School Traffic

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The Problem

School-related traffic congestion and the risks such congestion poses to the safety of the students, teachers, parents, and residents, in and around schools is a significant problem in this community. The most obvious cause of traffic congestion around schools is vehicles, and the biggest source of those vehicles is simply the parents’ dropping off and picking up their children from school. In the United States, roughly three-quarters of school-aged children are taken to school by car.  As described below, an increase in children taken to school by car is just one contributing factor to the problem. Other factors include changes In School population, new school construction causing confusion or issues with residents that did not have any issues previously, and traffic signs and signals surrounding a school.

Traffic congestion alone causes inconvenience to drivers, leads to lost time from the job, and can contribute to “road rage.” In addition to affecting parent drivers and other commuters, school traffic congestion is a source of problems for students, school staff, residents in and around schools, and local police charged with enforcing traffic laws and responding to problems raised by residents and schools. More importantly, congestion can be a source of traffic crashes and child pedestrian injuries and deaths. Child pedestrian injuries due to traffic are more likely to occur in settings with high traffic volume and on-street parking, with children’s often emerging “masked” from behind parked cars. This is an issue in Schiller Park at all of the local schools.

Factors Contributing to Traffic Congestion Around Schools

While many factors contribute to the problem of school traffic congestion, the single greatest explanation for recent school traffic congestion is actually two fold, the growth of the school-aged population over a relatively short time, combined with the redesign of the drop-off and pick-up system at Kennedy School. Both factors have led to the issues being complained about around that School, and rendering original school drop-off and pick-up schemes (including guidelines for when and where parents may drop off, pick up, and park), street layouts, and traffic control measures ineffective in controlling congestion. I feel I can safely add that in my own experiences the conditions surrounding the Drop-off, and pick-up at Kennedy School is significantly better then it was at the start of this school year, and in my opinion even better then it was when the school used its original traffic pattern.

In general when asked, parents who choose to take their children by car cite distance, traffic hazards, time constraints, and bad weather as the most common reasons for selecting this transportation mode. Other input has suggested that both road safety and “stranger danger” are the key explanations for why parents are increasingly taking their children to school by car. One can view such threats to child safety as both a cause and a symptom of school congestion. On the one hand, parental concerns about traffic hazards could lead more parents to drive their children to school, thereby increasing congestion. On the other hand, traffic congestion could lead to more child pedestrian accidents, with backed up cars’ blocking the views of small children crossing the street to enter school.

Understanding Your Local Problem

The discussion above is only a generalized description of our school traffic congestion. You should use these basic facts to help develop a more specific understanding of your local problem. Analyzing the local problem carefully will help you design a more effective response, and help to open our minds to who is ultimately responsible for these issues, and who has gone above and beyond in their effort to assist in dealing with these issues.

Stakeholders

The following groups have an interest in the school traffic-congestion problem and should be considered for the contribution they might make to gathering information about the problem and responding to it.

Police

This was written more for the police, and the village, not only because they are the biggest stakeholders in solving these traffic congestion problems, but because they are often one of the first to be called when traffic congestion develops around our schools. The Police are more likely to be contacted only after tensions have developed among residents, school staff, and parents over who is responsible for the congestion. Police therefore are in a unique position to serve as mediator between these groups, helping them to seek common ground in developing and implementing effective solutions and ultimately making their jobs easier by reducing the number of calls for service generated by congestion, and traffic safety issues that often accompany it.

Parents

When it comes to both understanding the underlying source of the congestion problem and developing responses to it, parents may be the single most important stakeholder you identify. This is because parents’ decisions to drive their children to school, their concern for their children’s safety, and their regard for existing traffic rules can tremendously affect the problem. With the general courtesy and respect this portion of the issue seems to be very much under control.

Students

While research indicates that most school traffic problems occur around elementary and middle schools, Student input in these lower-grade schools is equally important, and can become critical if a response strategy includes encouraging children to walk or bike to school.

School Administrators and Teachers

School staff often experience the aggravation of school traffic congestion in equal measure to parents. Some staff, such as the principal and school administrators, bear the brunt of complaints by parents and local residents. Given that most congestion occurs in and around school property, the child safety concerns associated with traffic congestion become the school’s responsibility, as well. These are addressed regularly and seem to be of the highest priority to School District 81. No days have gone by that one or all of the administrators of Kennedy School are not assisting with the drop-off and pick-up process, and an army of teachers and staff at all points of the process.

