February 21, 2008

Time for local legislators to step to the plate.

Rep. Julie Hamos has introduced a bill into the Illinois legislation called the Limitations on Private Military Contractors Act which establishes as public policy that private military contractors should not receive state funding or support in Illinois.

The bill sets 3 important limitations on their function and use:

1. No state funds may be used to contract with or purchase services from private military contractors for training of law enforcement or security Guards.

2. No military weapons or explosives may be used by private military contractors in Illinois except on secured U.S. military bases or regulated facilities.

3. No personnel trained by private military contractors may be used to patrol, guard, control, contain or arrest any Illinois resident.

This legislation shows foresight and should be supported by all Illinois residents who don't wish to have their tax dollars shoveled into supporting a multi-billion dollar military-for-hire corporation who've been involved in many reckless murders in Iraq and who's plans include patrolling areas within the United States.

In light of Blackwater's huge expansion plans for their camp just north of the Quad Cities this is a measure of importance to our area.

Check out State Representitive Hamo's web page. It puts to shame any sites of our elected officials, and instead of dry, lame self-promotion only, with pages that offer nothing but pictures of the politician, it's full of information and insight into what's going on and what Hamo's is working on, and light on fluff.

Hamos even provides some substance, such as her thoughtful and engaging year end appraisal of the legislative session. These are the things that inform constituents and also show that their representitive has a brain and what she's working on and why.

Do our Reps. Boland and Verschoore and Sen. Jacobs support her reasonable and much needed bill?

Note: Barack Obama supports regulating out of control private military.

Comments left here indicate to me that Sen. Jacobs doesn't share Obama's views, if Jacobs even has any views on this important constitutional issue.

31 Comments:

At 2/21/2008 6:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Blackwater doesn't protect you who will?

When Congressman hare implements withdrawl plans, who going to fight and win our war? We don't want to end up speaking french.

Blackwater is the man!

 
At 2/21/2008 8:15 PM, Blogger Saul said...

This is a great and courageous move by Representative Hamos. I'm sure all of the yahoos and Bruce Willis Rambo wannabes are going to say she's "soft on terrorism" for even broaching the subject. But since when has it been the case that the only way we could competently train our military and police is when someone is getting rich off of it? The move toward privatizing the military and police is in essence trusting the public safety and interest to mercenaries who not only have no obligation to serve anyone except a private for-profit company, but who also have a financial interest in promoting and perpetuating situations of fear and violence. This kind of operation is also a magnet for gun-loving bullies just itching to shoot people--not the kind of people we want to cultivate among our citizenry.

 
At 2/21/2008 8:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Senator Jacobs worked a deal with his friend Governor Rod Blagojevich to open Thomson prison.

I guess Paul Rumlers theory was wrong.

The nice thing is if you get your way we can send the boys from blackwater's to Thomson prison if needed.

I remember when people did not think that Blackwater had a facility here.

 
At 2/21/2008 9:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just caught Sen. Mike Jacobs on television announcing the opening of Thomson Prison in Carroll County. Look for 400 new inmates by July 2008, and another 800 by 2010. Kudos to Jacobs!

 
At 2/21/2008 11:52 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 6:08.

So now we know where Sen. Jacobs stands.

Anyone else?

It's interesting that someone would take such a joke attitude about such a serious issue.

It's also instructive that it's directly opposite of the views on the matter of a certain Sen. Barack Obama, who called for strict regulation of such outfits in an op-ed in the Sun-Times.

 
At 2/21/2008 11:58 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Saul,
Well said.

And it should be noted, and it's a key factor in this, that Blackwater's extreme right wing CEO asked Bush for, and he then got, complete and utter immunity for any and all Blackwater guns for hire.

They are legally not accountible to Iraqi law, and neither can they be held to account under U.S. law, and perhaps most telling, they don't have to operate under U.S. Military laws or regulations.

In other words, they're a shadow rougue army utterly above the law.

Is that what citizens want to spend their tax dollars on?

It's already apparent that in many instances, these renegade yahoo's and their penchant to shoot-em-up cowboy style has done grave damage to REAL U.S. troops by the rage and hatred they've inspired against the U.S. among the Iraqi people, who see their people slaughtered and murdered and these Blackwater types literally getting away with murder.

If one of them gets plastered drunk and murders an Iraqi for fun, the worst that happens is he gets fired, paid handsomely, and shipped back to the U.S.

This is beyond the pale.

 
At 2/22/2008 12:01 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 8:34.

