Monday, April 29, 2013

Will Judge Prather draw the line?

On July 1, 2012, two Woodstock teenagers died in a single-car crash just outside Woodstock on Davis Road. Careful investigation by the accident-investigation division of the McHenry County Sheriff's Department led to the discovery of a second vehicle and the identification and arrest of Daniel "Potatoe" Huber.

A cell phone call to Huber may even have been in progress at the time of the crash, according to records of the telephone owned by the driver of the crashed vehicle.

Huber was charged with drag-racing, failure to report an accident and obstruction of justice (six counts, in all) on August 8. And then the normal, let's-drag-it-out-as-long-as-possible court process started.

A common strategy to demand a jury trial. When that happens, the judge ought to set a trial date. Hello? That is, actually set a trial date. Like, a real date, on the calendar. Then let both sides start working toward that date.

But what happens in McHenry County? Continuance after continuance. What goes on the calendar is "Status - Trial Date". And then another continuance.

Probably some "deal" is in the works. A 402 Conference (deal-making session) was scheduled for February 28 and then continued. And then scheduled for April 2, and then continued. And then finally held on April 25. And now a date is set for May 23 for "Status". Why not for trial?

There is either a deal or there isn't. If the two sides can't agree, then go to trial. Set a trial date, and have the trial. No last-minute deal then.

If the judges would stop fooling around and put a stop to the "Let's Make a Deal" game, the backlog of cases would clear up. Lawyers would have to earn their fees. County costs would go down. Huber has a Public Defender.

This means that McHenry County (that's you) is paying for the prosecution and for the defense. Taxpayers are getting hit with both ends of the bill. So why not cut it down? Give him a fair trial; just give it to him right away.

He's got a car; right? He was driving it with he was drag-racing (alleged, of course) with the driver of the other car. Well, couldn't he sell the car and pay for his lawyer?

MCSD - policy on tattoos?

Does the McHenry County Sheriff's Department have any policy on tattoos on deputies? Would that disqualify an applicant for a job as a deputy or corrections officer?

Did you notice the photo in the Northwest Herald this morning of Deputy Kramer holding the thermal imaging camera? What's up with the "death" tattoo?

I don't have any problem with deputies being fit and strong enough to do the job. From time to time they have to deal with hard-to-handle suspects.

I do have a problem with "pumped-up" physiques that then present a "Bully" appearance and attitude to the public. I recall being at the McHenry County Fair a few years ago, and two deputies were strutting around in their black "muscle" t-shirts. They were armed, of course, but it was hard to see their official ID on the shirts.

MCSD should have a policy that tattoos will be covered while on duty and representing the Department. Deputy Kramer needs a shirt with a longer sleeve, since his tattoo is probably permanent.

You can view Kramer's tattoo online or in the print edition of the Monday Northwest Herald.

MCC takes show on the road

Remember when colleges just held recruiting fairs and maybe sent recruiters to high schools to tell prospective students about their campuses.

McHenry County College (MCC) has announced the first in a series of forums to feature the College's "key initiatives and programming". The first will be held tomorrow at 6:30PM at the Heineman Middle School auditorium, 725 Academic Dr., Algonquin. That's on the Square Barn Road campus.

This announcement comes less than two days after three new members were seated on the MCC Board of Trustees.

You can view the entire schedule for the nine (count 'em ... 9) forums at

Electronic goodies at MCSD

An article in this morning's Northwest Herald reveals that the McHenry County Sheriff's Department is using Automatic License Plate Readers (ALPR). You know what these are; right?

Little cameras in the windshield and rear window can read license plate numbers (thousands of them) and identify stolen cars and cars of wanted owners (not necessarily the drivers). When did they get this tool?

Zinke told the Northwest Herald: "The readers allow officers to search for stolen vehicles, suspects who are wanted, or those suspected of dealing drugs, among other things.

"Recently, they have been used to track down motorists involved in hit-and-run accidents when the only information available is a partial plate number and description of the vehicle involved, as well as shootings involving vehicles where no suspect has been identified."

Now Zinke either fed this nonsense to the reporter or the reporter misunderstood what Zinke told him. My money is on the reporter. I'll bet he understood exactly what he was told and reported it accurately.

The "stolen vehicles" recognition could be partially correct, if the stolen vehicle still displays its own plate. How many crooks steal a car and then drive around with the its plates still on it? So, the ALPR really IDs a stolen license plate; then the deputy has to figure out if the car itself is stolen and whether the person driving it is a thief, or "the" thief.

The ALPR will not identify a suspect who is wanted; it recognizes license plates. Same with those (persons) who are suspected of dealing drugs.

What does "... track down motorists involved in ... shootings involving vehicles where no suspect has been identified" mean? If they have a license plate number, then they have a suspect or lead. Duh...

But it's the "among other things" that bothers me the most. Who controls what license plate numbers are entered into the search system? How many license plate numbers are entered for vehicles of people who are not criminals, but somebody that someone at MCSD just wants to spy on?

A few years ago Sheriff Nygren claimed I was stalking him. Are my license plates in the system?

Of course, I had a very unusual way of stalking Sheriff Nygren. My secret method was to drive into an outlying space in the Jewel-Osco parking lot in Woodstock and then pretend to be making a telephone call, until Sheriff Nygren pulled in alongside of me in his County-owned Tahoe and stopped alongside my car. Ha. And I'm the one who is stalking him! There's a bed over at South St. Hospital for you, Keith, if you are still having delusions or if you still can't control the lies you tell.

Other "high tech" programs at MCSD? How about the "intelligence-led policing effort"?

The deputies hate this one. This is the one where crime locations are pinpointed on a map, and then a deputy drives his patrol car out to that area and sits there for his entire shift, waiting for the next crime. And, while he sitting there, the rest of his assigned district goes without protection. And they call this "intelligence-led" policing.

They could learn a lesson from the prospectus for a high-risk penny stock. "Past performance is not indicative of future results." That one has been around for a long time.

Deputies, get hold of Lawerence Synett at the Northwest Herald. Ask him if he will maintain confidentiality about information you provide him. I believe he will. Tell him how intelligence-led policing really affects law enforcement in McHenry County.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Armed citizen stops criminal

Take a look at this article. If you had been in Smith's Marketplace in Salt Lake City last Thursday evening, your life might have been saved by this man with a gun.

