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The Seeds of Capitalism Will Grow on Fidel Castro’s Grave

The Seeds of Capitalism Will Grow on Fidel Castro’s Grave
Jeff Siegel Photo By Jeff Siegel
Written Tuesday, November 29, 2016
We’ve definitely hit a new level of craziness.

With the passing of Fidel Castro, our divisive system of ultra-conservative vs. ultra-liberal is overshadowing the potential economic and social benefits of a post-Castro regime.

On one hand, we have the off-the-wall liberals screaming about how, because of Castro, Cuba has a nearly 100% literacy rate. Never mind the fact that in Cuba, the government, not the literate individual, gets to choose what you can and cannot read. How disgustingly ironic!

And on the other hand, we have the off-the-wall conservatives screaming about all the human rights violations that have resulted from Castro’s leadership, yet saying nothing about the human rights violations on our own soil that have resulted from the war on drugs and the Patriot Act.

But one thing is certain: No matter which side of the aisle you call home or which political ideology you embrace, there is no question that Fidel Castro was one of the most brutal dictators in recorded history.

And rest assured, dear reader, if you intend to defend the actions of Fidel Castro to me, I will treat your comments with the same respect that I treat a piece of used toilet paper. I have no patience for those who wish to justify the actions of murderous dictators.

I do, however, have much interest in watching and hopefully benefitting from the transition of Cuba’s failed communist experiment to a free market economy where people are rewarded for entrepreneurship, not imprisoned for it.

The Seeds of Capitalism

I have little doubt that not only have the seeds of capitalism been planted in Cuba, but the will of the people has also been strengthened. Of course, some question that will.

In fact, the other day, I saw a comment on a message board that asked the question, “Why are the people of Cuba not dancing in the streets?”

Well, after nearly 50 years of communist rule, where speaking out against the government resulted in jail time, it’s understandable that the good people of Cuba are not racing out in public to celebrate the death of Fidel Castro.

I suspect there’s still plenty of fear permeating through the streets of Havana.

But rest assured, dear reader, those streets are also buzzing with people who are likely breathing a huge sigh of relief.

Taking Capitalism for Granted

As much as I loathed Fidel Castro, I equally loathed the U.S. politicians who refused to do business with Cuba by supporting economic sanctions.

Refusing to do business with Cuba while under the rule of a murderous dictator does nothing to hurt that dictator. In fact, in the case of Fidel Castro, it empowered him.

The truth is, by refusing to do business with Cuba, we were actually hurting the people of Cuba. The people who could’ve benefitted immensely from regular access to certain medications and building supplies.

By refusing to do business with Cuba, we also made it difficult for U.S. companies that could’ve profited handsomely from exporting all kinds of things to the island.

The bottom line is that economic sanctions against Cuba did nothing but strengthen a dictator and weaken the resolve of the Cuban people.

I think Congressman Ron Paul said it best when he opined on U.S. policy towards Cuba:

I oppose economic sanctions for two very simple reasons. First, they don’t work as effective foreign policy. Time after time, from Cuba to China to Iraq, we have failed to unseat despotic leaders by refusing to trade with the people of those nations. If anything, the anti- American sentiment aroused by sanctions often strengthens the popularity of such leaders, who use America as a convenient scapegoat to divert attention from their own tyranny. History clearly shows that free and open trade does far more to liberalize oppressive governments than trade wars. Economic freedom and political freedom are inextricably linked — when people get a taste of goods and information from abroad, they are less likely to tolerate a closed society at home. So while sanctions may serve our patriotic fervor, they mostly harm innocent citizens and do nothing to displace the governments we claim as enemies.

Of course, with Fidel Castro out of the picture, a new road to liberty may soon be possible for the people of Cuba.

I don’t suspect it’ll happen fast or without plenty of hiccups, but with certain barriers out of the way, it is now possible for the basic fundamentals of capitalism to do what they do best: enable wealth and prosperity for all who are willing to work for it.

For many of us, we sometimes take capitalism for granted.

For many of us, we’ve always lived in a world where capitalism has allowed us to build wealth and provide for our families. It really is a beautiful thing, and as a reader of Wealth Daily, you understand this.

I just hope you’re taking full advantage of all the opportunities you have at this very moment to build and protect your wealth.

If not, I encourage you to take a look at these three videos…

How to Profit From the Great Gold Hoax

How to Profit From the Death of the iPhone

How to Turn $10,000 into $46,800 in Under a Month

Because if you’re not taking full advantage of your freedom to get rich, any one of these videos is a great starting point.

