on drugs is that America has the highest incarceration rate in the world. With only 5% of the Earth's population, the U.S. holds 25% of all prisoners.

It's all a stunning misuse of taxpayer dollars. It blocks important research that needs to happen. And the human cost is incalculable.

It's simply no longer a justifiable battle - especially once you recognize the political agendas that drive policy.

The Drug War's Disturbing Roots

Back in 1994, writer Dan Baum interviewed Nixon's domestic policy advisor, John Ehrlichman, about the war on drugs.

Ehrlichman was instrumental in launching the war. (He also spent time in jail for Watergate crimes.) And what he had to say is shocking. As Baum recounted...
"You want to know what this was really all about?" he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. "The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the anti-war left and black people. You understand what I'm saying?

"We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did."
I can't imagine a much more damning indictment of the war on drugs. From the start, the whole "movement" was a political attack on certain segments of the population.

Thankfully, things are slowly turning around. States around the U.S. are legalizing marijuana at an increasing pace. And there's a growing worldwide movement that favors treating drug users for addiction over locking them up.

When society appears to be on the cusp of a change such as this, paying attention can pay dividends down the road. If the war on marijuana and other drugs truly is crumbling, the impacts will be more far-reaching than most expect.

For example, medical cannabis is already beginning to disrupt the pharmaceutical space. As I'll explain, it has the potential to take significant market share.
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Change = Opportunity

Because marijuana has been illegal for so long, it's been very difficult for scientists to study.

The DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug. In its world, it's a drug with "no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse." It says it's worse than heroin, crack and meth, which are all considered Schedule II drugs (with some legitimate medical applications).

Being a Schedule I drug makes it nearly impossible to get government funding to study the medical uses of cannabis in the U.S. But researchers are finding a way. Mostly overseas, or with rare special permission in the U.S., the science is ongoing and extremely promising.

The real problem is that cannabis is a drug with far too many medical applications.

We know there's strong evidence for cannabis working for the following conditions:
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Severe epilepsy.
That's a big chunk of the pharmaceutical industry's bread and butter... 

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Looters in NC and SC Cities -. Give Police the Authority To Shoot Them

Goes for all looters anywhere. And shoot to kill if they are ordered to drop or return these stolen items they are looting and instead, they disobey. They are no asset to society and if only wounded, the City would have to pay for their hospitalization.

Sorry, weeping and protesting Momas. They may have oncee been 'lovable' babies who turned out to be a drag on the rest of us. (I note the looters were mainly blacks from the 'projects'.)

Of course, Sherry Cannon and Bill Knight, local Socialist Democrats, would protest violently.


Chicago Cubs Folding? Wouldn't Be the First Time

Cocky Contreus hits a long ball. He stands at home plate admiring his long fly ball thinking it was a homer. I wasn't. If he had started running hard when he hit the ball as is common practice, he would have made made it to third base and scored when the next batter hit a fly ball. A good throw from the outfield would have had him out at 2nd base.

The Cubs seem to have lost their mojo. Murphy is a big flop (goes in to 2nd base standing up and is easy out) and Rizzo is phizzo and Bryant is whizzo in the clutch. There must be dissension in the clubhouse from the starting pitchers who are pitching quite well but getting little hitting support/

The Cubs hitters have now flopped in 31 games, scoring 1 or 0 runs. Their upcoming road trip will probably determine if they win their weak division. All my bets are still on with no takers so I'll withdraw the one that says they won't make the playoffs and increase my bet to 3 or my farms that they won't appear in this years World Series.

Or next year and the next unless management unloads and reloads with men who can hit in the clutch. These hitters load up on batting practice pitchers but CAN'T HIT GOOD PITCHING.

Madddon says"he can't hit for the batters" or run the basses for them, but wasn't he the major one who selected them??

Friday, September 14, 2018

Do You Approve of President Trump?

This question appears every day on my home page. Each time I click on this page to answer, I get a blank page. I have waited up to three ,minutes but it won't open. Of course not. "They' whoever 'they is knows that I would vote yes.

All Anti-Trump pages open quickly.

No, it's not about Russia interference, it is the Radical left leaning medias who won't let me vote because they are CONTROLLING are thoughts.

It's Ripley's 'Believe it or Not/ all over again but this time with evil intent.

Yes, I support him and at least 75% of his actions.

So very sad that so many Republicans will stay at home in November to 'spite' themselves. Or vote Democrat because they are intellectually and usually wealthy ignorants. I know first hand by talking to many, reading or seeing what they say and attending meeting in my younger days.

Democrats Leadership Has No Depth To Their Dirtiness

One can only guess how much lower they can go. Feinstein waits until near the Kavanaugh vote to 'reveal lettter' she received from an unidentified Democrat making false claims from 35 years ago.

If you are a Democrat, how can much longer can you 'hold' your nose as Democrat Alan Mayer said when he voted for me for Vice-Chairman of the Peoria County Board. Alan is one of the prime 'wreckers' of the Peoria County Board's budget while I was always an Independent Republican working for the best for ALL people in the County.

Independent because of the weakness of the Peoria Republican Central Committee. Same for Illinois and the National Committee. At least most Republicans have common sense. Note I say MOST. It was deceased John McCain and people like Rep/Dem Ray LaHood who killed the Obama Care reform bill. While Ray didn't vote, he was a Trump hater and Obama/Clinton lover most of his political career.

However, Darin LaHood has my support and if his followers can drop off a few signs,  I can get them strategically placed.

Peoria, Il., and the State of Illinois - Why It's Roadbeds and Curbs Will NEVER Be 60% of Normal

Knoxville may or may not be open to four-lane traffic before the snow flies. Why?  Keep reading.

A few weeks ago, while driving North on Rt.6, I encountered a 'right lane closed' sign and one big bumper truck. When I approached the work area, another 200 yds. further North was another big bumper truck, a truck with pothole filling material, 2 pick-up trucks and 5 'workers, filling in a patch the width off one lane and about 3 feet wide. Later, I drove that route and saw that they had closed the left lane and continued the patch. One days work to 'patch' area about the size of two traffic lanes and about 3 feet wide.

Estimated cost to do this one day job?  $3500. I estimate that their are 20, 000+ spots like this in Peoria and Tazewell County with  Peoria by FAR the worst.

Plus at one time the JS printed that Peoria County rural roads, bridges, etc., would cost $200 million to repair.

10 yards from a one lane stop and go sign were 3 'workers' standing on the NE corner of Knoxville and McClure looking in the window of a long closed store. Two men holding Slow Down signs. TOTALY DOING BUSINESS AS USUAL. We can do nothing but protest and write letters to the JS Opinion page.

No matter who we elect; the UNIONS control this City and State. Both Peoria and the State will be bankrupt and in a perpetual state of population decline if those we elect, continue to raise taxes to pay the out of control pensions. Would you protest if you a a retired worker getting an average of $50,000 a year? Of course not and I don't blame you.

As I blogged before, about 2005 I was in Pat Urich's office to ask him about how pensions costs will rise in the coming years. He drew a chart showing where we were today and how pension costs will rise in the future. The line started going fairly level for a number of years and then it started to go straight up and that's where we are today and it's just the beginning.

My 10 years on the Peoria County Board were largely spent to stop giving public workers raises while the private sector workers got no or next to no raises. I tried to stop the massive $3 million a year losing Heddington Oaks, the Counties ownership of the PRM, the Hanna City Correction Center. destroy long empty dilapidated houses in both County and City. One great disappointment was my promise to a man dying of cancer that we would destroy this empty rat infested property, I put pressure on the County but he died before the County could complete the process.. About a year later, all the mess of paperwork was completed.

IF asked I will give up my $133 a month pension I receive for 10 years of intense work while I was an elected official serving on the Board. When I retired in 2010, we still had considerable surpluses in all the various funds.

Today the County, whether Chairman Rand and the Democrat dominated Board wants to admit it not, is running into SERIOUS financial problems.

So sad as the Peoria area has so much to offer.

Journal Star Has Yet To Print This LTE Written By One of the Most Common Sense Resident of Peoria, Il.

