↓ Archives ↓

Category → Uncategorized

Call The County and Ask for a vote by mail ballot

Steve Balich Note: Getting a ballot mailed to you allows you to vote in the comfort of your home. It also gives you the opportunity to do a google search on the Candidates. It is so important to vote!!!! Every vote counts. Electing people closest to your opinions gets you representatives who hopefully vote for more things you want.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Take advantage, request a Vote by Mail ballot for the March 20, 2018 General Primary Election

Will County Clerk, Nancy Schultz Voots, wants to make sure nothing stops Will County residents from voting in the Gubernatorial General Primary Election on March 20, 2018. From now until March 15, 2018 at 4:30 PM, registered voters can request a Vote by Mail ballot. All Aurora residents need to contact the Aurora Board of Elections to request a Vote by Mail ballot.

Requesting a Vote by Mail ballot is as easy as visiting www.thewillcountyclerk.com and clicking on the Vote by Mail icon located in the Quick Links section at the top of the homepage. The Vote by Mail page provides all the ways to request a ballot. Once requested, it is the voter’s responsibility to follow up if a ballot is not received. The Will County Clerk’s website provides a Vote by Mail ballot status lookup on the Vote by Mail page.

Due to the fact that the March 20, 2018 election is a Primary, one must declare a Party affiliation. Illinois law does not require a voter to be registered for a specific Party; a voter can switch Parties from one Primary to the next. A Nonpartisan ballot will contain referendum only; no candidates. Please review the list of Referenda at www.thewillcountyclerk.com to determine if a Nonpartisan ballot will be available.

‘Worse Than Watergate’: ‘Shocking’ House Intel Memo Allegedly Reveals FISA Abuse by Senior DOJ and FBI Officials

‘Worse Than Watergate’: ‘Shocking’ House Intel Memo Allegedly Reveals FISA Abuse by Senior DOJ and FBI Officials

24564
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
by KRISTINA WONG18 Jan 201823,537 from Breithbarth

Members of the House on Thursday said they viewed a “shocking” classified memo allegedly detailing abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) by senior Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigations officials in relation to the investigation of the Trump campaign and called for it to be declassified and available to the public immediately.
“It’s troubling. It is shocking,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) told Fox News. “Part of me wishes that I didn’t read it because I don’t want to believe that those kinds of things could be happening in this country that I call home and love so much.”

“The facts contained in this memo are jaw-dropping and demand full transparency. There is no higher priority than the release of this information to preserve our democracy,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), a member of the Judiciary Committee, which oversees the DOJ and the FBI.

Another Judiciary Committee member, Rep. Steve King (R-IA), called what he saw in the memo “sickening” and said it was “worse than Watergate.”

Steve King

@SteveKingIA
I have read the memo. The sickening reality has set in. I no longer hold out hope there is an innocent explanation for the information the public has seen. I have long said it is worse than Watergate. It was #neverTrump & #alwaysHillary. #releasethememo

9:32 PM – Jan 18, 2018 · Washington, DC
4,152 4,152 Replies 29,819 29,819 Retweets 41,091 41,091 likes
Twitter Ads info and privacy
Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), another Judiciary Committee member, called the memo “deeply troubling” and said it raises questions about the “Obama DOJ and Comey FBI.”

“The classified report compiled by House Intelligence is deeply troubling and raises serious questions about the upper echelon of the Obama DOJ and Comey FBI as it relates to the so-called collusion investigation,” he tweeted.

Ron DeSantis

@RepDeSantis
The classified report compiled by House Intelligence is deeply troubling and raises serious questions about the upper echelon of the Obama DOJ and Comey FBI as it relates to the so-called collusion investigation.

2:10 PM – Jan 18, 2018
1,794 1,794 Replies 12,590 12,590 Retweets 22,004 22,004 likes
Twitter Ads info and privacy
“You think about, ‘is this happening in America or is this the KGB?’ That’s how alarming it is,” Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) told Fox News.

“It is so alarming the American people have to see this,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, also said to network.

The viewing of the memo came after all Republican members of the House intelligence committee, whose investigators compiled the classified memo, voted Thursday to make it available to all House members. Every Democrat on the committee voted against it.

According to Gaetz, the memo’s contents could lead to the firing — and perhaps even jailing — of senior DOJ and FBI officials.

“I think that this will not end just with firings. I believe there are people who will go to jail,” he said on Fox News’ Hannity.

He said what he saw in the memo also explains why Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Judiciary Subcommittee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) recently referred the Fusion GPS dossier author Christopher Steele for a criminal investigation.

“I think there will be criminal implications here,” Gaetz added.

The memo also reportedly contains information about the dossier put together by Fusion GPS that alleged Trump and members of his team colluded with Russians in the 2016 election, according to a report by investigative journalist Sara Carter.

It was revealed in October that the dossier was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. Despite being a political document, the dossier was reportedly part of the evidence FBI officials used to apply for and obtain a warrant through a secret FISA court to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Page told Breitbart News in a statement: “After over a year of inciting discord and threats of violence across America, it’s encouraging that the individuals in Washington responsible for these efforts to undermine our great democracy may be held accountable soon.”

