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St. Joseph Club donates to animal shelter, food pantry

St. Joseph Club donates to animal shelter, food pantry

Sully, one of the dogs that has become a longtime pet at TLC Animal Shelter, is one of the many animals supported through charitable donations.
Thomas Czaja, Editor
12:23 pm CST December 29, 2015

When it comes to giving, one local club is always ready to lend a helping hand.

The St. Joseph Club of Homer Glen recently gave a $1,000 donation to both the TLC Animal Shelter and Lockport/Homer FISH Food Pantry earlier this month.

Denny Carter, of TLC Animal Shelter, said the shelter doesn’t usually get donations of that size and are grateful for anything they get.

“Most of our donations are around $25 or $50,” Carter said. “It’s not too often people just come in and hand us big amounts.”

Carter said the money will help keep the shelter running by going toward things such as upkeep, vaccines, medical items for the dogs, gas and electricity.

“We don’t turn down anything,” Carter said. “We’ll take aluminum cans, dog food, paper towels or any type of cleaning stuff. We’re private and run solely on donations, so we count on kindness.”

St. Joseph Club member and Homer Glen resident Steve Balich described the club as one that was originally founded eight years ago to be exclusively for Italian-Americans. However, the bylaws now state it is open to any Catholic man of European descent to allow for more members, according to Balich.

“It’s a real good group of mostly older guys,” Balich said. The group meets every several months at St. Bernard Parish in Homer Glen and has an annual golf fundraiser. “We decided to help local groups and try to contribute every year to local charities.”

The club gives to the FISH Food Pantry throughout the year and gave to TLC this year for the first time, with talk of giving to them more, Balich said.

At one point, the St. Joseph Club of Homer Glen would go to the Township and get a list of people on general assistance, providing them with baskets of food at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

While it was considered a worthy cause by group members, after time they wanted to expand their reach, leading to them focusing their efforts on the food pantry, which takes care of Homer Glen and Lockport.

“You look around in the area and think everyone has money, but that’s not always true,” Balich said. “People lost their jobs or got a decrease in pay and health insurance doubled or tripled and now all of a sudden they can’t cover a mortgage.

“You think it’s a rich community, but it’s not quite like you would think. That’s why I think the food pantry is so important.”

With plenty of animal lovers in the community, TLC Animal Shelter was another logical place to donate to to make sure the dogs were taken care of, Balich said.

The idea of what the St. Joseph Club is and the role of service it wants to continue to have is clear for Balich and the rest of the members.

“It’s a bunch of guys that want to do good for the community,” he said. “It’s real simple.”

– See more at: http://www.homerhorizon.com/st-joseph-club-donates-animal-shelter-food-pantry#sthash.i9DK0PQV.dpuf

Source: Will County News

The parents of Lincoln-Way North speak bluntly

http://launch.newsinc.com/share.html?trackingGroup=92211&siteSection=patch&videoId=30138178

The parents of Lincoln-Way North speak bluntly.

“Why did I do this,” explained Liz Sands, founder of the parents group suing to stop the closing of LW North High. “Because I’m pissed.” stock-photo-four-piles-of-colorful-fiches-on-a-poker-aces-158176721

Todd Velky, another officer in their advocacy group, Lincoln-Way Area TaxPayers Unite, said much the same: “This is B.S.”

Speaking at a community center in Frankfort Square Wednesday afternoon before a standing-room crowd of fellow Lincoln-Way parents and students, and news media, Sands and Velky explained why they’ve been moved to anger and legal action.

For months, starting in the spring, the District 210 Board of Education and school administrators brushed off rumors that plans were afoot to close LW North — a school built and opened less than 10 years ago.

When they finally admitted in the summer that the district — placed on the State Financial Watch List in March — needed to consider dramatic expense cuts, including the possibility of closing a school, the board of education members brushed off their questions and suggestions, Sands and Velky contend.

Then the board rushed ahead in August with what appeared to many a pre-determined conclusion — the board voted to close Lincoln-Way North after this school year. Superintendent Scott Tingley had been telling some employees for months that North would need to close, sources told Patch in the late spring. The public timeline took less than 60 days, and very little community input was sought. At the special board meeting convened for that vote, board members did not respond to comments and questions from residents and taxpayers.

“I trusted these people,” Sands said, at one point choking up. “I I didn’t just trust them with my money, I trusted them with our children and this is what we get for it.”

She believes the board betrayed that trust.

That inspired the formation of Lincoln-Way Area Taxpayers Unite, bringing Sands, Velky, Robert Ripp and many others together — a hundred others, Sands said — to look into Lincoln-Way District 210’s financial management for themselves.

