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Articles Posted by jfd1776

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  • Would You Like Fries With That Demonstration?

    05/21/2015 1:22:43 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 13 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | May 21, 2015 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Reflections on the "minimum wage hike" protests today at McDonald's Oak Brook headquarters... On a cool May morning, as McDonalds’ shareholders met to determine the fast food giant’s future course, some 2000 protesters, hailing from as far as Kansas City and New York, descended upon them to present a list of demands. Raise the starting wage to $15/hour, they threatened, lest the company be forever branded with such monikers as Exploiter, Villain, Robber Baron and Tyrant! The Chicago Tribune, newspaper of record in the blighted metro area that McDonald’s calls home, was happy to give front page coverage to these...
  • Regulating the Railroads in Amtrak's America

    05/14/2015 3:03:02 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 4 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | May 14, 2015 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Reflections on the May 12, 2015 Amtrak train crash in Philadelphia... First Day at School You’re a gym teacher at a new school, in charge of 30 kids in a gym, on your first day at work. You can’t keep your eye on all of them at once. While you were helping a couple of kids improve their free throws at one end, you hear a shout at the other end of the gym; one kid knocked another down. Scenario 1: You don’t know either kid at all, so you objectively ask the kids to all explain what happened. You...
  • For What the State Hath Giveth, We Thank Thee...

    05/12/2015 11:02:12 AM PDT · by jfd1776 · 1 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | May 12, 2015 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Reflections on the origin of opportunities, on the opening of UI Labs' new research center in Chicago… UI Labs’ Digital Manufacturing Center opened today at Goose Island in Chicago – on 94,000 square feet of a property that was once the Republic Windows and Doors factory – and you will celebrate. It’s an important facility – everybody says so, particularly the people who made it possible, and they should know. It’s going to remake American manufacturing, by figuring out how to modernize the American manufacturing floor. You should thank Rahm Emanuel (D, Chicago) and Bruce Rauner (R, Wall Street) and...
  • Debt-Free College? Democrats Learn the Wrong Lessons from Obamacare

    05/08/2015 1:25:37 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 5 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | May 8, 2015 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Hillary Clinton, Marty O’Malley, Liz Warren, and other 2016 Democrat candidates for the presidency are apparently trying to differentiate themselves from the real-world economics of Republicans by returning to the tried-and-true method of promising to rob Peter to pay Paul, while giving the impression that YOU don’t have to worry, because, dear voter, YOU’LL never be Peter. The latest method is in capitalizing on the headlines about crippling college debt by setting "debt free college" as their goal. Now, as far as that goes, it’s a perfectly worthy goal. “Pay as you go” living has always been the responsible advice...
  • Cities, Governments, and the Seeds of Destruction

    05/05/2015 9:13:32 AM PDT · by jfd1776
    Illinois Review ^ | May 5, 2015 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Reflections on the burning of Baltimore... Imagine that your boss assigns you to a research project. You work late nights for a month doing research; you present your findings on time, and your boss rips it up and directs the I.T. department to scrub all your research from your computer. And then he tells you to start from scratch and do it again. Or imagine that your boss assigns you to design an advertising campaign. You hire the models and photographers, write the copy, build the storyboards, film the commercials and print ads… and present them for his consideration. He...
  • Learning the Lessons from the Fall of Troy

    04/24/2015 11:12:50 AM PDT · by jfd1776 · 13 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | April 24, 2015 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    As the 2016 election approaches, have we learned anything from history? On April 24, 1184 B.C., as legend has it, the Trojans looked out over their city wall, and saw the Greek ships sailing away, the Greeks apparently having given up after ten long years of war. All that was left was a horse. A great big, huge, heavy, beautiful horse statue on wheels, bearing a note, reading “The Greeks dedicate this thank-offering to Athena for their return home.” Well, the Trojans were no fools; they saw a great big piece of art, obviously the result of great work and...
  • Hillary Clinton and the End of Iowa?