Breitbart News reported on March 3, 2017, that the Obama administration took steps to undermine Trump’s presidential campaign using “police state” tactics, including spying on the Trump campaign. That report is widely believed to have led to President Trump’s tweet that later accused the Obama administration of wiretapping Trump Tower.

Members of the public and Congress are now calling for the document to be declassified and released to the public.

Lee Zeldin

@RepLeeZeldin
Immediately #ReleaseTheMemo #FISAMemo & ALL relevant material sourced in it. Every American needs to know the truth! We wouldn’t be revealing any sources & methods that we shouldn’t; only feds’ reliance on bad sources & methods.

7:28 PM – Jan 18, 2018
224 224 Replies 3,358 3,358 Retweets 4,477 4,477 likes
Twitter Ads info and privacy
DeSantis said the House intelligence committee, pursuant to House rules, should vote to make the report publicly available as soon as possible.

“While the report is classified as Top Secret, I believe the select committee should, pursuant to House rules, vote to make the report publicly available as soon as possible. This is a matter of national significance and the American people deserve the truth,” he said.

“Rule X of the House Rules allows the select committee to publicly disclose any information in its possession after a determination by the select committee that the public interest would be served by such disclosure.”

According to House Rules, if the House intelligence committee votes to make the report public, President Trump would have five days to issue an objection. If he objected, it would take a vote on the House floor.

When Does the #MeToo Reckoning Come to Springfield?

For Immediate Release

When Does the #MeToo Reckoning Come to Springfield?
“We either have a system that checks the abuses of those in power or we have a system where those in power abuse.”

WATCH VIDEO OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE HERE

Read the Springfield #MeToo Letter Here

January 15, 2018 – When Does the #MeToo Reckoning Come to Springfield?

Today, State Representative Jeanne Ives, a conservative reform Republican for Governor, and whistleblower Denise Rotheimer held a joint press conference during which Ives called on both parties to end their bipartisan protection racket and take the complaints of sexual harassment seriously. She demanded that:

(1) The Legislative Ethics Committee should invite Denise Rotheimer to testify to her claims against State Sen. Ira Silverstein at their next hearing.

(2) The 27 other complaints that were ignored for as long as three years should be immediately released to the public with the names of the accusers redacted.

We have elections in March and November. It is because of the failures of legislative leaders, the ethics committee and the governor that we’re at this point. They failed to do their job and ensure that a Legislative Inspector General was in place and that complaints were handled in a timely manner. The voters shouldn’t have to pay the price. Given the political gamesmanship, it is appropriate to give these complaints the opportunities to be adjudicated in the court of public opinion in addition to, where appropriate, public hearings and/or courts of law.

Let me be clear, I don’t know the names or party affiliations of the other legislators against whom claims have been filed. And I don’t care who they are.
We either have a system that checks the abuses of those in power or we have a system where those in power abuse.

Rotheimer’s testimony illustrated the bipartisan nature of the sexual harassment crisis in Springfield. She noted that she turned to Senate President John Cullerton and House Minority Leader Jim Durkin. Neither came to her aide. Both brushed off her complaints with lip-service, instead of action.

Rotheimer added that she is supporting Jeanne Ives in the Governor’s Race because of her independence as a State Representative saying, “Jeanne Ives is the type of leader we need in the Governor’s Office. Jeanne Ives will be in charge. She has already taken charge by using her leadership position to confront the culture of corruption in Springfield and to challenge the policies that enable it to exist.”

###

For more information or to book Jeanne Ives, contact Kathleen Murphy 630-329-4680 or kathleenemurphy26@gmail.com
Ives Statement

In Illinois, we have predatory government policies where government is aligned against the interests of its constituents.

Predatory policies that have been pushed by both parties.

We see this with everything from confiscatory property taxes to red light cameras.

But that predation pales in comparison to allegations of elected officials, in both parties, using the power of their offices to prey on subordinates or ordinary citizens petitioning the government for redress like Denise Rotheimer who joins me here today.

When the horror stories about barbaric behavior mainly by men toward women in Hollywood, big media, and politics began to break at the end of last year, it was only a matter of time before the culture in Springfield came under scrutiny.

When we learned of the effectively off-book congressional slush fund—unknown to most of members of Congress—set up to protect members of Congress by making accusers jump through myriad hoops to file a claim and then quietly pay them off if and when they followed through, I, and others, wondered if Illinois politicians might be doing something similar.

And then Denise Rotheimer came forward and told her story.

And then 300 women signed an open #MeToo letter about the culture of sexual harassment in Springfield.

Names were not named but specific examples of unethical behavior, at minimum, were provided.

“Misogyny is alive and well in this industry,” read the letter in reference to Illinois politics.

And it’s alive and well because of what clearly has been the neglect by leadership of both political parties in Springfield and aided obliviousness of Governor Rauner.

How else to explain the fact that the Legislative Inspector General post had sat vacant for three years until two months ago?

How else to explain the 27 complaints against members of the General Assembly that haven’t been investigated?