Source: ABC4-TV, Salt Lake City, Utah

And now, let's think about Illinois. Suppose you are in Jewel-Osco or Dominick's or Walgreens or (fill in the blank), and some nut goes off the deep end. Are you going to wish that an armed citizen is right them to intervene?

Rahm Emanuel wants his top cop, Supt. Garry McCarthy, to have the final say on who gets a concealed-carry license in the City of Chicago. Do you think Chicago residents can trust him? Trust either of them? Think Rahm might hand Garry a list with the names of people who are not to be issued licenses?

Then let's move it closer; say, to McHenry County. If Illinois becomes a "may issue" state, can you guess who will be the last person in McHenry County to get a concealed-carry license?

I like the idea of Constitutional Carry. Will it happen? I don't think so.

I don't think Illinois legislators will let it happen. They will pass a "bad" law, before they will allow Constitutional carry to become the law in Illinois. Does the NRA and the ISRA have the muscle to stop a "bad" law? Much as I'd like to believe they do, I don't.

It will only take 65 votes (majority of 118 State Reps) in the Illinois House to pass a "bad" law. Can the ISRA lobbyists muster 65 votes to prevent a bad bill? Then the Illinois Senate will roll right over with a bad bill, and Gov. Quinn will sign a "bad" bill, and then we're stuck with it.

What can you do? Call your McHenry County State Reps and tell them in no uncertain terms to vote against a "bad" bill.

AND call everyone you know in Cook County and ask them to call their State Reps and tell them "No bad bill".

Even if you aren't a gun owner, your help is needed.

Beth Bentley - Week 153

Where is Beth Bentley? Who knows where she is? Who in Woodstock knows where she is?

In the last week a reader who lives about 35 minutes from Mount Vernon, Ill. offered to help with a search. What kind of search could be mounted after almost three years? Would it just be luck to stumble across clothing remnants or other evidence?

Southern Illinois is dotted with mine shafts and wells. What if her accidental death occurred on the week-end of May 22-23, 2010, and someone with her panicked? What if, rather than seeking help or just 'fessing up at the time, those with knowledge of her death decided to cover it up?

The crime they now face is much greater. Is there a statute of limitations on concealment of a death?

I don't know anyone who thinks Beth is alive.

The Woodstock Police have refused a second FOIA request. If this case is really "only" a Missing Person case, why are they refusing to release information. If it's really more than a Missing Person case, why aren't they saying so? Can they really not have persons-of-interest in the three years since Beth vanished?

Isn't it a little suspicious that there really isn't any reward, other than those that were offered by the two local Crime Stoppers groups? And now that there is only one surviving Crime Stoppers group, is that reward down to "up to $1,000". The average reward paid out by Crime Stoppers is about $300, nowhere close to the $1,000 that many people think is offered.

In the case of Crime Stoppers of McHenry County, there is a "secret" group that makes decisions and doles out reward money. The McHenry County Sheriff's Department knows what is going on, because the Public Information Officer (deputy) of the MCSD works closely with the group, but MCSD refuses to release information in response to FOIA requests, even though it has information in its records.

So, write off any meaning to a reward from Crime Stoppers of McHenry County. No one is going to rat out a friend for $300, especially if there is some risk to family members (children?) or to self for doing so.

So it is police work that is going to find Beth. Or private citizens working with professional investigations who can access deep information and then put it to good use.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

MCR2CA announces two training nights

The McHenry County Right To Carry Association (of which I am a board member and secretary/treasurer) has announced two one-evening trainings. These programs are open to members, prospective members, the general public, men, women, shooters, non-shooters...

The first is on May 30 and is titled "Legal Ramifications of Self-Defense". It will be presented by Attorney Jerry Novak.

The second is on June 6 and is titled "Ladies Night - Strategies for Personal Safety". This program will be presented by Alexandra Nelson.

Full details can be viewed on the Association's website at  Click on Events. Each night is $10.00, payable at the door. Programs will be presented at the Woodstock VFW, 240 N. Throop St. at 7:00PM.

Membership in the MCR2CA is $20.00 annually, with memberships good through the end of the month one year after you join. Join in April; good through May next year. Join online and pay via PayPal, or send $20 with your name, address, email address and phone number to MCR2CA, P.O. Box 663, Woodstock, IL 60098.  Out-of-county and out-of-state memberships welcome, too.

Friday, April 26, 2013

In drag at MCC... I don't know about that

This morning's headline on Page 1 of the Northwest Herald: "MMC extends Smith's contract".

News item on Page B-1, "Drag queens to perform at MCC".

Where is our local, tax-supported, community college going, folks?

Trustees on the "old" Board, the Board which decided the "new" trustees (Chris Jenner, Molly Walsh, Tom Wilbeck) couldn't be trusted with quickly understanding the performance evaluations of Pres. Vicky Smith and making the correct decision on the extension of her contract, voted 6-2 last night to extend the president's contract to 2015. Here's how they voted.

Dennis Adams - No
Cynthia Kisser - Yes
Carol Larson - Yes
Linda Liddell - Yes
Mary Miller - Yes
Ron Parrish- No
Barbara Walters - Yes
Paola Rueda - Yes

Let's see, the vote was 6-2. What do you notice about the "six"?

Departing Trustee Adams said, "I don't think any harm would come if we waited until June. The appearance of impropriety will have long-lasting effects."

He is absolutely right!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Finding in Bob Bless ARDC matter

The Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) has arrived at a finding in the matter involving Attorney Bob Bless, who is a former McHenry County Board member.

After a long trial, the finding was handed down. The next step is the decision and sanctions, if any.

The mission of the ARDC is to promote and protect the integrity of the legal profession, at the direction of the Supreme Court, through attorney registration, education, investigation, prosecution and remedial action.

No carry permit based on "character"

Action on concealed carry legislation is heating up in the Illinois Senate. Supposedly, there was some cooperation going on between Sen. Bivins (R-45 (Dixon)) and Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-13 (Chicago)), until Sen. Bivins reportedly bailed out.

I called Sen. Raoul's office in Springfield, reaching voicemail both times. Today I called his Chicago District office and reached a friendly male staffer. He guessed that SB0848 may become Sen. Raoul's concealed-carry bill. Right now, it's a shell bill with some wording about fire extinguishers.

