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Articles Posted by jfd1776

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  • Nourished by the Blood of Patriots

    05/28/2018 3:21:24 PM PDT · by jfd1776
    Illinois Review ^ | May 28, 2018 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Remembering America's Heroes on Memorial Day. John Laurens John Laurens was raised in privilege – for his time – in South Carolina. As the son of Henry Laurens, a prominent southern planter, he was studying in England when war broke out. Laurens left his expectant young wife in England in December of 1776 – she would be safer there while he was participating in the war effort – and he returned home to join what was then known as the Glorious Cause – the goal that we know today as American independence. Young Laurens joined General Washington’s personal staff as...
  • From Foreign Vendors to Local Banks: Tariffs and Regulations in the Crosshairs

    05/25/2018 4:39:02 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 6 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | May 25, 2018 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    After three months of saber-rattling on the trade front – including the implementation of high duties on imported steel and aluminum, and threats of similarly high tariffs on a host of business and consumer products both from and to China – the dust appears to have settled for a while, with an announcement that China will work to import more from the USA, and a tentative agreement that a trade war would be bad for everybody. Within days, there were fresh discussions of new tariffs on other products that hadn’t been discussed previously - like cars and trucks – also...
  • What Do Taxes Do For Us?

    05/18/2018 8:30:18 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 18 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | May 16, 2018 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    As you may have heard, Illinois has a pension problem. Now, that’s not Illinois’ only problem, of course. Illinois also has a crime problem, an education problem, a quality-of-life problem, a transportation problem, a public corruption problem, an unemployment problem, and a population shrinkage problem. Frankly, there isn’t enough room in this column to list all of Illinois’ problem, but that’s a start. The Chicago Fed – that’s the Chicago branch of the Federal Reserve System – has proposed an idea for dealing with a part of Illinois’ pension problem. Since the problem is that many state and local government...
  • Local Shade and International Trade

    05/09/2018 5:55:46 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 2 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | May 9, 2018 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    As the weather warms in May, and neighbors start taking constitutionals around the neighborhood again, we enjoy the fragrance of the flowering trees – apple, cherry, magnolia – and the spring colors of the flowering hedges – lilac, forsythia, and rhododendron. True, the flowers don’t last long… so we enjoy them while we can. As we watch, the buds grow fatter on the branches, as bursting leaves prepare to follow the spring blossoms. Once the early petals are shed, these bushes and trees will be covered with leaves, as the magic of photosynthesis takes over and enables our neighborhood greenery...
  • From Law School to Prison Ship, the Honorable Life of Elias Boudinot IV

    05/02/2018 5:50:45 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 7 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | May 2, 2018 A.D. | John F Di Leo
    Reflections on one of America’s first presidents on the anniversary of his birth… When Elias Boudinot IV signed onto the Treaty of Paris in 1783, in his capacity as President of the Confederation Congress, ending the War of Independence after eight long years, he did so not as a distant politician, but as one who had been in the thick of it from the beginning. As a respected attorney, politician, and member of the establishment, Elias Boudinot was hardly anyone’s mental image of a rebel leader... but then, one could say that of so many of our Founding Fathers. Boudinot...
  • A Farewell to Carson's, and the Assignment of Blame

    04/20/2018 6:13:02 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 67 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | April 20, 2018 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    For over a century, Chicagoans grew up with a signature memory: special days downtown, shopping at Marshall Field’s and Carson’s, the great rival retail giants down the block from each other on State Street. (shown here: Carson's longtime downtown landmark by Louis Sullivan, sold off years ago). Smaller stores came and went, but Field’s and Carson’s were the giants, the dominant figures in Midwestern retail for generations. Macy’s bought out the struggling Field’s chain over a decade ago and cremated the brand name while keeping the stores. Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co. wasn’t so lucky; its current holding company, Bon-Ton,...
  • The Potholes of Spring