    04/20/2015 9:26:03 AM PDT · by jfd1776 · 11 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | April 20, 2015 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Let’s begin this one with a disclaimer: I detest the current presidential primary process. I consider it an unfair and anachronistic approach that should have long ago been corrected. That being said… it’s the method we have, so for the time being at least, the games begin in Iowa… Our major-party presidential nominees are selected through a time-honored tradition. Based on the theory that the people best suited to select a president are those who know him best, our system relies on aspiring candidates moving into Iowa and New Hampshire for months at a time, visiting small towns throughout these...
  • Overheard in a Conference Room in Havana…

    04/10/2015 2:27:44 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 2 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | April 10, 2015 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    The following transcript could not be authenticated. It was broadcast from a wiretap accidentally placed in a conference room in Havana, but with the generally low quality of the antiquated electronics available in Cuba, some of the audio was muffled… and there’s always the little matter of questionable translations from the Spanish… but here is what we have, submitted for your consideration without any warranty whatsoever... Lead Voice #1: Let’s get to work, men. I meet with the Great Satan tomorrow. Underling Voice A: You’re dying, boss? Lead Voice #1: No, you idiot, I mean the president of the United...
  • And the Coronation Goes To... (Reflections on this point in the presidential nomination race)

    03/31/2015 2:51:43 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 15 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | March 31, 2015 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    We can save the bother of waiting a year, and spending a lot of money and time on a primary season, by just giving the nomination to Jeb Bush now. His grandfather was a senator, his father was president, his brother was president. It’s in his genes. But on top of all that, he has genuine accomplishments of his own; Jeb Bush is a successful two-term governor of a critically important state, the electoral college powerhouse and sometime swing state of Florida. Add to all this the fact that his marriage to a Hispanic wife gives him some undefinable cred...
  • Political Issues in an Age of Economic Nihilism

    03/22/2015 6:18:05 AM PDT · by jfd1776 · 3 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | March 21, 2015 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    What does it mean to be springtime in an odd year in America? As the snow begins to melt, the birds chirp and sing; the trees and bushes bud with new growth. The sun reemerges from its long vacation behind the clouds, and the study of economics takes a holiday. True, this last part probably doesn’t apply to everyone. Texans, Oklahomans and Montanans don’t forget everything they ever learned in school, just because it’s time for mayors and city councilmen to seek reelection to their valuable positions at the public trough, but here in the rust belt, where we hold...
  • Illegal Immigration - Inflated Uproar Over a Single Issue?

    02/28/2015 8:38:18 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 52 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | February 28, 2015 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    With an illegal alien population of about 20 million or so, in a nation of over 300 million, one might ask, why on earth are we so focused on this single issue? After all, 20 million is less than ten percent of our population. This nation is suffering. The real issues we need to address include joblessness, drug abuse, gang crime, a crippling national debt, an incredibly expensive but ever-worsening education system, rampant vote fraud, severe military threats from abroad… and many more. These are issues that affect everyone in our entire country, not just ten percent of us! In...
  • Confessions of an American Extremist

    02/20/2015 7:08:03 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 13 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | February 19, 2015 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    I cannot tell a lie: I am an extremist. As an amateur actor, I have certain beliefs that I hold dear. I detest drama and tragedy; I really only like comedy, both musical and non-musical. I believe the stage is for laughter and song, for tap dances and pratfalls. I won’t spend my money buying tickets to see a sad show, and I certainly don’t like to waste eight weeks of my life rehearsing to perform in one. Many would call these views extreme. As a trade compliance manager, I have spent my career – my “day job,” if you...
  • From Rome to Philadelphia: Protecting a Nation from the Fate of Lucretia

    02/16/2015 6:05:28 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 16 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | February 16, 2015 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Reflections on the United States’ Commander-In-Chief, on Presidents’ Day… During the summer of 1787, the member states of the United States of America sent delegates to Philadelphia, hoping that in this new convention, they could right the errors made in the construction of the Articles of Confederation. The nation was in an economic depression that had not ended with the peace signed in 1783, as many had expected. On the contrary, our currency was worthless, our borders were porous, our cargo was in jeopardy on the high seas, and our veterans were destitute at home. The delegates to the Constitutional...
  • The Latest Merger... and the Big Lie of the Obama Recovery

    02/13/2015 10:57:33 AM PST · by jfd1776 · 9 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | February 13, 2015 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    This week’s business news concerns yet another high profile corporate merger. Less than two years after office supply and computer retailers Office Depot and Office Max were forced into a merger, it now looks like Staples will be acquiring them. Where once there were three retailers, soon (or eventually, since such consolidations do take time), there will be only one. The Resident of the White House, no doubt remembering that the success of Staples was an early credit to his rival Mitt Romney’s storied career as an investment wizard, lost no time in taking pot-shots against Staples for its employee...
  • Ronald Reagan and a Nation at Work

