I’d like to thank Lynn Kocal for her commentary since April that addressed United Nations Agenda 21. I hope she’ll provide readers occasional updates.
I’d also like to thank Cheryl J. Heldt, Micheal Raleigh, Kristina Rasmussen, Bill Dietz, Dr. Marvin Folkertsma, Dr. Harold Pease, Lisa Bloom, Terry Smith, Van Orion, John W. Whitehead, Jane Carrell, David E. Smith, Billy D. Clifford, Christopher Clukey, Dr. Paul Kengor, Bill Fawell, Van Irion, Michael Messinger, David Hale and Publisher Tom Kocal for making your voices of sound reason heard in ways that would please the Founders of this once free and constitutionally limited republic. I thought it was especially nice that the PA used an entire page to publish The Unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America in the July 4, 2012 edition.
God Bless you in waking-up the American Republic to fight those who’ve been gradually usurping our God given right to be free with sovereignty over our own lives.
As for the upcoming election, I’d like to offer the following analogy for voters to consider:
There were two couples who married at age 20. Both couples lived in the same town their entire lives and both enjoyed identical household incomes and benefits through their working lives until the first couple retired at age 60. Both couples enjoyed household incomes of $75,000 (from their jobs) when the first couple retired. Their health costs throughout their marriages were the same as were other unforeseen costs.
The couple who retired at age 60, accumulated $750,000 dollars in savings and investments with no debt when they began retirement. The second couple retired at age 65 and had accumulated $300,000 in assets but owed $100,000 in debt.
How is it possible that both couples who earned the same and experienced the same misfortunate challenges during their married lives, could end up with such a difference in net wealth? The answer is easy to understand one was a liberal and the other more closely followed Christian conservative principles.
Now I’d like you think about which couple felt that in their old age the state should pay for their ailments and nursing home costs since they’d contributed to mandated government programs to pay for them. The financially weaker couple entered a nursing home 5 years earlier than the financially stronger couple. The wealthier couple paid $3,000 per month to have a live-in caretaker for five years before they entered a nursing home. The wealthier couple spent less than one year in a nursing home for which they paid cash and thus retained control of their income and estate. The financially weaker couple entered the nursing with few remaining assets and after two years lost control of their income as it was directed by the state to pay for their nursing home costs.
At death, the wealthier couple left an estate of $1.5 million divided into 5 separate trusts and had still experienced a greater retirement than the couple who had spent their income differently for the course of their adult lives.
Now ask yourselves which couple was the liberal and which was the conservative? With this answer, I hope that at some point you’ll understand that our lives are about choices that affect ourselves and our posterity. Who will more steadfastly secure a moral and prosperous future for America? Please vote for that person.
Gary Scott Law
4-H Develops Leaders
4-H has made an impact on my life. I have become a better leader because my communication, leadership, and teamwork skills that I have learned through 4-H.
4-H has been in my family for many years, so when I was little I wanted to carry on the tradition. Now I am apart of the tradition. 4-H has given me so many opportunities. I have been able to compete at State Fair for the last 5 years and have won many superior awards.
Not only has it given me these opportunities but I also have been able to meet new people and make new friends. I am currently my club’s president and I participate in the Carroll County 4-H Federation. It gives me a good feeling when I realize how many younger generations of kids look up to me as a role model. I want to leave a good impact on them and help them make their 4-H experience the best that it can be.
I look forward to the upcoming years to see what I can achieve and if I can reach the goals I have set. I encourage others to join to get the same experience as I have had. To join, contact the Carroll County Extension Office 1815-244-9444.
CC 4-H member
Freedom of Religion, Not Freedom From Religion
In response to a commentary titled, “Assault on Religion, or Misguided Hyperbole” I would like to address the main point of the letter which states that the Constitution explicitly states the separation of religion and state.
Without going into an exhaustive history of the founding of this nation, it must be understood that one of the primary reasons that our nation was founded is on the principle of religious freedom. Religious persecution was common in England for hundreds of years. In fact, the Pilgrims left England in 1609 strictly because they wanted religious freedom. The 1559 Act of Uniformity required all British citizens to attend services and follow the rules of the Church of England. The Church of England by the way was the official religion and church of the country.
Now jump forward to our founding and the first amendment of the US Constitution which states, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The founders did not want the government to establish an official “church” of the United States. That is clearly the intent of the first amendment. Please notice it says, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
As to the phrase, “wall of separation between church and state”, which is not in the US Constitution by the way, it is interesting to note just where that phrase came from, The source is a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1802 to the Danbury Baptist Association. If you look at the separation phrase in context it is made plain what Jefferson meant. Jefferson wrote, “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”
His reference to a wall was to protect religious freedom from the state. Not to keep religion out of the state!
