MCC Board Moves Toward $30+ Million Addition & Renovation, No Referendum, Athletics Could Be Sacrificed

Tuesday night the McHenry County College Board talked about a consultant-proposed $62-$78 million recommended renovation and expansion of the college campus.

With Full Time Equivalent enrollment down 7.6% since 2011, but a need to update science laboratories which one Trustee said were worse than some high school labs, the members discussed the options, settling on something over $36 million with a significant “but.”

As former Board President Ron Parrish put it, “$30 million. No referendum.”

MCC Expansion Option 1 Costs

Most attention was focused on this option.  A,B, C, D and E were discussed most.

Chief Financial Officer Bob Tenuta presented various options to pay for proposals.

His first presentation included the following breakdown of where the money would come from:

  • 1/4 from the students
  • 1/4 from a capital campaign
  • 1/4 from the taxpayers
  • 1/4 from current MCC fund balances and debt certificates  [of course, most of this started in taxpayers’ pockets]

Here are more specific details:

  • an increase in student fees to pay for the student center
  • McHenry County College Foundation fund raising
  • a 20-year bond issue approved by the voters
  • debt certificates, which are repaid from college funds

After Parrish pointed out that McHenry County is not “in a growth mode,” Molly Walsh agreed:  “I’m just brokenhearted. Ron is right.

“We’ve got a mass exodus from this county.”

She argued against going to property owners for more money.

“Take off the referendum,” she said.

“[It] is never going to pass,” Karen Tirio immediately added.

Student Trustee Jason Memmen disagreed, pointing to the $115 million bond issue passed by Elgin Community College nine years ago.

“I do think something like this can pass.”

Cynthia Kisser argued that the Board should move forward as soon as possible.

“I don’t see how we can’t move forward with this.

“Interest rates are never going to be this low again.  (Tenuta estimated the rate to be 3.84%.)

“Do it now or forget about it.”

Chairing the Committee of the Whole meeting was Linda Liddell.

“Do it now, leaving the referendum out,” she said, summarizing the consensus.

Liddell focused on the number $36.3 million.

Tenuta modified his spreadsheet to eliminate money from a referendum bond issue and ended up with the issuance of $12 million in debt certificates.

“That money will have to come from somewhere,” he said.

“We’ve cut and cut and cut,” college President Vicky Smith observed.

“We have to cut programs.”

Without a referendum, Tenuta estimated that an additional $87,000 would have to be found each year to pay off the debt certificates.

Top on the list seems to be the athletic teams, which did not sit well with Memmen.

“Are athletics on the chopping block?” he asked.

“Yes,” Tenuta replied.

“Then, I’m not on board with this,”Memmen said.

Other community colleges are moving in the same direction.  Harper, Heartland and Spoon Valley College were cited.

More details were requested by Walsh, Tirio and Parrish.

Jenner went along, but asked that the Board be told “what sacrifices” had to be made.

Board President Mike Smith was absent.


MCC Board Moves Toward $30+ Million Addition & Renovation, No Referendum, Athletics Could Be Sacrificed — 39 Comments

  1. MCC has used this tactic many times before, wasting taxpayer money on bought-and-paid-for consultants so they can hide behind the opinion of an “expert”.

    Just a few years ago they hired a study to prove MCC was going to grow by 3% per year forever.

    The study was an embarrassment, it was so badly flawed.

    They couldn’t even get the basic math of compound growth right!

    Then they hired a firm that runs health clubs and offered them the job of running the health club at MCC if the firm would just opine that a health club was needed and would generate huge profits.

    The conflict of interest was glaringly obvious and the study was a joke.

    Now we yet another materially deficient so-called “study” that reaches yet another pre-determined conclusion, this one orchestrated by Linda Liddell, who took what was supposed to a fairly minor effort to determine what spaces at MCC might need to be upgraded and turned the study into a wish list by department heads without any regard for the reality of declining student enrollment.

