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Archive → December 21st, 2015

Entire Country of Sweedon On Lockdown

ISIS BEHEADING PLOT – Jihadis send LETTERS to EU civilians ordering them to convert or die

CRAZED Islamic State (ISIS) jihadis have sent letters to European civilians ordering them to convert to Islam within three days or face being DECAPITATED in their own homes.

 

PUBLISHED: 10:06, Fri, Dec 18, 2015 | UPDATED: 10:54, Fri, Dec 18, 2015

The letter, left, and ISIS fanatics, rightFacebook/Getty

ISIS has posted letters threatening to decapitate people in Sweden

Bloodthirsty Daesh Islamists posted notes through the doors of dozens of random neighbours in several cities across Sweden, including the capital Stockholm, threatening to murder “non-believers” in a terrifying campaign of violence.

Sweden is now on lockdown after the chilling letters pledged to behead innocent civilians and then “bomb your rotten corpses afterwards”.

Intelligence officials confirmed they are investigating the horrifying threats – which were signed by “ISIS” – as a state of fear gripped the nation.

The notes, written in Swedish, order people to convert to Islam or pay a religious tax, known as the jizya, warning that the police “will not save you from being murdered”.

The letter, posted on Facebook, features the flag of ISISFacebook

The letter, posted on Facebook, features the flag of ISIS

A copy of the letterFacebook

It warns Swedes they must convert to Islam or face being beheaded

They state: “In the name of Allah, the merciful, full of grace. You who are not believers will be decapitated in three days in your own house. We will bomb your rotten corpses afterwards.

“You must choose between these three choices: 1. Convert to Islam. 2. Pay the jizya [religious tax] for protection. 3. Or else, you will be decapitated.

“The police will not prevent or save you from you being murdered. (Death comes to all of you).”

Swedish police search a refugee shelter for ISIS terrorists GETTY

Swedish police search a refugee shelter for ISIS terrorists

Mutar Muthanna Majid was held after police raided a refugee housing unit in SwedenSAKERHETSPOLISEN

Mutar Muthanna Majid was held after police raided a refugee housing unit in Sweden

You who are not believers will be decapitated in three days in your own house

ISIS letter

An image of the chilling message was posted on Facebook by one of the recipients.

Swedish police said they were posted through residents’ doors in a number of cities including Ronneby, Sigtuna, Västerås and the capital Stockholm, earlier this week.

Local news outlets reported two Muslim asylum seekers of Iraqi origin – one in Ronneby and one in Vstroes – were amongst the recipients of the cruel letter.

Sigtuna police chief Emile Anderson said officers were unsure whether or not the threats contained in the messages were real, but said they were taking them seriously.

He added officials from the Swedish intelligence service Säpo are investigating the incident, according to RT Arabic.

Tensions have been running high in Sweden over its open door asylum policy, which has seen 200,000 Middle Eastern migrants flock to the sparsely populated Scandinavian nation this year alone.

There have been reports of clashes between refugees and locals in one Swedish village, whilst a number of asylum centres across the country have been burned down by far-right campaigners.

Last month Swedish police raided a refugee housing unit and arrested 22-year-old Mutar Muthanna Majid on suspicion of plotting an ISIS-inspired attack.

Source: Will County News

Reaction to Rahm Should be Peaceful, but Not Calm

Breen

Reaction to Rahm Should be Peaceful, but Not Calm

A few weeks ago, the nation watched the video of a police officer firing 16 shots at Laquan McDonald, a young black man, armed with only a small knife and walking away from police. Two of those shots were fired at McDonald while he was standing, with the remainder ripping through his body after he fell to the pavement.

 

None of the at least five other officers on the scene attempted medical assistance for the young man as he lay on the ground. Witnesses were “shooed away” from the scene, without their contact information even being taken. Numerous other police vehicles were on scene, but none of their dashboard video or audio has been released—and may have been destroyed. Even the security video from the local Burger King, which officers demanded password access to in the aftermath of the shooting, has a void in its footage during the critical time of the shooting.