In other words, Jefferson referenced the amendment as a protection of religious freedom from the state. He wanted to make sure the state could not interfere with religious freedoms. Jefferson wrote with sovereign reverence that the whole American people would be allowed to practice their Judeo-Christian beliefs without interference from the state.
Our country is based on freedom of religion! Not freedom from religion!
Republicans the Cause of Government Woes
Contrary to exaggerated claims, there are no Nazis, Communists, or Muslim Terrorists among any of the Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates – no bogeymen under the bed. Obama is a highly altruistic and compassionate politician, dedicated to the well being of our country and all its citizens, rich and poor. Romney’s association with Bain and his waffling on key issues may be suspect, but in many other ways he is surely a good and reasonable man.
It is the Republican Party Romney represents that has the poor record. During the last 3 Republican administrations, the national debt has increased alarmingly. Though Republicans preach deregulation, the Great Recession was caused primarily by unregulated financial institutions. Republicans talk about lowering Social Security and Medicare benefits for the middle class while they insist on keeping capital gains and dividends taxes, benefiting primarily the wealthy, at an all-time low. Since the Republicans reinvented themselves in the late 1970s the income of the upper 1% has increased by 275% while the middle class has barely kept up with inflation (c. 40%). On their watch we became involved in 2 lengthy, costly and controversial wars. Their crown jewel, the free market, has done little to control health care and higher education costs. Even those who read only the sports page have to admit that this record is not a solid foundation on which to build America’s future.
Unlike many European countries, our congress and administration are often from opposing parties. If there’s not at least a modicum of cooperation, even basic functions of government, like paying our bills and making routine appointments, cannot proceed. Republicans need to be reminded that democracy is an imperfect compromise among many differing opinions.
In my opinion, the greatest threat to our democracy is the ever-increasing influence of the dollar on the political process. To be sure, both parties are guilty of allowing us to slide down that slippery slope, but Republican involvement has been the greatest. Campaign contributions, super-packs, billions of lobbying dollars, the revolving door between corporate and government positions, and, at the state level, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), have made ours a “pay-to-play” government. Every special interest dollar that falls into a politician’s pocket gives the wealthy and the corporate world greater influence and the voting public less.
Lastly, Republicans, like Nero, are “fiddling while the planet burns.” George W. Bush’s energy czar, recruited from the oil industry, changed the reports of leading NASA climate scientists to make their findings seem more tentative. We are trading a few billion in oil, coal and utility profits for the ability of the earth to support life! “Life” includes the human species - your grandchildren. People who don’t know the difference between urban air pollution, the ozone hole, and the green house effect are passing judgment on scientific reports they don’t begin to understand. God save us from our ignorance.
Wood’s Morrison City Council Notes
Morrison City Council met on October 9, 2012 at the County Board Room. Council members present were: Hayenga, Blean, Thorndike, Sullivan, Zuidema, Wood and Connelly. Rose was excused. Clerk Schroeder and Chief Melton were absent. Others present were: Mayor Drey, CA Wise (filled in for city clerk), Attorney Zollinger, Gary Tresenriter, Engineer Gronewold, Sargent Rice and many residents.
CA Wise stated that we need to reward Barb King for saving the city $1,975 for discovering that we were getting billed for a supplemental mechanical insurance for Odell Library….we dropped that when we took out our new insurance because the mechanical insurance is included in the new policy. She was alerted by Connie Boonstra from Odell Library that she had gotten the bill and didn’t feel the Library owed for it. So thanks to Connie for being on her toes and contacting Barb who, in turn, investigated and found we no longer carry that insurance. Connie and Barb both deserve “kudos” for a good job done!
Public Comment: Phil Bramm, lifelong resident of Morrison, asked the council to rethink the location of the proposed Wastewater Treatment Plant. As the design plan presented by Fehr Graham/Baxter & Woodman 2 weeks ago, the wastewater treatment plant would be in the back yard of Bramm and 3 of his immediate neighbors. None of them want the Plant placed in their back yard! There are issues with underground lines, pooling of water and water run-off from the fair grounds. He stated, if the plant is placed where the original paper showed, the only playground in our quarter of the city would be gone. Waterworks Park playground/shelter/walking path is used EVERY DAY by residents-children and adults. Even the ball park is used by kids practicing/playing ball quite often. They are in favor of a new facility just not the placement. Maybe south of the existing plant or south of the tennis courts would be a solution. He brought plat drawings he got from the Whiteside County Courthouse so everyone could visualize the problems/solutions.
