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Articles Posted by jfd1776

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  • 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...
  • The Chicago Dictionary, Volume Four

    05/25/2014 2:47:10 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 7 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | May 25, 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: ASIAN CARP: A destructive monster that devours everything in its path, and is therefore a terrible threat to its rival, the state government. AUTUMN: The hour or two in which summer gives way to winter. BAIL BOND: The criminal promises to pay if he doesn’t show up for trial, and the city promises to look the other way while he commits more crimes until then. BIKE ROUTE: Adding 20% to the cost of building a road, increasing the danger...
  • The Benghazi Inquiry, and the Difference an Investigation Makes

    05/14/2014 2:28:47 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 3 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | May 14, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    The Administration disapproves of the House Select Committee, chaired by Congressman Trey Gowdy, chartered to investigate the events surrounding the September 11, 2012 attacks on the United States mission (essentially a branch office, a sub-embassy) at Benghazi, Libya, in which the complex was attacked, robbed, and largely destroyed, and four US government employees were killed by Al Qaeda-connected militia. Now, it is understandable that the Administration disapproves of such an investigation. They haven’t responded to the dozens of church bombings all over Africa in recent years… they haven’t responded to the thousands of Christians killed in the ongoing islamofascist attacks...
  • Little Pavel Goes to College

    05/02/2014 7:35:00 AM PDT · by jfd1776 · 3 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | May 2, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Join us, as our young campaign volunteer teaches his classmates the reality behind the "National Popular Vote" scam… Young Pavel Syerov, Jr. (Paul to his friends) was walking through the Student Union after class, navigating the many tables with sign-up sheets and volunteers, just trying to get a cup of coffee, way at the other end of the dining hall (he still had one more class, in an hour, and wanted to be conscious for it!). “Save the Trees!” read the first banner. Then “Save the Dolphins!” read the next. Then “Save the Earth.” And of course, “Save the Owls!”...
  • The Chicago Dictionary: Volume Three

    04/19/2014 11:19:08 AM PDT · by jfd1776 · 6 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | April 19, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Just a few more definitions of words and idioms that mean something else in Illinois, posted as a public service to the consumers of news. Absentee Landlord: A landlord with sense. Bean: A huge fun-house mirror in downtown Chicago, providing tourists with the warped view of the business district that only lifelong Illinoisans come by naturally. Billy Club: An entertainment venue for billy goats. Billy Goat: A stadium’s pet peeve. (Alternate definition: Someone who uses a collar and leash for a purpose unusual for the neighborhood). Budget: Underestimated spending that you admit to. (Alternate definition: A justification for tax increases)....
  • The Chicago Dictionary, Volume Two

    04/15/2014 8:40:19 AM PDT · by jfd1776
    Illinois Review ^ | April 15, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Further definitions of common words and phrases that mean something else in Illinois, presented here at no charge, as a public service to the news consumer... ALDERMAN: A large and garish hat, occasionally with an even louder person underneath. BRIBERY: One of the few part-time jobs that can be practiced concurrently with one’s full-time job, leaving evenings and weekends free. (Alternate definition: the primary determinant in the award of competitive bids). CHICAGO RIVER: A 19th Century engineering experiment in reversing the flow of water out of Chicago, toward the southern states. This was to be duplicated in the 20th and...
  • The Chicago Dictionary, Volume One

    04/13/2014 9:27:26 AM PDT · by jfd1776 · 9 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | April 13, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Definitions of Words and Idioms that Mean Something Else in Illinois; posted as a public service for the consumers of news... City Council: A rectangular block of rubber, affixed to a rounded wooden handle. Ordinarily used in conjunction with an ink pad. (Alternate definition: a justification for tax increases). City Jobs: Political jobs. (Alternate definition: Bitter people who thought they were getting one of those cool ghost-payrolling jobs, but were surprised to find that they didn't). Collective Bargaining: The union boss talks; you listen. There’s nothing collective about it, and there’s no bargaining either. (Alternate definition: a justification for tax...
  • Another Election Problem in Search of a Solution

    04/04/2014 7:14:46 AM PDT · by jfd1776 · 2 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | April 4, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    When you have a problem, you look for a solution. Whether you’re an engineer, a teacher, a scientist, or a cook, the goal is to solve an identified problem. The field of politics works the same way; the main challenge is that different sides have such different views of not only what the right solution is, but also of what the problems are. Campaign Finance laws – which have always existed, but were turbocharged in the mid-1970s through the Federal Election Campaign Act and its successors – are written to deal with one simple problem: there’s too much money in...
  • Finally, Obamacare is Working!

