The Lanark American Legion and VFW wish to thank all who attended the supper on November 9, 2013. We wish to especially thank all the merchants for door prizes: The Special Touch, Hollow Fencepost, Picket Fence, JD Automotive, Lanark Food Center, Carroll Service Company, Eastland Motor Sports, Brother’s Inn Family Restaurant, Lake Carroll Golf Course/Clubhouse, Bella’s Pizza, Express Lane, and Carroll County Locker. A special thanks to Bill Piper for providing meats and vegetable dishes for the meal.
Guest Speaker was Rev. Clair Lathrop. Music was provided by Dave Ruter Ministries. Special recognition was given to the Barnes family for the 6 new flag poles and 6 service flags which were given in memory of Ernie Barnes. Friends of Veteran’s Award went to Eastland Fabrication for all the work they have provided. We thank everyone who so generously support the two Veteran associations.
Heartland Pet Shelter
As the weather is turning to a colder season, please remember our homeless and abandoned animals that we rescued and lovingly house at the Heartland Pet Shelter. They are all anticipating a home with you someday soon. How they return your love is precious and unique moments for the rest of their lives. Come visit them on Wednesdays from 6 - 8 p.m. (or by appointment at 815-990-5780). They will melt your hearts with their care free, playful, “catiful” ways as they scamper around. Any donation of your time or other items you care to generously gift them with will be deeply appreciated. Heartland Pet Welfare is located at 2720 Wacker Road in Savanna, IL 61074.
Away In A Shelter (Away In A Manger Tune)
Away in a shelter, a warm mat for a bed
This little lost kitty knows he will be fed
We love all the fur angels as they play with their toys
They’ll return your love with endless days and precious joys
‘Independent review’ of US Spying Policy Not Subject to Open-Records Law
By Eric Boehm | Watchdog.org
A special committee ordered by President Obama to review the legality of the National Security Agency’s spying programs will not be subject to government transparency laws.
The president created the NSA review group in August and publicly promised it to be an “independent review” of NSA programs revealed by leaks from whistleblower Edward Snowden. Obama promised that the committee would be a “high-level group of outside experts to review our entire intelligence and communications technologies.”
The public will know little about the review.
In an unclassified memo obtained by the Press Freedom Foundation, a First Amendment watchdog group, the head of the review panel orders exemptions from several provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The law, enacted in 1972, vows to make the work of advisory committees “accessible to the public.”
It’s the second blow to the promised transparency and accountability of the supposedly “independent review” of the United States’ spying programs.
The first was Obama’s decision to appoint James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, to head the group.
In March, just months before the NSA surveillance programs were exposed by Snowden, Clapper blatantly lied to Congress about the existence of those same programs.
No surprise, perhaps, that Clapper’s name is signed at the bottom of the memo exempting the review panel from the FACA provisions.
“Meetings of the review group will discuss matters related to national security policy, plans and strategy that are properly classified,” he wrote in the memo dated Sept. 19.”Disclosure of minutes, notes or other records may reveal information that reasonably could be expected to cause damage to national security.”
But classified information was not discussed at any of the group’s meetings last month, according to accounts given to the Associated Press and the British newspaper The Guardian. Even so, reports of what was discussed at the meetings will not be made public.
“The secrecy surrounding the review group’s work is not a surprise,” wrote Jason Leopold, an investigative reporter for the Press Freedom Foundation. “The Obama administration is worse than its predecessor when it comes to transparency.”
In August, Obama promised the review group would be charged with determining how to properly balance national security concerns and the “trust of the American people.”
“They’ll consider how we can maintain the trust of the people, how we can make sure that there absolutely is no abuse in terms of how these surveillance technologies are used, ask how surveillance impacts our foreign policy — particularly in an age when more and more information is becoming public,” he said at the time.
The group is supposed to submit a final report to the White House in mid-December. There is no word on whether that document will also be concealed from public view in the name of national security.
– Boehm is a reporter for Watchdog.org and can be reached at EBoehm@Watchdog.org. Follow him on Twitter at EricBoehm87.
By Brian Stewart
IL State Representative, 89th District
As many of you know I spent this past week in Springfield for our second week of the fall veto session. While there were plenty of issues debated, Illinois’ unresolved financial crisis still lingers. Pension reform remains unresolved, in the hands of a ten-member bi-partisan commission that was created this past summer in hopes of breaking the issue’s longstanding logjam. Their work has essentially been handed over to the legislative leaders, which are talking again about the issue.
At this point it is unknown whether we will return to Springfield before the end of the year to take up the pension matter, but it is my understanding that this very well could happen. Illinois’ Pension System is one of the worst funded in the nation, and regardless of where you stand on the issue, there is no denying that this crisis is adversely affecting every facet of Illinois government. From education funding to vital services to our most vulnerable, I am committed to finding a fair and equitable solution to this issue.
The issues that were addressed; however, were headlined by a package of incentives aimed at retaining and creating new jobs in Illinois. Business incentives are a difficult thing, one that many legislators wrestle with every time they come up. On one hand you have those who believe Illinois businesses should not be granted these tax credits, called EDGE credits, for operating in Illinois. On the other hand, surrounding states are aggressively targeting Illinois employers based on our terrible fiscal and tax environment as targets to lure into their own states.
I believe our overall tax structure should be simplified and made fairer for all businesses; however, until we are able to have that larger discussion, the reality is that unless we support these businesses we are at risk of losing thousands of jobs. We simply cannot afford that at this point, and thus I am inclined to support many of these types of measures. I am committed to doing my best to help create jobs and grow the economy in Northwest Illinois and across Illinois and I will take each piece of legislation on its own merit with an eye on that overall goal.
You may also know I voted against the marriage equality legislation legalizing same sex marriages in Illinois this week. I received an overwhelming amount of correspondence regarding this legislation, which was included in Senate Bill 10. I appreciated each and every one of those calls and emails. And while I respect everyone’s position on this measure, in the end I maintained my fundamental assertion that the institution of marriage should not be redefined in Illinois.
I also see problems arising from the implementation of SB10 that will most likely need to be addressed; however, the legislation passed and Governor Quinn will be signing the bill into law on November 20, 2013. We now need to move forward and focus on cleaning up the State’s finances and creating jobs.
In conclusion, I wanted to take the opportunity to thank the men and women from Northwest Illinois and around the nation for their service in the Armed Forces on this Veteran’s Day weekend. As a veteran myself, I know the sacrifices they and their families make day in and day out, and the least we can do is take this weekend to offer our deepest thanks to each and every one of them for their service. And in the words of Elmer Davis, “This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”