Having apparently solved all of the other debilitating problems Illinois is facing, Chicago Democrats have now turned their considered attention to making sure dog owners don’t let their puppies get behind the wheel of an automobile.
This important bill (HB1581) amends the Illinois vehicle code to ban drivers from putting their pooch on their laps as they drive. Presumably the Democrats understand it is the humans that are doing the driving, not the dogs–but we may need to launch a second legislative campaign to clarify that.
As Chicago-based Democrat and co-sponsor of the bill, Rep. Bully Burke, says, “Because I travel, I can’t help but observe the number of people with dogs on their laps.” And so, ol’ Billy is out to correct this egregious public safety issue. He’s all about solving the puppy-distracted driver issue.
This is a vital issue, to be sure. ...Rest HERE
According to an article published this week on Time magazine’s website, your child’s “fastidiousness to religious practices” may be a sign of mental illness.
“Religion can be a source of comfort that improves well-being,” begins the article by author Francine Russo. “But some kinds of religiosity could be a sign of deeper mental health issues.”
In the article titled “Can Your Child Be Too Religious?” Russo continues, “If your child is immersed in scripture after school and prays regularly throughout the day, you may breathe a sigh of relief. She’s such a good girl. … Or maybe not. Your child’s devotion may be a great thing, but there are some kids whose religious observances require a deeper look. For these children, an overzealous practice of their family faith – or even another faith – may be a sign of an underlying mental health issue.” ...More HERE
Throughout their many recent fights with the Chicago Teachers Union, Chicago Public Schools administrators have consistently behaved like mature professionals.
The wisdom of the CPS school consolidation plan is debatable – but for every closing there is a rationale that points back to specific, measurable and relevant facts: this school’s enrollment has fallen by half during the last 10 years; that school lacks a yard for recess; another other school has consistently underperformed on standardized tests.
The same, unfortunately, cannot be said of the CTU and its president, Karen Lewis, whose stream-of-consciousness lectures on the injustices of school closings are either astonishingly simplistic or completely disconnected from anything that really matters over the long term to parents with children in CPS.
Just imagine how hyper partisan an ultra-liberal Democrat news anchor has to be in order to test the patience of management at CNN. Finally, even CNN had to wonder if sinking ratings could justifiy keeping on Soledad O'Brien in her partisan platform.
Always at the center of her own little universe, O'Brien told her tiny band of followers after she was canned this week that she had covered "some of"the most important stories of our time." I guess she must think her constant repetitition of Obama talking points qualifies as great journalism. No matter how hard they try, third-place CNN will never be able to trump MSNBC in competing for the plunging share of liberal viewers. So maybe firing O'Brien could be a hopeful sign that CNN now understands that slanted news anchors do not help win over new viewers.
CHICAGO - This week amidst insults and defiance, independent freelance videographer Rebel Pundit confirmed a plan for 150 to be arrested at the Chicago Teachers Union protest against school closings. He spoke with a Chicago alderman and Rev. Jesse Jackson, who both approved the plan to bring attention to the civil rights issue for the next ten years - "public education." H/T EagNews.org.
SPRINGFIELD - According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Illinois was among six states with the highest unemployment rate in February 2013. California, Mississippi and Nevada tied at 9.6, Illinois came in next with 9.5. Rhode Island and North Carolina came in at 9.4 and New Jersey at 9.3. March's number will come out April 19, 2013.
The left's tortured logic to justify murder was on full display when Florida legislators this week considered a bill to require abortionists to provide medical care to infants who survive an abortion. The legislators were shocked during a committee hearing when a Planned Parenthood official endorsed a right to post-birth abortion.
Following his remarks about the gay marriage debate early this week, the political correctness (PC) mob has been whipped up by the left in order to manufacture outrage and justify their character lynching of Dr. Ben Carson.
Dr. Carson is the famed Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon who challenged Obama at a recent prayer breakfast and became a household name among conservatives. During Sean Hannity's show on Tuesday, when asked about gay marriage, Carson said, "Marriage is between a man and a woman. No group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality, it doesn't matter what they are. They don't get to change the definition."
