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Archive → February 12th, 2016

IOP Statement on Presidential Visit to Illinois General Assembly

Matthew Besler headshot 25 retouched

IOP Statement on Presidential Visit to Illinois General Assembly

By Matt Besler

 

Just as the pressure on the Emanuel Administration grows – the result of rapidly compounding problems in the Chicago Public School System, a scandalous response to allegations of police misconduct, the collapse of social service agencies, and an exodus of families and businesses – the word came down from Washington, DC that the President would head to Springfield to address the General Assembly.

 

Obama Addresses ILGA

 

Coincidence? Not likely. No matter how they try to spin it, the disaster that continues to unfold in Chicago has its roots firmly planted in the corruption and incompetence of ruling class politicians. For decades, they ran the city and the state unchecked. The Chicago Machine needs to take the heat off. So, Rahm opened up his coveted black book and called in a diversion.

 

While we appreciate the President’s message of hope and his call for legislative redistricting, his speech failed to address the real problem. Ironically, his speech was emblematic of the real problem, which is this: Chicago’s crisis is the state’s crisis. And that crisis is so big that even the most acclaimed diplomat cannot distract us from it.  Rahm Emanuel and the Springfield Ruling Class think that you and your families and neighbors can be distracted long enough to get them through the next election. They have been telling you they are going to fix our failing systems for years. But under their leadership, the City of Chicago and State of Illinois has descended into ruin.

 

The fight has to be taken to the core of the problem. Under the leadership of Mike Madigan, John Cullerton and Rahm Emanuel we have seen debt rise, education fail, and business and families fleeing.

 

At the Illinois Opportunity Project, we remain laser-focused on the policies that will create opportunity and economic freedom for families and businesses. Join our Policy Revolution today. As President Obama once said, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” Let’s transform Illinois, together.

Source: Will County News

War on what you do with your cash

cash hidden in mattressThe war on cash has gone from overt to covert. Having expended all their ammo with Quantitative Easing to infinity and zero interest rate policy (ZIRP), central banks are now looking toward negative interest rates.

What are negative interest rates? Right now, banks pay only slightly above 0 percent interest on savings. In reality, that’s already a negative rate of return. Real inflation   (not the government’s fiction inflation) of the money supply is running north of 7 percent.  So your money depreciates while in savings.  You might as well hide it under the mattress.

But banksters now are looking for ways to make use of cash difficult and also charge people a fee (negative interest) to deposit and hold their money. Likewise, all deposits are now subject to a “haircut” if the bank is about to go belly-up.  That means banksters will skim some off the top of all deposit accounts in order to keep the “too-big-to-fails” afloat.

JP Morgan Chase recently implemented new controls on cash. Want to make a cash deposit or pay a loan or credit card with cash? You must show ID. And now Citibank is preparing new policies for cash deposits. Cash deposits to an account will require the depositor to state the purpose of the deposit, provide a Social Security number, provide identification and provide a place of employment and job type.

Apparently there’s begun such a huge increase in people using cash to pay off debts for other people or expand other people’s savings accounts that banksters are becoming concerned. (Excuse the sarcasm.)

So why are banksters suddenly opposed to cash? There are three reasons (at least): they can’t control or track its use, to prevent people from pulling their money out of banks if negative interest rates (where people pay the bank to hold their cash) are introduced, and to consolidate their power.

Of course, that is not the excuse the banksters use. They claim cash is tool of criminals. In a report  for the Harvard Kennedy School for Business, Peter Sands proposes eliminating “high value currency notes” like $100 bills because, “Such notes are the preferred payment mechanism of those pursuing illicit activities, given the anonymity and lack of transaction record they offer, and the relative ease with which they can be transported and moved. By eliminating high denomination, high value notes we would make life harder for those pursuing tax evasion, financial crime, terrorist finance and corruption.”

Sands would know a thing or two about “financial crime, terrorist finance and corruption,” having formerly led the international bank Standard Chartered, which forked over $340 million in settlement money  to the Feds over claims that it laundered hundreds of billions of dollars for Iran and lied to regulators.