    Linda, no one is fooled.

    No one believes this farce of a study.

    No one believes that the only the choices are the ones you offer.

    And so the board needs to give an emphatic “NO” to this whole “study”, and it needs to quit wasting taxpayer money by hiring phony experts who parrot the party line.

    MCC will NEVER get an objective assessment of its real capital needs as long as Vicky Smith, Bob Tenuta, Linda Liddell and Cynthia Kisser are around.

    They will make sure recommendations from “experts” are made as instructed and then use the “experts” as cover to justify their pre-determined conclusions.

    So an objective assessment of what needs to be done at MCC won’t happen until the voters finish cleaning house in 2017.

    And I say this to Linda Liddell and to Cynthia Kisser:

    PLEASE run for re-election in 2017.

    Run, and make the election a referendum on your views of what MCC should be.

    The voters DESERVE the opportunity to explicitly repudiate you and your ideas.

  2. No

    Please look at the facts AGAIN and please retain what you learn from them trustees and prioceed according to how you got to your position on the board.

    Steve Willson is spot on again.

  3. The college needs to be competitive with neighboring community colleges.

    We need great programs and facilities to attract new students.

    They scrapped the referendum and are compromising on the suggested renovations.

    Times have changed, yet this county has remained the same.

    Our hospital system still hasn’t fully implemented EHRs, many of our government systems are far behind on going electronic.

    Yes,our property taxes are too high for what we get.

    Will they be lower if MCC stays in the dark ages?

    Probably not.

    Will students flock to the school when they can go to Elgin, Harper, CLC?

    Nope, not without competitive programs.

  4. Re: “Will students flock to the school when they can go to Elgin, Harper, CLC? ”


    What did we do before we had community colleges?

  5. Tirio promising on campaign trail one thing get in office does another to hurt
    The tax payers of Mchenry county

  6. It shows how out of touch these individuals are when they are pointing to a voter approved ECC bond issued 15 years ago.

    15 years ago the economy was robust and had not yet crashed (2009).

    McCounty residents were for the most part gamefully employed living well on what the economic bubble driven by cheap money, construction and real estate afforded them.

    The year 2000 and year 2015 are so drastically different you might as well be talking 100 years ago.

    Try getting that ECC bond referendum passed today.

    You see, the US economy is in a depression, the only reason why there are no soup lines is food stamps and government subsidies have replaced them.

    When the free money disappears via quantitative easing (fiat debt printing of currency) schools, state, municipal and county governments will then beging to experience the reality businesses and residents of McHenry County have been experiecing for the past 6 years. yes, it is coming!

    The one good reason for doing the project now is money is so cheap. In my opinion, maybe a good idea; but definately the wrong time!

  7. @SteveWillson: You don’t even have to instruct the consultants.

    If you ask the Beef council if red meat is good for you, I’m sure the answer will be “yes”.

    @TomWilbeck: Agreed! The school is well within tolerances for occupancy. Expansion is patently ridiculous given the shrinking student body.

    @JustCuroius: Your arguments are as weak as the presentations for expansion.

    “The college needs to be competitive with neighboring community colleges.”

    It competes in terms of cost and locale.

    It does fail in the number of Starbucks it has.

    “We need great programs and facilities to attract new students.”

    We need to provide the students with what they need to succeed at a cost that is affordable to students and taxpayers.

    “Yes,our property taxes are too high for what we get.”

    Seems we agree on something.

    “Will they be lower if MCC stays in the dark ages?”

    You can almost do the math on your fingers…


    And MCC is far from the dark ages.

    By the way, MCC offers Robotics and an EHR program.

    “Will students flock to the school when they can go to Elgin, Harper, CLC? Nope, not without competitive programs.”

    If that logic were even close to true, people would only buy BMW an Mercedes.

    Pull your head out of your butt and get some air.

  8. It is truly sad how little you all know about why someone chooses a Community College.

    The first Community College opened in 1901- sow hat did they do before Community Colleges?