I'm really trying to tease some sense out of your comment, so far without success.

What in the hell does Thompson Prison have to do with the massive Blackwater camp?

Do you look at them as the same sort of thing? Just more economic development.

It seems that legislators literally don't care WHAT the hell comes here, as long as it brings a handful of jobs.

Good to know we'll soon have the same rep as some dirt poor areas of Alabama, attracting massive polluters and other dubious "busineses".

 
At 2/22/2008 12:14 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 9:37.

Yippee! Throw more people in jail. Let's all celebrate! Kudos to Sen. Jacobs for furthering the prison industry and locking up an even larger portion of society so they can emerge more hardened and unable to fit in than ever.

Woohoo! More people incarcerated.... what a progressive idea.

And a handful of state jobs at the cost of mulitiple millions for another depressed rural area.

Kudos.

I'm sure it was Jacobs or his pals who often boasted of how tight he was with Obama.

Jacobs is the anti-Obama. The polar opposite. I can't think of two politicians more unalike. One with sweeping vision and social conscience, and the other with no evidence of having any at all.

But I guess in the small-potatoes world of state politics, getting a prison to actually open years and years after it was built is considered quite the accomplishment.

I must be crazy to hope for better than hog plants, prisons, and a multi-million dollar camp crawling with explosives, weapons, and militia types.

We truly are turning into Alabama... the poorer parts.

 
At 2/22/2008 9:19 AM, Anonymous far side said...

I believe Boland supports this measure.

I'll call Mike Huntoon for you TID and see if he can confirm Boland's stance on this.

 
At 2/22/2008 12:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beyond the really dumb but typical comments from the Jacobs gang, I can't help but notice that they really seem to be trying to lower the bar on what is considered "success".

I mean, now a prison opens that was first started a decade or more ago, it benefits a relative handful of people, expands state bureaucracy, and generates no taxes (other than payroll tax)

And not only that, but many people including Boland it could be assumed, have worked to get this long-overdue embarassment up and running.

Yet now Jacobs seems to be eager to give himself sole credit for essentially simply being in office.

If this is considered "success", the bar is almost on the ground.

 
At 2/22/2008 1:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a big deal anytime 400 new employees get hired in Western Illinois, or anywhere else for that matter. These people will buy homes and pay income and property taxes, some will even go to the local grocery store and buy something. It's addition Dope, not subtraction.

I am sure Boland has heard about the vacancy at Thomson, but am unaware of anything he has done to fill the place. Jacobs has been at the forefront in this drive to open Thomson.

I saw Jacobs on the news today and he gave big props to Blagojevich. Afterwards the reporter claimed Boland was unavailable for comment and was mad that Blagojevich and Jacobs cut him out of the press announcement.

Perhaps Blagojevich didn't appreciate Boland front-page story announcing he was going to run against him for governor. Boland's negative antics could seriously impact our area for along time!

 
At 2/22/2008 7:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get out of your mother's coin purse loser!

 
At 2/22/2008 7:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OUT WITH THE ALCHOHOLICS THAT LIVE IN THEIR MOMS BASEMENTS!!!TARDS

 
At 2/22/2008 8:15 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Jacobs fans 1 and 2,

Thank you Jacobs fans for reflecting the object of your desire with your dependably insane and oh-so-rational responses.

 
At 2/22/2008 8:16 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 1:53

I'm glad that apparently the Jacobs got some sober representitive to write a rational response.

I appreciate your thoughts and opinion on this matter.

I'd just ask why we are ALWAYS told that Jacobs accomplished this or that without EVER so much as a word as to what he actually did.

As has been said in the presidential campaign, words are cheap.

Just what did he do to get this prison open after decades?

And how is that somehow more than any other politician has done?

You blow up your own attempt to slag Boland with your own words as well.

First you suggest that Boland must not have done much, because he didn't appear at some press conference. (Apparently with Jacobs, appearing at press conferences equals doing something.)

Then you turn around and explain exactly why Boland likely didn't attend due to petty political squabbles and egos.

Again, thanks for the insight into the petty, deceptive, and woefully short on facts world of local state politics.

 
At 2/22/2008 8:43 PM, Blogger Saul said...

Can any of the Jacobs fans tell us what he thinks of Blackwater in Illinois and what he thinks of the Limitations on Private Military Contractors Act?

 
At 2/22/2008 8:48 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Saul,

They already did. See the first comment in this thread.

That's the response from that direction, as are the comments that follow which attempts to hijack the thread with phoney attempts to burnish his own reputation.