Local Residents

Residents living near schools with congestion problems are very much affected by the problem, and may also be contributing to it In their own way. Imagine being late for work and pulling out of your driveway, only to realize that school traffic is at its peak and it will take another 10 minutes just to travel a tenth of a mile. Residents may become so frustrated by repeated complaints to the school or local police with no visible sign of resolution in sight, that they deliberately ignore signs, speed limits, or pedestrian traffic, further contributing to the congestion problem, and reduced safety.

Responses With Limited Effectiveness

Enhancing the enforcement of existing traffic laws. As with similar, more “reactive” police measures, such as increased patrols, enhanced enforcement of existing traffic laws is likely to have a positive but short-term impact on the problem if not maintained consistently. As soon as traffic enforcement reverts back to preintervention levels, congestion is likely to increase again. However, if patrols are assigned strategically to increase presence during peak arrival and departure periods, they may serve as a very useful and effective complement to other problem-solving measures.

Who’s responsibility is it to remedy this issue?

The answer Is simple to me. The general responsibility falls on all of us, in my opinion some of the responsible parties are already pulling their weight, but the rest of us need to step up.  I have sat and watched at all three of the public Schools since the beginning of the year, and the School District personnel are doing an outstanding job, with the District regularly implementing new technologies and procedures since the begging of the year. The parents actively participating in the process are also for the most part relatively appropriate and respectful during this process with the exception of a small few. They in reality have little choice in the matter, and have taken the changes in stride. The remaining stakeholders need to step up, the resididents around the Schools need to realize that everything that can be done by the Schools is being done, and constantly being improved by the Schools themselves. The remainder of this issue again in my opinion falls on the village, and possibly the police department.

Even though it is my feeling that the issues that most are complaining about are not actually issues at all, but simply a new inconvenience to their daily routine caused by the rerouted lines they are still complaints that need to be addressed, and still remains the normal speeders we see in Schiller Park, and the new ones created by the congestion itself who put our children and residents at risk, specifically at Kennedy School, but in reality all of Schiller Park

There is no consistent police presence at any of the schools during drop-off and pick-up, and it is putting everyone at risk daily. If we all stop blaming the people who are already doing all they can, and direct our energy and issues to those who still have much they can do maybe we will see some meaningful change.

Barbara Piltaver – Village President / Mayor
Phone: 847-671-8502          mayor@villageofschillerpark.com

Thomas Fragakis – Chief of Police
Phone: 847-678-4794         Tfragakis@schillerparkil.us

 

 

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Truth Vs Lies

Born to believe 
Many writers and historians believe that human beings are conditioned to believe, rather than disbelieve. Their for giving power to the liar, and their versions of the “facts”

Let’s do an experiment:

…you hear a noise in the grass. Is it a predator, or is it the wind? Your next choice could be the most important of your life. If you think that the noise in the grass is a predator and it turns out it’s the wind, you have made an error in cognition, a false positive. But no harm done. You just move away, you are more cautious, more vigilant.

On the other hand, if you believe that the noise in the grass is just the wind, and it turns out to be a predator, you’re done. Life is over.

A false positive in this case makes you more cautious, but it really costs nothing to believe that there maybe danger behind the noise.

In contrast to the false positive not believing in the danger, amd actually having it exist was deadly, and so we choose to believe. But more than just believing in that possible danger we tend to create patterns. That I turn helps us structure our lives. It creates meaning to what could easily be random. It is from there that we develop things like superstition and conspiracy theories. They make sense of what is random.

Patterns
If this were all humans had to rely on for cognition — our limited brains making sense of that what we can’t understand — we would be in big trouble. Thankfully, however, we have verifiable facts. They ensure that what is random not just makes sense, but is also true.

And that’s where we get into some even more fascinating research about why people believe outright lies — easy to disprove lies like the kinds Donald Trump tells for example.

According to some, people tend to believe lies when they feel vulnerable. The less control people have over their lives, the more likely they are to try and regain control through mental gymnastics. Feelings of control are so important to people that a lack of control is inherently threatening. While some misperceptions can be bad or lead one astray, they’re extremely common and most likely satisfy a deep and enduring psychological need.

