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About that letter

Monday, Nov 23, 2015

* From Friday’s letter to President Obama signed by several governors, including Gov. Bruce Rauner

Our country has long served as a welcoming beacon to individuals and families who seek safety and refugee status within the borders of the United States. For years we have been proud to welcome refugees into our communities in their pursuit of a better life and future.

Yes, we have. They’ve come from all over the world, including some of the worst hot spots like Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Lebanon. About 800,000 have arrived since 9/11/2001 and not a single terrorist among them.

* More

However, we are deeply concerned that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria may have exploited the generosity of the refugee system to carry out Friday’s terrorist attack in Paris.

There is some disagreement over whether or not any of the Parisian terrorists posed as refugees.

But people are using the same terminology for completely different types of refugees.

Europe has been dealing with waves of refugees flooding across its many porous borders. These are obviously not vetted refugees.

There has been no similar Syrian mass migration event to the United States. Instead, the Syrian civil war refugees we’ve let in so far (a very tiny number, by the way) have been vetted for up to two years. Unlike what’s happening in Europe, this is a controlled process. It’s not perfect by any means because it’s a human system. But it’s not even close to being completely and totally chaotic like in Europe.

So, anyone who equates the European refugee crisis with the intensely bureaucratic, slow-moving American refugee process is either ignorant or deliberately lying.

Not to mention that it’s a whole lot easier to enter the US through other means. Most of the Paris attackers had European passports. As long as they weren’t on the no-fly list, they could’ve boarded a plane to this country without effort. And that’s not to mention our home-grown terrorists, who are a much bigger problem than you’d think, particularly if you include street gang members.

In other words, if you are really worried about ISIS terrorists and not just interested in jumping on the latest bandwagon, then there are far more likely avenues to defend against than the glacially slow refugee vetting process.

* Back to the letter

While the tragic event was a direct assault on the European Union’s refugee system, the potential for this situation to arise in the United States is escalated by information revealed by the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey. In testimony before Congress, he admitted to certain inadequacies in the system that would prevent the thorough vetting of the 10,000 refugees your administration has pledged to admit into the United States.

This was inded a “direct assault on the European Union’s refugee system” because the system was totally overwhelmed with waves of people flooding across borders that essentially no longer exist.

So again, the only way for “this situation to arise in the United States” is if hundreds of thousands of Syrians started flooding into our country uncontrolled and unvetted the way they’ve been flooding into Europe. That just ain’t gonna happen, so it’s a completely false equivalence.

* However, Director Comey did, indeed, admit to inadequacies. He’s right.

But as I’ve said many times, no human system is ever perfect. If you want the government to guarantee your safety every minute of every day, then you’re living in a childish fantasy world, or you’re pandering to those who are.

We can talk all day about whether we should or shouldn’t be involved in helping the Syrian refugees, but I think Phil Kadner has the best analogy I’ve yet seen anywhere by anyone

Would you have had the courage to open your door to shelter people running through the streets of Paris during the recent terrorist attacks in that city?

The brave souls who did exactly that did not know if they might be shot, if terrorists would pursue their targets into their homes or if the very people they were sheltering were the gunmen. They saw people in trouble and offered to help.

* Back to the letter

As governors, we are charged with ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our citizens.

Has Gov. Rauner spoken this often and this publicly about the killings on Chicago’s South and West Sides? I don’t ever remember seeing his plan to confront that violence, or even his thoughts about what’s going on. The last time I checked, Chicago was still in Illinois, and so as governor he’s most definitely “charged with ensuring the safety and wellbeing” of those citizens. Where’s his plan?

* Their conclusion

In order to adequately fulfill this duty, we request that you immediately review the process by which you conduct background checks on all individuals applying for refugee status and address the gaps acknowledged by your director of the FBI.

In the wake of this recent tragedy, and until we can ensure the citizens of our states that an exhaustive review of all security measures has been completed and the necessary changes have been implemented, we respectfully request that you suspend all plans to resettle additional Syrian refugees.

