Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sorry Mr. Root, You Do NOT Represent ME!

Dear Wayne,

I thought we had things cleared up after you and I had a heated discussion Friday afternoon in St. Louis. I was going to give you a chance but you once again stuck your foot in your mouth. Your position on foreign policy is NOT libertarian or remotely close to it. Killing thousands of innocent people who do NOT have any "beef" with us is morally WRONG. Giving billions of dollars to foreign governments whether they are our allies or not to kill thousands of innocent people who do not have any "beef" with us or our allies is also morally WRONG! Did you not learn anything from Ron Paul about blowback? 9/11 happened because our government stirred the hornet's nest a few too many times and the United States got stung for getting into other country's business. How much longer do you think they have to endure our government's tyranny? If our government was smart enough they should have never involved themselves in their business.

Now to the serious part of this post. Our government should not be giving aid to anyone, including Israel. Our government does not exist for Israel but Israel gets plenty of OUR tax dollars to kill innocent people, bulldoze one's property and starve people through blockades. Of course, our government is not much better because they put sanctions on Iraq and through those sanctions killed hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis. However, you claim that we need to support Israel at all costs. I'm sorry Wayne, I don't support their government let alone our own. Government gave us slavery. Government gave us Jim Crow. Government gave us bans on interracial marriages. Government gave us drug prohibition. Government gave us anti-sodomy laws. Government gave us wars. Government has us up to our eyeballs in debt! Do I need to go on and tell you who the real problem is?

There is a solution to your problem Wayne, so read clearly. The taxpayers of this country should not be going to foreign countries in any way, shape or form. Though as a private citizen, if there is a cause you believe in, you can raise your own funds, weapons, etc and fight that cause YOURSELF! If you want to help Israel in that cause, go ahead but do it with your own money not mine! But it's much easier to raid the public till isn't it? Whether it's welfare for Israel or welfare for corporations and banks, it's still not right nor justifiable.

Educate yourself Wayne and you'll save yourself embarrassment later because your current stance on this issue is a total embarrassment!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

The $49 "Head" Fee!

Your lovely folks on the LNC has devised a concept to further purge the real libertarians from the party. They have contrived a new voting "fee" for those delegates who are not going to purchase a convention package or a hotel room at the convention site. There are reasons why we do not purchase these packages as of lately. Most of the speakers aren't LIBERTARIANS! Second, someone like me who had been politically active until Bob Barr was selected, knows how to be political or an activist. Come up with something original instead of regurgitating the same message with speakers who aren't libertarians. Last time I checked this was the Libertarian Party, not the Republican-lite Party or the Conservative Party but as of lately it has been tilting towards the latter. Didn't the GOP just get their asses kicked the last two elections and the idiots on the LNC want to emulate their failures? The main reason they want to institute this "fee" is to make money and to insure that those who don't get these packages and use the convention floor do pay for being there.

Here's the kicker folks. This fee or "poll tax" is intended to hurt those delegates who are on a limited budget and most of those delegates are the heart and soul of the party-the true activists! But there is no purge right? If you really care or don't care about the LP here are some things you can do.

1- It is obvious that those in control do not care about the real libertarians. The party has been hijacked. So since they don't care that you exist, let them have their little hangout and leave...PERMANENTLY!

2- If you care about the party and you are a "povertarian", find a way to St. Louis and possibly pool resources with like-minded individuals to cover costs. If you feel that the Party is worth saving, people will come up with the resources to get there, pay the "voting fee" and vote these people OUT!

As Black Sheep would say, "The Choice is Yours!!!"

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Birther/Truth Movement is a JOKE!

Barack Obama is not an ideal president in my eyes and far from it. 53 percent of the voters choose him to become the President of our country. I understand that some people are so fixated on proving that he was not a "natural-born citizen" thus violating the Constitutional requirement to run for the Presidency. Now that it could be possible that Obama might not be a "natural-born" citizen. Where were these people over the last 8 years when Bush was violating the Constitution and wiping his ass with it? Barack and his cronies in DC are about to shove down our throats a healthcare "reform" bill and all you care about is whether or not he's eligible to be our President. You say there isn't adequate proof that he is eligible and he hasn't shown the PROOF! Maybe there is a reason why he may or may not have shown the proof because he has got many of you so sidetracked on this eligibility crap that while many of you are so fixated on this one thing, his policies are destroying us Americans. He's got the cards and is calling YOUR bluff. Perhaps, after he has had all his policies passed and we are more indebted to the government, he'll laugh in your faces and show you that he has fulfilled the Constitutional requirement of being the PRESIDENT all along. We have bigger things to worry about, focus on his policies not his birthright. You are fracturing the freedom movement and I'm not going to listen to your shill any longer. 

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Springfield Illinois: Politics as Usual

I am not a native of Springfield. I came to Springfield to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Political Studies. I do on occasion attend city council meetings because I too am concerned about what goes on at city hall.
When I was an intern during the spring semester of 2007 with the Springfield Black Chamber of Commerce, I experienced some of the horrors of politics that occurs in Springfield. During my internship, I was given the task (actually I suggested it) to host a forum for those who would be running for the spring municipal elections that year. I knew that the Republicans and Democrats had their “endorsed” candidates, so inviting their candidates to the forum would be easy right? The volunteer at the Democratic headquarters was very cordial and gave me the information I needed to invite these candidates. However, when I approached the Republicans, I got a rather chilly reception. After weeks of trying of getting information from the Republicans, I finally found out what the nature of politics in Springfield was all about. The volunteer at Republican HQ a week before the forum was to be held explicitly told me that “there’s no reason why our “endorsed” candidates would attend your forum because our candidates are running in wards in which there aren’t many minority constituents.”
This totally threw me off. I was shocked and appalled! The man might as well say that “the Sangamon County Republicans do not want to hear the concerns of all constituents especially those who are non-white.” From that point, I realized what politics in Springfield was all about. The forum turned out to be a success! By word of mouth, four of those “endorsed” Republican candidates wound up showing up for the forum.
Let’s fast forward this to 2009! Everyone knows about this “stimulus” package that was passed earlier this year. I was against it. Springfield and Central Illinois got a good chunk of money. What disturbs me is that all the money Springfield got from the “stimulus”, 2% of the money went to a project on the east side. For an area that really needs help how comes more money was not shuffled to the east side. Who allocated the funds? Did Gale Simpson and Frank Kunz have a say of where this money was allocated or was this one of Tim Davlin’s free money giveaways to political comrades? The eastside needs major infrastructure improvement but the YMCA does not taxpayer’s funds to fix their parking lot. Obviously our elected officials have their priorities wrong, as usual.
I have three ideas on what the residents on the Eastside can do to fix their neighborhoods. Spend more money within your own neighborhoods. Don’t wait until Davlin’s dominions to fix the potholes in the streets, form a company to fix them yourselves. Don’t wait until Davlin’s dominions to get rid of bad landlords, create a co-op with fellow neighbors and kick them out. Learn how to do things yourself because government isn’t always going to help you. How has the City of Springfield improved your life lately? Lastly, the most drastic measure is to de-annex the Eastside from the City. Start a petition to secede neighborhoods from Springfield. Maybe the threat of secession will bring some attention to the needs of the Eastside. If they don’t heed to those threats then you know these politicians do not care about the needs of those on the Eastside.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

An open letter to Wayne Allyn Root

Mister Root,

It's been over two years since you "abandoned" the Republican Party and graced the Libertarian Party with your presence. I saw you at the Heartland Libertarian Convention in Kansas City,MO last year. We spoke briefly and I was not impressed by you. You claim to be the "voice for libertarians" but you don't speak for me. Let me explain to you what a libertarian means and this is from a 17 year libertarian activist:

Throughout your run for President you failed to learn the basic libertarian stance: the non-aggression pact. You consistently flipped flopped on the Iraq issue. One minute you were for the invasion of Iraq and the next minute you were against it. Strike one! I am anti-war and proud of it. I wear this distinction with honor and pride. True libertarians believe that we do not go around starting wars and various other acts of aggression. 9/11 was blowback because of our bad foreign policy. We do not involve ourselves in the affairs of sovereign countries. We believe that we have the right to self-defense but invading Afghanistan or Iraq does not suffice for self-defense especially when Bush lied about the reasons why we needed to invade Iraq. Our government INITIATED force first and our meddling got to the point where the hornets stung us back. On top of that, after 9/11, Congress passed numerous anti-civil liberties laws in which you INITIALLY supported. During the campaign, every time you spoke I didn't know if you were Eric Dondero, Aaron Starr or Brian Holtz; all of them proud and outspoken interventionists.

Then there was the sexual consent fiasco in which your campaign smeared Mary Ruwart. Strike Two! You had the moral obligation to not get involved with Shane Cory's dirty tactics. It didn't do your campaign much justice. If you were a good decent man, you should have taken the moral high ground but you sold your soul to Satan and got in with the trash.

Then there was that hit piece by Reason:Hit and Run, that you categorically deny was an actual interview. I don't know if you got the memo but true libertarians are not racist, sexist, homophobes or xenophobes. If you had hung out with us true libertarians instead of those conservatarians you associate yourself with, you'd never made that racist Barack Obama comment in the first place. Or on the other hand maybe you always felt "superior" to the Negro race and had to tell the world what the real Wayne Allyn Root was all about? Your ignorance and your mouth along with Barr's eulogy of Jesse Helms sickens me to see that the LP's top ticket breeded bigotry. Affirmative action we can both agree on is bad but implying that Barack Obama got into Columbia University solely on that is purely distasteful and evil. Strike Three!