In normal life people find false patterns in data all the time. When they do, it’s usually because they feel a given situation is out of their control. A local example would be the Kennedy School Adition, people didn’t understand the numbers, felt out of control, and believed the lies spread to help ease their fear. It was easier to be angry and believe the false information that the School District was deceiving the community then it was to learn the difficult details and facts.

Fact or fiction
Of course, the more false the pattern, the more vulnerable you have to be to believe it. And of course, the more gymnastics your brain has to do to find the truth. The difficulty of the gymnastics mixed with fear or anger make the lies and falsehoods simply easier. That’s why certain individuals have very little other then tax complaints and fear of who I am to complain about.

Donald Trump, a man who is known for spreading falsehoods. He captured the imaginations of many people who felt vulnerable because of the past, present and future. He resonated in places of high unemployment, where manufacturing jobs have been on the decline for decades. These are places where a rational structure is needed to explain why things got so bad and why they don’t seem to be getting better.

But again this is not “rationality” as we think about it terms of reality. If it were, individuals would seek the truth no matter what their state of distress, because it is only when a problem is truly understood that the truth can be found.

Here is a relevant example. Donald Trump has dumped on China over and over again since he entered the national spotlight. He’s said that we are losing jobs to Chinese manufacturing and that the Trans Pacific Partnership was designed for China to come in, as they always do, through the back door and totally take advantage of everyone.

In the world of facts, however, we know that thousands and thousands of manufacturing jobs have been lost to automation, not off-shoring to China. We also know that China is not involved with the TPP in any way. In fact, the country has been upset about TPP since talks for the agreement started.

The human desire to feel in control supersedes all of those facts because they are hard to find or understand, and in turn, pushes us to believe what may be irrational, but is simple, understandable, and gives us a sense of control.

Think about it: Say you believe all the lies  Donald Trump has told about trade, China and the global economy. It’s a comforting notion, ultimately, because it means he also has the solutions. Voting for him, then, is a way to take control of that untruth.

Unfortunately, since it’s a lie, the problem will remain. Lies never solve anything, and the spreading of them by those in this community simply acting on revenge or some unknown agenda just make things worse. Things won’t change until we embrace the truth, and put in the effort to identify who is telling it, and who is not.

Why is Anonymity So Important

Why is anonymity so important?

Has David C Stachura taken it on himself in declaring the US Supreme Court wrong, and the First Amendment invalid? Of course he wouldn’t/couldn’t use those exact words. That is however the image he portrays with his devotion to my spine or lack there of simply based on my perceived anonymity. He has declared my message to be false simply because he and many others do not know me. Simply not knowing the author of a history book does not make it less true. Not knowing who wrote the dictionary doesn’t make its definitions false, or inaccurate.

People through anonymity can express themselves without fear of reprisal. In Schiller Park specifically there has always been a trend among the “Wrong Doers” (Description used based off of my point of view) to attack and harass those who speak up against them, they would metaphorically beat them into silence by attacking and harassing them, and their families. We saw it on a regular basis with the old, School Board leadership of David Stachura and Patricia Godziszewski. It has always been my opinion that in most cases they perpetrated those harassment campaigns through, and with the help of Roy F McCampbell. I do however feel that their once close group has been disrupted by parts of their group not being able to perform their assigned task, but it was the situation none the less. The smear campaign against the School District, its staff, and supporters became harassment on an epic scale. That is in fact why this blog was created in the first place. We wanted to give a voice to the majority of the community that could be safe from the onslaught of harassment intended to silence that voice. We wanted to have a voice that disarmed them of their only form of attack. You can not harass into silence that witch you can not identify.

The former group of troublemakers has for the most part devolved into one final voice spewing nothing but anger and hate. There is very little coherence left in what once was a consistent and unified all be it very negative voice, but that sole survivor seems hell bent on discrediting me simply based off of my perceived anonymity. In all actuality he does not even known for sure if his thoughts are true. I can only imagine the frustration caused by having someone tirelessly call you out on your lies, and not be able to specifically target their name with a smear campaign as has been their past practices, but none the less he continues with his school yard name calling.