 

Mayor Rahm Emanuel was in the midst of a tough re-election campaign in October 2014, desperately needing the support of the City Council’s Black Caucus to defeat his Latino challenger. As details slowly emerged from whistleblowers about the shooting, the City steadfastly refused to release the video. Once the Mayor—and those who supported him—were clear of the April 2015 election, the City Council agreed to pay the family of the young man $5 million, with the further caveat that the video not be released. But an independent reporter sued and, over a year after the shooting, finally forced the City to release the footage.

 

This video would’ve made national news, whenever it was released. But for the people of Chicago and of Illinois, it’s not merely the killing but the cover-up that has shaken us. This incident has laid bare how far our elected officials will go to protect the established political power structure in our state.

 

Breen Blog

 

State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez was informed of the relevant facts and had the video much earlier, but decided to charge the officer involved 13 months later, only after she knew that the video would be released. Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office dragged its feet on enforcing the Freedom of Information Act against the City of Chicago to release of the video, even allowing the City to violate Illinois law in thwarting the legal review process under the Act. And when Madigan’s office did finally issue a decision, it was issued as “non-binding,” which against the City of Chicago, meant the decision was not worth the paper it was printed on.

 

Mayor Emanuel has now fired the police superintendent and is trying to focus the attention on State’s Attorney Alvarez, who is up for re-election in March 2016. However, it’s reported that Speaker Mike Madigan will support Alvarez in the next election, so as to shore up his Latino and suburban Cook County vote.

 

In any other structure, whether public or private, you’d fire every single person involved and start over. But not in Illinois. At least not up to this point in Illinois.

 

Fortunately, the people are outraged. The press is on the attack. Some have urged “calm” in the wake of this video, but that’s not quite right. Peaceful, yes, but we should not be “calm.” Any person with a conscience and a sense of right and wrong should be furious about this entire situation: both the tragic unnecessary killing of a human being, and the deep corruption of a political system to the point that people will do anything to protect their power and elective offices.

 

Moreover, this outrage isn’t—and shouldn’t be—limited to folks in the City of Chicago. The same people who covered up the killing of Laquan McDonald hold vast influence over our entire state and its politics. The way forward from here will not be driven by calm, but by that special sort of righteous anger that drives positive change: the type of feeling and thought which throughout history has inspired political movements and revivals.

 

We have a long road ahead to turn Illinois around, but it starts with a people who are disgusted by the status quo and ready for a new way.

 

Peter Breen is a State Representative for Illinois’ 48th House District. He also serves as a public interest lawyer with the Thomas More Society, specializing in defense of free speech and religious liberty rights.

Source: Will County News

Property taxes become a second mortgage that homeowners can never pay off

Joel Schurtz lived all across the U.S. before coming to Illinois. He took promising job opportunities where he could find them, from California to Alabama. His wife, Michelle, and their three young children would follow.

“Our family always had a plan,” Joel said. “We had three- to five-year goals and a plan. But when we came to Illinois that plan went out the window.”

Before the welcoming committee even arrived at their front door, the Schurtz family’s first property-tax bill arrived in the mail. “We laughed,” Michelle said. “That’s all we could do.”

In 2015, the Schurtzes paid their first full year of property taxes. The bill totaled $11,000.

When it comes to property taxes, sticker shock is typical in Illinois. From small-business owners in Chicago to suburban dwellers in middle-of-the-pack school districts, long-time Illinoisans are often bewildered as to why they pay the second-highest property taxes in the nation, at an average of more than 2 percent of a home’s value.

And the nonpartisan Tax Foundation said Chicago’s record-setting property-tax hike will likely vault Illinois to the top of the table, making the Land of Lincoln home to the highest property taxes in the U.S.

But an average only tells so much of the story.

Property taxes become a second mortgage that homeowners can never pay off, or an endless expense for a small business that grows more costly each year. The Schurtz family’s first year of property taxes came out to 4 percent of the value of their Geneva, Illinois, home. For many Illinoisans, the burden is even heavier.