Now on to the current controversy over you. Radley Balko was right on the money about your appearence on Michael Savage's shows. You may have 8.5 million ears listening to your distorted view of libertarianism but now people are going to be confused about what libertarianism really means. I don't listen to Savage because he is not who I wanna associate with.

Mister Root, I truly believe you know what libertarians believe in. If you are confused just ask me and I'll clear your confused mind.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Is this the end of the witch hunt?

Angela WON! It wasn't a TKO but I'd call it a good 12 round unanimous decision. I watched what I could of the visual feed provided by Mike Seebeck. I think it's hilarious that people were laughing at Stewart Flood's asinine trumped up charges against Mrs. Keaton. Unfortunately, the way it ended may not end this charade. So my advice to Angela is this: The LP is dead, the SS Minnow is sinking fast, jump ship while your feet are still dry and resign. You beat the Starr-Sullentrup firing squad and you didn't want to go out on their terms. We have plenty to do not LP related and can accomplish more outside the party realm than within the irrelevant party you and I have once called our political home. You can safely resign your spot on the LNC, on your terms and be at peace with yourself. You owe no one anything but I owe you my sincere graditude for fighting for the membership. After the meeting may I suggest you go visit friends and relatives, enjoy the holiday time without LNC crap, have wild sex with your husband (Lord knows the two of you need to BLOW off some steam) and continue working diligently for Anti-war.com. We have plans and projects on the horizon but I won't bother you with that until after the new year.

In addition to the above thoughts I want to take time to reflect on the witch hunt that wasted so much time. I want to thank those who stood up in defense of Angela: R Lee Wrights and Rachel Hawkridge. Those who are still members of such an irrelevant party still have people on the LNC who have the "balls" to do what's right whether it's popular or not. Rachel showed the board's hypocrisy when she stated that "when Bob Barr was on the LNC, his PAC was still supporting Republicans who had Libertarian opposition" but they had the nerve to ridicule Angela for wearing a BTP thong?

I was a little disappointed with Mary Ruwart. It seemed like she was too busy saving her own hide instead of helping Angela. Ruwart was so short-sided by this witch hunt that the best thing she could say was,"I didn't have enough time to review the charges against Angela therefore I couldn't act on it." Mary knew that the assholes on the LNC were coming after Angela with guns a-blazing and she stood by doing very little? And this is the same woman I endorsed for the LP Nomination after I dropped out of the VP race....I'm quite ashamed right now to have done so. These jackasses are coming after you next Mary!

The biggest disappointment of all goes to my rep and good friend Julie Fox. She practically stabbed Angela in the back. She claimed that Angela was acting unprofessionally and some of the claims laid out by Mr. Flood were false and ridiculous. Well, Julie, you are half right. Angela was not acting unprofessionally, she was doing her JOB as an unpaid (just like you) LNC rep. When Angela couldn't get the answers she needed when the cartel of Starr/Sullentrup wasn't releasing information to the rest of the LNC, she got brash and called their BULLSHIT! This is the same type of crap that was going on when we had our LPI feud back in 2004-2005. Sometimes Julie when you don't get results in a positive manner, you can't sit idly by and hope they will play nice. Starr and Sullentrup aren't nice people and until they drop off the LNC, you can't play nice with them. I hope you learned from this Julie cause you can't play middle-of-the-road on everything because it will show that you will fall for everything these jerks will feed you.

The loser in this whole scheme; Stewart Flood. Aye yes the main jackass himself coming up with illogical excuses to boot Angela off the LNC. Seems like some men on this ineffectual committee can't stand a strong, vocal female calling their bluff. Well, Mr. Flood based on your actions I think that you are an amoeba and you are an ineffectual representative of your region. In other words, you gotta GO! Now I would advise every party member within the region in which Flood is their representative, they need to call or write their State Chairs and ask them to call a vote for a swift and immediate removal of Stewart Flood before the next meeting. He didn’t get Angela but who will he go after next?

I'm curious to hear the budget analysis on Sunday. Stay tuned to see how BROKE the LP really is and what kind of bailout they are going to propose.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Battle in San Diego

The LNC has done it again. The purge, like many of us predicted, is on. The assholes on the LNC (like Starr, Sullentrup, Lieberman, Karlan, Redpath, Flood and other co-conspirators) have put on their agenda to discipline the most vocal LNC member, Angela Keaton over some baseless BULLSHIT! Instead of concentrating on real positive issues they have used this distraction to smokescreen the real problems with the LNC. The LP is broke, membership is leaving in droves and the party is essentially on its last legs. After they try to get rid of Angela; Mary Ruwart, R Lee Wrights, Rachel Hawkridge and Steve LaBianca will be next to be purged from the LNC. The goal from these conservatarians is simple; we want to fashion the LP to be Republican-lite. Maybe they are carrying out Eric Dondero's wet dream to destroy the LP.

Sullentrup has a hard-on for Tom Knapp over an incident 4 years ago, in which Tom has rectified long ago, and continues to badger many libertarians by e-mail. I received a nasty e-mail from Sullentrup some time ago in which I did not bother to answer. That accident he was involved in earlier this decade must have caused him some permanent psychosis. When I was at the St. Louis Libertarian Caucus, Sullentrup had his lips firmly planted on Bob Barr's ass and gave me and my family some cold stares throughout the event. I'm assuming Sullentrup has a problem with blacks or interracial relationships. If so, that's his problem, not mine!

Now for Aaron Starr. He's just the leader of the asshole caucus of the LNC. His big problem is that he can't get in Angela's pants nor any other respectable woman's to say the least. This whole witchhunt of Angela is Starr's wicked creation and has conspired others with him for this Klan-like prosecution. Without Starr on the LNC his fellow conspirators would have to develop a backbone instead of acting like amoebas and going along with Starr's McCarthy-style tactics.

Now Stewart Flood is the biggest amoeba of the bunch (literally). He's contrived a false list of accusations against Angela; most wouldn't stand up in a real case in court. I had talked to Mr. Flood once while I was briefly running for the VP Nomination earlier this year. I had an extreme ill feeling while I was on the phone with him especially after he had mentioned that he raised a considerable amount for the flip-flopping warmonger Wayne Allyn Root. I never heard from him again as I figured out anyways. I saw right through his bullshit, in fact just about every other word was crap flying out of his mouth. So, Chief Amoeba, how much is Starr and Company paying you for this useless waste of LNC resources to get rid of Mrs. Keaton?

Now for Scott Lieberman and M Carling. Both genuinely despicable in their unnatural illogical ways. They both have a warped sense about recruiting minorities into the Party and with the current makeup of the LNC, I would not encourage any minority to join the LP. These guys are no better than Sonny Latham, who the KYLP almost secured a spot for on their ballot for US Senate. They think most blacks aren't good for the LP ( me included). Heck if I would have known that was the case, I would have stayed a Democrat. They just want to keep the LP a party for conservative angry middle aged white males and them niggers just need to stay out and be submissive Democrats.

Brian Holtz, the leader of the Retard Caucus, is no better than the above individuals except that he doesn't like my outreach approach. How many minorities have you brought into the movement or the Party? How many have you scared away from the movement/Party? I bet you have done more of the latter with your so-called approach,while my approach has been a bit more successful. What's the motive Brian? You afraid that your know-it-all brash approach is inferior to mine?

The one person I feel sorry for through all this mess is David Nolan, the founder of the LP. I bet you if Mr.Nolan had clairvoyance about the Party 37 years later back in 1971 he would have never started it.

Now that this part of my tirade is over here is what I'm suggesting if Angela gets kicked off the LNC:

1- Stop all financial support to National. If you starve the beast the beast can't survive thus possibly causing extreme changes for the better.

2- Build your state parties and be as independent of National as possible. Continue passing resolutions against the ousting of Angela Keaton and organize for 2010 to throw the diseases that have seriously infected the leadership of the Party.

3. This is the most drastic point-DISAFFILIATE from National! What cost benefit is National providing State parties anyways? An occasional membership dump, a convention every 2 years and voting rights at these conventions. Is this really worth $25 dollars a year? What National could be doing, you can do 20 times better at the state level.

4. Shift your activism towards causes you feel need attention and skip these petty party politics until the LP gets their shit together.

Just remember that the REAL activists are being purged for the sake of watered-down libertarian principles. The SS Minnow is sinking, jump while you still can!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Is There Room for Pro-Lifers In the Libertarian Party?

There are many factions within the LP. I would agree with some within the Radical Caucus and I would agree with some within the Libertarian Reform Caucus. I have friends with both and I agree with both on various issues. Was the complete overhaul of the platform needed? No. Did we need to modernize the platform with 21st century language. Yes. There is some planks that need to returned to the platform. Our anti-war, non-interventionist plank needs to be returned. This is very important in separating us from the Republican and Democrat warmongers.

With that said, there is a plank that needs to be removed and not replaced and that is our abortion plank. As a pro-life libertarian it pains me to see that I am not truly accepted by my peers because of a few issues. When I came to the LP I was a former DEMOCRAT and my views on certain issues have changed over the last 15 years. I feel that life begins at conception and that the fetus, a human being, should have the same Constitutional rights as you and I. Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness- remember those words? However a pro-life libertarian is very different from a pro-lifer of any other political party. We tend to lean towards educating the masses about alternatives to abortion. Yes, I would like to see fewer abortions performed. Yes, I would like to eliminate taxpayer funding for abortions. Yes, I would like to see Roe v Wade reversed and abortion should be a 10th Amendment issue. Yes, adoption laws should be more liberalized and accessible. Yes, embryonic stem cell research should not be funded by the taxpayers.

