Thursday, May 12, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 9.02.14 AM
Left to right:  Tim Hart; Joe Bast, president of Heartland; Bill Kehr

By Nancy Thorner – 

The Michael Parry Mazur Memorial Library at the Heartland Institute’s new facility in Arlington Heights celebrated its grand opening on Wednesday, May 4, 2016. A wine and cheese reception and library tours were offered before the main program began and continued after the formal program ended.

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 9.00.57 AM
Jim Johnson, trustee at The Heartland Institute, browsing through the stacks

About the Michael Parry Mazur Library
The Michael Parry Mazur Memorial Library, referred to as “The Library of Liberty,” holds nearly 10,000 books on education, environment, healthcare, and other topics. This collection will be of special interest to students and scholars studying economics, public policy, and political science, elected officials and members of their staffs, and concerned citizens. Eight colleges are located within a 20-minute drive of the Heartland Institute, and 20 more are within an hour’s drive. The library contains some out-of-print books and journals unlikely to be found in public or university libraries. Featured authors include William F. Buckley, Whittaker Chambers, Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, Ayn Rand, Murray Rothbard, and Richard Weaver. A wish list includes the complete works of Hayek, James Buchanan, and George Orwell.
Welcoming words from Jim Lakely, director of communications, pointed out the nature of the The Heartland Institute as a national nonprofit public policy research organization, tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Founded in Chicago in 1984, The Heartland Institute is devoted to discovering, developing, and promoting free-market solutions to social and economic problems. According to Lakely, everyone at Heartland had a hand in getting the library ready to operate as a functioning one.
Heartland President Joe Bast: Why Build a Library Devoted to Liberty?
It was fitting that Joe Bast, president and co-author of 12 books, spoke on this topic. 7,000 of the nearly 10,000 books in Heartland’s Michael Parry Mazur Library were owned by Joe Bast before he donated them. As a student in the 1970s and ‘80s, Joe said he would go without eating so he could buy bargain books in a used book store. With such affection and desire for books – for the truth of them – Joe never thought he would give his books away … until he did.
Mr. Bast assured attendees that when books are donated to The Heartland Institute they will be put on shelves so people have the use of them and they will not disappear. It is true that the Internet can be searched for information, but on-line information can be deleted and altered to serve a purpose other than the truth. Also, there is so much information on-line that it is difficult to locate the good stuff, in contrast to a library where the complete works of an author can be immediately viewed. Printed books, unlike an online entry, cannot be edited, and a library becomes a physical place where people can come together without fear. Mr. Bast said he hopes to see a steady stream of people in and out of the building to review the books on site, and take them home when the library is ready for lending sometime in the near future. So let your friends know about it.
Presentations at the Grand Opening
Hon. Thomas Hayes, conservative mayor of Arlington Heights – who participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Heartland’s Arlington Heights headquarters in August – was on hand to dedicate the library. He had kind word to say about The Heartland Institute, noting that Arlington Heights had many attractions, but it didn’t have a think tank within its borders until last year. Hayes went on to say that the concepts of liberty and freedom, which convey Heartland’s values, are very important to area residents. Lastly, Mayor Hayes thanked Heartland for its invitation, and wished The Heartland Institute many years of success.

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 9.05.25 AM  Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 9.05.38 AM

Arlington Heights Mayor Thomas Hayes; Dr. John Mazur, after whose brother, Michael Parry Mazur, the new library is named

Dr. John Mazur was on hand to talk about his family and the donation that put the name of his brother on the library. The youngest of four boys, Dr. Mazur brought smiles to the audience by noting he is a bee keeper with “800,000 residents in his back yard.”

Dr. Mazur described his brother Michael as a talented libertarian economist. Very bright and academically minded – having even studied Arabic which, was almost unheard of decades ago – Michael Parry Mazur graduated from Northwestern University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned a Ph.D. in economics. He was a staff economist at the Office of Management and Budget in Washington, D.C., serving under presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.

Michael Parry Mazur passed away in 1987 from cancer at age 39. Before his death, Dr. Mazur said, his brother confessed that the sadist part of his life was not getting cancer, but failing to win his group in the Boston Marathon. Michael had run it several times, and was considered a shoo-in to win, but was unable to compete when he was struck with cancer.

Joseph Davis, an ardent reader and a professional librarian, helped prepare Heartland’s Michael Parry Mazur Library over the last two months. Davis stressed how old books can be just as important today as when they were published. Davis compared books to individuals, much like private actors competing in the free market. Accordingly, reading a book is like having a talk with the author. Books that span the ages produce good citizens, so that free men and women do not perish from the earth.