Now, banksters around the world are calling for the abolition of cash. Last month, Norway’s largest bank, DNB, called for the country to stop using cash to reduce black market sales and crimes such as money laundering. “There are so many dangers and disadvantages associated with cash, we have concluded that it should be phased out,” DNB executive Trond Bentestuen said.

The CEO of Deutsche Bank calls cash “terribly inefficient and expensive.” A recent Bloomberg  article called cash and coins “dirty and dangerous, unwieldy and expensive, antiquated and so very analog.”

Of course the excuse for the ongoing restriction of personal privacy and personal liberty is always crime. The government promotes crime and then uses the threat of crime to restrict your liberty. Government oppression under the color of law is to reduce the freedom of honest citizens. Criminals and crooks pay no attention to laws. Any child knows this.

The Financial Times  tells us another reason for a cashless society:

[T]he introduction of a cashless society empowers central banks greatly. A cashless society, after all, not only makes things like negative interest rates possible, it transfers absolute control of the money supply to the central bank, mostly by turning it into a universal banker that competes directly with private banks for public deposits. All digital deposits become base money.

And finally, economics professor and creator of QE tells us that with negative interest rates:

…banks’ margins will stay low and the financial situation of the banks will stay precarious and indeed become ever more precariousAs a result banks that mainly engage in traditional banking, i.e. lending to firms for investment, have come under major pressure, while this type of ‘QE’ has produced profits for those large financial institutions engaged mainly in financial speculation and its funding.

The policy of negative interest rates is thus consistent with the agenda to drive small banks out of business and consolidate banking sectors in industrialised countries, increasing concentration and control in the banking sector.

It also serves to provide a (false) further justification for abolishing cash. And this fits into the Bank of England’s surprising recent discovery that the money supply is created by banks through their action of granting loans: by supporting monetary reformers, the Bank of England may further increase its own power and accelerate the drive to concentrate the banking system if bank credit creation was abolished and there was only one true bank left – the Bank of England. This would not only get us back to the old monopoly situation imposed in 1694 when the Bank of England was founded as a for-profit enterprise by private profiteers. It would also further the project to increase control over and monitoring of the population: with both cash and bank credit alternatives abolished, all transactions, money creation and allocation would be implemented by the Bank of England.

Even local governments are passing laws prohibiting the use of cash for the purchase of second-hand items as a way of gaining more tax money.

I have long warned Personal Liberty Digest® and Bob Livingston LetterTM readers to get their money out of banks, keep some cash on hand for emergencies, and buy gold and silver. I would also add the need to store food and water and ammo for your guns.

We are in for interesting times ahead. They may not be pleasant.

Source: Will County News

Voting is so convenient there is no excuse not to vote

Voting is easier than ever, what’s your excuse?

Ted SlowikDaily Southtown

Odds are you’re unlikely to vote in the March 15 general primary election. That’s a shame, because it’s easier than ever before to cast a ballot and participate in our democracy.

Voting is the answer to all our state and local problems. Fed up with the gridlock over the lack of state budget? Then vote. Tired of hearing about budget deficits and unfunded pension obligations? Vote! Sick of reading about public officials who only seem to care about raising enough money to get elected? Yep, vote.

Yet relatively few of us actually exercise our right to vote. We think our vote doesn’t matter, or we don’t know enough about the candidates and issues to cast a ballot. Or we just don’t like any of the choices.

“I think people are disgusted,” said Will County Clerk Nancy Schultz Voots.

If past presidential primary elections are any indication, about one in five registered voters will vote in this primary. In 2012, for example, the total turnout was just shy of 21 percent in Will County. More than twice as many Republicans voters cast ballots than Democrats, when there were six Republican candidates in the field and incumbent Barack Obama was seeking his second term.

In the 2008 primary, the turnout was much higher: 43 percent, with voters choosing from nine Republicans and seven Democrats. In the 2004 primary, Will County turnout was 28.5 percent. In 2000, it was 22.7 percent. In 1996, it was 24 percent.

Voter turnout tends to depend on the type of election and peaks in the November general elections when voters choose a president every four years. In Will County, turnouts for those elections were 71.2 percent in 2012, 76.1 percent in 2008, 73.7 percent in 2004 and 70.4 percent in 2000.