Unfortunately, there are those within the LP that call us pro-life libertarians Ovarian Marxists and anti-choice libertarians. My two main goals in Denver, next year, will be choosing the right presidential candidate to represent the party I have worked so hard to promote and eliminating the abortion plank. Maybe, just maybe, us pro-life libertarians will get the respect we deserve and work with others in moving this country towards a much freer nation that it is today!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Senate Bill 733

I have good news! As the Legislative Chair for the Libertarian Party of Illinois, I am proud to announce that SB733, which would drastically reduce our signature requirements passed.

Amends the Election Code. Makes the minimum nomination petition signature requirements for independent candidates the same as those for candidates of an established political party for the same office (now, larger). Makes the period for filing all independent candidate petitions the same as that for new political party candidates (now, the same as that for established political party candidates). Makes the minimum petition signature requirement for a new State political party the same as that for a State office candidate of an established political party (now, the lesser of 25,000 or 1% of the number of voters voting in the most recent general election). Makes the minimum petition signature requirement for a new local political party the same as that for an established party candidate for the local office on the slate with the highest petition signature requirement (now, 5% of the number of voters in the relevant district or political subdivision who voted in the most recent election when district or subdivision officers were elected by the district or subdivision as a unit).


It passed the Senate 53-0, which shocked me when I saw it passed unanimously. This bill now goes to the House. So all those who live here in Illinois, who want to see real political reform, choices on the ballot, more contested races and a flow of new ideas in the public realm please call your House representative and ask them to be a co-sponsor of the bill and vote YES on SB733. Spread the word to your friends and families to do the same!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Bronco Nation In Mourning

Cornerback Shot Dead Outside of Denver Nightclub

I am a die-hard Broncos fan. I grew up following the careers of Karl Mecklenberg, Randy Gradishar, Terrell Davis, Tom Jackson, Shannon Sharpe, Jason Elam, Steve Atwater, Gary Zimmerman, Dennis Smith and the list goes on and on. I practically bleed orange and blue. I have been blessed to attend one Broncos game but that was during my junior year in high school.

However, it's been a sad few days for Broncos fans and football fans in general. My thoughts and prayers go out to the team and the family of Darrent Williams. He was a shining, rising star with the Denver Broncos and complimented Champ Bailey on defense. He will be missed greatly. Rest in Peace, Darrent!

Others React To Darrent Williams Death

"He is in a limo, you think he's doing all the right things, he's not driving ... I mean, who shoots up a limo? But you've always got to watch your surroundings. It's a sad situation for him for that to even happen. That's some of the stuff you deal with when you're in the limelight, people get jealous for all type of different situations. Nobody knows what happens, but it definitely went too far." -- Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Joey Porter, himself shot outside a Denver nightclub in 2003.

"He was a great guy. You kind of don't believe it at first until you get called a couple of times. The first one you're like 'Stop playing,' then you get hit all night about it and you start to believe it. He was a great dude to hang around with, a good friend. He was real outgoing, just a good guy." -- Houston Texans and former Broncos running back Ron Dayne.

"He's a great kid, did a great job for us. I talked to a couple of (Denver) coaches this morning and a couple of our players that know him very well and it's very unfortunate. The kid had a great future." -- Houston Texans coach and former Broncos assistant Gary Kubiak.

"All of us are devastated by this tragedy. To lose a young player, and more important, a great young man such as Darrent Williams, is incomprehensible. To lose him in such a senseless manner as this is beyond words. ... Darrent was a wonderful young man, and his passing is a great loss for his family, the Broncos and the city." -- Broncos owner Pat Bowlen.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Debate On Smoking Ban In Springfield Is Not Going Away

Smoking ban may be the hot issue in the upcoming spring elections

People in Springfield, Illinois are still hot over the smoking ban which has been in effect for over 3 months now. Small businesses who serve alcohol and food have seen a decrease in sales during this time. Our city council has been unsympathetic towards the loss of potential revenue these businesses provide to the tax base and communities. There are a few candidates whom have expressed their concerns over the smoking ban and I plan to help them win seats on the city council and for mayor. My alderman Frank Edwards has openly said he is opposed to the smoking ban but voted for it because his constituents overwhelmedly wanted the ban. Despite this one issue I think Frank deserves another term on the city council because he fights for the taxpayers. For mayor if he survives the objection period, I think Mario Ingogila is a good choice because he wants to at least modify the ban to exclude bars and taverns. He faces Mayor Davlin and Alderman Strom, who both supported the smoking ban, in the primary on February 27th. I would encourage all those who are small businesses owners in the food and drinking establishments to support all those candidates who will work hard to eliminate or modify the smoking ban. As a freedom-fighter I will do my best to promote and work for all those candidates who will work to make government less intrusive on small business in Springfield, Illinois.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Politicans Should Take Economics Classes

The State Journal Register in today's paper had a story about how Blagojevich, Topinka nd Whitney all want some kind of increase in the minimum wage. Blagojevich wants to raise the state minimum wage to $7.50/hr. Topinka says the federal minimum wage should be increased. Whitney says he would like to see the state minimum wage raised to $9.00/hr. I think all these so-called politicans need a class in basic economics especially the Green Party socialist.

We are a semi-capitalist country. Profit is the number one goal for a business. Now, a business has many options to combat certain external forces (tax increases , minimum wage hikes, inflation, ect.) If the government forces their will on businesses in a negative direction it forces the businesses to take corrective measures to ensure it's survival. The business can either increase the product price, keep the product price the same and take a profit loss or go out of business.

It seems to me that in Illinois that our politicans want to keep more people in the welfare mindset and force businesses out of Illinois. The goal should be to reduce the welfare roles, decrease taxation, decrease unemployment and make it business friendly...not business scary.

By the way,at the end of Novemeber, our legislators will be back in Springfield for the veto session. Our income tax rate will be increased from 3 to 5 percent,it's been a done deal since April. Call your state legislators and ask them not to vote on the income tax increase and the minimum wage hike. Illinois does not have a revenue problem, our legislators have a spending problem. Fiscal conservatism is non-existent here!

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Upcoming Smoking Ban In Springfield

Next Sunday will be the first day of the new smoking ban here in Springfield. This ban affects mainly restraunts and taverns. I still think that there might be some groundswell for a petitioning drive to waterdown the ban to exclude bars and small restraunts. The restraunt I work for, Cracker Barrel, won't lose much from this ban because our non-smoking section is so miniscule that most people won't remember we ever had a smoking section. There is no doubt in my mind that there will be a decline in restraunts and bars (especially those small Mom and Pop ones) in Springfield in the next couple of years due to this ban. It was not a good idea in the first place. A business is private property and the government does not have the right to force restrictions on the business. I still think Mr. Kelty, who owns and operates Sammy's Sports Bar and Grill in downtown Springfield and a vocal opponent of the smoking ban, should run for Mayor and give Mayor Davlin a run for his money. I would support him in a heartbeat. So, when you can't enjoy yer burger with a smoke anymore at your favorite establishment blame those Alderman who voted for the smoking ban. Also, contact your friendly local anti-smoking Nazis, since they think they know what is best for YOU! If you are for the rights of businesses to determine what is best for their business and let the free-market handle these situations, DO NOT let your county or town pass a smoking ban!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Reviewing Aaron Russo's New Film!

(that's Aaron Russo and I at the Arcada Theatre on Saturday March 18th 2006 after previewing this new movie!)

Aaron Russo- what can I say about the MAN. He is genuinely an American patriot and hero. His new movie America: From Freedom To Fascism
is much much better than I had anticipated, in fact I'll go out on a limb to say it is better than Michael Moore's documentary "Farenheit 911".

I took my wife and children to see the movie. On our way in we were approached by a reporter from the We The People organization, who sponsored the showing of the film. She asked me what I expected to see from Aaron Russo's new film. My comment was posted on the We The People blog.
(my comments are the audioblog at 4:25pm under the Chicago event)

The movie starts out talking about the Federal Reserve. Then Aaron eases his way into talking about the IRS. He interviews people like Irwin Schiff, Joe Bannister, Larken Rose and others of the tax honesty movement. Dr. Ron Paul even has a cameo in the film! My favorite part of the movie was when Aaron grills a former IRS Commissioner about the legitimacy of the Income Tax and asks him on numerous occasions about where the law is that forces the American people to pay taxes on their income.

Aaron also discusses the Real ID Act and the Patriot Act. The part of the movie that scared me was when he discusses that the government may require newborn babies to have micro-chips implanted in them after birth. You could sense fear and anxiousity in the theatre over that issue. I know that I will never allow the government to do anythiog like that to my children-I'll go to jail before I'll succumb to the will of the government.

I think this film is definately a must-see when it comes out in the theatre. If it doesn't come to Springfield-once it comes out on DVD I will try to have it shown at UIS. Maybe it was a sign that he didn't win the Libertarian Party Presidential nomination. This movie will do more to open the eyes, ears and hearts of Americans than the LP has in their 30+ years of existence. I can't thank Aaron enough for making this movie. Government has gotten too big for it's britches. It's time for fellow Americans to take our country back! Hold your elected officals feet to the fire. Question every vote they cast that violates your freedoms and liberties. Let's make this country a better place for our children and grand-children! It is up to us to "FIGHT THE POWER!"



Tuesday, March 14, 2006

This is a bunch of GARBAGE!

Your CWLP bill may increase AGAIN!

Politicans and fee increases seem to be an epidemic here in Illinois.

It looks like an alderman here in Springfield, IL wants to make responsible residents pay for garbage service for those who don't by adding another fee to our CWLP bill! I pay 150 dollars a year for garbage removal and I make about 17K a year. Now I know that garbage removal isn't a high priority for most people but there are other ways to resolve this situation without forcing others to pay for this service.