To a new way of life and a new generation of wealth…

Jeff Siegel Signature

Jeff Siegel

Source: Will County News

Homer 33C Reading Gazebo takes shape at Hadley Middle School

News Release

Homer CCSD 33C

Goodings Grove   Luther J. Schilling   William E. Young   William J. Butler

Hadley Middle   Homer Jr. High

 

Contact: Charla Brautigam, Communications/Public Relations Manager

cbrautigam@homerschools.org | 708-226-7628

For Immediate Release:

Nov. 30, 2016

 

Reading Gazebo takes shape at Hadley Middle School

Student Council celebrates with ribbon cutting ceremony

 

Determination and patience have paid off for Hadley Middle School students and staff.

 

On Monday (Nov. 28), the Hadley Student Council officially opened the school’s Reading Gazebo with a ribbon cutting ceremony. It took nearly four years to complete the project.

“Today, we celebrate another milestone in our program to create an outdoor reading and learning center for Hadley students,” student council members told a group of administrators as they gathered at the gazebo for a ribbon cutting ceremony.

 

The metal roof gazebo, with its three mesh picnic tables, was added near the school playground, giving students a place to read during recess and gather for classroom activities.

 

The project began four years ago when student leaders approached then Hadley Principal Kathleen Robinson with a plan to improve Hadley’s recess area by improving the surface area, adding new games and equipment for students, and building a reading and learning area.

While the district was able to resurface the area and add a few new games for student enjoyment, it lacked the funds to create the outdoor reading and learning center.

 

Determined to see their outdoor space come to fruition, students began raising money for the gazebo and picnic tables by conducting an annual “Pennies from Hadley” competition and other fundraising efforts to support their goal.

 

Their efforts continued each year — even when council membership changed with each graduating class.

 

So impressed by the students’ ongoing commitment, the Hadley PTO and district administration decided to assist and help make the dream a reality.

 

“I am happy to see the pavilion finished,” said Robinson, who now serves as the district’s assistant superintendent for instruction. “You finally have your outdoor space.”

 

She went on to explain how the Reading Gazebo will serve as a classroom extension, enabling groups of students to use it for outdoor reading, science experiments or STEAM classes.

 

“I can’t wait to see you in here using the space,” she added.

 

Students thanked the district’s buildings and grounds department for making their vision come to life, using their knowledge and skills to create specifications for the site, ordering the appropriate materials and installing them.

 

“Without them, the reading pavilion would not exist,” said Hadley Middle School teacher and student council sponsor Alison Pikus.

 

Principal Kristen Schroeder congratulated students for their perseverance and team effort.

 

“This is what can happen when a group of people come together and work as a team,” she said.

 

 

Like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/homer33c?fref=ts&ref=br_tf

 

Source: Will County News

Madigan is the most powerful politician in Illinois.

 By Austin Berg
Mike Madigan is the longest-serving House speaker in Illinois history. He controls the legislative mapthe legislative process and a property tax law firm that makes millions in Cook County.

But should House Democrats elect Madigan as speaker of the House for the 17th time in January 2017, he’ll be in the national record books as well: No one in modern American history will have held a Statehouse speakership for longer.

By the end of that two-year term, Madigan will have served as Illinois House Speaker for a total of 34 years.

South Carolina’s Solomon Blatt is the longest known House speaker in U.S. history, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. He served a total of 33 years in that position, from 1937 to 1946 and 1951 to 1973.

Tom Murphy of Georgia holds the record for the longest consecutive stretch as House speaker, serving from 1973 to 2002 in the Peach State.

It’s difficult to know whether any 18th or 19th century politicians bested those marks, but it’s improbable to say the least.

“We simply do not know for certain that there were not longer serving speakers in the 1700s and 1800s,” NCSL researcher Tim Storey told the Washington Times in 2014. “It is very unlikely that there were, because legislators and leaders did not generally serve nearly as long then as they do today.”

Madigan is the most powerful politician in Illinois.

He is also the most disliked politician in Illinois – nearly two-thirds of voters disapprove of Madigan. And despite drawing the legislative map, he’s fresh off a loss of his supermajority in the House, losing four Democrat seats on net.

But the speaker seems confident in the vote he needs most to maintain an iron grip on Springfield.

“As you probably know I’ve been talking to the Democratic members of the House and I have overwhelming support to be re-elected as the speaker,” Madigan told reporters after a Nov. 28 legislative leaders meeting.

Perhaps his confidence is warranted. After all, there is not a single sitting House Democrat who has ever voted for someone other than Madigan for the speakership (setting aside the 1995 vote, when Republicans controlled the chamber.)

But some Democrat House members seem uncomfortable with their vote.

According to political columnist Rich Miller, state Reps. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, and Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, want to meet with Madigan to address their concerns before committing to vote for his re-election as House speaker.