Public Comment: Nancy Anderson, representing the Morrison Community Garden, stated this group was never asked where they thought would be a good place to plant new trees at French Creek Park. The 4 maple trees on the North side of the drive into French Creek Park are too close to the garden area. They are detrimental to the garden (which needs the sunshine and they will eventually draw the water from the garden area). The gardeners are requesting the trees be moved before they get rooted, hopefully this fall. She suggested somewhere else in French Creek Park or the Sports Complex. Prior to the Community Garden taking shape, they looked long and hard for the right place to create a healthy environment that would involve the community to cultivate gardens and new friendships. This is the 3rd year of the garden and it is more successful each year.
Just an observation: Seems like there is a lack of communication in Morrison. We all need to be courteous and communicate with our neighbors all over town. Looks like Phil Bramm and his neighbors are thinking ahead by trying to avoid problems before the issue of placement of the Wastewater Treatment Plant arises. This way the engineers can see some of the issues the residents face with their placement of the plant so change orders will not be needed. Per Nancy Anderson’s plea- No one asked the “garden group” if it would be an issue for them to have the trees planted so close to the garden, now it is an issue. I feel we should all become “better neighbors” by cooperating and communicate with people in the areas that are directly affected by our decisions. The City of Morrison IS the people who reside here! Let’s communicate, work together and be good neighbors. It is the council’s responsibility to represent the residents. Contact your alderman with your issues, comments and compliments!
Gary Tresenriter reported the Stop Lights on Rt. 30 have been upgraded. Some of the leaks in the water lines have been fixed. New signs were ordered from Hall Signs costing Morrison $897.00. Two were for the school crossings. The other seven are for the new 25 MPH speed limits all over town. We are waiting to get permits from IDOT to place 4 of the signs on the “STATE’S RIGHT OF WAY” not the city’s like CA Wise stated for Rt. 30 and Rt. 78 entry points. The stencils are here to paint the 20 MPH speed limits on Main Street….waiting for Paint the Town paintings to fade. Depending on the weather, we may have to wait until next spring to get these painted.
Ordinance #12-34—IEPA Public Water Supply Loan Program Agreement Amendment was passed. A larger loan amount is necessary because of all this issues with Well #5 (losing circulation, etc.). We are going to ask for $1,319,000.00 in addition to the $3,630,100.00 from the IEPA – not to exceed $4,950,000.00 to finish the connection of Well #5 to the Well House #5, demolition of existing facilities at Well #3 and abandonment of the existing well, and repair and painting of the city water tower located at the northeast corner of High St and Madison St.
UPCOMING MEETINGS: Tuesday, October 16 at 4:30 pm at the Odell Library Community room-combined council meeting with Sterling, Fulton, and Morrison concerning Housing Grants. Monday, October 22, 2012 at 7:00 pm is the regular Morrison City Council meeting at the County Board Room. Everyone Is Welcome! Come be a part of the solutions!
A Morrison Taxpayer,
While I usually vote Republican, I am casting my vote this year for Democratic candidate Cheri Bustos in the 17th Congressional District. The reason is simply that our Congress has become totally dysfunctional, and is far to ideologically driven to get anything done. I am sorry to say that in my opinion it is the Republican house that has been the most extreme.
While I do not agree with the entire Democratic platform we simply have to send people to Congress that are willing and able to compromise to reach solutions on our most pressing problems. I have met and talked to Cheri, and she has assured me she will work hard to find bipartisan solutions—particularly on a way forward to reduce our debt. I have not met congressman Shilling, and I’m sure he is a good man, trying to do a good job, but he has a severe handicap. Caught up in the tea party ideology he along with many Republicans have put ideology over results and contributed to the gridlock that now paralyzes our government. As a former mayor of Peoria I know from experience that to reach solutions to problems you need all your options available. Sending Sheri Bustos to congress will make a critical difference!
Lowell (Bud) Grieves
(Former Mayor of Peoria)
Not a Jacobs Fan
I just received a Mike Jacobs mailer. The content was not unexpected, regurgitating the same tired mantra of a failed incumbent who cannot produce any positive talking points, cannot stand on any merits of his several terms, etc. The mailer (thus Jacobs) flails its verbal arms, purporting that Albracht is dedicated to savaging Seniors, that he only supports millionaires, etc.