I actually don’t disagree with the first paragraph of this conclusion. It’s smart to reevaluate systems in the wake of attacks, even attacks thousands of miles from our shores. The Obama administration has not done nearly enough to assure people that this is happening. I get the frustration and the anger.

But I would also very much like to see our governor perform “an exhaustive review of all security measures” for residents of crime-ridden Illinois neighborhoods and “necessary changes” implemented, and perhaps a look at what we can do about the huge concentration of state parolees on the city’s West Side before the governor sticks his nose into US foreign policy. And I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

* Also, now that David Vitter has lost the Louisiana governor’s race after blatantly exploiting the Syrian refugee issue, perhaps the RGA, which claims to have recruited Gov. Rauner, can finally take the brick off the tempest-tost and we can all move along.


* Related…

* Some want to outlaw Islam: On Monday, The [Ottawa, IL] Times posted the Associated Press story on Gov. Bruce Rauner’s decision to stop accepting Syrian refugees in Illinois. The story attracted 167 comments and 792 “likes,” far more than most of our Facebook items. Those 167 comments don’t include the hundreds of replies to specific comments. One man wrote, “Islam should be outlawed in America. It is not conducive to assimilation and poses a threat to national security.” That comment alone drew 125 replies, many of which took him to task. Thirty-three people liked his posting. I didn’t take part in this debate, but here’s my response: This person needs to read the First Amendment, particularly the clause, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” What’s ironic is that this would-be prohibitionist of Islam “likes” the Facebook pages for the Constitution Party and the Federalist Papers, and he claims to be a conservative that opposes big government. Yet how much bigger can a government get than one that tells its citizens what it can and cannot believe?

* Kerry tells Rauner Syrian refugees face extensive screening

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Honeybear - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 9:11 am:

    Fantastic comments Rich, thorough and precise. It is really frightening to me that people who profess to follow the constitution should be so ignorant of it’s protections. The thought that the leading Presidential candidate would propose a Muslim registry just blows my mind.

  2. - Dome Gnome - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 9:11 am:

    Can you hear the cheering all the way from New Jersey?

  3. - Bigtwich - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 9:24 am:

    Illinois has been confronted with hysteria surrounding terrorists with funny names and a despised religion. The State can take pride from the response of its Governor, John Peter Altgeld.

  4. - Bluegrass Boy - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 9:24 am:

    I saw this the other day and I agree:
    I lock my doors not because I hate those outside but because I love those inside.

    That said, this appears to be meaningless political grandstanding.

    I support all LEGAL immigration.
    If we are vetting the Syrians for two years and they appear to be solid citizens, let ‘em in.
    Same with LEGAL immigrants from any other country.
    However, anyone who does not follow the process needs to suffer whatever consequences there are - it’s not fair to the ones who are playing by the rules.

  5. - Team America - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 9:27 am:

    === About 800,000 have arrived since 9/11/2001 and not a single terrorist among them.===
    Not counting Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. And perhaps others we don’t know about yet.

  6. - wordslinger - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 9:35 am:

    TA, the Boston bombers weren’t refugees. Their parents came to the U.S. on tourist visas then applied for political asylum.

    Not the same as refugee, at all.

  7. - PublicServant - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 9:36 am:

    ===So, anyone who equates the European refugee crisis with the intensely bureaucratic, slow-moving American refugee process is either ignorant or deliberately lying.===

    Or both.

  8. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 9:39 am:

    We burn the village to save it. Keep America safe by acting like the countries we deplore

  9. - Team America - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 9:40 am:

    Word - fair point but I suppose it points to a larger problem of how we handle immigration. Referring to the Tsarnevs in the context of the “refugee crisis” has engendered much debate:

    “But the “refugee” question is largely semantic in nature when applied to the Tsarnaevs, with respect to whether current refugees present a homegrown terrorist threat. Given that the Tsarnaev family arrived in the United States as vacation-goers, their tourist visas were unlikely to trigger initial asylum-seeker-type screening (to which Syrian refugees are subject). Clamping down on the admission of refugees would not affect individuals like the Tsarnaev family, who entered the U.S. with a stated intent of leisure travel.”