Job Varghese, an Indian-American immigrant who left his job with the federal government to strike out as a hospitality entrepreneur, pays $220,000 per year in property taxes on his southern Cook County hotel – more than he pays on the mortgage.

And it gets worse each year. Over the last 10 years, Varghese’s annual property-tax bill has risen by $70,000.

“If I moved my hotel three miles away from here [to Indiana], that $70,000 would be my entire property tax [for one year],” Varghese said.

“Our family came to this country for opportunity, but I find myself discouraging my son from working at our business here.”

A disturbing trend

The pace and scale of property-tax growth over the last few decades in Illinois is overwhelming. Since 1990, residential property taxes have grown 3.3 times faster than the state’s median household income.

Simply put, Illinoisans’ property taxes are going up while salaries are stagnant at best.

Illinois Policy Institute research shows nearly every Illinois county has seen dramatic increases in its residents’ average property-tax burden since 1999.

Residential property taxes now eat up an average of 6.4 percent of a typical household income in Illinois. In 1990, that share was 3.6 percent. In this shift lies the pain currently felt by Illinoisans whose family budgets have been thrown into disarray.

Take Cassandra Bajak, a lifelong Illinoisan and mother of two. Bajak and her husband, an Army veteran, built their Crystal Lake home in 2002. Their children were born and raised there.

Over the last 13 years, the Bajaks’ property-tax bill has doubled. They now pay $1,500 a month in property taxes and insurance. Their mortgage payment is $1,100 a month.

“We’re being taxed out of our home,” Cassandra said.

“… [I]t’s basically like we’re renting our home from the government. [The rate] is well over 4 percent of what the house is worth. The only reason we would ever leave our home or this state is property taxes, and that’s what’s going to happen.”

Bajak said she and her husband plan to move their family to Florida within the next two years. Her reasoning is straightforward: “Taxes are less, and schools are the same,” she said.

Cassandra and her family are not alone.

In McHenry County, where the Bajaks reside, property taxes take up nearly 8 percent of the median household income. The average monthly property-tax bill stands at $499, and the typical property-tax burden in the county has ballooned by over 45 percentsince 1999.

Suburban father Peter Brunk has felt the squeeze in Lake Villa, Illinois, which is located in Lake County. Brunk, too, has made plans for an Illinois exit in the near future.

Since his family moved into their home in 2010, the annual property-tax bill has risen by more than $2,300, or nearly 30 percent. Meanwhile, the value of his home actually decreased. The home’s assessed value, which is used to calculate property taxes, has dropped by 11 percent.

“I don’t really want to leave here,” Brunk said. “It’s a nice place. And it’s affordable because we’ve paid off our mortgage.”

“But I look at nine to 10 years [from now] when I retire … my property taxes will completely consume my Social Security check.”

The typical Lake County household’s property-tax burden has risen by 44 percent since 1999, with the average property-tax bill now coming in at more than $600 per month – the most expensive of any Illinois county.

Brunk’s most likely destination after his daughter graduates from high school? Florida. He said the difference in property taxes alone will more than pay for the move and a nicer home.

A closer look at government data reveals the cause behind the meteoric rise of Illinois property taxes, which forces people like Brunk out to greener pastures in other states.

Follow the money

When it comes to property taxes, four main factors drive the pinch felt in Illinois pocketbooks: government-worker pensions, government-worker health care, prevailing-wage requirements and workers’ compensation costs.

These four horsemen of fiscal ruin are all multiplied by the sheer number of taxing bodies in Illinois – at nearly 7,000 – each with its own staffing and programming costs. No U.S. state comes close to Illinois on this number.

In Wauconda, Illinois, Mayor Frank Bart sees the squeeze on middle-class residents brought by these rising costs. After accounting for inflation, Wauconda’s median household income has dropped since 2009, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. But property-tax bills have continued to rise.

Why?

Take government-worker pension benefits, for example, which are mandated at the state level, regardless of whether local governments can afford them.

Bart expects police pensions to cost the village over $1 million annually within the next two years. The village has 25 police employees and a general fund budget of just over $9 million.