In a Nixon-esque fashion, the Obama machine used Carson's remarks to manufacture a backlash and discredit one of the President's critics. In response, Carson said, "I think people have completely taken the wrong meaning out of what I was saying." He told an interviewer he "believes gay people should have all the rights that anybody else has," but noted that "as far as marriage is concerned that has traditionally been between a man and a woman and nobody should be able to change that."
In 2010 Farrell was sentenced to 130 hours of community service for burning thousands of letters that went undelivered because he spent his day in a tavern. Investigators believe they missed the bulk of his undelivered mail. Mail from the trench could total 35,000 letters and packages.
A few years ago, I noticed a very annoying meme emerging among people under the age of 30. It wasn’t their tendency to use the word “steal” when they actually meant “borrow something that one has a legitimate right to use,” as in “Dude, can I steal your pen for a second?” as annoying as that was (and is.) Nor was it their insistence of responding to “thank you” with the phrase “no problem,” which I find especially irritating when used by a restaurant server. He brings you a clean fork. You say “thanks so much,” to which he replies “no problem.” Dude, of course it’s “no problem.” It’s your job, for heaven’s sake! Can’t you just acknowledge my appreciation with the traditional “you’re welcome?” How hard is that?
Pope Francis washes and kisses the feet of prisoners at the Casal Del Marmo Youth Detention Centre during the mass of the Lord's Supper on Thursday in Rome. See story and video HERE
The mastermind behind it has moved to rural North Carolina to raise goats and make cheese. The field general works for an electrical contractor after being jailed for public corruption. And the boss who ordered it is now a retired mayor with a lucrative career in the private sector.
Ten years ago Saturday, Richard M. Daley sent in bulldozers under cover of darkness to carve giant X’s into Meigs Field’s only runway.
No event during Daley’s 22-year reign — not even the sale of Chicago parking meters, the unsuccessful bid for the Olympics or the parade of convictions tied to the Hired Truck, city hiring and minority contracting scandals — was more roundly vilified.
The Meigs debacle lifted the veil on Daley-the-bully, an arrogant and impetuous side of Chicago’s longest-serving mayor that those in the closed circle of politics had known about for years but average Chicagoans were probably not aware of. ...More HERE
According to the Daily Herald, possible GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner has claimed three homeowner exemptions for a number of years.
Records show Rauner claimed homestead exemptions on a Winnetka home, a Chicago penthouse and a condo on a separate floor but in the same building overlooking Millennium Park. He claimed primary exemptions on the Winnetka property and the Chicago penthouse from 2008 to 2011 and on the second Chicago unit in 2010 and 2011.
By law, Illinois residents can claim the exemption only on the property that is their primary residence. The exemption reduces the amount of property taxes owed by lowering a property's assessed value.
After being notified of the error Wednesday afternoon, Bruce Rauner on Thursday paid Cook County the back taxes. ...More HERE
Immigration is a hot button issue; and lines have been drawn, people are taking sides. It is an issue that cannot be ignored with a free world confronted by the threat of terrorism and with violent drug lords running narcotics into our country. The security of this nation is of utmost importance.
There are other priorities too. We need to stop anyone who would prey on innocent people trying to make a better future for themselves and their families. Thousands flock to the US, some risking life and limb, to come into this country illegally because they believe they no other choice to make their lives better.
By Ulysses S. Arn -
It has been interesting to hear the arguments being made in support of same sex marriage these last few days as the Supreme Court heard oral arguments concerning California's proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act(DOMA). There has been a social media campaign on this subject with supporters of redefining the word marriage changing their profile pictures to an equal sign or the words "marriage equality". Protest have taken place both at state capitols and outside the Supreme Court. The media, from CNN to the major network newscasts and pages of the dying newspapers like the New York Times, have trumpeted same sex marriage as the new civil rights movement. In all of the promotion of same sex marriage one thing has been constant, from the court room to the carbon footprint that is MSNBC, marriage is a right and it is unconstitutional, bigoted, and outright wrong to deny the right to marry to homosexual couples.