  10. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 9:49 am:

    ===fair point but===

    Dude, there’s no “but” about it.

    They weren’t refugees.

  11. - Lakefront Liberal - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 9:49 am:

    ‘when I read stories on this topic I keep thinking about these two infographics:

    Especially the second one which shows risks leading to death in perspective. War is a tiny little dot, while things like high blood pressure, smoking, lack of exercise and low fruits and vegetables are huge circles. So from a standpoint of protecting the lives of the citizens of Illinois, the story about health care for home health workers is actually more important than any action regarding Syrian refugees, or even the murder rate in Chicago, since murder is also a relatively tiny circle.

    The infographic is for the UK but I think the numbers are pretty similar for the US.

    So instead of trying to keep out refugees, I suggest we all eat a piece of fruit, then go for a walk.

    But more seriously, I think that leaders should be trying to help put risks into perspective, not blowing them completely out of perspective.

  12. - train111 - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 9:50 am:


    Right on–the more things change…..

    It cost Altgeld the Governor’s seat, but history has shown that he made the right decision.

  13. - cdog - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 9:51 am:

    Controlled immigration and refugee intakes are American.
    (I personally grew up working with Laotian refugees in the 1970s)

    That said, we need to not be connived into saving all the victims of the trouble-makers, while letting the trouble-makers continue to promote mayhem. (Think wealthy regional muslim countries that have not taken any refugees because it doesn’t fit their social or religious narrative.)

  14. - Mouthy - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 9:51 am:

    I’m deeply saddened by the amount of ugliness I’ve seen in the last week and a half. If we are turning into a nation of prejudice and fear then the terrorists are winning a much bigger prize than could ever by won on the battlefield..

  15. - olddog - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 9:59 am:

    That letter is further evidence, as if any were needed, that Rauner has a prefabricated right-wing national agenda instead of a coherent public policy vision for the state of Illinois.

  16. - sal-says - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 10:02 am:

    == As governors, we are charged with ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our citizens. ==

    How’s raunner square that with ‘all his citizens’ who’ve been cut off from State programs, LIHEAP, etc? Because of raunner’s intransigence and failures in leadership.

  17. - ArchPundit - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 10:03 am:

    ===fair point but I suppose it points to a larger problem of how we handle immigration

    So there is a problem in the system with regards to tourist visas, but no problem has been identified with the refugee process. So we make the refugee process much harder. Got it.

  18. - Jimmy Jazz - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 10:03 am:

    Shout it from the rooftops, every word — it needs to be heard.

  19. - Mama - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 10:04 am:

    Did the USA citizens want to close our boarders when the Jewish people had to migrate from Europe to escape Hilter?

  20. - thunderspirit - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 10:04 am:

    Well stated, Rich.

  21. - Mama - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 10:07 am:

    “Yet how much bigger can a government get than one that tells its citizens what it can and cannot believe?”

    The politicians have been telling us what to believe for years via ads, etc..

  22. - connor - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 10:11 am:

    Rich you are absolutely ridiculous. Vitter’s loss had nothing to due with the refugees. In fact, his poll numbers were rising because of his stance. He was simply an extremely flawed candidate who lost because of those flaws, as well as the unpopularity of Jindal. Why don’t you get off of your partisan soapbox for a little bit.

  23. - JackD - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 10:14 am:

    Mama at 10:04: Indeed they did.

  24. - Mama - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 10:17 am:

    If terrorist want to come to IL or any other state to cause harm, they will find a way to come illegally. A better way to keep Syrian refugees from hating & harming Americans is to welcome them & show them Americans are good hearted people.

  25. - wordslinger - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 10:18 am:

    Mama, the U.S. history on Jewish refugees trying to escape Europe in the 30s and 40s is shameful.

    Many of the same arguments — Hitler was planting spies and saboteurs among them — are being made today.

    Most famously, the SS St. Louis, with nearly 1,000 German Jewish refugees, was denied entry to the U.S., Canada and Cuba in 1939, and returned to Europe. It’s documented that at least a quarter of those on board were killed in death camps.

