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Congressional Campaigns Trickle Down to Local Races PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 07 October 2012 05:30

There’s not a lot that a state legislative candidate can do when his or her party’s presidential nominee starts to tank.

The presidential race drives turnout to the point where down-ballot candidates must struggle mightily to rise above the noise and get their messages heard by distracted voters.

And because there are no statewide races in Illinois this year, that means there are no truly high-profile campaigns to “break up” any presidential advantage or momentum. Congressional races are all that state legislators have now to cushion the blow from the top, and down-ballot candidates are increasingly pinning their hopes on those contests.

 
Will Legistors Curb Their Own Pensions? PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 30 September 2012 05:44

For the past couple of election campaign cycles, this one included, incumbent state legislators have bragged in their campaign ads about cutting their own pay.

They didn’t actually cut their own pay. But they did vote several times to take unpaid furlough days. So it’s almost the same.

But lots of challengers have upped the ante this fall. The candidates are refusing to accept a state pension if elected.

 
Forensic Evidence Contradicts the Official Story of 9/11 PDF Print E-mail
Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 05:32

At what point does caring about mankind mean enough to you to at least question the propaganda you have been fed over and over? The subject of 9/11 is horrifying on so many levels. Eleven years later, much more is known about one of the worst events in American history. The mainstream media has grossly neglected critical forensic evidence that contradicts the 9/11 Commission Report’s explanation of events. Instead, it has deliberately embarked on a campaign to characterize those who question the official explanation(s) of 9/11 as conspiracy theorists, extremists, or unpatriotic, labeling such skeptics as “Truthers.” Well, this editor has been called worse.

 
Two Bits from the “Only in Illinois” File PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 23 September 2012 05:05

I have two poll results to tell you about today. One is about an alleged criminal; the other is about a proven liar.

Expelled state Representative Derrick Smith (D-Chicago) is leading his only opponent by 38 points and is close to the 50 percent he’ll need to reclaim his seat.

According to a poll of 556 likely voters conducted September 12 by We Ask America, Smith is crushing third-party candidate Lance Tyson 48-9. The poll has a margin of error of 4.15 percent.

Smith was expelled from the House in August, months after his federal indictment for allegedly accepting a $7,000 cash bribe. He’s still on the ballot, though, and faces Lance Tyson, who was picked to run by the district’s Democratic ward committeemen.

Tyson loaned his campaign more than $26,000 last week after I told my subscribers about this poll. That’s most of what he’s raised so far.

 
Smile, the Government Is Watching: Next Generation Identification PDF Print E-mail
Guest Commentaries
Written by John W. Whitehead   
Tuesday, 18 September 2012 13:22

You had to live – did live, from habit that became instinct – in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement was scrutinized.” – George Orwell, 1984

Brace yourselves for the next wave in the surveillance state’s steady incursions into our lives. It’s coming at us with a lethal one-two punch.

To start with, there’s the government’s integration of facial-recognition software and other biometric markers into its identification data programs. The FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) system is a $1-billion boondoggle that is aimed at dramatically expanding the government’s current ID database from a fingerprint system to a facial-recognition system. NGI will use a variety of biometric data, cross-referenced against the nation’s growing network of surveillance cameras, to not only track your every move but create a permanent “recognition” file on you within the government’s massive databases.

By the time it’s fully operational in 2014, NGI will serve as a vast data storehouse of “iris scans, photos searchable with face-recognition technology, palm prints, and measures of gait and voice recordings alongside records of fingerprints, scars, and tattoos.” One component of NGI, the Universal Face Workstation, already contains some 13-million facial images, gleaned from “criminal mug shot photos” taken during the booking process. However, with major search engines having “accumulated face-image databases that in their size dwarf the earth’s population,” it’s only a matter of time before the government taps into the trove of images stored on social-media and photo-sharing Web sites such as Facebook.

 
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