Apparently, Sen. Raoul may think that some rejection language is appropriate, along the lines of giving the Chicago Police Superintendent and the Cook County Sheriff the authority to over-ride issuance of a State concealed-carry license, if the Superintendent or Sheriff has questions about the Applicant's "character".

I explained the problem to the staffer and asked him to pass it along to Sen. Raoul. The problem?

If the sheriff or the police chief doesn't "like" the applicant, he'll find something wrong with his "character" and deny the license. This will result in a massive number of appeals, delays, court cases and reversals.

I believe that "shall issue" by the Illinois State Police is the only fair choice for concealed carry in a state as dirty as Illinois, and I believe there should be one law State-wide - no exceptions for Chicago or other municipalities or counties.

Trotter skates with $190 + community service

.25 cal. Beretta
Remember the arrest of Illinois Senator Donne Trotter (D-17 (Chicago)), who tried to pass through airport security with a .25 cal. Beretta pistol and bullets on about December 5, 2012?

OK, so what would happen if you tried that? You'd still be sitting in the clink.

But Trotter?

Yesterday he pled guilty to misdemeanor (da more I miss, da meaner I gets) reckless conduct. Yes! A misdemeanor!

And how far did he have to dig into his wallet? Only to the first $190 for fines and costs. Hell, stop sign ticket in McHenry County will cost you more than that! Oh, and he has to serve 60 (only 60!) hours of community service! And what was done about the fact that Trotter's gun was not registered, as required, in Chicago? Nothing...

Well, the next time I get arrested for trying to get to my flight with a gun and bullets, I'll have to check the queue for Judge Charles Burns.

Plea deals get worked between the prosecution and the defense. Why did the prosecution and the judge consent to such a deal?

Did the prosecutors check the time-card records at Allpoints Security & Detective, Inc. for the past 24 months? How many late-night shifts did Donne Trotter really work on shifts that required him to carry that "pea shooter" of a pistol? Did any work that Trotter did there require him to be armed? Any?

No security guard I know would carry such a light, less-effective weapon. Imagine confronting some gangbanger in a dark lumber yard some night after the silent alarm rang. If a guard is challenging an armed trespasser or thief, he'll certainly want more fire power than a .25 cal. Beretta.

Trotter got a sweetheart deal. Kind of makes you sick, doesn't it?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Wed. - call your Ill. Senator!

An urgent appeal is being made by the Illinois State Rifle Association to call Illinois Senators early on Wednesday, April 24, and request them to vote against any "bad" concealed carry bill sprung on them by Senate leadership. The bill, as yet unintroduced and therefore with a Bill Number, is expected. Apparently, Illinois Senate Pres. John Cullerton is playing the same shell game as Speaker Mike Madigan in the Illinois House.

It is easy to feel that "someone else" will call; don't fall for that. Make the call yourself.



The ISRA has learned that an anti-gun senator from Chicago has written a horrible “may issue” concealed carry bill that would “carve” Cook County out from the rest of the state. In effect, this bill would allow the Cook County Sheriff and the Chicago Superintendant to deny permit applications filed by Cook County residents. Furthermore, carry permits issued in other counties would be VOID in Cook County. In other words, it would be illegal for you to carry a defensive firearm in the place you need it most – Cook County.

It is important that every firearm owner in the state call their State Senator and express opposition to this bill – it affects every one of us, not just Cook County residents. No matter where you live in the state, as a gun owner you cannot sit idly by and watch millions of good citizens in Cook County have their civil rights trampled. If this bill passes, it won’t be long until the obstacles to concealed carry erected by Cook County will spread to many other counties in the state. You must act now!

As of the writing of this Action Alert, no bill number has been assigned to this bad carry bill. The Senate leadership is playing a shell game with us. There is no telling where it will pop up. Nonetheless, it is very important that you follow the instructions in this alert!

Remember. . .

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart does not have the right to decide if you are worth defending or not.

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy does not have the right to decide whether you will live or die.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel does not have the right to condemn your family members to rape, robbery and murder.


1. Call your State Senator Wednesday morning, starting at 8:30 AM, and politely tell the person who answers the phone that you are a law-abiding firearm owner and that you oppose any “may issue” concealed carry bill, regardless of when and where it is filed. Politely tell the person who answers the phone that you will only support a clean, “shall issue” concealed carry bill such as HB0997 or SB1284. Politely tell the person that you stand in solidarity with the law-abiding citizens of Chicago and Cook County who wish only to protect themselves and their families. If you do not know who your State Senator is, the Illinois State Board of Elections has an interactive search page here:

If you know who your State Senator is, you can find their contact info here:

Harvey PD operations - Yikes!

Suppose you had a name popular (in some places) and had a few well-placed connections. How would you like to have a take-home, unmarked police car with all the goodies (lights, etc.) for your personal use?

And be able to use it in other communities (with the lights and acting like a cop)?

And not have to show up for work for four years?

Is your name Mustafah Farrakhan? Are you in the area of Harvey, Ill.? Don't know where Harvey is? Try to picture 15400 South Halsted.

The Chicago Sun-Times published a long article on Sunday. The details are enough to turn your stomach sour. What kind of a police department is Chief Denard Eaves running?

What kind of liability does the City of Harvey face, if Copper Farrakham does something stupid some night?

What kind of cr*p does Chief Eaves throw up when he says, “Officer Farrakhan assists the Police Department with community relations, in its quest to strengthen ties between police and the community”? Har-har. The article says Farrakhan hasn't clocked any hours for four years! Yet he has the personal use of a city police car? And while he lives in Crete, 30 minutes away from Harvey?

Thanks to the Chicago Sun-Times, the Illinois Police Standards & Training Board is nosing around. Chief Eaves ought to be kicked into retirement, but he won't be.

Gee, before the Sun-Times got all excited, I wonder if I could have gotten the okay to put some red/blue lights on my "basic undercover car" and used it around the area. Yeah, sure....