A despondent senior citizen is prominently depicted to support this “empty can logic.” However, the Jacobs Campaign decided to jump the shark with a half-page photo of Albracht, seated, bent over, hands clasped and “pitiful” in the empty room “pose.”
NOTE: That photo was taken in January, 2012 at the Memorial Service for John F. Baker Jr. (Moline native & Medal of Honor recipient). John Katherman, current Vietnam Veterans of America President, Ray Hamilton & Bill Albracht - both multiple term past VVA presidents, drove to the funeral service at Ft. Jackson, SC. They went to represent the QCA Veteran population, and also as ambassadors for the entire QCA. These three veterans were all close friends of Baker.
Apparently, the Jacobs Campaign ripped this image from a verterans FaceBook page where it was used to underscore the loss felt by those in attendance, as well as our Nation.
Nice work, Mike. You are dependably despicable. You continue to live down to our expectations.
Stephenson County Voters:
Seeing the yard signs go up made us decide to write this editorial. We support Alvin Wire and David Schexnayder for county board district H seats. We support them because they have openly spoken out on the need for financial discipline, accountability, and spending restraint that is necessary to get our county to a healthy cash flow without raising the taxes. Alvin currently serves on the board and David has attended numerous meetings.
An opponent, Joe Green, was quoted in the Freeport paper 3 times stating his progressive attitudes. Having been to a number of board meetings when he served as President of the Lena Community Park District, we know what he means. Joe Green was comfortable with creating debt for the taxpayers to pay off. When the new board decided to pay down debt and halt unpopular river projects, Joe Green decided to leave.
Creating debt for others to pay off is easy. Having the job of cleaning up the debt and bringing spending under control requires hard work. We believe that Alvin Wire and David Schexnayder are a great choice to accomplish that task.
Gary and Cecilia Kaney
Marion Dempsey Benefit
Words can not even begin to explain how grateful our family is. The benefit for Marion Dempsey on Oct. 6th was AMAZING. It was beautiful, full of wonderful people, and fun. We had a wonderful turnout, it was more then any of us imagined it would be. On behalf of the entire family we want to let each and everyone of you who helped support in any way know how thankful we are for you and your gracious actions. There was a lot of work involved in this benefit. So whether you donated a gift, money, food, snacks, came to the benefit, exc. THANK YOU all for your help. Everyone in the community came together for us in our time of need and we are so grateful and proud to live in such a wonderful and caring community. Also a special thanks goes out to Rhonda Clarkson ( Marion ’s Best Friend) who is the one who started this and we are extremely grateful for you and your help.
We will be having a celebration of life per Marion ’s wishes on what would be her 45th birthday October 28th,2012. Time and place later are later to come. This will be for family and close friends only.
Erika Lynn Tubbs
What do you do if you have time on your hands, and don’t believe one political party will benefit you as much as the other? One thing some do is remove signs of the other political party.
That is what a prominent insurance executive does, because his wife inherited property along a city street, and believes he owns the road. He removes the signs from the right of way. If this is what he truly believes, he will probably put a fence down the middle of the road, or put up a toll booth, to charge people to drive on it. I don’t know if his name was included in the property transfer or not. Who does own the street, and right of way? I was told the City does.
While he takes down Obama signs, I see he has a Romney sign by his driveway. The Carroll Co. Democrats bought and paid for the Obama signs. They are our property.
We have had only Obama signs stolen. We do not approve of the taking of Republican signs. I am sure that the Carroll Co. Republican Party does not approve either. There are a few who have little respect for other people’s property. They believe they are above reproach. I believe this to be the case here. Why do some people resort to these types of actions? I believe most of the time it is for personal gain.
This is my opinion. What is yours?
Carroll Co. Democrats
Mount Carroll, IL
The Bobby I Know
By Christie Schilling
I know there’s a lot being said out there. People are talking about policies and taxes and who’s going to build jobs where, but I want to take a minute and give you a little window into our life. I want to tell you about the Bobby Schilling I know—the man I married.
Bobby and I often marvel at the blessings God has so lovingly worked in our lives. If you would have told me 26 years ago on our wedding day that we would have 10 children, own a pizza place, build a beautiful home in the country, and that Bobby would be a U.S. Congressman, I would have had trouble believing it.
Our family literally built our business from the ground up. Before opening St. Giuseppe’s Heavenly Pizza, we had to put a drainage pipe on the building. The ditch for the pipe had to be four feet wide by six feet deep and 18 feet long. The cost was going to be $6,000, so in order to save that money, Bobby broke through the concrete himself and started digging.