Anonymity is the tool I chose to embrace to defend and protect my children and grand children. To protect my name I lessened my message, and by keeping the details of my identity secret I made more work for myself. This had a positive effect of forcing me to be more diligent in offering as much proof of my claims and opinions as possible. I feel for the most part I have succeeded. Of course I have my detractors, the people that obviously despise my very existence. They need no introduction but they hate none the less, and attempt to discredit my information as lies simply by declaring my secrets to be the key proof of my dishonesty. This is of course not true, and simply just another vain attempt at strengthening their position among the very harshly divided political portion of this community. For every hater there is at least one supporter, and if my hate mail to support mail ratio is an indicator, these is by far more for my information then against.

Anonymity has been a heated topic for far longer then any of us have been involved. It’s clear to me that anonymity is both good and bad. Anonymity has its place, and has always had a place in society. But the Internet is something new. Does anonymity have a right to exist as such on this new medium even if the risk is great? Twenty years ago, there was no Internet and we were doing fine with the issue of pre-Internet anonymity, so would technologically ending internet anonymity once and for all be a disaster? What changed that makes anonymity on the internet so important? And what would things be like if the internet had evolved to this day with anonymity being an impossibility? Ask yourself if we would be demanding anonymity on the Internet if we never had it in the first place.

Curiously, and in most cases with some exceptions like those I face with the aforementioned individual, those for and against anonymity seem to often have the same motivation—protecting democracy and freedom. The pro folks say that taking political debate to the highest level of discussion is not possible without some anonymity. Whistle blowers are a good example of why anonymity is necessary. Once they are discovered, they are fired and ruined. The anonymity folks will cite examples from law enforcement showing how attacking organized crime in particular and crime in general would be impossible without the use of anonymous sources. As I said before, I have chosen anonymity for my families freedom from persecution. Those honest individuals against anonymity would argue that in crime-fighting, anonymous sources are not reliable and can be abused, leading to the ruin of innocent people. Furthermore, anonymity is often used to illegally move secret information. People and corporations are often libeled by those who spread false information. In fact, a Schiller Park resident attempted to challenge my anonymity in court not to long ago, and did not succeed. This if nothing else was one of this blogs greatest success stories as it added validation to my message, and goals. It does not in any way prove what I have said as truth, that still remains in the hands of my readers, but it protected my freedom of speech by declaring I was not acting out of malice.
The United States Supreme Court has declared that protections for anonymous speech are vital to democratic discourse. Allowing dissenters to shield their identities frees them to express critical, minority views . . . Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. . . . It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights, and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation . . . at the hand of an intolerant society.

I have included at the end of this post a small gallery of examples to my point. The individual mentioned above still resorts to personal attacks, of me and my family despite not even knowing who we are.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Face Value

As we are all very aware, American culture has taken a turn towards believing in none-truth more than truth. We believe what we read almost completely because someone simply wrote it, and that is taken advantage of regularly. We take things at face value, and Americans as individuals simply do not fact check. However this is not a new situation , but it has gotten worse in the last few years. Most notably during the recent presidential campaign, and election. I believe it’s a side effect of our current culture, not so much that the American people are lazy, but just simply do not have the time. It is in most cases simply not possible for one person to dig through the thousands of fake media posts. Believing something simply because it was written even bleeds down to our local level, but we have an advantage.

Our local political process, and more importantly the process of filtering out the “BS” from the truth is in no way as daunting of an endeavor as it is on the national or even state level. Just like the bigger national stories there is truth and lies all over our local news and stories. We have an election season starting, and with that comes all the “stories”. Now the advantage we have is that many of the groups or people being accused are also local, and this gives us more of an opportunity to approach them, and to simply get their side of the story. Please do not think I advocate their side of the story be taken as fact, but it is one piece in the bigger picture. Many times these stories have other ways of coming to factual conclusions, and often the system of choice at our level is the Freedom of Information Act. At least when the stories are directed at a person who holds a public position, or a public body of government like the School Board, or Village Trustees. At our local level the F.O.I.A. System is not bogged down by overworked underfunded departments who struggle to keep their head above water, and we can get results in a much more timely manner. Private organizations are a little different, but I feel that their own past actions and I’ll be honest good deeds speak for them.