Monday, April 22, 2013

Nunda Twp. - still under seige

From Wayne-O, my kindred spirit in Island Lake:

"We are still in need of help at the Nunda Township building.  The river went up again and we have many residents in need.  If you could forward this request to anyone you think could volunteer, that would be great.   Have them come to the Nunda Township Road Building, 3518 Bay Road in Crystal Lake.   Phone 815-459-4410 

Also,  If you are in need of Sandbags,  Please call (815) 459-4410"

Cold weather is the cause!

Just in. This email from a friend in Arizona. Now we know the true cause of Chicago's high gun-violence rate!

Tale of Two Cities
Chicago, IL
Houston, TX
2.7 million
2.15 million
Median HH Income
% African-American
% Hispanic
% Asian
% Non-Hispanic White
Pretty similar until you compare the following:
Chicago, IL
Houston, TX
Concealed Carry gun law
# of Gun Stores
84 - Dedicated gun stores plus 1500 - legal places to buy guns- Walmart, K-mart, sporting goods, etc.
Homicides, 2012
Homicides per 100K
Avg. January high temperature – (F)
Conclusion:  Cold weather causes murder.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Ill. State Senators - in the dark?

This week-end I prepared a spreadsheet of Illinois Senators, as I prepared to contact many of them about concealed-carry legislation that ought to be headed their way soon.

Proponents of a fair law are being beaten into the ground in the Illinois House of Representatives, and bargaining has already begun in the Senate, as it anticipates House action before the June 8 deadline set by the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Supposedly, Senators Kwame Raoul (D-13, Chicago) and Tim Bivins (R-45, Dixon) have started to bargain over a carve-out for Chicago. Associated Press reporter John O'Connor wrote (erroneously, in my opinion) that "The plan appears to give both sides what they want."

No, John, proponents of a fair and equitable concealed-carry law for the entire State of Illinois (Chicago is still in Illinois, isn't it?) do not want a carve-out for Chicago!

On the one hand, why should we, not in Chicago, care what the legislators do to their own constituents? About the "carve-out", I mean. But we want "shall issue", and that's an entirely different issue that "carve-out", unless some of the legislators are talking about "shall issue" for all of the State except Chicago and "may issue" for Chicago/Cook County.

As I prepared my spreadsheet, I could not find even one e-mail address for a State Senator in the listings of the 59 Senators. Has it always been this way? Must I telephone 59 Senators' offices to learn their email addresses?
Sen. Lightford

Eight of the 59 do not list a fax number for their District offices.

One Senator does not list a telephone number for a District office, and this same Senator, Kimberly Lightford (Illinois Senate District 4), does not even list a street or mailing address for her District Office. Does she even have a District office? If not, what does she do with the money allocated for a district office?

Sen. Lightford has been a Senator for 14 years, so maybe she hasn't noticed yet that no District office is listed for her. Her House-Associated State Reps are Chris Welch and La Shawn Ford, whose District offices are located at 10055 W. Roosevelt Rd., Westchester, and 5104 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, respectively. Her Senate District spans that geographic area.

On the other hand, perhaps no Illinois Senator should spend money on a District office. Now there's a scary thought. What if Sen. Lightford has the right idea and is a leader in saving taxpayers' money. Why not abolish all local offices and let the legislators work from their homes, when they are not in session?

Beth Bentley - gone 152 weeks

On Friday in national news it was reported that Holly Bobo's purse was found a mile from where she vanished two years ago in Tennessee. At the end of one TV broadcast a reporter mentioned a $250,000 reward by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations. Online stories place the reward amount at $185,000.

Now for news about Beth Bentley, missing for three years in Illinois, and the reward in her case.

Reward? What reward? Initially, some thought the reward was as high as $5,000, and that included "up to $1,000" from each of two CrimeStoppers groups in this area. Since then, the Woodstock Area Crime Stoppers has become defunct. It slithered off into oblivion due to lack of interest of the Board of Directors, which engaged in no publicity, no fundraising, no recruitment of younger members to perpetuate the organization.

Left-over funds of the Woodstock group were supposed to be transferred to the CrimeStoppers of McHenry County group. That is a super-secret organization with a strong reputation for stonewalling any attempts to inspect its financial records or learn the identity officers or Board of Directors.

For a few bucks, the Woodstock group could have dissolved the organization honorably; instead, they are apparently allowing it to dissolve involuntarily, since the last Annual Report was not filed. It was incorporated January 12, 1987; so the Annual Report was probably due in January 2013.

There was some mention of a Beth Bentley reward fund at local bank; that effort flopped after only about $150 was donated. A family member opened the account with a starting balance of $25, and two area residents, neither of whom was related to Beth, kicked in another $125 or so. Supposedly, an elaborate Trust Agreement was put together for that reward fund, with terms that would make anyone proud. When it finally surfaced, .... well, let's just say that it was a good thing that it never had to be presented in court.

A fundraiser was held at a local party spot and about $4,000 was raised. That may have been spent on a trip to Las Vegas to search for Beth during the week after the fundraiser.

How is it that a 20-year-old woman can hold the attention of friends, family and townspeople in Tennessee and be the focus of a $250,000 reward, yet in little, ol' Woodstock a woman can be missing for three years and almost no one mentions her?

Even now, a solid, renewed search effort could be put together. A core of interested people could start from scratch and identify every move by the people with whom Beth is believed to have spent the week-end. A matrix could be built, and the dots could be connected. Gaps could be investigated. All connections need to be taken apart and explored. In great depth.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Volunteers needed in Spring Grove

If your house was flooding, would you want people to show up and help?

Volunteers are needed in Spring Grove to fill sandbags ASAP.

Anyone available should call Danat 815-675-2450 (Dan works at the fire department in Spring Grove).

Thanks in advance to all who will help.

HB0997 Hit List

Following are the Illinois State Representatives who voted NAY, PRESENT or didn't vote yesterday, when the House voted on HB0997, the concealed carry bill. The bill was pulled before the final vote was tallied, in order to save it and keep it alive.

Examine this list and submit your suggestions for which ten can be most-easily persuaded to vote YEA at the next vote. No vote record following the name means the Representative voted NAY on April 18. P = Present. NV = No Vote.

Arroyo (NV)
Burke, Daniel
Burke, Kelly
Crespo (P)
Davis, Monique
David, William
DeLuca (NV)
Farnham (P)
Harris, Greg
Jones (NV)
Mitchell, Christian
Rita (NV)
Sims (NV)
Smith (P)
Zalewski (P)

Jamey Dunn sez... about concealed carry

Read Jamey Dunn's take on the action by the Illinois House yesterday on the concealed carry bill.