    02/06/2015 1:26:06 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 2 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | February 6, 2015 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Reflections on the days when a labor leader led our nation, on the great man's birthday... As the author writes this column, dozens of ships, each one laden with tens of thousands of truckloads of cargo, are sitting in the Pacific, parked for weeks at a time in a line, waiting for the longshoremen to stop their slowdown and get back to work. Modern containerships are measured in TEUs, a unit of measure specific to the transportation industry. The standard intermodal container (so-called because it can be transported by truck, rail, or ship, easily transferred from one to the next...
  • Who We Are... and Who Barack Obama Is Not

    01/30/2015 10:41:05 AM PST · by jfd1776 · 16 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | January 30, 2015 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    The current Resident of the White House is fond of stating something of which he disapproves – say, interrogating terrorists or growing the economy – and closing the point with the words “But that’s not who we are.” It is condescending, patronizing, smarmy… it is in fact the perfect example of what has always been wrong with the Obama persona – he talks down to his audience, sets up straw men to knock down, sets American against American, in not only class warfare but every other arena as well, all the while mischaracterizing the issue itself. Young against old, healthy...
  • Of Speeches and Monuments - The Quest for the Obama Presidential Library

    01/22/2015 11:31:27 AM PST · by jfd1776 · 21 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | January 22, 2015 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    By John F. Di Leo - On Wednesday, January 21, the sun rose on a nation still licking its wounds from a beating it had taken the night before. At 9:00pm EST on Tuesday, a pugilist stood there – the Resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue – safe behind a big, sturdy podium for protection, and socked the American people in the jaw, again and again, for as long as we were willing to sit out here in TV-land and take it... and the entire bodyguard that the Constitution had provided to defend them from such a beating - the House,...
  • Free Community College - Economics and Education in Freefall Together

    01/19/2015 12:16:24 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 10 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | January 19, 2015 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Democrats have long called for grammar school to be “free” (that is, taxpayer-funded)… and they’ve long called for high school to be “free” (yes, even more taxpayer-funded)… and now the Democrats are calling for college – or at least the first two years of it – to be free as well. The proposal can – and should – be shot down with a single point: The United States is, by any measure of the term, bankrupt. We have gone from 7 trillion dollars in debt to 15 trillion in just six years, more than doubling a national debt that had...
  • Under Sky or Minaret, Everything Old Is New Again

    01/15/2015 1:40:24 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 4 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | January 15, 2015 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Reflections on the War on Terror, a century into it... - There are as many truisms in war as there are in peace. Favorites include “The generals are always fighting the last war,” “There is nothing new under the sun,” “An army marches on its stomach.” All are true, to an extent, and can be applied to the study of any war, including the current one. But it’s also worth considering one of the great lies of all time, always cited, rarely true: “But This Time Is Different!” We say it to our parents when we hope for an exception...
  • Common Sense and the Glorious Cause Reflections on the great pamphlet's anniversary

    01/10/2015 4:08:57 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 2 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | January 10, 2015 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Historians, political scientists, and philosophers alike often look at revolutions and ask the question "Was it a simple coup d'etat, or a real popular revolution? And if a real popular revolution, just how 'popular' was it, really?" It's often not that easy to tell. We can easily look at the Russian Revolution, for example, and see how there was first a large popular revolution, one that was then taken over by a much smaller communist contingent that was nowhere near as popular, but was brutal enough to win over the nascent White Russian government. One can do the math easily,...
  • The Chicago Dictionary - Volume Six

    01/07/2015 7:45:29 AM PST · by jfd1776 · 2 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | January 7, 2015 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    With Illinois Senator Dick "Turban" Durbin running the Senate Democrat caucus while Harry Reid recuperates... and with Hillary Clinton still being discussed as a potential 2016 presidential candidate, and with two years yet to run on the Obama "presidency" before we're mercifully granted its end... it might be helpful to better understand the environment that bred these typical Chicago politicians. So, here are some more definitions of words and idioms that mean something else in Illinois; posted as a public service to the consumers of news. Art Institute: A building full of statues, much like the Chicago City Council when...
  • Governance is Not for the Squeamish

