By Nancy Thorner & Ed Ingold – 

Thesaurus.com defines “radical left” as a noun and the faction representing extreme left-wing political views, often Marxist or Maoist in ideology. Antifa “activists” fall under the definition of left-wing terrorists who don’t shy away from violence. Their primary tactic is to shut down their opponents’ free speech, one they constantly attempt to justify, as they attack conservatives and moderates at political rallies and on college campuses across the country.

Pundits on the left are eager to dismiss that they own the modern far left’s roots in extreme tactics, instead pointing to slave owners and segregationist of the past as proof of right-wing violence. The truth is that throughout history, both in America and elsewhere, the Left has been indisputably tied to violence and hateful rhetoric.

As The New York Times itself declared in an op-ed published in 2016, “The First Global Terrorists Were Anarchists in the 1890s.” In 1901, a radical socialist anarchist named Leon Czolgosz assassinated President William McKinley.

The emergence of left-wing domestic terrorist groups such as the Weather Underground, the Black Panther Party, the Black Liberation Army, the Symbionese Liberation Army, and the Puerto Rican organization FALN (Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional) were harbingers of terror in the 1960s and 1970s.

A study in 2001, done on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Safeguards and Security, found that “Leftist extremists were responsible for three-fourths of the officially designated acts of terrorism in America in the 1980s.”

Funding for the Hard Left

Most Americans are not aware of the existence of a large network of far left philanthropists and foundations in America that are dedicated to destroying the American way of life, our Christian-based culture and our free enterprise system. What they seek to do is to remove America from its constitutional foundations and move it toward a European-style socialism. Much of this effort is coordinated by a little known group called the Tides Foundation and its related group, the Tides Center.

Four of Tides Center largest supporters are The Heinz Endowment led by John Kerry’s wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry; George Soros; the Ford Foundation, which consistently supports causes Henry Ford would never have supported; and the Rockefeller Foundation that has been funding the left in America for 40 years. George Soros, however, is one of Antifa’s main financial sponsors. Soros doesn’t merely fund activism, but he also funds disruptive violence. His costumed baton-wielding squadrons amount to a private army.  It’s a militia of paid thugs similar to the Italian Blackshirts and the Nazi Brownshirts.

A video tweet posted by Beverley Hills Antifa‏ shows Antifa members demanding payments for their services. The quote reads: “ANTIFA DEMANDS GEORGE SOROS PAY US THE MONEY HE OWES. UNITE COMRADES AND FIGHT FOR $15/HOUR.

Ben Shapiro at Berkeley

The latest show of violence on the left took place on Thursday, September 14, when Conservative radio host Ben Shapiro spoke at the University of California Berkeley while protesters swarmed outside chanting various slogans. Police stood in full riot gear, standing guard as the school took extensive security measures, shutting down surrounding buildings and setting up a large perimeter around the hall where Shapiro gave a speech and answered questions. Shapiro’s speech can be heard here.

Regarding the environment at Berkeley and on many campuses throughout this nation, many students are infected by The Microaggression Mentality, that if I attack your politics, I’m attacking you identity — and that such political attacks are a form of “aggression” equivalent to violence.

ANTIFA and their supporters take the next step and justify their violence as “self-defense” against ideas with which they disagree, which they equate with violence. It doesn’t matter if those ideas are symbolized with burning crosses and swastikas or merely caps denoting support of President Trump’s agenda.

The University played their role in keeping people who wanted to hear Shapiro away. Many of the seats were left unfilled by officials fearing problems controlling a full house, leaving interested attendees stranded.

What should have been protected under the First Amendment of our Constitution, free speech, cost the city and state $1.5 million to maintain order just so Ben Shapiro’s free speech could take place. Billing the cost to national organizations, like ANTIFA, and other sponsors of armed protesters, taking away their bank accounts, buildings, computers, and iPhones, as they did with the Missouri KKK, might help to disrupt terrorist activity.  Perhaps fear of arrest, prosecution and ruined careers would help to stem violence, with a possible exception of Bill Ayers at Chicago and Chelsea Manning at Harvard.

