Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Governor Pritzker has done a great injustice

Dear Editor:

Governor Pritzker considers marijuana "essential". He must believe that being high is fundamental to survival. Whatever his reasoning, he has done a great injustice to Illinois families, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 is a greater threat to those with a weakened immune system or impaired lung function. There’s ample evidence that regular use of marijuana lowers immunity and damages the lungs.

"There is evidence that marijuana smoke is genotoxic, immunosuppressive, and can alter endocrine function… Prolonged exposures to marijuana smoke in animals and humans cause proliferative and inflammatory lesions in the lung," research from California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.

"Cellular immunity is impaired, pulmonary immunity is impaired, and the impaired ability to fight infection is now documented in humans," according to research from the The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

A "multitude of toxic microorganisms, many of which are known causes of serious lung infections, including Cryptococcus, Mucor, and Aspergillus fungi and Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Acinetobacter baumannii bacteria" are found in so-called "medical" marijuana, according to UC at Davis. Clinical Microbiology and Infection, titled, "A microbiome assessment of medical marijuana."

There’s also the issue of increased risk of psychosis, increased risk of traffic fatalities, increased hospitalizations, increased use by children, and the consequences go on.

Illinois political priorities are a wreck.

Kathy Valente, Director of Operations
Illinois Family Institute

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Illinois tax deadline extended to July 15 due to Coronavirus

Ben Szalinski, Illinois Policy

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced at his daily press conference on March 25 that July 15 will be the new deadline for Illinoisans to file state income taxes. The change comes five days after the same move was made by the federal government, which also pushed the deadline to July 15.

Pritzker said refunds are still being processed and distributed for those who have already filed taxes. Additionally, the state is allowing restaurants and bars extra time to pay their sales taxes. Other things such as evictions and utility shutoffs for late payments have also been suspended by executive order.

Pritzker said delaying the filing deadline will help soften the immediate economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor instituted a stay-at-home order that started March 21 that will last at least through April 7. All non-essential employees are to stay home and non-essential travel should be limited. On March 16, all restaurants and bars were closed to dine-in customers, but allowed to remain open for drive-through and take-out service.

The closure of businesses is leading to severe economic losses and a rise in unemployment. Between March 16 and 18, unemployment claims in Illinois rose by 64,000. After new social distancing measures were introduced, the number was expected to rise higher. Nationally, some experts believe unemployment may hit an unprecedented 30% in the second quarter.

While the numbers paint a grim economic future, it is important to note many of those seeking unemployment will be able to return to their jobs when social distancing orders are lifted. The current unemployment count does include furloughed workers.

In addition to putting off the day Illinoisans must pay taxes, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is suspending collection of traffic fees until April 30 to ease the economic burden on residents. Drivers will not immediately have to pay for late parking tickets, towing fees or red-light camera tickets. The city will also suspend its “booting” system.

Illinois currently has 1,865 cases of coronavirus with 19 deaths. The number of cases rose by 330 on March 25, the same day Pritzker announced the delayed tax deadline. Thirty-five counties have reported cases across all ages.

The economic impact of the virus is expected to be staggering in Illinois. The Illinois Policy Institute put together a report detailing what the state must do now to prepare for the fallout from the halt in economic activity, including a commercial property tax holiday and pension reform to preserve needed revenues.

Originally published by Illinois Policy on March 25, 2020

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Most of us our looking forward to better days and coronavirus

by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

The Coronavirus is a pandemic that most of us don't understand, but we are learning.

This disease has taken over 9,000 lives and made over 220,000 more people sick. We've heard via television about it starting in China and its impact even before arriving in America.

So far this is what we know about Coronavirus. The disease is life threatening. If the disease does not kill you, there is a chance you will be very sick with severe respiratory problems. Thousands of respirators are needed across the country because of the nature of the disease.

The virus is teaching us that we are a fragile human race. We are vulnerable to disease, death and chaos. Who wants to be in an intensive care unit of a hospital on a respirator?

Our masses of wealth can disappear almost overnight. The stock market has fallen like a rock. As of this writing, everything that the stock market gained in the three years that Trump has been President has been wiped out.

What if it crashes totally? How many companies will go bankrupt and everything people have invested will be gone? We could experience a kind of poverty that our country has not known for a long time.

What was it like during the Great Depression? I remember old folks talking about those hard times. Could we be in for that kind of a difficult time, or even worse?

We are learning that what previously seemed far-fetched and unrealistic, for our great economy and planet, is possible. It just takes one plague to rearrange our lives. One virus cleans out the grocery stores, idles our jobs and robs our bank accounts. One virus immobilizes our society and robs us of the social interaction that we have taken for granted.

Most of us are always looking down the pike for better days and greener pastures. Typically, we are on the hunt for the bigger and the better. We usually don't miss the good things of life until we no longer have them.

Sadly, we spend a lot of life looking beyond or looking back and we miss the present. I'm sure you've heard before that "now" is life's greatest gift. That's why we call it the "present."

The Coronavirus is no "gift" and is certainly something we want to put behind us as soon as possible.

When this is behind us maybe we will feel different about sitting in our favorite restaurant, a beauty salon, house of worship or entertainment venue. Many Americans already look forward to going back to work and resuming paychecks. Hopefully, grocery stores will once again have ample food, toiletries and other basics that we have come to take for granted.

When we are beyond all this, maybe we won't take all that we have for granted, or will we?

Dr. Glenn Mollette is a syndicated American columnist and author of American Issues, Every American Has An Opinion and ten other books. He is read in all 50 states. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily representative of any other group or organization.

This article is the sole opinions of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of PhotoNews Media. We welcome comments and views from our readers.


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