When, I lived in Effingham,IL my landlords included garbage removal in our rent. There could be an agreement between the tenet and the landlord to have this service included in their contract. The waste removal companies could set up a fund in which anyone can contribute to- to ensure that those who can not afford to have their garbage remove. They can get that service for free or at a reduced price. I would rather donate 20 dollars to this fund than be forcedto pay five dollars a month. Besides, CWLP just increased rates so they can build a new power plant. I'd rather not give anyone anymore money than I have to.

Alderman Matt Mahoney is wrong about this. Send him an e-mail to show your disapproval. BTW, Alderman Kunz is against his proposal. I sent an e-mail to Alderman Kunz for standing up for the taxpayers of the city. This fee increase is unnecessary!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Update on the Smoking Ban in Springfield,IL

The city council on Tuesday passed a smoking ban that will affect all restraunts and taverns in Springfield starting September 17th.

Divisions remain after ban's approval Some still fear loss of business

By AMANDA REAVY
STAFF WRITER

Published Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Reactions to the approved smoking ban were as divided as the debate leading up to the Springfield City Council's decision Tuesday night.

Proponents praised the health considerations of the comprehensive ban, which as of Sept. 17 prohibits smoking in restaurants, bars and most other indoor workplaces. Critics feel the decision is less about public health and more about taking away business owners' and patrons' basic freedoms.

"It comes down to rights, and every year our rights get eroded a little bit more," said Tom Kelty Jr., owner of Sammy's Sports Bar, 217 S. Fifth St.

He said he wasn't surprised to hear the ban passed but fears that local, independent businesses will suffer greatly as a result. He said the number of such businesses forced to close could be alarming.

"You'll start to see a lot of places where the owner sells the business because they're afraid of what's going to happen," he said.

Kelty said vending companies also will lose money because cigarette machines will be prohibited, creating a loss of commission dollars for the business owners.

"That's just one area where we'll lose a lot of income," he said.

"Public health had nothing to do with this decision. It was pure politics. (Ward 10 Ald.) Bruce Strom wants to run for mayor, and that's what he'll hang his hat on," Kelty added. "If Bruce really cared about the health of the public, he would have banned the sale of cigarettes. But government doesn't want to lose that revenue. It's nothing more than a smokescreen."

If this is the case then when Alderman Strom runs for Mayor, we need to form a coalition of those who were opposed to the smoking ban and make sure he does NOT get elected. We need more pro-business councilmembers on the city council. Suprising enough I looked through the 2003 election results and it seemed that Alderman Strom ran unopposed.

1 CITY OF SPRINGFIELD
ALDERMAN WARD TEN
FOUR YEAR TERM
VOTE FOR ONE
BRUCE STROM. . . 4,250 100.00

Alderman Strom and his fellow council members who voted for the smoking ban need to go! This fiasco will not be forgotten in 2007!


Peter Albanese, who was dining at Damon's, 3050 Lindbergh Blvd., Tuesday night after work, also said the ban was not fair to business owners and their customers.

"It's someone's free choice to enter and sit in the smoking or non-smoking sections," the Springfield resident said.

Albanese, who smokes, said he knows many people who go to bars only so that they can have a cigarette with their drink.

Although he said he doubts he will go out of his way to drive outside the city to smoke, Albanese said he will probably leave local businesses quicker and "not stick around for a drink."

Jerry Harrison of Chatham said he does not smoke and prefers dining at establishments that are smoke-free, such as his favorite, Augie's Front Burner, 109 S. Fifth St.

Harrison said he's even passed on dining in restaurants where he enjoys the food because of its smoky atmosphere, using the example of D'Arcy's Pint's former location at 2413 S. MacArthur Blvd.

Though his office was nearby, "(My co-workers and I) would order take-out from there because we couldn't stand how we smelled when we came out of there," he said.

Harrison said he recently returned from a trip to Florida, where indoor-workplace smoking is banned statewide, and said it was a pleasant experience.

Barry Tusin was visiting Springfield from Naperville and dined with Harrison Tuesday night. Though he smokes, Tusin said he thinks indoor smoking bans are fair to everyone.

"Not all smokers are in favor of indoor smoking. I think the city's now better off," Tusin said, adding that though he doesn't have the willpower to quit himself, he hates the thought of polluting the air for other people.

Amanda Reavy can be reached at 788-1525 or amanda.reavy@sj-r.com.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Excuse Me Ma'am, Your Child Is On the List

Airline travel can be pretty hectic these days. Just getting to your plane is difficult enough. But would you anticipate that your child would be on the TSA's "No Fly List"? That's right-YOUR CHILD. It's bad enough that you may be on the list but it is ridiculous to think that the government would put a child's name on a list that is supposed to weed out terrorists. The system is flawed we know this.

80,000 people are known to be on this list

Children as young as nine months old are on the government no fly list. Congressmen and political activists have been known to be on the list.

Even Gary Nolan was stopped in Denver Colorado when he was on his way to Atlanta,GA for the 2004 Libertarian National Convention because his name was mistakenly on the list(Was it really a mistake?).

What's next? We went to support Michael Badnarik in St.Louis in October,2004, when he was arrested with David Cobb and we happened to have our children along. While we participated in a parade we all chanted "No Bush! No Kerry! A revolution is neccesary!"(They still chant it today) My children could be on the "No Fly List" too. It's possible and it won't surprise me if they were.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Proposed Smoking Ban in Springfield IL-TABLED!

For now there will not be a smoking ban in Springfield but I am sure one is on the way. I'll keep fighting aganist this nonsense as well. My alderman, Frank Edwards, voted against the smoking ban. Some restraunts have choosen to go completely non-smoking which they have a right to do so. However, it is not governments role to tell private business to go non-smoking. I'm not a smoker but I will keep fighting for businesses rights!

Smoking ban tabled
Davlin: See what state, county do

By CHRIS WETTERICH
STAFF WRITER

Published Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Mayor Tim Davlin got to do something he loves at Tuesday's Springfield City Council meeting: present a proclamation honoring the Sacred Heart-Griffin High School football team for its recent state championship.Web Extra: Read our "play-by-play" blog from the council meeting

Then, he and the rest of the council had to confront an issue that has vexed the city since May: whether to ban smoking in almost all indoor workplaces.

Davlin's answer? Punt it to the Illinois General Assembly and Sangamon County.

An evenly divided city council, with Davlin casting the deciding sixth vote, first declined to strip more than half a dozen exceptions that a committee had attached Monday to Ward 10 Ald. Bruce Strom's smoking-ban ordinance.

Then, on a 6-4 vote, the aldermen agreed to Strom's motion to table the watered-down ordinance.

For the first time Tuesday night, Davlin committed himself to voting for Strom's comprehensive smoking ban, but only if the legislature allows Sangamon County to do the same.

"Sure would. Plain and simple," Davlin told reporters after the council meeting when asked if he'd vote for a comprehensive ban if the county could also ban workplace smoking in unincorporated areas. "I probably wouldn't even have to vote for that. It wouldn't even come down to the mayor's vote. I think we lead the charge on this."

Davlin said the city must explain to state lawmakers how it cannot ban smoking without putting taverns and restaurants within city limits at an economic disadvantage compared to those in unincorporated areas.

"I think the Illinois legislature has put municipalities in a terrible situation," Davlin told the council. "You haven't heard the end of this. Tell them what happens when they're pitting us against our neighbors across the street."

Sangamon County Board Chairman Andy Van Meter has said he would push for a comprehensive smoking ban if the legislature allows non-home-rule governments to do it.

After Davlin voted against stripping the amendments - providing exceptions for bars, bar areas of restaurants and bowling alleys, banquet rooms, private clubs, stage productions, non-health-care home businesses and tobacco retail stores - from Strom's ordinance, Strom moved to table the matter.

Strom's original ordinance would have barred smoking in most indoor workplaces, including bars, restaurants and bowling alleys. Exceptions would have been made for hotel rooms, private nursing home rooms and non-health-care, home based businesses. The ordinance would also bar smoking within 10 feet of building entrances.

Strom said the exemptions added by Ward 9 Ald. Tom Selinger, Ward 1 Ald. Frank Edwards and Ward 4 Ald. Chuck Redpath during Monday's public affairs committee meeting rendered the ordinance essentially useless.

"It would be very little change from what exists today," Strom told the council. "A poor ordinance is worse than no ordinance."

He predicted that if the watered-down ordinance passed, the council would pat itself on the back, say it did something and not revisit the issue.

Tabling the ordinance effectively kills it unless both sides can come to a consensus. Eight aldermen or seven aldermen plus the mayor have to agree in order for it to be brought back up.

Selinger, who offered the amendments, agreed to table the ordinance in order to leave open the possibility of future negotiations.

"There could be something decided at that Capitol building," Selinger said.

Ward 2 Ald. Frank McNeil, who along with Edwards, Ward 3 Ald. Frank Kunz and Redpath voted against the tabling, said some restrictions are better than none.

"Until tobacco is made illegal, I don't see how we can ban smoking without a compromise," McNeil told Strom. "The point of it is, you said we want to do something about health. We're limiting smoking, not to the degree that you want. Now, you want to table this ordinance and do nothing. That's astounding.

"We've all been here long enough to know you don't get everything you want out of this deliberative body."

Opponents again decried a comprehensive smoking ban's possible effect on city bars and taverns.

Mike Walton with American Legion Post 32 said that while he wasn't making a threat, his group might leave downtown Springfield if a comprehensive ban were passed.

"The veterans fought for what's going on in this room," Walton said. "We've been looking at building a new facility. A lot of our members said they would keep their membership but wouldn't be coming into our facility" if smoking is banned.

Strom said he expects that the issue will continue to be discussed. He said he would look at trying to put it on the ballot for a referendum this spring but declined to say what - if anything - he would be willing to compromise on.