    Not attend college.

    All classrooms are not created equal, if we want a competitive workforce we need to grow one.

    Most of our programming is for adults retooling their skills or learning job skills.

    It is so clear that NONE of you have any idea what happens in that school.

    Taxes will not be lower YOU idiot- because the entire community economy suffers from a poorly trained workforce.

    @Steve Jobbs- further proof you know nothing of how this works.

    If your college does not offer a program, you can attend another Community College at a discounted rate- so YES- the money will again leave the county.

    The Robotic program and EHR are programs that if the people on this blog had anything to do with it wouldn’t have happened.

    It is the Science, healthcare and manufacturing programs they are desperately fighting to improve.

    The biggest job growth areas for this county.

    And before you tell me manufacturing is dead.

    READ SOMETHING other than this blog, because you would be WRONG.

  9. I find it helpful to quantify the sociopathic indifference level of individuals who demand their desires be fulfilled at any cost.

    Bureau of Labor Statistics* conducts in-depth Consumer Expenditure Survey.

    Household expenditures fall into defined categories, the percentage of household income spent on those categories is stated.

    Nationally the mean share of household income spent on Property Taxes is 3.6%.

    In McHenry County, US Census Quick Facts states median home value as $220,000 and median household income as $76,000.

    There is no source I could find for mean property tax rate in the entire county, but with Woodstock property tax rate at 5% (15% of EAV), I believe an assumption of 3% mean property tax rate is conservative.

    (.03 x $220,000)/$76000= .087 That is 8.7% of household income paid to property taxes, compared to national average of 3.6%

    In Woodstock median home value $180,000, median income $56,000. Property tax rate 5%.

    (.05 x $180,000)/$56,000= .16 That is 16% of household income paid to property taxes, compared to national average of 3.6%

    So the individual expressing desires can be quantified as placing the importance of whatever it is they WANT ahead of the categorical NEEDs of taxpayers, very precisely.

    According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditures as a percentage of household income fall in these categories:

    FOOD 12.6%
    HOUSING 33.3%
    ALL OTHER 6.6%

    The desirous individual is demanding that McHenry County households give up categorical spending in amounts of 5% to 12%, in order to fulfill the desires.

    What category would the desirous individual suggest be cut?

    According to BLS, Entertainment includes PETS.

    So advocates for spending public money on personally desired projects at any given taxing body are comfortable causing families to choose between giving up their family dog or being able to pay property taxes.

    Personal Insurance and Pensions?

    According to BLS, this category includes MANDATORY social security payroll payments, as well as ‘optional’ life insurance or disability insurance.

    So advocates for spending public money on personally desired projects at any given taxing body are comfortable causing families to choose between giving up their jobs/family security or being able to pay property taxes.

    I’m asking desirous individuals to justify their desires with hard numbers, and explain why what they WANT is more important than ‘allowing’ McHenry County households to keep that amount of household income for their own needs instead.

    p.s. a BIG loss for McHenry County households is in the ‘OTHER category’…which includes spending on textbooks, school fees, and college educations. Ironic. (page 4: property tax share stats.)

  10. Looks like everybody but inish actually gets it.

    Pretty awkward trying to explain why you are so biased in favor of ignorance.

    Come into the real world, not the one you have made up in your mind.

  11. To “Just Curious”:

    I am writing to you because I respect you even when I disagree with you.

    Your comments show sincerity, which I respect, and your comment show good thinking and familiarity with the situations about which you write.

    So I am writing to tell you why I disagree with you on MCC.

    I have examined in detail enrollment data of our elementary and high schools and Census data on population and demographics in the County, including population decline and the changes by age cohort.

    The data is conclusive:

    MCC is going to get smaller.

    Further, I have examined in detail enrollment over the years in every single MCC program.

    Most of the programs have dismal graduation rates.

    Many are in areas that offer low pay to graduates, such as food services.

