So much, so fast, happening in just the last couple of days. The people have a win with the Supreme Court’s decision on Second Amendment gun rights. At the G-20 meetings, who would ever believe other Nations would tell Obama to cut spending? A list of governments in danger of default apparently included the U.S. After citing Greece, Spain, Portugal and a couple others, our own State of Illinois was found on the list.
We’ve heard more about our government’s desire to control the Internet, and freedom of speech.
Obama appointed Harold Hurt to head up the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Office of State and Local Coordination. Harold previously set up Houston as a Sanctuary City for Illegals. Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis told Illegals they have a right to a fair wage and her department will help. Stay tuned.
How do you keep up with it all?
Obama promised to provide the most transparent government ever, saying the health care debates would be on C-Span. I must have missed that.
After Bush’s first year in office, Freedom of Information Act denials totaled 47,395. After Obama’s first year 70,779 denials. The Associated Press examined 17 other agencies and found 466,872 denials, an increase of 50% from Bush’s first fiscal year. For Democracy to work, citizens need access to the information pertaining to what government’s doing.
Your Tea Party is meeting at 7pm, Thursday, July 8th, 111 E. Mason St., Lena IL. Brian Costin from the IL. Policy Institute will speak on a couple of topics, including Transparency of our Government. Come early. A couple of short videos we’ll be running a few minutes before the meeting will make you either laugh or cry! Board members of taxing bodies are encouraged to attend. Everyone’s welcome.
Stephenson County Tea Party
Thank you . . .
Hospice of the Rock River Valley thanks everyone who participated in the eighth annual Hospice of the Rock River Valley (HRRV) Golf Outing on Friday, June 25. The dedication our community members and businesses have toward securing quality compassionate hospice care for patients and families is admirable and much appreciated by HRRV. Especially, thank you to the many sponsors who contributed to the HRRV golf outing.
Thank you to the golfing teams and raffle donors for your continued support and generosity, and to the staff of Deer Valley Golf Club, the volunteers and board members who assisted during the outing.
All proceeds from the golf outing benefit individuals and families dealing with a terminal illness. Because hospice services are offered free of charge, community generosity is key to continuing a 28-year tradition of caring for residents of Lee, Whiteside, Bureau, Carroll and Ogle counties.
HRRV is your local hospice with over 28 years of community care to the Sauk Valley area, providing quality end-of-life care for your family. Hospice is where you are – in your home, retirement center, hospital, or nursing facility. Hospice of the Rock River Valley is “By Your Side, Our Family Caring for Your Family.” Give Hope. Give Hospice.
Hospice of the Rock River Valley is a United Way Agency.
Karen Voss, Marketing Director
Hospice of the Rock River Valley
What Will They Learn Initiative
In 1952, President Harry S. Truman spoke at the dedication of the National Archives in Washington, D.C., where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were displayed together for the first time. He warned: “The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence can live only as long as they are enshrined in our hearts and minds. If they are not so enshrined, they would be no better than mummies in their glass cases, and they could in time become idols whose worship would be a grim mockery of the true faith.”
As we celebrate this Fourth of July, his warning merits our attention.
The evidence showing widespread civic illiteracy continues to mount. Particularly worrisome is the gradual abdication at our colleges and universities of the responsibility to educate the next generation of citizens.
The American Council of Trustees and Alumni has been surveying general education requirements for our What Will They Learn? initiative. The results, so far, are alarming:
Nationally, less than 15% of the colleges and universities surveyed require their students to take a survey class in American history or government.
And the picture is particularly ugly at the top: you can graduate from any of the top 20 national universities, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report, without having taken a single broad course in American history or government.
America is united—not by blood or ethnicity like other countries—but by the ideas expressed in our Founding Documents. It is these ideas that have shaped and guided this country over the course of more than two centuries. We cannot afford to forget them.
ACTA’s WhatWillTheyLearn.com initiative has received national coverage, and been featured in more than 100 newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and the education blog of The New York Times. To find out more, visit www.WhatWillTheyLearn.com.
American Council of Trustees and Alumni
1726 M Street, NW, Suite 802
Washington, DC 20036
Commentary . . .
When Winning the Job is More Important Than Doing the Job, We Loose
By Arthur C. Donart, Ph. D.
I’ve followed Thai politics since 2002. It’s not pretty. It isn’t even very democratic. However, they’ve only been at it since 1932 whereas we have been at it for more than two hundred years. You’d think by now we’d have it right; but we don’t. We have the inordinate amount of influence that wealthy families and corporations bring to bear on our policies and laws; just as they do in Thailand. We have politicians, no party exempt, that campaign telling half truths and out right lies; just like the Thais. We have a culture of sloganeering rather than factual debate. We have too many voters who view our elections as a sports contest and support their team regardless of policies or incompetence. We have too many voters who are too easily bought, all just like the Thais.
So is it any wonder that we have the same political mess that they do! It’s hard to get anything done and done right. Governing is difficult and no one seems to assume responsibility; fingers always point at the other party. Illinois is as good an example as any other.
After Big Jim Thomson ran the state into the red, his Lieutenant Governor, James Edgar, spent his eight years as governor restoring some fiscal sense to Illinois government only to have his Lieutenant Governor, George Ryan, lead us to bankruptcy once again. Then along came Blagojevich with his Alice in Wonderland budgets that put Illinois further in the hole.
However, all spending bills must originate in the Illinois House and be approved by the Illinois Senate before being sent to the governor for approval. Whether it is a Republican controlled legislature or a Democratic controlled legislature seems to make little difference. The legislature is the equal of the governor and they are equally to blame for our fiscal mess. When will it end?
The answer to that has always been, “It’s being put off until after the election.” No tough choices, no cuts, no tax increase, just wait until after the next election. Must win that next election. Campaign on a promise to not raise taxes; campaign on a promise not to cut (fill in the blanks.) Never be specific. Unfortunately, voters swallow this crap election after election. So here we are, seven or eight elections after Governor Edgar and nothing has been done to restore the state’s fiscal integrity.
I think we can end this with a Thai style solution. It is drastic but I venture to predict that it would definitely bring the state back to fiscal integrity. No one owed money by the state would have to wait eighteen months to get paid. What I propose is that we amend our state’s constitution to require the state legislature to raise sufficient funds without borrowing from set aside funds or any other source to pay the state’s bills current for the fiscal year. Failure to do so would automatically make all the sitting legislators ineligible to run for re-election or hold any other elected or appointed position in Illinois government for a period of five years from the date their term expires.
In other words, do the job or get out. When they keep putting things off until after the next election because winning is more important to them, we loose. We need to end this NOW!