You should be ashamed of yourself. You tell a damnable lie on the front page of your September 25th issue: “Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) votes against the Continuing Resolution, jeopardizing the opening of the Thomson Prison.” You know that a vote against the Continuing Resolution has nothing to do with opening the prison. You were at the same meeting I attended with Senator Durbin and Congresswoman Bustos when it was explained that a Continuing Resolution only funds what has already been funded in the current budget and at the same level of funding. There is no funding in the current budget to open the prison.
In your thinly disguised “news article,” you quote her opponent to be, former Congressman Bobby Shilling who proven to be singularly ineffective in overcoming his colleague, Congressman Frank Wolf’s objections to the purchase of the prison; and Katie Prill, whom you identify as the spokeswoman for the National Republican Central Committee. Nothing from the other side! Well, you never claim to be “fair and balanced.”
Why would Congresswoman Bustos want to vote in favor of a Continuing Resolution that seeks to kill the Affordable Care Act that allows parents to keep their college age children on their health insurance until age twenty-six; prohibits insurance companies from excluding people with pre-existing conditions; and makes health care available to millions of uninsured at rates cheaper than even the Congressional Budget Office predicted?
Is it not an abuse of the power of the press for a publisher to deliberately spread misinformation? Tom, you’ve lost my respect.
Dr. Art Donart, Ph. D.
Publisher’s Response to Dr. Donart
(Emailed to Dr. Donart 9/25/13)
Thank you for writing, Art. I understand your viewpoint, but I believe that all this is simply more political posturing. I am waiting for confirmation from 2 very reliable sources who say otherwise, regarding the funding in the CR.
Don’t blame me for “thinly disguised news articles.” All 3 quotes from Bustos, Prill and Schilling came from “news” releases sent to me. I simply put them all together.
I have had enough of the ridiculous politicizing of the prison, Art. 16 years is a long time to wait for jobs meant to replace those federal positions lost at the Army Depot.
I absolutely connect the no vote for the CR with her attempt to keep the Affordable Health Act in place, and I believe she would vote that way whether or not there was funding in the CR to open the prison. Thomson Prison may be a “priority” for her, but not for the party that tells her how to vote.
Collin Milligan at Bustos’ office didn’t like it either. I always figure if I irritate the politicians, I am doing something right.
With the vast majority of US CITIZENS opposed to unconstitutional health care laws being forced down our collective throats, I am somewhat surprised that you don’t see the connection between the “give & take” of politics as usual. Durbin & Bustos made a point to sort of dismiss Frank Wolf. “They doth protest too much.”
In both our lines of work - Village Trustee and newspaper publisher - it is virtually impossible to keep everyone happy. The truth sometimes hurts. I can assure you that when I get to the truth of this matter, I will print it, even if it means a correction on my part.
I will print your letter next week. And I will hopefully be able to confirm my suspicions sooner rather than later.
Publisher Prairie Advocate News
Morrison Council Corner
People of Morrison will be seeing an increase in their water/sewer bills beginning in October (watch November bills). Wastewater Service Charge will be raising from $10.65 to $12.78 per month; Wastewater Use Charge, per 1000 gallons presently $5.83 up to $8.75. Example for WASTEWATER ONLY: If your usage was 5000 gallons per month, your bill would go from $33.97 up to $47.78 on your water/sewer bill. (That is a $13.81 increase monthly for 5000 gallons of usage of wastewater only.)
With all aldermen present, a new revised Ordinance #13-39 was presented (for the third time) whether or not to confirm “vacating a sidewalk behind 201, 203, 205, and 207 W. Main”. (Last meeting it was voted down.)
Aldermen discussion: Wood (I) stated that the residents I talked to did not want these ordinances passed. Zuidema stated that Bob Vaughn had taken out an excavation permit for 207 W. Main which states that Mr. Vaughn is responsible to replace what he tore out! Others stated it is “economic development”…then the cost should be coming from economic development line items not water/sewer. Eizenga stated that Vaughn has been utilizing local businesses to do the work so the money stays locally. Blean stated that we are going 50/50 doing a street extension, sanitary sewer improvement, and water main relocation and improvement for HR Green/Windsor Manor development…so we should do something for our own business people that are already here. (Cost: close to $60,000 project—city’s is half $30,000) I agree, to assist, but completely repay $65,000 for 90 feet of sidewalk replacement? Some aldermen said it was like an interest free loan that the city has 10 years to pay back.
Also, another revised Ordinance #13-40 was to repeal previous Ordinance #13-37 Abatement of Utility Charges for 201, 203, 205 W. Main and replacing them with a different Abatement of Utility Charges. Mayor Pannier stated that we will stay here and discuss these (revised ordinances) until we can reach a point at which to vote on this issue tonight. In revised Ordinance #13-40, Robert Vaughn will receive free water/sewer for his upstairs apartments and the Donnybrook Bakery for the next 10 years but NO garbage service would be included and entitlement to receive abatement shall not transfer to subsequent owners or lessees. Both revised ordinances were passed with 6 ayes-Eizenga, Blean, Sullivan, Bender, Helms, Connelly; 2 nays-Zuidema, Wood.