"We were looking very hard at some of the things that were being offered," Strom said. "I'm certainly not in a position to say what those things were. We put health as No. 1. If someone else chooses to smoke and hurt their health, that's their business, ... but when people blow smoke around and other people are affected by it, that's the concern."

Before Tuesday's votes, Edwards lit into Strom in a continuing feud over what the fellow Republicans promised each other regarding Strom's original ordinance.

Edwards said he promised Strom only that he would not personally amend the ordinance, not that he wouldn't vote for other amendments.

"I've been called a liar, backstabber. I've been attacked personally. My family's been attacked personally. And quite frankly, how that got started was out of you, Bruce," Edwards said.

Strom ignored the admonitions, after saying Monday that Edwards promised to allow an up-or-down vote on the original ordinance.

Council coordinator Joe Davis, speaking to reporters after Tuesday's votes, confirmed he was at the meeting where Edwards and Strom discussed the smoking ban.

Davis said there was "an agreement that Bruce would proceed with his ordinance as is. And Frank (Edwards), if he wanted to do anything, would have an alternate ordinance."

"My recollection was that Alderman Edwards ... would offer a new, freestanding ordinance," Davis said.

Edwards' ideas for amendments were circulated among the alderman, including Selinger, long before any meeting occurred with Strom, Davis added.

Asked if Edwards promised to shepherd the ordinance to a straight up-or-down vote, Davis said Edwards did not make such a promise.

For their part, supporters of a complete smoking ban, which a poll has said has the support of 65 percent of the public, told the aldermen they would remember Tuesday's vote for years to come.

"We will remember your votes," Dr. John Holland vowed. "We will respect you for them, but we will remember them. A 'no' vote really ignores the wishes of a majority."

Chris Wetterich can be reached at 788-1523 or chris.wetterich@sj-r.com.

Black Home-Schoolers on the Rise

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051211/ap_on_re_us/black_home_schooling

More Black Families Home Schooling

By ZINIE CHEN SAMPSON, Associated Press Writer Sun Dec 11, 6:19 PM ET

RICHMOND, Va. - Denise Armstrong decided to home school her daughter and two sons because she thought she could do a better job of instilling her values in her children than a public school could. And while she once found herself the lone black parent at home-education gatherings that usually were dominated by white Christian evangelicals, she's noticed more black parents joining the ranks.

"I've been delighted to be running into people in the African-American home-schooling community," Armstrong said.

Home-school advocates say the apparent increase in black families opting to educate their children at home reflects a wider desire among families of all races to guide their children's moral upbringing, along with growing concerns about issues such as sub-par school conditions and preserving cultural heritage.

"About 10 years ago, we started seeing more and more black families showing up at conferences and it's been steadily increasing since then," said Michael Smith, president of the Home School Legal Defense Association, a national advocacy group.

Nationwide, about 1.1 million children were home schooled in 2003, or 2.2 percent of the school-age population. That was up from about 850,000, or 1.7 percent, in 1999, according to the U.S.
Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics. A racial breakdown of home-schooled students isn't yet available, the center said.

However, the Home School Legal Defense Association says the percentage of black home-schooling families has increased, though hard numbers weren't available.

The numbers are still very low because most black families lack the time or economic resources to devote to home schooling, said Michael Apple, an education professor at the University of Wisconsin who tracks home schooling. He said much of the increase is seen in cities with histories of racial tensions and where black people feel alienated and marginalized.

Some families decide to do it because public schools don't adequately teach African-American history and culture, some want to protect their children from school violence, "and for some, it's all of this and religion," Apple said.

Armstrong said she wants her children — ages 12, 10 and 7 — to have a "moral Judeo-Christian foundation" that public schools can't provide.

"I felt that my husband and I would be able to give more of a tutorial, individual learning situation than a teacher trying to address 40 kids at one time," said Armstrong, who lives in the Richmond area.

She said she also was concerned that schools wrongly label some black boys as learning-disabled while white children with similar behavior are not.

To help guide black home-schooling families, Joyce and Eric Burges started the National Black Home Educators Resource Association in 2000. She said many families were dissatisfied with their public schools but weren't aware that home schooling was legal.

Joyce Burges, of the Baton Rouge, La., area, says she and other black home schoolers have been likened to traitors by people who think they've turned their backs on the struggle to gain equal access to public education. But she feels that when schools don't teach children to read, or fail to provide a safe place to learn, children should come first.

"You do what you have to do that your children get an excellent education," she said. "Don't leave it up to the system."

Apple, the Wisconsin professor, said improving public education for the greatest number of students depends on mass mobilization by concerned parents, but he raises a cautionary note.

"They're trying as hard as they possibly can to protect their children, and for that they must be applauded," Apple said. "But in the long run, protecting their own children may even lead to worse conditions for the vast majority of students who stay in public schools, and that's a horrible dilemma."

National Black Home Educators Resource Association:
http://www.nbhera.org

I think home-schooling is a viable option not just for blacks but for every family. It's not a rare occasion to see families home-schooling their children now-a-days. In fact, kids who get perfect scores on the ACT and SAT tests come from a home-schooled environment. Past National Spelling Bee champions have been home-schooled. My wife who is getting her teacher's aide certificate in the spring wrote a paper defending home-schooling. My mother, who is very intelligent, wished she had home-schooled her kids. I probably would have done better in my studies especially after my 9th grade year when I started getting bored with school.
I do have a 7 year old step-daughter who has a learning disability. When we lived in Effingham,IL they did very little in helping her with her problem. However, when we moved to Springfield,IL, the school district has bent over backwards to make sure that there was a plan to help my step-daughter overcome her learning disability. She has been in her new school for 4 months and one can already see a change in her behavior and confidence.
Both my wife and I go to college so the public school is our only option. As a libertarian I believe in school choice and the government has no right to interfere in a family's ecision on how they should educate their children. Home-schooling is a great option people should explore. Throwing more money into a broken system isn't going to help educate our future. I also feel that parents need to be more pro-active in their childrens' education. I know for a fact that there isn't a lot in the way of African-American history taught in many school districts. I plan on teaching my son, who is bi-racial and my step-daughter who is white, about black history. I didn't learn my African-American history in school, my mother taught me some, but I researched what I know now. I ran for school board back in Effingham,IL in 2003 and I was astonished to see that the school board members were appoving texts without knowing what these books entailed.
Some people think that home-schooled children are sheltered. I say they are more advanced than public schooled children. There are plenty of after school programs that non-governmnetal organizations provide for all children that entail socialization. One could take a field trip to the museums, libraries and other cultural centers to enhance a child's learning. I would love to take my family to Kansas City one day and see the Negro League Museum. There is so much to learn that the public or parivate schools can not teach. Even if you do not agree with home-schooling, at least take a more pro-active role in your child's education because in the long run it will be worth it. Keep home-schooling an option-you may need to uase it one day. I am happy to see people giving home-schooling a chance and I am sure they aren't disappointed with their decision.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Congressman Shimkus and Why He Needs to GO!

A letter I recieved from Congressman Shimkus:

Dear Friend:

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for contacting me regarding the USA PATRIOT and Terrorism Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2005 (HR 3199).

Prior to September 11, 2001, there were restrictions on our intelligence agencies that do not make sense in today's world and placed severe restrictions on investigating potential terrorists. The PATRIOT Act and this reauthorization allow U.S. Attorneys, the FBI, and the CIA to all share information on their ongoing investigations.

This law increases penalties for attacks against railroad and mass transit; combats terrorism financing; and takes many other actions that are intending to prevent terrorism. Our law enforcement agencies need the tools necessary to fight terrorists as much as they need appropriate tools to fight drug dealers, organized crime, and gangs.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales recently wrote that this bill "...equips law enforcement with the tools needed to fight terrorists, and it also includes new civil liberties protections..." He added, "The Patriot Act has been successful in helping prevent acts of terrorism in many ways."

Among the protections contained in the bill are just a four year extension on the wire tapping provisions, while most other provisions are made permanent; additional reporting to the court under these wiretap orders; additional protections regarding business records under section 215, including a guaranteed right to legal counsel; and continued Congressional oversight.

Another important provision for southern Illinois is the inclusion of the Methamphetamine Epidemic Elimination Act into this bill. Those provisions include restrictions on the sale of meth ingredients, include cold medicines, and tougher penalties for meth traffickers and smugglers.

Purchasers of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine would be required to show identification and sign a log when purchased from behind the pharmacy counter.

This conference report passed the House with bipartisan support, 251-174, and awaits Senate approval before going to the President for his signature into law.

