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The sky’s the limit for skilled trades

The sky’s the limit for skilled trades


The demand for skilled laborers — electricians, plumbers, HVAC technicians and others — continues to soar, and that’s a good thing for America.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, skilled-trades jobs have increased by more than 1 million since 2012 — “the most of any profession.”

The pay is better than most people are aware. Skilled tradesmen enjoy average earnings of almost $22 an hour. Seasoned tradesmen can earn six-figure incomes.

With the glut of unemployed college graduates — many of whom must repay thousands of dollars in college loans — more young people are considering careers in the trades.

I think it’s great.

Our country was built by people who worked with their hands.

Ben Franklin was the youngest son and 15th child born to a working-class father. He only attended school for two years. As a teen, he became a printer’s apprentice, a messy blue-collar job.

His trade helped him master communication, business management, politics and human nature. He would go on to publish influential newspapers and books. He franchised his printing business in other cities and became wealthy enough at the young age of 42 to dedicate the rest of his life to his country and to inventing many innovations that we still use today (the potbelly Franklin stove comes to mind).

George Washington, a farmer, toiled in his gardens to cross-breed the perfect plant. He was forever trying new ways to cultivate and harvest his crops. His creativity and inventiveness are on display at his beloved Mount Vernon estate, which I visited many times when I lived in Alexandria, Va.

To be sure, many of the Founders of our country were farmers. They were humbled daily by the unforgiving realities of nature. Not one of them was afraid to get his hands dirty. Hands-on labor made them sensible and innovative. And their good sense and innovation are evident in the simplicity and practicality of the Constitution.

We need a resurgence of “blue-collar” common sense.

Blue-collar workers cannot “BS” their way through their work. An electrician mixes up the hot wire and ground wire only once. A carpenter is kept honest by his level — he measures twice, cuts once. A plumber’s skill is evident when the water valve is opened and the pipes don’t leak.

Blue-collar workers have no choice but to develop horse sense — to develop efficient ways to solve real problems.

There was a time in America when many white-collar jobs were also infused with horse sense. An employee started as a bank teller right out of high school. He’d work his way up, through performance and sound judgment, to the highest levels of the organization.

The journalism profession worked the same way. A young person would start in the mail room and, through grit and hard work, would gradually acquire the skills needed to gather and report the facts in an objective manner. Reporters who came up the ranks this way were grounded in reality.

So I hope more millennials forsake the white-collar world to become skilled laborers.

I hope we stop glamorizing careers on Wall Street and in the legal profession and many other paper-pushing businesses.

I hope more people use their hands to produce something of value every day — and use their practical, decision-making abilities to help resolve other challenges we face.

Hey, unemployed, college-indebted young people, are you paying attention?

We have a shortage of skilled tradesmen in our country. With the economy poised to expand, the sky will be the limit for skilled trades.

Don’t be ashamed to get your hands a little dirty.

Tom Purcell

Source: Will County News

Homer 33C Junior High 8th grader headed to Will County Spelling Bee

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:

Feb. 2, 2017


Homer Junior High 8th grader headed to Will County Spelling Bee

Spells “quarantine” correctly to win school Bee

It took nearly 2 hours and 23 rounds of words to determine the winner of Homer Junior High School’s Spelling Bee on Feb. 2.


The student, an eighth-grader who spelled the word “quarantine” correctly to win the school match, is now headed to the Will County Spelling Bee on March 7.


“Each year, it seems like the bee becomes more and more competitive,” said Assistant Principal Greg Zurales, who pronounced the words for each contestant. “I am just so impressed with how the students perform under such immense pressure.


“To make it to the finals of the school bee is quite a feat,” he continued. “To go 23 rounds with exceedingly challenging words each and every round is beyond remarkable. I am proud of all of our participants.”


The Bee started at 8 a.m. in the school library with 36 contestants who had advanced to the school level by winning their classroom Bees in reading class.


By 9:30 a.m., the competition was down to two final contestants. They went back and forth for 13 rounds.


The winner is no stranger to Spelling Bees. His sister won the Homer Junior High School Spelling Bee last year as well as the Will County Spelling Bee. She tied for 22nd place overall in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.


This year’s Will County Spelling Bee will be held March 7 at Lockport Township High School.


The Scripps National Spelling Bee will begin May 28.


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Source: Will County News

John Kerry poor performance as Secretary of State

The confession of the criminal John Kerry


Secretary of State John Kerry testifies during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on President Obama’s FY 2015 foreign affairs budget request, March 13, 2014 in Washington, D.C. UPI/Kevin Dietsch.