    04/11/2018 4:47:17 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 2 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | April 11, 2018 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Reflections on Illinois roadways and the speed bumps of the General Assembly... When you or I walk outside in the spring, and see that the winter has left behind a few reminders on our driveways – a pothole, a chip, a crack – we check the finances, and perhaps we have the driveway completely repaved… …But much more likely, we head to the local hardware store, pick up a bag of concrete mix or blacktop patch, and get to work on our hands and knees with our trusty trowels. While fully repaving the driveway is certainly a “nice-to-have,” it’s hardly...
  • The Bill of Rights and the Failure of Education

    04/04/2018 6:04:08 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 3 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | April 4, 2018 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    What have we learned, in the weeks since the Valentine’s Day massacre in Parkland, Florida? We have seen the same well-intentioned but utterly misguided efforts that we always see after such horrors: a focus on banning one weapon out of many, as if that would make a difference, while closing our eyes to the real perpetrators and the actual causes of vulnerability. But we are used to that. What we are unused to, however, is the removal of the façade that for so long as hidden the Left’s efforts at the banning, and even outright confiscation, of firearms from law-abiding...
  • The False Promise of Tariff-Driven Prosperity

    03/02/2018 5:45:21 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 56 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | March 2, 2018 A.D. | John F Di Leo
    Tariffs are a wonderful idea, aren’t they? A tariff – technically, a tax on an imported good, usually as a percentage of the good's value – sounds almost too good to be true. A tariff raises money on imports, but encourages Americans to stop importing, and to buy local goods instead of foreign; it serves a foreign policy purpose by punishing our enemies, and it helps pay for seaports and border protection. Quite a multifaceted, targeted tool. It’s like one of those magical diet pills that helps you get thinner in the waist, broader in the shoulders and chest, make...
  • Lessons to be Learned from Third World Tragedies and Horrors

    02/24/2018 7:20:43 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 10 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | February 23, 2018 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    On Wednesday, February 21, a bus tumbled over a cliff in Peru, killing at least 44 passengers. The bus was traveling on a narrow but important highway, the Pan-American Highway in the state of Arequipa, and the news horrified the nation, as it came less than two months after another almost-identical bus crash on January 2, also killing dozens of victims, on the same stretch of highway, an area so serpentine that sections are known by names like “Devil’s Curve.” Such events occur on a daily basis in the third world, but rarely make the international news. Much of the...
  • Judging a Book by its Cover is More Dangerous Than Ever.

    02/14/2018 5:44:18 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 3 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | February 14, 2018 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Reflections on Jeff Sessions and our "Anglo-American" legal system… Among the first truisms we learn as children is the old saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Good advice, any way you look at it. Antique dealers, realtors, food critics, and a thousand other professions will attest to the fact that the contents are often either much better or much worse than a product’s first appearance. The newspaper business, however, was supposed to be an exception to this rule. Traditionally, a headline was a pull quote or summary statement about one of the key elements in an article, so...
  • Federal Budget's Red Ink and Storm Clouds Aren't Black and White

    02/09/2018 3:51:06 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 1 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | February 9, 2018 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Reflections on a Federal Budget Impasse... During the February budget showdown in Washington, Senator Rand Paul rose to speak. He reminded America of our spending habit – a constant pattern of deficit spending, year-in and year-out, in both Republican and Democrat administrations. A spending habit that doesn’t just cause a year of trouble, but an eternity of trouble, since these deficits add up, year by year, into a mountainous national debt, one that doubled – Doubled! – in just the eight years of the Obama administration alone. And he is right. ... But this is not one of those areas...
  • A Welcome Address by an American President

    01/31/2018 5:42:37 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 6 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | January 31, 2018 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Reflections on a State of the Union Message... “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” “Mr. Gorbachev: Tear Down This Wall!” Every politician, when making a speech, hopes to hit a few major themes, and hopes to include lines that are as descriptive and memorable as the quotes above from Presidents Lincoln, Kennedy, and Reagan… but it’s a lot to hope for. In recent years, the State of the Union message has largely become an annual laundry list of spending proposals, some with...
  • Americans Cherish Life. Time to Reject Roe v Wade's Outdated Anti-Life Culture