Dunn's message appears on the Illinois Issues blog and followed the vote on HB0997.

Rep. Cassidy seems to think that concealed carry has something to do with hunting. She is quoted in the blog and in other places as having said, "The only hunting that’s happen in my neighborhood is of young men".

Well, dear Rep. Cassidy, that "hunting" will be reduced, if you'll hop over the fence and stand in the YEA line. Actually, I suspect there isn't any "hunting" going on in House District 14, up around 5533 North Broadway, in Chicago. Is there? That's just south of Bryn Mawr Avenue and a pretty safe neighborhood, all things considered. Getting up pretty close to Evanston there...

And the "shall issue" vs. "may issue" question? Can you imagine the difficulty that many otherwise-qualified people will have, if the King or Queen of the county or city gets to say who gets a concealed carry license and who doesn't.

Let's say, right here in McHenry County. Think Gus Philpott will ever get a license, if Woodstock Police Chief Bob Lowen or Sheriff Keith Nygren or Undersheriff Andy Zinke gets to say?

Ever since a McHenry County Sheriff's Department laughed out loud at me in 1996, when I called to ask where to get an application for concealed carry, I have been on a mission to get concealed carry passed in this state. And I'm not quiet about it. All of which means, if Illinois doesn't go "shall issue", I'll continue to be defenseless outside my residence.

As for pre-empting local control, that's a no-brainer. Of course, there should be just one concealed carry law for the entire State. There are over 130 incorporated municipalities in just Cook County alone. Do you want to have to worry about some unknown law, hidden away in a book of ordinances on some City Clerk's shelf, that would make a felon out of you for driving across its city limit?

Reps. Cassidy and Will Davis seem to like "soup". Well, let's make a soup that can be served anywhere in the State.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

HB0997 - short 7 votes today (again)

The Illinois House voted today on a concealed carry bill.

The Chicago Tribune reports the vote as

64 Yea
45 Nay
4 Present (corrected 4/19/13)

Since there are 118 State Representatives, that means at 6 (corrected 4/19/13) were AWOL, MIA, or felt an urgent call of nature and were hiding out in the bathrooms.

I want to see the list. Who voted For? Against? Who wimped out and voted "Present"? And the names of the 10 deadbeats who suck up their pay and benefits and didn't vote.

The vote was seven votes short, just as it was in May 2011. Did we proponents only tread water for 18 months?

Rep. Jack Franks became a co-sponsor of HB0997 today, as did Rep. Kay Hatcher. Why does Jack wait until voting day to slide off the fence? At what time did he step up to the plate? During the voting?

For three years, when I was asking Jack if he would support concealed carry, his answer was, "Well, I'm an NRA member, aren't I?" Looking back, I wonder why I fell for that non-answer.

This bill is not about hunting. It's about self-defense and personal protection. Why is Jack dragging his feet on this?

Jack, we in northern Illinois need your help. Lean on some of your Democratic colleagues in Cook County. They will be begging you for support on other bills. Tell them that your constituents want concealed carry now!

Is there a H.S. principal like this? Anywhere?

If only this were true. A friend sent this to me by email today. Unfortunately, identifies it as False and explains its origin. But wouldn't it be great if a high school principal in these United States had the guts to give this speech in his school and stand behind it?

Unfortunately, he'd be in his car, heading out of the parking lot by noon, to look for a new job. Sad is the state of our schools today.

America has lost its decency, manners, politeness......soon without quick changes character! 
Listen to the young people, F-this, F-that, and nary anyone will step up and correct them- even with wife and kids in tow! 
A MUST READ!!!!!!!!! 


FINALLY - - Someone in the teaching profession had the courage to set the standards so badly needed NOW. 


New high school principal 
We watched high school principal Dennis Prager of Colorado , along with Sara Palin and Tom Brokaw on TV a couple of weeks ago.....what a dynamic, down to earth speaker. Even though Palin and Brokaw were also guest speakers they did little but nod and agree with him. This is the guy that should be running for President in 2016!

A Speech Every American High School Principal Should Give. 

By Dennis Prager . 

To the students and faculty of our high school: 

I am your new principal, and honored to be so. 
There is no greater calling than to teach young people. 

I would like to apprise you of some important changes coming to our school. I am making these changes because I am convinced that most of the ideas that have dominated public education in America have worked against you, against your teachers and against our country. 

First, this school will no longer honor race or ethnicity. 
I could not care less if your racial makeup is black, brown, red, yellow or white. I could not care less if your origins are African, Latin American, Asian or European, or if your ancestors arrived here on the Mayflower or on slave ships. The only identity I care about, the only one this school will recognize, is your individual identity -- your character, your scholarship, your humanity. And the only national identity this school will care about is American. 

This is an American public school, and American public schools were created to make better Americans. If you wish to affirm an ethnic, racial or religious identity through school, you will have to go elsewhere. We will end all ethnicity, race and non-American nationality-based celebrations. They undermine the motto of America , one of its three central values -- epluribus Unum, "from many, one." And this school will be guided by America 's values. This includes all after-school clubs. I will not authorize clubs that divide students based on any identities. This includes race, language, religion, sexual orientation or whatever else may become in vogue in a society divided by political correctness. 

Your clubs will be based on interests and passions, not blood, ethnic, racial or other physically defined ties. Those clubs just cultivate narcissism -- an unhealthy preoccupation with the self -- while the purpose of education is to get you to think beyond yourself. So we will have clubs that transport you to the wonders and glories of art, music, astronomy, languages you do not already speak, carpentry and more. If the only extracurricular activities you can imagine being interested in are those based on ethnic, racial or sexual identity, that means that little outside of yourself really interests you. 

Second, I am uninterested in whether English is your native language. My only interest in terms of language is that you leave this school speaking and writing English as fluently as possible. The English language has united America 's citizens for over 200 years, and it will unite us at this school. It is one of the indispensable reasons this country of immigrants has always come to be one country.. And if you leave this school without excellent English language skills, I would be remiss in my duty to ensure that you will be prepared to successfully compete in the American job market. We will learn other languages here -- it is deplorable that most Americans only speak English -- but if you want classes taught in your native language rather than in English, this is not your school. 