    12/31/2014 2:41:55 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 3 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | December 31, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    In the old country, life was predictable. If your father was a farmer, so were you. If your mother was a maid, so were you. If your father served in the House of Lords, so did you; if your father went off to war, possibly never to return, well… so did you. There were exceptions, in that feudal and post-feudal world, but not many. Poverty bred poverty; wealth bred wealth. There wasn’t much of a middle class, but merchants’ children did usually grow up to take over the family bakery, smithy, or cobbler shop, to be merchants themselves. Life was,...
  • Josef Stalin and the Problem of Political Opposition

    12/27/2014 5:36:38 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 6 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | December 27, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Reflections on the Problem of Political Opposition... In the Declaration of Independence, our Founding Fathers declared the only legitimate purpose of government: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness… that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…” So, this was not just the plan for the United States. This part of the Declaration comes before the listing of our Founders’...
  • Blaming America First, From Ninety Miles Away

    12/23/2014 8:55:00 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 13 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | December 23, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Since The Resident’s unexpected and unethical decision to unilaterally discard a half-century of history and reopen diplomatic relations with the Castro brothers’ prison colony known as Cuba, a particularly destructive claim has resurfaced, one that merits careful analysis and rejection. For decades now, the Left has spouted a peculiar claim – that Cuba is poor because of our 54-year-long embargo against the communist country. If the reader has compassion for the suffering denizens of that miserable island, this has to be a strong argument, but it’s wrong – utterly without merit, in fact – for several critical reasons. The claim...
  • Shaking Hands with the Devil, from Ninety Miles Away

    12/18/2014 7:53:58 AM PST · by jfd1776 · 13 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | December 18, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    A long time ago, on an island not too far away, a pair of brothers was ejected from a good Jesuit school. The one was reportedly a better student, the other less impressive, but together, they preferred other things – politics, rabble-rousing, war. When the brothers grew up, they fell in with a bad crowd – the worst of crowds, in fact. Far across the oceans, Chinese communists were consolidating their power, Soviet communists were drawing an iron curtain down the center of Europe, Korean communists were settling in for the long haul in Pyongyang, Vietnamese communists were revolting against...
  • It Depends... on What the Meaning of "Republican" Is...

    12/04/2014 11:17:02 AM PST · by jfd1776 · 3 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | December 4, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Almost twenty years ago, American philologists were treated to an amazing statement in the political realm: then-President Bill Clinton answered a question with the words “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” As shocking as that statement was in context, coming from a leading Democrat, it was also something of a Freudian slip, as Bill Clinton gave away quite a secret in that brief moment. While it can be honestly said that all politicians may exaggerate occasionally, and all politicians may have different takes on the rightness or wrongness of a position, or on the success...
  • Big Government Works Great... But for Whom?

    11/25/2014 9:38:35 AM PST · by jfd1776 · 2 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | November 25, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Ever since the Depression-era enlargement of the Leviathan, successfully marketed as the "New Deal," conservatives have argued against proposed government programs by shouting “They’re Unconstitutional!” and “They Don’t Work!” Such complaints often fall on deaf ears, because the Constitution is barely taught or respected nowadays, and the question of whether they work or not so often appears to be subjective. Perhaps it’s time for a new approach. I would submit that it’s time to stop saying that "Big Government Programs Don't Work".... because the fact is, they usually do. It usually isn't that they don't work, it's that they work...
  • Reflections on Beer, Billboards, and Bargaining at the University of Illinois

    11/19/2014 9:19:18 AM PST · by jfd1776 · 5 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | November 19, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Coors Light is the official beer of the Fighting Illini. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Coors Light was voted on by the student body of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, or that the school’s sports teams drink the stuff at halftime or wear its logo on their cars. No, just like dozens of other products from soft drinks to gym shoes, it means that the company signed a sponsorship deal with the University of Illinois. Now, I don’t know how you feel about it, but with the cost of college skyrocketing, I’m inclined to think that almost any revenue...
  • A Majority, Mitch and Reince... With A Great Big IF...