Every year, Christian believers mark a series of events that took place during Passover week the year Jesus of Nazareth's ministry concluded. Jesus was executed on Friday of Passover week, accused of heresy against Jewish teachings and stirring discontentment against the Roman government. Jesus had publicly referred to Himself as the "Son of God" and his followers hailed him as "King of Kings."
The Roman government's method of execution was ghastly and torturous, with the goal of making the criminal's punishment an example to others. The medical aspects of the crucifixion process serve as part of the explanation why Christians are so devoted to Jesus Christ, as sinless Son of God that was punished for their sins so they may be accepted by a Holy God. Those in politics that don't understand the commitment of Christians to Biblical teachings and the example of the Christ that was crucified may consider reviewing the suffering their King endured for their sake. From Dr. David Terasaka's "The Medical Aspects of the Crucifixion of Christ."
Crucifixion was a practice that originated with the Persians and was later passed on to the Carthaginians and the Phoenicians. The Romans perfected it as a method of execution which caused maximal pain and suffering over a period of time. Those crucified included slaves, provincials and the lowest types of criminals. Roman citizens, except perhaps for soldiers who deserted, were not subjected to this treatment. (McDowell)
By Josh Dwyer -
Chicagoans are ready for education reform. A recent survey conducted by National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago found that Chicago parents are anxious for the city and state to implement substantive reforms that will help their children succeed.
Chicago parents’ displeasure with the current school system is reflected in the grades they gave it on the survey. Overall, six in 10 parents gave Chicago Public Schools a letter grade of “C” or “D.” Another 8 percent gave it an “F.” Only 7.8 percent gave it an “A.”
Here are some of the other survey results:
Even consistent critics of President Obama often seem to understimate his well-developed rhethorical skills in the art of guile. For example, the president might be talking about the need to ban automatic weapons or high capacity ammo clips due to the tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. But then in mid-sentence he will start to borrow statistics from all hand-gun related violence in America most of which deals with pistols and is not connected to automatic weapons. This comingling of facts is deliberate because it allows Obama to quickly change the subject, without appearing to change the subject, as he quickly pivots to a new and more expansive cause than the one which he started talking about. Or the president might deliberately misuse a word such as "investment" with a clear private secotor meaning in order to camouflage a pork barrell spending project.
By Ben VanMetre -
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, or BEA, announced today that Illinois ranked 42nd in personal income growth in 2012. The average growth in personal income across the nation was 3.5 percent, compared with Illinois’ 2.5 percent growth during 2012.
The BEA’s analysis summarized the growth in personal income across the nation with the following statement:
“Average state personal income growth slowed to 3.5 percent in 2012 from 5.2 percent in 2011, according to estimates released today by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. State personal income growth ranged from -0.2 percent in South Dakota to 12.4 percent in North Dakota. Inflation, as measured by the national price index for personal consumption expenditures, fell to 1.8 percent in 2012 from 2.4 percent in 2011.”
Unfortunately, a closer look at the data reveals that 2012 was not an outlier for Illinois – Illinois’ personal income consistently grows at a slower rate than its neighbors and the nation.
SPRINGFIELD - If you thought you could get help from law enforcement if you were being stalked, you're right. But in Illinois, there's an interesting and scary exception. Stalking is permissible if you're a union member and you're in a labor dispute.
Here's what a Springfield Journal-Register op-ed said Thursday:
Recently, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce issued a report titled “Sabotage, Stalking & Stealth Exemptions: Special State Laws for Labor Unions,” which describes Illinois’s exemption.
The report states, “But Pennsylvania, and other states with a significant union presence (e.g., California and Nevada), carve out an exemption from the crime of stalking, in the case of Pennsylvania by noting the prohibition on stalking ‘shall not apply to conduct by a party to a labor dispute.’ Illinois has created an even arguably broader exception to stalking when the action is related to ‘any controversy concerning wages, salaries, hours, working conditions or benefits … the making or maintaining of collective bargaining agreements, and the terms to be included in those agreements.’”
NEW YORK - At a dinner in New York in early March, Chicago Teachers Union prez Karen Lewis gave her version of her back-and-forth over longer school days with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. She boasted of the day when, she says, he said "F*** you, Lewis," and she used "colorful language" in her response over longer school days. She told the group of "radical teachers" that city officials will do "whatever you let them get away with."