    Bad programs at MCC need to be scaled back or eliminated.

    We need to offer the smaller number of students who will attend MCC quality programs, programs that lead to better paying jobs that are really available, and, for the group going on to a four year college, we need to offer a program that truly prepares them.

    This, in fact, is the area where MCC should be expanding, in my opinion, because MCC offers a much lower cost for the first two years, making a four year college degree much more affordable.

    But instead the administration pushes health care because “everybody knows healthcare is growing”.

    They’re wrong.

    The source of the administration’s own projections about health care jobs is the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).

    If you examine the IDES projections closely, the evidence is clear that once the second Centegra hospital is finished in Huntley, the projected number of good job openings in health care will slow dramatically and be approximately equal to what MCC is already producing.

    Further, except for nurses, many of the health care jobs will be low paying jobs that do not require any certificates from a community college.

    As for nurses, times are changing.

    No one hires RNs with an associate’s degree anymore.

    So the RN program will increasingly be just a feeder to the four year colleges, and MCC needs to make sure its program is geared to that purpose.

    In short, MCC needs to revamp its programs to offer more of what local businesses need, specifically local businesses that need qualified people for well-paying jobs.

    And MCC needs to offer students greater support and direction so that many more of them graduate.

    But what MCC does NOT need is major capital expansion.

    Its classrooms operate at 50% of capacity.

    And we know enrollment is going to decline for the next twelve years because we can see the number of students in grades K-12.

    So MCC does not have major problems that massive amounts of money will fix.

    It needs to upgrade its science labs and probably build a brand new lab for health care education.

    All in, a few million dollars.

    And they have much more than that on hand because for years they taxed more than they needed and built up a substantial kitty.

    They were sitting on over $45 million in cash and investments at the end of FY2014.

    They had transferred over the years a total of over $10 million into the “Operations and Maintenance Restricted” fund to make it look like they weren’t running surpluses in the Education Fund.

    So they have built up huge amounts of cash because the administration always had grandiose capital plans.

    Finally, the “study” that is being used to justify major expansion was NOT an objective review of the community’s needs that included the likely trend of enrollment and population.

    No research was done on outcomes for students in terms of job availability and pay for such jobs.

    Instead the study was a wish list by department heads, who all want lots of new programs and who see no programs declining.

    I hope you find my observations to be useful.

    My goal is to provide facts to people so they can make their own informed decisions.

  12. Wouldn’t be easier for all of us to simply surrender our paychecks to government and then at the end of the day they can decide what we get back.

    The Junior College System was the product of Harry S. Truman and was intended to provide veterans with opportunity for college education, 2 years to learn a trade.

    They were not intended to compete with 4 year university system or a means for taxpayers to pay for someone else’s children’s education.

    The real plan of Harper, ECC and McHenry County is to turn these 2 year institutions into 4 year insitutions with taxpayers saddled with the majority of the bill.

    Is everyone beginning to FEEL THE BERN!

  13. BOHICA – McHenry County property taxpayers !

    How many more will be forced to sell their homes and leave ?

    Looks like the current trend will continue unabated, at least for the foreseeable future ….

  14. Wow Steve Jobbs.

    Your argument lost all it’s weight once you started in with the name calling.

  15. @Steve Wilson- Thank you for your respect and very helpful information.

    I totally see your point and agree on many fronts.

  16. “You see, the US economy is in a depression, the only reason why there are no soup lines is food stamps and government subsidies have replaced them. When the free money disappears via quantitative easing (fiat debt printing of currency) schools, state, municipal and county governments will then beging to experience the reality businesses and residents of McHenry County have been experiecing for the past 6 years. yes, it is coming!”

    Lets get the facts straight.

    The US economy is far from in a depression.

    U.S. is at full employment, which is a 5% unemployment rate.

    Also, quantitative easing ended over a year ago.

    The FED is looking to raise rates in December.