Look at the bigger picture when evaluating a story or accusation posted online. Did the person accusing, or telling the story share what they call facts? Did they back up those facts with sources, and are those sources legally bound to tell the truth? Some red flags should be obvious to spot, but to clarify does the person accusing or telling the story have a less than questionable past themselves? Do they have something to gain from attacking someone’s character or actions? Do they suddenly fall silent when confronted, and even if they join the debate do they still lack details, and sources to their accusations? Do they refuse to help you find the facts to back up their commemts? If they can not or do not the chances are pretty good there is lies in what they are saying.

You have many examples of local people who love to share their nonsense and false information claiming that other parties are simply liars, bad people, or bad organizations because they said so. When asked to clarify they never respond, when asked to validate their allegation they can not. They respond by shutting out the people who challenge them for fear of being caught with nothing, because they have nothing.

David C Stachura is one such individual. He relies on his perceived image to verify the truth of his accusations, and counts on his past and his history of service to the country and community to strengthen his position. He has yet to ever back up one accusation with a fact, and expects everyone to believe him simply because of his past. In fact he has spent thousands in tax payer funds searching for the facts after he has made the accusations, and has every single time come up empty handed. I want to add to this example that their is in fact much for him to be proud of when you look at his history of service, and his past devotion to country. Many years of service to Schiller Park, and his country in the Air National Guard does not mean he is truthful or honest. He has been touted as a local war hero (rightfully so), but that is all anyone wants to see, again people give validity to what he says simply because he was “a war hero”. People change, and what they stand for changes, maybe they never stood for what they portray at all. When you look at his recent activity you will see gaps that don’t add up to the past image he tries to maintain. You should also take those gaps into consideration when evaluating what he has to say as truth or fiction, and don’t judge his statement simply based off of his fabricated image.

David C Stachura was a self admitted close personal friend to another of Schiller Parks most notable who was under indictment and recently settled his case and admitted to theft while fulfilling his role in public office. He learned his manipulation from that same friend. His other friends include a disgraced ex-school teacher, a private investigator who is also The Godfather to one of the admitted thief’s children, and a who’s who of people that have had their own integrity questioned more than a few times. From washed up politicians to questionable mayors, but forget all of those opinions and unprovable comments. The facts are as follows, David C Stachura has yet to share a single thing to back up what he says, he has yet to offer any information as to his source, or to the reasons for his accusations. He has never presented facts to anyone about anything. David Stachura will not engage in open dialogue with anyone he accuses. He abandoned his Role on the School Board of Schiller Park School District 81 only to resign more then eight months later, and continues to ignore the truth as presented. The sources to back up what I saw are in hundreds of blog posts discussing the exact subject, read them, follow the links to the sources in each post.

He is just one of the many examples of the smoke and mirrors his lack of integrity actually portrays.

As usual don’t take anything I write as fact until you have verified it yourself, get the facts for yourself.

Truth and Lies

Or lies and truth depending on what side you’re looking at it from.

It’s really and truly very sad that both of those exist in the world we live in, always has and always will. Truth should be the only thing anyone ever hears, but we all know that’s more then a pipe dream. The really sad part is that for every truth there is at least two lies, and even though the truth is often very easy to find (it generally is sitting right in front of our face) it’s much easier to discount when compared to the lies. We Schiller Parkers seem prone to believing the negative, or at least that was how it used to be. There seems to have been a flip a few years ago and people I feel are starting to wake up to the possibility that much of what has been said in the past may not have been accurate.

That is the part of the human personality that some people take advantage of. People who write pages on social media with the sole intention of spreading discontent by using lies as a stepping stone to their end goals, and more often then not simply for the purpose of doing it. When people don’t stand up for the truth and the lies go unanswered for so long they start to become their own twisted reality.

I have mentioned in previous posts that it is very easy to except what we read at face value and to not dig slightly deeper. Many people don’t read deeper then the first few lines, and this almost without fail starts to attract more people to the “liars” cause. Allows him to build his army so to speak, and that “army” will continue to spread the lies. In their defense they may be an unwitting accomplice in the organizers plans because they didn’t search out the truth and accepted what was said at face value, but the same end goal is accomplished.

Let’s face it, the residents of Schiller Park have been down this road before. It’s nothing new with the same players on both sides, and it goes in cycles often revolving around election seasons or when some new item that the main culprit feels goes against his designs. Key words there are Against his designs.