I guess you could say he was a fiscal conservative even then. He’s never wasted a penny as long as I’ve known him. Of course, that’s not to say he doesn’t give generously.
Bobby has a very generous heart and spirit. At the restaurant, Bobby never turns away a hungry stomach. A very young mother used to come into our pizza place with her little boy, and Bobby would tear up her check and toss it in the garbage. He has given pizzas to the Boy Scouts, booster clubs, the YMCA, homeless, families in hardship, schools, veterans, sent pizza to wakes, and those in the hospital with new babies—the list goes on and on. Once I voiced my concern about the amount of pizza he was giving away and his reply was, “Don’t worry honey, its only dough and I can always make more!”
It’s hard for me, as a wife, to hear the awful things that are said about Bobby every day on the campaign trail. I’m sure every political spouse can sympathize. But as a family, I know we chose this. Bobby’s a good man. A great man, and he wouldn’t put himself through all this—the 20-hour days, the false ads, the shouting, the public scrutiny—if he didn’t believe in the cause. He believes in this district and he believes in you.
Bobby has worked so hard for our family and our district. He has taught our family to be wise with our hard-earned money. He has taught us to persevere through hard work. He believes our government should be held to these same standards and Bobby is leading the way, by cutting his own budget by more than 11% and returning $110,000 to the taxpayers, and also by introducing a bill to help agencies save—rather than squander—our hard-earned money.
I want you to know what a hard worker he is, how he is personable and compassionate. I want you to know that Bobby carefully discerns the impact of a bill that he has to vote on. He takes everyone and everything into consideration.
I know that Bobby wants to bring opportunity to this district. He’s always been our family’s protector. That’s just in his nature. I still flash back to that conversation we had when we were still deciding whether or not to run. We were both upset with the direction our country was going, and Bobby told me that he felt called to stand up. Our family pulled together and worked our hearts out to get Bobby his first term. And Bobby has worked his heart out to serve the people he represents in Congress.
- Christie Schilling is the wife of U.S. Representative Bobby Schilling. She lives in Colona, Ill. with her husband and ten children.
By Jim Sacia, State Representative, 89th District
“Sacia’s statements false and reckless” – That was the claim of an op ed in a prominent area newspaper dated September 26, 2012 penned by Kristen Strawbridge, Illinois State Director, State Affairs, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). She was responding to my editorial dated September 22, 2012 continuing my criticism of an agency that takes your money and does very little for vulnerable animals.
Two and a half years ago in my weekly column dated March 11, 2010 I shared significant information on HSUS. I pointed out then, that in 2008 they obtained $2,532,167 from your kind contributions and gave just $452,371 to local pet shelters out of a total budget of $99,664,400. Do you ever wonder where the money goes? I’ll tell you where – to fatten their larders and run clever ads with photos of abused animals and pleading for your $19.00 a month. Just think - they’ll send you a jacket with their logo and a tote bag.
Was Sacia’s column false and reckless? Did you notice that she did not challenge my statement that since Cavell International of DeKalb, Illinois, the last horse slaughter plant in the U.S., was closed, that now an additional 100,000 horses per year are stuffed into trailers and shipped to Mexico - over forty hours with no food or water to slaughter plants with little if any oversight. But gee, they are no longer slaughtered in the U.S. so therefore we are successful?
End of life slaughter for any animal is never pretty. Think of it when you eat your hamburger and eat your bacon. In each case a captive bolt to the head terminated the life of the animal, the same procedure which was used for horses under the watchful eye of a USDA Veterinarian inspector observing each kill.
Now these horses go to Mexico and Canada. The more fortunate ones go to Canada where their slaughter plants are carefully scrutinized as they were in the U.S. Some of the older slaughter plants in Mexico are literally barbaric. A spear like device into the spine to paralyze the animal – I could give you all of the details but simply put, it is not palatable for the article.
The naivety of Ms. Strawbridge to insinuate that passing HR2966 will prevent horses from leaving the country for slaughter is amazing. Killer buyers have long ago learned to get around that. I don’t doubt for a minute that Ms. Strawbridge loves animals. I do as well as she points out, and I would never send my horses to slaughter. I’m fortunate enough to afford euthanasia and carcass disposal for horses facing end of life. All slaughter in the U.S. is humane. It’s not very palatable but it is humane.
Please donate to your local shelters. They desperately need your financial help. As for my false and reckless statements, please go to humanewatch.org. It may be the last $19.00 you send to HSUS.