    Yes, interest rates will be low for quite some time.

    Quite a different picture than your doom and gloom view you are pushing.

    Actually, Inish brings up some valid points Cindy.

    You are the one who lives in some false reality.

  17. Stand4truth, you’re not telling the truth or you don’t understand.

    Tirio (among a couple others) voted no referendum.

    That means “no to raising taxes”.

    Promise kept, no?

  18. Denial is rampant in here, YoungMan.

    I would hardly call it 5% unemployment when even back in 2013 the real number was 30% unemployed. What do we have now, 330,000,000?

    Of that number somewhere around 105,000,000 actually have jobs. Dream on in your denial.

    No fairytale false reality here.

    We are living in the collapse even if you refuse to believe in it.

    Open your eyes and look around!

  19. To YoungManSummer:

    You are correct that Mr. Stieper engaged in a bit of hyperbole in saying the U.S. economy is in a depression, but I think he did that on purpose to make a point.

    I’m afraid, though, that I agree with his other comments about quantitative easing.

    In the old days, we simply called that “printing money” and it, plus extremely low interest rates, have been a giant macroeconomic experiment by the Fed.

    The winners have been Wall Street (and please know that I work in the securities business, so I’m not one of the people chanting, “1%, 1%”), the banks, and, to a lesser extent, U.S. businesses which have been refinancing their debt at a furious pace.

    The losers in this process have been

    (a) the whole U.S. economy which recovered the last recession at the slowest pace ever; and

    (b) the elderly.

    Basically, the Fed sacrificed our senior citizens to Wall Street.

    Super low interest rates have crushed people on fixed incomes.

    I have had many of my older, retired friends come to me, asking me for advice:

    “I counted on 5% returns and now I’m lucky to get 2%. My retirement income is only 40% of what I planned on.”

    And, in anguish, they ask me where they should invest their money.

    Sadly, I have no good answers for them.

    As for Finish, most of his comments are just a rant:

    “It is so clear that NONE of you have any idea what happens in that school.”

    “Further proof you know nothing of how this works.”

    “The Robotic program and EHR are programs that if the people on this blog had anything to do with it wouldn’t have happened.”

    “It is the Science, healthcare and manufacturing programs they are desperately fighting to improve. The biggest job growth areas for this county.”

    “Taxes will not be lower YOU idiot- because the entire community economy suffers from a poorly trained workforce.”

    None of these comments advance the discussion.

    Where he is not just insulting people, he is substituting platitudes and goals for reasoning.

    Take his comment about the robotics program.

    It is simply false to say that everyone is against everything.

    Everyone I know, including people on the board, think the robotics program is a good idea.

    I have heard several board members say they think this is an area that deserves expansion.

    But there are legitimate concerns that the program might not be geared closely enough to local employer needs.

    So that it is a good program doesn’t mean anything with the word “robotics” gets a free pass from examination and more money is a priori money well spent.

    Or take his comment about health care: “the biggest job growth areas for this county.”

    First, this is flatly false, and figures from the IBES prove that.

    Health care jobs, especially good paying health care jobs, are NOT likely to grow very much in the next ten years according the IBES.

    Second, MCC tried desperately to conflate service jobs such as personal trainer to be health care jobs.

    hey aren’t.

    The IBES has them in different categories, and personal trainer is NOT a healthcare job.

    Further, the IBES provides data that shows jobs such as personal trainer pay badly and do not require a community college degree.

    This whole issue was a particularly pernicious bit of dishonesty by the administration and their cheerleaders and, if executed, would have badly served our young people who depend on the adults to give them guidance about where the good paying jobs are.

    The same is true of the food service program.

    MCC expanded that.

    But few people who go through it end up in good jobs.

    Most don’t finish, and the too many of the students who do finish can’t find jobs that pay decently.

    In point of fact, there is strong evidence that students who bypass community college and go directly into food service are money ahead.