State Rep.-elect Katie Stuart, D-Glen Carbon, gave an awkward answer when questioned about the first vote she will take as a state representative.

“I don’t know what the options will be,” Stuart told the Illinois News Network. “You’re asking me a hypothetical question just like I wouldn’t tell you how I would vote on any piece of legislation until I actually read the legislation.”

Of course, a Madigan speakership is far from hypothetical. For many Illinoisans it’s all too real.

The state’s dire straights could change what was once the easiest and most obvious vote for House Democrats – Madigan for speaker – into one of the most contentious of the upcoming legislative session.

It will be historic in more ways than one.


Austin Berg

Writer

Source: Will County News

In Illinois the size of government is the problem!

‘Lame Duck’ Tax Increase Debated While Both Parties Struggle with Basic Math

 

‘Lame Duck’ Tax Increase Debated While Both Parties Struggle with Basic Math
Written By John Biver  

Anyone paying the least bit of attention to Illinois government knows the state is a fiscal mess, and the ongoing drama being played out between our Republican governor and Democrat General Assembly is like a long-running TV soap opera.

 

The news of the day is that Rich Miller’s Capitol Fax is reporting that the passing of a tax increase during the current lame duck session is now not going to happen.

 

For those unfamiliar with Capitol Fax, it is in some ways to Illinois politics what the Drudge Report is nationally. While Drudge is a conservative, both sides can benefit by visiting his website. While Rich Miller is a liberal, it’s one of the best sources for good information on what’s going on in dreary Springfield.

Now that the possibility of a tax hike passing with the help of “16 lame duck” legislators is not going to happen, Republicans cheer and Democrats lament, right? Not necessarily.

According to our state’s constitution, the governor has a lot of power when it comes to preparing the state’s budget, and, in fact, is constitutionally bound to present a balanced budget every year. Long-time Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan has no such constitutional requirement.

Several Republican Illinois legislators have long assumed that Bruce Rauner would willingly sign a tax increase as part of a budget deal with Madigan. Those aren’t the headlines Rauner wants going into 2018’s gubernatorial election, however, so a super-majority Democrat controlled General Assembly doing the dirty work without the need of his assistance would have been ideal. And, of course,

Democrats raising taxes again supplies a terrific weapon for all Republican campaigns.

Except that now, as Rich Miller reports, the Democrats won’t be doing Rauner that favor. So it’s back to the status quo, which really isn’t the status quo in that the numbers don’t stay the same, they continue to get worse.

Neither party has offered an honestly balanced budget in many years, and Governor Rauner, as chief executive, might possibly be blamed for the little things — here are just a few facts from the Illinois Policy Institute article “Illinois’ $204B Debt Crowding Out Payment for Social Services” (we have put them into bullet points for easy reading):

  • Illinois will spend $1 billion more on annual debt payments than it will on human services in fiscal year 2017.
  • Social service agencies in Illinois, such as The Center for Youth and Family Solutions, on average wait almost a year to get paid for the services they provide to the state’s low-income families, disabled and seniors. Many agencies have closed their doors, unable to pay their employees and rent.
  • Illinois is sitting on a mountain of debt worth $204 billion.
  • Illinois spends so much on debt that those costs now consume almost 18 percent of the state’s general fund budget.
  • Illinois’ backlog of unpaid bills is what often gets the most public attention. While significant – the money due to vendors reached $9 billion in November – it only makes up a small part of Illinois’ total debt.
  • The real burden lies in Illinois’ $28 billion in bonds and its $111 billion unfunded pension liability. The $139 billion total is double what it was just 15 years ago.
  • Another $56 billion is owed on government-worker retirement health insurance liabilities.
  • Combined, these debts all add up to $204 billion. And that’s the rosy scenario. If more realistic investment-return assumptions are used, Illinois’ pension debt nearly doubles.
  • Unfortunately, the state has just $79 billion in assets to meet its $190 billion obligation, leaving a $111 billion hole for taxpayers to pick up.

So is raising taxes a solution? Fiscal conservatives understand the answer is “no” — the Illinois Policy Institute’s Ted Dabrowski recently laid out the ABC’s:

For many, tax hikes look like the only solution to Illinois’ fiscal woes. But tax hikes will only make things worse. Illinoisans are already burdened with some of the highest taxes in the nation, including the highest property taxes of any state.

As a result of Illinois’ dysfunction, the state is bleeding people and its tax base. Between July 2014 and July 2015, approximately 300,000 people left Illinois for good and only 200,000 moved in, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This resulted in a loss of 105,000 residents on net to other states – an all-time high for Illinois. Tax hikes will only chase more residents away.