Illinois is bleeding red ink, yet our representative keep spending taxpayer money at well.
The City council of Chicago gave President Obama 19.3 acres of prime property in Jackson Park to build what 
they thought was a library.President Obama Foundation pays $ 1, rent in perpetuity. We the taxpayers will
foot about 300,000 $ to build roads from and to the so called library. Sure enough President Obama can pay the bill
with a couple speeches and save the tax payer..
The Chicagoans imagined they will be getting a Presidential library akin to President Reagan in California, or
President Kennedy in Boston.. But unlike those libraries the Obama Center will not be run by the National 
Archives and Record Administration. It will not even house Mr. Obama's records or paper. It will be run by the "Obama Foundation..
In 2014 the request by the Obama Foundation in there proposal said the planned library "will include an Institute that will enhance the 
pursuit of the President's initiatives beyond 2017."
The Chicago Tribune reported in Feb " Obama said he envisions his center as a place where young people from around the world to meet each other, get training and prepare the next generation leaders" !!
No doubt his definition of "leaders " will be political.
Mayor Rahm Manuel said  "money well spent" (he was Obama's first chief of staff.
Where is the outrage?, when did the PJS comment on this. And when are our representative be accountable?

Rida W . Boulos, MD.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

How Supermarkets and Their Suppliers (Manufacturers) Fool and Cheat You

Hundreds of tags, '2 for $5' in large print and in MUCH smaller print below on the tag, $2.50 ea.. Far bigger packages to make you feel like you are getting more for your money, Eggs marked as large when they aren't large at all. (Aldi's is prime example) Expiration dates that makes you use sooner even though the product is still very eatable.

I could list many more, but you need to look up "How Supermarkets Fool You" on the Internet.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

9/11 - That Sad Day - Scroll Down To Reach my 2009 Post


Canadian Health Care

Have a painful hip problem in Canada? Wait over a year for surgery after waiting nine months to see the specialist that recommended surgery? Unwilling to suffer that long a period, Christina Woodkey from Calgary, drove across the border to Montana and had the surgery done in two days.

"What we have in Canada is access to a government, state-mandated wait list, said Bryan Day, a former Canadian Medical Assn. director who now runs a private surgical center in Vancouver. "You cannot force a citizen in a free democratic society to simply wait for health-care and outlaw their ability to extricate themselves from a wait list." (Source WSJ "Escape to Montana", 9/30/09.

And, no, Ronald Presley from Peoria who recently wrote a LTE in the JS saying "Profit is root of medical evils". No profits? Then its all government socialism. Doesn't work and never has for long. However, Mr. Presley is correct in what he says about greedy tort malpractice attorneys, fair arbitration for real damages and a better method of weeding out incompetent medical practitioners.

Incompetence is hard to weed out in all walks of life. Hard to determine what makes up incompetence and saying I'm sorry won't alone handle the incompetence of individuals, the private and public sectors. Incompetence occurs every second someplace. Most of us are incompetent from time to time. Incompetence of one type or another is a major reason we have 43,000 vehicular deaths and over a million vehicular injuries every year in the the United States. Redress for proven grievances; yes, but the tort system in most of the U.S., especially in Illinois; is ridiculous.

So is part of the Obama health plan; ridiculous. We've taken this long to come up with a better health plan so let's do it right. One thousand pages of health care language that most of Congress hasn't read? Get real, you bureaucrats.

Subprime Loans

It's not the ones you decline, it's the ones you approve that get you in trouble. Confucious says (probably not) "the superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell."

Source - Bailout Nation

"Bailout Nation"

This book by Barry Ritholz with a foreword by Bill Fleckenstein is the best book I've read on "how did we get there?" Ritholtz operates one of the most popular economic blogs, receiving over 50 million page views since launched. He assesses responsibility for the mess we are STILL in to 22 individuals or entities with Alan Greenspan at the top, the Federal Reserve #2 and Congress #5 with borrowers and home buyers (those who were misled or stupid or both as #7.

Describing Nouriel Roubini (find his credentials on the net) describes the book, "A beam of enlightened thinking in a sea of delusional complacency".

Greed, easy money, a corrupted Wall Street, unenforced regulation, incompetent "career" politicians, gullible investors (myself included) over-optimistic analysts, aggressive brokers; well, that pretty well sums it up. Well worth a read for all.

Stephanie Aaron Performs in Peoria

Nothing to do in Peoria? You got to be kidding! Go see and listen to my friend Stephanie and her friends. Good, better and best entertainment!


...I will be kicking back and relaxing with a big wet vodka rocks! Because our gig at Basta O'Neill's is from 6 - 9pm this Thursday, October 1st and I'll be all done singin' by this time!!! Seriously, though, all you great Central Illinoisans, it is another wonderful weekend in your neck of the woods, and I will be there with the awe-inspiring Larry Harms for three - count 'em, three delicious gigs: the aforementioned Basta O'Neill's on Cummings Lane in Washington on Thursday, October 1st from 6 - 9pm, the intoxicating Rhythm Kitchen on Water Street in Peoria on Friday, October 2nd from 8 - 11pm, and at the kindly and enthusiastic Swinger's Grill in Normal on Saturday, October 3rd from 8 - 11pm.
We will have some beautiful people along with us in the band, including Randy Emert, Cory Flanigan, Tom Marko, Tim Brickner, and Tim come and be a beautiful person in the audience! We are looking forward to some great tunes and some great company.

Means of Self-Protection

Forwarded by email from Dan Proft, Republican Candidate for Governor of the State of Illinois.

Amen. Refer to my blog of 3/9/08 "Guns and Safety". If I had a gun, and maybe I do, no law would take it away from me. I have always supported the rights of people to have or carry concealed weapons legally.


September 30, 2009

News Release: Bill of Rights Likely Coming to Chicago

SCOTUS Takes Up Chicago Gun Ban Case

(Chicago, Illinois) - In response today to the United States Supreme Court's writ of certiorari in the case of McDonald v. Chicago, a case centering on the constitutionality of the City of Chicago municipal handgun ban, conservative Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Proft issued the following statement:

"I look forward to the day when residents of Chicago will be given their full complement of Constitutional rights, including the individual right to the means of self-protection. Given the Supreme Court's recent decision in the Heller case in which the Court clearly held that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right, I cannot see how municipal gun bans like that in Chicago can pass constitutional muster.

"Overturning the Chicago gun ban would not only be good constitutional law, it would be good public policy. The City of Chicago is routinely at the top of the list nationally in per capita murders. Mayor Daley's wrongheaded policies have made people less safe, particularly those in violent neighborhoods, by disarming law-abiding citizens in favor of well-armed criminals.

"Restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens based on the actions of those who exercise their rights recklessly runs counter to the principles of a free society. If my neighbor yells "Fire!" in a crowded theater, he is punished. But my First Amendment rights are not restricted. Similarly, if my neighbor commits a crime with a gun, he should be punished. But my Second Amendment rights should not be restricted.

"I am hopeful that the Supreme Court's decision to take up this case will result in a newfound respect for people who play by the rules in Chicago and throughout Illinois; law-abiding citizens who have long been denied the exercise of their fundamental, Constitutional rights because of Chicago Democrats who think they can make up the rules as they go."


Peoria Roads - Poor Condition

So wrote former 22 year Peoria resident Barry R. Schneider from Palmetto, Fl., on 4/28/09. Barry says "our roads are a costly embarrassment. My last two visits (to Peoria) were in December 2008 and April 2009. I have never experienced such poor highway and road maintenance". More than that Barry, these bone jarring jolts play havoc with tires, suspensions, etc.

Some have noted that city maintained streets, sidewalks and curbs, have progressively grown worse since our "new" City Highway Manager, Dave Barber took the position. As for IDOT, Illinois has been ranked numerous times in the top ten of the worst roads in the country. The most workers standing around, the most equipment tied up and by far, the most traffic tied up and by far, the most orange cones.

To be "world class" we have to lead in enhancements and entertainment to keep the creative class in town. Our roads are not the only thing going wrong in Peoria. Our public bodies keep spending more and raising taxes. However, I believe the spending is on hold right now but over the next four years, watch for a considerable increase in property and sales taxes.

Better roads and less crime? No.


Dan Proft For Governor - News Release

Dan was in Peoria for a short visit yesterday. A number of us got to spend some time with him. He is my selection for Governor of the State of Illinois. I have some literature, signs and petitions. 692-2591 Or I can fax you a petition.



Sept. 29, 2009

Why a Scalpel Doesn't Work

Fundamental System Change Is the Only Solution to Illinois' Problems

Anyone who tells you we can solve our state’s many problems simply by going line-by-line through the budget, posting everything on line, or taking a scalpel to minor government programs is not only mistaken, he is misleading you. I have committed this campaign to telling you the truth about the desperate condition of our state and what we can and must do to find our way back to prosperity.

And the truth is this: the balance between the citizen and his government is dangerously distorted in favor of government employee unions. Government no longer exists to serve you, the citizen. Rather, you exist to perpetuate government and its ever-expanding unions.