This was originally published on Voltairenet.org on January 17, 2017.

The war against Syria is the first to have been waged, for more than six years, in the digital era. A wealth of documents which should have remained secret for many years have already been published. Although they have been released in different countries, so that international public opinion is unaware of them, they already enable us to piece together the events concerned. The release of a recording of comments made in private by John Kerry last September reveals the policies of the Secretary of State and obliges all observers — including ourselves — to review our previous analyses.

The broadcast by The Last Refuge of the complete recording of the meeting between Secretary of State John Kerry and the members of the National Coalition (September 22, 2016, at the Dutch delegation to the United Nations) calls into question what we thought we knew about the U.S. position on Syria.

First of all, we believed that while Washington had launched the operation known as the Arab Spring in order to overthrow the secular Arab regimes for the benefit of the Muslim Brotherhood, it had left its allies to assume the second war against Syria on their own, as from July 2012. Since these states pursued their own objectives — recolonization for France and the United Kingdom, theft of gas reserves for Qatar, expansion of Wahhabism and revenge for the Lebanese civil war for Saudi Arabia, annexation of the North of the country for Turkey on the Cypriot model, etc. — the original objective had been abandoned. However, John Kerry states in this recording that Washington has never stopped seeking to overthrow the Syrian Arab Republic, which implies that it supervised the work of its allies at every stage. It follows that, over the last four years, the jihadists have been commanded, armed and coordinated by NATO Allied LandCom (ground forces command) based in Izmir (Turkey).

Second, John Kerry confirms here that Washington could go no further because of international Law and the position of Russia. Let’s be clear about this — the United States have never ceased exceeding their rights. They have destroyed most of Syria’s oil and gas infrastructures, on the pretense of fighting the jihadists (which is allowed under international law), but without having been invited by President el-Assad (which violates international law). However, they did not dare to deploy their troops on the ground and openly fight the Republic, as they did in Korea, Vietnam and Iraq. For that job, they chose to put their allies in the front line — leadership from behind — and to support mercenary forces without discretion, as they did in Nicaragua, at the risk of being sanctioned by the International Court of Justice (UN internal tribunal). Washington does not want to engage in a war against Russia, which, although it had not opposed the destruction of Yugoslavia and Libya, stood up and drew a new line which must not be crossed. Moscow has the capacity to defend the Law by force if Washington were to openly engage in a new war of conquest.

Middle East

Third, John Kerry confirms here that Washington hoped for the victory of Daesh over the Republic. Until now — on the basis of the report by General Michael Flynn on August 12, 2012, and the article by Robin Wright in The New York Times on September, 28 2013, — we had understood that the Pentagon intended to create a Sunnistan straddling Syria and Iraq, in order to cut the Silk Road. However, he admits that the plan went much further than that. Probably, Daesh was to take Damascus and then be chased out by Tel-Aviv (in other words, they would be pushed back to the Sunnistan which had been allotted to them). Syria would then be shared between Israel in the South, Daesh in the East, and Turkey in the North.

This point enables us to understand why Washington gave the impression of no longer being able to control events, of giving its allies free rein — indeed, it engaged France and the United Kingdom in the war by leading them to believe that they would be able to recolonize the Levant, while in fact, it had planned to divide Syria without them.


Fourth, by admitting that Washington supported Daesh, John Kerry recognizes that it armed them, which destroys the rhetoric of the war on terror.

  • Since the attack against the al-Askari mosque in Samarra, on February 22, 2006, we knew that Daesh (originally known as the Islamic Emirate of Iraq) had been created by the national director of U.S. Intelligence, John Negroponte, and Colonel James Steele — on the model they had used in Honduras — in order to put an end to the Iraqi Resistance and to spark a civil war.
  • We knew, since the publication by the PKK daily, Özgür Gündem, of the minutes of the planning meeting held in Amman on June 1, 2014, that the United States had organized the joint offensive of Daesh on Mosul and the Kurdistan Regional Government on Kirkuk.
  • We now know with certainty that Washington has never stopped supporting Daesh.

Fifth, we had interpreted the conflict between the Allen/Clinton/Feltman/Petraeus clan on one hand, and the Obama/Kerry administration on the other, as being concerned with the question of whether or not to support Daesh. This interpretation was wrong. Both sides had no qualms about organizing and supporting the most fanatical of jihadists. Their disagreement concerned only the recourse to open warfare — and the risk of potential conflict with Russia — or the choice of secret action. Only Flynn — Donald Trump’s current security advisor — is opposed to jihad.