So what is the solution? Fiscal conservatives understand that, too — again here’s Ted Dabrowski:

The only way to keep Illinoisans here is to bring fiscal sanity back to the state through major spending reforms that bring Illinois’ budget in line with what ordinary Illinoisans can afford.

Fiscal sanity? Spending reforms? Uh, yes, and maybe that’s a nicer way of saying it than the plain truth — which is that

 

Illinois needs to cut its spending by many billions of dollars if it is to ever make the budget math work.

 

Since Democrats have no wish to cut spending, and Republicans completely lack the ability to draw up a genuinely balanced budget and then sell it successfully to the people of Illinois, it’s a good bet we’ll just see more of the same. The budget can will be kicked down the road into the 2018 election year when tens of millions of dollars will be spent by each party trying to portray the other side as the villain.

The Illinois GOP has just launched yet another crusade to make Democrat House Speaker Mike Madigan as the chief villain. Here’s a better idea. Since Madigan knows how to win, Republicans should work on converting him into a Republican fiscal conservative. With Madigan’s political and communications skills, Illinois can then get back on the right track. Who knows, with Madigan’s abilities and Illinois’ potential, our state might soon be competing with states like Texas for businesses and experience the growth levels it once enjoyed.

Take ACTION: Click HERE to send an email to your state representative and to Governor Rauner to urge them to do the hard work of cutting the waste and bloat in Illinois government instead of constantly looking for new ways to tax the people.

 

The size of government is the problem!

 

 

 

Here are just a few recent headlines for your reading pleasure:

State Budget Deadlock Continues To Harm Social Service Organizations

Illinois’ Billions: Pension Debt and Unpaid Bills Total More than $140B

State of Illinois’ Pension Debt Jumps to $130 Billion

Social Services in Illinois Say Situation Still Bad With Temporary Budget

Source: Will County News

JOHN C. CALHOUN SMILES

NOVEMBER 27, 2016

JOHN C. CALHOUN SMILES:

On the same day last week that Donald Trump nominated noted immigration hawk Sen. Jeff Sessions for Attorney General, New York City declared that it would stick to its “sanctuary city” policy—setting up a battle that will likely occupy a lot of national attention during the next Administration. . . .

This is a political fight both sides will relish taking on. Trump got a big boost early in his campaign by shining a spotlight on the murder of Kate Steinle by an illegal immigrant in San Francisco. The murderer had previously been detained by the San Francisco police, but under SF’s sanctuary city policy—which is more militant than New York’s—the city refused to honor a request from the federal government to transfer him, and instead released him. This was a story to which Trump returned throughout his campaign.

Furthermore, as I wrote on Friday, the nomination of Sen. Sessions as AG likely signals that the Trump Administration will seek first and foremost to fulfill his campaign promise of a more hawkish line on immigration through the enforcement of existing laws against criminal illegal aliens. Unlike previous Attorneys General, Sessions will presumably not hesitate to use the full range of remedies, including financial and legal sanctions, available to the federal government to compel cooperation from reluctant municipalities. And it helps Trump’s populist brand to pick fights with New York City liberals who want to protect illegal immigrants in disregard of the law.

For their part, de Blasio and other leaders of deep-blue cities also have strong incentives not to back down. Again, this will partly be a matter of politics: fighting Trump plays as well with de Blasio’s constituents in NYC as fighting de Blasio does with Trump’s backers in the heartlands. But there are other considerations. Right now the NYC policy is not to call the feds about a suspect’s immigration status until the the person is convicted, while federal policy technically requires the local cops to call the feds as soon as they find out someone is here illegally. Cities with large illegal immigrant policies, like New York, feel that such a policy will deter its residents from cooperating with the police or calling emergency services.

Such a fight will galvanize public opinion on each side. The Jacksonians will see only flagrant disregard for law and order; for historical reasons, many in the south will also be angered by what they’ll perceive as deeply hypocritical flouting of federal authority. . . .

But the law will not be on de Blasio’s side. And it is a deep principle of American history that the state and local authorities not be allowed to override or nullify federal law. This is a point that liberals reaffirmed with particular vehemence on the immigration front as recently as a few years ago, when arguing (successfully) that Arizona’s immigration laws were preempted by federal policy.

As we’ve been writing around here, Donald Trump is the most purely Jacksonian character to win the White House since possibly Andrew Jackson himself. And now he may have a nullification crisis on his hands. I can’t imagine Bill de Blasio ever dreamed he would wind up as the heir to John C. Calhoun—but he just might.

Technically, states’ refusal to cooperate with a federal regulatory scheme isn’t the same as nullification, and it’s not even illegal unless it violates a condition on federal funding. But these niceties aren’t likely to get much attention.

Source: Will County News