You have seen me, repeatedly, berate the leaders of the State of Illinois for recklessly mismanaging the “affairs of state” for so many decades that Illinois ranks at or near the bottom of most important measures of state well-being and quality of life, including (but not limited to):
a) Business-friendly atmosphere;
b) Financial health (lowest credit rating in the country);
c) Population growth;
d) Housing price appreciation (related to the above and to the extremely slow rate at which foreclosures have been processed – a matter related to Illinois law);
e) Integrity of politicians (it is already “in the cards” that Illinois politicians will not keep Senate President Cullerton’s solemn process that the 67% hike in the Illinois income tax rate (from 2% to 5%) would only be temporary;
f) Proper management of the annual state budget (Illinois continues to carry a huge (at least $6 billion) unpaid Accounts Payable balance (another item Cullerton would be eliminated by the tax increase revenue);
g) Faithfulness to promises made to state pension beneficiaries (Illinois has the largest unfunded pension liability in the country!).
However, today I bring you great news!! Illinois is at the very top of the U.S. rankings of states that provide online access to user-friendly translation services from English to Klingon (an unofficial language created very uniquely for humanoid characters in the ancient Star Trek TV series and the movies that have ensued in the decades since William Shatner stopped being “Captain Kirk” of the Starship Enterprise!
The Klingon translation services come to us courtesy of the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). You can access Klingon through this website: http://www.ides.illinois.gov/. (Look at the top right for translation choices.)
Here is a sample translation from the site… leading with the English:
Maintain your eligibility for current and future unemployment insurance benefits by familiarizing yourself with the following common mistake or misunderstanding.
Examples of UI Fraud include situations where an individual:
· Returns to work but continues to collect UI benefits
· Works at a part-time job but does not report their earnings to IDES, thereby collecting more benefits than are allowed
· Works odd jobs while collecting UI benefits but does not report the earnings when filing his or her weekly claim
Violators could face:
· Large fines and penalties
· Prison sentences
· Offset against State and Federal income tax returns
· Loss of future UI benefit
Here is the KLINGON translation of the above:
PA' CERTIFYING, yIghov common Qagh, chenmoH ui claimants?
leH, pong familiarizing je tlha' common Qagh misunderstanding pagh chepmoH eligibility Qu'mey potlh 'ej pIq unemployment nov quchwI'pu'mo'.
DaH ghu' nobvam ui Fraud examples nuqDaq nuv DanoHmeH nuv:
· chegh vum 'ach ui chepmoH boS taH
· qaStaHvIS part-time job Qap 'ach not earnings ja' IDES thereby latlh chepmoH puS chaw' boS
· jum jobs Qap poStaHvIS ui chepmoH boS 'ach wej earnings ja' HeghDI' pagh weekly DoQ teywI'
laH qab violators:
· maj yIteb jIp 'ej
· bIghHa' mu'tlhegh
· offset federal income rup returns je Sep
· chepmoH ui pIq loss
At this point, you are undoubtedly asking the question: “Why?”
The answer is that the IDES offers online translation of its web content in Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Polish, and Maltese. Prior to the release of the latest Star Trek movie (“Star Trek Into Darkness”) someone in the IDES decided they could get attention by adding “KLINGON”. So they added the “artificial” language and did a big promotional campaign to heighten public awareness of the IDES by “piggybacking” on the movie release.
The result? Illinois is the only state in which Klingon speakers can access employment information, applications, forms, etc. in their native language!!
Talk about a state that ensures it exists “on the cutting edge!” Write you governor and representatives today to thank them for putting Illinois “at the top of the rankings” on at least one metric!!