Snowflakes exhibit moral weakness

A person on Fox news cited the moral weakness endemic on college campuses, where students need counseling when confronted by ideas foreign to their sheltered existence, while 70 years ago boys their age or younger charged into German machine gun fire on Normandy Beach despite overwhelming odds they would die in the process. The same happened on a smaller scale, no less deadly, on islands in the Pacific, like Peleliu,Tarawa and Okinawa and tradition continues with modern heroes in Iraq, Afghanistan, on other hot spots throughout the world.

That was the “Greatest Generation,” leaving no family untouched in America. We still have those up to the challenge, but who are often lumped with those the Left despises. Small wonder our enemies don’t seem to fear us (until it’s too late).

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 2.08.33 PM
Heartland’s new president Dr. Tim Huelskamp, former Congressman Joe Walsh

By Nancy Thorner – 

Heartland Institute introduced its new president, Dr. Tim Huelskamp at what many attendees hope will be an annual event on the afternoon of September 9: the Picnic for Freedom! Some 200 friends of liberty gathered at Heartland’s facility in Arlington Heights on a picture perfect day of bright sunshine, a mild temperature, and a gentle breeze.

Visitors were there to meet Dr. Huelskamp, meet featured speaker Joe Walsh – whose AM 560 show is now syndicated nationally on the Salem Radio Network – and to also wish Godspeed to Joseph Bast, Heartland’s president since its founding in 1984, and his wife Diane Bast, who has worked as an editor at Heartland almost as long as her husband.

For many Joe and Diane Bast represent the face of Heartland with its mission to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. Their hard work and dedication was instrumental in developing The Heartland Institute into a premium think tank known throughout the world, especially as one promoting skepticism of man-made climate change. Joe and Diane Bast plan to step down from their current positions at Heartland in January to travel, kayak, camp, and spend time with family. After three decades of great work for the freedom movement, it’s a well-earned rest.

Heartland’s new president, Tom Huelskamp, Ph,D., comes to Heartland as a former three-term member of Congress and a well-known conservative leader. He was a fifth-generation family farmer in Kansas, where he farmed for more than 30 years. Dr. Huelskamp and his wife Angela are proud parents of four children.

Festive Atmosphere Awaits Guests

A festive atmosphere greeted me as I entered the site of Heartland’s Picnic for Freedom. Many tables were set about on the parking lot for guests to enjoy the plentiful picnic fare provided by a catered food service from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., some with overhead covering for protection from the sun. The pleasing and varied menu offered hamburgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers, barbecue chicken, fresh sweet corn, potato salad, watermelon, and chips. Going away hungry was not an option! Also on hand was a popcorn machine, manned by Heartland Graphic Designer Donny Kendal, which churned out tasty popcorn to be enjoyed by young and old throughout the afternoon. Music provided by DJ and Heartland Communications Intern Andy Singer (studying management at DePaul University) enhanced the celebratory atmosphere, as did balloons which were scattered about.

Free items were given out to guests on two different occasions to the first 50 guests, including “Freedom Champions” T-shirts imprinted featuring Milton Friedman, Friedrich von Hayek, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Ayn Rand. Heartland also gave away “Freedom Champions” posters featuring the people on the T-shirts, plus Ludwig von MisesBooker T. Washington, and Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Raffle tickets, with opportunities to win even more prizes, were sold throughout the afternoon to help raise funds for the nonprofit organization.

Heartland’s indoor event space, the Andrew Breitbart Freedom Center, was open for guests to explore the display tables of picnic sponsors. These included the Lake County Gazette, a proud sponsor of LGIS – Local Government Information Services; Homeowners Defense AssociationAM 560 The Answer; Arlington Heights Tea Party; Virtual Agora; and West Suburban Patriots. Heartland extended thanks to the exhibitors for their continued community leadership. While checking out the exhibits, an assortment of cookies and cold drinks were available for the taking. Tables were also provided for those who preferred to be inside.