    01/22/2018 8:42:37 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 2 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | January 22, 2018 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    It rained in Chicagoland last night. That may not sound particularly exceptional, but it’s mid-January, and it’s been very cold lately; we usually get our precipitation in the form of nice fluffy snow this time of year. But it rained – hard – and that caused the night crawlers, gasping for breath, to climb out of the ground and slither onto our sidewalks and pavements, to escape drowning in the waterlogged soil. And we humans, being nice folks who never want to take another life without cause, watch our step, as we walk to and from our cars. We try...
  • American Presidents, Through the Years

    01/22/2018 7:16:08 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 8 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | January 22, 2018 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Reflections on Presidents and the Presidency, on Inauguration Day President George Washington was inaugurated on April 30, 1789, but not by choice. He had been in town, ready to take office, for weeks already… but the newly-elected Congress took their time arriving, as the president, anxious to get started, had to cool his heels. They needed a quorum, to ratify the results of the electors, and to put together a republican response to the monarchial tradition of the formal coronation – with all its pomp and circumstance – to which the rest of the world was accustomed. But as much...
  • Setting the Record Straight on Israel

    01/18/2018 10:10:35 AM PST · by jfd1776 · 3 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | January 17, 2017 | John F. Di Leo
    Today, in lieu of a normal column, would you mind if we just set a few things straight? There are issues in which a combination of forces – from conscious choices by politicians and academics to sheer ignorance by reporters and vocal but confused stars in the popular culture – have combined to cause complete misunderstandings across the country, and even across the world. In his great speech endorsing Senator Goldwater in 1964, “A Time for Choosing,” (commonly known simply as The Speech), President Ronald Reagan first made a statement that has long resonated with those of us who watch...
  • The Founding Fathers and the Immigration Debate

    01/14/2018 7:28:03 AM PST · by jfd1776 · 18 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | January 12, 2018 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    As we debate the ongoing question of immigration – not just who and how many to allow in, but also when, if ever, to allow them to vote – it might be helpful to remember the thoughts of our Founders on the issue. It is now common for one side of the debate to say “we’re a nation of immigrants,” giving rise to the assumption that we always believed in open borders in the past, so this current concern about a wave of cultural invaders is something new… but in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. 215 years...
  • 2018 Begins with a Cornucopia Created by Tax Reform

    01/04/2018 8:00:00 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 3 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | January 4, 2018 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    We've all heard the stories about how several big companies decided to give bonuses immediately after the December 2017 tax reform was passed... but the mainstream media quickly dropped the story. What we haven't heard about over the past week or so is how the list of companies has grown. (compliments to the good folks at Americans for Tax Reform for committing to build a running list online). Some are relatively small businesses, like banks that have a couple hundred employees... but it's remarkable how many big companies have jumped on the bonus bandwagon too. For example: - AT&T: $1000...
  • In The Coming Boom, Inequality Will Be By Choice

    12/30/2017 5:54:28 AM PST · by jfd1776 · 12 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | December 29, 2017 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    What is it that ends a recession, and finally brings about an economic boom? After a long and painful “non-recovery recovery” – a decade-long stretch in which job growth and the labor force non-participation rate remained flat – the federal government has finally accomplished, in 2017, the primary contributions that it can make to bring about a real recovery: By year-end, Congress had passed, and the president had signed, a long-overdue tax cut, reducing the tax rate that employers pay by nearly a half. It wasn’t enough, and we will need to add additional cuts in a phase two and...
  • Finding Winners and Losers in the 2017 Tax Reform

    12/20/2017 8:25:16 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 10 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | December 20, 2017 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    The primary goal of the mainstream media and their puppets in Washington known as the Democratic Party (or is it the other way around? It’s so hard to tell these days…) is now to study the 2017 Tax Reform plan and identify who directly benefits most, and who directly benefits least, so that the program can be portrayed as a contest between winners and losers. This is logical in their zeitgeist – a world that operates under the “zero sum game” theory of the anti-capitalist mentality. They believe the economy is a pie, so if someone gets a bigger slice,...