  26. - Crispy - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 10:23 am:

    Mama @ 10:04: The U.S. government refused asylum to the vast majority of European Jewish refugees–something like 90 percent. Not our finest hour. Most regular people were unaware of the Holocaust until after the war, due in part to a deliberate policy of underreporting by the NYT, which was the main foreign policy news outlet. (Checked Wikipedia & elsewhere on “U.S. response to the Holocaust.”)

    FDR’s turning away of refugee boats is a pretty famous incident.

  27. - 47th Ward - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 10:24 am:

    The letter above doesn’t mention a request for info from the Obama Administration. That’s only odd if you recall that Rauner’s senior staff reportedly told the ICIRR folks that the “temporary pause” in re-settling refugees was only to allow time for Illinois to receive the info it requested from the Obama Administration.

    What info are they seeking? Have they received it yet? When does Governor Rauner anticipate he’ll have it, and thus lift the temporary pause?

  28. - X-prof - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 10:32 am:

    Well said, Rich. There’s a greater risk that this latest round of demagoguery will help radicalize a young moslem who is already here than there is from someone entering the US as a Syrian refugee.

    We could well do without this knee-jerk response from too many governors and the US House.

  29. - JoanP - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 10:49 am:

    @Mama 10:04 a.m:

    Sadly, the answer is “yes”. See and

  30. - JoanP - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 10:50 am:

    Well, I see wordslinger and Crispy beat me to it.

  31. - nona - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 10:54 am:

    Rauner can’t defend his action. Meanwhile the GOP leader int the presidential race continues to make hateful comments about Muslim-Americans.

  32. - Justacitizen - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 11:00 am:

    I have no problem with the letter. Trust, but verify-just like auditors do. Yes, the Paris attacks like any terrorist acts should make us re-examine our policies. Yes, this may temporarily affect innocent refugees, but acts of terrorism have consequences.

  33. - Illannoyed - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 11:23 am:

    Vitter’s opponent, Edwards, shared Vitter’s position on placing a hold on Syrian refugees and Edwards supported Governor Jindal’s Executive Order to ban Syrian refugees from being settled in Louisiana. There was no policy contrast in that race on the refugee issue. Vitter lost for other reasons, mostly concerning actions in his personal life.

  34. - Todd - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 11:25 am:

    Unfortunately, this debate like many others of our time quickly degrades into lines drawn, and people considering each other’s positions wrong, moronic and the snark & insults fly. A perfect encapsulation of our current political system.

    Rich works to try and elevate debate and often does more in depth analysis of issues than either of the major Chicago newspaper and their editorial boards combined.

    Like many issue of the day, this does not lend itself to 140 character answers or sound bites to which the MSM and our 24 hour news cycle sees as the way to answer complex issues. It just doesn’t work that way.

    Rich is exactly right that there is no 100% certainty. There is no 95, 90 or even 75% certainty. There is only being able to put a process developed by humans into place to do the best that they can. If you think it can be infallible, remember people in supermax prisons still make and obtain weapons.

    But that doesn’t excuse the fact that it appears all civility in political discourse is going out the window. People see terrorists shooting up public places and setting off bombs and become very concerned. And for them to inquire as to how people from the middle-east, where our current conflicts and enemies reside, are going to be screened is valid. Since we have had an unchecked illegal immigration problem for several years, it would seem their concerns and skepticism is warranted. They have little faith in a President to through the use of executive orders has halted deportations, and been rebuffed by two federal courts.

    So while many want to mock their concerns, they have a point. But Rich fills in the missing pieces by having first hand knowledge of the process and issues. Like many of his readers, who all bring their personal experience and expertise to the discussion, Rich has done more than most other papers in the nation. And from that point with that information, we can have a civil debate. Or can we?