Speakers Laud Joe Bast

Midway through the event, attendees gathered round for a short program with four speakers.

Joe Walsh, well known to most of the attendees as a talk show host on AM 560 did not disappoint. He spoke with enthusiasm, further displaying the rather bombastic style he is known for. Walsh revealed that he had a connection to The Heartland Institute, being hired by Joe Bast and working for the organization from 1994 to 1996.

Walsh spoke of being elected to the U.S. House in 2010, the “Tea Party Revolution when Republicans won control of the House. Walsh revealed that both he and new Heartland president Tim Huelskamp were classmates in the 2010 election and became good buddies. But with the elevation of John Boehner as Speaker of the House in 2011, Walsh and Huelskamp became thorns in the side of House leadership. They both voted their consciences, for freedom, and this made Boehner dislike them – which Walsh and Huelskamp wore as a badge of honor. Walsh only lasted one term; Huelskamp lasted three. But it was evident from their interactions at the Picnic for Freedom that the two men remain good friends.

Walsh called our current political times “crazy” stressing how we must hang on the ideals that unite us: freedom and limited government. In speaking about Joe Bast, Walsh compared him to our Founding Fathers in that he doesn’t crave the limelight. Joe Bast is happiest when he can sit in a room and write. Nevertheless, Bast’s years of dedication and selfless effort at Heartland has done much to advance the Freedom Movement, which will continue to thrive under Tim Huelskamp. In commenting about the 36-year marriage of Joe and Diane Bast, their tenure at Heartland was a team effort all the way – and obviously a labor of love for both.

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 2.11.44 PM  Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 2.12.13 PM
Joe Bast & Arlington Heights Mayor Thomas Hayes; Heartland’s Donny Kendal & Jim Lakely

Joe Bast was next, and he didn’t lose any time in assuring his many admirers and friends that both he and his wife Diane were healthy and had no plans to go into politics. As he reflected upon his and Diane’s many years at Heartland, Joe related how he and Diane had tried to strike a balance in their lives, but were unable to do so. Deciding not to have kids, both of them worked 60 hours a week for decades, and such a schedule would become wearing for anyone. So Bast made a decision: When he reached 60, which happens next January, he would step down. Joe believes that the best days are ahead for Heartland and that the organization will grow even larger in the years ahead.

Next, Tim Huelskamp took the microphone. Huelskamp left Kansas with his family and moved to Illinois because he wanted to make a difference. He said he is honored to hold the position of president of The Heartland Institute. The former congressman spoke of Washington as being broken and as a swamp. Republicans made promises when running for office, but they are not following through with them. Worse, they are not allowing Trump to implement some of the same policies they said they supported – for instance, repealing Obamacare. Accordingly, the real action must now take place in the states, which is where it should be.

Freedom demands that we make decisions for ourselves. Our Founding Fathers realized that human nature would make man want to put his trust in government. As the Founding Fathers didn’t even trust themselves, they fashioned the Constitution to reflect the importance of individual human freedom.

In his stirring speech, Huelskamp said that if the Freedom Movement is snuffed out in this nation it will fail everywhere, for this nation stands as the last best hope in a world controlled by dictators and despots. But there is “Hope in the Heartland,” and in America’s heartland values. He asked those present to help advance liberty and the values of the heartland by supporting The Heartland Institute.

Finishing the program was Executive Assistant Wanda L. Davis who read a funny and touching poem by Heartland supporter Tom Tripp in tribute to Joe Bast.

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 2.17.36 PM  Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 2.04.43 PM
Wanda Davis; David Parrenborn & Diane Bast

Outstanding Guests, But Too Many to List Them All

I was able to personally meet many of the guests. I was impressed that Heartland Institute Research Fellow Bette Grande, a former state legislature in North Dakota, had flown in with her husband to attend the event. She works on energy and environment (and sometimes pensions) for Heartland.

