Saturday, February 27, 2016

Here we go again

Is it any wonder that court dockets are clogged?

For example, Case No. 15CF000937 in the McHenry County Circuit Court (Woodstock, Ill.), People v. Brandon Napolitan.

Napolitan is accused of murdering Daryl Fox, 53, of Woodstock on October 10, 2015. Napolitan was pretty quickly identified and arrested in Wisconsin. The first court activity was November 9. Additional court dates have been Nov. 19, Dec. 4, 17, Jan. 7, Feb. 11, 26.

Napolitan has a Public Defender. What's interesting about this is that the State's Attorney (the Prosecutor) quickly requested a jury trial on Dec. 4. Isn't it the defense that normally requests a jury trial?

Why would the prosecution request a court date? Is it so the three-ring circus act can prepare? Will it be the standard arm-flapping, shouting and exaggerations designed to unduly influence the jury? For sure, Judge Prather would not be swayed by lawyers' rhetoric. While a jury is told that nothing said by the attorneys is "evidence", how will it separate the dog-and-pony show from the evidence, of which they seems to be plenty.

When Judge Prather "routinely" grants a 30-day continuance, does she ever ask the attorney requesting it (whether prosecution or defense attorney) exactly what he (or she) has done in the previous 30 days? Or does she just have a "30 Days" rubber stamp that gets a good work-out by her clerk?

Judges should demand to know exactly what was done, before they give either attorney another continuance. In other words, call a halt to unnecessary delays. It's no surprise that a mental health evaluation was sought. Guess what Napolitan's plea with be. Anyone?

So, get on with the evaluation.

And set a date for a jury trial. Why do judges let matters drag on and on and finally, months (or longer) after the start of court activity, get around to setting a court date, which is then months afterwards.

What would it be like if Judge Prather said, "OK, we are going to have a trial in three months. Ready, set, go!"

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Hillary Clinton - dangerous and a liar

There was a sound bite played on Columbia, S.C. radio this morning of a portion of Hillary Clinton's campaign speech in a Columbia church, in which she claimed, emphatically, that the Flint, Michigan water crisis was allowed to happen because of the high percentage of the population there is black.

She is obviously pandering to local black voters, and I hope they are smart enough to realize that Hillary Clinton cares about just one person - Hillary Clinton.

Maybe she hung around with Rahm Emanuel too often at White House gatherings. A phrase attributed to Rahm goes something like, "You never let a serious crisis go to waste."

The USA is doomed if either liar Clinton or socialist Bernie is elected in November.

I wonder if there is time to get a t-shirt made before the Democrat's (I'll refrain from using the word "Democratic") Primary here in South Carolina on Saturday, February 27. What would I put on it?

Hillary is a liar.
Vote for Bernie.
Bernie can't beat Trump.

Monday, February 22, 2016

When should U.S. Flag be lowered?

As I entered my bank today, I noticed that the U.S. Flag was at half-staff, and I commented to the manager that the period of respect for Justice Scalia had probably ended on Saturday with his interment. She said she'd check with the flag czar (my words, not hers).

As I stood in line and waited for my receipts, I decided to check online for the end-date of this most recent half-staff show of respect.

What did I learn? At first, I thought it was the POTUS who had ordered the lowering of U.S. flags. 

Checking online later this afternoon, it appears that Michigan Governor Rick Snyder ordered that Michigan and U.S. flags be flown at half-staff for, according to WIN 98.5 radio's website, "...six days to honor each victim who died." The Governor of a State has the privilege of ordering the lowering of the U.S. Flag in his own state, but I don't think his authority extends to other states. Actually, he has probably exceeded his authority, because the U.S. Flag is to be lowered only when "somebody important" died (there is a list of categories).

Now tomorrow I'll call my bank and ask why the U.S. Flag has been lowered and if it was for the shootings in Kalamazoo.

Here's my stand on the U.S. Flag. You never lower the U.S. Flag. Not for any person or for any event. Not ever. The U.S. Flag should fly high over our land, no matter what.

How do we knock some sense into Governors and the POTUS on this topic?

Am I the only person in the USA who feels so strongly about our Flag?

And, while I'm on this rant, let's hope that I never ever encounter some thugs or protesters who have put the U.S. Flag on the ground or are trying to burn it. What will you do if you see the flag on the ground?