How else to explain, as Denise mentioned, a Legislative Ethics Committee, 4 Republicans and 4 Democrats, that won’t invite the one woman who has so far been willing to coming forward publicly to testify before their committee so that the committee may make a recommendation on her complaint?

Instead of taking the complaints that have been filed with the seriousness they deserve, the powers that be in Springfield hastily threw together legislation during Veto Session to mandate sexual harassment training to cover themselves.

This way they could go get the press off their backs and go back to their districts with a bullet point for their legislative updates.

It’s another bipartisan scam that furthers Illinois’ corrupt political culture.

Ask yourself this question, given that letter signed by 300 women and the details in it, why do you think it is, only one women has come forward since it was released?

I’ll tell you why. They see the way Denise has been treated and they say, why bother. The politicians will just cover for each other. I have no chance in a system rigged against me.

So today, I’m calling for both parties to end their bipartisan protection racket and come clean:

(1) The Legislative Ethics Committee should invite Denise Rotheimer to testify to her claims against State Sen. Ira Silverstein at their next hearing.

(2) The 27 other complaints that were ignored for as long as three years should be immediately released to the public with the names of the accusers redacted.

We have elections in March and November. It is because of the failures of legislative leaders, the ethics committee and the governor that we’re at this point. They failed to do their job and ensure that a Legislative Inspector General was in place and that complaints were handled in a timely manner. The voters shouldn’t have to pay the price. Given the political gamesmanship, it is appropriate to give these complaints the opportunities to be adjudicated in the court of public opinion in addition to, where appropriate, public hearings and/or courts of law.

Let me be clear, I don’t know the names or party affiliations of the other legislators against whom claims have been filed. And I don’t care who they are.

We either have a system that checks the abuses of those in power or we have a system where those in power abuse.

Candidates Endorsed by Joe Walsh

The March 2018 primary election is officially underway and this means it’s time once again to ensure we help elect freedom-loving, limited government conservatives. Illinois has seen a record number of people leaving for greener pastures, lower taxes, and less corruption. However, there are still many Illinoisans who want to help fix this state.

We will not fix the mess we’re in, solve our fiscal problems, and change the disastrous direction our state is going in if we do not elect good people to serve. And we cannot elect good people to serve without the grassroots activism and action. Walsh Freedom volunteers have helped elect countless freedom-loving, limited government conservatives. And once again, we’re calling on our amazing volunteers to help get the following candidates elected.

CANDIDATES ENDORSED BY JOE WALSH

Doug Bennett, 10th Congressional District
James Marter, 16th Congressional District
Joe Tirio, McHenry County Clerk
Demetri Tsilimigras, McHenry County Judge
Chuck Wheeler, McHenry County Board District 4
Orville Brettman, McHenry County Board District 6
Ersel Schuster, McHenry County Board District 6
Diane Evertsen, Chairman of McHenry County Republicans
David Brooks, Rich Township Committeeman
Steve Balich, Will County Board District 7
James Mendrick, DuPage County Sheriff
Kevin Wiley, DuPage County Board District 6
Kevin Tindall, Kane County Sheriff
Stanton Bond, Kane County Clerk
Judy Martini, Lake County Board District 5
Jeri Atleson, Lake County Board District 10
Michael Danforth, Lake County Board District 17
Daniel Fitzgerald, Cook County Judge
Gary Seyring, Cook County Judge
Burt Minor, Illinois State Rep. District 42
Dr. Jay Kinzler, Illinois State Rep. District 46
Tonia Khouri, Illinois State Rep. District 49
David McSweeney, Illinois State Rep. District 52
Thomas Morrison, Illinois State Rep. District 54
Ken Idstein, Illinois State Rep, District 62
Tom Weber, Illinois State Rep. District 64
Dan Ugaste, Illinois State Rep. District 65
Allen Skillicorn, Illinois State Rep. District 66
Mickey Straub, Illinois State Rep. District 82
Darrin Bailey, Illinois State Rep. District 109
Paul Jacobs, Illinois State Rep. District 115
Dan McConchie, Illinois State Senate District 26
Col Craig Wilcox, Illinois State Senate District 32
George Barber, Illinois State Senate District 54

We will be knocking on doors, making phone calls, putting signs together, and putting mailings together in support of these endorsed candidates. We will not change the direction of our state if we do not elect freedom-loving, limited government conservatives. We need your help. To get involved with Walsh Freedom and to help get these candidates elected, please contact Barb Babbey at 847-804-2112 or Barb@WalshFreedom.com.

The cure for toxic masculinity is real masculinity

The cure for toxic masculinity is real masculinity

This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.

Since the #MeToo phenomenon hit, I have started asking my female friends directly about their everyday experiences with men. For example, what proportion of men that they “meet” on a dating app send utterly inappropriate communications, and how often in everyday life does a guy disrespect them in a way that’s overtly or implicitly sexual?

While I am sure that my circle of male friends isn’t fully representative of the population of men at large, I was shocked to discover from my unscientific survey how many men have no clue about how to behave. Based on the combined responses of several women I trust, the number of men who say or do something offensive to a woman they don’t know on a dating app, almost right out of the gate, may be just shy of a majority.

