The proposal concerning providing driver's licenses to illegal immigrants was purely idiotic. Whether they can drive, see well and have auto insurance should not determine whether they can have a license. What if they can't read or speak English? Will we have to print all signs in Spanish? Let's get realistic. If someone is not here legally, he should not have a license. He should be out of the country.
Asking for a lawsuit
I read that state Sen. James Clayborne of Belleville voted to let illegal immigrants have a driver's license. If one of those illegal immigrants runs into me, I will sue the state. Illinois needs to realize that illegal means these people are in our country illegally.
I encourage taxpayers to visit St. Clair County's Website and review the budget for 2013. Actually, I found the non-personnel expenditures to be very reasonable. However, in reviewing the personnel positions at the end of the budget, I was astounded to find the chief deputy of the assessor's office is budgeted for $82,000. I would be curious to know what level of advanced education this position requires and if the employee who fills this position qualifies and/or has the background to substantiate such an exorbitant salary. Unbelievable.
New England ethics
Anyone who has been watching the news about the hurricane and the devastation in New England will see a big contrast with what happened after Hurricane Katrina. The people in New England are out helping each other, rebuilding their homes and doing everything they can get their neighborhoods functioning again. Contrast that to New Orleans after Katrina with a whole culture that has been dependent for at least 30 or 40 years on the government. They had no idea what to do because they didn't know how to fend for themselves. They expected the government to do everything for them. That's the reason areas in New Orleans still look like dumps and New England will be rebuilt by its people.
Why we're broke
The financial waste that is exhibited at Tamms Correctional Center most definitely answers the question, "Is this why we're broke?" It is bad enough that the taxpayers are really the ones paying for the crimes of others and also paying for the do-nothing employees who feed off this fiscally irresponsible joke of a prison facility.
Haine is out of touch
In regard to the situation at the Tamms maximum security prison, the cost to run this place is absolutely ridiculous. Even more ridiculous is that our state Sen. Bill Haine says he never heard any of this. It is his job to represent his constituents and look out for us voters and he failed on this quite miserably. What else does he know nothing about? I guess Haine is just another cog in the state government who doesn't care about voters' interests and is oblivious to situations around him that should concern him.
Bring back the books
People, set an example of responsibility for your children and get your rented videos and library books back on time. And if you don't, pay up. You can't criticize the big crooks if you are a little crook.
Wrong way at school
Why is it that Belle Valley or any other public school offers its students the option of paying a private karate school to instruct their students during PE class using taxpayer-provided school facilities? This creates a disadvantage to students who would like to but whose parents choose not to. Many private businesses pay big property tax dollars to fund our public schools and should not in any way be subject to competition from a private business using or advertising on public school facilities. To me, this is throwing egg in the face of those who already provide substantially to the schools.
Parking trouble shifts
Apparently the campaign against people parking in handicap parking areas is working because now people are parking in spaces that are reserved for police vehicles in malls and at MetroLink parking lots instead. I guess they're not checking on that.
Making money is OK
I read the BND and see that everyone is accusing the Republicans of having money and should pay more taxes. Everyone is given the right to make money. You have the right to go to school and all the other things but everybody thinks they are going to get it for free. Do they think that the Democrats and people like Jerry Costello didn't make money? Why are people bashing the Republicans all the time? Do you think Democrats want these political jobs just to serve? They get free health insurance, etc. Everyone has the right to decide what they want to do with their life -- whether they expect everything to be handed to them or make money to better themselves.
Contrast in styles
I always thought that government workers were there to serve the people. Going to do business at the IRS office in Fairview Heights, I found the office clean and brightly lit with a very courteous staff. But when I ventured over to the state Department of Revenue office nearby, it was dark and dingy with a staff that couldn't care less about providing service. I have also found this sour attitude present at the St. Clair County Courthouse and Sheriff's Department. Maybe it's time we replaced these employees with individuals who have both job and people skills instead of just hiring people as a political favor.
Not mad at Bush now
Why is it that President Obama and the Democrats want to continue taking advantage of the tax cut that George W. Bush gave them? I thought they hated Bush because he is responsible for everything from bad weather to the bad economy.
Do Democrats agree?
