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Civil Commitment for Facebook Postings Critical of Government ... Not LOL! PDF Print E-mail
Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 16:38

This is an important story that you may not have seen covered in any other local media. On August 16, Brandon Raub – a young U.S. Marine Corps veteran from Chesterfield County, Virginia – was forcibly taken from his home in handcuffs by his community’s police in cooperation with the FBI, ostensibly for criticizing the government on Facebook. His detainment was filmed and uploaded to YouTube shortly thereafter (RCReader.com/y/raub).

What is shocking about this event is that he was taken without a warrant, and he was not charged with any crime. The authorities repeatedly told Raub’s family that he was not being charged with a crime, even though they claimed his postings were “terrorist in nature.” Instead he was literally grabbed by Virginia law enforcement and the FBI using a little-known “civil commitment” statute, which allows a person to be forcibly detained and isolated for mental illness/disorder via the order of a single judge or health administrator. This detainment can be indefinite, and permits the state to administer treatment and/or drugs against the individual’s will, including vaccinations.

 
Polling Shows a Path for Democratic Challenge to Quinn PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 26 August 2012 05:54

“We’ve got to activate the taxpayers of Illinois,” Governor Pat Quinn told reporters after his legislative special session failed to move any sort of pension reform forward. He promised to lead a “grassroots” effort to push legislators to pass a reform bill.

But will the voters actually listen to him? A recent poll conducted for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle found that 54 percent of the county’s likely voters disapprove of Quinn’s handling of the public-employee-pension issue. Just 29 percent approved.

Keep in mind: This is Cook County we’re talking about. It leans strongly Democratic. Quinn’s job-approval numbers are radically upside-down throughout the state, but 54 percent of Cook County voters still disapprove of how he’s doing his job in office. So if he’s getting this sort of pension-issue disapproval in Cook, of all places, it’s most likely a whole lot worse elsewhere.

 
Union State-Fair Performance Turns Back Pension Reform PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 19 August 2012 09:17

If you were following the news last week, you already know that hundreds of AFSCME members packed the Illinois State Fair director’s lawn last Wednesday afternoon and booed pretty much everybody who tried to speak at the annual Democratic event. The only person of consequence to escape most of the hostility was Secretary of State Jesse White (who is also exempted from the traditional fan booing of politicians at Chicago baseball games). But even White received a few boos at times.

“It is a great day to be a Democrat in Springfield, Illinois!” shouted Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon, the event’s emcee, over loud catcalls. “And I am happy to be here with all of you, no matter what your point of view is," she continued, hoping to calm the angry crowd, which was far more AFSCME than Democratic.

It didn’t work.

 
“Nullification: The Rightful Remedy” PDF Print E-mail
Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Tuesday, 14 August 2012 13:43

Decades of indoctrination have caused most Americans to believe the federal government is the boss of them. In March 2011, the co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Morris Dees, told students at a conference at Augustana College that “people who don’t believe the United States government has any control over their lives” are domestic terrorists (RCReader.com/y/dees at the 38-minute, 50-second point). Rather than such extremist, wrong-headed rhetoric, Dees should explain to students that we the people are the bosses of not only the federal government, but of state, county, and city governments, as well. This is American Civics 101.

However, because we have so completely failed in our individual responsibilities as civic bosses, the federal government is indeed methodically taking control of every aspect of our lives – from the kinds of light bulbs we are permitted to use in our homes to spying on us with unseen drones to violating our persons at every airport checkpoint to granting the executive branch the unlawful ability to arbitrarily deny us due process via the recently enacted National Defense Authorization Act.

 
Can GOP Successfully Make Madigan the Villain? PDF Print E-mail
Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 12 August 2012 09:41

The Illinois Republican Party has relentlessly bashed House Speaker Michael Madigan almost every day via press release during the past few months. Not many of those statements have been covered by the media, but the GOP is obviously hoping to make Madigan an issue in this election by blaming him for just about every problem in Illinois, even more than it did two years ago.

Madigan has also been hammered by the Chicago Tribune in a series of stories about his alleged conflicts of interest. Madigan initially dismissed the criticisms as “garbage” but eventually responded point-by-point in a letter that was mostly ignored by the media, and never addressed by the Tribune itself. The Tribune’s editorial board has led the charge against the speaker over the years, demanding his toppling as the House’s top guy.

House Republicans have tried for at least two decades to make the speaker an issue in campaigns. It’s never really succeeded, mainly because people hadn’t heard enough about Madigan to be moved by the GOP’s negative advertising.

 
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