And many a young woman can, if you ask her, relate tales of men making inappropriate remarks, shouting out of a car window as she walks down the street, whipping out his genitalia after one too many drinks, or being opportunistically crude at a coffee shop, even as she sits there with a very young child. (These were all stories I was told.) For some young women, these things seem to happen on a more or less monthly basis.

My recent conversations with female friends about the matter has led me to this question: what the hell is wrong with these men, and why are there so many of them?

What has happened to men?

To me, this is not a question about sexual harassment. It’s a more fundamental one: an old-fashioned idea called manners. My female friends’ experiences with men have surprised me because they have to put up with a lot more, and a lot more often, than I could have expected based on the evidence available to me as a result of my interactions with other men.

Even though I have robust views about not calling gittish and crass people “predators” or those on the receiving end of rude behaviors “victims”, it must be horrible to have to put up with so much boorishness. I don’t think I’d have the patience for it.

How have we let this happen?

If you’re male and reading this with the same limited appreciation of the matter as I had before I started asking my female friends to list examples of ill-mannered, sexually-loaded behavior, you may be skeptical. I urge you, however, to do the same thing as I have done and ask a cross-section of your female friends to give you examples of their personal anecdotes of such behavior from the last few months. They may well provide more than you expect.

Thinking on all of this, and being appalled by bad manners anywhere for any reason, I have started considering what I, as a man, should be saying to other men, if anything, about this problem. My long-held opinion (stated elsewhere) that Western culture is suffering a crisis in masculinity may well find sympathy among many of those who have been fervent in driving the #MeToo phenomenon, but I suspect my prescription for solving this crisis may be more controversial: I believe we need more masculinity, not less, and we need it because what the Louis C.K.s and the Weinsteins of this world have been doing is not an expression of masculinity in its true sense at all.

I’d like to see us turning to these men and asking them in a very disappointed tone, as opposed to a dramatic and scandalized one, “How pathetic are you — and why?” Because that question in that tone conveys the important message that their behavior doesn’t make them more manly; it makes them less so.

Toxic masculinity is the problem, not simply masculinity

Scientifically trained, I generally take care to get out of my own subjective way in my political articles, but this time, I’ll make an exception and happily admit that what follows is a subjective, almost intuitive suggestion offered in the hope of inviting constructive discussion.

The true masculine, or the “sacred masculine” if you prefer, is kind, honest, controlled, disciplined, heroic, protective, strong, rational, and even clever. Throwing out the baby of masculinity with the bathwater of disrespect is absolutely the last thing we need to be doing. Telling men that masculinity is inherently flawed or dangerous is to tell a lie born of misdiagnosis. The moral vacuum in which Weinstein and Franken and others of their ilk operate can only be filled by a celebratory masculinity that is held up as something to aspire to.

If there is such a thing as a spiritual law, none is more certain than, “What is focused on is made bigger,” so let us define that highest version of masculinity as an invitation to men – a north star, if you will, to guide them as they interact with others. That would enable those aspects of men that are gendered, sexual, and desirous to be integrated into the highest versions of who they are, rather than denied or pathologized only to be expressed in distorted ways that can, indeed, reasonably be called “toxic.”

Treating toxic masculinity with real masculinity and pointing to the difference between the two has the benefit of engaging the irrepressible male ego on the side of good — of aligning maleness with manners rather than against them.

Perhaps most importantly, a culturally normalized notion of proud and positive masculinity would allow mothers once again to be able to say to their sons, “This is how you treat a woman, and, in so doing, this is how to be a man.” Boys want to be men, so we can surely only improve them by appealing to that desire rather than suppressing it and thereby creating a vacuum to be filled by a distorted and hollow replacement.

Attention: Men. Don’t be stupid.

Shocking as they are, it’s not all the male bad manners that astonished me most about the stories I’ve recently heard. It’s male stupidity. After all, if I were a man who wants any kind of sexual satisfaction or affirmation from a woman, and the most sophisticated play I had was to shout out of a car window, rub up against her on a train, or ask her if I can masturbate in front of her, then you’d hope that I’d eventually work out that my method isn’t all that effective.

How deficient, one may ask, does a person have to be to be unable to assess the results of his actions against his goals, especially as the results (or lack thereof) repeat themselves over and over? Indeed, a need for sexual affirmation or activity that is so great that they would cause me to leave my manners at the front door should, even if I were a sociopath, motivate me to start collecting the data. (Rationality is supposed to be a “masculine trait” too, isn’t it?) How long, then, before the thought hits that being rude to every second woman that I find faintly attractive isn’t getting me what I want from them?

In reaction to that level of stupidity alone, I can’t help but feel that men should be asking other men, “What is this nonsense?”

That would be an approach to making better men that makes more of true masculinity, not less of it. It’s an approach that says to those who are toxic in their approaches to women, “That’s the opposite of masculinity. That’s what you do when you’re not a man. That’s what you do when you haven’t got the basics.”