Bart uses his second-lowest paid police officer to illustrate the high personnel costs village taxpayers shoulder. The officer has been with the village for more than 10 years, and the village pays his $85,000 salary and $15,000 in benefits annually. On top of that, taxpayers contribute $25,000 to his pension each year, Bart said.

That’s not all.

Prevailing-wage laws land another massive blow on local governments’ bottom lines. These laws can mandate six-figure salaries plus benefits for the lucky private-sector employees who work on government projects. Bart estimates this easily adds 20 percent to project costs above what would be offered in a competitive bidding process.

Finally, while Bart said effective departmental leadership has prevented workers’ compensation costs from getting out of hand in his community, this is not always the case.

Take Williamson County, for example, which has spent $2.7 million on workers’ compensation claims over the last three fiscal years, nearly four times as much as the previous three-year period.

“… [S]ome of this is frivolous,” said Chief Deputy Bob McCurdy, according to The Southern. “We need to make an example of somebody.”

County Board Chairman Jim Marlo echoed McCurdy’s concerns, describing the costs as “eating away” at the county budget.

“It is a system that[’s] easily manipulated in this state and until you get legislative action to change the way claims are handled, the way insurance handles and the way courts handle it, we are going to be faced with this problem,” Marlo said.

Turning the tables

A major effort to stop Illinois’ sky-high property tax rates from creeping even higher lies inHouse Bill 4224, which would freeze property taxes at current levels unless local voters approve a future property-tax increase. This legislation is part of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s Turnaround Agenda.

But a freeze alone won’t be enough. Property taxes would have to stay frozen for the next 28 years for Illinois residents’ property-tax burden to return to levels seen in 1990.

So it is important that HB 4224 also gives local governments more flexibility in controlling costs, such as allowing cash-strapped localities to narrow the scope of collective-bargaining agreements and to take less expensive bids for government work.

Another key component to easing residents’ property-tax burden will be aggressive consolidation and resource-sharing across Illinois’ thousands of local taxing bodies. DuPage County has taken the lead in this area. Other counties should follow suit.

When it comes to skyrocketing, unsustainable pension costs, Illinois’ local governments must also be empowered to take control of their fiscal futures by filingbankruptcy. Workers’ compensation reform to bring Illinois’ out-of-whack costs in line with those of surrounding states is another essential piece of the puzzle.

Local leaders in Illinois must actively avoid the ignominious title of the nation’s leader in taxing homeowners.

As average property-tax bills begin to bump up against average mortgage payments, communities will increasingly be ripped apart as people and businesses flee to areas where they need not pay twice for their property: once to the bank and once to the government.

Unfortunately, this is already happening. Many of Chicago’s south suburbs may have already crossed this line in the sand, and face a long, painful road to recovery. Numbers at the state level are equally concerning. Illinois has lost a greater share of its population to out-migration than any Midwestern state since 2010.

Susann D., a retired widow and longtime resident of Mount Prospect, Illinois, best describes the angst among Illinois’ middle-class residents who can no longer shoulder the tax burden placed upon them by a broken system.

“… [T]he property-tax increase is never a kind of earth-shattering amount,” she said. “But people have to make it work by cutting their budgets. I look online for houses like mine in other states on a similar size lot, and the property taxes are $400 a year. My property taxes here are $7,000 a year.”

“I do want to leave. But this is the most difficult question in my life,” she said.

“If I knew where I was going, that ‘For Sale’ sign would be in front of my house. But I have no family or friends anywhere else. What do I do? Where do I go?”

Susann’s poignant questions should be met with loud cries for reform from Springfield and across the state.


Austin Berg

Writer

Source: Will County News

What Ryan got in his Omnibus

stock-photo-young-couple-with-baby-having-quarrel-about-financial-problems-focus-on-woman-299044637

Editor note: Government shutdown threat by Obama seems to work on Republicans who will do anything but fight for conservative principals. Giving Obama what he wants with little of nothing in return is no even compromising. The American People from all political parties are angry with the cowardly Congress funding Obamacare, illegal immigration, and Middle Eastern refugees that could pose a threat to our citizens.