This problem affects every state across this country. The public sector is cannibalizing the private sector to fulfill promises politicians, more often than not Democrats, made to government employees in exchange for their votes.

The Free Enterprise Nation has compiled just a snapshot of this problem:

• The average state and local government employee earns 29% more than the average private sector employee, according to The Tax Foundation’s analysis of 2007 data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

• Since the recession began in December 2007, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that private sector employment has declined 5.74 percent, while government payroll has grown 0.83 percent.

Now these promises, in the form of pension liabilities, Medicaid benefits, and a host of other costs, are coming due, and government is finding it can’t keep them unless it takes more and more from you.

The irony is that the people who take risks and compete in the private sector are subsidizing more lavish benefits for those who take no risk whatsoever and are not subject to competition. The public sector simply defies the law of economics. As the Chicago Sun-Times uncovered in its investigation into Illinois’ pension system, nearly 4,000 Illinois retirees have an annual public pension worth at least $100,000. Guaranteed by you; financed by you; and all for the benefit of the Democrats' patronage armies.

But this immunity from economic laws cannot last forever. And forever is right around the corner.

Here’s what’s coming: Illinois has an unfunded pension liability upwards of $80 billion, the highest in the nation; in 10 years Medicaid spending will consume half the state’s budget.

My opponents in this race want you to believe that Illinois’ problems can be solved with a scalpel, a little more line-by-line scrutiny, or by posting everything on a brand new shiny web site. Good suggestions all, but it is a distraction from the real problem and the tough solution.

Unless we face our problem, the voracious cannibalization of our private sector by public union locusts will continue until there is no more tax money left to reap.

We must fundamentally change the relationship between you and your government; a public sector service should be a worthwhile career, but it should not be more financially rewarding than the private sector, and it cannot be immune from economic realities.

To do this we must institute system-change reforms on Illinois’ pension system, Medicaid system and spending system; the bidding war of public sector salaries and benefits must stop. We will tie those salaries and benefits to what exists in the market place. Above all, we need to stop taking more from those who can least afford it.

I am the only candidate in the race who recognizes the nature of the real problem that we face, who is being frank with you about the problem, and who is ready to take the fight to the Chicago Democrats who won’t give up this scam without a fight, no matter how much they have to soak you to keep it running.

If you’re one of the people who play by the rules, join me and let’s Un-Fix Illinois.




"Men, it has been well said, think in herds," writes Charles Mackay in 1841. "It will be seen that they go mad in herds while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one."

There really isn't much new in the way people act 168 years later, is there?

After nine years in government and the last 20 years observing government and financial investors, unions and social groups, I can personally attest to the "herdism" mentality.

Jack Lochrie of Farmington Hills, Michigan where I once was a finalist in a tennis tournament, comments on WSJ Columnist Daniel Henninger's "Top New Year's Resolution: Don't be Stupid", 1/9/09, "the dwindling population of Americans who actually embrace 'personal responsibility" is being drowned out by daily pronouncements of our government that only the government can rescue us from our economic quagmire."

Yes Virginia, we are still in a quagmire. Don't be fooled by the recent surge in the stock market.


Fisker Automotive - $529 Million Grant From Feds

Al Gore was instrumental in getting this start up company more than half a billion dollars to try to develop a hybrid sports car for Finland according to a release from Newsmax today.

Hey, it's just phony money printed by the Federal Reserve Bank who is still deciding whether it it time to turn off the presses.


Employee Free Choice Act - 2

If anyone doubts where I stand on this issue, look-up my blogs dated 10/30/08 and 5/16/09 in my sidebar archives. Some Democrats and strong union supporters on the County Board took issue on May 12 or 14 2009, two letters to McConoughey, the same with different dates, about an email sent out over the signature of Jim McConoughey who is President of the Heartland Partnership, an email sent in error that evidently wasn't complimentary to union organizers.

McConoughey and The Heartland Partnership, umbrella over a number of economic development entities such as the Greater Peoria Chamber of Commerce and the EDC, took responsibility for the missile. In a letter dated May 14, 2009 carboning in Tom O'Neill, County Board Chairman, McConoughey and Sid Banwart, Heartland Partnership
Chairman took responsibility for the email. Several apologies to the Peoria County Board have been issued.

County Board Democrat member Allen Mayer along with other board Democrats continue to take extreme issue with the email and the fact that the event described in the email featured Karl Rove who was in town to lobby against the EFCA. It is now almost October and the the County Board Democrats are still hot about the issue. They threaten to pull County Economic Development funds from next years budget. $113,000 was budgeted last year. I understand today that the EDC had a meeting with County Board Member, Andrew Rand.

I read many of the articles that Rove writes because he is an intellect. I often do not agree with Rove's approach but what's new. I agree less with Rahm Emanuel, once famously described in the Washington Post as a "wiry-thin, foul-mouthed, tough-talking ballet dancer from Chicago".

Like some Democrats have told me on other issues, get over it and move on. The Democrats should decide to work with the EDC, who I have not always been happy with either, or set up your own County Board run EDC. Probably better to K&MU than to go it alone.

As to the EFCA? Take time to read the language which some Democrats did and are helping hold up passage. Karl Rove would be the best in reading the "fine print" in the proposed legislation. The private sector has long realized passage would not be in their best interests.

Keep knocking down business and you'll find out who furnishes the jobs that keep people employed and pay taxes. Businesses who make a profit, that's who.


Brent Lonteen and the PCB

The resignation of Brent Lonteen, President and CEO of the Peoria Area Visitors and Convention Bureau was made public Friday. His three week absence from his office created a period of public speculation which continues today. Maybe the problem is with the organization. My contact with the PVC has been infrequent starting with criticism I received from Greg Edwards who held Brent's position at one time. Greg's brother Rick has been and is chairman of the PCB board.

Greg criticized me for resigning from the Prairie States Games Board in Peoria when I learned the organization wasn't organized at all. It had been kicked out of various communities, the last location Bloomington. The leaders were more interested in socializing at bars and fund raising efforts, (they left Peoria owing local businesses an alleged $40,000) than developing venues for youth. Next year they were gone from Peoria and again have had trouble finding a home roving from city to city. I searched for PSG on the net and found they had finally landed in Bensenville with much hype. The net and other sources say they had the same problems in Bensenville. I could not find where they were active this year.

The JSEB criticized me also for resigning. Had they asked the sports desk who was familiar with the problems Peoria was encountering, but in those days certain people on the JSEB "knew it all". Years later, 1999, the JS wrote that this "mickey mouse" operation should be shut down.

When Dave Williams was chair of the Peoria County Board, he noticed that no one from the county had filled an open PCB advisory seat or board seat for years. Dave submitted a qualified board member only to be told that Peoria County no longer was invited to sit on any PCB board or committee.

Maybe the problems at the PCB are just that; PCB problems.


Teachers Pensions

Ed Geppert, Jr. President of the IFT in Westmont in a LTR in the JS today is quoted as saying "The average pension in the Teachers Retirement System is approximately $3400 per month or $40,800 a year. TRS members do not receive Social Security. This modest amount in their retirement is hardly a 'golden' pension. In fact, they pay the majority of the cost, 9.4%, not the taxpayer".

Well, Mr. Geppert, Jr., let's take another view. A teacher friend of mine took retirement at 57 and draws around $5,000 a month or $60,000 a year. Not bad for doing nothing if he wanted. Instead, he took a part-time teaching position that paid him more than half of what he was earning at retirement. So averages are just that; averages. In a subdivision, there is a house selling for $190,000 and a house selling for a million plus so the average is $600,000 plus. Right? No.

I believe the 15 million unemployed people in the U.S., half with no pensions and no job would be happy with $40,000 year pensions. 50% of those still employed, have no pension beyond a 401K. I believe most of them will work till 65 and receive far less than $40,000 a year.

Union bosses work to get all the benefits they can for their employees. That's their job. Weaker boards in the public sector, which, is growing in employment numbers on the federal level, grant increasing benefits. Only private sector bankrupt or near bankrupt companies benefiting from "bailout" largess, and "controlled" by the unions are holding on to substantial benefits. Some have had their benefits reduced and are complaining. Such is life.

I have never understood why people complain how little they make and how little they will receive in benefits. I was not happy with what I was making teaching so I left and started a new career. No problem, I was sought and had three job offers waiting.