Holding the feminine and the truly masculine sacred

I love the polarity that exists between the masculine and feminine. Long before #MeToo, I was writing that no one benefits when men can’t be men because masculinity itself has almost become taboo. Men who can’t be, and feel like, real men cannot give women the pleasure of feeling like real women.

I stand by all of that, but when I first wrote it, I was missing something: there are a bunch of men out there on dating apps and shouting out of car windows who actually are making women feel very much like women – but not the kind of women they want to feel like being. You could say, rather, that toxic male approaches are causing women to have a toxic experience of their own femininity. How dare we do that to something so exquisite and delicious?

So, my message to men who are disrespecting women is that you are making it harder for the rest of us. By giving women good reason to be wary of any kind of male approach, you’re making all the women out there skeptical of me and the decent examples of my gender. And I’m not OK with that.

But I also have a message for mothers. Mom, it’s okay to make your son a man. It’s okay to use that word. Only once you’ve used that word can you turn around and say, “This behavior isn’t masculine; it’s pathetic. And by the way, son, if you actually want to get with an attractive woman, here’s how not to do it. Don’t disrespect her; don’t throw crude one-liners out of a car window, and don’t send a picture of your genitals to her on a dating app. If you want to get the attractive women, the smart women, the kind of women you’re going to enjoy — and you should — then why don’t you learn a little bit about them? Indeed, why don’t you learn a little bit about the difference between them and you?”

And that last piece is so important because I have a sense (and I could be wrong) that many people who have been pushing the #MeToo phenomenon hard are of the more third-wave-feminist persuasion, wanting to collapse that distinction between men and women. (It’s all socialization, they say.) But I’m suggesting the exact opposite approach to solving the problem out of which #MeToo has arisen.

Why not tell our boys what’s great and beautiful about masculinity so that once we’ve built them up in what they are, they have no need to feel threatened or intimidated by learning about the feminine other — that other that will drive them through life in more ways than they will ever consciously realize? Let’s spend more time promoting models of positive masculinity than on telling guys, young and old, that, and why, we’re all awful. (We’re not.) Let’s talk up the good alpha-males: those who are comfortable in their masculinity — assertive while respectful, confident while polite, ambitious while kind. They exist in all areas of life. The next time you’re about to talk about Al Franken’s shenanigans, how about talking instead about one of those real men, who gets what he wants through respect? And draw the contrast between them explicitly.

Spoiler alert: Sex is amazing. So seek it properly.

Then, as we start celebrating healthy, robust masculinity, let’s not slip back into thinking that the problem we are trying to solve has anything much to do with sex. As Oscar Wilde famously said, “Everything in the world is about sex, except sex. Sex is about power.”

That applies here and now – albeit not in quite the way Wilde meant it.

The unacceptable sexual behaviors of men who exhibit toxic masculinity are rooted in something to do with power – but not primarily in the conscious exertion of sexual power over another. Rather, their disrespectful treatment of women for a sexual prize (which they invariably fail to win) is reflective of a lack of inner power as men which leaves them resorting to aggressive behavior and exploiting the immediate superficial and circumstantial power that exists by virtue of a professional relationship or particular social or economic context.

Men shouldn’t behave disrespectfully toward women not because there’s anything wrong with their sexuality, their desire, or their masculinity. No; they shouldn’t do it because no one should disrespect anyone, ever. Period. End of story.

We have to take care, then, that we don’t misdiagnose the disease just because it is more easily seen in certain situations than in others: disrespect from men is disproportionately observed in the sexual domain because the male sexual imperative is never really turned off, and it necessarily manifests in ways that are directly seen and experienced by women (assuming the men are straight).

Women, please help us good men police our own by talking up positive masculinity – the masculinity that you want more of. Celebrate the polarity between your femininity and the masculinity of the men you like. Tell us that it’s ok to be sexually assertive and thoroughly masculine – but only in the right context. And explain to us that that context always involves the prior establishment of mutual respect, a sense of safety, and trust. We are basic creatures. You, ladies, are gatekeepers. So let us know that respect and social competence will open that gate much more easily than will crude attempts to bash it down.

In short, don’t ask us not to be men. Ask us to be real men.

— Robin Koerner

Robin Koerner is British-born and recently became a citizen of the USA. A decade ago, he founded WatchingAmerica.com, an organization of over 200 volunteers that translates and posts views about the USA from all over the world, works as a trainer and a consultant, and recently wrote the book If You Can Keep It.

Source: Will County News

Illinois lawmakers look to see if they can regulate Bitcoin

Illinois lawmakers look to see if they can regulate Bitcoin

FILE - Bitcoin, cryptocurrency
Shutterstock photo

Illinois lawmakers aren’t letting the latest fad in investing go unnoticed. The Illinois House is ready with a new task force to look at how to regulate Bitcoin, or if they even can.

State Rep. Jaime Andrade, D-Chicago, said Bitcoin as a cryptocurrency is designed to be decentralized and free from the regulations of traditional cash. So there is a question as to what Illinois can do to regulate Bitcoin.

Andrade says, instead, he expects a focus on blockchain, which is the peer-to-peer sharing technology behind Bitcoin.