They filed Freedom of Information Act requests, one after the other.

And when the district complied with their requests, the parents didn’t like what they saw. Worse, however, were the many times District 210 administrators failed to comply with their FOIA requests for payroll data, financial documents, contracts, detailed breakdowns of cost-savings anticipated with the closing of North, and other information.

What they did receive, puzzled them. And when school board members actively tried to thwart their efforts to gain information and refused to work with the parents to explore other solutions, their anger galvanized into action — and a lawsuit that seeks a temporary injunction to block the school closing.

Source: Will County News

German Nurse Discusses New Diseases From Immigrants

by Kevin Jackson | Dec 22, 2015 The Black Sphere

This information is circulating about the refugees streaming into Germany. Is it any wonder even German Prime Minister Angela Merkel is now calling for a moratorium on refugees? Germany (nor any other country) can sustain this invading horde.
This is simply redistribution of ignorance and terrorism at the United Nations level. Below is a message to the world from a physician in Munich.
Yesterday, at the hospital we had a meeting about how the situation here and at the other Munich hospitals is unsustainable. Clinics cannot handle emergencies, so they are starting to send everything to the hospitals.

Many Muslims are refusing treatment by female staff and, we, women, are refusing to go among those animals, especially from Africa. Relations between the staff and migrants are going from bad to worse.
Since last weekend, migrants going to the hospitals must be accompanied by police with K-9 units. Many migrants have AIDS, syphilis, open TB and many exotic diseases that we, in Europe, do not know how to treat them. If they receive a prescription in the pharmacy, they learn they have to pay cash. This leads to unbelievable outbursts, especially when it is about drugs for the children. They abandon the children with pharmacy staff with the words: “So, cure them here yourselves!” So the police are not just guarding the clinics and hospitals, but also large pharmacies.

Truly we said openly: Where are all those who had welcomed in front of TV cameras, with signs at train stations?! Yes, for now, the border has been closed, but a million of them are already here and we will definitely not be able to get rid of them. Until now, the number of unemployed in Germany was 2.2 million. Now it will be at least 3.5 million.

Most of these people are completely unemployable. A bare minimum of them have any education. What is more, their women usually do not work at all. I estimate that one in ten is pregnant. Hundreds of thousands of them have brought along infants and little kids under six, many emaciated and neglected. If this continues and Germany re-opens its borders, I’m going home to the Czech Republic.

Nobody can keep me here in this situation, not even double the salary than at home. I went to Germany, not to Africa or the Middle East. Even the professor who heads our department told us how sad it makes him to see the cleaning woman, who for 800 Euros cleans every day for years, and then meets young men in the hallways who just wait with their hand outstretched, want everything for free, and when they don’t get it they throw a fit. I really don’t need this! But I’m afraid that if I return, that at some point it will be the same in the Czech Republic.

If the Germans, with their culture cannot handle this, then in the Czech Republic, it would be total chaos. Nobody who has not come in contact with them has

Source: Will County News

Political Correctness sees Christians as a problem

By James Bascom

Faithful Catholics from several states gathered in front of City Hall in Oklahoma City on December 23 for a rosary rally of reparation organized by the American TFP and its America Needs Fatima campaign. Demonstrators urged Mayor Mick Cornett to revoke the permit his office issued to a satanic group which desecrated a statue of the Virgin Mary on Christmas Eve in front of Saint Joseph Old Cathedral.

 

Showing their great love for God and His Blessed Mother, demonstrators recited the holy rosary and sang hymns such as Hail Holy Queen Enthroned Above, Immaculate Mary and God Bless America. Dozens of banners and signs expressed the sentiments of rally participants. “Revoke the permit — Satan has no rights,” read one sign. Others stated: “Keep it One Nation Under God,” and “Sacrilege is not free speech” and “I will defend the pure & holy name of Mary with my life.”

Kansas State Senator Steve Fitzgerald, who drove from Kansas to Oklahoma City with his wife for the rally, spoke eloquently about the urgent need to stand firm and defend Christian civilization — like a new Battle of Lepanto — against the attacks of darkness. Francis Slobodnik, director of America Needs Fatima’s national rosary rally office, addressed the assembly, saying, “We can’t give the Holy Family any better gift at Christmas than to defend the honor of Our Lady. That is the greatest gift.”

TFP Student Action and America Needs Fatima volunteers held a large banner bearing a quote from Proverbs 31:28: “Her children rose up, and called her blessed.” And at the center of the reparation rally was a beautiful statue of Our Lady of Fatima, flanked by two TFP members in ceremonial habit.