 
At 2/22/2008 9:37 PM, Anonymous nooncat said...

Let me correct something. I live in my *dad's* basement and get my money from *him*. All other allegations may stand as posted. Now it's off to the Suds 'n' Duds for me before it closes! HIC!

 
At 2/22/2008 10:12 PM, Blogger Saul said...

My God, TID, I hope you're wrong, and the Jacobs people have something more thoughtful to say about this issue than the first poster did.

If Blackwater doesn't protect you who will?
How about the military and police? Are you saying that the military and police are incapable of doing the job that we have trained them for and entrusted them with? That doesn't sounds very supportive of the troops.

When Congressman hare implements withdrawl plans, who going to fight and win our war? We don't want to end up speaking french.
Are you suggesting that Blackwater is capable of fighting and winning the war in Iraq? Even after the troops come home (as the majority of Americans want them to do)? This is the same company whose cluelessness and lawlessness has resulted in countless civilian deaths since the war began--the most famous recent incident being last September when a group of Blackwater mercs went berserk and mowed down 17 civilians at a traffic stop in Baghdad, starting with a young couple and their baby. They're the most despised people in Iraq. They wouldn't last five minutes in Iraq if they couldn't hide behind the US army in the green zone. They're the ones who are going to win the war for us? Try again.

Blackwater is the man!
For chrissakes, grow up.

 
At 2/23/2008 12:38 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Good luck Saul,

These fine folks seem to suffer from severe cases of arrested development.

Every blogger who's place they vandalize has begged and pleaded with them to show some sort of intelligence, but this is still the sort of thing you get.

That's who we have representing us and those who support him, and they seem downright proud of being such ignorant and arrogant jerks.

 
At 2/23/2008 6:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on, your the one living in your mommy;'s basment rifleing through her coin purse for booze money. Get off the blog and to a job that would be a nice twist.

 
At 2/23/2008 6:52 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I rest my case.

 
At 2/23/2008 8:00 PM, Anonymous langford said...

No, I live with my dad, and I have my own bedroom 'cause the basement flooded a year ago. And if it wasn't for his coin purse, not-so-anonymous persons such as yourself would have to hit up someone else for money to buy Night Train. As for a job, may I use you as a reference?

 
At 2/23/2008 10:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to break it down for you. Blackwater does the job that our boys in Iraq can not. Our country would be so far back in this war on terror if we did not have these brave boys from Blackwater.
Wy are you against them.

I remember when you railed against Blackwater about a year ago and I told you that they were in our patch of Illinois and you acted like I was crazy. Now who is crazy Dope.

We need these boys to do the things that our boys can not do in the conventional military.

Our best defensive minds think we need Blackwater.
What makes you think you know more than our brightest military minds.

 
At 2/23/2008 11:44 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Spoken like someone pretending to know what the hell they're talking about.

Just what source do you base your stupid assertion that our troops can't do what Blackwater does, and better?

Do tell.

Because the fact remains that until Bush decided to privatize the military, there was no Blackwater. Who did these duties then, eh?

Also, this is about the fourth time you've said that you told me Blackwater was in this area.

First of all, I don't recall anyone saying anything about that, and secondly, if it was you saying it, how could anyone tell it apart from the rest of your absolutely barking nuts comments and assertions?

It's taken you years, but you've proven that anything you say here should be taken with all the credibility someone might give a schizophrenic street person ranting about outer space rays.

So you knew Blackwater was setting up a big operation nearby, said and did nothing about it, mentioned it here, and now you want what? Credit?

You obviously have no clue what sort of outfit Blackwater is, and don't care, you have no idea what sort of precident this sort of multi-billion dollar private military, unaccountible to any laws, has on the future of this country and it's defense, and again, you couldn't care less even if you could understand it.

To you, it's someone else to kiss your ass and drop funds in your coffers, maybe let you fire some rifles and ride in a helicopter, and who the hell cares beyond that, right?

 
At 2/24/2008 1:05 AM, Blogger Saul said...

Anon 10:53

If I'm guessing correctly, you're the one who last April claimed that Blackwater hired guns
can do what the military cannot. They are not under the same rules as our military. They get the job done. If not for them our military would be dying in combat.

To repeat TID's question, please tell us what exactly you think Blackwater does that our army does not? Sneak around and shoot terrorists? Sneak around and shoot people who they think might be terrorists? Blow up people who they think might be terrorists? Call in air strikes and blow up buildings where they think there might be some terrorists? Kidnap and torture people who might or might not know anything about terrorists to get information which might or might not be reliable? Uh, the army and special forces pretty much do all of those things. So what exactly is this magic technique Blackwater has that is keeping our military from dying in combat (uh, except for the 3970 that have been killed in combat)?