Funding Planned Parenthood baby part selling is morally wrong, and a big deal. I don’t know where in the Constitution it says the Government should take my tax dollars and fund private foundations, corporations, or charities. In my opinion they should get funding from citizens who can take the write off on their taxes. The question becomes why should government favor one group over another. Should they fund an adoption group the same as an abortion group, who decides.

Let Obama shut down the government over these issues that the people are not wanting to continue.

Dec 21, 2015

Read more at http://conservativeintel.com/2015/12/21/the-briefing-vol-iii-issue-43/  Conservative Intel

Ryan Omnibus:

Conservatives have plenty of reasons to be unhappy with the omnibus spending bill that passed the House last week. But it is noteworthy that there was no massive conservative rebellion in the House, in a day and age when such rebellions seemed to be getting more common. One hundred fifty Republicans voted for the bill that Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., put forward. That’s about 50 more than had been expected originally. The low expectations existed for the very reasons rank and file conservatives are disappointed now: The bill does not stop federal funding for Planned Parenthood. It does not address the question of Syrian refugees in the way that many of them feel is appropriate. It does not stop Obama’s Clean Power Plant or Waters of the United States EPA rules (both now under litigation). It does not stop funding for Obama’s executive amnesty (also under litigation). It does not halt the Labor Department’s new fiduciary rule, a clear overreach.

For a lot of conservatives, one or more of these seems like a game-ender. Especially on Planned Parenthood, many believe that no other benefit of the law can outweigh what seems like a betrayal.

On the other hand, a fight to the death against Obama over Planned Parenthood at this particular moment would have been more likely to lead to a government-wide shutdown than the actual defunding of Planned Parenthood, and that has to be at least considered.

But there are three things this bill does that, given a long-term outlook, will promote large conservative goals that may not be immediately obvious. These are the areas to watch — the areas where history will ultimately judge Ryan’s speakership and determine how long he gets to keep it.

1. Obamacare Repeal: Believe it or not, the stage for repeal of this law has now been set. By keeping the 2014 Rubio provision intact, which bars any taxpayer bailout of insurers losing money in Obamacare’s exchanges, this omnibus prevents the Obama administration from wasting taxpayers’ money to delay the Obamacare law’s day of reckoning.

Although the issue has been slightly below the surface for more than a year, Obamacare is currently in greater peril than it was at any point during the government shutdown of 2013. Insurers are losing their shirts in the exchanges at a rate no one expected, mostly because the law (as critics predicted) brought in a sick, high-use crowd into the insurance market without attracting enough healthy payers to cover them. Premiums have risen and are expected to keep rising at a rate that has the potential cause a rebellion on the same scale as the anger over insurance cancellations and the HealthCare.gov website.

The problem is acute enough that Hillary Clinton had to acknowledge it during the little-watched Democratic debate over the weekend, referring to it as “glitches.”

What the Rubio provision does, originally passed in 2014, is prevent the “risk corridor” program — a provision in Obamacare that redistributes some insurance company profits from Obamacare’s biggest winners in its first three years to its worst losers — from drawing any funds from taxpayers. This merely bolsters the statutory language in Obamacare, which appears to imply that the only money available to pay out is that drawn from insurers with profits greater than three percent.

But there isn’t enough money being made by profitable insurers to bail out the many big losers. And so the Obama administration desperately wants to interpret this language as authorizing a large insurer subsidy that comes from the Treasury.

The inclusion of the Rubio provision stops this. And it will not, as some have suggested, kill Obamacare, but it will let it die a natural death with dignity. The risk corridor program was not intended to prop up unsound companies for the long haul, it was just supposed to brace them for the immediate shock of the new post-Obamacare insurance world. But not only are badly created insurance co-ops going out of business after losing as much as $100 million, but larger, experienced insurers like UnitedHealth are expected to pull out, a sign of just how badly the law was designed. This will lead to even higher premiums. Instead of ruining health insurance for a decade or more, the refusal to mollify insurers with a bailout is likely to shorten the period of destruction and force repeal (or reforms, if Democrats keep the White House) sooner.

