Monthly Archives: April 2014

Travels with Jim: A melodrama in two acts

Act One, Sister Act, semi-rural SE Pennsylvania, late afternoon in the middle of April:

Picking the twins up from after-school organized running at John Beck Elementary School, Jim returned with them in the back seat. Lily, histrionically distraught, began declaiming about “feeling,” holding forth about the universality of it.

“Everything has feeling,” she said, her voice on a higher level than usual. Rose declined to endorse this assertion. They have no brains, she said, her voice on a much lower level.

This got to Lily in a big way. Raising her sound level even further, waxing yet more distraught, hearing Rose several times aver the lack of feeling in ants due to their lack of a brain, she turned up the volume: “You have no feeling!” she cried, raising several notches the level of over-all intensity.

Rose, who had demonstrated the falsity of this assertion in ways too numerous to count over her and Lily’s almost nine years of life as we know it, continued inexorably to deny feelings to ants and other minute subhuman creatures, including inanimate ones.

She did something else, several times injecting into the exchange her observation, offered in the same calm, steady tone: “You’re smiling.”

After each of these injections, Lily upped the histrionic ante. Neither missed a beat. The grandfather in the front seat might not have even been there. The twins had their routine. It was their (good) idea of a good time.

The 15–minute ride back home over, they got out and picked up with their pre-dinner activities.

(to be continued)

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God bless Don Harmon

God bless Don Harmon. If I owned a losing team, I’d want him in the locker room for his pep talks. We have the slowest-growing (2nd-slowest? 3rd?) economy in the country, the fastest-leaving population (2nd? 3rd?), the highest (2nd? 3rd?) business tax rate. We got everything in this state.

Don’s party has been in charge. It’s time for his party to step up, which is what Don does, with a pep talk. He won’t say die. He’s our go-to man for stiff upper-lipping it through one catastrophe or threat of catastrophe after another. He loves living dangerously.

He’s really the Peter Pan of Illinois politics — won’t grow up, will never grow up, will never wake up and smell the coffee brewing another statewide jobs-killing floperoo, and instead calls for another potful of Democrat know-how and temporary fix-it-ism.

Go Don.

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Lowest economy: Illinois ranked third worst in economic outlook and performance 12 Apr 2012 | Illinois Policy Institute

Illinois ranked third worst in economic outlook and performance 12 Apr 2012 | Illinois Policy Institute – See more at: http://www.illinoispolicy.org/illinois_ranked_third_worst_in_economic_outlook_and_performance/#sthash.3GMWgIH2.dpuf

Leaving state: IRS data shows more taxpayers fleeing Illinois

Business tax rate: RANGE OF STATE CORPORATE INCOME TAX RATES (For tax year 2014 — as of January 1, 2014}

Early signs of Harmon optimism: Fairness is in the eye of the beholder

Call for jobs-killing floperoo: New income tax proposal emerges in Springfield

The village goes brown, but not the villagers

Know what I think about the village’s green-energy shift by the trustees? It’s to save big money for the big buyers, primarily the village itself, with important nod toward business owners.

Hence the big push by Pres. Anan et al. for homeowners to opt for the no-longer-default-option green. Each can save as he wishes, in the process feeling he is doing the right thing; but what he or she saves is nothing compared to what big buyers, primarily the village, save by going brown.

Accident that the vote came almost unanimously to defang the green default at almost same time the most recent credit rating demotion was announced? Sure, and as TV newscaster Len O’Connor used to say as wind-up for an expose report, “And I’m the Easter bunny.”

Rep. Lilly speaks softly (not at all), wields big stick of prohibition

Latest on state Rep. Camille Lilly (Chicago, 78), who reps north and central Oak Park, from Vote Smart:

No matching public statements found

in two weeks ending 4/9/14.

But she was in favor of, yes, an inhibition of personal behavior on state campuses:

SB 2202 – Prohibits Smoking on the Campus of Public University – Key Vote

Illinois Key Votes

Camille Lilly voted Yea (Passage With Amendment) on this Legislation

It’s part of the Democrat war on personal responsibility (except on one’s presumed responsibility to do what the state decides you should so.

Lesson in arrogance from Obama’s man at Justice

Top cop Eric Holder to elected representative in hearing, from Judicial Watch:

Fox News described the exchange:

Attorney General Eric Holder got into a heated argument with a Republican congressman Tuesday [4/8] over the still-pending contempt case against him.


 

Holder was testifying before the House Judiciary Committee when Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, began pressing him for documents in a separate investigation. Gohmert brought up an apparent sore spot, referencing the 2012 House vote finding Holder in contempt of Congress.


 

“I realize that contempt is not a big deal to our attorney general, but it is important that we have proper oversight,” Gohmert said.


 

A visibly annoyed Holder said: “You don’t want to go there, buddy.” Leaning back in his chair, he added, “You don’t want to go there, okay?”


 

“I don’t want to go there?” Gohmert responded.


 

Holder went on to say that the congressman “should not assume that that is not a big deal to me.”