Sincerely,

JOHN SHIMKUS
Member of Congress

Congressman Skimkus is basically a big government neo-conservative and votes for everything the Bush administration wants him to. At least he's consistant- consistantly votes on bills which destroy our freedoms and civil liberties. I wonder when it was the last time Mr. Shimkus read the Bill of Rights or the Constitution? It hasn't changed since he was in high school, has it? I anticipated that he would vote for the revision of the Patriot Act, that was a no-brainer for him. But he also voted to send troops to Iraq, voted for the National ID Act, voted for CAFTA voted against getting out of the UN, voted for increasing the debt ceiling and voted to increase the federal government. He is no friend of freedom. A change in the guard is in order, he's doing a disservice to the constituents in the 19th District of Illinois. The Republican Party would be a lot better if they would just get rid of the neo-cons like Shimkus and let a few more Ron Paul types in their ranks. If Mr. Skimus doesn't change his tune, I will be running against him in the 2008 Republican primaries. It'll give the people in the district a choice to vote for real change.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

New Restrictions on Cold Medicine Purchases in Illinois

Just about every state now has a restriction on the sale on cold medicine that are used to make meth. From what I understand there are many ways of making meth and by making restrictions like this will force meth makers to develop meth by finding ingredients to replace cold medicines that are now legal. After the 15th of January, if you want to buy cold medicine you'll be forced to sign your name and address plus you will be restricted to buying 7500 mg of that product every 30 days. The police will have access to these records up to TWO years! What is at stake is that anyone who sells these products will be another arm of the law enforcement agency and a regular participant in eliminating privacy rights.Better get your cold medicine now before you forfeit your privacy rights. When they make laws like this its usually a short term cure for a long term problem. The real problem is not the manufacturing of meth, it's the socio-economic status of where meth is manufactured. The places where meth labs are rampant are places where unemployment is higher than the state's average. Of course our politicans aren't smart enough to realize that trend. They are so quick to criminialize human behavior rather than solve the real underlying problem. Illinois was rated 46th out of 50 states in economic prosperity. The real reason why people turn to the illegal drug trade like meth is because it's a quick money maker. Jobs leave Illinois quicker than they come in and if there are no jobs, how are bills going to get paid? Don't get me wrong, I don't like knowing that my neighbor might be manufacturing meth but I can understand why they could be doing it. I just don't like the idea that one big mistake on their part and they could risk the lives of many around them. There was an incident back in Effingham where a hotel was blown to bits killing 2 people because someone was cooking meth in the bathtub.

The story is below.


http://www.sj-r.com/sections/news/stories/71538.asp

New restrictions on cold drugs OK'd
Governor signs bill to fight making of methamphetamine

By ADRIANA COLINDRES
STATE CAPITOL BUREAU

Published Thursday, November 17, 2005

Starting Jan. 15, people who want to buy some kinds of cold or sinus medicine in Illinois will have to sign a log book and show photo identification.

The new state law, signed Wednesday by Gov. Rod Blagojevich, is aimed at hampering people who manufacture methamphetamine, a highly addictive drug that can be produced with household ingredients.

A key ingredient is ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, which are found in some versions of Sudafed and other medications.

An initiative of Attorney General Lisa Madigan, the new law is meant to discourage out-of-staters from flocking to Illinois to buy the pills they need to produce methamphetamine. States surrounding Illinois, including Iowa, Missouri and Indiana, already have passed laws that require consumers to sign a log and show photo ID before buying those products.

Under the Illinois measure, customers seeking to buy products with ephedrine or pseudoephedrine must write down their names, addresses, dates and times of purchases, product names and amounts bought. Log books containing the information will be kept by retailers for at least two years. The books will be confidential, but police can inspect them and make copies.

The law also will bar anyone younger than 18 from buying cold or sinus medicine with ephedrine or pseudoephedrine.

In addition, it prohibits customers from buying more than 7,500 milligrams of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine in a 30-day period. That amount exceeds the amount a person could take in 30 days, Madigan said.

Violators could face fines of up to $5,000 and conviction on a misdemeanor or a Class 4 felony, punishable by one to three years in prison.

Methamphetamine is a particular problem in rural parts of Illinois. In January 2003, a meth lab exploded in Pekin, destroying an eight-unit apartment complex and leaving about a dozen people homeless.

Tazewell County State's Attorney Stewart Umholtz said Wednesday the new law "should have a positive impact by reducing the number of manufacturing labs." But he warned that one consequence could be an increase in the amount of meth that flows into Illinois from outside sources, such as Mexico.

Illinois has enacted several meth-related laws in recent years. For instance, a law that took effect on Jan. 1, 2005, requires stores that sell medications containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine to keep them behind a counter or in a locked case. That law permits people to buy just two packages of cold medicine at a time.

Adriana Colindres can be reached at 782-6292 or adriana.colindres@sj-r.com.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Proposed Smoking Ban in Springfield IL

I'm a non-smoker. Smoking is utterly disgusting. At work I rarely go into the break room when there are lots of people smoking. However, I believe that it should be up to the individual businesses to decide if their place of business should be non-smoking or not. On this particular issue the government is wrong to force business owners to go non-smoking! Let the marketplace determine whether business owners made the right decision or not.

http://www.sj-r.com/Sections/News/Stories/71346.asp

Public smoking ban on hold
Strom suggests plan might be phased in

By CHRIS WETTERICH
STAFF WRITER

Published Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Ward 10 Ald. Bruce Strom Monday suggested phasing in his proposed ban on smoking at indoor workplaces in Springfield.

Strom made the comments after asking the Springfield City Council public affairs committee to delay sending the original smoking ban ordinance to the full council. The measure was to have been voted on tonight, but Strom said he didn't have the votes to pass the ordinance in its current form.

That ordinance would prohibit smoking in nearly all workplaces and would take effect 60 days after passage,

Strom said a compromise that takes a gradual approach eventually would get Springfield to where he and a coalition of anti-smoking groups wants to go.

"Whether it's this year, next year or the year after that, I think this is going to keep coming back. There is such strong support in our community ... for this that it will not go away," Strom said.

Sixty-five percent of Springfield voters favored a comprehensive indoor smoking ban, according to a poll commissioned by the American Lung Association of Illinois and Iowa in August.

Strom said he is willing to discuss delayed implementation of a smoking ban that would cover nearly all Springfield workplaces, including restaurants, bars and bowling alleys.

For example, Strom said, smoking first could be banned in all indoor workplaces except bars. Then, over a period of months, it would also be banned in taverns, bowling alleys and other places where smoking is prevalent.

Strom said he also is open to the possibility of some sort of temporary "smoking license," under which businesses that can prove they have been economically damaged 12 months after the start of the ban would again be allowed to have smoking for a period of time.

Chicago, which also is debating whether to ban smoking, has discussed such a proposal.

Interested groups, including the pro-ban coalition, restaurants and tavern groups, will be in contact to attempt to hash out details, Strom said.

"We'll take this opportunity to have some dialogue," Strom said. "The proponents of the ordinance ... probably will have some thoughts on how we can make this an easier transition, because we think that's part of the problem."

The only indoor workplaces in Springfield where smoking would be allowed, under Strom's original proposal, are hotel rooms and nursing home rooms where residents have agreed to allow smoking. That version would give Springfield the strictest indoor smoking ban in Illinois and one of the strictest in the nation.

Ward 1 Ald. Frank Edwards has proposed exempting taverns, bowling alleys, private clubs and private homes that operate as home businesses.

Edwards initially supported Strom's version, but then became concerned about its legality and the effect on mom-and-pop neighborhood taverns. He said Monday he's open to compromises other than the ones he has proposed.

"If the AG (attorney general) comes back and says we can talk about the bars and we can talk about the bowling alleys, I'll look at giving him (Strom) an alternate compromise," Edwards said Monday. "You're not going to get everything you want at the get-go."

However, not all of the other four aldermen leaning in favor of Strom's ordinance are willing to go along with any compromise.

Ward 6 Ald. Mark Mahoney has said picking out certain businesses for exemptions would lead to an uneven playing field. Restaurants with a strong bar business have complained that they will be hurt if smoking is banned in their establishments, but not in taverns.

Under Edwards' proposal, which business would be smoking and non-smoking would be determined by what type of liquor license they hold.

Smoking would be banned in establishments with specific restaurant licenses, such as Saputo's, Maldaner's, Chilli's, and D'Arcy's Pint. But smoking would be allowed in taverns that serve food at some time during the day. Examples are Sammy's Sports Bar and Grill, Boone's Saloon, The Alamo and Brewhaus.

Mahoney said he might consider a compromise that would ban smoking in all indoor workplaces from 3 a.m. to 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. and then return to the current law from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Edwards on Friday rejected the idea of a non-binding referendum that would ask Springfield residents what they want to do regarding smoking. Last year, residents supported an Edwards-backed referendum that asked whether the city and Sangamon County health departments should be merged.

Edwards said that, while he realizes a majority of residents probably want smoking banned, the government must protect the rights of business owners and others in the minority.

"A majority of people are going to go to the polls and want to ban smoking, but not understand the ramifications," he said. "A true democracy is whatever the majority wants. That can get dangerous."

Chris Wetterich can be reached at 788-1523 or chris.wetterich@sj-r.com.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Voting Rights for Ex-Felons?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051018/ap_on_go_co/voting_rights

Kemp Says Ex-Felons Should Be Able to Vote

WASHINGTON - Jack Kemp, the former Republican vice presidential candidate and HUD secretary, urged Congress on Tuesday to require states to restore voting rights for felons once they complete their sentences.

Kemp, who was Bob Dole's running mate in 1996, made the recommendation during the first in a series of hearings about the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits literacy tests, poll taxes and other infringements on minority voting.

Some key provisions of the 40-year-old law expire in 2007. One requires areas with a history of discrimination to get federal approval before changing their election laws.

Congress is expected to extend that provision for 25 years, but the
House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on the Constitution is trying to determine whether the law should be tweaked.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (news, bio, voting record), D-N.Y., stirred the lone moment of dissent among witnesses with his suggestion that Congress should amend the act to guarantee voting rights for ex-felons.

"It's important, if we're going to call ourselves a democracy, that everybody more or less have the right to vote," Nadler said.

Kemp quickly endorsed the idea, pointing out that minorities are disproportionately charged with felonies.

"My answer is unambiguously yes," said Kemp, a former congressman from New York, one of a handful of states that restores voting rights to criminals once they complete their prison term or probation. "It is a restriction that needs to be modified."

Former Colorado Lt. Gov. Joe Rogers, a member of a national commission on the Voting Rights Act, disagreed. He said states should be able to set their own requirements and argued that the number of felons isn't high enough to influence elections.