Third, because I regard learning as a sacred endeavor , everything in this school will reflect learning's elevated status. This means, among other things, that you and your teachers will dress accordingly. Many people in our society dress more formally for Hollywood events than for church or school. These people have their priorities backward. Therefore, there will be a formal dress code at this school. 

Fourth, no obscene language will be tolerated anywhere on this school's property -- whether in class, in the hallways or at athletic events. If you can't speak without using the f -word, you can't speak. By obscene language I mean the words banned by the Federal Communications Commission, plus epithets such as "Nigger," even when used by one black student to address another black, or "bitch," even when addressed by a girl to a girlfriend. It is my intent that by the time you leave this school, you will be among the few your age to instinctively distinguish between the elevated and the degraded, the holy and the obscene. 

Fifth, we will end all self-esteem programs. In this school, self-esteem will be attained in only one way -- the way people attained it until decided otherwise a generation ago -- by earning it. One immediate consequence is that there will be one valedictorian, not eight. 

Sixth, and last, I am reorienting the school toward academics and away from politics and propaganda. No more time will be devoted to scaring you about smoking and caffeine, or terrifying you about sexual harassment or global warming. No more semesters will be devoted to condom wearing and teaching you to regard sexual relations as only or primarily a health issue... There will be no more attempts to convince you that you are a victim because you are not white, or not male, or not heterosexual or not Christian. We will have failed if any one of you graduates this school and does not consider him or herself inordinately fortunate -- to be alive and to be an American. 

Now, please stand and join me in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of our country. As many of you do not know the words, your teachers will hand them out to you. 

Play ball!

No matter what your politics, I think you'll enjoy this, which I received from a Colorado friend whom I met in 1971.

Watch this short video....a
Opening World Series Pitch - 11+ years ago.
Our country at one of its best moments....
Great clip, don't miss it!!
Click Here

MCSD NIXLE goes berserk

Does the McHenry County Sheriff's Department really think that it needs to broadcast the same NIXLE alert about water on roads three times between 9:34AM and 11:01AM?

"Roadways impacted by Heavy [sic] rain. Beware of high standing water. Avoid roads that are closed."

Once was enough. Maybe "once" wasn't even needed. If you are driving down a road and see it is flooded, most drivers will stop or at least slow down. If you are dumb enough to drive through high water, you deserve to get stranded. Following traffic will see you and stop.

Call a tow truck. No cops are needed. Geez!

Big Brother is not needed.

John Kerry - only 4 bullets away from POTUS

I've never particularly liked John Kerry, not that I know him personally. And maybe I should learn not to judge a book by its cover...

But when I think that that guy is the U.S. Secretary of State and the face of our nation around the world, I cringe.

I had heard of Unfit for Command, the book by the Swift Boat veterans when Kerry was running for U.S. President. This week I began reading it.

Is the U.S. worse off with Kerry than it was with Hillary Clinton at the post? How will the U.S. ever regain its stature in the world?

This morning I got to thinking where the Secretary of State stands in the line-of-succession to the presidency. And who is in the list?

1. Vice President Joe Biden (D)
2. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R)
3. President pro tempore of the Senate Patrick Leahy (D)
4. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (D)
5. Secretary of Treasury Jacob Lew (D)
6. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hegel (R)
7. Attorney General Eric ("Fast & Furious") Holder (D)

15. Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security (and purchaser of over 1 Billion bullets for DHS, so that civilians find it almost impossible to purchase ammo for their own firearms)? Whew...

I was definitely calmer and more relaxed before I wrote that list!

Call Jack Franks today

With the bashing that the gun-control folks took yesterday on their ill-thought-out and fast-tracked Amendment 1 on HB0831, it's possible that a "good" concealed-carry bill (HB0997) will come up for a vote today or soon in the Illinois House of Representatives.

Your phone calls do count. Call your State Representative today and ask her or him to vote YES on HB0997. It is a clean, well-thought-out bill, originally sponsored by Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-118), who has been a strong proponent of concealed carry for years.

Three McHenry County State Reps are already on board as co-sponsors of HB0997 - Rep. Barb Wheeler, Rep. Mike Tryon and Rep. David McSweeney.

Rep. Jack Franks "says" he supports HB0997, but he has not signed on as a co-sponsor.

Call Jack Franks right now at 217.782.1717 and ask him to 1) co-sponsor HB0997 now and 2) to vote YES on HB0997 when it does come up for a vote, whether today, soon or another day.

Ask Jack to contact some of his fellow Democrats in the House and help get their YES votes on this important bill.

Illinois must pass a concealed carry bill by June 8. Lisa Madigan is thumping her chest about skating off to the U.S. Supreme Court on this issue. Daddy and she need to wake up and stop thwarting the will of The People. They need to get out of the way, so that honest citizens can defend themselves.

Let them give up their police escorts and bodyguards. Let them come and go like the rest of us. Maybe they will even show up sans bodyguards at the townhall meeting in the War Zone on April 27. Not hardly!

Note that proposed laws would not allow you to go armed to that townhall meeting. Mass transit authorities don't want you to be armed on the 'L', CTA, Pace or Metra. You couldn't park in the community center parking lot or leave your gun in the car. And, if you park on the street and leave your gun in the car? Think it'll be there when you get back? And what do you do when the gangbangers invade the townhall meeting and start blasting away?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Two robbers caught, jailed

Remember the video from just last week (April 9) of the two thugs who robbed the owner of a store at 2242 N. Western Ave. in Chicago? And how that owner fought them off with a bat, even after being shot?

In Chicago that store owner cannot protect himself with a handgun. You can thank the pols in Chicago for that dumb law.

Elsewhere in the state a business owner can arm himself with a handgun and have some chance to defend himself, his employees and his customers. But not in Chicago.

Luis Quizhpe, owner of Quizhpe's Gifts and Sports, is at home recuperating, according to the Chicago Tribune. I'll bet there are people who would be willing to go there and volunteer to operate his shop for him. As in, volunteer. I would.