Jim Britt commented on not enough “No Parking” signs on the north side of town (High Street, etc) and the sign about “No dogs” in cemetery needs to be much a larger sign.
Nancy Anderson stated that Robert Vaughn was a private citizen that bought a business and now was bargaining for free water/sewer in his business. She has elderly neighbors that are wondering how they will be able to pay their water/sewer bills with the upcoming increases. Will there be help for them? Will all businesses get some type of deal? Tax break or water/sewer??? It needs to be clarified and explained to all citizens to keep the trust of the residents. (Mayor Pannier said we should look at it from the developers view instead of private citizen’s view.)
John Kuelh returned to ask if anyone had checked into having recreational vehicles on the streets. Mayor Pannier had talked to Chief Melton to see what kind of ordinance Sterling has in place.
The next Morrison City Council Meeting will be Tuesday, October 15, 2012 due to Columbus Day being Monday, the 14th…HOLIDAY! See you there! Everyone is welcome.
A Morrison Taxpayer
Newspapers an Essential Part of a Community’s Healthy News Diet
By David Porter
Your local newspaper isn’t just a newspaper, anymore. With digital delivery and use of social media, community newspapers have changed rapidly to meet America’s ever-growing thirst for news. That thirst, however, is too often fed by unreliable and biased information sources.
That’s not an indictment of new media as a delivery vehicle. How one receives news is not as important as the credibility of the news source and the depth of news that one receives.
As a society, we have become so saturated with news that it all starts to blend together. Some people might even claim that they don’t read the news or they don’t watch the news, yet they absorb news all day long — through tweets, Facebook posts, text messages, comments overheard in the grocery store, Internet feeds, talk radio on their morning commute, the TV in the barbershop, and so forth. Bits and pieces of a story break through the clutter giving the often-false impression of a complete picture. Through this news immersion, we may feel like we receive all the news we need and want.
The problem with that is we’re absorbing the news that finds us rather than taking a proactive position on the news that we consume. We tend to gravitate toward bias-based news sources that support what we already believe and toward news that has entertainment value. Yet, we’re quick to blame “the media” when we don’t receive the news we want or think we deserve.
Social media has been praised for its ability to connect people directly and bypass the “filter” of professional media. But social media is inundated with unsubstantiated information; flippant, partisan attacks parading as news; and manipulated images. Using social media as a primary news source is sort of like letting other people decide what you’re going to wear each day and then being upset when you look in the mirror.
A 2012 survey by craigconnects.org found, not surprisingly, that newspapers are the most trusted media resource. What may surprise you, however, is that newspapers rated highest for trust among the youngest people polled — the 18- to 35-year-old range. Young people were nearly six times more likely to trust newspapers over social media.
Social media and electronic delivery of news are convenient and provide a dazzling array of information. But don’t rely solely on news that has to find you, which is often pushed toward you in a paid marketing effort. When you step into a ballot booth, are you voting based on thorough research of the candidates or is your vote influenced by short snippets of paid advertising or the opinion of some media personality you think is funny? What would our democracy look like if everybody voted without the benefit of actual facts?
Politics are not the only area where news matters. The news and information that finds you impacts what kind of car you drive, what kind of food you eat, what kind of diet you try, where you want to live and even how much money you earn in the marketplace. You owe it to yourself to take control over the news you consume. Be informed. Be intrigued. Be pro-active. Be a newspaper reader.
Oct. 6-12 is National Newspaper Week. This year’s theme is “Your community, your newspaper, your life.” That pretty well sums it up. Newspapers are an integral part of a community’s identity and foster a collective dialogue. Thank you for reading this newspaper and for making it part of your healthy news diet.
David Porter is director of communications and marketing for the Illinois Press Association and author of a free booklet titled News Matters: An Introduction to News Literacy. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Path to Prosperity or Bankruptcy?
Staggering Facts on America’s Rising Debt
By Dr. Shawn Ritenour
Once again there is panic running through the halls of Congress, the Oval Office and in the chattering classes that make up mainstream media over the prospect of shutting down the federal government. Most of the panic is a result of the inability of politicians to reach an agreement on government spending. If we hope to begin to recover true prosperity, then making real, significant cuts in government spending should be a top priority. Only true, substantial reductions in government spending will free necessary capital for entrepreneurs to use in productive investment. This investment, in turn, will allow for sustainable economic progress.
We are in the fiscal mess we are in because, since the early 1970s, tax revenues have been unable to keep pace with government spending. Real government spending has increased almost twice as fast as government revenue. In 1970 our total government debt equaled $371 billion. Today it stands at $16.8 trillion. Even if we adjust for inflation, federal government debt has increased more than eight times what it was in 1970.
Things have only gotten worse following the financial meltdown of 2008. It took from 1789 to 2001 to accumulate a federal debt of $5.8 trillion. However our government officials have added a nearly identical $5.8 trillion in four short years between 2007 and 2011.