The bottom line is that Republicans were right to insist on the inclusion of this provision, even if it had to come at the expense of some of their other priorities.

2. Tax reform: Conservatives like low tax rates. They dislike special interest tax breaks. This bill makes several of the latter permanent. That’s bad, right?

Well, maybe not. This has barely been noticed, but the package that just passed takes a critical step toward passage of a tax reform plan that conservatives will like. In fact, it would probably not be possible otherwise. Although the reasons are highly technical, we will go into them briefly, because one cannot grasp this without understanding them.

When the Congressional Budget Office calculates tax revenues and budget deficits, it is required to assume that current law will be followed as it is written. That sounds reasonable to the layman, but in fact it’s absurd. Congress changes laws all the time, and with tax laws, it has a nasty habit of extending certain tax breaks temporarily over and over and over again, so that they are effectively permanent. This makes the CBO always wrong in its revenue projections, but through no fault on its own. And that matters a lot.

A holy grail for conservatives — and a goal Ryan has personally pursued for years — is a major, revenue-neutral tax reform plan that cuts tax rates for everyone and makes up the lost revenue by eliminating special interest loopholes and deductions. The desired result is a simple tax code that collects about the same amount of revenue, but without strangling taxpayers in red tape and creating billions of hours of lost productivity.

The problem is that under CBO rules, the elimination of temporary loopholes and deductions doesn’t count toward “revenue-neutralizing” tax rate reductions, even in cases where those loopholes are constantly being extended and are effectively (but not legally) permanent. In other words, you can’t come out even if you eliminate a temporary special-interest tax break and lower the tax rate by a corresponding annual amount.

This means that in order to make the math work and ensure as low a tax rate as possible, you must first make permanent as many special-interest tax breaks as possible, so that you can eliminate them and use the increased revenue to lower rates by a corresponding amount. Otherwise, you face a tough choice — either tax reform becomes an actual tax hike that most Republicans have sworn to vote against, or you have a bill that technically increases the deficit and you might need 60 instead of 51 votes to get it through the Senate.

By making several (per se undesirable) special tax breaks permanent, Ryan is preparing the field for what he’s always wanted to do, increasing the likelihood of tax reform after Obama leaves office. It’s a longer-term goal, but it’s a very important one, considering how bad tax laws, accumulated over the years by special interests’ pleading and lobbying, made the U.S. economy less competitive over time.

3. Oil Exports: This one is perhaps the most obvious benefit. By repealing the irrational four-decade ban on oil exports and getting Obama to agree to it (reluctantly), Congress has set the stage for a future in which the U.S. is a net exporter of petroleum. As recently as last year, no one believed this legal change could be made. In the end, all it took was a small sop — a special tax break for independent refiners — to grease the wheels.

It’s been a long time since the world saw the U.S. exporting more oil than it imports — more than 70 years, as a matter of fact. But it is sure to happen as soon as prices rise again, and it will affect everything from the economy to foreign policy.

Trade deficits (a very large share of which — more than half in some recent years — have been due to oil imports) could become a worry of the past even when oil prices rise again. And hundreds of thousands of new, high-paying jobs would be created and secured for the long haul.

This is a clear win for prosperity over the forces of populist ignorance and demagoguery that took hold after the oil embargo.

 

So there you have three very long-term ideas that underpin the deal Republicans just agreed to in unexpectedly large numbers. The jury is out as to whether they got a good deal.

If Republicans had passed this bill just to ease Ryan into the speakership — as a courtesy to him, as Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., put it — they would have been making a big mistake. But the fact is, they had other reasons as well. When judging Ryan’s performance as speaker, conservatives must keep an eye on how these areas develop. If he succeeds or fails, it will be based on these three main areas whether this deal ends up being a good one.

Thus ends the third year for The Briefing, which will next appear on Tuesday, Jan. 5. We wish a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours in the meantime. And get ready, 2016 is going to be wild.
Read more at http://conservativeintel.com/2015/12/21/the-briefing-vol-iii-issue-43/

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Source: Will County News