Still Waters
  By the NumbersHow We Stack UpWhat’s Up With That?

Commentaries posted do not necessarily represent the opinion of LDN.  Any opinions expressed are those of the writers.

Scientists say low October temperatures one of many indicators in anticipated “Arctic Era”

By Jan Youngquist

[NOV. 9, 2002]  Are we headed for an ice age?  Climatologists and scientists world-wide are examining data collected over the last decade.  In an unprecedented moment in the history of scientific studies, members the World High Atmospheric Temperature Studies Under Pressure (WHATSUP) unanimously agreed that there is definitely maybe an ice-age rapidly creeping over the Northern Hemisphere.

The organization of the world’s top scientists has monitored the situation and are now possibly certain of their findings.  They have collected data from world-wide weather trends, atmospheric compositions from our own and other planets, and tracked, compiled and analyzed natural catastrophes.   All evidences are now showing a rapid cooling trend.

One blaring piece of evidence is found in Greenland.  The once inviting Viking colony is now frozen solid, pointing out the falling temperature trend, they say.

Ice ages typically occur on a cyclical cycle with 10,000 years between ice ages as observed over the past 2 million years.  The last ice age was 10,000 years ago.  Atmospheric data indicates that there appears to be a correlation between the declining phase of the solar cycle, the planet's auroral activity, and its upper atmospheric temperature. Between 1992 and 1995, the thermosphere cooled significantly while the ionosphere either cooled or experienced a decline in the column of excited H+3.  The luminosity in H+3 was ~1.1X10^11 W in June 1995, half the value near solar maximum in April 1992. These declining temperatures and luminosities may reflect the declining solar FUV/EUV flux over this interval; while the declining auroral activity may indicate a reduced magnetospheric complement of precipitating charged particles or a reduced interaction between the upper atmosphere and magnetically trapped radiation belts due to a cooler, and therefore less extended, thermosphere/ionosphere.  (DESPA)

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The most significant factor in their determination of the phenomena is from natural disasters.  Not only are they indicators, but one particular type of natural disaster is believed to be the major contributing cause.  It is now believed that earthquakes are to blame for the current chilling trend.

Earthquakes have been producing odd phenomena the world over. Last weeks rare Alaskan earthquake measured 7.9 on the Richter scale.  Every time there is an earthquake it is the bowls of the earth expanding.  People in Taiwan have reported hearing the sounds described as “groanings” coming up out of the gargantuan cracks in the earth.  The sounds are believed to be coming from the inner earth.  These and other phenomena have caused scientists to believe that the very core of the earth itself is cooling at a meteoric rate.

At the current rate it is anticipated that “hell will freeze over” in the very near future.



This story is brought to you in honor of Mike Fak, a gifted opinion writer, in hopes of luring him back to doing what he does best.

[Jan Youngquist]

Is this a new kind of serial killer?

By Jim Youngquist

[OCT. 21, 2002]  The D.C. sniper remains at large in and around Washington, D.C., apparently striking his 13th known victim Saturday just outside a Ponderosa restaurant in Manassas, Va. Police and law enforcement to date have not been able to mount much of an investigation. Investigations rely on clues and information, which seem to be in short supply — bullet casings, descriptions of white utility-type vehicles, a fragment of a tarot card with a cryptic message, and on Saturday, a message with a phone number found near the Ponderosa restaurant. Investigations normally progress to the point where they can name a suspect, determine if he or she has motive, and then make an arrest. In this case they can’t even begin to make a guess.

This killer has the entire metro D.C. area and the suburbs spooked. Outdoor activities have been curtailed. Retail sales are down, and gas stations have now begun erecting security cameras and even, in some cases, barriers to keep the killer from targeting their clients. And from the looks of it, this killer has the police spooked. He seems to be a different kind of serial killer.

What makes him different? His MO (mode of operating) seems to be that he picks ordinary, random human targets that are standing still and shoots them with one bullet from a long distance.