“I think the regulations are going to focus more on making blockchain technology more acceptable,” Andrade said. “Having the ability for people to use blockchain technology in everyday life. As in contracts, or real estate transfers, titles, and deeds.”

Andrade said he doesn’t want to see Illinois go too far with limiting Bitcoin or the blockchain technology.

“We are not here to over-regulate. Absolutely not,” Andrade said. “I don’t want people to feel uncomfortable in investing in Bitcoin.”

Andrade is expecting a report on what the state can do to regulate both Bitcoin and the blockchain in a few weeks. He said it may be months before there’s an actual plan for new regulations.

Source: Will County News

Med marijuana growers optimistic they will be unaffected following federal policy change

Med marijuana growers optimistic they will be unaffected following federal policy change

FILE - Chris Stone, CEO of HCI Alternatives
Chris Stone, CEO of Springfield and Collinsville medical cannabis dispensary HCI Alternatives

Photo courtesy of HCI

Two medical marijuana growers in Illinois were not immediately concerned about the U.S. Department of Justice’s new stance on enforcement of federal marijuana laws. However, one wondered to what extent the federal government will go in enforcing such laws and whether a federal prosecutor could close his business.

A news release Thursday from the DOJ said, “Congress has generally prohibited the cultivation, distribution, and possession of marijuana.”

The move returns power to “federal prosecutors who know where and how to deploy Justice Department resources most effectively to reduce violent crime, stem the tide of the drug crisis, and dismantle criminal gangs.”

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the announcement “simply directs all U.S. Attorneys to use previously established prosecutorial principles that provide them all the necessary tools to disrupt criminal organizations, tackle the growing drug crisis, and thwart violent crime across our country.”

That news release has raised concerns with Illinois state lawmakers and legal medical cannabis operations alike.

Illinois medical cannabis dispensary Maribis has operations in the Springfield area in the DOJ’s Central District of Illinois and also in the Chicago area in the Northern District of Illinois.

Maribis General Manager Dan Linn said said the DOJ’s new stance is causing him concern.

“The reality is that if there was a U.S. attorney in the Central Illinois district who wanted to kind of gain some national headlines, they could very well come in and arrest us,” Linn said.

He doesn’t anticipate that will happen, necessarily, but Sessions has seemingly created that potential.

HCI Alternatives has dispensaries in Springfield and in the DOJ’s Southern District of Illinois in Carbondale.

HCI CEO Chris Stone wasn’t too concerned about federal involvement.

“For good operators like us who are fully compliant with the law, and are actually over compliant with the state law, I don’t worry about this because, you know what, we do a great job,” Stone said. “And I would hope that most if not all the other dispensaries and cultivation groups in the state do a great job. So I don’t think those are the guys that are going to be affected by this.”

Both Linn and Stone said a federal amendment making medical pot off limits to federal enforcement also provides them assurances.

 

Linn said Maribis is telling their patients to get more involved in the political process “so that we can actually see a potential change on the federal level and the law and the scheduling of cannabis which would allow many benefits for our patients and our business.”

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, said Congress should take the issue up to respect state’s rights.

“Those citizens chose that path and to me the federal government ought to respect that in this case as I’ve asked the federal government to respect it in many other instances,” Davis said.

He notes that states with medical marijuana laws see a statistical decrease in the number of opioid addictions because people find relief through cannabis, rather than synthetic opioids, prescription pills or street heroin.

Trump administration Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the move highlights the DOJ’s priority to enforce federal law.

Source: Will County News

President Trump is Right – We Need Welfare Reform

President Trump is Right – We Need Welfare Reform

Originally published at Fox News. by Newt Gingrich

President Trump is Right – We Need Welfare Reform

The Trump economy is strong. The stock market is at record highs and the unemployment rate is at a 17-year low. This is thanks largely to the Trump Administration’s aggressive regulatory reforms and the passage of historic tax cuts. Business after business is celebrating the passage of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by announcing new investments, bonuses, and pay raises.

But despite soaring business confidence and a strong economy, businesses are scrambling to find workers to fill 6 million open jobs. And now, their primary challenge is to get people who have been sitting on the sidelines back to work.

President Trump knows our broken welfare system is a major barrier to achieving this goal, and he has vowed to tackle welfare reform next. And it’s a good thing, because welfare definitely is, as the President put it, “out of control.”

In 2000, over 17 million Americans received food stamps, officially known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. That number has swelled to more than 42 million today. As a result of Obama Administration’s policies, the number of Americans on food stamps is now greater than the population of Canada.

Nationwide spending on the program is roughly $70 billion annually — 20 percent of which is wasted on junk food, candy, soda, and other sugary drinks. Consider California, which spent more than $1 billion on food stamp benefits in August and September alone.

During the Obama years, liberals argued that the program was expanding rapidly due to the recession. But that was only half the story, as the Obama Administration also expanded program eligibility through aggressive administrative actions.

And now, despite the booming economy and employers who are desperate for more workers, enrollment in food stamps remains high — and is not expected to return to pre-recession levels any time soon, if ever.