Tomorrow night there is a Public Hearing and then a Regular Meeting of the School Board of Schiller Park School District 81.
(Wednesday, February 17, 2016 at 7:00 PM). The public hearing is concerning the intent of the Board of Education to sell 16,000,000 in working cash fund bonds. This is in my opinion the reason for the peak in misleading information being spread by Roy F McCampbell. (Again I can not prove he is he owner and administrator of the Facebook page and main dissemination source for all the bad information being spread, but when compared to all of his other postings to social media the signature is almost exact). Things have wound up lately but ask yourself why.

Has Roy McCampbell, and David Stachura been recruiting attendees for the meeting? Is that the reason for all the sudden interest? Will Dave Stachura actually attend a School Board meeting? I believe that this is all in an attempt to vilify the Administration and remaining School Board Members of School District 81 with the community. For what purpose I could not even begin to guess, but this has been his goal for a very long time, and why should he change it now.

The hot button of taxes is a perfect catalyst for sparking more negative energy directed at those who many feel were elected to lower taxes. In reality they were elected to do exactly what they are doing now. Protect and grow the education of children in Schiller Park to the best of their abilities while doing it with as much financial responsibility as possible. Protecting both the students and the tax payers.

These attacks are in actuality incredibly counter productive especially for this individual in particular. Doesn’t the School System he is attempting to maliciously destroy service his family? I realize he has taken the personal stance of advocate to everyone in the District to a new level of wrong, but at what point does a person realize that he is doing absolutely no good at all?

I do not believe that someone like this is capable of seeing what they are actually doing to the School System that is so important. In the end his actions not only hurt education in Schiller Park but they hurt every single resident without exception. This is something that everyone can see plainly if they just open themselves to the possibility. Yet there are still people who’s families are directly affected by the outcome of all of this activity that continue to try and tear it all down despite the affects it has on them or those they care about. Kathy Ewanio Janis is one good example. I have no personal issue with her, but I can’t understand her reasoning for taking the positions she has in the past. The undying support for those so clearly doing wrong.

More then a few people have come forward explaining to me how Kathy Janis was telling people at the information meeting at Kennedy that she was all for the expansion of the building. “That it was needed”. Doesn’t this expansion effect her family directly, and now she changes her toon to support Roy McCampbell’s crusade of destruction on Facebook? Is there something in it for her? What am I missing here? Maybe she is going to run for trustee again?

The purpose of this typically long rant is to try and get people to understand the importance of getting to your own thoughts by researching the truth for yourself. I do not want anyone to take my word for it or at face value. Start with the source and go from there.

Attend the next school board meeting and introduce yourself. Share your feelings with people, but do it with respect and a general benefit of the doubt. If you open your mind to the possibility that there is another side to the story then Mr McCampbell’s version then you are half way to the truth.

 

Anonymity

Pongola2

Ever since its creation over forty years ago, the Internet has remained a mostly unrestricted place. It is a place where anyone can present themselves in any form they choose. Are those who choose to hide their real names for their own privacy and safety in danger of losing anonymity online?

Such is the power of anonymity on the web, that it has made it possible for people, some of who might normally be restricted from communicating with the outside world to speak out without fearing the repercussions of their actions. Actions that could put them in danger if carried out using their real names. Concealing one’s true identity online has made it possible for free speech to break through the physical barriers enforced by governments across the world.

Being anonymous on the web also makes it possible for people to discuss sensitive subjects, such as medical conditions, physical abuse, sexual orientation and political believes without these actions affecting their everyday lives in a negative or potentially harmful way.

There are many positive ways to use anonymity on the web, but there can sometimes be very destructive side effects too, such as bullying, racism, impersonation of an individual or individuals, and harassment. Think back to schillerparkblog.com, jamestompson.wordpress.com (without the j in the middle), and to a point ROYFMC.com. The first two are the perfect examples of “Bullying”, “impersonation”, and “harassment. Coincidentally the blog impersonating me, and defending the very person who filled suit against me went private around the same time of the suit. I do not believe the petitioner of the lawsuit is a part of that now private blog, but it is one very large coincidence.