If, in a few years, the United States should collapse as the U.S.S.R. did, this recording of John Kerry could be used against him, and against Barack Obama, before an international court — but not before the International Criminal Court, which today is discredited. Having recognized the extracts of this conversation which have been published by The New York Times, he would no longer be able to contest the authenticity of the whole dossier. The support that Kerry offers to Daesh violates several UN resolutions and constitutes proof of his responsibility and that of Obama in the crimes against humanity committed by the terrorist organisation.

— Thierry Meyssan

Thierry Meyssan is a French intellectual, founder and chairman of Voltaire Network and the Axis for Peace Conference. His columns specializing in international relations feature in daily newspapers and weekly magazines in Arabic, Spanish and Russian. His last two books published in English : 9/11 the Big Lie and Pentagate.

Source: Will County News

Homer 33C Junior High boys basketball team wins Regional Championship

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:

Feb. 3, 2017


HJH boys basketball team wins Regional Championship

Records 23rd straight win

Congratulations to the Homer Junior High School 8th grade boys basketball team for winning their 23rd game in a row to become IESA Regional Champs.


“These young men have worked hard and earned the right to play a sectional game for the privilege to qualify for the IESA State Tournament,” said Athletic Director Amanda Monahan.


The team, coached by Jacob Gage, will now play Mokena Junior High School on Feb. 8. The teams tied for first in the Des Plaines Conference.


The game will be held at Matteson Colin Powell Junior High School.

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Source: Will County News

Campus civil rights groups begin making case to Trump administration

Campus civil rights groups begin making case to Trump administration

By   /   January 26, 2017  /   News  /

 Two organizations dedicated to students’ rights have begun lobbying the Trump administration and lawmakers to correct what they see as years of over-reaching by the Obama administration.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education sent an open letter to President Donald Trump on Inauguration Day, offering advice on how the new administration could “help protect free speech, academic freedom and due process on college campu

FREE ADVICE: FIRE President Greg Lukianoff’s open letter to President Donald Trump calls for a “stern reminder” to college administrators about free speech.

FIRE President Greg Lukianoff included a description of the major culture problems facing today’s campuses, and provided a solution for each.

The first problem noted by Lukianoff was the lack of free speech on college campuses. To combat this problem, Lukianoff suggested issuing a “stern reminder” to administrators that they risk personal liability for violating the First Amendment by controlling what their students say.

“Not only are speech codes likely to fail if challenged in court, they may prove very costly for administrators who do not recognize their unconstitutionality,” Lukianoff wrote. “Public university administrators may be held personally liable for enforcing policies that violate clearly established constitutional rights.”

Included in the free speech issue is the broadening of the definition of sexual harassment. Now, a student can be punished for sexual harassment if someone overhears a private conversation that includes a cruel joke. Lukianoff wrote in his letter to Trump that such an “overly broad definition trivializes real harassment and forces students and faculty to self-censor rather than risk punishment.”

The solution to this, Lukianoff wrote, is to adopt the Supreme Court’s definition of discriminatory harassment, as presented in Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education. That definition states that harassment must be “so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive, that the victim-students are effectively denied equal access to an institution’s resources and opportunities.”

Eavesdropping on a conversation and then being offended by said conversation, as well as many other examples that currently fall under a campus definition of sexual harassment, would not meet the Supreme Court test.

Finally, Lukianoff addresses one of the most-pervasive attacks on civil rights in recent years: The Obama-era guidance that has eroded due process and the presumption of innocence, and all but forces universities to punish students accused of sexual assault, regardless of evidence.

For this problem, Lukianoff proposed multiple solutions: Designating roles for law enforcement and administrators, ensuring the Title IX guidance document that fostered the problem goes through the proper legal channels, and allowing students – both the accused and accusers – to have legal representation during the investigation and hearing. 

Dialing for due process

Stop Abusive and Violent Environments has launched a campaign calling for an end to campus “kangaroo courts.”

SAVE cites a recent example from the University of Kentucky in which a college repeatedly failed to provide due process rights to the accused, resulting in multiple hearings and mental harm to the accuser, to bolster the case for more protections for students.

The campaign will focus on lobbying lawmakers about the current state of campus hearings, and will include a media push.

The Trump administration has just begun, but it appears these groups believe they have a good chance to work with the new administration to help students.

Last week, Education Secretary-designate Betsy DeVos wouldn’t commit to upholding Obama-era guidance on sexual assault, giving rights groups that support accused students’ rights to due process some optimism that things could change.

Source: Will County News