I remember the day in Woodstock, when two court security officers were lowering the U.S. Flag in front of the Administration Building on N. Seminary Ave. They probably remember that day, too, because I raised hell with them and with the County Administrator of the Sheriff (today I don't remember which one I contacted). They weren't paying attention and didn't seem to give a hoot that the Flag was on the ground.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Racist-in-Chief meets with BLM

According to Allen West's website today, Obama met with Black Lives Matter (BLM) "leaders" for 90 minutes on Thursday, but he only allocated four minutes for Justice Scalia's wake on Friday. And Michelle certainly looked bored in one photo. Maybe she was thinking of the shopping time she was missing out on.

The entire country should be outraged by Obama and the foolishness that we will have to endure until January 20, 2017.

Can you think of anything that will further divide the USA than that jerk-water group, BLM? Black Lives can't "matter" that much to them, or they'd be all over the south side of Chicago putting a stop to the killings that go on there on a daily basis. Oh, but that would be dangerous, wouldn't it? Some black thug might start taking some shots at them.

All they'd have to say is "Hands up, don't shoot?"  Right? And the thugs would stop shooting at them.

Instead, they can infiltrate the White House and suck up to Obama. Next thing we know, Obama will load up Air Force One with "those people" and start flying them around the country.

What month do we want for White History Month?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

IRS Form 1095-B - Grrrr

Have you taken a look yet at IRS Form 1095-B, your obligatory Health Coverage reporting form to be included with your 2015 Federal income tax return?

Here's one more example of intrusive reporting. You have to 'fess up if you don't have health insurance. In other words, pay the piper if you have decided to self-insure. Or if you just cannot afford health insurance.

There have been many times since 1981 that I did not have any health insurance at all. Most of those times it was because I was under-employed, unemployed or employed as a temp. How did I avoid the need for health insurance? I didn't get sick. Imagine that. What a concept. Sure, so you can say, "What if you had gotten sick." Well, I didn't. I couldn't afford to, so I didn't.

Fortunately now, thanks to the number of birthdays I have racked up and also thanks to being a veteran, I do have health insurance. If I didn't, I'd just make a photocopy of my left hand in the "Zinke pose" and send it in to IRS.

Here's an example of the stupidity of the Federal government's IRS. Maybe this one came about from that woman who sat in the hot seat at the top for a while and then bailed out - and Obama let her.

"Lines 2 and 3. Line 2 reports your social security number (SSN) or other taxpayer identification number (TIN), if applicable. For your protection, this form may show only the last four digits..."

Now isn't that stupid? This Form is to be submitted with your tax return, which includes your full SSN. Why are the words wasted to tell you that you don't have to put your full SSN on this form? Some stupid bureaucrat probably is among the thousands in Federal Government earning more than $100,000/year and justified his existence by his (or her) contribution of this stupid wording.

Do I sound a little hot under the collar? Maybe a little angry?

I want LESS government. Anyone with me on this?

Monday, February 15, 2016

Conspiracy Theory

Here's a theory that I'll bet I'm not the first to have...

What if Justice Scalia didn't have a heart attack? What if his "heart attack" was induced? Did he have a history of heart trouble? Documented by his own personal physician?

Obama is licking his chops at the chance to nominate Justice Scalia's successor. Obama doesn't even have the guts to see Justice Scalia buried first. If Obama had any class at all (and we know the answer to that one), he could have waited a week.

Should Obama be able to nominate the successor, who might be on the bench for 30 years or more, as Justice Scalia was?

Absolutely NOT. Why should the United States have to live with a decision by Obama, who now has less than 12 months to hold the Office of POTUS? How many Americans will be at The White House on January 20, 2017, to cheer as the Obamas move out.

But he won't go willingly. Obama will fight and make a big deal out of it. Let's hope that Republicans AND Democrats see the wisdom of letting the next President nominate Justice Scalia's successor.

And God help the USA, if Hillary is elected and then gets to nominate the successor Justice. The ads are already in the media about the Second Amendment's being nothing but history, if a liberal Justice takes the ninth chair.

Well, for me, the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights was written by men who knew what they were talking about. Just look back over the quotes of the Founding Fathers.

If the liberals try to take guns away from freedom-loving Americans, what happened recently in Oregon will be nothing compared to the stand that will be taken "to keep and bear arms".

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Who IS the Sheriff?

How many readers understand just exactly who the Sheriff of a County is and what his role is?

There are some sheriffs around the USA who do understand their roles. The first example that comes to mind is Sheriff David A. Clarke, Jr. of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. Sheriff Clarke clearly understands to whom he is responsible - The People of Milwaukee County! And he is not bashful about standing up and saying so.

What would it be like if every county in the State of Illinois had a sheriff like David Clarke? What if every county in the USA had a sheriff like David Clarke?

You might be interested in this page, which I found through the National Liberty Alliance website. The sheriff is a Constitutional officer. Read what this means.