•  Big and dangerous guns have a long history of being used to murder people. Guns seem to have been invented as the weapon of choice in the world for bringing a quick end to unfinished lives. Guns have been around for almost 500 years now (according to Internet sources) and have always been about extinguishing life. Using a high-powered gun doesn’t set this killer apart.

•  The use of one bullet to extinguish a foe was a common exercise (according to the lore of Old West authors) in both gunfights and duels. There is almost a noble or sportsmanlike quality to his use of one bullet, but that doesn’t set this killer apart.

•  Certain kinds of rifles have been created especially for taking life from a long distance away. These have been employed by big-game hunters for 100 years now and also by the military to extinguish targets beyond normal sight. Police are now saying that this killing doesn’t really require expert skills. Good equipment and a little experience could give the shooter the skill necessary. The use of this type of rifle, probably with a scope and maybe even a silencer, doesn’t seem to set this killer apart.

•  Like all other killers who gain the "serial" title, he (or she) has committed this killing act over and over again, with more than one victim fitting the same pattern. Hence, the title "serial" (like a serial show on TV or a series of books by the same author about the same subject). There are hundreds of names in the annals of history who have been called "serial killers," and so it is not the serial nature of his criminal activity which sets him (or her) apart.

Serial killers kill for two reasons: to complete a collection or to gain attention.

The collection aspect of their behavior can be absurd and deranged or can make a great deal of sense. In fiction, Hannibal Lecter was a collector. He collected in order to dine on various parts of his victims. In real life, John Wayne Gacy collected the bodies of his young male lovers under his house, Jeffry Dahmer the skulls of his victims in a closet, and Eddie Gein in the 1950s made a suit out of human skin, a chair out of human bones and a bowl out of human hair. Their psychosis is very deep: They collect in order to re-enact some fantasy over and over again. They tend to be loners and act totally without the need to divulge their activities to any other human beings. Their activities are disguised and are bound in secrecy, and they stop only when they are accidentally discovered.


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The other kind of serial killer seems to be a polar opposite of the collector. He or she operates to right a wrong or to rid society of a certain genre of human beings: the aged and infirm, the "immoral" or malformed, or their victims may even seem to be random. Their whole activity is ultimately to gain attention and be rewarded or punished for their deeds. Fame and attention are their goals. They want the whole world to know of their heroic or evil exploits, and their entire plan is directed to fulfill that need.

There are two things that set this killer apart, and these two details probably have the D.C. area law enforcement agencies and the FBI really concerned. First of all, serial killers are acting out of an addiction to kill. They kill for the attention or they kill to enhance their collection, but they never stop or pause until either they are dead or are arrested. The killings usually escalate in numbers, with the period between killings growing shorter and shorter until the killer is stopped.

But not this killer. Notice the reports of a pause in the killings: 11 victims over a 12-day period, and then nothing. Then there was a 12th killing, then a pause of about three days and then an apparent 13th. The law enforcement community must be afraid that this killer, who has remained totally anonymous to date, might merely suspend his activities for a period, causing the trail to grow cold, or might even disappear without a trace. This is no ordinary serial killer.

But the second difference is even more startling to the police: He doesn’t seem to want attention (69,000 phone calls to law enforcement so far in this case, and they don’t have any good leads), and he doesn’t seem to be collecting anything (unless the headlines and sound bites are his collectible?). All his actions are rational, planned, deliberate, squeaky clean and leaving no trace.

His purpose in killing doesn’t fit the other MOs of thrill seeker, mission-oriented or control freak. Instead, it looks like this killer might be killing merely for the sport of it. One bullet, complete anonymity and random victims all fit the MO of a killer who is killing merely for the sport of it. He may be the hunter, and you and I are the prey. When he is done with this outing, he may just go home, clean his gun, gloat over his hunting trip and disappear forever. And D.C.’s fear will not be extinguished, and justice will not be served.

Fiction is replete with stories of the serial killer-sportsman, who kills people merely for the sport of it. Those thriller stories have caused us pause and have scared us. But to date we cannot remember having encountered that fearful reality. The absolute evil of the sporting-killer, who stops and starts because he wants to, has never (in our knowledge) existed.