CHICAGO - More evidence that the once-golden investment of real estate remains on shaky ground in Illinois. With the state's unemployment rate edging back up to double digits, Illinois homeowners continue to struggle to stay afloat while fighting for jobs to pay their bills.
Nearly 138,000 homes in the state were in the foreclosure inventory at the end of the first quarter, up nearly 36 percent over the same period last year, according to Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac Inc., an online marketplace for distressed properties. Nationally, the number of homes in the foreclosure pipeline increased 9 percent year-over-year, RealtyTrac said.
It takes nearly two years to complete foreclosure proceedings in Illinois, and the influx of foreclosures may slow things down even more.
By Nancy Thorner -
The birth of our nation originated from the idea that citizens should not be taxed by governments in which they have no political voice. "No taxation without representation" was the battle cry of colonists in 1773 when in Boston, whopping war chants, they marched two-by-two to the Boston wharf where they descended upon the three ships in the port and proceeded to threw the offending cargoes of tea into the waters. The reason for the rebellion, known as the Boston Tea Party in response to the Townsend Acts imposed by Great Britain, has been etched over the years in the hearts and minds of school children as an event of critical and lasting importance in American History.
The Market Fairness Act of 2013, often referred to as the "Internet sales tax" bill, aims to change what had been a fundamental bedrock principle of our nation, even before she was able to throw off her shackles to Great Britain to become a stand alone, free and independent nation.
WASHINGTON - Thursday at 11 am EST, Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-08) will host an expected 100 visitors from Illinois to his Washington DC office. Among them are sure to be his wife and family, as well as several #SendFlatStanleys, his DC staffer Meagan Holder told Illinois Review.
"Visitors will not be welcomed during spring break at the White House, which is closed due to the Secret Service and President Obama's decision," she said. "But Congressman Roskam is looking forward to showing his office to folks from back home."
Last week, Illinois Review helped Roskam's office by encouraging readers to #SendFlatStanleys. Sure enough, he began appearing on Congressman Roskam's Facebook Page. The photo below includes one #SendFlatStanley and this description:
CHICAGO - Among 127 school closing protestors arrested for blocking traffic during rush hour on a downtown Chicago street was SEIU President Tom Balanoff, SEIU-funded Progress Illinois reports Thursday.
After the rally, protesters were led by [Chicago Teachers Union President Karen] Lewis, [Rev Jesse] Jackson and U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D, IL-1) in a march around City Hall where several hundred protesters participated in an act of non-violent civil disobedience that amounted to 127 people getting arrested, including SEIU President Balanoff.
“They’ve said they have a $1 billion deficit, that’s because they took $1 billion out of our property taxes to put it in a TIF and develop downtown,” said Balanoff. “It’s time to develop our communities, that’s what we need.”
Video of arrest below fold -
SPRINGFIELD - A one-sentence amendment to State Rep Mike Zalewski's (D-Riverside) weapons bill that would toughen unlawful gun possession penalties to require time in prison could be very expensive. Amendment #1 to HB 2265 says:
A person convicted of a second of subsequent violation of subsection 24-1 (a)(4) or 24 -1 (a)(10) commits a Class 3 felony and shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than 3 years and not more than 10 years.
That sentence could cost Illinois nearly a billion dollars over the next 10 years, Illinois Office of Management and Budget reported to the House this week:
HB 2265 has a direct fiscal impact to the Illinois Department of Corrections. The total impact of HB 2265 would result in an increase of 3,860 inmates, with additional operating costs of $701,712,300 and construction costs of $263,130,300 over a ten year period.
SPRINGFIELD - While Illinois muddles its way through one ban after another, trying to pass a court-ordered concealed carry law, other states like Arizona are loosening restraints on school staff to carry handguns to defend rural school students.
A sharply divided Arizona House panel approved a bill Wednesday that allows designated teachers, administrators or other employees in remote rural schools to carry a handgun.