The 10 highest monthly budget deficits have all occurred since February 2009. During the Obama administration, the federal government has accumulated more new debt than it did from the time that George Washington became president to the time that Bill Clinton became president. Since President Obama entered the White House, the national debt has increased by an average of more than $64,000 per taxpayer. In fact, Obama will become the first president to run deficits of more than a trillion dollars during each of his first four years in office.
Talking in trillions of dollars can easily boggle the mind. To provide some perspective on the magnitude of our current debt, think about this: If you were alive when Jesus Christ was born and spent one million dollars every day since that point, you still would not have spent one trillion dollars yet. This is staggering but true.
Last summer, the New York Times’ columnist and economist Paul Krugman told Business Insider that in order to avoid an economic depression, “Somebody has to spend more than their income, and, for the time being, that has to be the government.”
Krugman stands the economic problem on its head. Instead of not enough desired production, it is thought that our problem is not enough demand. The perceived solution is increased government spending. If people do not voluntarily demand enough, don’t worry, the government will make up the difference.
The problem with this thinking is that government spending has to be paid for. It can be funded in only three ways: with taxes, borrowing, or inflation. All three of these funding methods have negative economic consequences.
Taxation consumes capital and discourages productive activity. It does so partly because higher taxes reduce the incentive for laborers to work and for land owners to rent land for productive uses. Additionally, taxes reduce the ability for people to save and invest. Taxes lower disposable income and they reduce the return for productive investments.
Less saving and investment reduces capital over time, decreasing our productivity. The economy output decreases, real wealth falls and people see a drop in their standard of living. Funding increased government spending by increased taxation is like pouring weed killer on your garden, all the while thinking that it is fertilizer.
Taxes are politically unpopular, and because of this the government relies on borrowing money to fund deficit spending. There are two sources from which the government can borrow: The banking system and private savers.
Borrowing from the banking system is inflationary. Banks lend newly created dollars, thereby increasing the money supply with all of the associated negative consequences. Overall, prices increase and the purchasing power of the dollar falls. Additionally, artificial credit expansion — credit not funded by savings — creates the business cycle by spawning capital malinvestment. Artificial credit expansion makes many unwise investments (say, in residential and commercial real estate and financial derivatives) look profitable because of the accessibility of cheap credit, so business activity expands, manifesting itself in an inflationary boom. These unwise investments eventually must be liquidated, and the boom resolves itself in a bust whose twin offspring are capital consumption and unemployment.
Borrowing from private savers is not inflationary but does have serious negative economic consequences. This type of borrowing diverts savings from private investment to government consumption. Savings that would have been invested in productive activity will instead be spent on bureaucratic feasting.
The bottom line is that we are correct to be concerned with the fiscal situation facing the federal government. The larger the percentage of a nation’s economy absorbed by government spending, the slower their economic expansion because real economic expansion is the product of wise entrepreneurs using capital that is funded by real savings.
As the deadline for the federal budget knocks on the door it is quite clear what is needed: fiscal reform. Only facing the melancholy music of drastically cutting government spending will put us back on the path to prosperity.
– Dr. Shawn Ritenour is a professor of economics at Grove City College, contributor to The Center for Vision & Values, and author of “Foundations of Economics: A Christian View.”
By Jim Sacia, State Representative, 89th District
There is little doubt that we are a country of morals and values. In my years on this planet, it seems we have slipped somewhat from what we, the majority, believed to be right and good. A gentleman came into my office the other day, telling me in passing, that he was glad he was as old as he was and wouldn’t have to face the moral decay facing our young people. Worded differently, many have said to me, young people will face far more challenges than those of us facing the twilight of our lives.
Every generation faces new challenges and I believe our young people will face life head on and make their world what they want it to be. Remember, news reported is the negatives in life. Positives are expected, dull and not newsworthy. Most young people are making a positive difference.
I’m reading a great book, “America the Beautiful” by Dr. Ben Carson, who is achieving significant notoriety, that I personally hope propels him to high public office. A brilliant neurosurgeon and author, this African American gentleman, raised by a single mom in the projects, has a rare gift of communicating in such a way that you cling to every word.
In my days on the Winnebago School Board, a well-respected educator told me in no uncertain terms that “it is not the school’s place to teach values and morals”. I was completely taken back by the comment as I have always believed, and I do to this day, that values and morals are the most important issues that our teachers convey to our young and impressionable minds. I honestly believe that most teachers agree with that comment.
In his book, Dr. Carson notes that when the highly renowned Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville came to this country in 1831 to decipher the secrets of our economic success, he was so taken with our school system that he wrote extensively about it. Dr. Carson, referring to Tocqueville, states “unlike schools in Europe, American Schools taught the child values, he noticed, and there was extensive use of the Holy Bible in public schools”.
From my perspective, the Bible unfortunately is conspicuous by its absence from our classrooms today. If only someone would show me where our brilliant founding fathers said that there could be no open dialogue of a higher power. The truth be told, these men of God simply wanted to insure that not one religious doctrine be jammed down our throats. Quoting directly from Tocqueville, “Not until I went into the churches in America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
I so respect our teachers who daily take the challenge of enlightening our future generations. By their actions alone they convey the strong moral values so imperative in a free society.