    04/01/2014 10:01:27 AM PDT · by jfd1776 · 24 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | April 1, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Rarely has a bill passed by Congress endured as many nicknames, both positive and negative, as The Affordable Care Act of 2010. Obamacare, Nationalized Healthcare, Socialized Medicine, even The Abominable Care Act… the list seems endless, as do the tentacles of this far-reaching 2000-some-page law, not to mention the stacks of enabling regulations that already tower over the average homeowner’s foreclosed house. But the critics and skeptics must admit at last, four years after its passage, that the program is working far beyond the wildest dreams of its supporters. Despite almost daily, almost laughable website crashes, holes in its security...
  • Little Pavel Crosses the Border

    03/19/2014 8:03:50 AM PDT · by jfd1776 · 4 replies
    Little Pavel Crosses the Border ^ | March 19, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Join us as we watch our friendly neighborhood campaign volunteer educate his classmates about vote fraud – in the context of the Crimean Referendum It was primary election day back home in Chicago, and Pavel was glad he had switched his registration to his college address. The guys back at the 51st Ward Party Headquarters sure wouldn’t be happy with the ballots he was casting these days, and the excuse that “I’m just doing a little mischief in the other party” probably sounds a bit lame the second or third time it’s tried. Pavel walked into his Comparative Political Science...
  • Little Pavel and the Orange Jumpsuits

    03/02/2014 4:01:10 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 27 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | March 2, 2014 A.D. | John F Di Leo
    Join our young campaign volunteer as he learns about the latest cause célèbre of the hard Left: the restoration of voting rights for felons... Pavel Syerov Jr. had been away at college, so he hadn’t stopped by the 51st Ward Party Headquarters in quite awhile. But he was home for the weekend, doing errands for his folks, when he found himself driving past Headquarters, and noticed that he had time to kill. He had a daunting essay to write for his Comparative Political Science class the next week, and writer’s block had hit; perhaps stopping by to see Pockets and...
  • George Washington and the Call of Duty

    02/22/2014 3:24:17 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 5 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | February 22, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    In 1964, Hollywood placed a call: The recently retired James Cagney was offered one of the greatest character roles in musical theater: Alfred Doolittle, the wastrel father of Eliza. It turned out for the best, as the role then went to Stanley Holloway, the talented actor who had originated the role on the stage. Cagney would have loved to play it (who wouldn’t?), but Cagney had publicly announced his retirement after filming Billy Wilder’s magnificent but taxing comedy, “One, Two, Three” in 1961. On principle, Cagney refused to be one of those actors (and he had known many!) who retires,...
  • From Kool-Aid to Soda Pop – The Donkey’s Getting Thirsty

    02/20/2014 2:25:57 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 4 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | February 20, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Illinois Democrats have proposed a penny-per-ounce “sodapop tax” – a tax on sugar-sweetened drinks. Now, when you propose a number like “a penny,” it sounds small, and many people tend to dismiss it as inconsequential. But let's do the math. A 20 oz bottle of cola, lemon-lime, or root beer, sold alone at a gas station, might be $1.69 or so. Another twenty cents added on to that might seem unimportant, on its own, though it’s a brand new 12% tax on the purchase (and remember, there are still other taxes, like the state and local sales tax, in addition)....
  • Ideology, Affiliation, and the Choice to Intervene

    02/12/2014 12:19:06 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 1 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | February 12, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Subtitle: “Bruce Rauner and The Case of the Disturbing Checkbook” Pennsylvania is a swing state. Now, when we say this in politics, it can mean a number of different things. It can mean that the people tend to be moderate, or it can mean that the people are evenly split between conservative and liberal, or a number of other possible mixes too. In any case, it means that the state is winnable for either party in most election years (if the polls are kept reasonably free of the Democratic vote fraud that plagues so many of our big cities, anyway)....
  • The Politician and the Statesman: A Tale of Two Birthdays