And this is what is scaring us now!

[Jim Youngquist]

By the Numbers

How We Stack Up

What’s Up With That?


By Jan Youngquist

[OCT. 12, 2002]  Check out this week’s headlines from the state website.  Hint, you don’t have to look too close to see a problem if you recall that Gov. Ryan’s hometown is Kankakee. 

Not only that, but few minds would be so feeble as to not remember that it was less than two months ago that the governor successfully closed down our oldest and largest employer, Lincoln Development Center, all the while claiming it was for the health and safety of the residents. Over 700 people lost their jobs. Spike that with statements he made a month later that it was closed for financial reasons.

 Also note the successive dates of the press releases, only one day apart.

 Now, read the following and see if you see what I see:

Ø      Oct. 8, 2002

Governor Ryan Announces Record Number of Drinking Water and Wastewater Treatment Loans for 31 Projects in September

SPRINGFIELD Governor George H. Ryan today announced a single-month record of 31 low-interest loans involving more than $65 million for upgrading local drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities across Illinois in September.

Lincoln (Logan County) $9,004,624

Ø      Oct. 9, 2002

Kankakee Infrastructure to Receive Boost from Illinois FIRST:  $3.5 Million set aside for 5TH Avenue Bridge Rehab and City Sewer System Upgrades

KANKAKEE — Governor George H. Ryan today joined Kankakee officials in announcing that $3.5 million from Illinois FIRST have been set aside for two infrastructure improvements in the city. The City of Kankakee will receive $500,000 to fund the rehabilitation of the 5th Avenue Bridge and $3 million dollars for upgrading the city’s sewer system.

Ø      Oct. 9, 2002

Governor Ryan Slates $12.5 Million for Kankakee Recreation and Fitness Facilities
Governor Ryan Breaks Ground on Aquatic Center, Announces Funding for New Ice Rink and Fitness Facility

KANKAKEE — Governor George H. Ryan today joined local officials from the Kankakee community to break ground on a new aquatic center and also announced funding for an ice rink and fitness center. $12.5 million in Illinois FIRST funds will be used to finance the projects, $5.9 million for the aquatic center and $6.6 million for the new ice rink.

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Uhmmm, correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks like our state governor handed Lincoln and 30 other communities loan payment books. While one day later he lavished $16 million in grant funds on his own hometown.

If your blood isn’t boiling, you need to get off that iceberg.

Let’s analyze this a little bit.  A combined 31 communities scattered throughout the state share $65 million in loans. That’s an average of only $2 million per community. To boot, every one of these loans is for a necessary upgrade to essential services, such as drinking water or wastewater treatment facility upgrade.

Lincoln typifies the other communities receiving these loans in that it is not for an optional construction project.  Our sewer plant has been operating at maximum capacity for quite some time now. It also needs to be brought up to the IEPA’s newest quality standards.

To remain a viable community we need to be able to invite new industry and businesses and build additional housing. However, we can not add any new lines to our sewer system. We must upgrade. We will be getting a loan for  $9 million.

In his own back yard, the governor poured a sweet $16 million in Illinois FIRST grant funds. The first $12.5 million is for recreational facilities in the form of an aquatic center and ice rink. 

Add to the above, $3.5 million for bridge work and a wastewater treatment upgrade, necessary improvements just like for Lincoln and other communities, only not exactly: No payment book is attached.

How does such flagrant inequality occur in front of our very eyes?  Illinois FIRST funds garnered by raising license plate fees $30, for an increase from $48 to $78, allow George Ryan to play a rich sugar daddy.  It seems he lavishly showers those whom he desires with gifts. 

So, are the rest of us poor orphan stepchildren supposed to gratefully accept loans for needed and mandated projects while his hometown, friends and cronies dine on roasted pork?

Let me know what you think.  E-mail me at ldneditor@lincolndailynews.

[Jan Youngquist]

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