CHICAGO - Thousands of unhappy teachers, parents and students took to the streets in downtown Chicago Wednesday afternoon, protesting Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Public Schools' plan to close 54 schools at the end of the school year. CPS says it faces a $1 billion deficit this summer, but the teachers union and its president Karen Lewis say the CPS' closing plans are racist and unnecessary. Lewis explained during a speech before Thursday's march, omitting a real concern of the CTU - that nearly 1000 teacher union members face job loss with the school closings. Filmed by SEIU-funded Progress Illinois:
SPRINGFIELD - A new report by the Society of Actuaries on the "Cost of the Future Newly Insured under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)" suggests that if all states choose to expand Medicaid, the cost of ACA could cause insurance costs to rise by an average of nearly one-third. Illinois, though, could see an even higher increase.
The report shows how demands on individual states' health care systems will be affected. According to their findings, if all states expand Medicaid, Illinois' number of persons covered will nearly double and non-group health insurance costs will rise by 50.5%. If the states do not expand Medicaid, the number will still double, but non-group health insurance will cost 46.9% more than before ACA went into effect. Charts below show Illinois findings included in the study:
As long as he can remember, retired Chicago attorney Ethan Bensinger (photo right) has been visiting the Selfhelp Home, a place of refuge for European Jewish immigrants to Chicago. His grandmother, who fled Germany with his parents in 1934, lived at the home; his mother worked there as an occupational therapist.
Though Mr. Bensinger had never made a film, he knew he wanted to share the survival stories he'd heard at the home. His one-hour film: “Refuge: Stories of the Selfhelp Home” debuted last summer at the Illinois Holocaust Museum in Skokie and has been screened regularly since then, at film festivals, museums, synagogues, universities, schools and on public television. ...More HERE
CHICAGO - Governor Pat Quinn indicated via Twitter Wednesday that he's inclined to support raising Illinois minimum wage, saying Illinois needs to "support working families!"March 27, 2013
A claque of liberals and media bigwigs are calling RNC Chairman Reince Priebus’s 97-page political opus an Autopsy, which the dictionary defines as the dissection of a body after death. Some people are hoping the Republican Party is dead, but the grassroots are raring to rise up and fight.
Support for the Republican Party is down, but the number of people who call themselves conservative is holding steady. They face the same old choice-not-an-echo battle: grassroots conservative Republicans vs. the liberal, globalist Establishment RINOs (Republicans in Name Only).
This morning Federal Judge Samumuel Der-Yeghiayan entered an order extending for six months his March 13, 2013 Temporary Restraining Order. Attorneys for TLC and Elgin had reached agreement for extension of the order while the parties considered further legal proceedings or a political solution. This extension allows TLC to continue serving the young women of Elgin at least through August 21, 2013.
CHICAGO - State Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg) provided background on the concealed carry situation at the Union League Club of Chicago's breakfast Tuesday morning. State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) responded to Phelps' comments, pointing out issues liberals are having with some of the concealed carry proposals being made. Then they took questions from the audience. (H/T Dr. Paula Bratich)
PEORIA - Non-custodial parents neglecting their financial child-support obligations could be subject to garnished gaming winnings if legislation sponsored by State Sen. Darin LaHood (R-Dunlap) becomes law.
"'Deadbeat' parents in Illinois owe to the tune of $3.1 billion in child support, and we need to provide the Department of Healthcare and Family Services with every tool to do its job when it comes to the enforcement and collection of child-support monies," LaHood said. "If enacted, Illinois would become the largest state in the union to more aggressively go after these bad parents. It's time to help Illinois children cash in on a bad parent's pay out."
Senate Bill 1820 would allow the Department Healthcare and Family Services Child Support Services division to garnish the winnings of delinquent non-custodial parents. The legislation would apply to Illinois-based riverboat casino payouts of more than $1,200.
Despite a number of Illinois House and Senate Democrats who oppose the redefinition of marriage in Illinois, gay activists remain confident they can pass same-sex marriage legislation. And while the media and pundits focus on Republican opposition - calling it hateful, myopic, and political suicide - no such labels seem to be applied to the Democrat legislators who have voted against, and stand opposed to, gay marriage in Illinois.