Is my blog a positive way to use anonymity? I will leave that question to my readers, but I like to think it has had a positive effect on this town. I don’t discuss fun topics or the latest recipe, I do however talk about the things going on in Schiller Park during what some have called one of the more politically turbulent times in recent years. I share information found in direct connection to current, and former campaign, and elected officials, and I share it. I use the F.O.I.A. system to prove or disprove information. I share opinions, and give my own personal input based off of found facts.

jamesjtompson.wordpress.com has always been about sharing my own personal opinions based on actual facts found through research. I hate to describe it this way, but it is basically a political blog, but for the purpose of returning some semblance of normalcy and truth to this beautiful town.

Lets discuss lawsuits for a minute, ones that are particularly directed at uncovering my identity. I don’t normally address these things, but I feel today is as good a day as any to break an unwritten rule of mine. To start let me share an article that brings me to the subject of this post. portions of my post bellow have come from the following article describing the petition filed with Cook County. http://cookcountyrecord.com/stories/510635555-woman-active-in-schiller-park-politics-community-organizations-wants-facebook-to-reveal-id-of-blogger

The following is the first post mentioned in her petition for discovery.
https://jamesjtompson.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/did-the-quartet-just-become-a-quintet/
This is the second post described in her petition.
https://jamesjtompson.wordpress.com/2015/07/13/this-goes-out-to-the-only-irene-i-know/
This is the third post mentioned in her petition, and although my original post is partially satirical in nature the public petition was not originally created by me. It was created by the now private blog impersonating me and meant to destroy my name. The vary blog that has so many times in the past used their anonymity to target people with actual defamation of others.
https://jamesjtompson.wordpress.com/2015/07/18/needs-your-attention/

The original article shares the details of her petition of discovery. In that petition she stated that my posts are false, and malicious, and done with the intent of harming her reputation. Her statement is in fact false. I would like to remind everyone that In my posts I have also mentioned the amazing work she has done for this and many communities in the area. I have talked about her fine reputation for public service, and to this very day I still feel she has done many good things, and should be an example of good public service to everyone. She also claims I am interfering with her volunteer and political efforts, and she states that my posts could hurt her established relationships with others in her community. She is currently the president of a very prominent polish organization in the Chicago area, and has been a key political figure in many communities for years. whether you agree with her or not these are the facts, and the facts that she is a prominent political personality can not be disputed. I would only hope that the working, and personal relationships she has made through all those acts of public service are not so easily swayed by the political opinions of one blogger.

According to the article linked above, her petition also stated that “she has suffered damages to include out of pocket costs to investigate my posts, and in repairing her relationships with others”. Maybe I don’t fully understand this, but can you suffer from out of pocket expenses to repair relationships? How does the action of repairing a relationship cost money? She has also stated that because of my posts her hopes may be dashed for future community involvement. This also troubles me as the things I have posted even if they are my opinion based off of facts pale in comparison to the actual malicious lies shared by other anonymous blogs in this community against people who also currently volunteer heavily in this and other towns, and continue to do so despite the negative posts against them. Many of these targets have gone on doing their work for many years. If my searches have been accurate not one of the other targeted political officials and volunteers have filled similar lawsuits.

She also took issue with a post I made questioning her abilities when I said the following “Not a political movement happens in this town without this fabulous young lady weighing in with her vastly one sided and heavily inflated opinion. In fact I am not completely convinced that she actually has her own opinion at all and she simply just parrots the thoughts of others. (Moskal is the) type that will talk about how terrible something is without actually knowing any facts about the subject she is talking about,”the statements impute that she does not know what she is doing and lacks an ability to perform or think for herself when that is not true.”  This complaint would be similar to a movie director filing the petition against a movie writing for saying he doesn’t know how to direct despite the fact that he/she may very well know how to direct a feature film. Am I not allowed to share my opinion of a political personality or organization?

This is also completely my opinion, but i find this petition a blatant attempt to use our judicial system to disrupt the first amendment rights of a citizen simply because someone doesn’t like what someone else has said. Me posting things that may or may not be uncomfortable for some doesn’t make them any less true or opinionated for that matter.