Fewer voters participate in elections for governor and other offices. Turnout for those November general elections in Will County was 51 percent when Bruce Rauner beat Pat Quinn in 2014. It was 52.4 percent for the 2010 Quinn/Brady race, 46.6 percent for the 2006 Blagojevich/Topinka contest and 50.4 percent for the 2002 Ryan/Blagojevich race.

Turnout is even worse for the gubernatorial primaries, averaging 21.7 percent over the past 10 elections dating back to 1978, and pulling a paltry 15.6 percent in March 2014.

The saddest turnout figures, though, are for local races where voters could have the greatest impact. Consolidated elections for city council, village board, townships, libraries, schools, park districts and fire districts are held every April of odd-numbered years in Illinois. In 2015, Will County turnout was a pathetic 15 percent. Between 2007 and 2013, turnout was about 18 percent. Between 1995 and 2005, it was about 25 percent. In 1983, it was nearly 31 percent. Not a great number, but twice as high as it is today.

Voots has seen a lot of changes since becoming clerk in 2002. Will County’s population has grown to nearly 700,000 residents, of whom 392,913 are registered voters. Children, incarcerated inmates and non-U.S. citizens cannot vote. This will be the second election in which 17-year-olds can vote in the primary if they will turn 18 by the general election in November.

The clerk’s office tries to educate the public about the voting process and what contests will be decided in upcoming elections. Ahead of the March primary, the clerk mailed information to households with registered voters, telling them the location of their polling place and showing them a sample ballot.

In the past, people had to register to vote ahead of elections, and the registration cutoff was about a month prior to elections. Now you can register and vote on Election Day. Still, the clerk encourages citizens to register in advance to avoid slowing down the voting process at polling places.

There’s no longer any reason to risk inclement weather and long lines at the polling place on March 15. Early voting started Feb. 4, and the clerk sent out about 2,600 ballots by mail that day.

“Anybody can vote by mail,” she said. “They can vote at the privacy of their kitchen table.”

Will County residents can request a mail ballot by visiting the clerk’s website atwww.thewillcountyclerk.com; Cook County residents can visit www.cookcountyclerk.com. You can request mail ballots up to five days before Election Day.

County clerks manage voter registration rolls and handle the logistics of collecting and counting ballots. In Will County, Voots’ office has reduced the number of polling places to 303 from a peak of 452 in 2008.

We’re a mortal and mobile society, and clerks have to update voter rolls when people die or move. In Cook County, Clerk David Orr‘s office says it began tapping into the U.S. Post Office’s National Change of Address database last year. Orr says nearly 250,000 voter registrations statewide were automatically updated because of an election reform initiative he lobbied for in 2014.

Orr’s office says in suburban Cook County alone, more than 47,000 voter records have been updated, added or canceled since the new system was adopted. His office is able to report interesting tidbits, like:

“While 206 Orland Park voters just moved within the south suburb, another 125 voters moved into Orland Park from the neighboring towns of Tinley Park (48), Oak Forest (20), Palos Park (17), Oak Lawn (16), Orland Hills (13), and Palos Heights (11).”

Illinois, and Chicago in particular, haven’t had the squeakiest clean reputations when it comes to voting. (The phrase “vote early and vote often” comes to mind.) Historians like to debate whether Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley decided the presidency for John F. Kennedy over Richard Nixon in 1960. The debate tends to focus on whether Illinois’ 27 Electoral College votes made the difference (Kennedy finished with 303 to Nixon’s 219). The legend that Chicago’s Democratic machine committed rampant voter fraud is almost accepted as fact.

That abuse of the public’s trust takes a long time to overcome. But 55 years later, it would seem the clerk’s offices in Cook and Will counties operate with integrity. I refuse to accept concerns about fraud, difficulty registering or inconvenience as reasons not to vote.

If you’re not voting, what’s your excuse?