Besides the section requiring federal clearance for some states and localities to change their voting laws, two other key provisions are expiring in 2007. One requires foreign language assistance at the polls, and another allows for federal election observers to be used to deter intimidation of minority voters.

This article caught my eye for two reasons: 1) A Republican, Jack Kemp, taking a traditional liberal stance and advocating that the voting rights for ex-felons needs to be modified. I have always advocated that once a felon has been released from the penal system that he/she should get their voting rights reinstated within 60 days of completion of parole. Ex-felons, who have been lucky to return to society and become responsible citizens should have the right to vote. If they have a job, they should be able to vote on where their tax money goes, right? Upon the restortation of their voting rights they should have the right to participate in the electoral process including running for office and donating money to candidates. Getting your voting rights reinstated should be an incentive to not return to prision. Many ex-felons who are not able to vote feel that they are second or third class citizens.

2) The other reason this article caught my eye was because as a political science major and an African-American, we have not fully utilized efforts to ensure everyone participates in the electoral process. One out of six Blacks are denied the right to vote because they have a felony record. I think it's senseless to deny any rights to anyone who commits a non-violent drug offense. You can be a CEO of a company who mismanaged your employee pension, serve maybe a year in Club Fed and once you get out, your voting rights are instantly reinstated? Where is the justice?

Both the Republicans and Libertarians have done a rotten job addressing these social problems to the American public. There is a reason why there are more blacks within the Democratic party than the LP or Republican Party: They talk about these issues to recruit blacks into their party. Education is the key to making sure things happen.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Minority Outreach and Libertarians

The following I wrote on the LP blog last week concerning a Stephen Gordon story which was posted on the blog. Here's what I wrote in response to a few Libertarians who seemed like they didn't care about the plight of minorities in this country.

"Somedays I think some Libertarians are the most unsynpathetic people on the face of this earth. These responses are the reason why minorities cringe when asked to explore the LP for another option. Our jails are riddled with people who don't deserve to me there (non-violent drug users and drug possession). Most of these people are blacks and Hispanics that are being railroaded by the judicial system. Let me point out some statistics

1 out of 6 blacks can't vote because of a felony on their record.

There are more black women in college than black men.

49 percent of the US incarcerated population are black, another 30 percent are Hispanic.

In black communities, the unemployment population is 2 to 3 times higher than the national average.

Cocaine users are 74 percent White while those convicted of cocaine related offenses are 70 percent Black.

The state of Illinois (where I reside) has the highest black prision population of any state in the Union: 76 percent!

From what I understand Stephen Gordon didn't write this because of the NPR story, he wrote it because the LP has been doing a rotten job recruiting minorities into our movement. For the last 20+ years we have been pandering to the right especially on economic issues, when are we going to start pandering to the left on civil liberty issues? Isn't economic freedom just as important as our civil liberties?

It's a travesty-but most Libertarians have turned a blind eye to the fact that when one person's rights are eroding, EVERYONE ELSES is too! There still is a huge racial disparity in this country: we have the answers, some of us give a damn to do something about it!"

A few example responses from fellow Libertarians:

I for one am way more interested in the LP for their civil liberties stances rather than the economic ones. Ever since coming to this blog, I have come to the same conclusion that Chris has pointed out: that most libertarians are more willing to fight and argue for economic liberties (and elect a republican if he/she must) than for civil liberties (and, despite all the just Bush-bashing, are more prone to criticize Dems). I for one would gladly elect a Dem over a Repub. I understand that the LP was originally a conservative movement. I also understand that economic rights are still personal rights, and are just as important. But i fear conservatives. They would gladly take away any one of our rights (note the PATRIOT Act). They are only *for* economic rights because they are greedy rich businessmen. What do liberals stand to gain with promoting civil liberties? There can be no ulterior motives there.
Posted by: Buddy at August 9, 2005 11:16 PM

Chris Bennett: I think your post was generally excellent. I have long found it distressing that so many people who call themselves Libertarian are so unsympathetic to the rights of minorities in real life.
Posted by: Libertarian TV at August 10, 2005 06:02 AM

Chris Bennet's comments are very strong to me, because I just read a few chapters of Napolitano's Costitutional Chaos last night(thanks whoever recommended me that book!). In the parts I was reading he was discussing why the government's war against the second amendment and the government's war on drugs were unfairly targeting minorities, while the government and media was telling minorities that their problems were drugs and guns.

With recent world events, it is understandable why the LP is focusing more on economics, and foreign policy, some of the greatest problems for our nation, but I feel the populace, minority AND majority, does need a huge dose of education on the second amendment and "War on drugs". It's a hard argument to win, as the government has implanted in every American's mind, even those that use drugs that "drugs are bad, and only bad people use them". Hell, I believe it to an extent myself. I think virtually all forms of drug use are incredibly stupid, except for medical uses, but it isn't the government's job to protect people from themselves.

As Chris was showing, look how many minorities have been "protected" so far. Has the government "protected" minorities by making several substances illegal, causing a huge burst in their prices, which causes spikes in violence to pay for the substances, and then taking guns away from law abiding citizens? Of course not.

There should be something we can do about it. I have no idea what, though.
Posted by: Paul P. at August 10, 2005 10:35 AM

It's not just that the LP has not appealed to ethnic minorities, it's that the LP and many vocal libertarians appear to have no social conscience.

They don't see "bars on windows" as a problem, they don't get incensed over the size of the prison population, but if a candidate doesn't say "taxation is theft" or such nonsense, they go nuts.

I was very happy to see this post. The folks who babysit our Platform won't touch "left" issues, I'm glad the staff has the courage to do so.
Posted by: Ben Kalafut at August 10, 2005 08:50 PM

So, how are Libertarians able to court the minority vote?

I have a few suggestions that may help:

1. Reform the platform. Our platform scares away potential members.

2. Gun ownership. People kill People NOT GUNS! Guns are for the protection of life and property, not to commit crimes. We have the right to defend ourselves from thugs, thieves and other aggressors.

3. Marijuana Decriminalization- Many minorities are incarcerated for use/possession of marijuana. If marijuana were decriminalixed, many minorities would not be rotting in the penal system. Plus the black market for marijuana would disappear and the gang mentality that cripples their respective communities would decrease. Keeping minorities from participating in society (ie: voting, employment, family life) increases the chances of being repeat offenders.

4. Taxes: Lower taxes will increase wealth and expendable income. In turn will mean they have more money to save, invest or donate. Lower taxes will also mean more money to buy a nice home, start a business, send their children to a decent school or a college education to improve their skills. Lower taxes means that people will invest in their own communities empowering all those involved. Lower taxes will mean less dependency on the government and learn how to be self-sufficient (something the Democrats don't want them to be).

5. Equal Rights for Everyone- Minorities really do not benefit from Affirmative Action. Affirmative Action in my opinion increases the tension between the races. Lower qualified applicants get hired because they need to diversify the workplace. I say hire the most experienced people for the job no matter what race they are. Minorities will be able to compete in the workforce when they are able to get the education and work experience needed to fill jobs without quotas. No individual in this country is less equal than another. When Affirmative Action goes away, racial tensions will diminish.

A more friendly platform and committed activism in the minority communities will bring in more minorities into the movement. Our ideas are ripe for them. Many of them are searching for options, let's make the LP an option they can come home to!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

More on Sir Mix-A-Lot

Sir Mix-A-Lot was definately pro-2nd Amendment. In this song, Hip Hop Soldier off his Swass album, you will notice a line where he says,"I don't believe in gun control, the theory is proven. Give a criminal a gun, and your public is losin'." Even a rapper like Sir Mix-A-LOT knew that our seconsd Amendment rights are imperative.

I'm a hip hop soldier ...
I'm a hip hop soldier

All you wannabe gangstas, drivin' Volkswagons
Chillin' at the high schools, broke but braggin'
Under educated, your style is dated
You talk behind my back and your rope's gold-plated
But I'm back to take revenge, my beef will never end
I'll tear your midsection, 'til your body start to bend
Like a pistol, I'm a smokin'
I'm crushin', not jokin'
Whippin' sissies for a past time, and no I'm never chokin'
I blow away suckers with the flicker of my index
Not brass monkey, it's a natural reflex
Go getter tactics, makin' suckers holla
A vicious motherfucker with a rope around my collar
I carry lots a cash, I whip a sucker's ass
I drive a big Caddy, and I pull the trigger fast
Down at Arnold's on the Ave, I fight 'til the death
I let you suck my in my chest, and then I break your damn neck
I got the cold beats rippin', your needle's not skippin'
So many damn weapons that the military's trippin'
People in Seattle hate me, cause I'm not like a hood
But you rock heads wish that you could

Be a hip hop soldier ...
I'm a hip hop soldier

Now let's get one thing straight, my weapons are great
You 22 automatic suckers are late
Got a quarter Moon clip, and a Smith and Wesson
I'm about to give you roody-poos a cold gun lesson
I'm the wizard of mayhem, master of destruction
Got a 44 mag, with the blunt instructions
Page 1 says open, page 2 says feel
Page 3 says cock, page 4 says kill
A mini 14, full combat dress
A thirty round clip, and I ain't takin' no mess
Cause I'm a rough eyegrasser, a camouflage dresser
My M16 has a flasher presser
My Sterling mark six , it's funny but it hits
It looks sideways but the sucker will kick
A pack of dangerous beretta, kinda small but its good
Some of you wannabes wish that you could

Be a hip hop soldier
I'm a hip hop soldier

Now I'm about to get go, so I better clean up
I'm not avigatin' crime, but you gotta get tough
I don't believe in gun control, the theory is proven
Give a criminal a gun, and your public is losin'
For you gotta fight back, cause the pigs ain't black
No protection in your section, now it's time to act
A 22 won't due, you need rapid fire
I'm a ammo gum gun buyer
Big battle rifles, can make a suckers day
You mess around with Mix-A-Lot, you might get blown away
Wearin' 5 gold rings, never intimidated
In Seattle they are jealous, cause a brother has made it
But they don't mess with me, cause they might get Iked
I'm not a gay rapper, I don't like to get knifed
The devil made me do it, and I wannabe good
Don't you roody-poos wish that you could

Be a hip hop soldier ...
I'm a hip hop soldier ...
I'm a hip hop soldier ...