    Should we be concerned about sleepers getting through to our country? Yes. Should it shutdown all immigration, No. Should we see if there are better practices that can alleviate some of the fears and concerns without dehumanizing people fleeing the violence of the middle east, Yes. Should we trample on the Constitutional rights of people , and yes even immigrants/refugees get Constitutional rights not to mention their basic human rights, NO.
    But memes pointing to the Mayflower’s passengers being immigrants or bowls of M&Ms don’t advance the debate. They simply push us into corners and continue the circling of the drain that has become politics, not only in our nation but Illinois.

  35. - Huh? - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 11:28 am:

    There is an NY Times graphic discussing what a middle eastern refugee must go through to emigrate to the US.

  36. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 11:37 am:

    ===Vitter’s loss had nothing to due with the refugees. In fact, his poll numbers were rising because of his stance===

    I didn’t say he lost because of his stance. But it was abundantly clear that he made it a race with his stance. And now that he lost, it’s time for the RGA to move on.

  37. - olddog - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 11:38 am:

    === … acts of terrorism have consequences. ===

    Yes they do, and the terrorists are well aware of these consequences. If you want to understand what you’re saying, read this piece by Dan Baldino titled “How to Lose the War on Terror: Panic and feed ISIL’s Narrative.” Baldino is Australian and isn’t concerned with partisan politics in the US, except as it hampers international efforts to contain terrorism.

  38. - Arizona Bob - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 11:42 am:


    =Yes, we have. They’ve come from all over the world, including some of the worst hot spots like Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Lebanon. About 800,000 have arrived since 9/11/2001 and not a single terrorist among them.=

    So it is your point that not a single “refugee” has been arrested for terrorist related acts, or deported due to these associations?

    Is it your contention that after time in the US none of the “refugees” went elsewhere to commit acts of terrorism, or support or raise funding for such acts?

    I’m going to do some research here, and I just want to correctly know what point of yours I’ll be trying to debunk.

  39. - Belle - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 11:48 am:

    Thank you for your comments Rich.
    Anyone who has visited a country where Muslim is one of the predominant religions knows how insane these Govs are acting. They are perpetrating problems.
    George W visited a mosque after 9-11 to show support for the people who practice Muslim-ism. This religion has as much to do with violence as any Christian religion.

  40. - pundent - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 11:52 am:

    Arizona Bob - Since it sounds like you’re up for some research why don’t you look into the process and number of refugees that come into this country annually and apply that same criteria to those that enter on visas. And once you’ve compared the two please tell us why the refugees deserve an even greater level of scrutiny than individuals who enter with visas.

  41. - Huh? - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 12:00 pm:

    Here is the link to the NY Times graphic about what the refugees have to do to emigrate to the US

    The process starts with registration and an interview with the UN. Once the UN determines the person is a refugee and makes a referral for resettlement in the US, the person gets interviewed by the State Department. The are 20 steps before the person gets let into the US.

    Mr. Miller - the link will probable mess with the post. Feel free to delete.

  42. - Coldofwinter - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 12:22 pm:

    AZbob understands the best research he can do will first need to have the conclusion identified before he’ll be able to find the facts to support it.

  43. - connor - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 12:40 pm:

    Rich, so the RGA should abandon a position that a majority of Americans support because a flawed candidate lost who happened to campaign with that position.

  44. - In a Minute - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 12:41 pm:

    “If you want the government to guarantee your safety every minute of every day, then you’re living in a childish fantasy world, or you’re pandering to those who are.”
    I agree. Include “public pension with an annual 3% COLA” along with “safety” and I agree even more.

  45. - Calhoun Native - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 12:50 pm:

    Does all this talk of Syrian refugees moving to your neighborhood have you worried? If so, the plan is working.

    This is nothing more and nothing less than the politics of fear. Those that use it always - always - have ulterior motives.

  46. - wordslinger - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 12:52 pm:

    Todd, who are the role models for civil discourse, Wayne LaPierre or NRA board member Ted Nugent?

  47. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 12:54 pm:

    ===Rich, so the RGA should abandon a position that a majority of Americans support because a flawed candidate lost who happened to campaign with that position. ===

    1) I’m not convinced that Vitter’s campaign was coincidental to the RGA position.

    2) They should take the brick off their governors because they’re full of… um… well, just read what I wrote for why.