Republican leadership is struggling with the fiscal cliff negotiations. I suggest they hold a press conference and declare that while they disagree, House Republicans acknowledge that the majority of voters want the president's policies and will no longer obstruct anything the president wants like the tax hikes, the stimulus and running up the country's debt. They should also declare that as long as Democrats in the House and Senate vote unanimously for all the president's proposals, Republicans will also vote unanimously with them and won't obstruct. However, if Democrats cannot be unanimous on such important legislation that benefits so many needy Americans, well, who's obstructing then?
Wait behind the line
The next time you don't get a left turn arrow after several stoplight cycles, check to see if you are behind the thick white line. You need to be to activate the sensor. I see this happen a lot.
Voted off the island
My new criteria by which I'm going to judge people in 2013 will be whether I would want them with me if I were stranded on an island. Would I want a doctor or nurse along? Sure. Would I want a carpenter or skilled tradesman or farmer or gardener? Of course. Would I want a lawyer or politician? Definitely not. Bottom line, if you bring something to the world with your everyday life, we probably should keep you around. If not, we should get rid of your profession.
President Obama didn't create this fine mess, he inherited it. The Republicans ignore that fact.
Wait for new session
It's great that our legislative leaders are going to act before Jan. 9 on pension reform. They have done nothing worthwhile during their entire tenure and now they can stick it to all the property owners in the form of higher taxes right before they leave office. That way the property owners can't blame either of the parties. This problem has gone on for so long, so let's wait until the new legislators take office to fix the problem. Let the ones who voted the new legislators in see what their candidates actually stand for.
No place for politics
Belleville Aldermen Phil Elmore, Dean Hardt, Joe Hayden and Lillian Schneider should be ashamed of themselves. Walking in a parade as a city or elected official is one thing but openly campaigning during one is completely different. The Santa Claus parade is an event for children and politicizing it by handing out campaign propaganda is disrespectful and tacky.
Back to golfing
The election is over and the president has returned to what he has been most noted for in the past four years -- golfing. It's interesting to note that his current golfing buddy was one of his staunchest critics four years ago, none other than Bill Clinton. It's amazing how the Democrats have used Clinton in so many of the rallies and promotions and how Americans have embraced him. He will go down in history not only as our 42nd president but as a president who was impeached for obstruction of justice and lying under oath before Congress. You would think the current president could pick a better golfing buddy but I guess birds of a feather flock together.
How would this help?
President Obama says he will let everyone's income taxes go up if he doesn't get a larger tax rate for couples earning $250,000 a year. How do higher taxes and more spending help the small business owners who are struggling with increasing regulations, health insurance and liability costs keep their employees let alone hire more? What percentage of yearly income do the super rich pay in taxes? They could care less whether the income tax rate is raised. There are 980 multi-millionaires who pay no federal income tax. Republicans want to cap deductions at 2 percent of total income. President Obama wants to blame the Republicans for the inevitable depression that would result and ensnare the whole world. The U.S. economy cannot keep adding $1.3 trillion to 1.6 trillion to our debt.
This isn't news
Friday must have been a slow news day or you forgot to sell enough ads. The front page of the local section had a huge picture of one of your columnists hanging Christmas ornaments in her yard in Shiloh. You don't need to go that far. Just go to North or South First, Second or Third streets in Belleville and you'll see the poor people doing their best to participate by hanging Christmas lights. Now, that's festive. Shiloh? Not so much.
Paid, not volunteer
We see utility workers from across the country converging on the hurricane sites to restore power and we hear how wonderful they are. Not to diminish the work they do, but the news media makes it look like they are making such sacrifices to do this. They forget to tell us that these workers are paid overtime for doing this work. It's not all charitable work so don't make it out to be something that it isn't. They are helping but they certainly get paid handsomely for it. Volunteers don't get paid for helping hurricane victims.
Illinois is starting to get into the legalization of marijuana. Some states have legalized it for medical use. Everyone in those states knows you can get a prescription for medical marijuana for anything from a sore earlobe to an ingrown toenail. Anxiety seems to be the big reason now. What is going to happen to the companies that hire people in jobs that are considered hazardous? Will they have to hire a marijuana user if it becomes a legal drug? And if they don't, they will spend millions of dollars to defend themselves in court.