Local Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
Ref. : Arts & Education Events
Ref. : Public Service Notices
Books, Films, Arts & Education
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]
11.15 The long read: The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]
11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]
11.12 This Land is Your Land: The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Trump responds to worst fires in California’s history by threatening to withhold federal aid [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Interior department sued for ‘secretive process’ in at-risk species assessment [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Keystone XL pipeline: judge rules government 'jumped the gun' and orders halt [behaving ignorantly again...]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
11.17 As Energy for Medicare for All Explodes, Steny Hoyer's Plan Includes Waiting for Trump to Help Make Obamacare Better [Another who is unfit to be Democrat leader]
11.17 'A Staggeringly Bad Idea': Outrage as Pelosi Pushes Tax Rule That Would 'Kneecap the Progressive Agenda' [Unfit to be Democrat leader]
11.16 As 'Green New Deal' Demand Grows, Democrats Have Choice: Confront and Defeat Fossil Fuel Industry or Take Credit for 'Doomed' Planet [Two choices: Save life-on-Earth or help Republicans let it die?]
11.15 Democrats Won Big. Can They Go Bold, Too? [it's about suppressing the influence and leadership by Republican-like Democrats who counsel 'íncremental' (no) change, such as Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Shumer and Joe Biden]
11.15 Pentagon Officials Forced to Make Fewer Public Appearances to Avoid Provoking Trump [...by revealing Trump's huuuge ignorance]
11.15 REPUBLICANS USED A BILL ABOUT WOLVES TO AVOID A VOTE ON YEMEN WAR [if there are 'defense industry' profits to be made—including congress-critter insider-trading—and political 'donations' to be had, we mustn't stop killing innocent civilians!]
11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
11.16 Amazon’s HQ2 Will Get a Tax Break Designed to Help the Poor [a Republican program that directly helps participating wealthy companies—but only helps workers if and when 'trickle-down' occurs.]
11.16 Trump doesn’t want to punish Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi. His new sanctions prove it. [George W. Bush made a similar immoral decision for the same oily reasons after 9-11, protecting Saudi defense contracts while facilitating the slaughter of poorer Arab "terrorists" in the region.]
11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]
International & Futurism
11.17 Thousands gather to block London bridges in climate rebellion [We're losing WWIII because the enemy is invisible while we're like frogs slowly cooking. We aren't informed enough to be alarmed, but must get organized and motivated to fight back. We need a War Plan to ruthlessly pursue the fight of our lives!]
11.17 Policies of China, Russia and Canada threaten 5C climate change, study finds [Climate catastrophe is increasingly likely without worldwide organization, funding and commitment to winning THE WAR AGAINST GLOBAL WARMING.]
11.15 Cuba to pull doctors out of Brazil after President-elect Bolsonaro comments [terms must be negotiated for fairness to Cuba's health professionals without disruption of healthcare for Brazil's poor]
11.14 'Appalling' Khashoggi audio shocked Saudi intelligence – Erdogan [Exposing a psychopath?]
Thinking About Justice
There is the perception that justice (remedying a misdeed) and leveling the playing field applies for the rich and powerful, but heaven alone works for those in the lower and less affluent rungs of our society.
I’ve been thinking about justice. Actually I’ve been thinking about Goldman Sachs, large and small, the League of Women Voters monthly forums, Ogle County, State’s Attorney Ben Rowe, juveniles, Focus House, and Sinnissippi Center(s). This week we should see the beginnings of the hearings into the alleged malfeasance of the major Wall Street investment banking firm of Goldman Sachs. It will be an eye opener! Did they deliberately and with malice of forethought seek to criminally enrich the few (and themselves) at the cost to many in their selling and manipulation of BOTH sides of mortgage backed securities? The Goldman case will bring before the public the workings of our system (and I use the term loosely) of “man made” derived investments and the marketing of BOTH sides of the transactions. These are sum zero investments meaning for somebody to make a dollar, somebody else must lose a dollar. The issue is not only that BILLIONS of dollars were in play here, but what is “right” about the US system of investment markets and the regulation/monitoring of the system as well. There is the perception that justice (remedying a misdeed) and leveling the playing field applies for the rich and powerful, but heaven alone works for those in the lower and less affluent rungs of our society.
Last Thursday evening I attended a monthly forum sponsored by the Rochelle Area Chapter of the League of Women Voters. The presenters were Ogle County States Attorney Ben Rowe, Ogle County Director of Court Services Greg Martin, and Ogle County Juvenile Justice Council Executive Director Sheri Egan. I wish that literally EVERY person in our area had attended because the information presented was impressive! We are clearly ahead of the curve both statewide and nationally when it comes to this locality’s handling of its treatment of juvenile “justice.” The Ogle County plan and execution thereof through a working partnership of law enforcement, the court system, local auxiliary support agencies, and volunteers should serve as a model of what can be done in the rest of the State of Illinois and the nation as a whole.
Several “facts” are central to the effective workings of the Ogle County Juvenile Justice System. First it is not monolithic in that committing any offense against socially accepted norms will send a perpetrator directly to jail. There are degrees of offenses and the punishment/remedies match them. This does not mean that some parties will be “nailed” while others will get a “pass.” There are NO free passes at work here. There is accountability and accounting at work here. A child that is lost to substance abuse and crime costs our society an average of $2.4 MILLION over a lifetime. 75% of kids who have spent time in juvenile detention centers are incarcerated later in life. Note also that 42% of admissions to juvenile prisons are for non-criminal actions. Roughly one/third of youth in lock-up are of low risk to re-offend, 7% are in for misdemeanor offenses, and almost half of youth in custody are there for committing non-violent crimes. A single sentencing “outcome” for all offenders does not correct things!
The Ogle County Juvenile Plan/System calls for a pre-court evaluation of each case. This involves the offender, the victim(s), counselors, law enforcement, and the courts. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has funded “Models for Change” to accelerate progress toward a more rational, fair, effective and developmentally appropriate juvenile justice system. Ogle County and four other demonstration projects are working with this “Models” initiative.
The Juvenile Justice Council in Ogle County coordinates, guides, and engages the community. It works with school officials, law enforcement, and social welfare assistance agencies within the area. Whenever possible offending children are diverted to counseling programs, treatment, and live in safe facilities within the home community. The focus is on re-direction, counseling, and education. Rochelle Focus House and Sinnissippi Centers are unique both within the state and the nation. Their participation in the workings of this system have been critical to the growing number of successes achieved.
The community itself is involved in the Balance and Restorative Justice (BARJ) or “diversion programming” system. Community impact panels, performing community service, victim/offender conferencing, informal dispute negotiations, accountability contracts, restitution, and formal letters of apology also figure into the mix. Volunteers and local financial contributions are so critical to the successes of these programs. We can take a great deal of local pride in the workings and successes here.
To borrow from William Shakespeare: “And earthy power doth then show likest God’s when mercy seasons justice.”
I’m Fred Cederholm and I’ve been thinking. You should be thinking, too.
Copyright 2009 Questions, Inc. All rights reserved. Fred Cederholm is a CPA/CFE, a forensic accountant, and writer. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.A., M.A. and M.A.S.). He can be reached at email@example.com.
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This story was published on April 26, 2010.