The next time you can find McHenry County Sheriff Bill Prim out in public, ask him what his position is on his Constitutional authority and responsibility. Keep in mind the difference between a county sheriff and a municipality's police chief.

The police chief is a hired guy, serving at the pleasure of a City Manager who is guided by a Mayor and City Council (possibly, mostly by a mayor). If that mayor's views are liberal, what ilk of police chief do you think the town/village/city will have?

Great customer service

Yesterday I called a retailer in a national restaurant chain about a problem I was having, when I tried to merge two gift cards on its website.

Phone advice on the tollfree number informed me that the wait might be 22 minutes, so I put my phone on Speaker and went about other matters. After about 30 minutes a friendly customer service rep answered. The first thing she did was apologize for the extended delay.

Then she efficiently resolved my issue and asked if she could help in any other way. I asked one more question, realizing that she and others there were very busy.

As the conversation ended, she offered complimentary points to thank me for being a valued customer and, sure enough, those points were promptly added to my account.

I know I'm quick to complain about bad customer service, and I want to balance that by being quick to praise Good service. I hope you'll do the same.

Lawsuit targets court costs, fees

A lawsuit refiled in McHenry County by local attorneys Ray Flavin, Matt Haiduk and James Kelly targets exorbitant court costs and fees that are tacked onto a judge's decision for a fine.

Read about it here, in the Northwest Herald article by reporter Katie Dahlstrom. She must have published that in honor of my birthday. Thanks, Katie. (But then she might not have known that those costs and fees have been the subject of rants on The Woodstock Advocate for years.

This should quickly become a class-action lawsuit.

You may have been lucky enough to avoid McHenry County Courts. But they are full every day with people who, upon hearing their name, line up, face the judge for 30 seconds, hear $50 Fine, and then learn at the Payment Window that the $50 Fine is really going to cost then $250-300.

A new procedure in the courtroom now is to print out the bill and present it to the traffic violator after the judge (or his clerk) scrawls a signature on it (or maybe uses a rubber stamp?), so the person can have the heart attack in the courtroom, rather than at the Payment Window.

If you think Katie should publish the Transaction for some poor guy (or gal) whose Fine was $25-50, but was forced to pay $250-300, send Katie an email at

 Click on the link in Katie's story to a second story by Chelsea McDougall on June 18, 2015. On Page 3 of that earlier online story is a summary, by county, of the "take" on top of the Fine. But that's only a summary, not a breakdown. See the breakdown for McHenry County; that's what will outrage you.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Should Panera Bread change policy on guns?

The deaths of two deputy sheriffs in Maryland focuses the nation's attention once again on guns, gun violence and crimes against police.

Panera Bread is a self-declared GFZ (Gun-Free Zone). Their restaurants may not be marked with official State-approved signs, but the policy announced by the Panera Bread president a while back is that he doesn't want guns in his company's restaurants.

When Illinois was considering the concealed-carry law, I attended an Illinois Senate sub-committee hearing in the Loop. I sat near two women; one was an ER nurse and the other was a teacher. When I mentioned I was pro-concealed-carry, the nurse asked what I was so afraid of that I felt I had to carry a gun.

I explained that I wasn't "afraid", but she really wasn't looking for an answer to her question. She had her mind made up, as did most of the legislators. It wasn't until a Court ordered Illinois to pass a concealed-carry law "or else" that the House and Senate cobbled together a "bad" version, and then the NRA lobbyist and the Illinois State Rifle Association rolled over and it passed.

Panera Bread isn't a true GFZ, because its restaurants, unless something has changed recently, are not posted against concealed carry. But the concealed-carry crowd knows they aren't wanted, and many avoid Panera Bread and similar businesses that are considered anti-gun.

But what if there had been 2-3 armed citizens in the Abingdon, Md. Panera Bread yesterday morning? They would not have been able to prevent the death of the sheriff's deputy in the restaurant, but they might have nailed the shooter before he could ever get out of the restaurant. And the second deputy would be alive.

An armed citizen will not shoot recklessly, even to defend himself or another person. At the first shot, he would very likely draw his firearm and be ready. If he saw a guy shoot a cop or a civilian, I think he'd probably shoot the guy, if he could do so without hitting an innocent person. The mindset has to be there; those who carry often think through various scenarios. There won't be much time to "think about it" when the action starts, so they have to know what they are going to do - and what they are not going to do.

So, frankly, I don't care about the preferences of the president of Panera Bread. If there is no State-approved prohibition sign on the door, I'll patronize Panera Bread while I'm armed. If the business posts against concealed-carry, I'll go elsewhere.