I am certain that many of you readers sense that the mainstream and social media are manipulating information to such an egregious extent that it has become toxic to listen, watch, or read.

The trouble with today's voters is that most have compartmentalized their civic responsibility into the narrow confines of support for one of two political parties: Democrats or Republicans. Sadly, such narrow-mindedness misses the otherwise glaringly obvious truth that there are no longer two ideologically distinct parties in American politics. The two-party stranglehold on politics today is a sophisticated, fantastical ruse that has people locked into an arena mentality of win or lose at all costs, no holds barred.

For decades, the American people have permitted the secretive nature of government to not just prevail, but exponentially grow, causing the public sector to adopt a sense of entitlement for operating beyond the reach of the public. It really isn't about left versus right anymore, because the obstructionists to transparency exist on both sides of the aisle and ideologies.

As I have shared in the past, every now and then I have the privilege (and, yes, personal indulgence) to write about people near and dear to my heart. Such is the case with Gregg Johnson and his candidacy for the Illinois State Senate's 36th District. And in the spirit of full disclosure, he is my favorite boy cousin on my mother's side.

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued a landmark decision (Naperville Smart Meter Awareness v. City of Naperville) on behalf of all Americans by determining that the Fourth Amendment protects smart-meter data collected by energy companies from being searched or seized by government without probable cause and/or appropriate warrants.

Need To Knowtes

The 1991 Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) prohibits businesses from making auto-dialed or pre-recorded calls to a person's cell phone and similar telemarketing calls to home phones. However, this law does not apply to the federal government, nor to contractors working on the government's behalf. The only prohibition for the feds is political campaign telemarketing (RCReader.com/y/ntk1).

Immigration in the U.S. has become one of the most emotionally charged issues of our time, due to precious little factual data informing it, regardless of whether you are sympathetic to illegal immigration or opposed to it.

On April 19, 2018, the Scott County Board of Supervisors (SCBS) voted 3-2 against posting the Board's audio-recorded meetings at both the Board and Auditor Web sites (audio: rcreader.com/y/scbs1). Supervisors Carole Earnhardt-R, Tony Knobbe-R, and Ken Beck-R voted against, while Diane Holst-R and Brinsen Kinzer-D voted in favor of this fundamental public good.

Tony Knobbe is fast proving to be a questionable choice for Chair of the Scott County Board of Supervisors. As a former banker (an executive for Wells Fargo in Davenport), is it any surprise that he appears to be institutionally incapable of comprehending that transparency is the best practice for a publicly elected board?

There is nothing more satisfying than sharing inspiring stories. And few things meet that criteria like Iowa Miles of Smiles Team's (Iowa MOST's) annual medical mission to the Western Highlands of Guatemala to save children from lives without hope. Its 13th mission will commence February 24, 2018.

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