Source: Will County News

Summary of Homer District 33C School Board Meeting February 11, 2016

Summary of Homer District 33C School Board Meeting February 11, 2016

 

goodings pumpkins 109

 

The Board of Education approved revised job descriptions for Custodian, Sec- retary (building level), Clerical Aide and Administrative Assistant for Curriculum and Instruction; revised title and job description for Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent; job description for Homer 33C coaching position.

 

Kathleen Robinson, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, presented  an update on the District’s five-year Strategic Plan, which was launched at the begin- ning of the 2013-14 school year. The District is on track with its goals, which were established with the help of a committee of parents, teachers, administrators, non- certified staff members and community members as well as feedback from stake- holders. The five strategic goals that are guiding the District, are:

  • Student Achievement: Provide an effective and instructional program that supports academic success for all students.
  • Learning Environment: Provide a safe, welcoming and inspirational learning environment that compels and motivates students to participate in their own educa
  • Professional Environment: Maintain a positive, dynamic work environment in a self-renewing organiza
  • Partnerships: Build and strengthen productive partnerships among all stakeholders to effectively communicate the District’s ongoing journey.
  • Resources: Manage and maintain the District’s positive fiscal status while

addressing the District’s strategic priorities.

 

To aid in the implementation of goals, the District developed eight high-level strategies to serve as a roadmap and timeline for completing objectives. Those eight high-level strategies are:

  1. 1. Provide a standards-based curriculum that ensures each child will have the same essential learning opport
  2. 2. Provide an aligned system of common formative and summative assessments for each grade level and department to guide instruction in a timely fashion and determine whether expected mastery and growth have occurre
  3. 3. Provide directive, timely support within the school day for students who need challenge beyond their required learning and students who are challenged in their learning.
  4. 4. Provide a District-wide data system that provides timely, accessible metrics de- scribing the District’s/schools’/classrooms’/students’ achievements, successes and challenges and share results, where suitable, to both internal and external stakeholder
  5. 5. Provide time and resources for staff to regularly and frequently meet within the school day around best practices, common data-based results and improving instructional offerings as focused, accountable collaborative tea
  6. 6. Provide a safe, welcoming and inspirational school learning environment where students will demonstrate responsibility for their own learning and staff will demonstrate their commitment to and caring of stude

 

 

 

 

 

Barb Wilson, President Angela Adolf, Vice President Amy Blank, Secretary

Ed Campins, Member Elizabeth Hitzeman, Member Debra Martin, Member

Russ Petrizzo, Member

 

 

 

  1. Provide structures to engage and feedback mechanisms to elicit the educational aspirations and talents of parents and community members as partners in the Homer 33C educational proces
  2. Ensure that District fiscal, technological and human resources are efficiently utilized to further the District’s strategic priorities while also ensuring long- term fiscal solvency and technological and human resource effectivene

 

Under each high-level strategy is a list of objectives to complete and a school year in which to complete them. Most of the objectives have been completed. Those remaining include:

  • Unpacking Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and establishing benchmarks for each grading period as well as District science curriculum pacing guides and aligned curricular mater
  • Evaluating gifted/talented service delivery and resource
  • Developing clear technology standards for each grade leve
  • Developing a Parent Advisory Counc

 

Toward the end of the five-year strategic plan in 2017-18, Robinson suggests

the District form another committee to establish goals that will guide the District for the next five years.

 

The Board of Education approved a waiver of facility use fees for Olivet Nazarene University to offer a cohort program at Young School. In exchange, Homer 33C staff will enjoy a 20 percent discount on tuition. Those pursuing doctorates will receive a 10 percent discount. For more information, click here or visit the district’s website and click on the “Employee Page” tab on the left side of the screen. There, you will find a link to the Olivet Nazarene University informational flyer.

 

The Board of Education approved Letter s of Intent to Retire from Susan Jagust and Jane Fojtik.

 

John Reiniche, Assistant Superintendent for Business, presented a report on the District’s Cash Flow and Fund Balances, which are expected to hit a low of $2.7 million in May before rebounding to a projected $18.8 million in June. The report will aid the Board in its conversations about how much cash the Dis- trict should have on hand to meet financial obligations at low points in the tax cycle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The Next Regular School Board Meeting is February 23, 2016 at 7:30

Source: Will County News