After retirement, I visited school classrooms in #150 for about 14 years. 7 out of 10teachers were what I would have deemed competent to teach. Some were outstanding. Part of the other 30% fell in the range of they should not be teaching any classroom. Some were mostly interested in making friends than building a desire in their kids to learn. Why should kids to learn respect authority in school? Many of them do not learn to respect at home. How do you discipline someone who should be respecting you if you are trying only to win their friendship? These teachers should work in social services. A very large number dressed like it was their day off. Teachers who dress down as bad or worse than some of the kids, drag their classroom down. Teachers can't be fired after two years unless the system if prepared for a long and costly court battle as it is the union who represents the teacher, not the kid, parent, school or community. Unions say they do represent the kid. If so why can't a bad teacher be fired? The union stands up for all teachers, good or bad.

I wrote a blog on 1/30/06 on Unions and Community Cooperation in which I quoted an amazing true statistic, only 2-5 teachers out of 90,000 were terminated in the entire state of Illinois in one year. In District #150 in Peoria, 2005 was considered by many to be the year that really put #150 over the financial edge when the "board granted a $43.8 million dollar increase in teachers salaries alone, excluding benefits, which are substantial". JS, 6/19/05. The JS continued that 6 union members, Terry Knapp, Mary Connet, James Lewis, Ken Meischner, Lillie Foreman and Larry Burdette were paid more than $482,000 this past year not to teach in the classroom. The JS also reported that "staff compensation as a percentage of of education funds as jumped from 78 to 91 percent. It would have been higher if not for 257 retirements with a total bonus of $4.4 million".

On 9/24/09, the JS listed salaries not including health and life insurance paid by the district. The article indicated that all administration, including some support staff and professional instruction and development made up $14.2 million in benefits and salaries. I question that figure as being too low.

I assume the salaries and benefits include ex-teachers now serving as consultant, anywhere form $330- 476 per day. One is paid by grant money, almost always taxpayer dollars. On 9/20/09, the JSEB reported that while attendance has declined dramatically, "In fact, staffing has not been reduced over the years commensurate with declines in enrollment".

A coach who only coaches one minor sport and is not a classroom teacher is said to be eligible for pension benefits.

Message is: Don't complain, get a job where you are happy. All teachers have college degrees.


Teachers Unions Represent Teachers - Not Kids

Teachers Unions exist to advance the interests of their members. Unions present themselves as student advocates while pushing education policies that work for their members even if they leave kids worse off. Everywhere school choice of any kind.; KIPP is a good example, wherever these choice programs are established and even while they are being planned, the teacher's unions oppose and try to discredit ANY choice schools in every manner their extensive war chest funds permits.

The Ujima Village Academy in Baltimore, started in 2002, is one of the best schools in Baltimore and all of Maryland; it is primarily low income and %98 are black and 84% qualify for for free or reduced price meals. Now, the Baltimore Teachers Union, Maryland charter school law requires teachers to be part of the union, is demanding that the school pay its teachers 33% more than city public school teachers despite the fact that these teachers are already being paid 18% above the union scale.

in New York City, private money was raised to hire classroom teaching assistants. The United Federation of Teachers in 2008 filed grievances against the schools. "It's hurting our union members". Even though the city didn't have the money for teacher's assistants, the city caved in to the union and discontinued the practice.

What a shame. (Source - Editorial Page of the WSJ, 8/3/09).

This is only one instance I have in dozens of articles of why the powerful teachers unions along with weak school boards and public apathy are killing the Public School System.

Water Shortages

L.A. is restricting lawn watering to twice a week and only in evenings. What about the golf course that drink it up? We have been fortunate here but now things are worsening for the farmers. They don't need rain now. If this dampness continues, an early frost would be disastrous.


Let's Talk - Peoria County Board

This blog is in response to "Word on the Street" on the local page of the JS today.

Are we always transparent? In my opinion, not as much as we need to be. I showed our administrator a letter from Caterpillar dated April 9 or two days after the sales tax referendum passed (by approximately 400 votes out of approximately 30,000 cast), stating how Caterpillar planned to still support the museum but are not starting construction on the Visitor's Center in 2009 and that "planning for the project will be modified to reflect our current financial position and to temporarily suspend outright cash payments to the museum committee". Our administrator said he had not heard that from Caterpillar.

Sometime during the week of August 10, 2009, our administrator met with six, I believe, Caterpillar officials where Caterpillar outlined their position to him and confirmed in a letter to him dated August 21. While confirming other commitments to the museum, the letter said they were withholding $4 million pending the COMPLETION of the project funding. In this letter, they no longer called the museum a "regional" museum but called it the PRM.

All county board members did not receive a copy of this letter until 3 weeks later.

Our administrator was one of the prime pushers for the "facility" sales tax , appearing before legislative officials in Springfield to get a law passed to put the question on the ballot this April. Then he pushed to get the county to take ownership of the museum as the referendum did not mention the museum by name but was a tax that could be used for museums, recreational facilities, libraries, parks, etc. as long as construction was involved. The board concurred 17 to 1, mine being the only no vote cast. I did not then nor now want the County in the sticky business of owning a questioned museum. 14,000 no votes and 75% of the eligible voter (and future users) who could have voted but did not vote.

It is now 4 1/2 months since the referendum passed and only 3 1/2 months before merchants in Peoria County will start collecting a 1/4 per cent sales tax but as yet the museum fund raising appears to be from $11 million upward short raising the original amount of private dollars promised the County Board. Only when this money is raised will Caterpillar contribute another $4 million as per their letter.

Should the County Board vote to approve the contract drawn up by SA Kevin Lyon, and his paid outside counsel; before the money is raised and pledges are actually in hand, would be a serious mistake for a major part of the tax-paying community.
We have not been told who is going to be paying for this probably $400 an hour private counsel nor were some of us told we were going to need to hire a consultant from Caterpiilar because "we didn't have the time and expertise"

The PRM closed their books on 6/30/09. It will soon be three months and yet the full board has no information as to the financial stability of the group. I know that at least 2 million was already spent before 6/30/08 on consulting, engineering, travel, etc. and that over $550,000 in pledges had been withdrawn by 6/30/08.

Before anyone private or government, takes over ownership of any multi-million project, the full board must see an audited financial statement that is reasonably current. Would we believe an un-audited statement where loses incurred over the lifetime of this museum could run into high millions of tax-payer dollars?

And what about the museum fund raising drive for $500,000 promised by the museum be held each year if the county owned the museum? I believe some fail to realize that Lakeview Museum will be empty except for some planned museum storage which I believe the PPD who owns the building has not yet agreed on terms, if they agree to any. The status of this amazing DETAIL has not been told to the full board.

The full board has not been privy to certain museum proceeding. Nor the now $41 million new BelWood and a review of its history from 2002-2009. It's location has not been approved by the full board yet the administrator has come close or offered to buy property for its re-location.

The cost (our administrator estimated $10,000 which I don't believe will come close even though some mowing has been donated) of putting the Hanna City Correctional Center, now owned by the County, into some semblance of usage and for what? What will happen to the old BelWood that is in good enough shape to handle 258 clients as of last week. In good enough shape that its rumored the sheriff wishes to use it.

The administrator is looking into buying a building for records storage while admitting the county has no official records retention plan. And no money to buy it.

The county administration dealings are not as transparent as they were in the past. There are other lack of transparencies such as the reluctance to release information about why the State recently fined BelWood $10,100.00 for a number of violations.

Nor that Bel-Wood collected over $14 million dollars in property taxes in the last five years yet wasn't able to keep the building in proper repair. Why not when in 2008 it collected almost $3 million in property taxes?

Why weren't we notified that we were going to run a deficit in our 2009 budget while we were voting in May, 2009, on $200,000 of new signage inside the courthouse? Fortunately, nine of us killed the recommended purchase. And in June our administrator said as part of "our partnering for success" we should consider lending our Financial Officer to #150 when we were ourselves facing a budget crunch. Our Financial Officer questioned whether he would have the time and on his good judgment, we didn't.

Transparency, yes and no reason why not as we have the competence in the courthouse to let everyone interested know what is going on in the the county that affects taxpayer dollars.

Dan Proft and Acorn

With all the negative publicity about the illegal and highly Democrat partisan nationwide group called Acorn, it is not conceivable that any Republic or even Independent would vote taxpayer dollars to support this politically biased organization.

Below is a Media Release from Dan Proft.


September 21, 2009

NUTS! State Sens. Kirk Dillard, Bill Brady Voted to Give $100,000 of Illinois Taxpayer Money to ACORN

Chicago, IL – Conservative reform candidate Dan Proft released the following statement today in response to the discovery that State Sens. Kirk Dillard and Bill Brady voted to give ACORN $100,000 of taxpayer dollars:

“On Friday, State Sen. Kirk Dillard, the self-described ‘camera-ready’ Hinsdale Republican who appeared in a campaign commercial for Barack Obama, called on Gov. Pat Quinn to immediately ban all state funds to ACORN.