But not without the means to protect myself with something more potent than a bat. Keith Owens may have fired up to ten rounds in the store, hitting Quizhpe twice (allegedly, I guess I'd better add). Owens even plugged his partner-in-crime, resulting in a trip to a hospital.

Mr. Quizhpe is lucky - very, very lucky.

When will the People of Chicago wake up? They continue to elect and re-elect politicians who render them defenseless against the criminal element.

Angelo's make-over; WW/WDW

Robert Irvine
The make-over at Angelo's Restaurant on the Woodstock Square is underway. Robert Irvine and his Restaurant: Impossible show are having at it today and tomorrow. Dean Street is blocked off at Calhoun with huge, white tents.

I've seen parts of the show from time-to-time, when I have been visiting someone who was watching it on her television. According to an article in Sunday's Northwest Herald, Irvine comes into a restaurant and does a make-over for $10,000 in two days. From the article: "As part of the television show, Irvine tries to save America's most desperate restaurants from failure in just two days with only $10,000."

I was reminded of a make-over in an Evergreen, Colorado restaurant owned by friends in Denver. In about 1984 they announced one day to their employees that they were closing. No notice; no warning. That's it; you're outa here.

Once the shock had worn off, they announced that they would be re-opening at the end of the week and that, if any current employees wished to apply for jobs, they could do so. They brought in a consultant, who explained to the employees that things were going to be "a little different." Employees were told that they would be expected to act as if they owned the place, starting on the day the restaurant re-opened.

A blackboard was installed in the kitchen, and large letters "WW/WDW" were printed at the top. On this board were to be written "What Worked" and "What Didn't Work".

If an employee had praise for another employee, he could write it on the board under "WW".

If an employee had criticism for another employee, he was to write that on the board under "WDW". And he had to write what would have worked! In other words, no criticism without the suggestion for how it could have been different or better. If an employee came in with a hangover, clearly that didn't work. The suggestion to keep the employee sober, and an offer to help had to accompany the criticism.

From the new opening night, diners noticed the difference and praised the owners.

What does this have to do with Angelo's? You can't just make cosmetic changes. It will be interesting to see how service changes. From the moment you walk in, through your meal, until the moment you have paid and walked out, will you now have a different experience?

Good luck to Angelo's, when it re-opens on Thursday. In addition to the remodel, let's see the change in customer service as well.

HB0831 being fast-tracked - call today

House Bill 0831 is being fast-tracked by the anti-gun crowd. Call Rep. Jack Franks today and tell him to vote NO on the Amendment 1 and on HB 0831. There is only one sponsor, but that one is Speaker Mike Madigan. It could come up for a vote at any time!

Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-14) pitched her anti-gun amendment onto a simple, unrelated bill only yesterday. She filed Amendment 1 on April 16 and it went to the Rules Committee yesterday.

The Rules Committee is chaired by Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-25) and who is no friend of fair and equitable firearms legislation). The Rules Committee is where fair legislation dies.

What happened to Cassidy's Amendment? It's already out of the Rules Committee! In one day! And with a "recommendation" that it be adopted.

Yeah, sure... If you read Cassidy's amendment, you'll see what a piece of trash it is.

Why is it that Cassidy and Currie, and people like them, refuse to give us law-abiding citizens a chance to be safe and secure outside our homes?

When a concealed carry law passes and I have a license, you will never know that I am carrying. Only one person will ever be in danger, as a result of my being armed. That's the criminal who attempts to seriously injure or kill me. Or you.

Yes, if you are being threatened with death or serious bodily injury, I will come to your rescue. If a police officer, deputy or trooper is being harmed, I shall aid him. Beyond that, you'll never know that I am armed and you will have nothing to fear by my being armed. And I believe this is true for other licensed, law-abiding citizens.

But Cassidy and Currie and other Illinois legislators just don't get it. They want me to be defenseless. So I say, let them expose themselves to the same risks.

For example, I would like to attend the townhall meeting on Saturday, April 27, at 2:00PM at the Chicago Vocational Career Academy, 2100 East 87th Street in Chicago. Do you know where that is? Right in the middle of the War Zone! Would it be safe for my white face to show up there? And to take the 'L' and a bus or the Metra Electric District train? How adventurous am I? Am I brave enough?

I wonder if I could get Rep. Cassidy and her three children to ride with me?

Illegal signs in right-of-way

On the way to Crystal Lake during the past few days I have seen a proliferation of advertising signs on U.S. Highway 14 between Woodstock and Crystal Lake. No doubt there are spread out on other approaches to Crystal Lake, too.

These advertising signs are illegal. Period. So, why are they there?

They are there because nobody does anything about them.

McHenry County DOT is not going to pick them up, because they are on State highway property. IDOT is not going to pick them up because it doesn't have the manpower to do so. It's just too expensive to send two men and a truck out to collect them.

Why doesn't Illinois follow the plan implemented by Florida DOT? In Florida the Department of Transportation trains volunteers in the laws and authorizes them to remove these types of signs.

Illinois could go one step better and pay trained persons (contractors, not employees) to collect the signs. The trained person could document the illegal sign and its location, photograph it, and serve as complaining witness for a ticket to be issued to the offending advertiser.

Start fines at $50-100; more for repeat offenders. If there are 20 signs between Woodstock and Crystal Lake's western city limit, that would be $1,000 in fines (at the lower fine level). The trained person could send a letter and the Notice of Fine to the advertiser. If it didn't get paid, then off to court. Maybe even precede the Notice of Fine with one letter, giving the advertiser 24 hours to remove the signs.

This could be a nice little business for an entrepreneur.

Ill. Rep. Kelly Cassidy - a danger to Illiinois

Rep. Kelly Cassidy
An alert came this morning from the Illinois State Rifle Association. It concerns Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-14).

Yesterday she filed Amendment 1 to HB0831.

By now you probably know where to read pending legislation in the House. Go to  On the left side enter a bill number in the search box, and hit Go.

When you first look at HB0831, you'll think, "Ho-hum". No big deal; right? Name prisons as for adults or juveniles. ZZZZzzzzzzz.......

Wait! What is Amendment 1? A long, a very long diatribe about concealed carry. It's one of those sneak attacks that guts an original file (filed January 14, 2013, by Speaker Mike Madigan).