Diane Carol Bast, executive editor and finance manager at Heartland, is the wife of Joe Bast and was instrumental in organizing the library. She recounted how she never helped Joe collect and organize his library at home because that was his space. So it was ironic she had such a hand in building this one – including an online database from which you can browse every book in the library. There are 16 categories organized by topic, including a Socialism and Soviet Studies section. It is not organized the way a public library is, but is laid out more like a research library. For instance, you’ll see Milton Friedman’s works in the economics section, but also separately in the education section.

The library is open from 9 a.m. to  5 p.m. Monday through Friday, but it would be best to call ahead before arriving to make an appointment (312-377-4000). As noted above, the library does not yet lend books, but there is a wealth of material to explore and no admission fee. Further amenities include available study space, free wi-fi, and access to copiers and printers.

If you have books on economics, politics, public policy, philosophy, and other intellectual pursuits (including biographies of significant public figures), you can donate those books to the Michael Parry Mazur Library – even if you have notes written in the margins and sections highlighted or underlined. Duplicates of books already on the shelves are also accepted.

Click on the link below to see video of the Grand Opening presentations, announcing the creation of the largest collection of books about free markets and liberty in the Midwest. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcxRxkHalYQ 

Upcoming events at Heartland

Upcoming events https://www.heartland.org/events/ at The Heartland Institute include three free movie nights with screenings of the recent Atlas Shrugged movies – parts one, two, and three. In 1957, Ayn Rand introduced the world to a new kind of hero, molded from the best within man, a hero who exemplified the joy of individual achievement. With passion and conviction, Atlas Shrugged speaks to the hero in all of us.

Join Heartland and fellow lovers of liberty for this special series of Heartland Movie Nights, in which each part of the trilogy will be shown on three Wednesdays in a row. 

May 18, 2016 Heartland Movie Night: Atlas Shrugged Part 1

May 25, 2016 Heartland Movie Night: Atlas Shrugged Part 2

June 1, 2016 Heartland Movie Night: Atlas Shrugged Part 3

Doors to Heartland’s Andrew Breitbart Freedom Center open at 5:30 p.m. and the film rolls at 6, followed by a group discussion at the end. To register for this free event, click here: https://www.heartland.org/events/movie-night-atlas-shrugged-part-1

Advertisements

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Marytown - McConchie, Corrigan, Wheeler, Jesiel (left to right)
Left to Right:  Sen Dan McConchie, Eddie Corrigan, Legislative Correspondent and Staff Assistant to Rep. Peter Roskam’s District 6 office, State Rep. Barbara Wheeler, State Rep. Sheri Jesiel

By Nancy Thorner – 

A Pro-Life Legislative Forum, sponsored by Right to Life Lake County and Right to Life McHenry County, was held on Saturday morning, April 30th, 2016, at Marytown, Libertyville, IL. Hosting the event was Bonnie Quirke, Lake County Pro-Life Chair. A free breakfast was served preceding the speakers. Updates on legislative pro-life bills were presented by state representatives representing Lake and McHenry Counties. They included State Representative Barbara Wheeler, District 64; State Representative Sheir Jesiel, District 61; and newly appointed State Senator Dan McConchie, District 26.  

Mike Danford speaks about upcoming Peoria Republican State Convention 

As the issue of selecting state delegates to attend the Republican Convention this summer in Cleveland, Ohio is front and center in the news, Mike Danford, First Vice Chair of the Lake County Republican Party, was on hand to speak. A state convention is held every four years. The 2012 Illinois Republican Party Platform, as approved on June 9, 2012 at the Illinois Republican State Convention in Tinley Park, Illinois, has in it  “Embrace of The Traditional Family” and “Embracing The First Freedom: The Right to Life” platform planks.

As a pro-lifer, Mr. Danford described the pro-life philosophy as one based on truth. An invitation was extended to pro-lifers in attendance to be in Peoria, Illinois on May 19 -21 to become delegates. At that time the 17-member Platform Committee will meet and decide upon the conduct of the Republican Party.

Said Danford, “There are those who want to eliminate the pro-life and pro-marriage planks from the Illinois Republican Platform. Pat Brady is one of them.” 

 If enough votes are garnered to bring about a minority report, and if that report is voted upon and passed, a portion of the Republican Platform could be destroyed.  The result would be an IL Republican Platform similar to the one at the national one.  This would not be acceptable.  The pro-marriage and pro-life planks must remain in the IL Republican Platform.  If you can’t attend all three days, Saturday is the most important day, as this is day voting takes place.  As Danford reminded attendees, “You are the hands and feet of the party, be active or be trampled over.”