 

“I think that it was inappropriate and it was unjust, but never think that was not a big deal to me. Don’t ever think that,” Holder said, pointing his finger.

Two quick observations: First, there is simply no excuse for the nation’s highest law enforcement officer, even if pushed, to refer to a member of Congress as “buddy” or “pal” like a playground bully scrounging for lunch money. That may be the “Chicago Way” but it is entirely inappropriate. And second, whenever I see a politician point his finger to emphasize a point, it’s impossible not to think of

Bill Clinton and his “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” moment. Or Richard Nixon’s “I am not a crook speech.” Finger pointing, as we have seen time and time again, is usually done by people who have something to hide.

And Eric Holder has much to hide.

And arrogance to burn.

The Baby Cage

wretchedshekels

I could never use this, but it does make for an interesting post!

Baby-cages-used-to-ensure-that-children-get-enough-sunlight-and-fresh-air-when-living-in-an-apartment-building-ca-1937

In the 1930s, London nannies lacking space for their young ones resorted to the baby cage. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a wire contraption, patented in the U.S. in 1922, that lets you claim that space outside your city window for your infant. Risky? Maybe, but so convenient.

It seems that this historical oddity is one that constantly comes in and out of the media and causes incredible public shock and outrage every time. It is amazing how attitudes change, so that something invented in the 1920s to do nothing but good now leaves us struggling to believe it ever happened.

In 1923 Emma Read patented the Portable Baby Cage. It was designed to solve the problem of large high rises in urban areas which left families with no open spaces to allow their young children…

View original post 246 more words

Sky’s the limit for taxers, spenders, and their ilk

Harmon’s “fair” income tax for Illinois from the horse’s mouth

Listen up, via a puffy Springfield TV-news report:

Senate Democrat Don Harmon’s proposal would have those making less than $12,500 pay a tax rate of 2.9%, those making between $12,500 to $180,000 would pay at a rate of 4.9%, those making more than $180,000 would pay at a rate of 6.9%.

Egad, that’s as opposed to the 3.75% one-size-fits-all flat tax rate set to take effect at year’s end.

So making twelve-five, you pay at 4.9%, says Don Harmon, which is a 33.3% increase. So Don Harmon wants people making $12,500 a year to pay more. As in more more more and 1/3.

It’s Democrat tax reform with a vengeance.

But wait! It’s an addition of 1.15 percentage points, so it’s only a 1.15 per cent increase, as Harmon and the other Dems figure it, complaining about Republicans’ higher figure. And if the rate were doubled, it would be a mere. 3.75% increase!

“You sigh, the song begins, you speak and I hear violins, it’s magic,” the song has it. It’s Don Harmon magic!

Wearing the tax-increase jacket

Always a problem. Republicans consistent here:

Madigan’s legislation would authorize the City Council to levy $50 million more during each of five years, starting in 2016, to devote toward city pension costs. By year five, that tax levy would stand at $250 million more than today, but Republicans added up all of the revenue collected during that period and dubbed Emanuel’s handiwork as a $750 million property-tax increase that they wanted no part of.

“A $750 million property tax-increase is the last thing we need in Illinois,” said Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, who voted against Madigan’s legislation in committee. “This is outrageous. This is going to kill jobs. I oppose this tax increase.”

Compounding the no-new-taxes issue, of course, is the distrust that the city will use the extra money for pensions. Give them money, and with their longstanding penchant for meeting immediate needs, why should people think it will go where they say it will go?

America 3.0: The mess we’re in is a long-festering bipartisan matter

From America 3.0: Rebooting American Prosperity in the 21st Century, —Why America’s Greatest Days Are Yet to Come, the book under discussion April 9 at the library:

It is important to realize that the [recent] global financial crisis . . . has deep roots reaching back many decades, and that all was not wonderful with the United States through either the second Bush or Clinton administrations, despite the partisan claims of various flavors.

Hey, say the Bush and Clinton-lovers, cut that out!

The institutions of America 2.0 had been growing increasingly unworkable over previous decades, and it was only by a combination of the deep reserve strengths of America (the culture, not the government) and a series of one-time tricks pulled by various administrations that had allowed prosperity to continue, at least in fits and starts.

Izzat so? cry GW and Bubba supporters, equally offended.

The institutions of America 2.0 . . . emerged in response to a series of real problems, and for the most part managed to fix or at least alleviate those problems. Yet in solving them, they created new ones, in many cases problems that would not show themselves fully for decades, often under conditions never anticipated during the Progressive era.

The Progressives and New Dealers believed that business was consolidating itself into fewer and fewer large corporations, who among themselves would plan the future of technology and lead the economy permanently. So long as this corporate structure could be regulated and steered by the government, and so long as the individual workers could be given security and stability through membership in government-approved labor unions, this was all fine with Progressives.

What were they thinking?

They believed this was the natural direction of social evolution, and that the main problems they faced were those of stabilizing this economy and making it fairer.

You don’t think so? Come and argue with America 3.0 co-author, Oak Parker Michael Lotus at the library April 9, 7 p.m. He’ll be delighted.

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