Senate Democrats such as Gary Forby, Bill Haine, and John Sullivan voted against passage of the bill. And House Democrats Brandon Phelps, Louis Arroyo, John Bradley, Jerry Costello, Mary Flowers, and Eddie Lee Jackson have made it clear they will not vote for it should it reach the floor of the House, and other Democrats are leaning against it as well.
The Democrats have a 71-seat super-majority in the House. Yet Speaker Madigan either cannot or will not get the 60 votes needed for passage, which means either Madigan himself is not for it, or he's concerned about the electoral backlash - especially from African Americans - should it pass.
No matter what the politics, it's hypocritical that the activists refuse to slur Democrat opposition as they have Republican; and it is shameful that the mainstream media has failed to report the other side of the story.
A Princeton University physics professor that created a stir in 2011 when he criticized global warming alarmism shared his continued skepticism last Friday at Argonne Lab, just a week after President Obama's visit to promote green energy.
Professor William Happer (on left in photo) spoke at a Physics Division Colloquium hosted by Dr. Richard Chasman, post retirement Research Participant at Argonne National Laboratory. Happer's comments were in contrast to Obama's just the week before. Obama confirmed his politically-motivated green energy push based on a belief that man-made Global Warming exists and is a threat to mankind.
Former U.S. Senator and new Heritage Foundation chief Jim DeMint argues that despite the spin to the contrary, traditional marriage is the true conservative, limited government position. In an op/ed, DeMint writes: "Let's make one thing very clear: those of us who support marriage as it has been since the dawn of time respect the liberty of others to live their lives as they choose. But governmental redefinition of marriage is a power grab that attacks civil society."
According to DeMint, "we cannot hope to limit government if we do not stand up for marriage. Marriage is the foundation of America's cultural stability and economic prosperity. As the Supreme Court considers two cases challenging marriage as the union of a man and a woman, it should resist a ruling that would usurp authority from citizens and their elected officials, which would be the biggest power grab of them all." ...More HERE
As Illinois politicians debate the redefinition of marriage in Springfield, conservative Republican Mike Huckabee warns the GOP that "evangelicals will leave the Republican Party if it supports redefining marriage to include same-sex couples."
When asked if he believes the Republican Party will change its position and support gay marriage in a Wednesday Newsmax interview, Huckabee remarked, "They might, and if they do, they're going to lose a large part of their base because evangelicals will take a walk." ...More HERE
In a 5-0 vote, the Indiana justices said that it did not matter that funds had been directed to religious schools, so long as parents - and not the state - decide where to use the tuition vouchers. ...More HERE
ATWOOD - Two weeks ago, the downstate Atwood Armory gun shop was in the news because it was raffling off a controversial AR-15 for the local Little League. As of Tuesday, the AR-15 raffle has raised over $21,000 for the ball team. Tickets are $20 each and the drawing is scheduled to take place June 29.
Problem is Atwood Armory may be in violation of Illinois' gambling laws. Gambling watchdog Kathy Gilroy tells Illinois Review, "The real story here is that the Atwood Armory is in violation of the Illinois Raffles Act."
The Left has coached the American citizenry on the subject of compassion with a tedium that lives at the heart and soul of the social sciences. But contrary to popular opinion, this effort really never has been about cultural diversity. It's about achieving cultural suppression under the guise of policing diversity. From the Left's perspective, the best way to move their cultural agenda forward is by making everything that is and has been philosophically, politically and economically successful seem either trivial or evil. This is achieved best by convoluting honest debate with the most specious arguments available and by viewing any attempt at compromise as a cultural surrender and a signal to advance their agenda forward.
Is there anything more emotionally exhausting than honestly attempting to reason with jesters who argue foolishness as a way of wearing you down? For goodness sake. It's like debating with Roger Rabbit, although to be fair, at least Roger Rabbit genuinely meant no harm. More exhausting than debating farce is the realization that the foolishness is nothing more than a tactic for fatiguing and breaking down one's opponent and when you recognize this you can finally accept that you are, in fact, the opponent. That's all you are and that's all you are ever going to be.