“‘We should not be spending tax dollars to fund an organization like ACORN which continues to violate the public’s trust at a time when our state is in a budget crisis,’ Sen. Dillard said in a statement.

“I agree. But perhaps Sen. Dillard should stop voting to fund ACORN before he calls on others to do the same.

“In 2007, both Sens. Dillard and Brady voted for SB 1167, which appropriated state funds to the Illinois Housing Development Authority which in turn distributed a $100,000 grant to ACORN.

“Once again, Sen. Dillard has let the headlines guide his convictions. Well before the recent undercover footage was aired, nine states had charged ACORN employees with crimes totaling 30 convictions. Where were Sen. Dillard’s denunciations of the group then – a group he voted to fund with taxpayer dollars?

“Sens. Dillard and Brady like to tout their respective 15-year political careers in Springfield. How’s that working out for you? It’s working out great for ACORN.”


Proft Defines McKenna

McKenna, with all his family money, has NO chance to be Governor of Illinois. Republicans have no chance of winning the governship unless they get behind someone who will raise the low perception of the Republican leadership and therefore their public image.


News Release:

Andy McKenna: Bipartisan Combine Candidate for Governor

(Chicago, Illinois) - In response to Andy McKenna’s reported entrance into the Governor’s race, conservative reform candidate Dan Proft today released the following statement:
"I welcome Andy McKenna’s entrance into this race. His candidacy clarifies the choice Republican primary voters have.

"We can nominate a candidate beholden to a small group of affluent political insiders who give money to both parties. They win when Republicans get elected; they win when Democrats get elected. Either way, you lose.

"Or we can nominate a candidate willing to take the fight to the establishment politicians of both parties, those who are concerned only with peddling influence and dividing up other people’s money.

"I am the only candidate willing to make a clean break from our ignominious past; to hold cynical Chicago Democrats and complicit Republicans accountable for what has happened on their watch; and to chart a future focused on expanding opportunity for people who play by the rules in Illinois.

"The McKenna family has donated thousands of dollars to Chicago Democrats, including Mike Madigan, Lisa Madigan, Dan Hynes, and Dick Durbin. They have also donated thousands of dollars to Republicans and the Illinois Republican Party.

"They hedge their bets, because they are interested in self-preservation. Mr. McKenna has taken indicted Springfield powerbroker Bill Cellini’s infamous ethos to heart, ‘When we're in, we're in, and when you're in, we're in. We're always in.’

"Who’s the ‘we’? I suggest you ask Andy McKenna. But the ‘we’ sure doesn’t include rank-and-file Republican primary voters.

"We have been down this road so many times as a party. Every time we allow the bipartisan combine to select our candidates, we run into a dead end. We cannot make the same mistake again if we want to not only win elections, but also bring about the system-change reform required to make Illinois economically viable. We cannot hope to un-fix Illinois before we un-fix our own party.

"As State Senator Matt Murphy, the other half of ‘Team Status Quo,’ said just a few weeks ago, ‘People are looking for a new face to take us in a new direction, especially on the Republican side…They want to see somebody who can represent a clean break from the past.’

"Sen. Murphy is right. And that is why Andy McKenna is absolutely the wrong candidate to lead our party and lead this state."


847- 912-2038


Cub Critique Qualifications

Here are the titles and dates of blogs where I detail my sports background. My background gives me some credibility to comment:

"No Seniority in Sports of Life", 11/23/04
"How Sports Helped Mold my Life", 10/14/05
"Breakdown of Codes of Conduct", 7/24/06
"Friendly Confines", 7/26/08

Find these blogs on my archival sidebar.

Breaking new from the Cubbies today, Bradley sent home for the year supposedly for his detrimental attitude towards the fans, his season over. Actually it ended the first month he came to Chicago to "play".
Zambrano says he is out of shape and has to do more work on his abs. Who'd have thunk?? Soto need to lose 20 pounds and he should use a step stool to hit those pitches he swings at eye high.

Zammie pitched pretty well tonight. Only gave up two runs in 6 innings.

I halt this blog to say Jake Fox hit a 2-run homer in the 11th and Marmol retired the Cards in order and the Cubs pull out a win. Player of the game? Relief pitcher Gregg only gave up ONE run. Player of the game? Just kidding.

I watch this game for entertainment by a bunch of mostly overpaid guys. I say about the Cubs as John McEnroe says on his TV ads "You Can't be Serious". Watch the Cubs and be serious? We should get a life while we wait for "next year".

Golden Public Pensions

"Golden Public Pensions need dose of Private Reality" says the JSEB on September 19. Actually, parents should no longer send their kids to college to compete in the private sector. Get enough education to secure and hold a government job. Government bureaucracies are still hiring and expanding and the pensions of government employees expand.

As to the private sector, half of which can't afford pension plans and when they do they are subject to large IRS fines. Read the article in the WSJ on September 19 and you see what problems the private sector encounters when seeking advice on setting up a small business pension plan. Congress changed the law in 2004 believing that many pensions were tax shelters costing the Treasury billions of dollars. The law was enacted to catch the biggies but guess who got caught in the middle of advise from advisers, certified tax accountants and attorneys. The little guy now faced with hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

Finally, Chuck Grassley and Max Baucus issued statements that they hope to change the law that mandated the fines.

Hope to change a bad law that probably few small business owners had the money to hire New York and Chicago tax accountants for advice in drawing up the pension plans for themselves and their employees.

Another example of how changes have possible unforeseen consequences. A thousand page health bill is tailor made for tort attorneys. Who doesn't want the "tort" taken out of attorneys?


Orange Cones

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood is quoted in today's JS about all those orange cones causing traffic delays, "All those orange cones mean people are working". I don't know whether he made a "tongue on cheek" comment as to whether it is the factory workers working or?????


Chicago Cubs - Does Ownership Really Want a Winner?

Maybe The new owner of the Cubs will want a playoff winning team rather than be content to make millions by just providing entertainment to fill the seats. If he does these are changes his administrative staff will need to make:

Hotdog Soriano goes
Hotdog Zambranno goes
Relief pitcher Gregg goes
Outfielder Bradley goes

Fukudome is not a franchise player
Soto had one good year and that may have been his best.Derek Lee is probably the only franchise player and he is not getting any younger. Ramirez? Hmmm.

Not enough space here to say why these changes are needed but if you watch them play and know the game, the reasons are obvious. The whole team at times looks lethargic and not highly motivated. The team lacks just that, playing like a "team" that doesn't always swing from their heels with two strikes or the need to advance a runner.

Needed: one power hitting outfielder and one starting pitcher, preferably left-handed. And a closer. That is if they can get the lead which has been hard to do this year.

Maybe its time for Pinella to go. Maybe upper management tells him to play some of the big salaried players like Bradley and Soriano, but he doesn't always put his healthy best players in his starting lineups. His players have confidence to hit mediocre pitching but do not seem confident against better pitchers, even against 42 year old John Smoltz in tonight's game. Two runs in the first inning and a 3-2 loss against the Cardinals. Theriot gets picked off base and first man up for Cards hits a homer off a third rate Cub relief pitcher; game over.His imagination is not much better than Dusty Baker's. Seldom, a squeeze play or even a safety squeeze. Few hit and run plays, players seem to not know how to advance a player from 2nd base when there is no one out. Some pitchers can't bunt and their sliding technique is often wanting.

Not even the playoffs this year. What the Cubs need is real change. I can't wait another 100 years.

My credentials? I have some. Next post.

Financial Planner Goes Bankrupt

A reputable local Financial Planner, once Vice-President of a major brokerage was listed under "bankruptcies" in a recent bankruptcy list in the JS.

My advice for what it's worth, I haven't been very good at trusting, with the world still in financial turmoil, beware who you trust with with your money, no matter how well known their firm. All of your investments are a risk worth watching on a daily basis.

Voice of experience.


Caterpillar's Committement to the Museum Updated

In a letter from Caterpillar retiring executive Sid Banwart to Peoria County Administrator Patrick Urich dated August 21, Mr. Banwart writes, "It was a pleasure to meet with you last week to discuss how Caterpillar and Peoria County can work together as we build the Peoria Riverfront Museum and the Caterpillar Visitor Center.

Per our discussion, I want to underscore Caterpillar's commitment to this project. As we outlined, the Caterpillar Foundation has pledged a total of $13.5 million.
Here's the breakdown:
* $1 million Community challenge - paid in full
* $500,000 Government challenge - paid in full
* $5 million Employee and Retiree challenge---employees and retirees have .
pledged $4.2 million, so $800,000 remains as an available match
* $7 million Corae capital campaign - paid $3 million and $4 million is being
HELD (emphasis, mine) pending completion of project funding.