    11/05/2014 3:28:32 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 3 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | November 5, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    When Benjamin Franklin, the oldest delegate (and most world-famous member) at the Constitutional Convention, exited the hall, tradition says that a woman asked him what form of government they have given us. “A republic, madam,” the sage of Pennsylvania is said to have replied. “If you can keep it.” Well, the Republican Party has finally regained control of the U.S. Senate, for the time being, with the magnificent 2014 wave election – and yes, it WAS a wave election (as leftist Joe Trippi said, “you don’t get wavier than this!”) – but the Republicans must still be concerned with the...
  • Decisions, Decisions - The Issues in the 2014 Midterms

    11/03/2014 7:32:15 AM PST · by jfd1776 · 2 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | November 3, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    This election presents tough choices for some voters. Many are upset that the Republican Party hasn’t formally enunciated its core principles, properly nationalizing the election in a simple, coherent way. The national GOP has, instead, settled for letting it be a traditional midterm, a referendum on the policies of that man in the White House and the party that unconditionally, unquestioningly, supports his every act. And yes, for many voters, that may well be enough. But for those voters who would like a clear presentation of the difference between the modern Democrat Party and the Republican opposition, that difference can...
  • Little Pavel Gets A Letter

    11/01/2014 11:48:51 AM PDT · by jfd1776 · 12 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | November 1, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Join us, as our young campaign volunteer learns about voter intimidation… Pavel Syerov, Jr. was back home from college for the weekend, just to walk some precincts before the election. With a bakery halfway between the train station and the house, he decided to pick up some danish and doughnuts for the folks. He walked into the familiar storefront, took his place at the end of a long line, and instinctively reached for his smartphone to kill time during the wait. But his ears perked up when he overheard a discussion in progress, ahead of him in line. “Well, it’s...
  • The Ebola Epidemic and the American Election

    10/30/2014 9:25:18 AM PDT · by jfd1776 · 4 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | October 30, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Of all the issues in the news – the destruction caused by Obamacare, six years of record joblessness, the body counts of inner city street crime – no other issue encapsulates every aspect of this election like the Ebola epidemic. And don’t say it’s not an epidemic, because it most certainly is… just not here, not yet. Ebola is an epidemic in Africa, and it could be one here. One of the many jobs that our government has is ensuring that this awful contagious disease, fatal to somewhere between 50 and 70 percent of those stricken by it, doesn’t spread...
  • Little Pavel Jumps to Conclusions

    10/22/2014 5:09:43 PM PDT · by jfd1776
    Illinois Review ^ | October 22, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Join us, as our young campaign volunteer learns about touchscreen voting… “One! Two! Three! Four! Five! Six! Seven! Eight! Nine! Ten! YAY!” The little girl finished her turn at hopscotch and turned to face her cousin. “Now it’s YOUR turn, Cousin Pavel!” Pavel chuckled and moved over to the bigger hopscotch image on the pavement, on the other side of the swingset. “Okay, Kira, but once you’re in college, you have to use the BIG hopscotch game, like me. Okay?” His little cousin nodded, and he started hopping. Pavel may have been a bit old for hopscotch – he WAS...
  • The Underlying Challenge in Voting Democrat Today

    10/15/2014 12:53:15 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 10 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | October 15, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Reflections on the question of "looking the other way..." Ever since the beginning of the Republic, political parties have had to ask their voters to disregard a few occasional disagreements, and look instead at the bigger picture, in hope that their agreements would outweigh the disagreements, winning them their votes in the end.. For example, the Federalists might ask their supporters to forgive their support for a possibly unconstitutional bank, and support them anyway because of their broad and amazing economic and foreign policy successes… while the Jeffersonians (a.k.a. the Democratic-Republicans, back then) would ask their supporters to forgive their...
  • A Poll Accidentally Reveals the Truth

    10/07/2014 3:31:18 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 15 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | October 7, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    The Associated Press, in partnership with GfK, a German market research firm, jointly released a poll. No big deal there, as people release polls every hour or two, especially in election season. But this one was considered unusual, because it revealed a truth that scared the American Left to their very core: Americans don’t appear to trust government to solve their problems anymore. As with every poll, interpretation is dependent on whether we trust the questions to have been asked objectively (we don’t), whether the respondents were given a comprehensive and clear array of possible answers to choose (they never...
  • A House Under Siege, and the Restraint of Rebels

    10/05/2014 11:02:31 AM PDT · by jfd1776 · 12 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | October 5, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Reflections on the anniversary of the Fort Wilson Riot... America’s War of Independence was striking for many reasons, reasons that are sometimes overshadowed by the shock of a ragtag army defeating the world’s greatest military power. But this striking issue is in fact just as important as the victory itself: As historian Joseph J. Ellis puts it, the American Revolution is famous for the fact that “it didn’t eat its young.” Consider the French Revolution, and its subsequent Reigns of Terror, followed by the Napoleonic Wars. Most revolutions go through stages: overthrow the incumbent ruling class, then kill them all,...
  • Imagining the Possibilities of a Drop in the Bucket