    That is, they earn money for two years instead of paying tuition for two years, and two years later they are further ahead in their careers. But ask MCC for figures on how their students do.

    The answer is, they don’t know and they don’t want to know.

    But they spent millions expanding that program and building a fancy new kitchen on campus when they had access to a professional kitchen free.

    Or take “taxes will not be lower YOU idiot- because the entire community economy suffers from a poorly trained workforce.”

    It does not automatically follow from “we need a trained workforce” that “any money MCC spends is well spent”.

    But inish provides no reasoning, no evidence.

    Yes, we need a well trained workforce, and it is the job of the college to ensure they are actually doing so, not simply to assume their success and increase their budget.

    This is, in fact, a common tactic by cheerleaders for programs.

    It’s the Helen Lovejoy protocol, if you’re a Simpsons fan:

    “Won’t someone PLEASE think of the children!”

    But citing a potentially vulnerable group doesn’t justify any and all programs of any size.

    “We need a trained workforce”, therefore we should spend $100 million!

    “We need a trained workforce”, therefore we should spend $200 million!

    Do you see what I’m saying?

    Just citing a general principle doesn’t help us balance conflicting goals or determine the right amount to spend.

    It’s just an attempt to cast the other side as heartless villains and end discussion.

  20. Statistics can be tricky.

    Don’t believe the Obamanauts.

    They’re not taking into consideration all the people who gave up looking.

  21. I am curious as to what “Debt Certificates” means.

    After reviewing the MCC Board Policy Manual, the Board is allowed to issue Tax Anticipation Warrants, however, those are issued on a short-term basis (i.e. less than 1 year maturity) and are repaid once the subsequent levy is collected from the county.

    This type of debt is typically used for short-term, working cash flow issues, it is not meant to fund large Capital Spending projects.

    Aside from TAW’s, I don’t see where MCC has a policy that allows them to issue “debt certificates”.

    In fact, when Mr. Jenner was on the D-26 Board with me several years ago, he introduced a change to our Policy Manual regarding the issuance of debt.

    It basically states that the Board shall not issue new debt without voter approval.

    So, I’m wondering why the proposal requires voter approval for some of the debt, but not the debt incurred through the issuance of debt certificates?

    With respect to the expectation that 1/4 of the funds are to come from students, I didn’t see any of the details surrounding this revenue source.

    How much do tuition rates need to be raised in order to generate 1/4 of the funds for this project?


    $10/hr or more?

    Do they start charging current students at the start of the new semester these higher fees?

    Is it fair to charge current students a higher fee today even though they will have been long gone from MCC by the time any improvements are finished?

    In other words, is it right to make the current students fund the education of future students?

    Lastly, what is the sensitivity of demand due to substantial price increases under this plan?

    Will the incremental fee revenue be substantially (or completely) offset by losses in demand (i.e. reduced creit hours).

    MCC did see a double-digit decline in credit hours just a few years ago when the free tuition program disappeared.

    And during that decline, we know that MCC’s operating costs continued to increase even in the face of those double-digit losses.

    So, MCC would be left with an inflated tuition structure (in order to pay for CapEx), reduced student demand (due to the higher tuition costs), which drives less total tuition revenue than forecasted, and the operating expenses continues to grow in the face of reduced enrollment because MCC cannot approriately scale its operating cost structure to meet declining demand, all of which results in a significant hole at the bottom line relative to the expected net proceeds that this part of the strategy was supposed to generate for its share of the project.

  22. Yes, quantitative easing was introduced to lower interest rates to stimulate growth through the fed buying treasuries from banks to stimulate lending.

    With interest rates over the longer term trending lower, fixed income on a total return basis has preformed quite well.

    2014 was one of the best years for longer term treasuries.

    Up almost 30% on a total return basis.

    TLT (etf for 20+ yr treasury)is one proxy, which saw solid appreciation as interest rates fell in 2014.