 

Reparation. Reparation. Reparation.

At intervals the faithful chanted: “Why are we here? Reparation. Reparation. Reparation.” They also called Mayor Cornett to “Revoke the permit. Revoke the permit. Revoke the permit.”

Over 47,000 people called, signed petitions or wrote personal letters to halt this public attack against the Mother of God.

The following day at 3:45 pm, Christmas Eve, TFP volunteers and other faithful Catholics joined a peaceful and legal rosary rally of reparation organized by local activist David Homeney. It took place on the sidewalk across the street from St. Joseph’s Old Cathedral, mere feet from the spot where the Satanic sacrilege took place. Some parishioners of St. Joseph’s parked their RVs on the street adjacent to the planned spot, physically blocking the Satanists’ view. Directly above the Satanists was a parking garage from which hung a giant cloth banner of Our Lady of Perpetual Help on the outside wall.

As the TFP volunteers approached the Church on foot, a man claiming to represent the parish approached and rebuked the TFP volunteers for coming, claiming that the Satanists were only interested in publicity. He refused to allow any of the Catholics to gather on the public sidewalk adjacent to the Church, even though it is public property.

A local Knight of Columbus who joined the rosary of reparation revealed that his council had been told NOT to attend any public rally in defense of Our Lady. But he felt he needed to attend anyway: “These things [the Satanic sacrilege] happen because Catholics do nothing,” he said.

 

The Unspeakable Happened

At 4:15 PM, several Satanists showed up. Their leader, a convicted sex offender, was dressed in a mock Catholic cardinal’s cassock with Satanic symbols worn around his neck. After putting some cinderblocks on the sidewalk to serve as a pedestal, he brought out what appeared to be a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes and placed a rosary around the statue’s neck.

The Satanists proceeded to cover the statue with a powdery substance and what appeared to be fake blood. With their hands and the statue covered in blood, they “prayed” an anti-rosary. The whole Satanic sacrilege lasted less than 30 minutes.

The group of 40 TFP volunteers and faithful Catholics from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas was predominately young and male, and they prayed Our Lady’s Most Holy Rosary with masculine Catholic vigor. When the Satanists began their verbal attack against the Blessed Mother, the whole group of Catholic men increased the volume of the rosary in perfect unison, completely drowning out the Satanic blasphemies. The rally concluded with TFP volunteers singing the Marian hymn We Want God.

Public Satanism is on the rise in America. In 2014 Satanists tried and failed to organize a public black mass at Harvard University. However, a public black mass was successfully held at the Oklahoma City Civic Center later that year. Satanists recently inaugurated a statue to Satan in Detroit, Michigan. Two months ago, a “church” dedicated to Lucifer opened in Spring, Texas.

CNN broadcasted a sympathetic documentary about the lives of Satanists and their practices, and many mainstream media outlets such as Time Magazine have published favorable articles about them.

The claim that the Satanists simply want attention is superficial and optimistic. Such an assertion implicitly denies that Satanic hatred exists or could exist. The hatred on display in Oklahoma City is not only real, but part of a broader trend, and with a specific purpose. It is the cutting edge of a cultural revolution that seeks to erode Americans’ horror for the occult and to banish Christianity from the public square.

Our Blessed Mother was publicly insulted. God was publicly offended. A public insult requires a public response and public reparation. If Catholics do not react to public insults against the Faith, they can invariably expect more frequent and more violent public attacks in the future.

 

The Big Double Standard

The secular Left parrots the Satanists’ claim that their goal is simply to have all religions treated equally. This is a boldfaced lie. The Left ignores or even celebrates attacks against Christians, yet vigorously denounces attacks against, for example, Islam.

When someone left a severed pig’s head on the front step of a Philadelphia mosque, Mayor-elect Jim Kenney called on Philadelphians to “join me in rejecting this despicable act and supporting our Muslim neighbors… The bigotry that desecrated Al-Aqsa mosque today has no place in Philadelphia.” 1 The Oklahoma City sacrilege inspired no such indignation. “Secularism,” therefore, is merely political cover to support the persecution of Christianity while defending politically correct religions such as Islam or Satanism.

It is no coincidence that public Satanism is rising in tandem with homosexual “marriage” and abortion. The link between them is a strong one. Satanism and the anti-family movement share a delirious hatred for Catholic morality and God’s design for the family. Homosexuality is widely seen by Satanists as a “sacred” act, and many famous Satanists such as Alistair Crowley were homosexual. Former Satanist Zachary King, who performed satanic rituals inside abortion clinics, affirmed that Satanists see abortion as a type of “sacrament.” 2

 

 

Growing Persecution

Such diabolical hatred for God and the family, if not stopped, will lead to an outright religious persecution. This can already be seen thanks to court-ordered homosexual “marriage.” Americans faithful to Christian morality have suffered persecution and even jail time due to their beliefs. Public Satanism will contribute to ever more public hatred for Christianity — especially against the Catholic Church.