    02/06/2014 8:46:58 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 5 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | February 6, 2014 A. D. | John F. Di Leo
    Aaron Burr, Patriot and Vice President On February 6, 1756, a boy was born into privilege in Newark, New Jersey. Young Aaron Burr, Jr. was son of the president of the College of New Jersey, and grandson of Jonathan Edwards, the Calvinist theologian regarded as a leader of the evangelical movement of the 18th century, an equal to the great preacher George Whitfield. Privilege then wasn’t quite what privilege is today, of course; there were no Rolls-Royces to drive, no Waldorf Astorias to stay in during constant vacations, no jet-setting to Monte Carlo, no celebrity photographers and magazines to put...
  • Primary Repairs for a Broken Primary System

    01/19/2014 6:11:21 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 19 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | January 19, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    The Republican Party suffers from a terrible illness, and it goes on and on, season after season, without even attempts to cure it. This illness is our presidential primary system. Since the beginning of the New Deal, the Republican Party has only nominated two conservatives for the Presidency: Barry Goldwater in 1964 and Ronald Reagan in 1980. One suffered a huge defeat, the other enjoyed two huge victories. As this record shows the conservative ascendancy, one would expect this to mean that the party would keep nominating candidates like their greatest victor in a century, at least until it stopped...
  • On Poverty and Unemployment, It's Left Versus Right

    01/11/2014 2:13:57 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 18 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | January 11, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Month after month, the reports are announced: Job losses outpace job gains, every month. Hundreds of thousands leave the workforce, every month. The new jobs – what few there are – are more likely to be part-time than full-time, and to be lower-paying than the ones lost. Too often, the new jobs are the career-enders, not the career starters that new jobs need to be. The story of the cooked books of the unemployment statistics is old news. For years now, the government reports have been leaving out the “non-participation” rate, so the unemployment percentage today bears no resemblance to...
  • Firearm Rights and the Chinks in the Armor

    01/05/2014 5:17:40 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 8 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | January 5, 2014 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Farmer Brown had a large chicken coop on his property. He noticed that foxes were getting in and stealing and eating his chickens, so he determined that he needed to fence it in. Farmer Brown sought permission from the local government for a high fence. Immediately, the wheels of government started to turn: Deputy Fox had him fill out some forms, Sheriff Coyote checked his fingerprints, County Clerk Jackal processed his applications and his filing fee; Judge Wolf supervised an audit of Farmer Brown’s friends and doctors to make a determination on his medical and psychological health. Finally, the local...
  • Five Mainstream Republican Resolutions for 2014

    12/31/2013 1:39:14 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 12 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | December 31, 2013 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Every New Year’s, we write personal lists of resolutions for ourselves. Lose the weight, advance the career, learn a skill, write that book. A good concept, especially if we really do accomplish some of them! But the problems America faces today aren’t going to be resolved that way. We are being impoverished by a leviathan state, and problems caused by government action can only be solved by government action. There’s no point in my proposing any resolutions to the Democratic Party; as a non-member, I have no right to expect them to listen to me. But as a lifelong Republican,...
  • Late Deliveries and Misplaced Blame

    12/30/2013 12:06:01 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 13 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | December 30, 2013 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Many are complaining this week – mostly the typically anti-business leftists, who can never resist a chance, legitimate or not, to attack the private sector – because some presents weren’t delivered by Christmas. Some are even calling for class-action suits, perhaps because they think that this certain type of predatory lawyer needs a stimulus program. Now, it should be obvious that there’s no conspiracy by the private sector to sadden spouses and children or to defraud businesses. A lot of orders were placed at the last minute, more than the transportation network could handle. We could leave it at that....
  • George Washington: A Victor in Battle, a Freeman at Heart