    However, yes income from these investments is low from lower interest rates and as the fed begins to raise rates the interest income will still have to be reinvested at very low rates and may not see much appreciation.

    Equities have also performed very will since the collapse, which was probably helped by QE.

    Lower rates have also helped stimulate demand for borrowers and allowed homeowners to lock in a lower rate.

    If the fed did not cut rates, things may have taken a lot longer to get better.

    I do agree that the economy has recovered quite slowly compared to previous recessions, however growth across the world has slowed through the deleveraging process and the growth experienced before was not sustainable.

    I agree that the answer probably lies somewhere in the middle and looking at data to decide how to spend make sense.

    However, it seems that many take an extreme stance and want to slash everything instead of trying to figure out how to strengthen and make more attractive.

  23. Young Man – those numbers do not include those who ran out of benefits and still have no job.

    So many that just gave up looking.

    Might find them living in their cars.

  24. Even if you look at the U6 unemployment rate, which measures total unemployed, people employed part time for economic reasons, people who currently are are neither working or looking for work but indicate they want a job, the rate has dropped substantially (at 9.8% falling from 17% in 2009).

    This is near levels in mid 2000.

  25. How can the Board President not attend an important meeting like this?!?!?

    Convenient way to avoid controversy?

  26. Sucking up that Kool aid Young Man?

    Back at you and Herb should give you a clue.

    Read their posts again and lay off the government sites.

  27. The Kool aid?


    So if the data supports your narrative it must be true!

    But if it doesn’t it must be false and manipulated!

  28. It is manipulated and its Propaganda put forth by the administration in charge.

  29. Why is that?

    So if a republican is president then the data is true but if a democrat is president it must be false?

    I just try take an unbiased approach at looking at factual information.

  30. How very representative this Board is.

    They quickly acknowledge if left up to the voters in a referendum they will never support it.

    So lets do it anyways.

    So hard to believe some of this board actually ran as very fiscal conservative tea party types.


  31. Young Man?

    If you still believe in the Republican/Democrat paradigm, then you have way more problems than anyone can address.

  32. Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to make a request.

    Can we drop the name calling and move on?

    One of the things I like about Cal’s blog is that the discussions are usually at a high level.

    We have a couple of people who call names and add no value, but everyone knows who they are and just ignores them.

    But, by and large, the people who comment here are well informed and thoughtful.

    I learn a lot from many posters.

    I see lots of facts I didn’t know.

    I hear reasoning that had never occurred to me.

    I have had people correct errors in my reasoning and evidence.

    And even when I disagree with people, it’s really good give-and-take.

    In short, the process is more about collaboration than argument.

    And, as a result, I have had my mind changed more than once by what people have written, and often we all end up at a different place than we started, and a place we wouldn’t have found on our own because the discussion stimulates new ideas.

    Contrast this with the Herald, where you have about six people who clearly hate each other and who spend hours doing nothing but spewing vitriol.

    I quite commenting on the Herald’s site for that reason.

    So, I respect you all, but this discussion has taken an unfortunate turn.

    Please, can we just reboot and go back to our usual respectful discussion, really examining other poster’s logic and facts?

    Thank you.

  33. The greatest fear of Liberals is the truth … and those who expose it for what it is.

    Hence the public’s low rating of the Main Stream Media.

    No LIE to great nor to small to tell.

    Sorry about that Steve, but this MUST be confronted.

  34. Apologies to all for letting my emotions get the better of me.

    Good points Mr. Willson

  35. Steve Wilson?

    I fail to see any name calling.

    Now, you are coming off as trying to be better than anyone else by your last comment.

    Just because you are more verbose, does not make you better.

    I respect all commentators in here.

    No one even reads the Herald.

    For the other Steve: everyone gets emotional.

    I haven’t seen any comments that anyone need apologize for anywhere on Cal’s blogs (with the exception of the occassional slander by some morally corrupt individuals that know who they are).

    You are definitely NOT one of them.

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