Every violent crackdown on Catholicism – from the Roman persecutions to the French Revolution, Cristero War, and the Spanish Civil War – was contemporaneous with a propaganda campaign of mockery and derision for Catholic beliefs, the Saints, the Seven Sacraments, and the Holy Mass. Such all-consuming hatred for the Catholic Church did not then, and will not now, remain in the form of desecrated statues and blasphemous plays. Like so many other times in Catholic history, if Catholics don’t react, it may spill over into violence. Catholics may once again be thrown in jail and Churches may be burned down by angry mobs thanks to the tacit support of the “neutral” state. Unless denounced and rejected by the majority of Americans, the sacrilege in Oklahoma City is a harbinger of violent persecution.

We must pray and act so that America will fend off this new form of religious persecution and legally and peacefully fight to truly be “one nation under God.”

Source: Will County News

8.5 Trillion Lost by the Pentagon

Want to Cut Government Waste? Find the $8.5 Trillion the Pentagon Can’t Account For

Lauren Lyster
Daily Ticker
November 25, 2013

Yahoo Money’ The Daily Ticker  is reporting that is has discovered a Reuters investigation that reveals $8.5 trillion – that’s trillion with a “T” – in taxpayer money doled out by Congress to the Pentagon since 1996 that has never been accounted for.

You read that right. While Republican politicians  rush to slash food stamps for the 47 million Americans living in poverty – the highest amount in nearly two decades –  Republican U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has the audacity to complain that $20 billion dollars in automatic sequester cuts to the massive and secretive $565.8 billion Defense Department budget are ” too steep, too deep, and too abrupt,” all while the Pentagon and the Defense Department are overseeing massive fraud, waste, and abuse.

For anyone wondering, Reuters reports that the D.O.D.’s 2012 budget totaled $565.8 billion, more than the annual defense budgets of the 10 next largest military spenders combined, including Russia and China.

In an interview, Linda Woodford, an employee at the Defense Finance and Accounting Service – the Pentagon’s main accounting agency – reveals to Reuters that she spent the last 15 years of her career simply “plugging in” false numbers every month to balance the books;

“A lot of times there were issues of numbers being inaccurate. We didn’t have the detail … for a lot of it.”

In the REAL WORLD, that would be called MASSIVE FRAUD.

Woodford’s involvement in the fraud doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. The report also reveals that “a single DFAS office in Columbus, Ohio, made at least $1.59 trillion – yes, trillion – in errors,  including $538 billion in plugs, in financial reports for the Air Force in 2009.”

Want to Cut Government Waste? Find the $8.5 Trillion the Pentagon Can’t Account For

The Daily Ticker’s Lauren Lyster discusses waste and lack of accountability at the Pentagon with Reuters reporter Scot Paltrow.

If you thought the botched rollout of Obamacare, the government shutdown, or the sequester represented Washington dysfunction at its worst, wait until you hear about the taxpayer waste at the Defense Department.

Special Enterprise Reporter Scot Paltrow unearthed the “high cost of the Pentagon’s bad bookkeeping” in a Reuters investigation. It amounts to $8.5 trillion in taxpayer money doled out by Congress to the Pentagon since 1996 that has never been accounted for. (The year 1996 was the first that the Pentagon should have been audited under a law requiring audits of all government departments. Oh, and by the way, the Pentagon is the only federal agency that has not complied with this law.)

We talk to Paltrow in the accompanying video about his findings.

Here are some some highlights he found among the billions of dollars of waste and dysfunctional accounting at the Pentagon:

  • The DOD has amassed a backlog of more than $500 billion in unaudited contracts with outside vendors. How much of that money paid for actual goods and services delivered isn’t known.
  • Over the past 10 years the DOD has signed contracts for provisions of more than $3 trillion in goods and services. How much of that money is wasted in overpayments to contractors, or was never spent and never remitted to the Treasury is a mystery.
  • The Pentagon uses a standard operating procedure to enter false numbers, or “plugs,” to cover lost or missing information in their accounting in order to submit a balanced budget to the Treasury. In 2012, the Pentagon reported $9.22 billion in these reconciling amounts. That was up from $7.41 billion the year before.
  • The accounting dysfunction leads the DOD to buy too much stuff. One example: the “vehicular control arm” to supply Humvees. In 2008, the DOD had 15,000 parts — a 14-year supply (anything more than three years is considered excess supply). Yet from 2010 to 2012, it bought 7,437 more of these parts and at higher prices than they paid for the ones they already had.