Sitting at a table inside the Andrew Breitbart Freedom Center I met George Clowes and his wife Joan. George told me that he had served as founding managing editor of Heartland’s School Reform News between November 1996 and January 2005. During those eight years, he solicited and edited hundreds of articles reporting on the latest developments in curriculum, school choice, school finance, and other aspects of school reform. He also authored many articles for School Reform News, including a lengthy interview each month with a leading figure in the school choice movement. Clowes remains a Heartland senior fellow for education policy.

A Fitting Postlude

Even though all signs of Heartland’s Picnic for Freedom have been removed, and the back parking lot is once again being used for its intended purpose, the flame of freedom continues to burn brightly at The Heartland Institute.

Dr. Huelskamp’s boundless energy and personable nature was evident to all who met him at Heartland’s picnic. Despite the many feelings of loss and regret expressed to Joe and Diane over their impending departure, Huelskamp’s presence bodes well for the future of the organization in its mission to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems in the years ahead.





By Nancy Thorner & Bonnie O’Neil – 

It was a shock and extreme disappointment to learn Illinois’ Governor Bruce Rauner signed SB 31, an unpopular bill that appears to have designated Illinois a sanctuary state. It forbids the arrest or detainment of our nearly 500,000 illegal aliens and it shields them from federal immigration laws.

The Chicago Tribune noted:

1) The new law will essentially make it impossible for Illinois police to notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) when they have a suspected criminal illegal alien, thus increasing the possibility that they will be released into the general public.

2) The sanctuary state law makes it illegal for local law enforcement to arrest an illegal alien, even if the individual is wanted by ICE for immigration violations.

The new law requires a judicial warrant before any Illinois agency can cooperate or provide information to federal immigration authorities or allow immigration agents to enter school, state or judicial buildings. Violation of immigration law is not mentioned as a “qualifying criminal activity” under this act.

Joining hands with California

It appears Illinois has joined hands with California’s Leftist Democrat leaders to protect those who violate our established immigration laws.  Shocked and angry patriots in Illinois are asking questions and searching for answers as to why their Governor made what they consider a horrendous decision that violates established immigration laws.

Apparently Governor Bruce Rauner is copying California’s lead to protect foreigners who disrespect and violate our immigration laws. We are left to question how all this will impact Illinois.  Will illegal immigrants now flood into the state and ultimately take jobs from our citizens?  Will they require and be rewarded with welfare payments, which will ultimately deplete funds designated for other purposes? Will this lack of law enforcement change the demographics of our neighborhoods?  These and other valid questions have not been sufficiently addressed or answered.

Officials claim this was a difficult decision and have attempted to justify it, but it remains highly unpopular with the general public who understands Illinois citizens will be paying a heavy price for this experiment.  This must not be labeled an act of compassion or be justified because of the one or two possible ways it could possibly prove helpful.  There is overwhelming evidence from states like California and countries in Europe, which proves not enforcing immigration laws bring unintended consequences to citizens.

Governor Rauner has just exposed Illinois citizens to potentially serious problems and he will “own” them all.

Facts do not lie

The Department of Justice data shows that more than 90 percent of foreign-born prisoners currently in the United States are illegal immigrants. It also indicates that about 24 percent of the entire federal prison population are foreign born: 45,493 to be exact. Of those, just 3,939 are U.S. citizens; the remaining 41,554 are in the United States illegally.

Apparently those who break one law are more likely to break more, which is a fact states like California and Illinois officials should have considered before protecting and even granting special favors.

The facts speak for themselves. Illegal immigrants have cost California citizens a whopping $30.29 billion a year. That is $7,352 per immigrant. Did Governor Rauner consider that once illegal immigrants learn Illinois has become a sanctuary state, there will be an influx of new immigrants flooding into the state?  Can Illinois afford what this will cost?  Do Illinoisans really want their taxes spent on foreign illegals, or would they rather they be used for needed improvement on state infrastructure projects?  California has proven what the next surprise will likely be:  a series of tax increases to pay for the costs of this Governor’s altruistic but misguided gesture.