The good news is that President Trump has a chance to take on food stamps in the upcoming Farm Bill, which funds the program and is reauthorized every five years. The bad news is that unfortunately, the food stamp program is not the only runaway welfare program.

Medicaid enrollment has soared to nearly 75 million, with almost one out of every five Americans on the program. Medicaid spending is now 30 percent of state budgets, and the number of working age, able-bodied adults on the program has more than quadrupled since 2000. Even worse, 52 percent of non-disabled adult enrollees do not work at all. Let me repeat, these are able-bodied Americans who have decided not to work.

Similarly, Social Security Disability for working-age adults nearly doubled from 1996 to 2015, increasing from 7.7 million to 13 million and pulling more working-age adults out of the workforce. Are we to believe, with all of our workplace safety and health care advancements in the past 20 years, that Americans are now nearly twice as likely to become disabled as they were two decades ago? Or are there simply now more people collecting disability who are actually fully capable of working?

This is why President Trump’s plan to tackle welfare reform is so important. With no major federal welfare reform in over 20 years, these programs have continued to consume more public funds and encourage more Americans to seek dependency, rather than a productive work life.

When we worked with President Clinton to pass welfare reform in 1996, it helped drive the boom of the late 1990s. The welfare rolls shrunk by 60 percent nationwide and low-income families formerly on welfare went to work and saw their incomes increase by 25 percent. As a result, child poverty rates fell every year through 2000. In fact, it was the largest improvement in children leaving poverty in American history.

To do this again, we must get people back to work. One of the reasons that Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash welfare dependency hasn’t grown out of control, while enrollment in other welfare programs has dramatically increased, is that TANF has a work requirement and a time limit. Conversely, the food stamp program has a work requirement for only a narrow segment of adults and has been largely waived, and Medicaid has none at all, although states are now askingthat it be added. The Trump Administration’s budget wisely proposes applying work requirements more broadly in the welfare system.

It’s smart because work requirements help lift people out of poverty. Maine and Kansas have shown that work requirements in TANF and food stamps helped people more than double their earnings.

The President should take an all-of-the-above approach to welfare reform. He should pull back on some of the Obama Administration’s overreaches, approve waiver requests, advocate for Congress to reform food stamps in the upcoming Farm Bill, and work with Congress on additional legislation.

Now is not the time for structural entitlement reform of Social Security or Medicare, but there is no better time economically and politically to tackle welfare reform and enable millions of Americans to experience the power of work. There is no more powerful economic force than an American experiencing the dignity of work and pride in a paycheck, earning the admiration of their children and the respect of their community. Let’s unleash it.

Your Friend,
Newt

Source: Will County News

Jeff Sessions hates freedom

Steve Balich Editor Note: The 10th Amendment says if it is not an authority given in the Constitution, it is the responsibility of the States. Our Constitution is the ultimate authority for the rule of law in the U.S. Therefore the Federal Government should stay out of making law they have no authority to do.

Jeff Sessions hates freedom

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday moved to eliminate the provision that allows states to regulate the legal sale of marijuana and opened the door for a massive ramp up of attacks on legal pot businesses by federal drug enforcers.

Whatever you thought about President Barack Obama, his administration’s decision to get the federal government out of the business of attack states where voters opted for marijuana legalization was a win for states’ rights.

Sessions evidently is not such a fan of states’ abilities to determine what’s right for their residents.

As The Associated Press reported:

The Trump administration threw the burgeoning movement to legalize marijuana into uncertainty Thursday as it lifted an Obama-era policy that kept federal authorities from cracking down on the pot trade in states where the drug is legal. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will now leave it up to federal prosecutors to decide what to do when state rules collide with federal drug law.

Sessions’ action, just three days after a legalization law went into effect in California, threatened the future of the young industry, created confusion in states where the drug is legal and outraged both marijuana advocates and some members of Congress, including Sessions’ fellow Republicans. Many conservatives are wary of what they see as federal intrusion in areas they believe must be left to the states.

Republican Sen. Cory Gardner, who represents Colorado, one of eight states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use, said the change contradicts a pledge Sessions made to him before being confirmed as attorney general. Gardner promised to push legislation to protect marijuana sales, saying he was prepared “to take all steps necessary” to fight the change, including holding up the confirmation of Justice Department nominees. Another Republican senator, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, called the announcement “disruptive” and “regrettable.”

The policy in question was instated via what’s known as the Cole Memo.

The Cole Memo and FinCEN guidelines adopted under the Obama administration were heralded as an end to aggressive federal marijuana enforcement efforts that would allow state legalization experiments to run their course.

In a letter to Sessions last year, several pot state governors explained why the AG should leave Cole alone.

They wrote:

The Cole Memo and the related Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) guidance provide the foundation for state regulatory systems and are vital to maintaining control over marijuana in our states. Overhauling the Cole Memo is sure to produce unintended and harmful consequences. Changes that hurt the regulated market would divert existing marijuana product into the black market and increase dangerous activity in both our states and our neighboring states. Likewise, without the FinCEN guidance, financial institutions will be less willing to provide services to marijuana-related businesses. This would force industry participants to be even more cash reliant, posing safety risks both to the public and to state regulators conducting enforcement activity.