The Defense Department’s 2012 budget was $565.8 billion. Paltrow points out that’s more than the annual defense budgets of the next 10 biggest military spenders combined. He tells us the Pentagon “almost certainly is” the biggest source of waste in the government based on his reporting.

Looking forward, defense spending in the fiscal 2014 budget is set to be cut $20 billion from 2013 levels due to the sequester. In response, military officials, including Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, have raised an alarm over the impact of these cuts. Hagel told a conference the cuts are “too steep, too deep, and too abrupt.”

The Wall Street Journal reports Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James F. Amos told a House panel in September the “abruptness and inflexibility of sequestration…could erode our readiness to dangerous levels.”

Does Paltrow think that’s true?

“So much of that could be cut, that the impact of the sequester would be much less than [what] Pentagon officials are claiming.” He adds that officials are basing their budget requests on their own priorities, rather than firm knowledge of what’s needed because leaders don’t know what money is slushing around.

The good news is that because of arguments over the deficit and the budget, Paltrow sees signs that members of Congress are getting serious about waste at the Pentagon.

Source: Will County News

Madigan & Cullerton refuse to believe Illinois needs responsible spending and long-term reforms.

The only way to fix Illinois’ failing economy is to continue doing exactly what we’ve been doing for the last 45 years.

That’s essentially what Illinois House of Representatives Speaker Mike Madigan and Illinois Senate President John Cullerton have been saying when faced with opportunities for real economic reform.

But if raising taxes on Illinois’ middle class and kicking the financial can down the road haven’t worked yet, why would they work now?

You and I know the Springfield status quo isn’t working.

Illinois needs responsible spending and long-term reforms.

We’re ready for an economic climate that welcomes businesses and jobs, instead of driving them to surrounding states.

John Tilman

Source: Will County News

Justice Department Halts Program Allowing Law Enforcement to Split Proceeds of Seized Cash, Property

Justice Department Halts Program Allowing Law Enforcement to Split Proceeds of Seized Cash, Property

Law enforcement agencies protest that suspension of ‘equitable sharing’ by Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s Justice Department will hurt their efforts to combat crime. (Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Newscom)

The Justice Department is halting a controversial program that allows law enforcement to keep most of the proceeds of cash and property they seize from Americans under federal law, sometimes without charging anyone with a crime.

Now the law enforcement community, which benefits from the program, is pushing back against the Justice Department, saying its decision could have negative consequences on public safety.

Just days before Christmas, the Justice Department announced suspension of its “equitable sharing” program. In a letter to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies, the department said it is deferring payments to the agencies because of cuts to its budget, deepened in the spending package passed by Congress earlier this month.

“The department does not take this step lightly,” M. Kendall Day, head of the Justice Department’s asset forfeiture and money laundering division, wrote in the letter, adding:

We explored every conceivable option that would have enabled us to preserve some form of meaningful equitable sharing while continuing to operate the program and meet our other fiscal obligations. Unfortunately, the combined effect of the two reductions totaling $1.2 billion made that impossible.

Day said he remained confident that temporarily suspending the program will allow the Justice Department to reinstate payments to law enforcement, writing that by “deferring equitable sharing payments now, we preserve our ability to resume equitable sharing payments at a later date should the budget picture improve.”

Under equitable sharing, local and state law enforcement agencies seize property and cash under federal forfeiture laws and receive a sizeable portion—up to 80 percent—of the proceeds from what they say are assets tied to crimes.

Opponents of civil forfeiture view law enforcement’s use of equitable sharing as a way to circumvent stricter state forfeiture laws.

Civil forfeiture is a tool that gives law enforcement the power to seize property and cash if they suspect it is connected to a crime.

According to a November report from the Institute for Justice, a public interest law firm opposing civil forfeiture, state and local law enforcement agencies received $4.7 billion in forfeiture proceeds from 2000 to 2013 through the Justice Department’s program.

Law enforcement agencies contend that civil forfeiture is a vital tool needed to combat drug trafficking and money laundering.

In letters to President Barack Obama, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and congressional leadership, the leaders of six law enforcement groups, including the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Association of Police Organizations, warned of the consequences that ending such efforts would have on the communities they serve.