Certainly Illinois state officials must be aware of the negative consequences California has endured, so why make the same mistakes? Perhaps it is for self-serving reasons.  Consider that California’s “undocumented illegal immigrants” are grateful to the politicians who help them at taxpayer expense.  They have an interest in keeping these officials in office, which is also true of Illinois, with an added nod from Republicans who are swayed by the demands of Big Business for a supply of cheap labor.

Voting made easy for illegals

Obviously, non-citizens are forbidden to vote.  However, those who ignore one law often ignore other laws too.  This applies to both illegal immigrants as well as the politicians, because both have chosen to ignore our long-held, established immigration laws.

Consider CA state officials have continually changed even more laws to accommodate their rising illegal immigrant population. They even rewarded those here illegally with CA driver licenses.   California officials also made it easy for illegal immigrants to vote.

First they gave the law breakers the right to get a CA drivers license.  While at the DMV, they also provided them with a Voter Registration Form which can be filled out, sent to the State, and the recipient will be automatically sent a “Vote by Mail” ballot the following election cycle.

There is no way the Voter Registrar can identify the mailed-in ballot as one from an “llegal,” because the CA State Department did not send the Voter Registrar any documentation as to the name or addresses of the illegals granted the CA driver licenses and voter registration form.

Outrageous? Most honest people would say absolutely and wonder how or why CA State officials allowed it, and/or why the media has ignored reporting it to the public.   Most Californians are not aware of the shocking changes in their laws, as Leftist media sources choose what and how to frame information they print.

Not to be outdone, SB 1933, signed into law by Governor Rauner on Monday, August 28, reforms Illinois’ current registration laws so that whenever an eligible Illinois citizen applies for, updates, or renews a driver’s license or state ID, he or she will be automatically be registered to vote at their new address.  It rivals California for being the most far-reaching automatic voter registration law in the country.

Forecasting Illinois’ future

Illinois residents should look to California as to what else they can expect in the future.

As suggested by co-writer Bonnie O’Neil, consider Santa Ana, the County Seat. The City Council is now comprised of all Hispanics, some may not even be legal American citizens. The Santa Ana City Council recently declared themselves a “Sanctuary City.”   Sadly, this CA city is not the exception, it is just one of many examples of Southern California cities where the demographics have drastically changed along with the culture.  Are Illinois residents prepared for these inevitable changes?

Consider also that Orange County, CA,had always been a Republican County up until the recent 2016 election, when results showed an unexpected surge in Democrat voters, which can be  attributed to the massive illegal immigrant population. The media has remained strangely silent on most all of these facts, including Santa Ana’s alarming increase of dangerous Hispanic gangs and major crime activity in the city.  Media sources have proved strangely silent on this sad development, but angry and disillusioned officers as well as citizens who fear for their lives are finally speaking out.

Shame on our elected officials

Our forefathers were brilliant and the proof is seen in the success of our Constitution and the laws they enacted, including those regarding immigration, which propelled America into becoming the leader of the World.   Why are these successful laws now being challenged, changed and/or ignored?  Shame on our elected officials for their lack of concern for American citizens, our established laws, and this nation’s heritage.  We are disgusted by shameful new legislation that grants rights to those who violate(d) our laws, rewards “anchor” babies and allows “chain migration.”

The 2016 election proved most American voters are disgusted with the lack of immigration law enforcement. Donald Trump was elected largely due to his promise to control our borders and deport illegal immigrants, especially those convicted of additional crimes while in the United States.

Sadly, most Democrats, and a few Illinois and California Republican leaders, have been willing to ignore established immigration rights and defy our Federal laws.  Trump was the outsider; the non-politician who resonated with the growing dissatisfaction of our people.  All politicians should consider this and take these facts very seriously.

What recourse do law-abiding patriots have when elected officials blatantly show disrespect for our laws?  We can remember the names of these politicians, inform and enlighten our friends, neighbors, and relatives, and then vote for their opponents at the next election.  For the sake of America, it is imperative we all become educated voters who choose our leaders wisely.

Consider this quote from President Franklin D. Roosevelt:  “Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. . . .”  Our country will remain powerful only if its citizens vote wisely.  We the people determine this country’s future and our own fate.