So, people in certain states decided that prohibition of marijuana doesn’t work and organized to change their laws. Decriminalization is working.

Sessions doesn’t care. His only concern with this issue, it seems, is whether the federal government is able to exert the full force of its power making bureaucrats and private prisons rich with the disastrous War on Drugs.

Source: Will County News

Our lives are regulated by unseen authority

Millions live and die and never know that their lives are regulated by unseen authority. Every detail of our lives is prescribed. Doctors, lawyers, Indians or chiefs, we are regimented into the system.

What is the system? It is the totality of laws, regulations, social pressures and morality which regulate our lives, including our very thoughts.

Some call the system democracy. Some call the system Americanism. Most believe that we are free and that our freedom evolved from the Constitution.

Our lives are an expression of the confluence (the blending of influences) of the establishment. We do not feel or see the regimentation and the bridled force that programs our lives to produce for the system which George Orwell called “Big Brother.” We unconsciously give our minds and bodies to the system.

We literally give our labor for numbers on pieces of paper that some influence told us was money. Through force and regulation these numbers imply confidence that we can exchange for bread. The illusion is compounded when we are forced to return some of the numbers to government as “taxes.” Yes, we live and die with abstract numbers which the system has taught us is money. But the system has not taught us or revealed to us that the system created these numbers. They cost the system nothing.

These numbers that we sell our bodies and souls for is the heartbeat of the system. No one dare inquire into the source of these numbers. The fraud and deceit is too big to discuss, too powerful to challenge, and too incredible to imagine. The system has omitted any challenge to itself.

What is the force that cements the system? It is police power.

Government is police power. Government by definition, by nature, by history and by practical existence is police power. Government would not and could not exist without police power. When governments lose their police power, they collapse.

Every act of government and its politicians is motivated by its police power. Government police power is awesome, and it is a hush-hush subject.

Let’s go to Black’s Law Dictionary. “Police power is the power of the state to place restraints on the personal freedom and property rights of persons for the protection of the public safety, health and morals or the promotion of the public convenience and general prosperity. The police power is subject to limitations of the federal and state constitutions, and especially to the requirements of due process. Police power is the exercise of the sovereign right of a government to promote order, safety, security, health, morals and general welfare within constitutional limits and is an essential attribute of government.” Marshall v. Kansas City, MO. 355 SW 2nd 877,883.

Public Policy: What is public policy? The term “public policy” is a very innocent and disarming term which in reality is the very opposite of the public impression. Public policy is the system in writing and practice.

Public policy is actually the police power in action. It is the manifestation of police power — the implementation of government force. Back to Black’s Law Dictionary on public policy; “That principle of the law which holds that no subject (that’s you) can lawfully do that which has a tendency to be injurious to the public or against the public good. The principles under which the freedom of contract or private dealings is restricted by law for the good of the community. The term ‘policy,’ as applied to a statute, regulation, rule of law, course of action, or the like, refers to its probable effect, tendency, or object considered with reference to the social or political well-being of the state…”

There you have it — a police state. Do not be deceived by mention in Black’s Law Dictionary definition “to limitations of the federal and state constitutions…” Police power is not limited and does not come about by due process but by usurpation and wrongful seizure of your mind, your body and your wealth through deception.

If you read this Black’s Law Dictionary definition closely, you will see that the interest of the state in all matters prevails over you, the individual.

When politicians and bureaucrats talk about democracy and public policy, they speak with a forked tongue. They want you to believe that these terms refer to personal liberty. They do not, and the politician knows that they do not. They know that they refer to the police power and enforcement of state authority over the individual. They are code words for government force.

“Government is not reason; it’s not eloquence; it is force. Like fire, it’s a dangerous servant and a fearful master…” George Washington.

Police power is physical force. If you fail to file and pay your income tax, you will be introduced to the police power of the government. (I use the terms “pay” and “income tax” in the vernacular, not in the monetary realism sense as we have discussed in the past.)

But police power limited to physical force and intimidation can be overthrown even by citizens who have no guns. To limit our definition of police power to physical force would indeed make this discussion as frivolous and childish as “Ned in the First Reader.”

Police power goes far beyond the definition given above from Black’s Law Dictionary. We speak of the subtle and hidden power of government to persuade the public mind. Government persuasion is the indoctrination of the individual through his church, his public school, through his fraternities and the media to sacrifice his person, his individuality and his property for the “greater good” of the group. Group is translated government authority.

Once we yield our minds to government force under the pretense of “the greater good” or “the national interest,” there is no need to concern ourselves with “the right to bear arms.”

In our high school and college history classes we learned about the abolition of slavery in America. However, we learned nothing about the nationalization of slavery with police power as outlined above. Statutory freedom shackled with mental marriage to the beast is a study in the pathology of the public mind. This means that we are given certain freedoms by way of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights on one hand and brainwashed into servitude on the other.

Police power is sovereignty of the state over mind, body and soul. To believe otherwise is to live by illusion.


Yours for the truth,
Bob Livingston
Bob Livingston

Source: Will County News