“Given the remarkable success of this program, the provisions approved by Congress and the [Obama] administration are both baffling and disappointing. The suspension of equitable sharing payments may cause some agencies across the country to reconsider their ability to participate in joint task forces with the federal government,” the law enforcement officials wrote, adding:

The effects of this decision are far reaching and not only a disservice to law enforcement, but also to the public they are sworn to protect.

In a separate statement, the National Sheriff’s Association said the Justice Department’s decision will hinder law enforcement agencies’ ability to do their jobs.

“While Congress and the president vacation in peace and tranquility, law enforcement knows all too well that the criminals, terrorists, and criminal aliens do not take a holiday,” the group said. “Those seeking to do us harm can rest easier knowing one less tool can be used against them.”

Though law enforcement organizations have said suspension of the program limits the tools at their disposal, civil forfeiture opponents are cheering the Justice Department’s decision.

“Law enforcement revealed that its true interest in forfeiture is policing for profit—not public safety,” Lee McGrath, legislative counsel for the Institute for Justice, said in a statement. He continued:

The recently enacted Consolidated Appropriations Act does not stop police and prosecutors from chasing criminals. They’re frustrated because Congress put on hold their chasing cash. … Many police, sheriffs and prosecutors want to circumvent state laws because outsourcing forfeiture litigation to the federal government is lucrative.

Those opposing civil forfeiture and the equitable sharing program warn that they provide a perverse profit incentive to law enforcement and flip the presumption of innocence on its head. Additionally, in many states, the proceeds of cash and property forfeited go directly into the agencies’ own coffers.

Despite law enforcement’s ardent support of civil forfeiture, recent reportsshow that police are seizing property from individuals and never charging them with a crime.

In response, some states have moved to reform their asset forfeiture laws and, in some cases, limit law enforcement’s participation in equitable sharing.

In New Mexico, for example, Gov. Susana Martinez signed legislation earlier this year allowing state and local law enforcement to transfer property to the federal government only if it is worth more than $50,000, effectively ending the state’s participation in equitable sharing.

Before passing reforms to its civil forfeiture laws, New Mexico received more than $41 million in equitable sharing proceeds from the Justice Department from 2000 to 2013, according to the Institute for Justice.

The organization ranked Rhode Island, New York, and California among the worst for their use of equitable sharing, saying the three states received more than $1.3 billion through the Justice Department from 2000 to 2013.

Source: Will County News

Public Sector Employees burden every State

DEC 22, 2015 @ 12:36 PM
Which Are Death Spiral States?

William Baldwin
CONTRIBUTOR  Forbes

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

https://www.thinglink.com/scene/735521934803992578

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Does your state have more takers than makers? Check it out.

California has a powerful economy, with 14 million private-sector jobs. It also has burdens: welfare recipients (12.6 million), generously paid government employees (2.1 million) and people collecting government pensions (1.3 million).

Add up the numbers. There are 114 clients drawing from the government for every 100 people chipping in by working outside the government and paying taxes. We’re calling this the Feedme Ratio. Six states have a number over 100.

These states are at risk of going into a downward spiral in the next recession. The burdens will remain but too many of the providers—employers in the private sector—might shrink or decamp. Why add jobs in a state that asks each productive worker to carry not just his or her own weight but also the weight of one other person?

New York is on the list of at-risk states, with a Feedme Ratio of 108. New Mexico is in the worst shape, with 143 government clients for every 100 private-sector workers.

The three other states with Feedme Ratios over 100: West Virginia at 116, Mississippi at 111 and Arkansas at 103. You can check your state on this map.

The hazard with overburdened states is that the departure of jobs could someday turn into a rout. Just this is happening in Puerto Rico. Its productive citizens are leaving for the mainland. They are sticking a dwindling population of private-sector workers with the burdens of supporting the government’s clients and paying off the government’s debt.

 

Sunny, silicon-rich California is a long way from Puerto Rico’s fate, but the costs of keeping the government fed are on an ominous upward trend. A decade ago the top individual income tax bracket decreed by the solons of Sacramento was 9.3%; today, it’s 13.3%. The nice pensions for state and local workers in California are $189 billion short of adequate funding, according to an analysis by Moody’s. That pension debt comes to $13,500 for every private-sector job.

An employer would find Florida more hospitable. Per employee, the burden of unfunded pensions there is only one-fifth as high. The Tax Foundation calculates that Florida’s tax collections amount to 9.2% of the state’s economic output, versus California’s 11.4%. The Florida Feedme Ratio is only 69.

Did you get a job offer in California? Pause before taking it. When you buy a house there, you are incurring your share of the state’s obligations. You cannot walk away from them. In effect, you don’t really own that house. The state pension fund owns it. You are just a junior partner in the arrangement.