    12/24/2013 10:12:59 AM PST · by jfd1776 · 9 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | December 24, 2013 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    On December 23, 1783, the Continental Congress met in their temporary home – that’s all they had, temporary home after temporary home, since the United States had no permanent capital city, let alone capitol building – to listen to a history-making speech. General George Washington had arrived at Annapolis to resign his commission. The Continental Congress represented an odd cross between a country and an organization. The United States, under the Articles of Confederation, was more like today’s European Union than the America of today. There was no direct election of the delegates to the Continental Congress; they were selected...
  • The Bill of Rights: 222 Years and Counting

    12/15/2013 9:07:34 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 7 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | December 15, 2013 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    On December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights was ratified by the Old Dominion – the Commonwealth of Virginia – enabling the Bill of Rights to hit the necessary three-quarters requirement for passage. With Virginia’s ratification, the Bill of Rights was now a part of the Constitution of the United States. Both how we came to this point, and the reason it was done, tell us a great deal about the Founding Era. To better understand where we are today, let’s take a moment to look back, and remember 18th century America… and return to the present, and ponder how...
  • Immersed in the Season: Christmas Songs Through the Ages

    12/07/2013 4:11:23 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 3 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | December 7, 2013 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    With plummeting temperatures, the threat and promise of snow, and the turning of pages of the calendar, we are fully into the Christmas season. We hear Christmas hymns and other holiday songs on the radio, in TV commercials, at school and church pageants. But I wonder if we are all sufficiently aware of some of the deep historical meanings behind some of our favorite carols. For example: The Top Five Christmas Songs Associated with Major Historical Events 1: During the long, cold winter of 1979-1980, the Hunt Brothers famously attempted to corner a precious metals market. Remember those days? And...
  • Left Behind in Geneva: A Weapon We May Miss In Years To Come

    11/28/2013 8:43:30 AM PST · by jfd1776 · 7 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | November 27, 2013 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Late at night, in the middle of a weekend before a national holiday, Secretary of State John Kerry sat down in Switzerland, and reversed generations of foreign policy direction. Representing the Obama administration (since no treaty is final until ratified by the U.S. Senate, and this one won’t be, at least not in its current form), Secretary Kerry agreed on a new and dangerous path in our relationship with Iran. Iran has long argued – in English – that it has a right to develop nuclear power – and that case can indeed be made – but the West has...
  • Lessons in Succession Throughout the Ages

    11/23/2013 6:22:09 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 4 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | November 23, 2013 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Reflections on the succession process, on the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination The historians of ancient Rome – both contemporary and throughout the ages since – have written a great deal about the difference between “bad emperors” and “good emperors.” Nero and Caligula, for example, were off-the-charts terrible, while Augustus, Trajan, Antonius Pius, Hadrian, and Marcus Aurelius were terrific. Of the dozens of emperors in Rome’s long-lasting empire, why were some good and others bad, when they all tended to have similar education, family background, ethnicity, experience, and military background? One of the theories was adoption vs. birth. Not...
  • Lessons in Healthcare from an Island Paradise

    11/15/2013 12:15:33 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 6 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | November 15, 2013 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Imagine it is 1663, and you want to buy a dodo. You are now legally allowed to buy a dodo. The Dutch, who manage the island of Mauritius as a colony, have no law against the purchase of dodos. Perhaps there once was such a law, and it’s now been suspended for a year. If you have money, and you can find a willing seller, you can buy his dodo. You could even legally buy two. You could buy three or four. The Dutch government has just announced that it won't even try to stop you. Want a dodo? Go...
  • Barack Obama and the Myth of the Unforced Error

    11/01/2013 2:20:40 PM PDT · by jfd1776 · 3 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | November 1, 2013 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    Many believe that the current administration – or perhaps more broadly, the current Democratic regime, by the triumvirate Obama, Pelosi, and Reid since the 2006 elections – will be remembered and condemned for its “unforced errors”… that is, for the unnecessary mistakes it has made, through mishandling programs and clumsily creating needless trouble by misreading economic cause-and-effect or societal trends. But were they truly errors at all? Were they mistakes? Much of the damage done by this administration has in fact been intentional – either out of some arrogant belief that “we elites know better than you do” or out...