Our intent is to consume all the matching funds available, so if the remainging Employee and Retiree match isn't fully utilized by Caterpillar, we will make the balance available as a community match.

In addition to the CAt Foundation pledges, CAterpillar, Inc. has contributed $400,000efor the prep work and has committed to anoter $1.2 million for the construction of the parking ($9 million plus underground, my note) garage and the surrounding infrastructure. In total Caterpillar iNc. and the CAt Foundation are contributing more than $15 million to the development of the Peoria Riverfront Museum and parking garage.

Finally, our Aterpillar Visitor Center will bring our total committment to Build the Block to more than $52 million. As a company that honors its committments, we look forward to continued communications with the county as we work together to Build the Block."

This letter was distributed to all board members on September 10.

"Museum Waits on Agreement for Operations"

So reads a header in today's JS by Scott Hilyard and Andy Kravetz. Actually, while the museum may be waiting on a contract that probably will release all responsibility from the City of Peoria and transfer ownership to Peoria County, it is also waiting on a funding shortfall anywhere where from $12 million upwards.
What's missing in funding? At least $6 million promised by the CEO Roundtable, $3-4 million for the underground garage, and $a minimum of $5 million for the Endowment fund promised the County,; 43 million actual and $5 assumed committed to the County before the county agreed to put the sales tax referendum on the ballot.

Now in today's paper, Peoria County States Attorney Kevin Lyons is quoted in a letter he sent to museum officials in August stating, "the project (building the museum) must comply with 'public policy and statutes'. The letter, in effect, restarted the process of creating by-laws and forming an agency that will operate the museum that WOULD BE LARGELY FINANCED WITH PUBLIC DOLLARS".

Thanks, SA Lyons, whew, it's finally out officially that the taxpayers will be stuck with more than 50% of the the $78 million needed a year ago to build the museum. Up to $40 million to be collected by the 1/4 percent sales tax that goes into effect January 1, 2010.

Does anyone think the public and the County Board were lied to when a leading political spokesperson for the museum told the county board "only 33% will be needed from the taxpayer, blah, blah, blah, etc., when 49 and 1/2 percent of the people who took interest to vote "no new taxes" knew better. We are having Tea Parties of all times to protest no new taxes and reduce the old. My wonderment is, did a lot of these well intentioned people marching vote for the museum because this community needs more "circuses"?

Now I want the big hitters to prove me wrong. Maybe tomorrow, because our County Administrator said he would be getting out the latest developments to the board this week. Or was the column in the paper today his method of informing the board he reports to. One executive in the private sector in this city owns 1,000,000,000 shares of stock in his company that is trading at $53 dollars and change on the NYSE. Another owns 336,000 or more shares of stock in a company whose shares are trading at $54 and change. Then there is a tort attorney I mean a WC attorney worth who knows how many millions, an insurance company third generation CEO and this list goes on. Will they step forward soon with their big bucks? Or are they waiting for taxpayer stimulus money to fund the missing millions to complete just the BUILDING of the museum?

Next blog - Caterpillar's official position.

Illinois Pensions

Another voice to be heard. As you read the comments below, know that approximately 50% of the private sector has no pension plan per se. Considering all the private sector layoffs and firing during this recession, I know of none actually laid off or fired from the burgeoning government sector. If a reader does, submit names and complete details under "comments" I appreciate the ones I have already received.

Here is what anonymous sent me today:









Debunking Illinois Pension Myths!

Reality: Illinois actually ranks 49th among the states, next to last in the nation,

in number of state employees per capita.
Historically, Illinois has not been a high public employee head count state.

Instead, Illinois is mostly a grant making state
- that is, rather than hire state employees to provide services; Illinois

disburses grants to independent providers such as
Lutheran Social Services or Catholic Charities, which in turn deliver the

service to the public

Myth: Public employee benefits areTOOO GENEROUS!
Reality: For most Illinois public employees, their pension is all they receive

upon retirement

NOT ONLY THAT- fully 78% are not covered by and do not receive Social

Security. This is unlike workers in the private sector, who receive both Social
Security and private retirement benefits!

4. Myth: Illinois' current defined benefit; THE SYSTEM IS TOO EXPENSIVE!
Reality: The 'normal cost' of a pension system is the contribution required

from an employer to fund the plan's benefits.
The weighted average 'NORMAL COST' across all five Illinois pension

systems, as a percentage of active members' payroll,
averages 9.13 percent.
The NATIONAL AVERAGE for state and local government is 12.5 PERCENT,

placing the normal cost of
ILLINOIS' current defined benefit program FAR BELOW THE NATIONAL












THE Center for Tax and Budget Accountability executive director Ralph

Martire tells us the truth....i challenge YOU to view this video:

Peoria School Closing Information and Mis-Information??

Back in 11/27/05, I wrote a blog titled "Peoria Still in Denial". For some of you, this may be a good re-read. Some like Dr. Laura, may want to ask authorities for an update. Everthing I ever wrote is still on my side-bar archives. Just click on the dates.

I also remember another blog I wrote that I can't find a copy of right now, where I wrote I walked with 5 PHS high school boys down a Peoria High corridor, asking them whether or not they used Proctor Center. (I was asked by PPD Board Chairman Tim Cassidy to do a study of Proctor Center on the southside, to determine why it's operating losses were $300M a year and why so few used the center) Finally, one boy put his finger to his head and said "bang-bang". No, they don't use Proctor Center as a gang different from their gang controlled activities in and around Proctor, they said and they feared for their safety.

Being politically sensitive, I doubt the subject has come up in a School Board meeting. The situation has not changed, ask the law authorities, some may say it has changed but with 10 deaths allegedly drug related so far this year, all on the south side, I believe, I doubt it. Maybe that is another reason some want to close PHS.

Years back I recommended closing off North Street in front of PHS, buying the houses on the east side of North; some of these houses were alleged to be dealing drugs anyway, tear them down, build a vo/tech center there, connect is with a walkway to PHS similar to Pekin High.

One community leader on a study panel said "he never thought of that". Guess no one else did either. But outsiders reading this blog may not know that Peoria and now Dunlap, is home to the "elite", while Pekin, Bartonville, and Chillicothe? Well.

Close Woodruff or PHS? Seems like I have always run on smaller classrooms,smaller schools, smaller government but others are determining "big" is better.



Unsustainable Pensions

Biggest concern to all local taxpayers should be the eventual unsustainable pensions of the City of Peoria. The following is from Dan Proft, Republican Candidate for Governor of Illinois.

IL Pension Systems Are Financially Unsustainable

September 15, 2009

The Chicago Sun-Times has suddenly discovered something Springfield politicians have known for a long time and tried to conceal, and something conservative reformers have known for a long time and tried to expose with no help from the establishment media: Our pension system is a looming disaster that threatens our state’s economy and our quality of life.

At $90 billion, Illinois’ unfunded pension liability, the highest in the nation, didn’t appear overnight. The facts have been long known.

It’s why residential property taxes keeping rising even as property values fall: we are not financing the education of our young people, we are financing public pensions.

Even liberal Democrat Sun-Times columnists Mark Brown and Carol Marin have come to the realization that Illinois’ public pension systems are not financially sustainable in their current form.

On Sunday, Mark Brown wrote:

“I would respectfully suggest instead that if the public employee unions don't step up to the plate and join as advocates for real pension reform in this state, then we're going to need to reconsider that constitutional protection.

“I say that knowing I am sticking my head in a hornet's nest. I really don't want to get a reputation as a public employee basher and don't believe I am one.”

I am not a public employee basher either but there is no escaping the unyielding math of actuarial tables. And I don’t blame people who take advantage of the rules as they have been set up. I blame those who set up the rules.

This is why I routinely say Illinois does not have a management problem, it has a system problem. Illinois isn’t broken. It’s fixed. The rules have been set up for the benefit of the Springfield political class and against people who play by the rules.

Listen to newborn taxfighter and Chicago Democrat Carol Marin, reacting to the Sun-Times' pension stories: “No wonder taxpayers, hunched over with the burden of paying the taxes to support these pensions, are broke!”

Welcome to the party, folks.

For years conservative reform state senators like Steve Rauschenberger talked about the voodoo math one must subscribe to in order to believe we could continue on with public pensions in their current form. That didn’t stop the liberal elites in the media from flaking for the public sector unions and the politicians they finance.

