Editorials
Commentary, editorials from Reader staff.

Disabling the Disabled PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Thursday, 26 May 2011 05:35
From the beginning of the Social Security system in America, there was a clear mandate from taxpayers: Take care of our disabled, whether because of birth defect, illness, accident, or warfare. Americans have insisted, and been more than willing to fund, the care of our developmentally and intellectually disabled people.

Once again, however, Illinois’ developmentally disabled community is taking an undeserved hit with $76 million in cuts in the governor’s proposed Fiscal Year 2012 budget that translates into $540,000 in cuts for Rock Island County, alone. The $76 million represents approximately 6 percent of a $1.2-billion budget for services for 40,000 developmentally disabled individuals in Illinois, leaving a waiting list of 21,000 that includes adults, children, and infants.

Other sources of funding, such as grants from United Way and other not-for-profit organizations, work to fill some of the funding gaps, but these organizations are also struggling, resulting in less available resources each year.

Kyle Rick, executive director of the Arc of Rock Island County, explains: “This community of individuals, including the severely developmentally and intellectually disabled, through no fault of their own, needs the most support, but is least able to ask for it, or defend itself against any decrease in resources.”

Across the state, calls are being made and letters and petitions are being sent to lobby Illinois legislators to recalculate the cuts to the developmentally disabled community, because cuts will mean job reductions and the loss of critical services that are often the only lifeline these individuals possess.

As Rick wrote in a letter to State Representative Patrick Verschoore: “From Fiscal Year 2002 through the proposed Fiscal Year 2012 [budget], an 11-year period, we will have had only three increases to keep up with inflation, four years with nothing, and four years of cuts. ... The cuts in Fiscal Year 2012 will be the most severe yet.”

 
“What in the World Are They Spraying?”: A Must-See Documentary PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 05:48

Skies above Iowa, north of Waterloo, March 1, 2011.

Take a second look the next time you see jet-streams way up in the atmosphere. Are they lingering for a long time? Do you see a pattern or grids forming? These are not commercial airlines creating these trails in the sky.

Geo-engineering programs that claim to prevent global warming by spraying toxins into our atmosphere are commonly referred to as “chemtrails.” Most people assume the white, fluffy trails being emitted from some jets as they fly across the sky are condensation trails from exhaust, or “contrails.” But common sense informs us that contrails do not occur in crisscross grids across the sky, remain overhead long after the plane(s) have left the sky, or continue to expand throughout the day, culminating in a veil of fog that eventually falls to the earth.

Chemtrails have become a common occurrence both nationwide and around the world, delivering massive doses of toxic materials over not just our farmlands and homesteads but also over some of the planet’s most pristine environments, including Mount Shasta in California and remote areas of the Hawaiian islands.

 
It Takes Two to Party ... or Be a Party to PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Wednesday, 13 April 2011 08:47

What are you willing to do to stop Congress permitting the largest energy companies, such as Exxon and BP, from purchasing excessive numbers of oil-drilling leases from the federal Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management in areas designated for oil extraction? The oil giants then allow the leases to remain dormant for the entire length of the contracts. Why? Because these drilling leases are bought specifically to prevent medium-to-small drillers from competitively extracting the oil, thereby shrinking the oil supply, especially domestically.

Controlling the leases but letting them sit idle gives the oil giants even greater monopolistic control of the supply of oil, guaranteeing maximum profits while eliminating thousands of American jobs. Congress and the Bureau of Land Management are perpetuating America dependence on, and further enriching, foreign countries, as well as protecting big oil’s own considerable investments in drilling sites abroad.

To top off this perfectly loathsome economic policy, these same big-oil giants receive huge annual taxpayer subsidies in the billions of dollars, even though they enjoy obscene profits but pay less than 5 percent in taxes – and, more often than not, no taxes at all!

 
“Inside Job”: A Wall Street Government PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Wednesday, 30 March 2011 17:29
“Men who destroyed their own companies and plunged the world into financial crisis walked away from the wreckage with their fortunes intact.” – Inside Job

The Academy Award-winning documentary Inside Job, directed by Charles Ferguson, is now out on DVD. The film, narrated by Matt Damon, documents the origins of the financial meltdown that defined the end of George W. Bush’s second term, and the fallout that is defining Barack Obama’s presidency.

Inside Job is well-crafted, pulls no punches, and is a must-rent DVD for anyone who wants to understand in layman’s terms who and what caused the financial “Armageddon” that continues to plague global and domestic markets. Most importantly, Inside Job showcases how nothing has changed – and it’s about to happen all over again if we don’t wise up.

 
Slow Creep of Authority Without Our Consent PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 05:32

I beg your indulgence here. I think most of us would agree that something is deeply wrong with the economy and American governance in these times. For most, the problems are too big to tackle, let alone contemplate for very long. Generally speaking, today’s activists, whether liberal or conservative, are likely to have had a personal experience that motivates their “getting involved,” or they have been recruited – some for pay.

The percentage of those involved for personal reasons, compared to those actually being paid for some form of civic activism, is dismally small. And that is one of the core problems in these times. Our grandparents and great-grandparents would be shocked to see the utter lack of civic participation that defines our era. Such participation was part of their daily lives back in the day. Town squares, city halls, and county seats – all were bustling places of communication and influence by regular citizens, resulting in politicians who took the voters far more seriously.

So what is the price of civic laziness? Look around. For the first time in the history of our country, our generation is financially worse off than our parents, and our children will be worse off than us. Furthermore, our liberties are being increasingly eroded by legislation that the average American knows nothing about, which essentially means laws and policies are systematically being enacted without our consent.

 
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