This is one of the things terribly wrong with Illinois. Representatives, or even the Speaker of the House, can put sleeper bills on the shelf, and then someone can run in and change the sheets completely. Amendment 1 has absolutely nothing to do with the original purpose of HB0831.

Rep. Cassidy's intention is to thwart the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. I suspect that many of her introductory "facts" are just plain wrong. They should not grow stature by merely being placed in an amendment to a bill.

If you read her bill (and it will take you plenty of time to read it and even more time to understand it), you'll realize that, if it passes, Illinois still will not have a decent concealed carry law. It will be almost like, if your name starts with A-Z and you are male or female, you won't be able to get a concealed-carry license!

Maybe Rep. Cassidy would like to invite all the gangbangers, felons, addicts, robbers, rapists, child molesters, registered sex offenders and other criminals over to her house for a party with her domestic partner and three children. Those are the people who, along with law-abiding citizens, who won't have concealed-carry licenses.

Rep. Kelly's District contact information:
5533 North Broadway
Chicago, IL 60640
Phone: 773.784.2002

State biography: LGBT rights activist and organizer; former legislative director for the National Organization for Women; former legislative aide to state Sen. John Cullerton; former Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and Director of Programs and Development in the Cook County State's Attorney's Office; one of only two openly gay female legislators in General Assembly; has three children.

She has been an Illinois Representative since 2011. Do her constituents really know her?

Call your State Rep today and tell him/her to vote against HB0831 if/when it comes up for a vote. Ask your Rep to review this bill and to tell you how s/he will vote, if it comes up. Then watch carefully. Watch very, very carefully!

Where's that class?

Maybe there is a new class at McHenry County College called "How to park within the Lines". Maybe that's the reason this vehicle was parked as it was last night at MCC. Or maybe they have different rules at the College of Lake County, Grayslake, which is the proud owner of this vehicle.

Or maybe the driver went into the building to look for the class yesterday morning, couldn't find anyone to direct him (or her) and was still wandering the halls at 5:15PM.

I forgot to check the windshield and see if there was a ticket. After all, students who abuse the parking space lines get tickets. And heaven help the driver who tries to flee a campus police officer. He might be patrolling in that Ford Interceptor that the College just had to have.

Have you been to MCC lately? I guess it has been a while since I've been there, because the entrance and the Commons have been remodeled. The switchboard, which doubled as an information station, is gone. There are no information kiosk and no signs to direct visitors. And no white customer service telephone. Fortunately, the Public Safety (Police) office was open.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Mr. President, stop lowering the U.S. Flag!

Every time I see the United States Flag lowered because of an act of terrorism or senseless killing(s), I feel outraged.

I mean no disrespect to those who died, whether it was in New York on 9/11 or in Boston yesterday or in Newtown or Aurora.

The Flag of the United States should fly high as a statement that no terrorist or individual has the power to lower the Flag of our nation. I believe that it should fly high - all the time.

MCC Trustees delay action on president

The McHenry County College Board of Trustees met at 6:00PM and one of the first orders of business, high on the Agenda as Item 4 (Acceptance of Agenda) was to discuss (ever so briefly) Item 8 and decide, by vote, to re-schedule it to the April 25 Regular Meeting.

Item 8 was "Contract Extension for the President". This item, plus its publication late on Friday last in the Agenda for the Special Meeting today, raised the ire of the public, the media and at least one trustee.

Item 5 was added to Sunday morning's revised Agenda as "Open for Recognition of Visitors and Presentations", commonly known by other public bodies as the period for public comments. Why they choose to call it by the given title is anyone's guess. It must be an "institution of higher learning" thing.

Members of the public asked the Board of Trustees to place the subject of the president's contract on the second meeting to be held on April 25. The first meeting on April 25 will be the final meeting of three trustees who are leaving the board (Trustees Adams, Larson and Walters). The second meeting will be the first meeting of the Board with its three new members (Trustees-elect Jenner, Walsh and Wilbeck), who were elected to the Board on April 9.

I arrived early, expecting the Board room to the crowded. What I didn't expect was that it was jam- packed with MCC employees. At about 5:40PM I stepped into the hallway to greet a friend, who was looking for a seat and not finding one. As Dr. Vicky Smith passed, I asked her if she would ask all the employees to step out and allow "the public" to be seated in the Board room.

She responded quickly (and correctly) and asked one of her assistants to direct employees to leave and move to an overflow area that had already been set up. Why did all those employees arrive so early? I'd love for one to contact me and tell me whether there had been any "suggestion" or encouragement to arrive early. I also wonder why none voluntarily left his or her seat to allow a member of the public to be seated.

During the public comment period the Board of Trustees got an earful from area residents and employees, including requests for more transparency and compliance with the intent of the Open Meetings Act.

The Board went into Closed Session, and the public left the room. A number waited through the Closed Session for it to end and re-entered the Board room. I was about the fifth person to enter when the door was opened, and I noticed that some Board members were already away from their seats, taking a break.

Then I realized that the 7:00PM meeting of the Committee of the Whole (what a strange name) was about to begin. I had been waiting for the Board to resume its Special Meeting by voting to return to Open Session. And then to adjourn properly.

When I asked about that, I was told that there had been no business from the Closed Session on which to vote. It is extremely hard for me to imagine that, in the seconds it took me to walk back into the room after the door was opened, the Board could make the motion to re-convene in Open Session and take a rollcall to do so, and then to entertain a motion to adjourn and vote on that.

The MCC Board of Trustees is either careless about the Open Meetings Act or believes that the public is just an intrusion on their meetings. It might have taken only a minute to wait for the public to re-enter the room and be seated. Then the Board could have gone to the correct motions to re-convene and to adjourn.

The Board also seems to care little about whether it can be heard throughout the room. In front of each Trustee is a nice, professional microphone. All were pushed away from the trustees, so that their voices were not amplified to be heard throughout the room.

Cal Skinner was there and got a fair number of flash photographs before MCC Police Ofc. Sosnowski informed him that flash photography was not permitted during meetings. Cal spoke during the public comment period, but I could not hear his remarks from the hallway. See McHenry County Blog for Cal's article and his photos.

Pete Gonigam was there, too, and you can read his story on FEN.

While I was addressing the Board, a man sneaked in behind my back and sat in my chair. I should have asked his name, so I could "thank" him here.