  48. - Demoralized - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 1:04 pm:

    ==and I just want to correctly know what point of yours I’ll be trying to debunk==

    Um, Bob, honest research generally involves not coming to a conclusion before you’ve done the research.

    Also Bob, read slower next time and maybe you’ll be able to decipher the point which is crystal clear. Or perhaps it isn’t clear to you because you disagree with it. I imagine it’s the latter.

  49. - Demoralized - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 1:05 pm:

    ==Since we have had an unchecked illegal immigration problem for several years, it would seem their concerns and skepticism is warranted==

    It would be nice if people understood the difference between a refugee and that process and the immigration process.

  50. - Beeker - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 1:08 pm:

    So we should take our chances with immigrants from terrorist hotbeds and we should curtail our first and second amendment rights at home. Because it all sounds good. Got it.

  51. - Demoralized - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 1:24 pm:

    ==So we should take our chances with immigrants==

    They’re refugees. Totally different process. You don’t care to know the difference though because you don’t want to know. Ignorance is bliss apparently.

    ==we should curtail our first and second amendment rights at home==

    Having fun playing the victim? I must have missed the crackdown on those rights.

  52. - Todd - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 3:10 pm:

    Actually Word, when you act like that, you become part of the problem.

    My comments were directed at the idea that people can have legit concerns about how something is implemented or what the net effect will be.

    Rich brings to light personal experience and an in depth knowledge of the issue. So his thoughts and insight to the process of what refugees go through makes possible a rational debate to where people can disagree. Yet maybe forge an understanding of positions.

    Keep up the drive by comments.

  53. - wordslinger - Monday, Nov 23, 15 @ 4:36 pm:

    Todd, Rich, I, you and anyone else who cares to can find the answers to their questions regarding the Syrian refugee screening process and the United States’ experience with refugees quite easily.

    As for my pointing out a couple chronic practitioners of fear-mongering and uncivil discourse, I hardly think that makes me “part of the problem.”

    Speaking of problems, there have been more than 1,000 mass shootings in the United States in the three years since Sandy Hook. Not a one of them attributed to any of the 800,000 refugees admitted to the country since Sept. 11, 2001.

    Currently, the governor does have names and last known addresses for 50,000 Illinoisans who were refused FOID cards or had them revoked, after due process of law, when they were found to be a danger to themselves and others due to mental illness.

    Yet the problem of 50,000 likely illegally armed mentally ill people isn’t on the governor’s radar. A few dozen Syrian refugees who, as a class, have not been shown to be a threat to anyone, is.

    From a public safety standpoint, I find that a very strange set of priorities. Inexplicable, if you assume good faith.

  54. - Todd - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 9:29 am:

    Word, we three, can attempt to find the solution but minds lesser than our I fear will make the decision.

    I would agree that when a paper points out a problem with the “system” it should be looked at. And that different people have different priorities. Seems kinda funny that police agencies admitted they didn’t know about the change in the law and haven’t been keeping up with gun laws in general. I think that might be a priority in that kinda work.

    We call all point to people saying and doing things on either side, as a way of sticking out our tongues and saying na na a boo boo if you like. it does little to advance the discussion and find true solutions.

    you may not like who I work for or positions we take. that has little to do with my perosnal opion which I posted here about how I’ve seen a deterioration in the ability to have a civil discourse and even dissagreement.

    Funny thing is Kelly Cassidy and I had this discussion this past week and I think we were both on the same opinion of this.

    its actually made me consider to quit posting here. The childish game of snarky on liners posing as real commentary is getting way old. the us vs them is as well.

    Good snark for a laugh has been a hallmark of Rich’s site drawing many that can poke fun at each other and take a ribbing. But I’ve seen here the unforchante degeneration that plagues our state politics. Your comments simply solidfied what I have been thinking.

    Rich has a much bigger world view of Illinois politics than I do. But if he and I can largely agree as to the refugee issue, I would hope that it means cooler heads can prevail on issues. But then comments show me that many are not interested in finding that common ground where we can acknowledge differances of opinions and dissagree on points.

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