    10/01/2014 7:18:37 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 18 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | October 1, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    The Washington Free Beacon happened to stumble upon an interesting factoid, and they published it. One day, the Obama administration spent $94,360 hiring a Democrat-connected event-management firm to build a stage for an 18-minute speech. The shock is not that it happened; it happens every day. The shock, to any who are paying attention, is how differently the political factions viewed the news. Conservatives were horrified, and liberals were offended that anyone would even care. A hundred thousand dollars in a country of our size? A hundred thousand dollars in a nation of fifty states, of 300 million people? A...
  • Reflections on the Question of Scottish Independence

    09/19/2014 1:07:42 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 12 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | September 19, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    As we reflect on the historic vote in Scotland this week (all votes seem to be “historic” these days, don’t they? Might have more to do with news network ratings than actual history), we Americans find ourselves rather conflicted. On the one hand, we cheer for the idea of independence, a race memory of sorts that dates back to our own War for Independence over 230 years ago. We feel a special affinity for all members of the British Empire; we speak the same language, share the same customs, even enjoy many of the same television shows. Their heroes are...
  • The Minimum Wage, and the Question of Failing at Life

    09/09/2014 10:45:21 AM PDT · by jfd1776 · 12 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | September 9, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) organized a fast food protest, demanding that their prospective members all price themselves out of a job. So, understandably unable to resist a straight line while filling in as a talk show guest host, pundit Erick Erickson said that if you’re still earning minimum wage at 30, you’ve probably failed at life. It’s easy to blast Mr. Erickson for the tone-deafness of his comment. While certainly true of some, his quip is hardly true of most minimum wage employees. But is that fair? Is it reasonable, or helpful to the national economic and social...
  • Governor Quinn, and a Week of Living the Dream

    09/02/2014 4:16:06 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 15 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | September 2, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says he will live on $79 this week.. in a showcase for his call to raise the state’s minimum wage to a nice round ten dollars per hour… and he thinks that will help his campaign. Now, we can certainly grant that it’s a clever bit of showmanship – a governor being paid $177,000/year can hire an accountant to estimate the after-tax, after-housing funds of a “typical minimum wage worker” and then profess to be living on that amount for a week. He can hope that it showcases the need he imagines for poor people to...
  • One Rogue Judge, and the Second Amendment’s Forgotten Roots

    08/18/2014 12:20:19 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 6 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | August 18, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    In the case of Kolbe et. al. versus O’Malley, a class of various American individuals, businesses, and associations rightly challenged Maryland’s outrageous 2013 law banning honest, law-abiding citizens from possessing – not just public carrying, but possessing – several classes of firearms, such as the AR-15, and weapons – even pistols! – that hold more than ten rounds. The Federal District Judge hearing the case, a Clinton appointee named Catherine C. Blake, disregarded both legal precedent and two hundred years of scholarship, in holding, outrageously, that this blatantly unconstitutional state law was constitutional. Judge Blake declared that AR-15s and similar...
  • Tolerance, Freedom and Hypocrisy in an Age of Confusion

    08/01/2014 5:48:27 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 6 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | August 1, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    The Necessary Firing of a Gay Music Director... and the fine line between liberty and licence. (Reflections on a private matter, turned public, at a suburban church) This is a difficult column to write… but it’s an issue that’s been so twisted by the media and the pop culture, it calls out for correction, so, as a moderate libertarian and imperfect Christian, I will give it a try. Let’s begin with alcohol. Some will say that occasionally consuming any alcoholic beverage is a sin (I completely disagree with them). Others will say that consuming it regularly is a sin (I...
  • A Constitution is Ratified - The Long Road from Nevis to New York

    07/26/2014 9:33:12 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 10 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | July 26, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    - Reflections on the anniversary of New York’s ratification of the Constitution of the United States. On July 26, 1788, the New York State Ratifying Convention voted – by a slim margin of 30 to 27 – to ratify the Constitution of the United States, essentially re-joining the nation that was now in the process of being reorganized. The people of New York City celebrated with the greatest parade of the era, marching through Manhattan Island to cheering crowds. The old New York establishment may have disliked the new Constitution, but the people of America’s fast-growing metropolis certainly saw its...
  • The Left Just Cares More Than We Do... and the Illegal Alien Invasion Proves It.