This is another example of the great paradox in Illinois politics: systems no one in power wants to defend, but no one in power wants to change. Someone is benefitting from the status quo—and it certainly isn’t the taxpayers.

Democratic politicians, public sector unions, and liberal media elites all get theirs, and you get the tab.

Both Ms. Marin and Mr. Brown would have done their readers a service if they acknowledged what is clear to all but the most ideological columnists: Nothing will change with Illinois’ pension system as long as the Chicago Democrats are running the show. If what I say is not so, then I would like one of those Chicago Democrats or their media handmaidens to please point to any substantial public sector pension reforms advanced by the Chicago Democrats who control every branch of state government.

Nothing will change with the current political order because those in charge do not have the political courage to do the right thing and risk the ire of the public sector unions. It’s the public sector unions which finance the Chicago Democrats’ careers, and there’s not one in the bunch who’s prepared to take on his own patronage army to reform the system.

Instead, the Chicago Democrats do whatever it takes to finance the status quo, kicking the can further down the road. They’ll even rewrite the Illinois constitution to jack state incomes taxes to fund their core constituency, as Dan Hynes recently proposed.

Nor will go-along-to-get-along Republicans who have received thousands of dollars in campaign cash from the public sector unions touch these pension systems either.

My opponents, State Sens. Kirk Dillard and Bill Brady, who collectively have been in Springfield a total of 30 years, have received thousands of dollars from the teachers unions and other public sector unions like SEIU – the principle obstacles to pension reform.

I am the only candidate for governor who is proposing a fundamental overhaul of Illinois’ pension system to make it financially sustainable going forward. We need to look at a whole battery of reforms including:

• Moving recipients from a defined pension benefit model to a defined pension contribution model.

• End the automatic cost of living adjustment (COLA) increases, compounded annually. At 3%, annual COLA bumps have consistently outpaced inflation for the last 15 years. We have had deflation recently, which means these COLA bumps are not COLAs. They are raises.

• End double- and triple-dipping.

• Increase the retirement age.

• End the practice of income spiking, which is notorious among school superintendents.

• Increase the number of years required to be vested in the system.

That’s what real reform looks like.



Museum Funding

County Board members are to receive an update this week.

Private funding for the Caterpillar highly blessed and promoted museum should now be no problem. Cat stock is up $3 today to $51 and change. Jim Owens owns 363,000 shares.

Hope that is what we hear this week that all goals have been meet with only 33 per cent coming from the taxpayers.

Of course we know that is never going to be true. The sales tax pledged to the project is more that half the $78 million project.


Survival Skills

I'm trying to make a point on my last blog. Stay with me. Most everyone born immediately starts learning the skill of survival. They count on those strangers who they see every day, for their care and treatment. They go through many stages of survival; stages of which most parents are much aware. This early development is defined as in-nate. I'm going to fast forward.

Sooner or later, they further develop the skill of manipulation. They further develop develop the skill of being greedy, two skills from which I would say only changes by degrees. We all develop skills of using each others (manipulation?), a term again that most people do not like to hear. But then, most of us do not like to hear and accept the truth or partial truths. That we use each other for our own survival is in itself, not wrong. But when we use these skills solely for our own benefit, we usually are unhappy and make those who care; care in any way about us, unhappy when in our presence and thoughts. That is, if they don't understand that they are being used in a way negative to their well-being. (examples - Madoff, gang members, women wired with explosives, etc.)

We should and usually do, accept the fact that these social skills are not in themselves bad skills. They are necessary for our development. But when these two skills arrive at the point of being "arrested" at an early peak of development, these "skills" usually cause an adverse affect in their sphere of influence. Examples such as in forming or joining gangs and terror groups, lying, cheating, theft and murder as in today's JS. Murder number 10 this year in an enlightened socially community: new museums, zoos and parks, schools, libraries, Boys and Girls Clubs, Dare, Peoria Promise, 10,000 private sector layoffs or firings, etc.

In the early stages of our life, we tend to migrate to the leadership of those we most depend on, hopefully, families with a mom and dad and close relatives; hopefully, again, that these relatives or caretakers have our best interests in mind. As life progresses we tend to attach ourselves to those others who are most manipulative or who we can manipulate or use for our own purposes, again, not in itself a bad thing.

Fortunately and unfortunately, our life choices are legion. We can, if accepted, run with an "in group" even before first grade. Usually, with the right caring early guidance, we run with the right "in groups". These groups move us in the direction of staying out of bad trouble like being dopers, sexual conquest before we understand its responsibilities, and lack of respect for other peoples property.

The right "in groups" move us to develop social skills such as communicating with the object of continual learning. To communicate without openly expressing our in-nate anger in a violent destructive manner. These groups encourage us to get an education, whether we want to or not. Enough education to at least allow us to pursue careers that support ourselves and the families most will desire to have.

Group influence sometimes turns into the "herd" influence; both good and bad. Choices must be made. If your friends do not respect authorities; parents, schools or legal authority, chances are you will not finish even 8 grades of formal schooling. Then usually unable to find a job because of the lack of development of other necessary skills; ones chances of a troubled life are magnified at least 10 fold.

However, if your friends or peers have the opposite approach to life, ones chances of some type of success are magnified at least 10 fold. So back to Dr. John and his skills deficit column in the JS. We have too many young people growing up with little desire to develop skills beyond manipulative or being manipulated and greed of all degrees and types.

Their are deviations, going from right to wrong or wrong to right or somewhere in between and these reformed people appear before classrooms of kids to tell them why and how they changed; how they have benefited and how they now want to show young people they too should not get in the "wrong groups" but if they do they can recognize the error of their ways and become productive citizens.

It is my belief that most parents and teachers understand how important peer influence is on EVERYBODY. I don't think they know how to best guide those who get in the wrong peer groups. Not so much on influences those with a strong individualism bent, many who have shaped the world we live in. In fact, we need more of them. They develop their own peer group, often different from the two types mentioned above.

The incentives move our lives in the "right" direction are too often not recognized by the kids and many adults, even those adults who mean well. Dr. John says, "the deeper American students go in school the poorer their performance becomes: 75 percent of fourth graders meet proficiency standards in reading and math while only 45 per cent of 11th graders do. On every international comparison American students are at the bottom--except in obesity where the occupy first place".

It is my opinion learning to read should be our NO. 1 PRIORITY, learning history should become NO. 2 PRIORITY, that is while learning basic arithmetic which they will need to know even if selling drugs or working in a fast food restaurant. We should let those most interested in math move ahead not holding them back while others never catch up. Or have any interest in catching up. There are hundreds of other well-paying jobs out there that Dr. John is talking about that require not only some skills beyond in-nate skills, but also, a work ethic, integrity, responsibility, etc., (haven't I been through all these needs before in my blogs?); what part of this equation do our community "leaders" not understand?

No wonder so many of our kids look for shortcuts to prosperity while they are "arrested" mentally. We don't even understand their needs. They don't understand their needs. Yes, finally we are talking about a vocational school in #150 after my 15 years of trying to get 150's attention. And even a vocational school won't work unless you bring "non-school-teacher educated" volunteers who were successful in industry to light a fire in the bellies of those who are not equipped for extensive schooling and drop out of all formal education, including colleges.

Then, again as I said years ago, while fund raising for charitable purposes, to a good Catholic sister, "we can't save them all". Her reply was "Yes, but we can try try." Well, we've been trying. Its past time to admit that you can have years of formal education and still don't know how to make a living. But maybe a work ethic can't be taught. And maybe single or two adult families can't be taught. Or we are going about it wrong which is more likely.

Hundreds of 300 page books have been written by people supposedly a lot smarter than I on the above. They are intellectually smarter than I. But too many things are lacking. Perhaps we could all benefit and be better parents, teachers, mentors and leaders with a little more use of more realistic common sense.

And be a little less "politically correct".

Skill Deficits

Dr. John F. Gilligan says our culture presents few incentives for acquiring knowledge. I agree and disagree. Incentives can always raise an individuals desire to acquire knowledge about things in which an interest desire has been created. People have to be motivated by people who know how to motivate. Sure, you can't put all the blame on the educational system but the system is broken in so many schools, the system is broken in so many homes and broken by politicians careful to be politically correct as they look forward to being re-elected.

Dr. John, who often contributes meaningful articles to the JS reader, says 50% of our high school graduates with massive skill deficits yet few people feel or understand. Why not? We seem to be diligently engaged in learning about drugs, sex, and violence. (He adds music and dancing, although, both practiced with moderation or as a career or avocation, make a better rounded person, I say) Dr. John says we have been too prosperous and oblivious to see how hungry much of the rest of the world is.