Marytown - Elise Bouc  Marytown - Bonnie Quirke
Elisa Bouc (from STOP ERA) and Bonnie Quirke of McHenry Right to Life

Equal Rights Amendment update

An update was given on the Equal Rights Amendment (EPA) by Elise Bouc, STOP ERA Chairman in Illinois.  In speaking about the Equal Right Amendment (EPA), Elise Bouc noted that despite the defeat of the Amendment in 1977, it still remains an issue today. Just what does equal rights mean in the Equal Rights Amendment?   See here an article by Elise Bouc published at Illinois Review in November of 2014.  If enacted, in light of this poor wording of the amendment, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex , no decision made could be based on gender, thus making it impossible to defend traditional marriage.  State EPA’s have been used in courts to overturn restrictions on abortion and to mandate public funding for abortions.   

After the formulation of the “three-state strategy” for ERA ratification in 1995, ERA bills have been introduced in one or more legislative sessions in nine of the unratified states (Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Virginia).  With only three more states needed to ratify and then retroactively pass ERA in Congress, Illinois has been the focus of EPA since 2003.  The Illinois House, but not the Senate, passed an ERA ratification bill in 2003. In 2011, 2012, and 2014.  An attempt was made this year to pass ERA in the Illinois Senate, but it failed on Tuesday, April 29, when at the last moment the sponsor of the Equal Rights Amendment decided not to bring it up in Senate committee hearings.  But EPA is not dead in Illinois. Forces will be gathered to pass the bill in the future.  This must not be allowed to happen.  It is urgent that Illinois State Senators be called and told not to approve ERA if and when they might have another occasion to do so in the near future.

Following Elise Bouc’s presentation, Eddie M. CorriganLegislative Correspondent and Staff Assistant to Rep. Peter Roskam’s District 6 office, Washington, D.C., Rayburn House Office Building (1-202-225-4561), spoke on behalf of Rep. Roskam.  Corrigan noted that Rep. Roskam, as a member of the pro-life conference, has helped push the pro-life movement.  According to Corrigan, “History is on our side.” The Republican Caucus, under the pro-life leadership of Jim Durkin, is 100% unwavering pro-life with 47 members in the House and 20 in the Senate.  There are pro-life Democrats, but not enough to pass pro-life legislation.

Pro-life Elected Legislators Speak: Wheeler, Jessel, and McConchie

Rep. Barbara Wheeler, District 64, is in her second term and 3rd session.  Having never before conducted a pro-life legislative forum to explain about the bills being put forward relative to pro-life and anti-pro-life groups, she found Bonnie Quirk receptive to holding such an event.  For as Wheeler explained, “Legislators can only do what they are able to do.  The rest is up to concerned citizen constituents.” As to lobbyists, they are not all being equal. Some lobbyists help pro-life legislators get their bill filed. Wheeler spoke about pro-life legislation filed so far in 2016.  Rep. Wheeler filed four out of the seven bills. A description of the bills will follow later on in the article.

Rep. Sherry Jessel, District 61, ran for office to fight for life.  Her district extends up to the Wisconsin border.  When elected Jessel was advised to focus on fiscal issues. Although very important to Jessel, she views the pro-life issue as the building block of our culture. Ms. Jessel further noted the difficulty of being pro-life in today’s society, of being true to who you are and what you believe.  Rep. Jessel filed one of the seven pro-life bills filed in the House so far in 2016, HB 6078 – “Abortion Clinic Regulation (Health and Safety)” bill.  Jessel explained how the process for a bill begins when sent to the Rules Committee.  From Rules a bill is assigned to a specific committee for review. As both committees are dominated by members of the Democrat Party, it’s difficult for a pro-life bill to pass Democrat scrutiny to be heard on the House floor.  If by chance a pro-life bill should pass in the House, it would move on to Senate, where it would be even less likely to pass, before moving on to the governor to be signed into law.

Senator Dan McConchie was sworn-in on April 20, 2016 to represent the 26th District of Illinois by Lake County Judge Daniel Shanes, accompanied by his wife and two daughters. McConchie won a heavily-contested three-way primary last month. McConchie month.  McConchie has spent his career working in nonprofits as an advocate for the weak and vulnerable both at the beginning and end of life. As a national expert on state legislation, he is committed to bringing his experience in legislative strategy, marketing, coalition building and grassroots advocacy to furthering Governor Rauner’s pro-growth agenda in Springfield. 

Senator McConchie related what his first day as senator was like when driving down to Springfield the day after he was sworn in to join fellow reform-minded legislators actively working to return power back to the people and get our state on the right track again. As the bills were announced rapid fire one after another for voting in the Senate Chamber, McConchie, not being familiar with the background of some of the bill, watched how others he trusted were voting. One time McConchie’s plan of action backfired, when in voting “yes”, McConchie didn’t realize that those voting Yes had all changed their vote to “NO”!   In the near future Senator McConchie will be opening a district office in Lake Zurich.  McConchie noted how the process to pass a bill in the Senate is similar to the process described by Rep.Jossel in the House.