I'm runnin' hollow point bullets, in my 38
So if you plan to get ill, you better stay in your place
Cause I'm not a game player, I'm just a rhyme sayer
My vigilante group includes my mayor
I pack two uzis cause they stop all crime
You might get yours, but don't let me get mine
I never beat woman, romance is better
If a freak wants to leave, boy you might as well let her
West coast rappers we all bust hard
When we chillin' on the set, we never need a bodyguard
People in Seattle hate me, cause I'm not like a hood
Some of you wannabes wish that you could

Be a hip hop soldier ...
I'm a hip hop soldier ...
I'm a hip hop soldier

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Keratoconus

Bad news but maybe it will make me stronger. Over the years I have developed a rare eye disease called Keratoconus. My mother has it therefore I got it from her. There are options which I am having a hard time trying to decide what path to take. I'm glad that I am going to college now before my sight goes bad. I am happy for one thing: my wonderful beautiful wife. She is very understanding and will love me even if I go blind. I just hope they have a cure before that happens.


a non-inflammatory eye condition in which the normally round dome-shaped cornea progressively thins causing a cone-like bulge to develop. This results in significant visual impairment. The cornea is the clear window of the eye and is responsible for refracting most of the light coming into the eye. Therefore, abnormalities of the cornea severely affect the way we see the world making simple tasks, like driving, watching TV or reading a book difficult.

In its earliest stages, keratoconus causes slight blurring and distortion of vision and increased sensitivity to glare and light. These symptoms usually first appear in the late teens and early twenties. Keratoconus may progress for 10-20 years and then slow in its progression. Each eye may be affected differently.

Eyeglasses or soft contact lenses may be used to correct the mild nearsightedness and astigmatism that is caused in the early stages of keratoconus. As the disorder progresses and the cornea continues to thin and change shape, rigid gas permeable contact lenses can be prescribed to correct vision more adequately. The contact lenses must be carefully fitted, and frequent checkups and lens changes may be needed to achieve and maintain good vision.

In severe cases, a corneal transplant may be needed due to scarring, extreme thinning or contact lens intolerance. This is a surgical procedure that replaces the keratoconus cornea with healthy donor tissue.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Libertarian Rappers?

I saw a site awhile back that said that Sir Mix-A-Lot was a Libertarian? In the following song Take My Stash off his Chief Boot Knocka album, I can see he might have some Libertarian leanings especially when one has some issues with the IRS!

There's a black man livin in a big (big) house
Three credit cards fulla fat (fat) clout
Fatass garage holdin nine (nine) cars
One of them Mack Daddy rap (rap) stars
Me, rollin in the AMG still
?Six slater? with the monochrome grille
Don't serve birds but I'm livin like a king
But the IRS got a thing for a brother like me
Uncle Sam wanna buy another missile (yep)
Strip Mix-a-Lot straight down to the gristle (mm)
I made a few mil' and the auditors come
Sounds dumb, but this is how the phone got hung (yep)
Somebody hated that Mix-a-Lot rep
Straight-up snitch tryin to get Mix sw-ept
But I'm back, the black dynamo's on track
I got jack for the big tax
Yep, they freeze my accounts, put a lean on my house (mmm)
Straight left a nigga AAAAAASSED OUT
Helicopters over my house (my house)
Takin pictures of a brother in his draws wit his thing out (uhh)
Livin the life of a suspected crook
Cause I never play the game by the book
If you're livin too large, ya better watch that ass
Cause the IRS,
Is gonna take yo stash

Why you wanna take my stash?
Why you wan' take my stash?
Why you wanna take my stash?

D-O-T came to my house, tell me wassup
You wanna huff and puff and take a brother's stuff?
Then I saw the treasury badge -
This is bigger than One-Time, so I got mad
So what do ya got to say about me,
The M-I-X-A-L-O, T?
He starts scopin my house, havin his doubts
About a brother with street AND bank clout
His partner was writin on a thick (thick) pad
Checkin out the goodies that Mix (Mix) had
Trippin off the things that I bought (bought) cash
Tryin to send a brother up-state (state) fast
Yep (yep), livin on the edge, I swear
The government is tryin to keep a brother (brother) scared
Rappers wanna talk about, life's unfair?
Well I've seen the eyes of the big bad bear
TAXMAN COMIN, TAXMAN TAKIN
TAXMAN'S A PIMP, SO THE TAXMAN BREAKIN (yeah)
Ordered my books, now who's the real crooks?
On the streets, now I'm gettin funny looks ('sup fool?)
Everybody's thinkin I'm broke (broke)

Do I smoke (smoke), or am I sellin the coke?
Now I'm keepin my receipts for the gas,
Cause the IRS,
Is tryin to take my stash

Why you wanna take my stash?
Why you wan' take my stash?
Why you wanna take my stash?

But +I Checks My Bank+ so I paid 'em (yep)
They put a tap on my phone and I made 'em (mmm)
I paid 'em, two hundred and eighty-five G's
And now it's just a ninety-one fee (god damn)
I ain't tellin no lies, fool, 'cause I'm real with this
And muthaf**kas can't deal with this
Some call me the sixty mil' man
And now I'm trippin off a uncle named Sam
But a mack just can't go bank (bank) rupt
Still payin well 'cause I make (make) cuts
Accountants on the regular, checkin my ends
Bought another fresh drop top (top) Benz
Yep yep yep, +Just Da Pimpin in Me+
Twenty G's on the block when I hit L.B.
Stashed a lil' bread in the ninety-three
Bill collectors don't see me, G!
In this fort, I'm the man with the miracle torque
To pull through all sorts of them tax ?odds?
In '94, I know I gotta think fast
Cause they'll be back, tryin to take my stash

(work too hard)
Why you wanna take my stash?
(work too hard)
Why you wan' take my stash?
(work too hard)
Break it on down!
Ha ha, bring it back!
Why you wanna take my stash?
Huh!
Why you wanna take my stash?
Why you wanna take my stash, fool? Yuh!
Why you wanna take my stash?
Why you wanna take my stash?
Why you wanna take my stash ... mista guv' nah?

Why you wanna take my staaaashhhh?

Transportation Bill Pork

I recieve Richard Boddie's news posts from time to time and I ran across this. It seems that the Transportation Bill that Congress had just passed had millions of dollars of pork for projects across the country. I think these pork projects are a waste of taxpayer's money.

* $220,000 for one line-item for trolley buses in Puerto Rico
* $366,000 for one line-item for intermodal transportation at the Bronx
Zoo
* $835,000 for a second line-item for intermodal transportation at
the Bronx Zoo
* $4.2 million for intermodal transportation at the Philadelphia Zoo
* $146,000 for a second line-item for trolley buses in Puerto Rico
* $1.3 million for sidewalk lighting and landscaping around
Cedar's-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles
* $1.3 million for a daycare center and park-and-ride facility in
Champaign, IL
* $1.7 million for an intermodal park and ride facility at the Museum
of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA
* $2 million for a third line-item for intermodal transportation at
the Bronx Zoo
* $440,000 for a bike path in Powers, OR
$480,000 for pedestrian and bicycle sidewalks, lighting, and
handicapped ramps in Miramar, FL
* $200,000 for trails and bike paths on Bird Mountain, TN
* $960,000 for a bike path in Riverhead, NY
* $2.3 million for landscaping enhancements "for aesthetic purposes"
along the Ronald Reagan Freeway, CA
* $240,000 for boardwalks at Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo, CA
* $1.6 million to enhance the Battery Park bikeway perimeter, New York
City
* $200,000 for a historical trolley project in Issaquah, WA
* $200,000 for trails, bike paths, and recreational facilities on
Black Mountain, TN
* $235,796 for extensions to the Mesabi Trail, Aurora, MN
* $144,000 for paths and trails at the Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens, OH
* $160,000 for a bike path, Petal, MS
* $200,000 for a bike path "network", Evanston, IL
* $2.9 million for a bike path, Delta Ponds, OR
* $240,000 for bike and pedestrian improvements, Windermere, FL
* $2.4 million for bike trail, Smyrna, TN
* $1.2 million for a bike trail, LaVergne, TN
* $800,000 for regional bike routes on existing highways, Austin, TX
* $480,000 to rehabilitate a historic warehouse, Lyons, NY
* $320,000 for a bike path from San Luis Obispo to Avila Beach, CA
* $280,000 for a bike path, Fairview Park, OH
* $600,000 for horse-riding trails, Jefferson National Forest, VA
* $2 million for a bike trail, Cookeville, TN
* $2 million for an intermodal bikeway, Independence, OH
* $640,000 for bike, pedestrian and other improvements at Georgia
Veterans Memorial Park
* $1.2 million for pedestrian bicycle access project, Newark NJ
* $1.2 million for a bike path, East Long-meadow Redstone, MA
* $8 million for the Harlem Hospital parking facility
* $1.8 million for a bike path, Portage, WI
* $2.6 million for pedestrian walkway and bikeway improvements along
the NYC Greenway System in Coney Island, NY
* $400,000 for a bike path in Dunkirk, NY
* $532,000 for a bike and pedestrian trail, Gallatin, TN