    07/14/2014 6:33:34 AM PDT · by jfd1776 · 6 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | July 13, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    "Caring and Sharing" -- The Claim and the Bane They tell us that they care more than we do. Isn’t that the key, the sum total of the American Left’s argument, when you boil it down? They care. They care so much, they remind us every day how MUCH they care. More than the moderates, more than the independents. And they accuse the Right of not caring at all, of being terribly heartless in the face of illness and want and crime. And this they use to win election after election, and to force all sorts of policy changes on...
  • Foreshadowings of Obama's Foreign Policy On Treaties and Alliances, in a World in Tumult

    07/09/2014 11:13:24 AM PDT · by jfd1776 · 1 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | July 9, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    On July 7, 1798, the Federalist administration of John Adams rescinded our treaties with France, sparking the Quasi-War with France, which began two days later, on July 9... and the Jeffersonians went ballistic. How DARE we break our treaties with the French, that great ally who helped us win our independence from England? Viewed on its own, without context, it does indeed sound outrageous, doesn’t it? What ingrates we would be, if we break our treaties with our greatest ally, so soon after they helped us so much. The Jeffersonians – known then as the Republicans, then later, the Democratic-Republicans,...
  • Toppings, Innings, and Following the Rules: The Myth of Unlimited Presidential Power

    06/29/2014 9:17:42 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 4 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | June 29, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    It was pizza night at the Di Leo household, and, yes, like any good entertainer, I take requests. One for plain cheese, one for sausage, one for pepperoni and black olives. My bride gets mushrooms, black olives and jalapenos. I go all out, for myself: pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, onions and red peppers. Everyone eats something different, and that’s fine. That’s the point of pizza, in fact: there’s a good deal of variety here, tons of good options. It’s easy to get the impression that there are no limits; if the pantry is well-stocked, you could ask for anything, and individualize...
  • The Chicago Dictionary, Volume Five

    06/20/2014 12:10:06 PM PDT · by jfd1776
    Illinois Review ^ | June 20, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Definitions of words and idioms that mean something else in Illinois; posted as a public service to the consumers of news. AIRPORT TRANSIT: The latest, quickest way to convey campaign contributions from the restaurant to City Hall. BAILIFF: A well-armed and well-trained state employee, tasked with the duty of keeping defendants secure and harmless throughout the trial, until the judge gives the order to release them at the end, whatever the result. BLACK BEAR: An illegal alien (to Illinois), traversing the state with impunity all summer, as no one dares accuse an endangered species of being politically incorrect. BLACKHAWKS: Employing...
  • George Washington: Father of his Soldiers, his People, and his Nation

    06/15/2014 10:29:13 AM PDT · by jfd1776 · 7 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | June 15, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Reflections on the Father of his Country on this Father’s Day holiday… On June 14, 1775, the Continental Congress voted to establish a Continental Army, so they could formally and successfully confront their British overlords with unanimity, rather than as just a host of unconnected state and local militias. The following day, June 15, they had to pick a commander. There were several to choose from; John Hancock of Boston was certainly a contender, as were a few of the other military men of the day who went on to serve in the War of Independence… but once John Adams...
  • A Lesson from the Ancients, A Punishment for Today

    06/11/2014 8:38:00 AM PDT · by jfd1776 · 1 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | June 11, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    In his wonderful book "The Joys of Yiddish,” the late, great humorist and linguist Leo Rosten used the following story to illustrate his dictionary entry for “chazzan,” the Yiddish word for “cantor:” At the time of the creation, it is said, every living creature was told what his duties would be, and was asked by the angels to suggest the length of its life span. The horse, told that men would ride on his back, said "In that case, please - twenty years of life will be enough for me." The donkey, told he would bear heavy burdens and hear...
  • The Seattle City Council's War on Jobs

    06/04/2014 10:26:44 AM PDT · by jfd1776 · 13 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | June 4, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    In their reporting of Seattle’s unanimous vote Monday to raise the minimum wage within Seattle to $15 per hour, USA Today began their article with an interview of a $9.47/hour, economically-uneducated McDonald’s employee: “Martina Phelps says the Seattle City Council's vote today on a historic plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour could change her life.” Well, yes, it could, Martina, but probably not in the way you were hoping. The city council of Seattle, composed of the kind of politicians who learned everything they know about economics from studying celebrity gossip and attending union meetings, believes...