Years from now you may look for an escape. You may head for low-tax Florida. But potential buyers will be stepping into your shoes and will price their bids accordingly.

Buying bonds? California’s credit rating, Aa3 at Moody’s, isn’t as bad as it used to be (Baa1 during the economic crisis). But the Feedme Ratio is ominous. Keep your California maturities short.

If you are making a choice about where to locate a business, pick a safer state. Four have Feedme numbers below 50: North Dakota, Utah, Nebraska and New Hampshire.

If you have already invested in a risky state by owning a house or business, the best you can do is to pay attention to how politicians are spending your money. Open the Books, a project of a nonprofit called American Transparency, has assembled a 50-state database to make this task easier. Its file contains 2.4 billion entries for salaries, pensions and vendor payments. Among the gems in this collection:

–Connecticut has eight employees making over $1 million a year.

–A superintendent of a small Chicago-area school district (consisting of two elementary schools) got pay boosts at the end of her career and so arranged to collect a $210,480 annual pension.

–California has 13,496 state and municipal employees drawing salaries of $200,000 and up.

“Transparency is great, but unless people hold the political class accountable it doesn’t mean anything,” says Adam Andrzejewski, who runs Open the Books.

Our map of fiscal doom has, for each state, the Feedme Ratio and one illustration from OTB of a spending decision by the politicians.

Sources for the data that went into the Feedme calculations are the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Kaiser Foundation (whose Medicaid survey is used for the welfare count) and the Boston College Center for Retirement Research. We added jobs on the federal payroll to the private sector number since they help pay a state’s bills.

A similar survey of states’ economic health published here three years ago included pension funding deficits in the risk ratios. This time the formula does not incorporate those deficits. Instead, we tabulate the pension problem here:

2

 

Source: Will County News

January 12th AFP Free Grassroots Leadership Academy

I wanted to reach out and send you the information for our Grassroots Leadership Academy Training beginning January 12th.  If you traveled to Ohio with us in August, you may have attended a seminar about the Grassroots Leadership Academy.  This will be the first time GLA has come to Illinois; they travel all across the United States training good conservatives how to effectively bring the fight for freedom to their local communities.

By attending you will learn how to effectively make the case for economic freedom, how the left operates and how to effectively message and tell your story in your community.
You can attend as many of the sessions as possible, but in order to be considered a certified activist, you must attend all six courses and must contribute six volunteer hours during the span of the 6-week program. Each session will last between 2-3 hours and dinner will be provided by GLA.
If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me directly either by email attkoehn@afphq.org or on my cell phone at 224.239.5311.

Click Here to Register Today!  http://www.eventbrite.com/e/rolling-meadows-il-grassroots-activist-certification-tickets-19627803288

 

 

 

 

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Source: Will County News

Exposing Black Lives Matter

Exposing Black Lives Matter
Left to right: BLM Founders Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi

Exposing Black Lives Matter
Written by Rev. Dr. Eric M. Wallace, PhD.
In my lifetime I have seen a number of organizations and movements pull at the heartstrings of the African American community. In 1995 it was the Million Man March calling on black men to atone for their failings. Today, it is the Black Lives Matter movement that draws our attention and concern. Who of African descent can disagree with the idea that black lives matter? My mother is black. My father is black. My brother and cousins are black. My wife and children are black. How could I not be interested in this movement? How could we not be concerned about the young black men dying at an alarming rate at the hands of police officers and gang violence?

A few months ago, I reluctantly accepted an invitation to speak on the topic of whether Christians should be involved with the Black Lives Matter movement. The topic was especially timely because of growing racial unrest over the murder of Laquan McDonald in Chicago (October 2014), the shooting death of Michael Brown (August 2014) and the gang assassination of Tyshawn Lee. It was also timely because in July 2015, our organization, Freedom’s Journal Institute, held a conference titled “In Defense of Life: Why All Lives Matter.”

The video of Laquan McDonald’s murder had just come to light, and demonstrations were happening in Chicago. These demonstrations were led by people I didn’t necessarily agree with and whose tactics I did not view as glorifying to God. Once I visited the Black Lives Matter (BLM) website, however, I was glad I had accepted the speaking engagement. The BLM website specifically identifies itself with the black liberation movement:

#BlackLivesMatter is a call to action and a response to the virulent anti-Black racism that permeates our society….It goes beyond the narrow nationalism that can be prevalent within Black communities, which merely call on Black people to love Black, live Black and buy Black, keeping straight cis Black men in the front of the movement while our sisters, queer and trans and disabled folk take up roles in the background or not at all.