House-sponsored pro-life bills in 2016 (Go to www.ilga.gov to follow the bills)

Listed below are the seven pro-life Illinois General Assembly Legislative bills sponsored so far in 2016.  Most didn’t make it out of the Rules Committee.  Only two of the seven listed did – HB 5022 and HB 58917. Both bills were introduced by Rep. Barb Wheeler, where they died when put into a bad House committee and then subcommitted by the chairman.  

  • HB 4392 (Pritchard-Reis) Create4s Choose Life Fund to allow Choose Life decals on plates.
  • HB 4421 (Rep. Wheeler) – Ultrasound Opportunity Act.
  • HB 5686 (Rep. Wheeler) – Prohibits any uses from aborted fetal tissue.
  • HB 5817 (Rep. Wheeler) – Requires Public Health to report 5 or more deaths or complications from abortions [currently, will only report if over 50 from abortions].
  • HB 4421 (Bryant) – 20 week abortion ban.
  • HB 6078 (Rep. Jesiel) – Abortion Clinic Regulation (Health and Safety) bill.
  • HB 6566 (Rep. Wheeler) – Bans abortions for sex selection and birth defects. 

Four pro-abortion bills that are now before the Illinois House requiring action

 A Pro-Life action alert was issued for these four pro-abortion bills that are now before the Illinois House.  Your action is needed.  Call your state representative to vote “no” on all four!

  • HB 887 (Williams) – Amends the Illinois Insurance Code. Makes a technical change in a section concerning the insurability of newborns.  This bill is coming over to the Senate!
  • SB 1564 (Biss, Gabel) – under this bill, crisis pregnancy centers,pro-life physicians and hospitals will be forced to participate in abortions against their consciences. Provides a list of places where a woman could reasonably be able to receive an abortion.
  • HB 4013 (Feigenholtz) -Removes all prohibitions on using taxpayer funding for all abortions throughout the full nine months of pregnancy under Medicaid and more.
  • HB 5576 (Nekriz) – Contraceptives paid by insurance bill.

Emphasized was that pro-life legislation must continue to be put forward in the House, even though the current make-up of the General Assembly isn’t favorable to having the bills passed.  The conscience of voters can be pricked by talking about an issue, which helps in adding pro-life legislators to the Illinois Senate and House. 10 more pro-life members are needed in the Senate and 13 in the House to obtain a majority.  While it is often stated that Illinois is a blue state, it is really a purple state. Pointed out is that there is only a 4.6% difference in the way citizens vote in state legislator races between Democrats and Republicans.

House Witness slips a way for public to make a difference

Educating the public is important.  Signing witness slips is one way the public can make a difference in bills put forward in the House.  Launched by the House in March of 2012 as a new venue for citizens to participate in the legislative process by filing witness slips online, and reported at the time by Illinois Review, the  House allows citizens over age 13 to file witness slips online which provides a way for virtual participation in the House proceedings.  The online witness slip entree can be found at http://witnessslips.ilga.gov.  Select the committee where a particular bill is assigned, find the bill on the committee’s schedule, then fill out and submit the form provided for the particular bill online.

In addition to calling your state representative and senator, don’t neglect Governor Bruce Rauner.  Personal letters rate high.  Governor Rauner needs to be informed to stand firmly with the Republican caucus in the Illinois General Assembly.  To write: Office of the Governor, 207 State House, Springfield, IL  62706  and Office of the Governor, James R. Thompson Center, Chicago, IL 60601. 

Pro-life candidates introduced:

Judy Martini (R – Fox Lake, District 5) received the Republican primary nod and will face Democrat Gloria Charland in the race for Lake County Board District 5. They are seeking to replace longtime Lake County Board member Bonnie Thomson Carter, a Republican who is not seeking re-election.

Having run unopposed in the primary, Michael Amrozowicz is the 2016 Republican candidate for District 31 of the Illinois State Senate.  Illinois’ thirty-first state senate district is presently represented by Democratic Senator Melinda Bush. As a Navy man Amrozowicz is used to fixing things, describing himself as a “conservative who serves Christ.”

Special guests introduced: 

  • The Honorable Thomas M.Schippers, Circuit Judge, Lake County 
  • Larry Falbe, President of the Lake County Republican Federation
  • Representative from Bob Dold’s office (District 10)
  • Representative from Randy Hultgrin’s office (District 14)
  • Rep. Peter Breen (48th – R), a constitutional attorney specializing in defense of free speech and religious liberty rights, was cited by State Representative Barb Wheeler as a great warrior of the House for his ability to explain the nature of bills.