Well, they did freak out and massacre 17 civilians at a traffic stop. That was probably against military rules. Yeah, that's something only a highly trained, super-elite commando force is capable of. We sure are lucky we can rely on dudes like these, otherwise our war in Iraq would be going nowhere!

 
At 2/24/2008 1:14 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Just for background info, Blackwater was originally contracted to provide security for "VIP"s in Iraq. They're hired and paid for by the State Dept.

The State Dept. inspector general, the guy in charge of investigating charges against Blackwater, you may remember was the famous liar who was confronted during congressional testimony with the fact that his brother sat on the Blackwater advisory board.

He denied this, then after the break, came back and confirmed that yes, it was true. The guy resigned shortly thereafter.

But Condi Rice refuses to do anything about their actions either.

Now the company has gotten so massive, and raked in such huge profits, that they're planning wild expansion, into domestic security, and many other areas, in an attempt to become literally the country's military for hire, a complete security force who hire primarily ex-military.

The U.S. taxpayer pays hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, to train this person for the military, they do their stint, get out, then Blackwater hires them at huge salaries and charges the tax payer even more.

Their contracts are literally open-ended and Blackwater can essentially ask for whatever they want and get it.

So again, what is it that Blackwater can do that the U.S.military can not?

I'd like our little commenter to respond if he can.

 
At 2/25/2008 9:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saul, Why would the military pay Blackwater tons of cash for their services if they do nothing. You seem as ignorant as the Dope on this issue.

 
At 2/26/2008 11:17 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 9:35.

You have an amazingly low opinion of our military and their capabilities, don't you?

Pretty sad.

And your pro-Blackwater arguments are preposterous. Kindergarten got out a long time ago.

Suggesting there's some link between the amount Blackwater charges in open-ended contracts that essentially give them a blank check, and what they actually accomplish is like saying that John Dillinger must have been a really hard worker and accomplished great work because, to use your logic, why else would people give him so much money?

In your world is there some sort of cosmic meter that makes sure that no one gets a dime more than they are supposed to, that ensures that every company gets paid exactly what they deserve for the amount of work they perform?

We're talking about the Bush administration here. What the hell planet are you on?

Blackwater has made billions because their founder was a far-right zealot who gave big money to Bush, and the neocon radicals in the administration thought it would be just peachy to privatize our military as just another way to loot the treasury.

Is this what we pay taxes for? So some politically connected handful can invent companies to essentially loot the treasury by doing tasks that have always been performed perfectly well by the military, a military which, by the way, is responsible to the people and the constitution before the president??

Or is that notion utterly lost on you? You apparently have no problem with there being a massively paid private army aligned with one particular political party.

I don't think many people share your views, which I feel are pretty warped, obviously ignorant of the facts, and horribly cynical.

You have no ideas what you're talking about, but are just mindlessly apeing lame excuses for protecting these companies, companies which should be outlawed entirely, and will be once Bush and Co. are bounced out of the White House.

 
At 2/27/2008 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

not so sure about Boland's vote anymore

Huntoon just mumbled at me at said he had to go

 
At 2/27/2008 4:23 PM, Blogger Saul said...

Anon 9:35 PM,

I agree completely with TID that Blackwater's high pay has more to do with their right-wing politics, political contributions and no-bid contracts than it has to do with anything else. On top of that I would add the fact that the only way that the US can get ANYONE to got to Iraq is by paying them enormous amounts of money--BECAUSE NO ONE WANTS TO GO TO IRAQ! Bush has turned Iraq into a hellhole--one of the most dangerous places in the world. There might be some truly insane "true believers" in Bush's mission and who thus actually want to go to Iraq to do whatever Bush and Cheney say we're trying to do there, but if such people exist, you could probably count them with one hand. The vast majority of the Americans in Iraq are only there because (A) they're being paid enormous amounts of money; or (B) they're in the armed forces and are not allowed to leave. The (B) group itself is barely making it--there aren't enough people in the army to totally subjugate a country of 26 million people who don't want us there. The army has had to institute "stop-loss" policies to prevent people from going home. And because recruitment has been declining due to the war, the army has had to use greater and greater sums to bribe people into joining. Why do you think that the army has started giving $40K bonuses for people just out of high school?

 

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