Black Lives Matter affirms the lives of Black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, black-undocumented folks, folks with records, women and all Black lives along the gender spectrum.  It centers those that have been marginalized within Black liberation movements.  It is a tactic to (re)build the Black liberation movement.

The history, leadership, and troubling emphases of the BLM movement–including how it addresses homosexuality and gender confusion–must be exposed.

The differences between the Civil Rights Movement and the black liberation movement are significant. While the Civil Rights Movement was led by ministers, many of whom held a biblical worldview and infused their protests with prayer, the black liberation movement was associated with the Black Panthers, Angela Davis, and Marxist ideology.  Unfortunately, today’s civil right leaders have largely abandoned a biblical worldview.

The identity of the founders of BLM helps explain the radical underpinnings of the BLM movement. Three community organizer/activist women founded this organization after the death of Trayvon Martin. Two of the three, Alicia Garza and Patrisse Cullors, identify as “queer” black women. The third founder, Opal Tometi, executive director of Black Alliance for Just Immigration, explained in an interview with The Nation that “we are diligently uplifting black trans women and so the work on the ground in many places does reflect that.”

According to Truthout, Tometi, who is the child of parents who immigrated to the United States illegally, explains that BLM was “[n]ever simply a reaction to police violence against African Americans in the United States, Black Lives Matter was always conceived of as a strategic response to white supremacy.”

In an interview with Cosmopolitan Magazine, Ms. Cullors shared that she is inspired by Assata Shakur who was convicted of first-degree murder for the killing of a New Jersey state trooper and who escaped from federal prison and has been living freely in Cuba since 1984. Shakur was also a member of the former Black Panthers and Black Liberation Army.

Christians who take the Bible seriously must not affirm either homosexuality or gender-confusion. In Romans 1:18-32, Paul teaches  that God unequivocally condemns homosexual practice. Paul also made clear in 1 Corinthians that God can bring deliverance from sins—including homosexual practice:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.  11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

By affirming what God condemns, BLM stands in opposition to the transformative power of Jesus.

While BLM claims to seek justice for oppressed and victimized persons around the world, they fail to address the genocide of black babies through abortion or the deaths of young African American males from gang violence in their list of social injustices. Apparently, what matters most to BLM is ideology.

Reading the “Herstory” page on the BLM website illuminates the organization’s central concerns:

  1. Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise.
  2. Black Lives Matter is an ideological and political intervention.
  3. Black people are deprived of basic human rights and dignity.
  4. Black poverty and genocide is state violence.
  5. When black people get free, everybody gets free.
  6. Black liberation has played an important role in inspiring and anchoring, through practice and theory, social movements for the liberation of all people.

I was surprised to find that with the exception of the last one, I agree with these beliefs. I disagree, however, with the causes of the problems as well as the solutions. What is omitted from the concerns of BLM is the place that both liberal public policy and Planned Parenthood have had in “systematically and intentionally” targeting and destroying the black community. And because BLM gets the causes wrong, it gets the solutions wrong as well.

Whereas BLM sees white supremacy and institutional racism as the causes of the poverty and violence that afflict the black community, conservatives view the causes as bad governmental practices and policies. Most conservatives have long argued that liberal public policies have “systemically targeted” the black family. Blacks have been “deprived of their human rights and dignity” through government largess, which has perpetuated poverty and destroyed the black family. In other words, the “state” has committed violence against black people.

The very liberal social agenda embraced by “progressives” who pursue bigger, more intrusive government continues to harm the lives of blacks. For example, here in Illinois, the economy and public school system, shaped for decades by liberals and liberal policy, are among the worst in the nation. Whose lives are harmed most directly and significantly by our terrible economy and government schools? Black lives.

Worse still, Planned Parenthood (and the abortion lobby in general) has targeted the black community “for demise” since the days when its racist founder Margaret Sanger led the organization. Planned Parenthood continues to commit genocide against black babies.

According to BLM, “black liberation” can be achieved only by reversing the roles of master and slave. The tragic truth is that the policies sought by BLM only serve to keep the black community enslaved. The freedom BLM proposes is not freedom at all. It is slavery under a different master. It calls on black Christians who are already free in Christ to abandon their freedom for black solidarity, which for the Christian is a form of idolatry. The politics of BLM is the politics of racial grievance, a tool used to manipulate both blacks and whites alike.

Stay tuned for part two.


Dr. Eric Wallace is the co-founder and president of Freedom’s Journal Institute, and has organized the Black Conservative Summit and a one day conference “In Defense of Life: Why All Lives Matter.”  Dr. Wallace and his wife Jennifer live in the south suburbs of Chicago.

Source: Will County News