Well Dr. John, you are right. Some do see it, but for many it is getting close to being too late. Every day, new poor performing individuals graduate or drop out of school, too many winding up on welfare or in our courts, jails, and prisons. And without being much of a contributor to any community or society.

Developing a passion for learning must start within each individual as desire to have a passion for learning. Desire to learn contributing skills cannot be "force fed". That it takes all, the family, the educational system, the business community, religious institutions, government? or just one good teacher or mentor. Learn the skill of competing and one understands the true meaning of leveling the playing field. That field can not be leveled by bringing everybody down to a lower level. Just the opposite. I'm not sure most in governing do enough to promote the learning of skills to bring the poorly educated up to higher levels.

Unfortunately, too many are doing just that in the name of compassion. Better believe what is commonly quoted; It is better to teach a man how to fish than to feed him the your fish. He may be your "friend" but not after you run out of fish and he has never learned to "fish".

Reflect in your compassion that giving food and shelter is a noble thing to those in dire need. Be careful that compassion is not extended for too long for the able.

It is never too late to point someone the way to learn to develop a skill, Seek it and it shall be found, its said. Unfortunately, not all will seek and not all will find.

The same is true in the third world. The same dangers this creates abroad is far too common here in our own country. We need real leaders to emerge in so many areas from the common to the extraordinary. We all need to keep trying, just a little harder. Building more leisure, pleasure and entertainment is not what those who would destroy our way of life are doing. Those of us who would educate others need to do more to educate ourselves as what is going on in our community, state, country and world.


Health Care Reform?

"Why rush this decision without proper debate on options, cost, etc., especially with a huge deficit our grandchildren will have to pay eventually?", says my friend Dr. Rida W. Boulos in an "In the Spotlight" article in the JS on 9/6/09. Dr. Boulos had just visited his hospitalized mother-in-law in Canada. Dr. Boulos says there is not enough space on this page to explain how unacceptable the quality of care is in Quebec. Nothing is free. Canadians pay high taxes. You never see an American going to Canada to get treatments. He says. "many Canadians are worried we will get a socialized health care system here and they will not be able to come here for quality health care."

Dr. Boulos points out that Obama is not talking about tort reform which costs at least an $100 billion a year for "defensive" medicine. In a single-payer system, there will need be rationing, especially for seniors. (I'm a senior and both my wife soon will be and we both have 'quality of life' agreements) My quote.

Dr.Boulos believes we have high quality, expensive health care and not available to many. He writes we should do the following:

Require every state to do health care reform on its own. Massachusetts has done this; it is gradually taking hold, but with escalating costs. Require every state to determine if its uninsured are eligible for public aid. If so, they should be enrolled. People who earn at least $75,000 a year who have elected not to buy insurance should be required to buy it. Make sure any health insurance is portable, and that preexisting conditions are not an obstacle to coverage. Look at hospital costs. Why does hip replacement cost $50,000 in Peoria and only $25,000 in Europe? Physicians fees in some areas are extremely high; we should find out why. Completely overhaul the legal system to allow physicians to practice without spending billions in defensive medicine.

Health care will account for 20 per cent of the economy.

Well, said my friend. Why a massive bill now that only the tort attorneys and the politicians who accept large large amounts of money to fund their campaigns know what we are doing in a hurry after being aware for more than a decade that they current system needs an overhaul. We should have had tort reform two decades ago.

We should have so much so long ago. Now it appears we are going to do something few really agree on or understand.


9/11 and the 'Good War'

So writes Fouad Ajami today in the WSJ. Fouad Ajami, who I've quoted before on this site, is the author of "The Foreigner's Gift: The Americans, the Arabs and the Iraqis in Iraq". Ajami writes, "It was the furies of the Arab world, not Afghanistan that struck America 8 years ago today. The road that led to 9/11 was never a defining concern of President Obama. But he returned to 9/11 in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Phoenix, AZ. on August 17. "The insurgency in Afghanistan didn't happen overnight, he said, and we won't defeat it overnight, but we must never forget: This is not a war of choice; it is a war of necessity. Those who attacked America on 9/11 are plotting to do so again. If left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which Al Queda could plot to kill more Americans."

Ajami writes, "This distinction by Obama of a war of choice (Iraq) and a war of necessity (Afghanistan) has become canonical to American Liberalism. That is both morally false and intellectually muddled. No philosophy of just and unjust wars will support it. It was amid the ferocious attack on the American project in Iraq that there was born the idea of Afghanistan as the 'good war'. This was the club with which the war in Iraq was battered.

President Obama and his advisers need not pay heroic tribute to the men ans women who labored before Obama's rise to power. But they have so malinged their predecessors and their motives that the appeal to 9/11 rings hollow and contrived. In those years behind us, American liberalism distanced itself from American patriotism, and the damage is there to see," writes Ajami.

Ajami continues, "Wars are great clarifiers. Obama's trumpet is uncertain. His call to arms in Afghanistan does not stir. He fears failure in in Afghanistan, and nothing more. Having disowned Iraq, kept its cause at a distance, he is forced to fight the war in Afghanistan. So he equivocates and plays for time (as a Democrat Congress continues to lose stomach over this war). Forever the campaigner, he has his eye on the public mood. the steel that his predecessor showed in 2007 when all the balance in Iraq, is not evident in Obama. In the face of a Taliban insurgency that is gaining strength and geographical read, Obama will have to make a hard choice. He needs a troop commitment of sufficient weight to turn the tide of the war. He has to face his own coalition on the left and convince them that there is a war in Afghanistan worth fighting and paying for.

This is a decision he has refused to make. He has underestimated Nato's role and the refusal of Europe; Germany and France do not have the mood to contain the insurgency, while the British appear to be on the verge of withdrawal) to do more".

Ajami concludes that "eight years ago we were rudely awakened from a decade of whose gurus and pundits had announced the end of ideology, of politics itself, ant the triumph of the world-wide Web and the 'electronic herd'. We had discovered that on the other side of the world masterminds of terror, and preachers, and their foot-soldiers were telling of America the most sordid of tales. We had become, without knowing it, a party to the civil wars in the Islamic-Arab world between the autocrats and their disaffected children, between the those who want to live a normal live and warriors of the faith bent on imposing their will on that troubled area of geography.

Our country answered that call, not always brilliantly, (that is for sure, my quotes) for we are fated to be strangers in that world and thus fated to improvise and and make our way through unfamiliar alleys. We met chameleons and hustlers of every shade and had to learn in a hurry, incomprehensible atavisms and pathologies. We fared best when we trusted our sense of things. We certainly haven't been kept safe by the crowds in Paris and Berlin, or by those in Ankara and Cairo who feign desire for our friendship while they yearn for our undoing".

These are excerpts from Ajami's lengthy column but I believe I have made his point. Obama is "between a rock and a hard spot" and it while take all his charisma to fulfill all his promises to the pacifists without risking failure in a war he feels it is necessary to continue to some reasonable success with an "acceptable" risk of American lives and the ones who desperately seek relatively basic freedoms.

I have never been a neo-con. But once our leadership committed our armed services to these distant shores, (now getting closer) I have never wavered in support of all forces involved in what is now surely a battle for the survival of the basic freedoms, most people seek.

As a reminder, my wife and I were in Arlington, V.A. and Washington D.C. on 9/11. I saw the American Airlines plane change direction and set the throttle at full speed, angling away from the White House or Capitol towards the Pentagon. I saw no landing gear extended. From 300 yards, I could visualize the passengers, terrified and alive only to be dead with less than two minutes. My wife was on a tour bus and saw the explosion.

Many wars have been waged by this young country; wars in what those we elected believed were "just wars". That some were poorly handled, most agree. Only history will write the final verdicts of "just wars" in years upcoming. That sacrifices by so many are greatly regretted. My First Cousin, Richard Witzig, from Goodfield, Illinois was KIA in WW11. He died in a war "to end all wars". Unfortunately, that day never came and most likely, never will. A belief that most of us have who read extensively and try to keep up with past and present history.

Richard Witzig will always be remembered by some who still are alive. His relatives are mainly dead. Dead of old age due to his and so many others, sacrifices. Sacrifices that should never be forgotten. There is a plaque in his honor on the Peoria Courthouse Square along with the names of many others.

Let us never forget. There are a large number of people in the world who wish us and other we support; to be dead. This nation must be ever vigilant and always remember that wanting peace and having peace require more than "making nice" to everybody in the world.


Dan Proft for Governor of the State of Illinois

I'm a little late with this release. Dan is right on target.