In my efforts to to share all the details I am including the links to any other posts mentioning her on my blog. I ask that everyone the a look again and let me know if I have been Malicious in any way, or have made any knowingly false statements.
https://jamesjtompson.wordpress.com/2015/07/19/late-night-ruminations/
https://jamesjtompson.wordpress.com/2015/04/13/the-game-of-truth-continues/
https://jamesjtompson.wordpress.com/2015/07/20/a-selfish-declaration-of-unfairness/
https://jamesjtompson.wordpress.com/2015/08/19/respect/
https://jamesjtompson.wordpress.com/2015/08/20/lack-of-commitment/

Some people that are not me should be carefull

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“Defamation” is a catch-all term for any statement that hurts someone’s reputation. Written defamation is called “libel,” and spoken defamation is called “slander.” Defamation is not a crime, but it is a “tort” (a civil wrong, rather than a criminal wrong). A person who has been defamed can sue the person who did the defaming.

Defamation law tries to balance competing interests: On the one hand, people should not ruin others’ lives by telling lies about them; but on the other hand, people should be able to speak freely without fear of litigation over every insult, disagreement, or mistake. Political and social disagreement is important in a free society, and we obviously don’t all share the same opinions or beliefs. For instance, political opponents often reach opposite conclusions from the same facts, and editorial cartoonists often exaggerate facts to make their point.

What the victim must prove to establish that defamation occurred
The law of defamation varies from state to state, but there are some generally accepted rules. If you believe you are have been “defamed,” to prove it you usually have to show there’s been a statement that is all of the following:

published
false
injurious
unprivileged
Let’s look at each of these elements in detail.

1. First, the “statement” can be spoken, written, pictured, or even gestured. Because written statements last longer than spoken statements, most courts, juries, and insurance companies consider libel more harmful than slander.

2. “Published” means that a third party heard or saw the statement — that is, someone other than the person who made the statement or the person the statement was about. “Published” doesn’t necessarily mean that the statement was printed in a book — it just needs to have been made public through television, radio, speeches, gossip, or even loud conversation. Of course, it could also have been written in magazines, books, newspapers, leaflets, or on picket signs.

3. A defamatory statement must be false — otherwise it’s not considered damaging. Even terribly mean or disparaging things are not defamatory if the shoe fits. Most opinions don’t count as defamation because they can’t be proved to be objectively false. For instance, when a reviewer says, “That was the worst book I’ve read all year,” she’s not defaming the author, because the statement can’t be proven to be false.

4. The statement must be “injurious.” Since the whole point of defamation law is to take care of injuries to reputation, those suing for defamation must show how their reputations were hurt by the false statement — for example, the person lost work; was shunned by neighbors, friends, or family members; or was harassed by the press. Someone who already had a terrible reputation most likely won’t collect much in a defamation suit.

5. Finally, to qualify as a defamatory statement, the offending statement must be “unprivileged.” Under some circumstances, you cannot sue someone for defamation even if they make a statement that can be proved false. For example, witnesses who testify falsely in court or at a deposition can’t be sued. (Although witnesses who testify to something they know is false could theoretically be prosecuted for perjury.) Lawmakers have decided that in these and other situations, which are considered “privileged,” free speech is so important that the speakers should not be constrained by worries that they will be sued for defamation. Lawmakers themsleves also enjoy this privilege: They aren’t liable for statements made in the legislative chamber or in official materials, even if they say or write things that would otherwise be defamatory.

History of Defamation and the First Amendment
In the landmark 1964 case of New York Times v. Sullivan, the U.S. Supreme Court held that certain defamatory statements were protected by the First Amendment. The case involved a newspaper article that said unflattering things about a public figure, a politician. The Court pointed to “a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open.” The Court acknowledged that in public discussions — especially about public figures like politicians — mistakes can be made. If those mistakes are “honestly made,” the Court said, they should be protected from defamation actions. The court made a rule that public officials could sue for statements made about their public conduct only if the statements were made with “actual malice.”

“Actual malice” means that the person who made the statement knew it wasn’t true, or didn’t care whether it was true or not and was reckless with the truth — for example, when someone has doubts about the truth of a statement but does not bother to check further before publishing it.

Later cases have built upon the New York Times rule, so that now the law balances the rules of defamation law with the interests of the First Amendment. The result is that whether defamation is actionable depends on what was said, who it was about, and whether it was a subject of public interest and thus protected by the First Amendment.

STAND UP for the truth, and SPEAK OUT AGAINST those who work against it. 

Censure David C Stachura